Some murdering duos start at a young age. In the case of Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, they committed horrific attacks on innocent schoolmates and teachers when they were seniors in high school. In this article, you will learn more about their crimes, possible reasons behind their actions, and other background information.
The Columbine High School massacre hit news headlines across the world, as people struggled to come to grip with the reality of the tragedy. What would possess two young boys to commit such crimes? Their killing spree ended in the deaths of 13 people and 21 injured victims. In the end, Eric Harris (18) and Dylan Klebold (17) committed suicide in the library after the attacks.
Why Did They Do It?
Both boys kept diaries that went into detail about how they would carry out their plan at the high school, but the exact reason was never clear-cut. Early accounts state that the boys were unpopular in school and became the target of frequent bullying in high school. However, some feel that their acts stemmed from an early arrest for breaking into a van that led to 10 months of juvenile intervention counseling and community service. Both of the boys indicted in their diaries was a traumatizing experience. They also made references to other tragedies, such as the Oklahoma City bombing, Waco, and other similar events , writing that they wished to ‘outdo’ them.
The Bullied Turn Bully
Eventually, the two turned to bullying other students , picking on younger kids and those they considered homosexual. Diary entries written by the boys prove they targeted certain students for bullying. It was reported that Harris and Klebold was a part of a group that went by the name of the “Trenchcoat Mafia.” However, there isn’t any concrete evidence that they were in the group, as they did not appear in the 1998 Columbine yearbook group photo.
Since Harris and Klebold were both underage at the time of the attacks, they needed someone of age to purchase their guns. They enlisted the help of Robyn Anderson, an 18-year-old Columbine student and old friend of Klebold’s. At the end of the attacks, Anderson exchanged information for the investigation to avoid being charged with knowingly purchasing guns for underage users.
Harris and Klebold created bombs comprised of carbon dioxide canisters, metal propane bottles, and galvanized pipe. Propane tanks were puchaded from a local hardware store for a couple of hundred dollars the weekend before the attack, as well as the morning of the attack.
The duo had left more complicated bombs with timers on the streets, but the two largest bombs that they had built were found in the school cafeteria. They were constructed out of small propane tanks. Only one of the two bombs went off with a partial detonation. Investigators concluded that if all the bombs had been properly installed and placed in certain locations, the school would have suffered intense damage to the structure and that hundreds of people would have lost their lives.