Columbine

I usually don’t care too much for true crime books. Reality is all too real, and there’s enough of it to keep me occupied that I don’t need to have current events recounted in order to understand them. But Columbine turns out to be different.

If you have children, your interest had to be piqued in April of 1999 when Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold walked into their high school a few days after attending their prom, with a arsenal of weapons and homemade bombs, and proceeded to kill 12 of their class mates and one teacher, injuring, some critically, another 24. I had a daughter who was a year younger than the two of them at the time, a junior in high school. I was mystified by the mere thought of two teenage boys imposing such havoc and horror on their fellow students. It was not something I would ever contemplate as within the realm of possibility when I was in high school.

Like the mass media at the time, I assumed they snapped. Something fired off in their immature brains at the wrong time, causing them to kill in an indiscriminate manner. I bought the stories that the main stream media pumped out at the time, and then didn’t really give it much thought, having arrived at my conclusion, putting it behind me, content with the notion that it was an aberration, one that would never happen again.

But then I read Columbine by Dave Cullen.  Cullen was a reporter who filed stories about the shootings at the time, as the tragedy enfolded, but who stuck with the story until he had this book, long after the rest of the press had packed up from this story and moved on to the next. After the dead were buried, and the injured had recovered, there continued a massive investigation into the causes and nature of the crime. There was no one to really prosecute, other than the numb-skulls who naively helped the shooters get their weapons, but there was still a need to understand how it could happen, perhaps to help prevent another occurrence of the same or similar violence. Easy and facile explanations were not helpful.

It turns out that our common misconceptions are just that – misconceived. These two did not just snap and go on a shooting spree as a lark. This was a well planned, long term operation on their part. It had its genesis in youthful rage, but it was rage that could have been dealt with at any number of times and places without this outcome, if the right people had looked in the right place at the right time. There was a triggering event, but it occurred over a year prior to the shooting. In between, Harris and Klebold spent a considerable amount of time and effort putting it together. They telescoped their intentions on numerous occasions. They wrote extensively  about it, and even videotaped their intentions over a period of time. They left a large volume of information for us to pick over.

As it turns out, they were not part of the “Trench Coat Mafia”, nor a Goth cult; they did not want to retaliate against bullies and jocks; they were not picked on in school. It was not lax gun laws, or Satan, behind the shootings.   Harris was incredibly well read and bright, but he was a psychopath who just wanted to kill. Period. He was consumed with irrational hatred. He was incapable of empathy with other humans, and hid it well. Klebold was simply depressed and wanted to die. He never thought he would be around for the target date, because he thought he’d be dead from suicide long before. He couldn’t summon the nerve to do it earlier, and, only a few days before the shooting, psychologically committed to it, primarily because he knew he wouldn’t survive it. The two of them turned out to be a lethal combination .

Their intention was to blow up the school, and as students and teachers reacted to the chaos of exploding bombs, shoot the survivors as they fled. They planted large bombs in the cafeteria, and bombs in their cars designed to explode after emergency personnel arrived on the scene, but, fortunately were incompetent at fuse making, so when they didn’t go off, they entered the school and started shooting. They had ample opportunity for more potential victims, but eventually the killing got boring, and when they realized the car bombs were not going to explode, they sat down and shot themselves.

Cullen does a fine job of recreating the event and an even better job or recreating the subsequent investigation, and explaining why it happened. One of the myths that came out of the initial stories was the one about Cassie Bernall, who was shot after she professed her belief in god. It didn’t happen that way, was most likely confabulated with the story of another student who was shot first, professed her belief in god, and survived,  but the press continued to market it, as did her mother with a book, and the religious continue to believe it to this day. A telling quote from the book:

The evidence against martyrdom was overwhelming, but Cassie’s youth pastor saw stronger forces at play. “You will never change the story of Cassie,” Reverend Dave McPherson said. “The church is going to stick to the martyr story. You can say it didn’t happen that way, but the church won’t accept it.”

He didn’t mean just his church. He meant the vast Evangelical community worldwide. And to a large extent he was right. Book sales continued briskly. A vast array of Web sites sprang up to defend the story. Others just repeated it, without mentioning that it had been debunked.

Clearly, a good example that truth has no place in religion. Don’t let the facts get in the way of a good marketing tool.

Incidentally, Columbine is only the 4th most deadly school massacre, though if those bombs had gone off it would have easily been the first. The one with the ignominious distinction of 1st place is the Bath School Disaster, the result of someone with a better knowledge of explosives.

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33 thoughts on “Columbine

  1. ..it was rage that could have been dealt with at any number of times and places without this outcome, if the right people had looked in the right place at the right time.

    I absolutely agree, but IMO you ruined a perfectly legitimate reflection on your personal journey through Columbine with a single line:

    Clearly, a good example that truth has no place in religion.

    Now – without a discussion of the evidence itself – what’s the difference between you marketing Cullen’s story as truth and the evangelicals marketing theirs? Who really knows except the witnesses? You’ve not provided any evidence sufficient to sustain a reasoned judgement. You say the story was “most likely” a confabulation, and then we’re supposed to take your word that Cullen was the one who actually got it right. Meet the burden of proof already! Convince me beyond a reasonable doubt! Respect those “standards of evidence” you flank theists with. Show me some video evidence of a silent Cassie Bernal staring down the barrel of a loaded gun. Surely Cullen provided evidence, right? Well, show us something. After all, you yourself admitted that you “bought the stories that the main stream media pumped out at the time, and then didn’t really give it much thought,” so how do I know you’ve given Cullen’s story any more thought? Why should I buy the stories you pump out on your blog?

    To play devil’s advocate, let’s say we have undeniable evidence that Cassie Bernall never mentioned God before she was shot, and the pastor and church still stuck to the martyrdom story. That still doesn’t support your broad-strokes, rhetorical conclusion that “truth has no place in religion.”

    I get that it’s tough for you to pass up a chance to smear religion and all, but it just comes across as an irrational bias, another argument seeking to implicate a large and diverse group on behalf of the actions of a specific subset of that group.

    • Oh, goodie. Cl’s back.

      Who really knows except the witnesses?

      All I can say is RTFB. (Read the book)

      The girl who was sitting under the table and staring right at Cassie at the time clearly saw what happened, and she says it didn’t happen the way the media originally said. Other witnesses, when taken to the scene, have everything wrong, unless you assume they are talking about the other girl, then they have everything right. They clearly mixed their memories together.

      C’mon cl. I’m just relating what I read.

      That still doesn’t support your broad-strokes, rhetorical conclusion that “truth has no place in religion.”

      I didn’t say that. Don’t do a cl on my writing and rewrite it to fit want you want it to say. Don’t forget the qualifier “Clearly, a good example that…”

      I get that it’s tough for you to pass up a chance to smear religion and all…

      I get it that the only thing you find objectionable about my review of a book I read and you didn’t is that which undermines your religious beliefs, which clearly says more about you than me.

    • CL: This is a book review. It is not the reviewer’s duty to carefully trace every bit of evidence used to support the books conclusions — that’s what the book is for.

      Spanqi: Makes me want to read the book, which is a surprise to me. I tend to avoid true crime books (of any quality) like the plague (unless it is an historic crime (in which case it becomes a definite maybe)).

      • Makes me want to read the book

        Try it. It’s well written (it’s a finalist for an Edgar Award for best Non-fiction), it’s not that long, and it seems well researched.

        While Dylan and Klebold are the central characters, the real protagonist of the book is the FBI agent/Psychologist who was involved with Ruby Ridge, Waco and a bunch of other hostage type situations, and who coincidentally lived in Colorado, with his son attending Columbine as a freshman on the day of the shooting. He’s the one whose conclusions are echoed in the book, and his work is a fine example of the scientific method at work.

        Look at all theories, test each one until they can be eliminated, and what you have left is most likely the truth. That’s how he arrived at his conclusion that Harris was a classic, textbook psychopath.

        I also didn’t have great expectations for enjoying the book, but I couldn’t put it down.

        • Fuselier’s older son was one of those who made a video two years before that featured shooters in black trenchcoats in the halls of the school, which is blown up in the end. I guess that wasn’t psychopathic behavior, just good clean teen fun

          It was an outrage that he did not recuse himself from the investigation.

          • Outrage? I don’t know. How did his son’s past relationship adversely affect his investigation? There would be an equally good argument that it helped, giving him insight into the killers that he wouldn’t ordinarily have.

            In any event, from the book, I got the impression that a) he was uniquely qualified to handle the investigation, and b) he sort of fell into it by happenstance, being at the right place at the right time.

            You could say that Colorado was lucky to have him there.

    • Interesting. However, pretty much debunked by Cullen. Have you read the book?

      For instance, the fact that some witnesses saw two guys in black trench coats, and another in a white T shirt is explained by the fact that once they entered the building, they both took off their coats and left them near the front door. So some witnesses saw trench coats, others didn’t, and they get confabulated into more than two shooters.

      The BIG problem, however, is that the conspirators left a huge amount of written and videotaped material created over a whole year, with no mention of any additional shooters. In additional, the video in the school only shows the two. I believe ballistics also accounts for all the weapons.

      There seems to be natural human tendency to concoct conspiracy theories after huge, tragic events. JFK will never go away, and look at what people have done with 9/11, not to mention the Birther movement. You gotta start being a little skeptical when this stuff pops up.

      • Stop drinking the kool aid.

        Fourty eyewitnesses identified other participants by name. To pretend that these witnesses were just confused is really presumptious. Perhaps it is you who needs to be skeptical.

        • Why does this remind of the passage from the NT where some 500 witnesses are said to have seen the risen Christ.

          Who are these witnesses? Who did they name as other participants? What role did the other participants play? Was it simply a matter of some students seeing a friend of Klebold and Harris exchanging pleasantries with them in the parking lot before the shooting started?

          • Read the link I posted. Or just read this sample–

            58) Crystal Archuleta, junior (EP1-197) “…she did see one person throw a pipe bomb. …..She told me at the time she thought it was Robert Perry.”

            59) Seth Dubois, freshman (EP21-125) “…Seth told Katherine(Carlston) that Robert Perry was seen shooting a girl in the back while leaving the library.”

            60) Wade Allen Frank, senior (EP1-91) “Mr. Frank told me that he thought origonally one of the individuals(shooting) was someone by the name of Robert…” “He stated that the person was tall, approximately 6’3″ and kind of ackward(sic) and gangly.”

            61) Bryan Frye, sophomore (EP25-69) “He stated that the person he had previously believed this shooter to be was Robert Perry. …..In a previous interview, after receiving his yearbook, he had told his father that he believed the shooter to be Robert Perry. He also stated that the gunman had bad acne.”

            62) Courtney Haulman, freshman (EP25-91) “There was three guys. The guy I remember most was the main guy. He’s over 6′ tall and has long curly dark-colored hair. He was wearing a trench coat. His name is Robert Perry.”

            63) Lacey Hohn, freshman (EP1-186) “…can you identify or descibe who was shooting? ….Ms. Hohn said that she does not believe it was Harris or Klebold. Ms. Hohn believes it was an individual named Robert.”

            64) Bijen Monty, junior (EP1-110) “I asked her if she saw the source of the shooting. She told me she saw who she thought, at the time, was Robert Perry with a gun hanging around his neck. She said she never actually saw him shoot the weapon. “She asked me if I had any information in regards to Robert Perry. I informed her I did not.”

            65) Tessa Nelson, freshman (EP1-113) “I asked her if she saw the source of the shots. She said she saw a male, who she thought was Robert Perry, wearing boots, dark jeans with dark hair, walking down the stairs outside the cafeteria. She said the male suspect pulled a gun and started shooting.”

            66) Katelyn Sue Place, freshman (EP21-285) Kate said, “It was (Redacted). I’m almost positive of it. I remember looking him dead in the eye. He was in my debate class….. . …Dylan kind of looked like Robert, but Dylan doesn’t have the long face. Robert’s teeth are messed up and he was smiling and I saw his teeth then. Kate said that she has since seen pictures of Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris, and she said, “It’s not one of them.”(Referring to the person she saw shooting out on the outside commons.) “She remembers him shooting Ann Marie(Hochalter). …. Robert was just randomly shooting. …Robert was still shooting. ….Kate said that Robert shot Ann Marie before he smiled at Kate. ….She looked and saw Jason(Autenrieth) trying to help Ann Marie, dragging her away from Robert, to the side.”

            67) Lacey Smith, junior (4470) “On the diagram she depicts (Redacted) as walking in through the doors, past where she was sitting, and going in about as far as they north end of the school store. It was at that time she heard the windows breaking and then realized she was hearing shots. “….she did not have any trouble indentifying PERRY when he walked past her. I asked SMITH how sure she was that the person she saw and spoke with was (Redacted). I asked, “90 percent sure? 50 percent sure?” Her response was “100 percent sure.” I then showed SMITH a photo lineup which included a picture of Dylan KLEBOLD, and asked her if the person who walked past her was in the lineup. She stated he was NOT in the lineup. …..As (Redacted) passed her and was near the commons area of the cafeteria, she then explained that (Redacted) pulled a weapon out from under his trench coat and started firing into the cafeteria.

            68) Brenton Hooker, junior (16397) “….he turned around and observed an individual he thought was ROBERT PERRY(ex-student of Columbine High School) standing outside the door just to the north of the main entrance shooting a pistol in his direction….” ….HOOKER described the individual he thought was PERRY as 6’8″ – 6’11” in height, very skinny, tight black pants, black trench coat…”

        • Stop drinking the kool aid.

          Well, again, with all due respect, have you read the book? Much of what you seem to imply has been examined at great length and rejected.

          Many of those witness statements were taken after they had ample opportunity to compare them to everyone else. Do you have a good idea on just how reliable eyewitness testimony is? Not very.

          Robert Perry had an alibi. He was home sleeping until his grandmother woke him and informed him of the shooting. He went outside to his porch, crying, and a witness saw him there, crying as he said he was. But, he happened to be tall and lanky, the same description ascribed to Klebold, and so lots of people said it was him in the rush of the moment. (p.231) Put a lot of emotional, traumatized teenagers in the heat of the moment, and it would be surprising if no one made that mistake. And his body was not back on the library floor with a self inflicted bullet wound, was it?

          Kool-aid, indeed.

          • No, I have not read the book, though I know what he is claiming. I have read over 30,000 pages of officially released documents on this event. I believe the witnesses who were there and saw and heard what happened over some guy who didn’t witness anything.

            Witness testimaony is relible enough to be heard in courtrooms around the world everyday. The JeffCo final report’s description of Harris and Klebold’s movement through the school is based almost totally on what they claim witnesses saw.

            Perry’s alibi, as is based on a close family member, is not at all strong. 12-20 who saw him there at school vs. one who says he was at home. Ande as for this witness who saw him crying on his porch, I have never heard of this before. Can you perhaps give me his or her name?

            • Can you perhaps give me his or her name?

              Sorry. The book simply says a neighbor. No elucidation in the notes. I’ll bet an email to Cullen would get it.

              [ADDED]

              Here’s the quote from the book.

              “He said he walked upstairs, stumbled out onto the porch, and cried. Did anyone see him, other than his grandmother? No, he didn’t think so. But Perry had been seen by others – he’d just been too upset to notice them. Within a week, a neighbor who was interviewed described driving up around noon and seeing Perry crying just the way he described.”

              [2nd ADD]

              Go to the bookstore, and read chapter 36, entitled “Conspiracy”. See how much it jibes with what you read.

  2. I heard an interview with Cullen and what I found most interesting was just how wrong the information we have come to believe is.

    What cl(-own) doesn’t understand is that good journalism is well-researched and journalists aren’t going to do good research without documenting said research. I’m sure Cullen will leave a very good trail that anyone skeptical of his claims can follow.

  3. “You will never change the story of Cassie,” Reverend Dave McPherson said. “The church is going to stick to the martyr story. You can say it didn’t happen that way, but the church won’t accept it.”

    After all, they probably think that even if Cassie did not say those words, she WOULD HAVE if Klebold and Harris HAD asked her if she believed while pointing a gun at her.

    It fits the narrative they want to maintain, just as some African-Americans in the NY metro area continued to believe that Tawana Brawley was brutalized by a group of white men long after it was revealed that Brawley had done it to herself because she feared punishment by her parents for being out late with a boy. When one has an emotional investment in a particular narrative, it is hard to give that up, even in the face of evidence to the contrary.

    In addition to the Cassie Bernal as Christian martyr story, another narrative that sprung out of the Columbine massacre with a subset of the Christian community is that it was the fault of Darwinian evolution, because Harris supposedly believed such things. So, Cassie ends up not just being a martyr, but a martyr who died at the hands of godless evolution. Hey, it’s a two-fer!

    • In addition to the Cassie Bernal as Christian martyr story, another narrative that sprung out of the Columbine massacre with a subset of the Christian community is that it was the fault of Darwinian evolution, because Harris supposedly believed such things. So, Cassie ends up not just being a martyr, but a martyr who died at the hands of godless evolution. Hey, it’s a two-fer!

      Yes. Harris in particular was a very intelligent kid. He read voraciously, and was well aware of social Darwinism, and used it extensively in his writing to justify his superiority over everyone he hated, and planned on killing.

  4. Clearly, a good example that truth has no place in religion.

    Well I’d say it would if and only if it suits the desired narrative, otherwise it’s to be disregarded, and THAT is the point, not the point cl is trying to substitute for it. Let’s remind ourselves of what the pastor said:
    “The church is going to stick to the martyr story. You can say it didn’t happen that way, but the church won’t accept it.”
    Regardless of the evidence, regardless of the truth, the church won’t accept it. THAT’S the point, not whether SI or Cullen met the burden of proof to advance another view over the Cassie story.

    Come on people! Was the jackass gone so long that you’ve forgotten how to guard against being distracted from the point of a topic and lead astray? Shame on you all!

    • Cl is becoming so predictable. I make a statement, even in a book review where I’m just relaying someone else’s opinion, and he won’t accept it unless I provide evidence beyond a reasonable doubt. Notice that he didn’t ask for evidence when I said:

      …they were not part of the “Trench Coat Mafia”, nor a Goth cult; they did not want to retaliate against bullies and jocks; they were not picked on in school. It was not lax gun laws, or Satan, behind the shootings. Harris was incredibly well read and bright, but he was a psychopath who just wanted to kill.

      Only when it contradicts his religious beliefs, does he spout off.

      But all one has to do is a simple Google search to see that the Cassie Bernall “She Said Yes” story is pretty much fiction, (and this was known in 1999) and that there are still web sites devoted to claiming it to be a fact.

      • Yes, but none of that is the point, and continuing to defend what’s not the point is exactly what the jackass wants, now isn’t it? Don’t make being manipulated like this be predictable as well.

      • Harris and Klebold were very much a part of the TCM. And as for that ‘she said yes’ controversy, it was actually just a cover for the heavy satanic orientation of the TCM, something which they were desperate to keep out of the MSM–

        1)  TCMer Eric Dutro walking around the school cafeteria telling people that “Satan loves you”(Kelly Beer, 6106) in the spring of ’98.

        2)   Courtney van Dell, aka ‘devil girl,’  wore barettes in her hair to make it look like she had horns.  Said to be a ‘wikken'(sic) or a devil worshipper(Kristi Mohrbacher(1010), Jessica Lucero(1508 ), Leigh Ann Clark(2723)).

        3)  The students seeking shelter with Clement Park worker Steve Ogle(1056) told him the perpetrators were TCM and were “satanists”.

        4)  Jecoa Catt(1364) told IO that the TCM were satanic.

        5)  Jason Jones(1474) observed the TCM playing ‘magic’ cards in the cafeteria, which were about the devil and about power.

        6)  Lacey Shotts(1651) said she believed the TCM students were ‘devil worshippers.’

        7)  Jen Smull saw Robert Perry at a halloween party dressed as a worlock(1827).

        8 ) Student Perlman(4054) said Joe Stair used to come to woodshop class with a book he called ‘the devil’s bible’.

        9)  Prior to 4th hour on 4-20, Nicole Ray(4144) saw a male TCMer in the science hall, with his hair fashioned into devil’s horns.

        10) TCM associate Nathan Dykeman’s bedroom wall was supposedly covered with devil posters(4630).

        11)  Nathan Dykeman says Harris called him ‘devil man’.(10710)

        12)  Daniel Burg(5838 ) told the IO that “…the TCM–they’re like satanists.”

        13)  TCM leader Chris Morris told Mark Hengel(5899) “I don’t believe in God. I follow Satan’s Commandmants.”

        14)  Sara Lutes(6821) says the TCM were satanic, and that they wore satanic symbols on their shirts, underneath their trenchcoats.

        15)  Chris Hooker, 18, said they were “satanic individuals.”
        “We’d see them every day. They’ve threatened to kill people … but nobody thought that was serious,” Hooker said.

        16)  Library Intern Mary Ziccardi(13647) spent one week at CHS in November of ’98.  Says Eric Harris “looked like the devil” and may have worn black lipstick.

        17)  Teacher Mr. Long(EP24-17) said he kicked TCM associate Joe Stair out the computer class for accessing satanic sights.  This happened last year.(1998)

        18 ) TCM associate Eric Ault(10645) told the IOs that “they were into satanic worship.”

        19)  Jennfer Harmon(8835):  “…one of their friends-‘Becka’-was waiting for the devil to take over the soul.”

        20)  Brooks Brown(USAToday.com):  “They’re(TCM) all big on anti-God Satanism.  They are really just ‘pure hate’.”

        21)  What kind of music did the TCM like?  ‘Devil’ music according to Brandi Wiseman(4751).

        22)  Trista Fogerty(1420):  TCM were satanic, when she first got to CHS friends told her to avoid the group.

        23)  Nicole Markham(8794):  “Harris was into…heavy satanic music.”

        24)  Nicole Lawson, sophomore(3526):  (TCM associates)”Stephanie(Kinny) and Kelly(Schwab) would draw “fnords” on the black board.  Fnords are little symbols that were servants of the devil.  They would draw a whole bunch of them.  They did it when no one was looking.”    [‘fnord’ is thought to stand for ‘for no other reason, discord’]

        25)  TCM associate Chuckie Phillips(10866) internet code(Puterfnord@…) name was meant to represent a servant of the devil.

        26) Dustin Harrison(6577): “Dustin said (Redacted) ‘scared me to death’ because Dustin had heard that (Redacted) was a member of the “Hells Angels” satanic group and said that this satanic group is into human sacrifices. Dustin said that (Redacted) was very verbal about his desire to kill people.”

        • Starviego, someone in the link below cites you as research source on Columbine.

          http://s1.zetaboards.com/LooseChangeForums/topic/709947/1/

          Here’s what the same person has to say about what the Columbine shooting was:

          The truth is.. Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold were products of MKULTRA. They were the patsies for an elite squad of at least six and likely well over that. Columbine was a covert operation carried out by the US military and the CIA/FBI/NSA/MI6, all of those agencies were at Columbine, according to researcher John Quinn. What is well-confirmed through eyewitnesses is the presence of NATO at Columbine. Why the hell were they there?! Well, get this: A colonel and a two-star general were also present. The Denver/Golden/Littleton area is a hub for covert government projects.

          Is that what you are claiming too, that the Columbine High School massacre was a covert operation by our government? Because if that is the case, then you are really in “black helicopter” territory.

          • ”A colonel and a two-star general were also present. ” A video made afterwards clearly shows the presence of these military people at the scene. Perhaps you can explain that.

            It is also true that the media closed ranks with the investigators and never questioned the two shooter version, despite massive eyewitness evidence to the contrary. One cannot explain that without official collusion.

            And there were numerous laws enacted in the wake of the shootings, including more gun control measures, putting police in every school, etc.

            So yeah, it sounds like a gub’mint run covert op. That is where the evidence leads, and that is where you have to go.

  5. This looks like a good book. I don’t read much “true crime” stuff, but this book may have to be an exception.

    My eldest son was a high school freshman when this happened. Remembering that the Jonesboro shootings had occurred just one year earlier, Columbine pushed my protective mother button pretty hard. Fortunately, neither of my kids experienced anything like this in their public schools. (They (we, all four of us) just lived through the Beltway Sniper thing, but that’s a whole other story).

    When I was in high school, a guy I knew brought a rifle to school and held our history teacher captive just outside the school auditorium. He was eventually disarmed and arrested without any bloodshed. When the rest of us heard about what was going on just down the hall from us (a large section of the school was cordoned off), our reaction was, “What? Blaine? He’s such a quiet guy. Who would have thought he could do something like this?” One never really knows what anyone (oneself included) is capable of doing.

  6. (((Billy))),

    It is not the reviewer’s duty to carefully trace every bit of evidence used to support the books conclusions — that’s what the book is for.

    1) I didn’t ask SI to “carefully trace every bit of evidence,” I asked simply for something;

    2) You act as if my asking for support is somehow a bad thing.

    SI,

    Oh, goodie. Cl’s back.

    I was never away. After establishing that many of your commenters don’t understand correct use of the word especially, your posts thinned out for a bit and there wasn’t much to comment on.

    The girl who was sitting under the table and staring right at Cassie at the time clearly saw what happened, and she says it didn’t happen the way the media originally said.

    I’m sure she did, and as starviego points out there are many others who say something completely different. That’s why I don’t go around acting like I know what happened at Columbine.

    Watching you go your rounds with starviego reinforces my point: we’re to believe your version (which is really Cullen’s). This is what I mean when I suggest that you need to be more skeptical. You simply handwave starviego’s evidence because it conflicts with what Cullen reported, with a stock “go read the book” line.

    Don’t do a cl on my writing and rewrite it to fit want you want it to say. Don’t forget the qualifier “Clearly, a good example that…”

    I didn’t rewrite anything to fit what I wanted it to say. I cut and pasted exactly what you said that was relevant. You offer this as “a good example,” right? Well, of what? Of your larger premise that “truth has no place in religion.” If you meant something different, you should have said something different.

    I get it that the only thing you find objectionable about my review of a book I read and you didn’t is that which undermines your religious beliefs, which clearly says more about you than me.

    Nothing in your post “undermines [my] religious beliefs.” What I found objectionable was your implication that the events at Columbine are somehow illustrative of your larger premise that “truth has no place in religion.”

    Notice that he didn’t ask for evidence when I said… Only when it contradicts his religious beliefs, does he spout off.

    You’ve now said that twice. I’m curious: what religious beliefs of mine does your denial of the martyr story contradict? This has nothing to do with my beliefs, but your implication. Lack of supporting evidence was part of my objection, but again, what I mainly found objectionable was your implication that the events at Columbine are somehow illustrative of your larger premise that “truth has no place in religion.”

    desertscope,

    What cl(-own) doesn’t understand is that good journalism is well-researched and journalists aren’t going to do good research without documenting said research.

    Interesting. So, I can assume that your claim I don’t understand “good journalism” is also well-researched then, right? What ironic puffery.

  7. You are an idiot! Dave Cullen is nothing but a lying famewhore and anyone who has more than any surface knowledge about Columbine knows this.

    Its a sad commentary of the low information idiocy of the modern book reader that they could read one book by a self proclaimed expert on a vast, complex subject like this and think they know even a portion of the “truth.”

    People are amazingly gullible and intellectually lazy when it comes to this book because Cullen told them what they always wanted to believe in the first place.

    Pathetic!!!

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