Columbine High School mass murderer Eric Harris began keeping a journal a year before he and Dylan Klebold slaughtered 13 and seriously and critically injured dozens and forever changed the response, and preventative measures taken against, school shooters: locked doors, drills, lockdowns and lockouts, police in schools, school district policies regarding securing schools and safeguarding students. But many of those have failed as is evidenced by the dozens of mass school shootings since.
In April of 1998, Harris, then a junior at Columbine High School began keeping a journal, but he’d also long been online with websites, pages and chat rooms on AOL.
After Harris and Klebold were arrested, charged, convicted and sentenced to community service, anger management and counseling in 1998 for breaking into a van and stealing computer parts, the two began making plans. Many of these are found in their journals, handwritten ones transcribed, and online writing and rants, captured.
In the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office’s official sweeping and voluminous report on the Columbine Massacre of April 1999, much of these are described and included. Myriad websites also have documented the ravings of the two teens and countless books have been written that explore what made them tick. Harris, as has been widely reported and confirmed, was a likely psychopath. Klebold, as troubled as his partner, was not however not labeled as such.
The journals offer a “glimpse,” as the JCSO noted, into the minds of the teenage mass murderers.
Here’s what you need to know:
A Criminal Psychological Profile Found Eric Harris to be a ‘Malevolent Psychopath’ Based on an Study of His Journal & Online Posts
A year to the day before the massacre, Harris wrote, “The human race isn’t worth fighting for anymore …”
In his rants, ramblings, but often coherent and articulate musings, if a mystery to the reader, Harris expressed his anger, violent nature and his God-complex. Harris believed his way was the way. After being rejected by the Marines because he was taking an antidepressant, his writing took a decidedly darker turn. It’s reported he was not aware that he’d been rejected, but the medication was part of a court-ordered sentence for his felony breaking and entering, which he refers to in his journal, released by the JCSO and transcribed and annotated by Peter Langman, Ph.D. and posted on the SchoolShootersInfo.com website.
“My doctor wants to put me on medication to stop thinking about so many things and to stop getting angry. Well, I think that anyone who doesn’t think like me is just bullshitting themselves. Try it sometime if you think you are worthy, which you probably will you little shits, drop all your beliefs and views and ideas that have been burned into your head and try to think about why your here. But I bet most of you fuc*ers can’t even think that deep, so that is why you must die. How dare you think that I and you are part of the same species when we are sooooooo different. You aren’t human. You are a robot. You don’t take advantage of your capabilities given to you at birth. You just drop them and hop onto the boat and head down the stream of life with all the other fuc*ers of your time. Well god damn it I won’t be part of it! I have thought too much, realized too much, found out too much, and I am too self aware to just stop what I am thinking and go back to society because what I do and think isn’t “right” or “morally accepted.” NO, NO, NO. God fucking damn it NO! I will sooner die than betray my own thoughts. But before I leave this worthless place, I will kill who ever I deem unfit for anything at all. Especially life. And if you pissed me off in the past, you will die if I see you. Because you might be able to piss off others and have it eventually blow over, but not me. I don’t forget people who wronged me, like . He will never get a chance to read this because he will be dead by me before this is discovered…”
Some believed the psychiatric medication he was prescribed “exacerbated his aggressiveness.”
But a 2009 College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University criminal personality profile of Harris, found that, based solely on his journal and online writing, that his behavior was consistent with sadism, “malignant narcissism, pathological narcissistic personality disorder with borderline and antisocial features, along with some paranoid traits, and unconstrained aggression.”
“With his core sadistic personality pattern, infused with antisocial and narcissistic features and a possible overlay of incipient paranoia, Eric Harris appears to be a close match for a malignant personality composite …’the malevolent antisocial,’” researchers concluded.
Harris’ journal confirms that he’d been planning mass murder for a year before April 20, 1999.
“Keep this in mind, I want to burn the world, I want to kill everyone except about 5 people, who I will name later, so if you are reading this you are lucky you escaped my rampage because I wanted to kill you. It will be very tricky getting all of our supplies, explosives, weaponry, ammo, and then hiding it all and then actually planting it all so we can achieve our goal. But if we get busted any time, we start killing then and there.”
“If you recall your history the Nazis came up with a “final solution” to the Jewish problem. Kill them all. Well, in case you haven’t figured it out yet, I say “KILL MANKIND” no one should survive. We all live in lies [?]. People are always saying they want to live in a perfect society, well utopia doesn’t exist. It is human to have flaws. You know what. Fuck it. Why should I have to explain myself to you survivors when half of this shit I say you shitheads won’t understand and if you can then woopie fucking do. That just means you have something to say as my reason for killing. And the majority of the audience won’t even understand my motives either! They’ll say “ah, he’s crazy, he’s insane, worthless!…”
Klebold Was an Angry, Depressed & Suicidal Teen & Aligned Himself With Harris Adopting the Antisocial Ravings, Extreme Violence & Superiority Complex
In his journal, in his journal, released by the JCSO and transcribed and annotated by Peter Langman, Ph.D. and posted on the SchoolShootersInfo.com website, Klebold agreed with Harris that the two were superior beings, more “highly evolved” than everyone else. But his private journal showed a much more vulnerable “self-loathing and suicidal” teen.
But Klebold had serious anger issues tied to his self-described lifetime of harassment by his peers and even his family, all of which is well documented; in school and at work at Blackjack Pizza. Following their arrest, Klebold began to more demonstrably profess his desire to act out violently.
“… life is no fun without a little death,” he wrote adding after he killed others, he’d kill himself. Which is exactly what he did.
“I don’t fit in here thinking of suicide gives me hope, that I’ll be in my place wherever I go
after this life … that I’ll finally not be at war with myself, the world, the universe — my mind,
body, everywhere, everything at PEACE in me — my soul (existence). & the routine is still
monotonous, go to school, be scared & nervous, hoping that people can accept me … that I
can accept them …”
If there is a theme in Klebold’s journal is that he’s deeply unhappy, suicidal and eventually homicidal as he feels abandoned and wronged; he was in love. His journal pages include many filled with hearts and the name of a girl, redacted, with whom he was deeply in love. Pages and pages devoted to this girl and his obsession with her. He wrote notes to her, poems, declarations of love. Those feelings were not returned because, as he wrote, she did not know him.
“…oooh god i want to die sooo bad… such a sad, desolate, lonely, unsalvageable i feel i am….. not fair, NOT FAIR!!!! I wanted happiness!! I never got it…”