By Courtney Jerk
“After I mow down a whole area full of you snotty ass rich mother-fucker high strung God-like-attitude-having worthless pieces of shit whores, I don’t care if I live or die.”
– Eric Harris
At 11:21 a.m. mountain time on April 20, 1999, a total of five calls were received by the Jefferson County Communications Center of the Sheriffs Office in Jefferson County, Colorado. It was at this time that eyewitnesses saw two armed people enter the southeast Columbine High School parking lot, where they threw a few small explosive devices and began unloading duffel bags from their cars. Dressed in long black trench coats, fatigues, and possibly ski masks, they entered through the school cafeteria, firing as they walked, and climbed the stairs to the library, where they continued shooting. About 1,500 students fled the school as the slaughter began, while others hid in cupboards and classrooms for several hours. The two gunmen stalked through the hallways, shooting students and tossing around pipe bombs as they went. At around 12:05, after firing a reported 186 rounds, the two masked madmen turned the guns on themselves.
The shooters were soon identified as Columbine students Eric Harris (18) and Dylan Klebold (17). In the wake of their massacre, 14 students and one teacher lay dead, with 25 other people seriously wounded. The two students reportedly used one 10-shot Hi-Point model 995 carbine rifle, one Intratec AB-10 (TEC-9) pistol, and two thirty year-old Savage 12-gauge shotguns, in addition to pipe bombs and at least two 20 lb propane bombs. Many students also claimed that they saw hand grenades.
As the facts were sorted out, and news of the shooting spread across the United States, people began to question the motives of the boys, and theorize about why they would be compelled to commit such a horrible act of violence. As is the case in many crimes committed by teenagers, one solution to the problem began springing up on various news programs in the form of “psychological experts” and their supposed proficiency on the subject: music.
Bingo! Of course. Why didn’t anyone think of it before? Harris and Klebold, they must have been listening to that Marilyn Manson. Devil worshipper. What a freak. You know, I heard he used to kill puppies on stage. Can you believe it? I can’t. What kind of sicko is he?
And so it went, like it had many times before in the case of musicians being blamed for someone’s poor decisions or idiotic acts of brutality. Photos of Marilyn Manson’s ghastly white face and clips from his stage shows and songs were plastered all over the nightly news. You could practically hear the anchors making air quotes every time they said the phrase “shock rocker” in reference to Manson. It appeared as though the general consensus was that Manson had been deemed an appropriate candidate for dissection.
A youth pastor named Jason Janz, who formed the organization Citizens for Peace and Respect, was quoted as saying “We’re not saying he caused Columbine, but we’re saying he legitimizes and encourages that kind of behavior.” Manson himself seemed baffled at the idea that his music had driven the two students to open fire on their classmates, and as a response to the situation, he wrote an essay that was published in Rolling Stone magazine.
It was soon revealed the Klebold and Harris didn’t even listen to Marilyn Manson’s music. In fact, they really didn’t like him at all. Their music of choice was the German industrial band Rammstein, and pioneers of electronic metal KMFDM (“Kein Mitleid für die Mehrheit”, meaning “No Pity for the Majority”). Though they refer to themselves as a German industrial metal band, in reality the band originated in Seattle, and the German facade is merely a gimmick. Incidentally, the day of the rampage, besides being Hitler’s birthday, was also the release date of their CD titled Adios. During the Columbine shooting, Klebold was even sporting a KMFDM baseball hat, and had previously pieced together a manifesto on his website using KMFDM lyrics. The band issued a press release, saying that the act was horrifying, and that they do not condone violence. But due to their relative obscurity in the general public, no one really acknowledged the band, and the attention was mainly focused on Manson, an easy target.
Of course, Marilyn Manson is not the first, or last, musician to be blamed for violent acts committed by listeners. There was the 1986 case of heavy metal band Judas Priest supposedly embedding subliminal messages in their songs, which precipitated a suicide pact between two teenagers. In a later case in 2001, another metal band, Slayer, was blamed and sued for the wrongful death of a girl that was murdered, then raped, by a group of teenage boys. The boys had told investigators that they needed to make a “sacrifice to the devil” in order to give their death metal band, Hatred, the “craziness to go professional.”
As has been established in the past, there is no direct evidence that music or subliminal messages have directly caused anyone to commit a violent act. People will undoubtedly continue to make scapegoats of popular musicians for years to come, but until someone releases solid proof that there is a direct correlation between violent lyrics and people committing acts of violence, on with the show.
Although the media had a field day with the killers’ connection to the music world, the aftermath may have proved far more interesting if the attention had instead been focused on facts and conspiracies surrounding the scene that were not reported in the press.
One of the most intriguing theories that arose after the incident at Columbine was the idea that there may have been a third gunman at the school that day. In addition to an extremely lengthy list of testimonials from eye witnesses, there were also several official statements and pieces of evidence recovered that hint at the fact that there were three people involved. However, ballistics reports from the Colorado Bureau of Investigation found no evidence of other shooters; therefore, the issue was dropped by the sheriff’s office and news media.
Official reports state that Klebold and Harris fired off about 200 rounds, however the Jefferson County Sheriff’s office said that “853 pieces of ballistic evidence” were recovered during the investigation. Time magazine reported on May 3 that “…the killers fired off an estimated 900 rounds, using two sawed-off shotguns, a 9-mm semiautomatic carbine and a TEC-DC 9 semiautomatic handgun.” If there really were that many rounds fired, it seems logical that there would be more than 2 people involved, since official reports eliminate Klebold and Harris from firing off at least six of the nine hundred rounds. There are also reports of different guns and casings than those used by Klebold and Harris being found in the school, including an MT 64 50 assault rifle. Students and teachers who were in the school at the time of the attack were claiming right from the start that they saw “machine guns” being used by the two shooters, and police and 911 dispatchers talked about hearing “large caliber shots” being fired near the school. Casings from a high caliber weapon were found on the roof of the school, where a sniper was thought to have been spotted early on in the attack (this sniper was dismissed at the time as being a worker fixing the vents on the roof). Investigators later explained away by saying that the casing must have been from SWAT team “cover fire.” A SWAT team on the roof of the school, of all places, firing fully automatic weapons? There were also explanations that it was a repairman, fixing a faulty vent.
When the news of what had happened at Columbine first broke, it was being reported that three men, dressed in fatigues and black trench coats and armed with guns, had opened fire on the school. Many of the students interviewed at the time adamently stated that they had seen at least three armed men, one of them, in a white T-shirt, throwing grenades onto the roof (keep in mind that this was at the same time that Klebold and Harris were inside the school). One student that matched some of the descriptions of the eyewitnesses was arrested on April 20; this was Chris Morris. A coworker and friend of both Klebold and Harris, Morris was a member of the now familiar Trench Coat Mafia, and was video taped later in the day on the 20th exiting a white van at the Harris home, in the company of Eric’s father. Officials later cleared him of any sort of wrongdoing in the incident. Although three gunmen seems to be a likely occurrence due to the overwhelmingly and almost ridiculously large amount of eyewitness testimony, there were reports from some students of even half a dozen armed men at one time in the school, one of them said to have “bushy eyebrows” and to be “very ugly.”
There is also the issue of Harris and Klebold’s supposed suicides. In the photos of the two boy’s bodies, there are clearly causes for a discrepancy in the claim that they ended their own lives. Klebold’s body is sprawled on the ground, but strangely enough his shotgun lies next to him, well out of his reach. Harris was clearly shot while sitting in an upright position against a shelf of books; after which he slumped over to the left, which can be determined by the blood dripping off of the books behind him. His gun is lodged snugly beneath his right leg, which obviously would prove to be a problem if he had, in fact, killed himself. Klebold’s autopsy reports showed that he died from a bullet that entered his left temple. This may be the case, but did he pull the trigger, or was it someone else? It is almost glaringly obvious from the photos that Harris’ death was not a suicide. There was an issue right from the beginning as to whether or not Klebold’s death was a suicide or homicide, due to the supposed trajectory of the bullet, and the disputes between family members and police as to whether he was right or left-handed. Harris’ autopsy report was released soon after the shooting, but Klebold’s was delayed, because of the family lawyer’s claim that the release would “delay the healing process for the grieving families.”
So even after all of this information is presented, it most likely still leaves one wondering…were there other any other shooters involved? It would seem that there is a very likely solution to this problem that would ultimately put any doubts to rest; the surveillance tapes. The tapes that supposedly show no proof whatsoever of there being a third gunman.
The Denver Post published an article on June 17 titled “Video Shows No Third Gunman” featuring a quote from Sheriff Steve Davis, saying “There’s nothing (on the tape) to substantiate the theory of a third gunman at all.” He also stated that there was exactly one time on the tape when either Klebold or Harris was visible, and that was one shot of Klebold rounding a corner. However, in the days immediately following the shooting, investigators at the sheriff’s office had stated that there was definitely footage of the two boys firing at their propane bombs to set them off. But because the tape was quickly turned over to the FBI for “enhancements” (which they admitted to), it is safe to assume that no one will know what was on the tape before they got their hands on it. It seems incredibly daft of the sheriff’s department to think that people would believe that in all the time the tapes were running, and the boys were in the school (about an hour), there’s only one shot, of one of them no less, rounding a corner. They must have forgotten about this, as a 90 second, heavily edited tape showing two scenes of the assailants in the cafeteria surfaced in October of that year. The first shot is that of a calm and collected gunman, dressed in a white shirt (no trench coat), bent in an assault position, firing into the cluttered cafeteria. Although the tape is raw and fuzzy, it appears as though the person has a ponytail…which is interesting to note, considering that the man later arrested for selling the boys their guns, Mark Manes, had a similar ponytail. The other shot is supposedly Klebold diving for cover after detonating a bomb, although it must be noted that the person diving for cover is wearing dress pants and nice shoes–most likely a teacher.
A bizarre point of interest in the whole theory of a Columbine cover up is the supposed connection to the CIA, specifically with Eric Harris’ father, Wayne Harris. Wayne was stationed on the Plattsburgh Air Force Base in northeastern New York state for many years. The Plattsburgh base has a verified 18 level underground facility, known to be connected to the mind control operations tied to the CIA program MKULTRA. Authorized in 1953 for use in brainwashing, MKULTRA would later become known for its unusual and inhumane tests, financed by the CIA. Plattsburgh has been cited by numerous sources as being a definite location for grotesque mind-control experiments. A link in the 1960s to the president of the American Psychological Association, Ewen Cameron, and his MKULTRA contracted experiments in mind control (drug and electro-shock abuse, particularly) over the border in Montreal has also been documented; the Canadian Psychicatric Association and the World Psychicatric Association were also involved.
Eric Harris was born and raised on the base, and moved to Littleton with his family in 1996. Sources familiar with the base and its goings-on have said that Plattsburgh is a veritable breeding ground for programmed agents in an activity known as the “Satan Project”. The idea behind the Satan Project is that it would use satanic imagery and rituals to reinforce beliefs, while at the same time isolating those involved from most human contact, and society as a whole. Coincidentally (or not), individuals involved with the project were said to have worn trench coats before going out on a “mission”. Although the Air Force installation officially closed in 1994, and all funding ended in August of 1995, the base is said to still be currently active. Wayne Harris stayed at Plattsburgh long after it was closed down before moving his family to Littleton.
From the start, there have been serious questions raised about Wayne Harris’ involvement with the Columbine shooting, including the issue of him actually being in the school at the time. Harris was not strictly a pilot for the Air Force, it is a known fact that he did extensive work in the military-intelligence field throughout his career. Of course, we can’t forget about the completely verified reports by officials that Wayne would detonate explosives with his son, and there is a very strong possibility that he was involved in the creation and operation of Eric’s now infamous website. Although the drawings on the website would appear to be those of a teenager, there is a command of the language and twisted, though detailed, declarations of a war that was yet to come, which seemed suspicious and very unlike a teenager’s writing to everyone that read it. There were continuous mentions of a very cryptically titled group called “DELTA”, and all kinds of impending mayhem. Not only that, but the coded data at the end of the documents cites Wayne as the author, although that may just be a kind of default setting in the product registration of the program used. The meticulous and detailed research is what was important here.
The Harris family has since moved (or been moved) out of Littleton, and any attempt to contact them apparently results in a disconnected phone line.
The names Klebold and Harris have been burned into the minds of people everywhere, and as they had hoped, they are still being talked about years later. But it’s the circumstances and details surrounding their act of atrocity that makes it that much more fascinating and thought provoking. Was there a third gunman involved? Did the boys actually commit suicide? Was the entire incident some kind of twisted mind control experiment funded by the CIA? It remains a mystery. Perhaps one day we’ll know what really happened on that day in April…it’ll be the same day that we find out who really killed Kennedy.