By KEVIN VAUGHAN and CHARLEY ABLE
Scripps Howard News Service
July 06, 2006
In all, 936 pages of evidence seized from the homes and cars of Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris was released, the result of a four-year court battle for access to evidence in the case.
The diary kept by Wayne Harris, Eric's father, the existence of which was first reported by the Rocky Mountain News in January 2004, was among the items seen publicly for the first time. Contained in a 60-page steno notebook with "Eric" written on the cover, the journal detailed contacts with law officers, other parents and school officials. Writing appears on more than 20 pages in the notebook.
Harris and Klebold's fascination with the Nazis and with Charles Manson comes through in other papers among those that were released. Several pages include "Third Reich Acronyms, Etc. Info."
Klebold's outline for the paper "The Mind and Motives of Charles Manson" included what appeared to be a note from a teacher, "good revision." It was dated Oct. 6, 1998.
A school paper written by Harris called "The Nazi Culture," dated Nov. 13, 1998, has the words "interesting opening" written to one side of a page.
In another paper, called "Senior Predictions," Klebold wrote, "I predict that myself, as well as everyone (sic) other senior, will have more fun this school year than any others in the past. I will have more freedom, with the same basic guidelines, meaning more time for less responsibilities."
The release Thursday morning came a day after Tom and Sue Klebold and Wayne and Kathy Harris decided not to challenge Jefferson County Sheriff Ted Mink's decision to make the documents public.
The 936 pages of writings and other documents were confiscated by investigators after Harris and Klebold opened fire at Columbine High School on April 20, 1999, killing a dozen students and a teacher and wounding more than 20 others. The two killed themselves in the school library.
A section of a calendar has "20th - 11:10" written at the top, apparently a reference to the time they planned to begin the attack. Then below it, on a series of days, are various notations:
- 13: "Death (Afraid?)"
- 14: "Get nails, Get gas cans, Get duffel bags, Get propanes, fill my clips"
- 15: Four exclamation marks are after the words printed on the calendar, "Armed Forces Day." Below that is a series of arrows pointing to the handwritten words "finish fuses, finish crickets, finish T-bombs, get in BPs, fill gas cans, get PB, in BPs."
- On another, unspecified date: "put gas tanks in crawl space or garage somewhere empty."
Among the papers released are what appear to be the detailed plans of Harris and Klebold to carry out the attack. A ledger that appears to have been used to plan the attack has a list under the word "have" and another under the word "need." Under "have" is written a series of numbers, apparently a reference to the money they needed for their supplies. Written next to "need" is "$20 gasoline" and "$200 expenses" as well as a number of things that are crossed off.
Lower on the page is "S-- left to do at 3/22/99." Below that, "figure our napalm recipe and storage area" is crossed out, as is "time schedule the commons/people patterns."
Another page details "Napalm tests." Jefferson County authorities redacted some of the writing on the page, contending that it amounted to bomb-making instructions. To the side of each test were notations, such as "s- -, but in a fix would do OK" and "good burning, very slick" and "worthless."
Among the documents are numerous school records. For example, there is a report card for Harris for the fall 1998 term. He got three A's and two B's. An October 1997 school discipline report details the time that Harris broke into student lockers after obtaining combinations from a district computer. The bottom of one page includes a note, apparently written by Wayne Harris, which details his phone call to a school official, Peter Horvath. "What will be on Eric's records?" he wrote. "In-house only because police were not involved. Destroyed upon graduation."
Two pages include the "hit list" the two kept. On it were 43 names over two pages that were redacted by Jefferson County authorities.
The release is an outgrowth of a 2002 motion filed by The Denver Post seeking the release of materials taken under search warrants issued during the Columbine investigation.
The request, initially denied by Jefferson County sheriff's officials, went all the way to the state Supreme Court, which ruled last year that the documents could be made public.
The court directed Mink to consider a number of factors and then decide whether to release the documents.
Mink announced two weeks ago that he would release most of the documents sought by the Post but would keep sealed videotapes and audiotapes left behind by the killers.
Those tapes, Mink said, could spur someone else to copy Harris and Klebold.
Steve Zansberg, an attorney for the Post, said Wednesday that the paper would not challenge Mink's refusal to make the tapes available. He pointed out that reporters from many media organizations, including the News, already have seen the videotapes made by Harris and Klebold.
Gary Lozow, the attorney for Klebold's parents, said they were mindful that Mink had "spent considerable time coming to his decision, and we give deference to that in terms of the work that he did."
More than 25,000 pages of Columbine documents already have been released.
The "basement tapes" - called that because Harris and Klebold made them in the basement of the Harris home - have been viewed by the families of the victims and killers, various police officers and journalists.
Their contents have been written about extensively.
Other videos have been released and distributed. They include the Rampart Range tapes, which show the killers firing nearly 200 rounds and making crass remarks.
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