Susan Klebold Columbine Essay in O Magazine: Columbine Shooting
Susan Klebold is the mother of Dylan Klebold, one of the two shooters of the Columbine School Shooting on April 20 1999 (the other was Eric Harris), and for the first time since the massacre she has spoken out with an essay in Oprah Magazine.
Both Susan and the parents of Eric Harris have said little since the shooting, when their sons killed 12 students and one teacher, wounded 23 others and then killed themselves. Columbine Shooting Video (contains graphic imagery and sounds)
In the essay Susan speaks of how she had no idea her son was depressed or suicidal, and she talks about April 20 1999 and said when she first heard the news she thought that Dylan had been killed, not that he was the one doing the killing. Her family were evacuated from their home shortly after the killings because it was thought that the residence may be rigged to explode, but it was months Susan said before their family could come to terms with the fact that her quiet son had caused so much pain.
"We didn't know that he and Eric had assembled an arsenal of explosives and guns," Susan Klebold wrote. "We believed his participation in the massacre was accidental or that he had been coerced. We believed that he did not intend to hurt anyone."
Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris were two outcasts at Columbine High School and as they were bullied themselves they started to write about bullying others. They were members of what they called the 'Trenchcoat Mafia' but they did appear with other members of the mafia in the 1998 Columbine yearbook photo. They played games together and shared their hatred of their fellow students and started experimenting with pipe bombs. They purchased guns illegally and made a detailed plan as to what they were going to do, and it will always be remembered as one of the worst school shootings in history. Over ten years later, people are still trying to make sense of what happened.
Photos from the aftermath of Columbine (graphic imagery)
Susan Klebold's essay is so far being praised by the parents of her son's victims, and Connie Michalik, whose son Richard was paralyzed in the shootings said:
"You know, I always wondered how she felt and what she went through. 'Cause I know I went through a living hell, and I was always sure she did, too," Michalik told The Associated Press.
Michalik, who has never met Susan Klebold, said reading the essay answered some of her questions about the Klebold family. "I applaud her for the courage to talk about this," Michalik said Tuesday.
Susan Klebold has no intentions to appear on the Oprah Winfrey show, but in an introduction to the essay, Oprah writes that she's always wanted to ask Susan how did she not see this coming, and then how did she survive it?