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Columbine Killers Made Videos

December 13, 1999

DENVER (AP) _ In videotapes laced with anger and apologies, the two teen-age Columbine High School gunmen said they planned to kill hundreds of people in their campus assault last spring, Time magazine reported.

``I hope we kill 250 of you,″ Dylan Klebold, 17, said on one of five tapes reviewed by the magazine, which reported on the videos today.

According to Time, Klebold predicted the moments prior to the April 20 attack would be the most ``nerve-wracking of my life, after the bombs are set and we’re waiting to charge through the school. Seconds will be like hours. I can’t wait.″

But both Klebold and Eric Harris, 18, apologized to their parents during the recordings.

``They’re going to be put through hell once we do this,″ Harris said. Addressing his parents directly, he added, ``There’s nothing you guys could do about this.″

Klebold told his mother and father they had been ``great parents″ and he appreciated their teaching him ``self-awareness, self-reliance.″

``’m sorry I have so much rage,″ he said.

Authorities allowed a Time reporter access to the five videos recorded in the weeks prior to the attack, in which the two seniors killed 12 students and a teacher before committing suicide. About 23 others were wounded.

Brian Rohrbough, whose son Daniel was of one of the victims, lashed out at authorities after learning of the Time report.

``We were absolutely promised by the Jefferson County district attorney’s office these would not be released,″ Rohrbough said. ``Apparently, Jefferson County feels Time magazine has more of a right to know than the victims’ families.″

Undersheriff John Dunaway said Time violated an agreement not to refer to the tapes in its story _ a claim disputed by a magazine spokeswoman.

``No one ever asked us not to report on the contents of the tapes,″ Diana Pearson said. ``We can assure you we had explicit discussions about how these tapes would be used and that what we saw would be on the record.″

But Dunaway said Time correspondent Tim Roche was allowed to see portions of the videotapes only for background on a story he was writing about the Columbine investigation and the response of SWAT teams.

Sheriff John Stone ``was repeatedly assured by the Time reporter that they would not make reference to the tapes,″ Dunaway said.

Authorities have known since shortly after the massacre that Harris and Klebold had plotted a gun and bomb attack they believed would leave many more than 15 people dead. The videos offered a more detailed glimpse into their motives and thoughts about the attack.

Those thoughts, in Harris’ case, ranged from a Shakespeare quote _ ``Good wombs hath borne bad sons″ _ to an apparent reference to a video game: ``It’s going to be like (expletive) Doom. Tick, tick, tick, tick ... Haa!″

While the videos reinforce the idea that pair were motivated in part by a desire for what they saw as revenge, they also pictured the suicidal plot as a route to immortality.

``Directors will be fighting over this story,″ Klebold said in one video. He and Harris discussed which director could be trusted with the script, mentioning Steven Spielberg and Quentin Tarantino, the report says.

According to the magazine, the two also talked about how easy it was to plot their attack without anybody noticing, with Klebold recalling his mother once saw a gun handle sticking out of his gym bag and assumed it was his BB gun.

Harris said they ``came close″ to being caught one day when a gun shop clerk called his house and told his father, who answered the phone, ‴Hey, your clips are in.‴ But, according to Time, he said his father told the clerk he had not ordered any clips and did not ask whether it was a wrong number.

The killers made their final tape on the morning of the massacre.

``It’s a half-hour before Judgment Day,″ Klebold said. ``I didn’t like life very much. Just know I’m going to a better place than here.″

Harris added, ``I know my mom and dad will be in shock and disbelief. I can’t help it.″

``It’s what we had to do,″ Klebold interrupted. Then the two listed some favorite CDs and belongings they want to leave to friends.

Then Klebold snapped his fingers, and Harris spoke the last words.

``That’s it,″ he said. ``Sorry. Goodbye.″

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