Tuesday, May 12, 2009


By Dave Cullen

Written after 10 years of research, the author sets the story straight. Obviously the fact that two shooters wreaked havoc on a high school, killing 13 people, including themselves, has not changed. But Dave Cullen debunks several myths, namely that Cassie Bernall did not profess her faith in God just before Eric Harris shot her. It was mistakenly reported by a boy in the library that he heard Cassie answer 'yes' to the killer's question of whether or not she believed in God. This exchange actually occurred between Valeen Schnurr and Eric Harris, and it was after he had already shot her, as she begged for her life. After the Cassie Bernall martyr story came out, Valeen Schnurr kept her knowledge of the actual events a secret. She knew the pain this would cause Cassie's parents. After several interviews with people in the library, including the girl sitting directly next to Cassie the moment she was shot, the truth came out. Unfortunately, not before Cassie's mother wrote a book called "She Said Yes."

Another myth: The killers were victims of bullying. Not true. The diaries they both kept did not indicate anything about being bullied. They were outcasts, but they were not bullied. Eric Harris was a sociopath and hated the world; Dylan Klebold was suicidal and Eric Harris encouraged him to go along for the ride. Both got what they wanted in the end.

The story was difficult to read; the details were descriptive. The author tells of Danny Rohrbaugh, the first student killed outside, whose mother requested the two slabs of pavement on which he died. The school honored her request, jackhammered the slabs from the ground and gave them to her. She had them installed in her yard, around which she built a rock garden memorial to her son.

I found the book fascinating, and although I didn't think many people would be interested in it, there are 77 names behind me on the hold list at the library waiting for its return.

***** 5 stars


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