already manifested itself in withdrawal from others and suicidal thoughts. In this condition, the events at Columbine High School made an enormous impression on him. Withdrawn and lonely, immersed progressively in constructing meaning out of the materials of transgressive popular music, he became obsessed with Columbine. This obsession and its suicidal implications are evident in writings T.J. made before he began shooting, reports by others of remarks he made to them, and writings and statements to psychologists that occurred after the incident at Heritage High School.

Writings that were found in his room in the immediate aftermath of the shooting contained the following statement:

No one could ever know how I feel. No one will ever know. Even the smallest of scars, can run the deepest. I’ve overcome a lot in my few years, but I understand I’m still leaving a lot behind me that I haven’t even experienced, yet! There aren’t many words that I can say, to describe how I feel. One big Question everybody’s probably wondering about now is WHY?! Well, for the sake of my brothers and sisters related to the trench coat mafia, that will have to remain a mystery to the public eye. I have been planning this for years, but finally got pissed off enough to really do it.

The same statement also contained references to bombs that would be discovered after this fantasized incident. Printouts of bomb-making instructions downloaded from the Internet were also found.

Other fragments of writing found in his room appeared to be attempts at writing song lyrics. One of them read, “Laughin’ at my victims as they drop to their knees. Beggin’ for their life, screamin’, ‘please, Dear God, don’t let this crooked motherfucker murder me’” and was signed “Me.”

While there is no question that these documents establish that T.J. had previous thoughts about enacting his own version of Columbine, their timing is uncertain. The prosecution in his court proceedings maintained that the former document had been written the morning of the incident. In his psychological interviews, however, T.J. said that that it had been written some time before. It is unclear when or how he had downloaded bomb instructions from the Internet, since his parents had removed the household Internet connection quite a while before, but there was never any evidence that T.J. made or placed bombs.

After the incident, T.J. wrote explicit statements while in detention prior to court hearings that explicitly attributed his actions to the spur of the Columbine example. He wrote:

I was feeling anger, rage, envy, and fear all together. It wasn’t the first time that I have had that feeling, but I wanted it to be the last. I felt that



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