Most journalists portrayed the slaughter along identical lines. On a whim, went this scenario, two outcast teenagers carried guns to their high school and started shooting, aiming at the jocks who had tormented them but killing others along the way. This bloodbath was the ultimate revenge of the so-called “Trench Coat Mafia,” a Goth splinter group with an affinity for automatic weapons. As Cullen notes, reporters “filtered every new development through that lens.”
The reality is far different. Although quirky, neither Harris nor Klebold was an outcast. They came from loving, two-parent families. They inhabited nice homes in pleasant neighborhoods. They made friends, worked part-time jobs, earned high grades in their classes, planned to attend college, and harbored no special animus against jocks. The killers, contrary to media coverage, were not part of the Trench Coat Mafia, were not Goths, did not celebrate Adolf Hitler’s birthday, and were not born-again Christians.
Nor did the attack stem from a whim. Harris, the primary predator who more or less gave Klebold his orders, had been planning mass murder at the high school for years. He left behind detailed documentation, which he meant to be discovered. Most journalists never reported that horrifying reality.
They had built propane bombs—fifty-pound explosive devices concealed in duffel bugs…