I’m pretty sure I could never read a book about what happened at Virginia Tech. I could and would read a profile on the killer but that’s it. (psych major). It’s too close. I still can’t believe it happened. My eyes were blood shot for a week. I kept the newspaper in my car for months. It started to yellow and eventually I threw it away. I don’t think I ever read it. Denial is the best way to describe it.
I remember Columbine. I remember seeing all the victims pictures in the paper and crying. I’d just graduated from high school the year before. It was heart breaking.
(The following is a spoiler for people interested in the book – Columbine by Dave Cullen):
Eric Harris and Dylan Keblod. Eric was a psychopath. I’ve read a lot about adult psychopaths but to read about one so young is…chilling. There isn’t a cure. That is the scary part. Another thing I found interesting is that he stopped taking Zoloft 2-3 weeks before the murders. Was it working too well? I know he could not have been cured but did he feel something? Maybe less homicidal?
Dylan was not a psychopath. He was severely depressed and suicidal. Without his friendship with Eric, I think he would have just killed himself. I don’t know why he didn’t kill himself. He wanted to die at least a year before Eric ever came up with the murder plan. Dylan was a romantic. Maybe that gave him a glimmer of hope. Or maybe he was just too scared.
Something else that jumped out is the fact that they were arrested before. I didn’t know that (or I had forgotten). Doesn’t that ring bells anymore? Is it normal for teenagers to get arrested? A part of life? Their parents punished them. I’m not into blaming the parents for this…just pointing out there was some kind of warning signs. It boggles my mind that the parents thought everything was “okay” with their kids.
I can’t reiterate enough that I do not blame the parents for what happened on that awful day. People want to have someone to blame and the parents are alive. These days Dylan’s parents support suicide prevention. While Eric’s parents haven’t said anything to the media. (Eric’s house is where the guns and bombs were stored so I can understand why they would go into hiding. Eric’s room was in the basement. My guess is that his parents gave him privacy and never went into his room. I’m sure other parents do this too…)
Eric went through psychiatric care which does nothing for a psychopath. Maybe what happened at Columbine could have been prevented but Eric was a lost cause. He would have done a mass murder elsewhere. I think – I know Dylan could have been “saved”. Without Eric, he never would have done this. He never would have gone through all the plans, buying weapons etc. He even turned Eric in before he just seemed to give up on his self.
All of this is from reading their journal entries and psychologists. This isn’t just my opinion, by the way.
And the one thing that made me angry is how the one teacher that died could have been saved. He was conscious for at least 3 hours after getting shot. That will break your heart. What happened was bad enough but how does the family deal with that?