Dave Cullen

Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on Columbine can help.


A local nickname for Jefferson County, the county of which Columbine is a part. Though the shooting is often attributed to Littleton, Colorado, Littleton is actually a small suburb near Denver which most of the… read analysis of Jeffco

Trench Coat Mafia

A clique of students at Columbine who dressed in trench coats and considered themselves outcasts. As the Columbine massacre was still unfolding, student witnesses erroneously identified the shooters as members of the Trench Coat Mafia… read analysis of Trench Coat Mafia


A word for artillery, arms, or ammunition. read analysis of Ordnance


A phenomenon commonly observed in young assailants in which the perpetrators intentionally “leak” details of their attack to friends, adults, teachers, or other acquaintances—either out of nervousness or an egotistical desire to see how far… read analysis of Leaking


Cullen notes that “in popular usage, any crazy killer is called a psychopath.” The term, however, is far more nuanced—it references a very specific mental condition marked by lack of empathy and “coldhearted manipulat[ion.]” Psychopathy… read analysis of Psychopath
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Columbine PDF


The abbreviation for Natural Born Killers, a murder-romance film starring Woody Harrelson and Juliette Lewis which was part of the Columbine shooters’ inspiration for their attack—so much a part, in fact, that they often… read analysis of NBK

Natural Selection

The evolutionary process by which the variations in characteristics that give an organism the best chance of survival are preserved and multiplied, leading to evolution of those favorable traits. Natural selection “weeds out” organisms whose… read analysis of Natural Selection