Columbine

Columbine

by

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 attendees of Columbine do not consider themselves residents of. The area which sprang up around the sprawling Columbine school is referred to by locals either as “Jeffco” or even just as “Columbine,” so entrenched in the community is the high school.
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Jeffco Term Timeline in Columbine

The timeline below shows where the term Jeffco appears in Columbine. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 2: “Rebels” 
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...square-foot building—practical and spare, “like the people of Jefferson County,” which is known locally as Jeffco. Denver is just ten miles to the northeast, but the rural sits in close proximity... (full context)
Chapter 5: Two Columbines
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...at the Columbine Lounge, which is “an ass-kicking strip-mall honky-tonk.” Coach Sanders has lived in Jeffco since 1974—he moved from a rural community in Indiana to find that Jeffco was also... (full context)
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...covers the face of the commons, and the new library is only four years old. Jeffco has “no main street, no town hall, library, or name.” Littleton, though often cited as... (full context)
Chapter 7: Church on Fire
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...pastors warn of “the Enemy,” Satan, and insist that the devil roams the foothills of Jeffco. Religion is a 24/7 commitment, and members of the local megachurches treat it as such.... (full context)
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Monday morning after prom is an uneventful one at Columbine, but elsewhere in Jeffco, Special Agent Dwayne Fuselier is “on edge.” He heads the FBI’s domestic terrorist unit in... (full context)
Chapter 10: Judgment
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...Dylan presume that their decoy bomb has done the job of distracting authorities, unaware that Jeffco officials will learn of the decoy’s detonation just as the shooting begins—“nothing of consequence [will... (full context)
Chapter 13: “1 Bleeding to Death”
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The newly-elected sheriff of Jeffco, John Stone, is in command—this is his first murder case while in office, and he... (full context)
Chapter 15: First Assumption
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...only there because his son, Brian, is a Columbine student. Fuselier offers his services to Jeffco officials, though, and they accept. The first step of negotiating, Fuselier knows, is to determine... (full context)
Chapter 16:  The Boy in the Window
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Mr. D opens the outside door to see a Jeffco sheriff pulling up, and quickly goes back to retrieve the girls from the closet and... (full context)
Chapter 17: The Sheriff
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At 3:20, Fuselier learns that his son Brian is alive and all right. At 4:00, Jeffco holds a press conference, presided over by Sheriff John Stone and chief spokesman Steve Davis.... (full context)
Chapter 20: Vacant
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...assembled to begin solving the crime. Nearly one hundred detectives are on the case in Jeffco, and the FBI sends more than a dozen special agents. Eleven “likely conspirators” are identified,... (full context)
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...the carnage and the investigation. Some detectives head out to the suspects’ hometowns, away from Jeffco(full context)
Chapter 21: First Memories
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...had never met.” In 1993, when Eric was in seventh grade, the Harrises moved to Jeffco, to a nice neighborhood just two miles south of Columbine High. (full context)
Chapter 22: Rush to Closure
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...runs a headline which reads: HEALING BEGINS. The “rush to closure” is not well-received in Jeffco, and in the weeks to follow, the survivors will find it difficult to move on... (full context)
Chapter 23: Gifted Boy
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...Cullen writes, was “born brilliant.” Named for the poet Dylan Thomas, he was born in Jeffco and, as a child, was a sports fan and a “driven competitor.” He idolized major... (full context)
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In 1990, the Klebolds, escaping the Denver sprawl “encroaching into Jeffco,” moved further back into the foothills. Dylan identified as a “part-time country boy.” Then in... (full context)
Chapter 28: Media Crime
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...that “gay [is] one of the worst epithets one kid could hurl against another in Jeffco.” Most of the media “carefully sidesteps” rumors of the boys’ homosexuality, instead seizing on rumors... (full context)
Chapter 30: Telling Us Why
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Long before the Columbine shooting, Jeffco police had files on both Eric and Dylan. They were in possession of at least... (full context)
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...used sections of Eric’s web rant to justify obtaining search warrants for his parents’ house, Jeffco officials publicly continued to deny having ever seen the rants. (full context)
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...to the press that they contacted the sheriff’s department fifteen times to discuss Eric. However, Jeffco officials insist that the Browns never met with an investigator, “despite holding a report indicating... (full context)
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Thirteen months before the shooting, two Jeffco investigators—John Hicks and Mike Guerra—investigated one of the Browns’ many complaints, and “discovered substantial evidence... (full context)
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Ten days after the massacre, Jeffco officials hold a press conference in which they “boldly lie” about what they knew about... (full context)
Chapter 32: Jesus Jesus Jesus
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The Sunday morning after Columbine, Jeffco churches are “packed.” After services, at a nearby shopping center, seventy thousand people arrive to... (full context)
Chapter 33: Good-Bye
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...of Eric’s website. On August 7th, 1999, both of the killers’ names “permanently entered” the Jeffco system. A deputy sent detective John Hicks to investigate the “missions” described on the website,... (full context)
Chapter 35: Arrest
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...they park in what they think is a safe place they are approached by a Jeffco Deputy. Eric lies, claiming that the boys had “stumbled onto the equipment,” but he is... (full context)
Chapter 36: Conspiracy
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...as quiet and sensitive. The Harrises demand immunity from prosecution before they talk to investigators. Jeffco officials refuse, and Battan does not even get “fluff” from them.  (full context)
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...had been a conspiracy engineered by several students to the members of the press, and Jeffco spokesmen must constantly correct their sheriff’s misstatements. Stone’s staff begs him to stop speaking to... (full context)
Chapter 37: Betrayed
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...to work on his pipe bombs. On February 15th, just before Eric’s first therapy appointment, Jeffco bomb squad investigators respond to a call reporting a pipe bomb found in Eric’s neighborhood.... (full context)
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...both boys’ ability to accept responsibility for their actions, but recommends them for enrollment. A Jeffco judge doesn’t believe that this offense is the boys’ first—though both they and their parents... (full context)
Chapter 41: The Parents Group
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...the media. However, “failure to address the obvious” has begun to eat away at the Jeffco sheriff department’s already-waning credibility. Jeffco is covering a lot of things up—like the disappeared affidavit,... (full context)
Chapter 45: Aftershocks
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With the threat of Eric and Dylan’s friend, the total number of expulsion proceedings in Jeffco since April has reached eight—there is a zero-tolerance policy for threats of any kind. The... (full context)
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The Jeffco sheriff’s department refuses to release reports on Eric’s journal, though a passage of it leaks... (full context)
Chapter 47: Lawsuits
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In April of 2000, Jeffco has still not released their final report on Columbine. The families of the victims and... (full context)
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...expected to fail, Dave Sanders’ daughter Angela is believed to have a chance—she is charging Jeffco with having allowed her father to die. Other suits follow similar logic, but will be... (full context)
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...boys’ diaries and The Basement Tapes, though the Harrises and Klebolds attempt to stop him. Jeffco releases its official report on May 15th. It avoids the central question of “why,” and... (full context)
Chapter 49: Ready To Be Done
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Jeffco continues to release reports pertaining to the shooting, and information on their cover-up of the... (full context)
Chapter 51: Two Hurdles
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...layer of the cover-up” of the investigation into Eric comes out. The new sheriff of Jeffco, Ted Mink, orders the Colorado Attorney General to conduct an investigation. John Stone refuses to... (full context)