Columbine

Columbine

by

Dave Cullen

Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on Columbine can help.
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 referred to the event during the planning stage only as “NBK.”
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NBK Term Timeline in Columbine

The timeline below shows where the term NBK appears in Columbine. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 35: Arrest
Violence and Spectacle Theme Icon
Media: Misinformation and Sensationalism Theme Icon
...and twisting film about confused identities and deep insecurity. Though the darkly comedic killing-spree film Natural Born Killers and violent video games are cited as the boys’ inspiration for the attacks, Cullen argues... (full context)
Chapter 42: Diversion
Violence and Spectacle Theme Icon
Failure Theme Icon
...to each other referencing their anger over their January arrests and swearing “godlike revenge” when “NBK” rolls around. The notes confirm, for Fuselier, that Eric’s arrest was an accelerant to murder,... (full context)
Violence and Spectacle Theme Icon
Failure Theme Icon
...service, and starts failing two classes. Though Dylan had written excited notes to Eric about NBK, in reality he did not plan to go through with it—he was too mired in... (full context)
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Though Dylan excitedly discusses NBK with Eric, he is “privately juggling suicide or true love.” He writes Harriet, the girl... (full context)
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As senior year starts, Eric continues to guide Dylan toward the realization of NBK. The two boys are in a video production class together, and they make “fictional vignettes... (full context)
Chapter 46: Guns
Violence and Spectacle Theme Icon
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...bad meeting with his diversion officer. In the entry, dated January 20th, Dylan describes “‘going NBK w. eric’” as “the best way to be free.” As Eric continues to solidify plans... (full context)
Chapter 48: An Emotion of God  
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...came later, in February of 1999. Dylan, who had been conflicted about taking part in NBK, writes a short story that month describing “an angry man in black gunning down a... (full context)