Insight on Dylan Klebold
Friday, April 30, 1999
(This is an unedited, uncorrected transcript.)
CHARLES GIBSON, HOST The
overwhelming question about the Columbine rampage is why.
Eric Harris, Dylan Klebold, how could two young men from
such a privileged community go bad?
NATHAN DYKEMAN, DYLAN KLEBOLDS FRIEND Yes, I was.
CHARLES GIBSON And did you see Eric and Dylan on Tuesday?
NATHAN DYKEMAN I had not seen Dylan on Tuesday, but Eric I saw briefly just as I was leaving. I go home every day for lunch. And as I was pulling out at lunchtime, I saw him walking in the school.
CHARLES GIBSON Did you hear about the shootings when you were at home during lunch?
NATHAN DYKEMAN No, it was on my return to school thatwhen I couldnt get back to school, that I had found out this all had begun.
CHARLES GIBSON And what did you think?
NATHAN DYKEMAN Just that this wasnt happening, and its just a horrible, horrible nightmare, and cant possibly be happening in, like, little old Columbine, and why is such a horrible thing happening there, you know?
CHARLES GIBSON Did you think about who might be responsible?
NATHAN DYKEMAN I did. I justit had not been normal circumstances that day. Both of them to be absent, and Eric walking in at lunchtime from an- he seemed to be walking in from a different parking lot than he normally parks at. And just lots of things led up to it that gave me this overall gut feeling that this possibly could be them.
CHARLES GIBSON So you suspected them. And what was theI mean, other than walking in from the wrong parking lot and just feeling that something might be wrong, was there something in your mind that said to you, This might be Dylan and Eric?
NATHAN DYKEMAN Just the fact that both of them were absent on the same day. And usually if oneif Dylans absent or going to be absent, knows it, and he usually does, hell tell me where hes going or Ill hear something from him, but I hadnt heard anything all day or the previous day about him being gone.
CHARLES GIBSON But I gather you called the Klebolds ...
NATHAN DYKEMAN Yes, I was ...
CHARLES GIBSON ... fairly soon and suggested to them that Dylan might be one of the shooters.
NATHAN DYKEMAN Well, Id called first just, you knowI was concerned, I was calling all my friends, trying to make sure that they got out and they were OK. And Dylans parents I called last, because II called them with the hope that he was there and be OK and everything, and it basically eased up to me telling them that I think that he was involved in it, and I think he could possibly be in the school.
CHARLES GIBSON You were talking to Mr. Klebold?
NATHAN DYKEMAN Yes, I was the one that broke the news to Mr. Klebold.
CHARLES GIBSON Who you know very well, having spent so much time at their house?
NATHAN DYKEMAN Yes, yes.
CHARLES GIBSON And what did he say when you said Dylan might be one of the shooters?
NATHAN DYKEMAN He was just in shock. He was speechless. And I also thought he was going to, like, drop the phone. He just could not believe that this could possibly be happening, and his son was involved in this. And he said just, Please keep me informed on whatever you hear. And he got off the phone with me to contact the authorities.
BARBARA WALTERS, HOST Now, you were a very close friend of Dylans. And from what weve read and heard, Dylan and Eric felt that they were hated, they were called weirdo freaks, fag. And yet you were his friend. Were they hated? Were they gay?
NATHAN DYKEMAN Definitely, neither of them were gay. Dylan, as far as the whole hated issue goes, he really could care less. He had his own friends. He was graduating soon, accepted at the University of Arizona, had a real bright future ahead of him, could really care less what anybody said. He knew he had his friends, and his friends loved him, and thats all that really mattered to him.
BARBARA WALTERS Well, then how can you, as his friendIm sure youve thought about this so muchdo you have any way of explaining what happened, what triggered ...
NATHAN DYKEMAN Absolutely ...
BARBARA WALTERS ... using that wordthat day?
NATHAN DYKEMAN Absolutely none whatsoever. It justitI cant fathom what must be going through their minds to ever do something like this. I mean, especially being so close to graduation. I mean, if theythe students really were bothering them that bad, just the fact alone that we were graduating in two weeks should have been some incentive, you know, just to be done with it (inaudible) ...
BARBARA WALTERS But did you see the other kids taunting him?
NATHAN DYKEMAN Dylan, never, and Dylan Im pretty sure never had a problem with it. But Eric, yes, theyd taunt him and harass him in the halls and make fun of the music he listened to, andyes.
BARBARA WALTERS But not Dylan.
NATHAN DYKEMAN Not Dylan, Dylan ...
BARBARA WALTERS Did you know that he was obsessed with Hitler and Nazis and swastikas? Any feeling about that? Any expression of that?
NATHAN DYKEMAN Dylan never was, but Eric hadalwayswould always doodle swastikas and such, and talk about Hitler and stuff. He was in German class a lot, so I figured maybe some of it had to do with studying in German class, and it was all part of the class or something, so I never really gave it much thought.
CHARLES GIBSON Nathan, you wenton the Saturday night preceding the shootings, you went to the prom, I gather, along with Dylan.
NATHAN DYKEMAN Yes, I did. Yes, I did.
CHARLES GIBSON Shared a limousine with your dates?
NATHAN DYKEMAN Yes.
CHARLES GIBSON The four of you?
NATHAN DYKEMAN Actually there was 12 of us total.
CHARLES GIBSON Twelve of you in theall right. Tell me what Dylan was like that night, what his attitude was. Hes just three days away, at that point, from carrying out this horrific act. There were signs that it had been planned for such a long time. So what was his attitude on that Saturday night?
NATHAN DYKEMAN Just like you should be at your senior prom. We were just having a wonderful time, a great night, first time in a limo for both me and Dylan. We loved the company we were with, the foods great, the evenings great, everything is going perfect as planned. And no hints whatsoever at anything that could possibly be wrong. I mean, we were just having a great time. Its our senior prom, and were enjoying it like we should be.
CHARLES GIBSON Tell me about the moment you went out together to get a cigarette.
NATHAN DYKEMAN Yes, it was after dinner, and we stepped out. He wanted to have a cigarette, and wanted me to come with him. And we just, you know, talked about future plans, how this would all be wrapping up pretty shortly. Hed be going to the University of Arizona and Id be moving here to Florida to go to school for Microsoft. And, you know, we talked about reunion plans and what we hoped each other would have accomplished by the time reunion rolled around, and ...
CHARLES GIBSON He was talking about the future.
NATHAN DYKEMAN Yes, I mean, whichI mean, thats the scary part, is he was talking about the future. And I honestly believe in my heart that he intended to be here right now.
CHARLES GIBSON Let me talk to you a little bit about the Klebolds, because you said you called the Klebolds on that day, and you know the family well. Have you seen them since the shootings?
NATHAN DYKEMAN I had stopped in and visited with them and gave them my respects just before I left for Florida.
CHARLES GIBSON How are they doing?
NATHAN DYKEMAN Theyre
doing as well as, I guess, can be expected, but their son
Byron was having difficulties with it, and I think really
just needed to talk to all Dylans friends that he
CHARLES GIBSON Mr. Dykeman, let me turn to you. Iand Ijust inif people are notare a little confused about all this, this is aNathans parents, you and your wife, were divorced, and youre living down in Florida, and you came to pick Nathan up and take him to Florida just to get him away, is that right?
MATTHEW DYKEMAN, NATHANS FATHER Well, he was planning on coming here after he graduated anyway. But yes, with all this, I just felt likeI really felt like after the shock turned to grief, and then the grief might turn to anger, and being that he was close with both the shooters, that, you know, there might be some retaliation. So I really felt like I needed to be there for him.
CHARLES GIBSON But I gather you met the Klebolds at the same time Nathan went over to talk to them, and Im just wondering about your impressions.
MATTHEW DYKEMAN I
just cant begin to sort of relay to you the
profound sense of grief I felt for this people. It was
real similar to the grief I felt when I went to the
memorial ceremony with 70,000 people, except this was
different, these people are, like, completely isolated.
BARBARA WALTERS Can you share with us a little bit of what they said to you? I mean, they read the papers that say there maybe criminal charges. You say theyre isolated. What did they say to you, Mr. Dykeman?
MATTHEW DYKEMAN I
justI met a father thatI met a family that
sits down at Sunday dinner with their kids and share a
banner (?) at the table. I met a father who tinkers on
BMWs, old BMWs, and his kids share that love. And I met a
mother that had her baby just ripped away from her right
when she was getting ready to see him spread his wings,
BARBARA WALTERS And there was nothing in the room, for example, there were no hints, there were no guns, there were nothere was no, lets say, evidence of anything going wrong? That they could detect?
MATTHEW DYKEMAN No, no, just a normal kid with a normal room. You know, I cantmyNathan could probably explain that to you better, but, you know, by the time we got there, the room was completely ravaged and anything that was his that was important was gone anyway, butyes.
CHARLES GIBSON Nathan, do you think there are any signs that people missed? Was there any hint? I mean, you say you suspected on Tuesday that perhaps it was these two boys, so there must have been something that was going on that made people think, Ah, Eric.
NATHAN DYKEMAN Just reallyjust all the events leading up to that day, just like them both being absent on the same day, justIits just somethinga feeling, I cant explain, you know somethings just not right. Notnot necessarily a bad thing, but somethings just out of the ordinary that day, you know.
CHARLES GIBSON Let me ask you something thatand this is tough stuff. But you had a friend, I gather, that was, for a period of time on Tuesday, right in the line of fire. There was a gun held right to one of your friends head, I guess, on Tuesday, is that right?
NATHAN DYKEMAN Yes, my best friend, Tim Cassell (ph), was held at gunpoint by Dylan.
CHARLES GIBSON And it was Dylan who had the gun in his hand?
NATHAN DYKEMAN Yes.
CHARLES GIBSON But Dylan did not shoot your friend, right?
NATHAN DYKEMAN No, from what I gathered from Tim, heI guess Dylan saw him and saw it was Tim, and then I guess snapped out of it for a moment, and then toldlike, motioned Tim to get out, and of course Tim didnt waste a second, just got the heck out of there.
CHARLES GIBSON Did Tim tell you who was pulling the trigger, who was doing the shooting, who was it, which of those two was killing people, or were both?
NATHAN DYKEMAN He
didnt really ever mention that to me. He was just
in shock that this could be happening. I mean, he washeTim
is the kind of guy thats always, you know, happygolucky,
cracking jokes always.
BARBARA WALTERS Nathan, guns, we know now that Dylans girlfriend somehow or other got him some guns or got some guns. Were there guns around? Did other kids have guns?
NATHAN DYKEMAN Ivein my four years at Columbine, I have never once seen a gun, never once seen any drugs in the hall, no weapons at all of any caliber I have ever seen at Columbine. Columbines been a great school, and to the best of my knowledge it has been clean of any weapons or drugs.
CHARLES GIBSON Did you know that Dylan and Eric were collecting guns?
NATHAN DYKEMAN I did not, I did not.
BARBARA WALTERS Do you knowyou must know Dylans girlfriend, because you were together at the prom, Robyn, correct?
NATHAN DYKEMAN Yes, she wasnt really a girlfriend, she was just athey went as friends to the prom together.
BARBARA WALTERS Well, whatever the relationship is, can you describe her to us, or what you think her role might possibly have been?
NATHAN DYKEMAN I cannot possibly believe that she had anything to do with this, any prior knowledge of this, and ...
BARBARA WALTERS Why not?
NATHAN DYKEMAN Shes just a wonderful person, loving person that loves anybody, and hard worker and a very responsible young lady.
CHARLES GIBSON Well, Nathan, I appreciate your being with us ...
NATHAN DYKEMAN Thank you.
CHARLES GIBSON ... and we appreciate your father being with us as well. I know these are tough times for you, and I hope youre doing OK. This is very hard when your friends are going through this. And well talk to you again. Thanks very much.
NATHAN DYKEMAN Right, thank you.
BARBARA WALTERS Thank you.