Columbine shooters | Videos and tapes | Basement Tapes
Columbine Basement Tape Quotes
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NOTE: There are no official transcripts of the Basement Tapes compiled by JeffCo or the FBI.

I originally posted this information starting in 1999. Over the years, other authors have copied information from this section into their own media without citing the source, making it seem like an official transcript. Their information is INCORRECT. I recently discovered that I made some errors when I originally cobbled together these pages. The information in this section is the corrected version (revised July 2023). I've added more detail, fixed the tape numbers, and reworded a few things. Publications that copy-pasted my writing before 2023 are obsolete and inaccurate.

Starting March 15, 1999 and ending April 20, 1999

Evidence item #333 - 8mm tape taken from #200 (camera) with hand-written label: "Top Secret Rampart"
Pieced together from the Columbine Report pages 10373 - 10377, Time's article (archived offsite link) dated 12-20-1999 [hard copy and online versions], and interviews from people who watched it.

Originally packaged with the camera it was in under evidence item #200. The tape was later repackaged individually as evidence item #333 by officer Cheryl Zimmerman after two copies were made.

When I first posted this information, I mistakenly labeled this tape as #265 due to an inconsistency in the Columbine Report. This error and a few others were here for a long, long time and duplicated all over the Internet and in print. If it predates 2023 and isn't one of the sources I've cited, you can be fairly certain anything claiming to be a transcript of the Basement Tapes has misinformation in it.


This tape begins with Eric Harris recording Dylan Klebold in the lower level family room of the Harris residence. On the floor are several pipe bombs, including three that Eric calls the "Charlie Batch". He says they are two inches in diameter and six inches in length. There are six that appear to be roughly one inch in diameter and six inches in length. Twelve look to be one and a half inches in diameter and six inches in length. All of them are wrapped in duct tape.

Also on the floor is a sawed-off 12-gauge Savage shotgun that Harris refers to as "Arlene". (He named the gun after a character he likes from the Doom franchise of games and books.) The name "Arlene" is etched on the side of the weapon. Also on the floor is a black long gunhe refers to as a "carbine".

There are thirteen ammo clips on the floor as well. Eric says they're from Green Mountain Guns.

Eric: "Yes, they did have the right number."

Also on the floor are two boxes of 9mm bullets. Harris points out "my bandolier of stuff" and tells the camera that it will be filled with napalm. He shows off also a black box filled bomb-making equipment and several duct taped objects that Eric says are "29 crickets": CO2 cartridge bombs he says are his grenades. Fuses protrude from the end of each of them. The duct tape secures buckshot to the homemade mini-bombs.

He hands the tape recorder to Dylan, who then tapes Harris holding some of the guns.

The tape stops and starts again.

Eric Harris is now wearing black "BDUs" (battle dress uniform cargo pants) and a web-type harness. He's not wearing a shirt. He's got the carbine on a sling. He's holding the shotgun. He puts the shotgun into one of the BDU pockets and secures it with a web strap so it's at his side, easy to reach but out of his hands. According to the viewing officer's statement in the Columbine Report, these weapons look to be the same ones that were used in the assault on Columbine High School.

Dylan mentions Eric is "soon to be an 18-year-old". He also refers to "my TEC" and says he wants to do something with it "this weekend, maybe tomorrow".

Dylan: "My parents are going to fucking Passover." [Passover 1999 began on March 31 (Seder), with Good Friday on April 2, and Easter on April 4.] Klebold moves from the family room to Eric's bedroom. He films the west window of Eric's bedroom, saying it's "the bunker".

Dylan: "You can't see it. It's buried there. That's why it's called a bunker."

The tape stops. ...

When taping starts again, Eric Harris is alone in a moving car. He's the driver. The camera angle indicates it is mounted on the dashboard while recording. It's dark out and there are raindrops on the window of the car. He passes a street sign: "Federal". Loud music blares inside the car, making it difficult at times to understand what he's saying.

He talks about "The Blackjack Crew" [Eric and Dylan worked at Blackjack Pizza], specifically mentioning "Jason" and "Chris".

Eric: "You guys are very cool. Sorry, dudes. I had to do what I had to do."

Eric also mentions "Angel", "Phil", and "Bob".

Eric: "Bob is one of the coolest guys I've ever met in my life, except for being an alcoholic." Eric says he's going to miss Bob. "It's a weird feeling knowing you're going to be dead in two and a half weeks."

Eric says he can't decide "if we should do it before or after prom". At the end of this part of the tape, Harris says he wishes he could have re-visited Michigan and "old friends". He falls silent then and appears to start crying, wiping a tear from the left side of his face. He reaches over and shuts the camera off.


When the tape starts again, Eric Harris has the camera and he's taping Dylan Klebold. They are in Dylan's bedroom at the Klebold house. Dylan is wearing black BDUs and a black t-shirt with the word "Wrath" printed on it in red letters. Dylan attaches something to his pants which look to be black suspenders. He then attaches a tan ammo pouch to his suspenders or belt. He attaches a green pouch that looks to be made of canvas to his right shin. Dylan takes some of the items from an open case (small suitcase or hard-sided briefcase) that's on the floor. Like Eric did, Dylan takes a sawed-off shotgun and puts it into a cargo pocket on his pants, strapping it in with webbing so that it stays put. He has the TEC-DC9 (the same that was removed from his body after the shootings) on a sling over his shoulder.

At one point, Klebold is playing with his shotgun. He tries to close the slide with a round of ammunition caught in the chamber. As he struggles with it, he accidentally points the gun right at the camera - and Harris. Eric cries out in alarm, knowing the weapon could go off.

Dylan makes a comment about his "50 round clip". He mentions Brandon Larson and his head being on his knife. He talks about going to the prom with Robyn. He says he didn't want to go. He says his parents are paying for it.

Eric says something about having three bags to use. They talk about wanting to "practice" the next couple of nights. Eric says they got "lasers and more propane today". He mentions four big black containers and two of some other sort of fuel, though the type is inaudible. The boys talk about writing poems in "Kelly's class today", and how ridiculous it was.

They start talking then about the double-barrel shotgun.

Dylan: "Thanks, Mr. Stevens." Then, to Eric: "He knew I was fucking buying it."

Dylan gets dressed, pulling on a black trenchcoat.

Dylan: "I'm fat on this side."

He says he looks "fat with all the stuff on". Klebold practices drawing his shotgun from inside his coat. Harris tells him he has to do it faster. Dylan then tries to toss the TEC-9 into his hand from where it's hanging on the sling but his coat prevents the move.

Dylan: "I'll have to take the coat off."

Dylan complains that he doesn't want to take off the coat -- he says he likes his coat.

The boys begin discussing how "fucking snow is gay" and that they "hope the shit clears out by Tuesday, actually Sunday". Eric says he needs "dry weather for my fires".

The video stops.


April 20th, 1999 tape - roughly 30 minutes before the attack
Evidence item #333

When the video starts again, they're back in the Harris home, in the downstairs family room. Harris is filming. Dylan is wearing a black baseball cap on backward, exposing a "B" embroidered in red and white on the back of the hat: The Boston Red Sox logo. He's wearing a plaid shirt, either dark blue or black with white. The shirt is untucked. He's wearing his black BDUs tucked into military-style boots. There are several bags on the floor, including a large maroon one.

Eric: "Say it now."

Dylan: "Hey mom. Gotta go. It's about a half an hour before our little judgment day. I just wanted to apologize to you guys for any crap this might instigate as far as (inaudible) or something. Just know I'm going to a better place. I didn't like life too much and I know I'll be happy wherever the fuck I go. So, I'm gone. Good-bye. Reb..."

Dylan takes the camera then and begins filming Eric. Eric's also wearing a plaid shirt that's either dark blue or black with white, with a white t-shirt on underneath. His lower half can't be seen.

Eric: "Yeah... Everyone I love, I'm really sorry about all this. I know my mom and dad will be just like... just fucking shocked beyond belief. I'm sorry, all right. I can't help it."

Dylan: "We did what we had to do."

Eric: "Morris, Nate, if you guys live, I want you guys to have whatever you want from my room and the computer room."

Dylan adds that they can have his things as well.

Eric: "Susan, sorry. Under different circumstances it would've been a lot different. I want you to have that fly CD."

Eric: (eventually) "That's it. Sorry. Goodbye."

Dylan: (sticks his face in the camera) "Goodbye."

The tape ends with a brief glimpse of a sign on the wall of Eric's bedroom, someone's arm partially blocking it from sight. It's the letters: CHS along with a drawing of a bomb with a lit fuse and, in bold black letters, the word "clue".

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