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.

March - April 1999
Evidence item #265
This is excerpted from the Columbine Report and, due to the nature of the report, it is difficult pinpoint exact dates of recording. Credit also goes to Time magazine, Westword, Rocky Mountain News, The Denver Channel, Salon, and The New York Times.

When I first posted this information, I mistakenly labeled this tape as #333 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.


Dylan Klebold sits in the tan La-Z-Boy recliner in Eric's basement bedroom, chewing on a toothpick while Eric Harris messes around with the now-stationary video recorder where it's positioned on a tripod. When he's done, Eric moves to the couch to sit next to Dylan. Eric has a bottle of Jack Daniels with him. He sets his sawed-off shotgun "Arlene" on his lap. He takes a small drink from the whiskey bottle and tries not to wince at the burn.

The boys discuss a number of topics while they eat candy and Slim Jims and share the bottle of alcohol. Harris points out the fact that he has the Jack Daniels. They predict that the videos they are making will one day be shown all over the world, when they have finished their "masterpiece" and everyone wants to know how and why they did it.

Eric: (referring to the Oregon and Kentucky shootings) "Do not think we're trying to copy anyone. We had the idea before the first one ever happened. Our plan is better, not like those fucks in Kentucky with camouflage and .22s. Those kids were only trying to be accepted by others. We're the real McCoy."

Dylan: "We're going to have a following." They discuss coming back as ghosts to haunt the survivors, making scary noises. They want to "create flashbacks from what we do and drive them insane".

Dylan: "It's humanity." He flips off the camera. "Look at what you made."

Eric: "I hate the fucking humans."

Dylan: "It's the humans that I hate. You’re fucking shit, you humans, and you need to die."

Eric: "You guys will all die, and it will be fucking soon! I hope you get an idea of what we're implying here. You all need to die! Even us. We need to die, too! Of course, we’ll fucking die killing you fucking shitheads. We need to fucking kick-start the revolution here!"

They accidentally knock over a can of soda and worry briefly about the mess. Then they go right back to discussing their morbid plans.

Dylan: "The most deaths in U.S. history."

Eric: (kisses his shotgun) "Hopefully."

Dylan: "We're hoping. We're hoping. I hope we kill 250 of you. It will be the most nerve-racking 15 minutes of my life, after the bombs are set and we're waiting to charge through the school. Seconds will be like hours. I can't wait. I'll be shaking like a leaf."

Eric: "I hope people have flashbacks."

Eric: (making shooting noises while aiming his shotgun) "Isn't it fun to get the respect we're going to deserve? We don't give a shit because we're going to die doing it."

They talk about how they want movies to be made about their story. Eric says he wants the film to have "a lot of foreshadowing and dramatic irony". He mentions a poem he wrote where he imagined himself as a bullet.

Dylan: "Directors will be fighting over this story. I know we're gonna have followers because we're so fucking God-like. We're not exactly human -- we have human bodies but we've evolved into one step above you, fucking human shit. We actually have fucking self-awareness."

The boys speculate whether Steven Spielberg or Quentin Tarantino should direct the film.

Dylan: "I'd like to make a thank you to Mark John Doe and Phil John Doe. I hope you don't get fucked."

Eric laughs.

Dylan: "We used them. They had no clue... Don't blame them. And don't fucking arrest them. Don't arrest any of our friends, or family members or our co-workers. They had no fucking clue. Don't arrest anyone, because they didn't have a fucking clue. If it hadn't been them, it would've been someone else over 21."

They mention the time a clerk from Green Mountain Guns called Eric's home. Eric's dad, Wayne Harris, answered the phone.

The clerk told him "Hey, your clips are in." Wayne, who owned guns himself, told the clerk that he hadn't ordered any clips. Eric said his father never asked whether the caller even had the right phone number. Eric says if the clerk or his father had asked just one question, "we would've been fucked.".

Dylan: "We wouldn't be able to do what we're going to do."

They talk about a boy from their school, Brandon Larson.

Dylan: (looking into the camera) "When you find a body of one - he’s a sophomore - look for his jaw. It won’t be on his body."

They talk about the afterlife and how they hope that if there is one, it'll be like the game Doom. Harris hopes he'll get a peek at the world's mysteries, such as the Marianas Trench in the Pacific Ocean.

They go on to rant about life in the suburbs and how they hate all races: "niggers, spics, Jews*, fucking whites". They expand the list to include Christians, jocks, police, and more. They mock people who wear Tommy Hilfiger clothing and people they think are stupid. They use squeaky voices and make strange faces as they pretend to mimic them. They mention enemies who abused them, and friends who didn't do enough to defend them.
* [Dylan's family was Jewish.]

Dylan: "I just know I want to kill the fuckers who fucked with me."

They discuss the large propane bombs they plan to use on the unsuspecting students in the school cafeteria. They mention bombs and two bags of "propane and napalm". They talk about Mr. Stevens and Dylan's shotgun.

Dylan: "If you’re going to go fucking psycho and kill a bunch of people like us, do it right."

Eric: "We need a fucking kick start. If we have a fucking religious war - or oil - or anything. We need to get a chain reaction going here. It's gonna be like fucking Doom, man - after the bombs explode. Tick, tick, tick, tick, tick... Haa! That fucking shotgun (he kisses his gun) is straight out of Doom. Go ahead and change gun laws - how do you think we got ours?"

Dylan: "Putting more laws on won’t change that."

The boys talk about starting a revolution of the dispossessed.

Eric: "We're going to kick-start a revolution."

It's getting late. Eric looks at his watch and says it's 1:28 a.m. on March 15. Dylan says people will note the date and time when watching it.

Eric: "I don't give a fuck about anybody. Otherwise, I'd be more remorseful." He then says: "Let’s talk about our parents for a minute."

Dylan: "It's my life. They fucking gave it to me. I can do with it what I want. If they don’t like it, I’m sorry, but that’s too bad."

Eric: (shrugs) "My parents might have made some mistakes that they weren't really aware of in their life with me, but they couldn’t have helped it."

He then goes on to pardon them, saying:

Eric: "It fucking sucks to do this to them. They're going to go through hell once we do this. They’re never going to see the end of it." Then he speaks directly to his parents: "There's nothing you guys could have done to prevent this."

Dylan: "You can’t understand what we feel. You can’t understand, no matter how much you think you can."

Eric quotes Shakespeare's The Tempest: "Good wombs hath borne bad sons."

Klebold talks about how his mom and dad were always "great parents" who taught him "self-awareness, self-reliance."

Dylan: "I always appreciated that."

Eric complains about his father and how his family had to move five times, and how "the fucking government closed the bases down". He says he was always the new kid in school, always at the bottom of the "food chain", that he had no chance to earn any respect from his peers.

Eric: "I am at the bottom of the ladder again." He hated the way people made fun of him: "my face, my hair, my shirts." At the moment, he's wearing a t-shirt that has the words "Wilder Wein" printed on it -- he references the shirt several times, but never explains what it means. [Wilder Wein is a song written by the band Rammstein.]

Klebold says they would have dealt with their problems with their fists, as students did for generations, but: "if you touch anyone, you are suspended".

Dylan: (looking into the camera) "If you could see all the anger I've stored over the past four fucking years..."

Eric: "More rage. More rage." He motions with his hands for emphasis. "Keep building it on."

"We're proving ourselves," they tell the camera. They discuss their philosphies.

Eric gets quiet then. He says his parents have probably noticed he's become distant lately. He isn't spending much time with his family "for their own good, so "this won't be harder to do".

Eric: "I don't want to spend any more time with them. I wish they were out of town so I didn't have to look at them and bond more. It will be a lot easier on them if I haven’t been around as much. I'm sorry I have so much rage, but you put it in me."

Dylan: (predicting his parents' feelings of regret) "If only we could have reached them sooner, or found this tape. If only we would have asked the right questions."

Eric "If only we would have searched their room." He talks about his mother being thoughtful, bringing him candy and Slim Jims. "I really am sorry about all this. But war’s war."

Dylan: (playing with pieces of the candy) "Hey, guys. It’s a house."

Dylan then recalls how popular and athletic his older brother Byron was, and how he constantly "ripped" on him, as did his brother's friends. According to Dylan, with the exception of his parents his extended family treated him like the runt of the litter.

Dylan: "You made me what I am. You added to the rage."

Klebold says that as far back as the Foothills Day Care center, he hated the "stuck-up" kids who he felt hated him. "Being shy didn't help. I'm going to kill you all. You've been giving us shit for years."

Harris talks about how he plans to blow one person's face off, and that he expects the same in return.

Eric: "I imagine I will be shot in the head by a fucking cop."

The boys also discuss Walsh patrolling Deer Creek (Deputy Tim Walsh primarly works the south end of Jefferson County).

Dylan: "Fuck you Walsh."

The teens talk about how there's "a month and a half left". They mention Green Mountain Guns again, and how the shop phoned the house and left a message on the answering machine: "Your clips are in".

The teens boast about concocting their plan under the noses of their unsuspecting parents and friends. Dylan recalls a time when his parents walked into his bedroom while he was trying on his trenchcoat to see if it would hide his sawed-off shotgun. "They didn't even know it was there."

Eric talks about one of the days they went shooting in the mountains. He had his shotgun in a gym bag. He says it was in his "terrorist bag, sticking out". When he walked by his mother she saw the butt of the gun, but assumed it was his pellet gun. Fooling people was a point of pride for both boys, one they gloat about during the video-taping.

Eric: "I could convince them that I'm going to climb Mount Everest, or I have a twin brother growing out of my back. I can make you believe anything."

The subject shifts and they talk about several people they know. They make a comment about Dustin Harris (or Harrison), and how "everything you say is pointless."

Eric: "Shut the fuck up, Nick, you laugh too much! And those two girls sitting next to you, they probably want you to shut the fuck up, too! Jesus! Rachel and Jen.. and.. whatever."

Dylan: "I don't like you, Rachel and Jen, you're stuck up little bitches, you're fucking little.. Christian, Godly little whores!"
[Hear this and the line above]

Eric: "Yeah.. 'I love Jesus! I love Jesus!' -- shut the fuck up!"

Dylan: "What would Jesus do? What the fuck would I do..?"

Dylan acts like he's shooting the camera with his hand, making a sound to accompany it.

Eric: "I would shoot you in the motherfucking head! Go Romans! Thank God they crucified that asshole."
[Hear the above 3 lines]

Eric and Dylan: "Go Romans!" "Go Romans!!" "Yeah!!" "Wooo!"

Dylan: "God doesn't exist."

Eric discusses "Arlene", his sawed-off shotgun. He notes that it's a 12-gauge Savage.

Eric: "Thanks to the gun show, and to Robyn. Robyn is very cool."

A couple times during the rants Dylan has to warn Eric to talk more quietly so as not to wake Eric's parents who're sleeping upstairs.

Dylan: "Shh! Your mom can hear a bat breathing."

Eric: "She hears nothing." Then: "Let me take you on a tour of my room."

They take a video tour of "Reb's room" and "all the illegal shit" in it.

Eric: "Thank God my parents never searched my room." Then, mimicking his mother: "Looks good, son."

Dylan backs out of the room with the camera and pretends to be Eric's mother.

Eric: (waves at the camera) "Hi, mom."

They record a desk with a hutch where Eric points out a pair of gloves which he says he took from a doctor's office, and uses for making bombs. He brings attention to several packages of fireworks on top of a speaker, also on top of the hutch. He indicates a soda can with several shots through it, along with several shotgun shells sitting up there as well. He then points out a small "black treasure chest" that he calls a "good hiding place".

Dylan: "Beautiful. Oh, my God."

Eric then points out a small bullet and says it is his "first bullet". In a drawer he shows off a stash of solar igniters, batteries, pipes, clocks, and engines. He pulls out a black two-bell alarm clock that he discusses using to build a time bomb with. He then takes he describes as "completed pipe bombs" from a Home Base bag which he had in one of the desk drawers. He pulls out another Home Base bag filled with more pipe bombs that he calls the "Beta batch".

Dylan discusses the "bunker". He tries to film out the west window, but it's too dark outside; all that records is the glare on the window. He says there's a patch of ground, where it's buried under the dirt.

Eric says there are "four mortar grenades, ten crickets, and three alphas." He then points to a blue spiral notebook that he calls his "journal". He opens another drawer, revealing a piece of the handle of one of their sawed-off shotguns. Also in one of the drawers are two clocks which the boys describe as "future bombs".

They show off a box of "crickets": Small CO2 cartridges filled with gunpowder that are duct taped with fuses. Matches are taped around the fuse. They intend to strike the matches on strikers they'll have duct taped to their arms. To make the "crickets" more deadly, they have duct taped lead shot and nails around them.

Dylan turns the video camera toward the dresser against the west wall. Eric opens up a door and points out a "Hell dog drawing" taped to the inside of the door. He says it was given to him years ago. Next to it is a piece of paper on which is written an "Anarchist substitute ingredient list".

Eric describes a "25 pound bag of #8 buckshot" which is inside the dresser, but isn't shown on the tape. He then pulls out a BB rifle box from what he says is the hall closet. He says it is where he keeps his shotgun. He takes a box out of the closet in his bedroom, telling the camera that it is his knife. He pulls black-handled combat knife in a black sheath from the box. He says he paid $15 for it. Eric says there's a Swastika on the side. The camera zooms in to show the Swastika etched into the sheath.

On the east wall, adjacent to the bedroom door, the teens point out a coil of green wire that Harris calls a "50 foot cannon fuse". They move to the bookcase on the east wall, talking about a "Demon Knight" CD case, which Eric opens to reveal a receipt from Green Mountain Guns for "nine magazines" of 9mm carbine rifle bullets that they purchased for $15 each. Eric then removes the CD rack to expose three large pipe bombs hidden behind it, which he calls the "biggest".

He then pulls out a black card box filled with "29 crickets" (more CO2 cartridge bombs). Eric then points to an area of the room (though the camera doesn't follow where he points) and describes a "coffee can in the corner which is full of gunpowder".

The camera then focuses on a black plastic box with the word "explosives" etched into the side. It's sitting near the north wall of Eric's bedroom on the floor. Dylan mentions how Eric's parents took it away from him. Eric adds that his parents only took the pipe bomb out of it. They gave the box back. Inside the box the camera shows clock parts, fuses, tools, and CO2 cartridges.

They record a white plastic file case hidden under some magazines. The case holds "nails for pipe bombs, caps to be filled with gunpowder", two boxes of 9mm rounds (50 bullets in each), 12 shotgun shells in a box, another box of shotgun shells, clips for a gun, and webbing.

Eric: "What you will find on my body in April."

The recording stops.

Later footage:


March 18
Evidence item #265

The tape starts again and Eric and Dylan are once again in the lower level of the Harris house, in the family living room. They state that it is "March 18th, in the middle of the night". They talk about "Echo and Delta" pipe bombs, and whether or not they should put nails on them. They state that "religions are gay" and for "people who are weak and can't deal with life".

They say they need to discuss secondary objectives to place bombs, places that are "out of the way". Dylan mentions a trail near Wadsworth, "by your old house" (7844 South Teller Court, according to Eric's home computer). They talk about how they should "rig something up with a trip bomb between two trees, so when someone goes down the path, it will go off." The boys then discuss the possibility of "placing time bombs down there". They acknowledge that it would be "harder and take more resources". They say, "This will add a few frags to the list" and the "fucking fire department is going to be busy for a month".

They talk about someone they know who Eric says he wants to "shoot in the groin area". They mention someone named Jesse Gordon and "the Goof Troop". They then go on a racist tirade, saying that "Nigger stopped us that day", and that black people talk in "Ebonics". They bash on "Spics". Then the subject turns to bowling, and how everyone in the bowling class has a designated culture group they use as a target on the bowling pins to "kill". This helps them bowl better.

They talk about how "world peace is an impossible thing" and mention how you can use the Internet to learn how to make "bombs, poison, napalm, and how to buy guns if you're underage". They also mention that "Mrs. X-Y-Z bought our guns".

Eric and Dylan talk about there are "only two weeks left, and one more weekend" and that "it is coming up fucking quick". They talk about say the "napalm better not freeze at that certain person's house". They talk about "Chris Pizza's house" in reference to the napalm, like they're trying to disguise a name. They also discuss "Yoshi"* in a threatening way.

* Yoshi Carroll was a friend of Nate Dykeman's. Yoshi moved to Colorado from Romania in the 8th grade. They met around the same time Nate met Dylan and Eric. Yoshi was involved in film and the drama club at Columbine. Andrew "Andy" Robinson was Yoshi's best friend. Robinson later went on to write and direct the film April Showers following the tragedy.

They say that they need a "lot more napalm", and may just use "gas and oil". They express concern that it will be tough, that opening the zipper may make it go off. They say they would need some "back-ups". They talk about how the sprinkler system may "put out a fire". Eric says he should possibly keep the battery out of the device, set the bag, put it in and leave, so it doesn't "blow up in the commons".

The subject of credit card fraud comes up. Eric raises his hand like he's admitting to having done it. They talk about "tests", saying: "We wouldn't be where we are without them." They talk about gas and oil, and how it will be "one hell of a mental picture". They wonder about the possibility of people catching fire. The topic then shifts to graduation, and how it will be a "graduation memorial service with lots of people crying". They theorize there will probably be a candle-light memorial.

Eric says he's got "100 bullets and 10 loaded clips", and that he needs lasers for his carbine.

Eric: (looking directly into the camera) "You guys are lucky it doesn't hold more ammo."

Dylan says he has a "50 round clip, two 36's, and a 24."

"There's a lot of shit to do." they say. They need to set up more propane bombs and get more containers. Klebold says he still needs to get his pants, fill his clip, and get his pouches to load shells in. They say they need "devices" for the propane tanks and they need more "bomb holders". Harris says they need to go to Radio Shack because he heard they had a "thing to increase the voltage" through a clock and speaker, igniting a solar igniter. Eric says that he'd tell people that he was doing special effects for a movie; "that will be a good excuse".

"We are but we aren't psycho," the say.

Dylan asks Eric if he thinks the cops will listen to the whole video. They then theorize that the video will be cut up into little pieces, that the police would only show the world what they wanted it to look like. Eric and Dylan say that they want to distribute the videos to four news stations. Eric says he's going to his journal, and send copies via email to distribute blueprints and maps. He then talks about "Tier" and calls it "My life's work", saying he wants to get it published. (Investigating officer Cheryl Zimmerman recognized the term as "some of the direction-type booklets for the video game Doom" which she took from Harris's bedroom during the search warrant following the shootings.)

The tape ends.

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