Columbine High School shooting archive - On April 20, 1999 Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold took the lives of 13 victims and their own lives


[ est. 4 21 1999 ]
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Basement Tapes
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Late March- Early April, 1999
Evidence item #333
This is excerpted from the Columbine Report and, due to the nature of the report, is difficult to place into a time-table. It's taped sometime between the end of March and early April, and was taken out of evidence item #200 (JCSO item: Sony 8mm video camera - video tape bore a handwritten label: "Top Secret Rampart"). The tape itself was entered back into the vaults as item #333 after two copies were made by JeffCo officers.


Eric Harris is filming in his home with Dylan Klebold. Eric is operating the camera. There are numerous pipe bombs on the floor, including three that Eric refers to as the "Charlie batch". He says they're 2 inches in diameter and 6 inches in length. Six appear to be about 1 inch in diameter and 6 inches in length. All are wrapped in duct tape. Also on the floor is Eric's sawed-off shotgun (he calls it "Arlene" -- the name can be seen etched on the side of the gun in the video). He identifies another gun on the floor - a long black one - as a carbine. There are thirteen clips on the floor, which Eric says they were purchased at Green Mountain Guns.

"Yes, they did have the right number," he notes.

There are two white boxes of 9mm bullets on the floor as well. Eric then points out something he calls "my bandolier of stuff" and said it will be filled with napalm. There's a black plastic box on the floor filled with twenty-nine CO2 cartridges wrapped with duct tape, fuses protruding from the end of each of them. The duct tape secures buckshot to the homemade mini-grenades. Eric refers to them as "crickets" and says they are his grenades. Dylan takes the camera then and he tapes Eric holding some of the guns.

The tape stops, then starts again, showing Eric wearing black BDUs (battle dress uniform style pants), no shirt and a web-type harness. He's carrying the carbine attached to a sling and he is holding the shotgun. Eric sticks the shotgun into one of the cargo pockets and secures it with a web strap at his side. According to the viewing officer's report in the Columbine Report, these weapons are the same ones that were used in the assault on Columbine High School.

Dylan makes a comment then about how Eric is a "soon to be 18 year old" [Placing the taping sometime before April 9th, Eric's birthdate.]. He goes on to refer to "my Tec" and how he wants to do something with it "this weekend, maybe tomorrow." He also says "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.]

With Klebold still using the camera, the teens move from the lower level family room of the Harris residence to Eric's bedroom. Dylan aims the camera toward the west window and calls it a "bunker". "You can't see it," says Dylan. "It's buried there. That's why it's called a bunker."

***

The tape stops again and when it starts, Eric Harris is alone in a moving car. The camera seems to be mounted on the car's dashboard. It's dark out and there are raindrops on the window. At one point he passes a street sign that reads "Federal". There's music playing loudly, making it hard at times to understand what Eric is saying. At one point he mentions "The Black Jack 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 makes mention of "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 section 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 shuts the camera off.

***

When the tape starts again, Eric Harris has the camera and he and Dylan Klebold are in Dylan's bedroom at the Klebold house. Dylan's wearing black BDUs and a black t-shirt with the word "Wrath" printed on it in red letters. Dylan is attaching something to his pants which seem to be black suspenders. He then attaches what looks to be a tan ammo pouch to the suspenders or his belt. He attaches a green pouch to his right shin. Dylan then removes some items from an open case (small suitcase or hard-sided briefcase) that's on the floor. Dylan takes out a sawed-off shotgun and puts the barrel of it into a cargo pocket on his pants, attaching it with webbing so 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.

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 but that his parents are paying for it. Eric says something about having three bags to use and they talk about wanting to "practice" the next couple of nights. Eric says they got "lasers and more propane today". He also mentions four big black containers and two of some other sort of fuel. 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." He then says to Eric: "He knew I was fucking buying it."

Dylan gets dressed, pulling on a black trenchcoat. "I'm fat on this side," he says and starts talking about how he looks "fat with all the stuff on". He 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 then about how 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".


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

Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold are once more in the family room of the Harris home. Eric is filming. Dylan is wearing a black baseball cap on backward, exposing a "B" embroidered in 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's untucked. He's wearing black BDUs (military-style pants) 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: "Yea... 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: (interrupts) "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".