DENVER – A journal written by Columbine High School killer Eric Harris indicates he and Dylan Klebold had hoped to carry out an even bigger attack, starting by killing the family of a sometimes friend he once threatened.
Brooks Brown and his family were left untouched by the killers in their April 20, 1999, attack. Harris also had hoped they would learn enough about bombs to be able to set off hundreds around houses, roads, bridges and gas stations, a newly disclosed diary indicates.
"It'll be like the LA riots, the Oklahoma bombing, WWII, Vietnam, Duke and Doom all mixed together. ... I want to leave a lasting impression on the world," he wrote. Duke Nukem and Doom are video games.
Remarking on the slim possibility that he and Klebold would survive, Harris wrote the two would try to escape to a foreign country where they couldn't be extradited.
"If there isnt such place then we will hijack a hell of a lot of bombs and crash a plane into NYC with us inside (f)iring away as we go down. just something to cause more devistation." Authorities had disclosed the diary's reference to a New York City crash shortly after the school shooting.
The pages, written about a year before their attack, appeared on the weekly newspaper Westword's Web site and were reported in Wednesday's editions of the Rocky Mountain News.
They were never released by the Jefferson County sheriff's office. When a judge ordered the office to release thousands of documents connected with the case, he ordered that the newly published documents be excluded, sheriff's spokeswoman Jacki Tallman said.
"Pursuant to the court order, the judge made it very clear that we were not to release these materials," Tallman said.
Westword writer Alan Prendergast would not say how he obtained the documents. Tallman said they appeared authentic.
"I have not had an opportunity to look at it page for page but some of what I have viewed does appear to be a duplicate of the information we have," she said.
Victims' families said the pages raised new questions about whether the attack that left 15 dead and two dozen more wounded could have been prevented.
"Sometime in april me and V (Klebold) will get revenge and will kick natural selection up a few notches," Harris wrote in an entry dated April 26, 1998.
In that journal entry, Harris wrote that he and Klebold would park their cars in the school parking lot, walk into the cafeteria during lunch wearing black army pants, carrying bags filled with bombs and guns. Harris wrote he would explain the bags away by saying, "its all for a science/band/english project or something."
They would then start tossing pipe bombs and shooting students.
"I just want a firearm that can hold lots of bullets and that wont jam on me. So ill need lots of clips too. Ill have those strapped on my chest."
In the actual event, Harris and Klebold did set bombs in the cafeteria, many of which failed to detonate properly. They were equipped with four guns, including a shotgun and a TEC-9 semiautomatic pistol.
Also among the documents is an essay Harris wrote for a court-ordered anger-management class he took after he and Klebold were arrested for breaking into a van in 1998.
"I am happy to say that with the help of this class, and several other diversion-related experiences, I do want to control my anger," Harris wrote in the November 1998 essay.
The publication of the documents, some handwritten, others typed, comes a week after a federal judge threw out eight lawsuits brought by victims' families against sheriff's officials and school administrators over the rampage. The judge said the defendants were confronted "with an unprecedented and rapidly evolving violent situation" the day of the attacks.
Some family members who filed those suits said the entries were new evidence that the attack could have been prevented.
They pointed to an affidavit that was drafted for a search warrant of Harris' home after allegations that he was threatening Brown over the Internet and making pipe bombs.
The affidavit was never submitted to a judge or the district attorney, and sheriff's officials said there was no evidence of a specific threat to the school.
"Had the police put forth a normal effort attached to any type of search warrant, I'm convicted there would have been no attack on Columbine," said Brian Rohrbough, father of slain student Daniel Rohrbough.
Still, it's unclear how many of the journal entries would have been written by the time of a police search, or whether they would have been found.
The journal entries flesh out the picture of Harris as a teen who felt excluded by other kids and frustrated with women.
"I hate you people for leaving me out of so many fun things," he wrote. "You people had my phone #, and I asked and all, but no no no no no don't let the weird looking Eric kid come along."