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Susan Klebold Essay Full Text

The mother of Columbine High School shooter Dylan Klebold is planning a memoir in which she will confront the 'indescribable grief and shame' she has lived with since the 1999 tragedy.

Crown Publishers said on Tuesday that it had acquired a book by Susan Klebold, saying she was compelled to share her story after the murders at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, and other schools. 

The book is currently untitled and has no release date. Klebold will donate any author profits to mental health research and charitable organizations.

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Susan Klebold, pictured in 2003, the mother of Columbine killer Dylan Klebold, is writing a memoir to confront the indescribable grief and shame she feels since her son murdered 13 at his high school in 1999

Eric Harris (pictured left) and Dylan Klebold (right) pictured in 1999. They killed 12 students and a teacher at Columbine High School before taking their own lives 

Dylan Klebold and fellow senior student Eric Harris killed 12 students and one teacher and injured 26 others at the Colorado school before taking their own lives in 1999.  

The large-scale attack also involved a fire bomb used to distract fire fighters. 

At the time, it was the worst school shooting in the country's history before 2012, when shooter Adam Lanza killed 20 students and six teaching staff at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.

Susan Klebold has previously described her feelings in an essay for Oprah Winfrey's O magazine and in interviews for Andrew Solomon's book, Far from the Tree.

Mrs Klebold and her husband Tom Klebold, have spoken little to the press following the Columbine tragedy, The New York Times reported in 2004, but did not move or change their names.  

In her lengthy essay for O Magazine in 2009, Mrs Klebold wrote: 'In the weeks and months that followed the killings, I was nearly insane with sorrow for the suffering my son had caused, and with grief for the child I had lost.'

She continued: 'But while I perceived myself to be a victim of the tragedy, I didn't have the comfort of being perceived that way by most of the community. 

I was widely viewed as a perpetrator or at least an accomplice since I was the person who had raised a 'monster.''

Mrs Klebold also told author Andrew Solomon: 'I can never decide whether it’s worse to think your child was hardwired to be like this and that you couldn’t have done anything, or to think he was a good person and something set this off in him.'

Susan Klebold, the mother of Columbine High School shooter Dylan Klebold, is planning a memoir, Crown Publishers said on Tuesday

The killers' diaries from the time offered chilling details about their activities in the months before the attack. They had 'to do' lists, with each purchase of gasoline or a weapon marked off, and they had a hit list with at least 42 entries, all of them blacked out.

On a calendar entry for April 20, 1999, the time 11.10 is at the top - an approximate reference to the time the attack began. 

Elsewhere in the calendar are notations including 'get nails' and 'get propane, fill my clips' and 'finish fuses'.

'Once I finally start my killing, keep this in mind, there are probably about 100 people max in the school alone who I don't want to die, the rest MUST (expletive) DIE!' Harris wrote in a journal entry from October 1998, six months before the attack.

A scrawled entry in Klebold's day planner apparently sketches out April 20, 1999, down to the minute, starting with a 6am meeting, a 10.30am 'set up,' an 11.12am 'gear up' and at 11.16am, 'HAHAHA.' 

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by Sarah LeTrent

…More than a decade after the gruesome school shooting that left 12 students and one teacher dead, the parents of Columbine shooters Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold remain largely silent.

Susan Klebold, the mother of Dylan, finally opened up in a 2009 issue of Oprah Magazine with a personal essay titled “I Will Never Know Why.”

She wrote: “Through all of this, I felt extreme humiliation. For months I refused to use my last name in public. I avoided eye contact when I walked. Dylan was a product of my life’s work, but his final actions implied that he had never been taught the fundamentals of right and wrong. There was no way to atone for my son’s behavior.”

She also revealed that in one newspaper survey, 83 percent of respondents said that “the parents’ failure to teach Dylan and Eric proper values played a major part in the Columbine killings.”

After the essay was published, she and her husband, Tom, resumed their silence, until Klebold attended a lecture by author Andrew Solomon.

Solomon was working on a book, Far From the Tree, that explored children who were vastly different from their parents, whether through autism, dwarfism, homosexuality or crime, and in the Klebolds’ case, murder.

Solomon said the decision to write the 976-page book came out of his experience as a gay man, “out of my own sense of having been somewhat incomprehensible to my own parents,” he explained.
Klebold agreed to talk about the aftermath of her son’s killing spree.
“I think they spoke to me because they wanted to ensure that Dylan was known with his nuances, as someone who was capable of kindness, himself, even though he ultimately engaged in a terrible act,” Solomon said.
“I expected to find an explanation for why Dylan had grown up capable of doing something so horrific. What I found instead was that the better I knew Tom and Sue, the more bewildering it all became.”

(To read the full article, please visit the CNN website.)

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