Lawyers, Guns and Hush Money — Burying the Truth at Columbine
Approximately Thirty Students
As far as the trench coat mafia is concerned, Stair stated that he is one of the founders. Stair stated that he, along with Chris Morris, John Beachem, Eric Dutrau, and Cory Friezen, started the group around 1994 or 1995.
Eric Ault; Melissa Sowder; David Caravan; Jeremiah Hess; John Beachem; Alejandra Marsh; Nate Dykeman; Patrick McDuffee; Eric Dutro; Josh Barnes; Cory Friesen; Chris Morris; Charles Phillips; John Beachem; Michael Hardesty; Robert Perry; Dustin Gorton; Brian Ford; Horst Rossmueller; Robyn Anderson; Kirsta Hanley; Pauline Colby; John Savage; Alyssa Sechler; Chris Tibaldo; Eric Veik; Alejandre Marsh; Eric Jackson; Joe Stair; Andy Thomas; Kirsten Theibault; Nicole Markham; Kristi Epling; Brian Sargent; Chantel Beery; Eric Jackson; Thaddeus Boles; Zach Heckler; Charles Phillips.
Group Message On Attack
Group_message_massacre. Site administrators are believed to have now erased the Harris page. Another message posted on AOL claiming to be from the group said: “Trench Coat Mafia in da House’, preparin’ for the big April 20!!”
Trench Coat Mafia associate Pat McDuffee was interviewed the evening of 4-20. Beginning on page 10786 of the 11K there is a list of redacted names and a short synopsis of his version of their involvement in the events of that day. On pages 10784 to 10785 there is an unredacted list of ‘subjects’. By matching the two in the order they were listed we come up with the following:
(Redacted) (Dutro): Helped with the planning of the attack. Uses drugs like meth. Drives a white Toyota car or minivan.
Klebold (Klebold): At school with a handgun.
(Redacted) (Stair): Was at school with gun by library outside stairs. Helped plan the attack. Drinks and smokes dope. Has many different types of guns, sweep guns, shotguns.
(Redacted) (Phillips): Helped build the bombs, tested them at his house. Drives a ’94 blue Honda Accord. Dope smoker most of the time.
(Redacted) (Beachum): Helped build the bombs and tested them with Phillips. Was part of the planning of the attack.
(“Redacted”) (“Eric” LNU): Part of the planning of the attack. Stored most of the weapons. He transported most of the stuff to the school for the attack. Was at school outside during the attack. Drives a WHITE FORD BRONCO parked in the lot.
Harris (Harris): Was inside of school during the attack and had many different types of guns. Had said “I will kill jocks and blow up a school.”
(Redacted) (Morris): Was inside of school during the attack. Helped plan it. Wrote letters and made videos about violence.
(Redacted) (Ault): Was part of the planning for the attack. Likes guns and violent movies.
(Redacted) (Perry): Was at the school with an automatic gun downstairs by a door shooting outside. Helped with the planning of the attack.
He also told IOs there were up to four students at both Chatfield High and Bear Creek High who were “part of the group” (and thereby implying foreknowledge on their part).
In a final interview a week later he backpedals furiously from his initial IDs.
This interview is important in that someone on the inside confirms what many eyewitnesses saw — namely the involvement of many other active participants, and hence further destroy the official version of what happened.
Massacre at Columbine High — Shooter told friend: ‘Get out of here’
By Mark Eddy
Denver Post Staff Writer
Brooks Brown walked out of Columbine High School on Tuesday morning to get a cigarette and instead got a chilling warning from his friend Eric Harris — moments before the killing rampage began.
“I was walking out for a cigarette and I told him, “Hey, man’ and he said, “Brooks, I like you. Now, get out of here. Go home.’ And so I didn’t think twice about it.
“I went to go have my cigarette and heard gunshots, so I took off and started running. I went to random houses, called the cops and told them I knew who it was; it was Eric, it had to have been.”
Harris, who was about 5-foot-10, was wearing a white T-shirt and black cargo pants and was pulling duffel bags out of his car when he told Brown to clear out. And although police hadn’t identified the shooters, Brown said he was sure Harris and another close friend, Dylan Klebold, apparently attacked and killed some of their classmates.
“I’m positive he’s one of the killers. He had to have been. They said he was leaving duffel bags all over the place with pipe bombs. He had the white T-shirt … and he had the bags. I’m just positive it’s him. He parked in a spot that he never parks in, he ditched (school) with this other guy (Klebold) I’m pretty sure is involved. Oh, my God.”
Brown, his voice cracking, said he’d known Klebold since both were 5.
“The possibility is that one of them … I am insanely good friends with and have been since I was 5.” While Harris had shown signs of violence in the past, Brown said he thought those days were over.
“For a long time, I would have thought it possible — but not recently — and I never would have expected this level at all, not even close. And the other person I think is involved (Klebold), definitely not, not even close.”
Harris, who’d just turned 18, and Brown, also 18, had been friends since they were sophomores. But the friendship soured a year ago after Harris threw a piece of ice and broke Brown’s windshield, and that’s when he showed his dark side, Brown said. When Brown complained to Harris’ parents, Harris threatened to kill him, Brown said. “He got (mad) at me and told me he was going to kill me.” He even went so far as posting a message on his Web site urging anyone who was interested in killing to hunt down Brown. The family called police three times but don’t know if they acted on the complaint.
But this year the two boys had a couple of classes together and resumed their friendship, Brown said. “I told him, “Let’s bury the hatchet and be friends.’ He said that’s cool, he was glad that someone’s doing that.”
And while Harris — who with his crewcut looked like a “junior Marine” – had been a jerk up until then, after the overture he seemed to turn a corner, Brown said.
“Recently he’s been a lot nicer of a guy. He was a real —- for a long time, and then when I told him I wanted to bury the hatchet he just started being cool to me and just making jokes and being nice,” Brown said. “He was just an odd, nice guy, he was kind of nuts for a while, but I mean, the son of a bitch saved my life basically.” Some are claiming Harris and Klebold were targeting minorities, but Brown said that while Harris often made racist comments, he doesn’t think that was the motivation for the shootings.
“He was going after jocks. He hated them with a passion, because they always made fun of him and they always threatened him. They did it especially his sophomore year, and he just hated them.”
Harris – who liked to read, write and play video games — talked constantly in philosophy class of buying a gun, especially since he recently turned 18, Brown said. Harris and Brown’s other friend were members of the Trench Coat Mafia, a group of kids who some say were brooding outcasts and misfits. Although Harris had been nice lately, he was filled with hate and there was only one way for this shooting rampage to end, Brown said.
“He did it because he hated people. He loved the moment. He loved killing people, he liked that idea. He lived in that. That’s how I knew it would end the way this did — kill all the hostages and then themselves; I couldn’t see anything else.”
Denver Post staff writer Don Knox contributed to this report.
Because of his friendship with Klebold and Harris, and his actions on April 20, Brooks Brown, a tall, rangy and proud member of the high school’s outsider crowd, became one of the most controversial figures to emerge from the crisis of Columbine. Brown and Harris fell out sometime in 1999, after Brooks’ parents complained to police about Eric’s threats against their son, and Harris put Brooks’ name on a “hit list” he maintained on his personal Web site. But on the morning of April 20, when Brown encountered Harris headed into the school, locked and loaded, Harris did not kill him. “Go home, Brooks,” Brown recalls Harris saying. “I like you now.”
The first time I saw Brown, a couple of days after the shootings, in the cafeteria of a hospital near Littleton, he looked like a zombie. Brown had just left the intensive care unit, where his friend Lance Kirklin was recovering from multiple gunshot wounds. Much of Lance’s face had been shot off.
Brown’s life, too, would soon change forever. On May 4, 1999, Jefferson County Sheriff John Stone appeared with reporter Dan Abrams on NBC. “I’m convinced there are more people involved,” Stone said. “Brooks Brown could be a possible suspect.” Abrams asked about the Harris Web pages. Stone scoffed, saying these were a “subtle threat,” and denied that the Brown family had ever reported them to the police in the first place.
The Browns interpreted Stone’s remarks as an attempt to intimidate them and shut them up, but they refused to be muzzled. Countless press interviews and public records requests later came vindication. Documents surfaced that proved that county sheriff’s deputies had indeed visited the Brown home several times prior to April 20, 1999, to hear their complaints about Eric Harris’ Web site.
Columbine, 5 Years Later, by Peter Wilkinson
FBI Investigator’s Son Linked to Case, by Kevin Vaughan and Hector Gutierrez
The REAL Columbine
On May 8th the Denver Rocky Mountain News released an article raising concerns over Dwayne Fuselier, the FBI official in charge of the Columbine investigation. Fuselier’s son attended Columbine in 1997 and during that time produced a school film depicting trench-coated teenagers shooting up the school and eventually blowing it up.
“Witnesses have also indicated the possibility of a third gunman,” said Lt. John Kiekbusch during a news briefing on May 12.
On May 13, The Denver Post released an article also detailing Dwayne Fuselier’s son’s video creation. This article sheds a more flattering light on the Fuseliers (the son’s name is Scott) than the Rocky Mountain News article. “I’ve searched my heart and my soul for anything that was wrong here — that the kids (who made the video) should not have done. There certainly was no evil intent … It is a terrible irony, and they would never make that video again,” said Fuselier, who’s younger son, Brian, attends Columbine currently. The Post reports, however, that the video depicts laser battles “over Colorado”, and Columbine is indeed destroyed at the end, but by a laser instead of bombs, which turns the building into a ball of fire. Scott Fuselier is also quoted defending the video.
The Associated Press also released an article on the matter (May 8). The article reveals that, “[Dwayne] Fuselier is best known as one of the top negotiators in the ‘Freeman’ standoff in Montana. He is a former member of an elite FBI squad known as the Crisis Management Unit.” (Much controversy surrounded the Freemen standoff. Reports of unfair if not brutal treatment and abuse of imprisoned Freemen followed the incident. For more Freemen info click here ).
The article also stated, “In a call to the agent’s home, a woman who answered the phone said, ‘Scott and the boys that are with that movie don’t want to talk about it.’ In a later call, Dwayne Fuselier refused to comment. ‘You can stop right there – nothing, goodbye,’ he said Thursday evening when a reporter began asking about his son’s connection to the video.”
JEFFERSON COUNTY, COLORADO SHERIFF
The Trench Coat Mafia & Associates
On April 20, 1999, eyewitnesses to the shooting at Columbine High School tentatively identified Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold as two of the gunmen. There were also unconfirmed reports of a third, and possibly more, shooters involved. The identities of Harris and Klebold were later confirmed after their bodies were found in the Columbine High School library. Both died of apparent self-inflicted gunshot wounds.
Early intelligence information gathered at the crime scene from witnesses referred to Harris and Klebold’s involvement, or membership, in a group at Columbine High School commonly known as the Trench Coat Mafia (TCM). A number of Columbine students and faculty were interviewed as the events at the school unfolded on April 20 and many claimed to be familiar with the TCM and its members.
Associates Team Created
The Associates Team, led by Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office Investigator Don Estep and FBI Special Agent Mark Holstlaw, had the responsibility of identifying all associates of Harris and Klebold. Included in the identification were any members, past or present, of the TCM.
Once identified, all members and associates were to be interviewed and investigated by the associates team. The goal was to determine if any other person may have participated or conspired with Harris and Klebold in the preparation or carrying out of the events of April 20 or any related crime. The team was also assigned to identify anyone who had any prior knowledge that Harris and Klebold were planning the shootings.
Twenty-one individuals were initially identified as TCM members. These initial 21 provided pertinent information regarding the origin and membership of the Trench Coat Mafia and their associates. Some of these individuals also provided specific information about Harris and Klebold and how they related to the other members in their social circle.
From these interviews, 20 additional individuals were identified as associates of Harris and Klebold, and several others were identified as acquaintances. In addition, the associates team identified any friends or co-workers of Harris and Klebold in order to obtain background information on the activities of the two.
After conducting numerous interviews, the associates team determined each identified person’s relationship to Harris and/or Klebold. Some appeared to have had only a peripheral or minimal relationship with the shooters. Close associates of Harris and Klebold and the Trench Coat Mafia primarily consisted of friends within Columbine High School. Others were initially associated with the group only because they were friends of an alleged TCM member. Several individuals were identified as associates because they worked at Blackjack Pizza with Harris and Klebold or socialized with them outside of Columbine High School.
The Trench Coat Mafia
Although the investigation identified Harris and Klebold as being “members” of the TCM, it appears that the Trench Coat Mafia was a loose, social affiliation of former and current Columbine High School students with no formal organizational structure, leadership or purpose such as that typically found in traditional juvenile street gangs. Contrary to reports following the Columbine shootings, there is no evidence of affiliated Trench Coat Mafia groups nationwide.
The origination of the title “Trench Coat Mafia” is not clear. It appears that some of the early group members had begun wearing black trench coats or dusters to school. A common characteristic used by Columbine students to initially identify TCM members was the black trench coats. That type of dress, combined with members being viewed within the school population as “outcasts,” led to the creation of the name, either by the members themselves or by someone outside the group.
Many of the TCM members also participated in playing video games, such as Doom, and producing videos together for school projects. [Fusselier?]
A number of those interviewed related that members of the TCM (individually and as a group) were often harassed by student athletes (“jocks”). Jonathan Greene
The TCM appears to have had cliques or small subgroups, not much different than most other social groups in a high school setting. Harris and Klebold had a few close associates in the TCM, but overall were not described as having any particular influence or leadership roles within the Trench Coat Mafia. Their friends and associates described them as often wearing the same black dusters which they wore during the shootings on April 20.
Photographs appearing in the high school’s 1998 yearbook were obtained, identifying those in a group photo as TCM members. Additionally, the 1999 senior class photo (taken in March 1999) reflected several of the same members posing as if they were pointing weapons at the camera. Neither Klebold or Harris appear in the ’98 TCM photograph, but they are a part of the senior class photo in which they are pretending to be firing weapons.
Associates of Klebold and Harris
Close to 100 individuals had some connection to Harris or Klebold and were included in the investigation. A few had only a passing acquaintance with Harris or Klebold or simply had a mutual friend but did not associate with Harris or Klebold personally.
The associate team ultimately identified 22 of these individuals as those most familiar with Harris and Klebold, their background and their activities.
Those determined to be close associates of Klebold or Harris were asked to give background information on the TCM and the two gunmen. Where appropriate, the individual may have had property searched, either because of a court-ordered search warrant or a consensual search.
Thirteen computers belonging to these associates were searched and evaluated for evidence of prior knowledge; however, no such evidence was found. Only two of the 13 searches required warrants; the remaining searches were done by the consent and cooperation of the individual.
Of the associates requested to submit to polygraph examinations regarding prior knowledge or assistance in the actual crime, only three refused. Two of those refused on the advice of their attorneys. Although three of the main associates retained attorneys, all three continued to cooperate with investigators. In fact, most of the 22 individuals identified by the associate team were cooperative and agreed to additional interviews to clarify inconsistencies in their previous statements. These 22 were interviewed a total of 71 times.
Some individuals knew of Klebolds’ and Harris’ interest in building pipe bombs and had actually seen a few pipe bombs or CO2 cartridge devices they made. However, all denied recognizing any indications from either Klebold or Harris that they were planning the Columbine murders. Nor were comments indicative of Klebold’s and Harris’ intentions reported.
TCM Associates Index
Chris Tibaldo; Eric Veik; Deanna Veik; Devon Adams; Robyn Anderson; Eric Ault; Thaddeus Boles; Brooks Brown; Kelli Brown; Eric Dutro; Chris Morris; Brenda Parker; Robert Perry; Lydie Perry; Charles Phillips; Jessica Rusch; Brian Sargent; Joseph Stair; Kristine Theibault; Chris Tibaldo; Nathan Dykeman; Kristi Epling; Cory Friesen; Dustin Gorton; Krista Hanley; Zachary Heckler; Eric Jackson; Nicole Markham; Alejandra Marsh; Patrick McDuffee.
Detailed PDF’s – 1 – 2 – 3 – 4
Who are the Trenchcoat Mafia?
Josh Barnes; Joe Stair; Chris Morris; Horst Rossmueller; Cory Friezen; Chuck Phillips; Brian Sargent; Pauline Colby; Nicole Markam; Kristen Theibault; Krista Epling; Tad Bowles; Alex Marsh
Listing 13 names next to a smiling group photograph, the entry is typical of teenage exuberance. “Who says we are different? Insanity’s healthy!” it reads.
“Remember rocking parties at Kristen’s, foosball (table football) at Joe’s and fencing at Christopher’s! Stay alive, stay different, stay crazy.”
Andrew Beard alleged that Harris and Klebold had spoken of “hating jocks” while Sean Kelly, 16, said Harris and several members of the Trenchcoat group had made a video about guns, made racist comments towards black or Hispanic students and bragged about acquiring guns.
Another message posted on AOL claiming to be from the group said: “Trench Coat Mafia in da House’, preparin’ for the big April 20!!”
John Savage — Allowed To Escape the Library
At 11:37 a.m., the shooters moved to the center of the library, where they continued to reload their weapons at a table midway across the room. Klebold noticed a student nearby and asked him to identify himself. The student was John Savage, an acquaintance of Klebold’s. Savage asked Klebold what they were doing, to which Klebold replied, “Oh, just killing people.” Savage then asked if they were going to kill him. Klebold hesitated, and then asked him to leave the library. Savage fled immediately, making a safe escape through the library’s main entrance.
After Savage was gone, Harris turned and fired his carbine at the table directly north of where they’d been, hitting Daniel Mauser in the face at close range, killing him. Both shooters then moved south from there and fired randomly under another table, critically injuring Jennifer Doyle and Austin Eubanks, and fatally wounding Corey DePooter. DePooter, the last victim of the massacre, was said to have been instrumental in keeping his friends calm during the ordeal.
Hoffschneider’s circle — known as “the steroid poster boys” — had their cafeteria table. On the other side of the room, shy skinny boys — among them Harris and Klebold — claimed a table, too. The athletes threw Skittles candy at them, said senior John Savage. Once, athletes threw a bagel close to the table, and the cafeteria emptied for fear of a fight. In the boys’ bathrooms, a graffiti war broke out — “Jocks rule!” Came the rejoinder: “Jocks suck!”
Dustin Gorton … Given a lie detector test
Several students expressed anger at the jocks for spreading rumors to defame the two in death with the same slurs that dogged them through life. Dustin Gorton, a good friend of Harris and Klebold, was particularly outraged. “I think it’d be really funny if you tried to tell their girlfriends that they were gay,” he said. Gorton, a brawny 6-foot senior dressed in camouflage pants, said prom pictures had been taken with Harris and Klebold and their girlfriends, but hadn’t been developed. He promised that the media would never see the pictures, or find the two young women. “You’re never going to get those names. [The girlfriends] are so far hidden, and they are so screwed up right now,” he said. Gorton described himself as a “nontraditional jock” who played Doom on the Internet with the two killers, as well as baseball with a team outside the school. He said he was not a member of the Trench Coat Mafia.
Dustin Gorton (10743). “He named 2 other individuals he believed to be involved as Nathan Dykeman, Chris Morris.”
Gorton stated that he knows Eric Harris, Dylan Klebold, Nate Dykeman, Chris Morris, and Zachery Heckler and considers all of them friends. Gorton provided names of individuals he considered to be part of the group known as the Trench Coat Mafia. The names provided are Nathan Dykeman, Zachery Heckler, Dylan Klebold, Eric Harris, Kristy Epling, Alish (LNJ) (described as a friend of Kristy’s), and Chris Morris.
Dustin Allen Gorton, white male, date of birth November 14, 1980, place of birth Denver, Colorado, Social Security Account Number 522-37-6892, residence 5504 South Eaton Street, Littleton, Colorado 80123, home telephone number (303) 797-3613, pager number (303) 879-0921, has resided at current residence since October, 1998, former residence of 7819 West Portland Avenue, Littleton, Colorado 80123, former residence telephone number (303) 973-8861, a Columbine High School (CHS) student, senior, Littleton, Colorado, is an identified Registered Sex Offender in Colorado.
Alyssa Sechler … Polish Jew
Alyssa Sechler, who took German class with Harris, told investigators he included a drawing of a guy holding a gun with a note in her yearbook. She told investigators she knew Harris did not like jocks, “but she just thought it was hot air.”
Scott Fuselier …. .Former TCM. His father, Dwayne, was the head of the FBI investigation into Columbine.
One of the students who helped produce a 1997 video that’s similar to the April 20 assault on Columbine High School is the son of the FBI’s lead agent in the investigation. Scott Fuselier is not considered a suspect in the April 20 shootings. Why was Dwayne Fuselier the head of the FBI investigation? His son was a former member of the Trench Coat Mafia. Wouldn’t that be the *last* senior FBI man to put in that spot? Officials with the FBI said Friday their lead investigator in the Columbine High tragedy will stay in his post despite close ties to the school. Dwayne Fuselier’s son graduated from Columbine in 1997 and was one of the students who produced a videotape more than two years ago that shows TRENCHCOAT-WEARING STUDENTS ARMED WITH WEAPONS MOVING THROUGH THE SCHOOL’S HALLS. The film ends with four students walking away from the school as it EXPLODES IN FLAMES.
While rumours continue to fly, few members of the Trenchcoat Mafia have spoken to the media. But one who has spoken, Thaddeus Boles, has tried to make it clear that whatever Harris and Klebold did, the rest of the group were no different to their schoolmates who had suffered so much. “We all just started wearing (trenchcoats) to keep warm,” he said. “All of us pretty much got along with everybody.”
There were a lot of things Melissa Sowder didn’t like about Columbine High School. The bullies, for instance. They were football players, mostly. They shoved her friends in the halls and threw snowballs or bottles at them on the way home. Sometimes they shoved her, too. Who needed it?
“Teachers would see them push someone into a locker, and they’d just ignore it,” she says. “I think they were afraid of the students. They didn’t stop half the fights in that school.”
But Columbine wasn’t all bad, Sowder insists. She liked most of her teachers. And there were nice students, too–guys she met in the commons area, drinking coffee or hot chocolate and talking about what was wrong with Columbine. Guys like Eric Harris.
“I used to talk to Eric once in a while,” Sowder says. “He was like the sweetest guy I ever knew. He’d do pretty much anything for people he liked. We’d talk mostly about how we got picked on, how the school was not caring what the students did. And how some people could get away with anything.”
Sowder was near the bottom of the intricate social hierarchy at Columbine last fall. She was a freshman and a special-education student, struggling to get the services and classes she needed. She liked to dress in black, and most of her friends were kids who thought of themselves as outcasts — punks and goths and skaters.
Eric Harris was a senior and a very confident student. He, too, dressed in black. He had a juvenile conviction for theft and had been reported to the police for making death threats against another student on the Internet. His personal Web page crackled with fantasies of murder and revenge, and he liked to show off his extensive knowledge of guns and explosives.
Before the world that was Columbine blew up last spring, guess which one of the two attracted more scrutiny from school officials?
Right up until April 20, 1999–the day he and his buddy Dylan Klebold stormed the school, tossing pipe bombs and shooting helpless classmates, killing thirteen and injuring 23 before taking their own lives — Eric Harris was just another scowling face in the crowd. One of the most baffling aspects of the worst school massacre the country has ever seen is how Harris and Klebold’s deadly plan went undetected by friends, teachers, administrators — and, apparently, their own parents — until the killings began.
The question becomes even more troubling when you consider how school authorities have dealt with Melissa Sowder, who knew Klebold and Harris only slightly. In her first few weeks at Columbine, Sowder ditched class several times, resulting in a parent conference and restrictions imposed on her ability to leave campus during the day. But when she tried to complain to teachers about harassment by jocks, she was told, “Deal with it,” she says.
One day last fall, Sowder was called to the dean’s office after she was late to one class. “He asked me what I think about all day at school,” Sowder says, “so I told him I thought about blowing up the school. The school made me that angry. He told me I was suspended for a day and called my mom.”
Diana Sowder says she spoke to her daughter about speaking and acting responsibly. But she also believes that the school “overreacted” to Melissa’s remark, which officials described as a threat. Over the next few months, Melissa Sowder’s movements were closely monitored by school staffers, who followed her in the halls and quizzed her if she showed up at school early or stayed late.
Sowder was in the cafeteria when Klebold and Harris began their rampage last April. She escaped unharmed, fleeing with a group of students. When classes for Columbine students resumed at Chatfield High two weeks later, she was summoned to the principal’s office and informed that she might prefer home-schooling.
“I think they had kind of classified me as a troublemaker,” she says. “I told them I felt okay about going back to school.”
Columbine officials didn’t feel okay about it, though. A counselor in a security officer’s uniform followed Sowder from room to room, actually sitting through each class and observing her behavior. On her third day at Chatfield, she made a remark about the shootings to another student. According to Sowder, she’d been greeted warmly for the first time by athletes who’d formerly harassed her, so she said that maybe something positive would come out of the tragedy “because now the jocks will treat us better.”
That isn’t the way the school’s spy system heard it. Relying on a version of the remark passed on by two students to a teacher and then administrators, a school counselor contacted Diana Sowder that day and informed her that her daughter was not to come back to Chatfield. Melissa was being removed from school because she allegedly said that “the kids who died at Columbine deserved it.” Melissa denies she said any such thing, and another student who says she was present during the conversation supports her story. Steve and Diana Sowder say that they were given no chance to meet with school officials and that their daughter had no hearing–no opportunity to respond to the accusation or appeal the decision–before she was summarily booted out of school.
“We take any such comments, whether they were made in jest or not, very seriously,” Kaufman says, “and will do so again this fall. It’s no different than someone walking through an airport and saying, ‘I’m carrying a bomb.'”
Melissa Sowder says she wants to return to Columbine when classes begin August 16, but she has no idea if she will be allowed to do so. Frustrated with school officials’ reluctance to meet with them, Steve and Diana Sowder have hired an attorney and are considering a lawsuit against the district over what they regard as the trampling of their daughter’s rights. (Editor’s note: In the interest of full disclosure, it should be noted that the Sowders’ attorney is related to writer Alan Prendergast, who has no personal or financial interest in their case.) Yet their situation is hardly unique. Melissa says that several of her friends have been encouraged not to return to Columbine this fall, too. “I think it’s because they’re outcasts,” she says.
Last week, district officials told Melissa Sowder’s attorney that she could enroll for her sophomore year, but didn’t say whether she will be allowed back at Columbine, said her father, Steve Sowder.
Melissa was among 18 students asked not to return to school after the shootings.
One of the trench coat gang — Pat McDuffee — told police that five of the seven named above were indeed inside the school with guns, in addition he named five more trench coaters — Eric Ault, John Beachem, Eric Dutro, Charles Phillips, and Eric Jackson — as being involved in the planning or bomb-building. And at least two of the female trench coat associates — Melissa Sowder and Alejandra Marsh — told other students that they had advance foreknowledge of the attack.
And at least two of the female trench coat associates — Melissa Sowder and Alejandra Marsh — told other students that they had advance foreknowledge of the attack. CHS asked Sowder not to return, find another school.
But another member of the group told The Denver Post that he understood why the teens snapped: One of the reasons the Trenchcoat Mafia existed, he said, was to give its members a sense of belonging in the face of teasing and
bullying by other students, especially athletes.
“I don’t think kids were ever scared of the trench coats before,” the elder Cohn said. “They were just different. But now the word ‘trench coat’ sends fear into them.” The killers even spared a Jewish student, Aaron Cohn.
TCM-er Eric Dutro walking around the school cafeteria telling people that “Satan loves you.”
… the “Trench Coat Mafia” since some of them wore long dark trench coats. He stated that included in this “Trench Coat Mafia” were Joe Stair, Chris Morris, Brian Sargent, Thaddeus Boles and himself.
Kristi Epling — Jewish — PDF 10716-10724
Epling and Sechler are both seniors at Columbine High School (CHS). Epling has known Dylan Klebold since kindergarten and Eric Harris since her freshman year. Klebold went to the prom with Christie Epling and her date, Nathan Dykeman, this past Saturday evening, 4/17/99. Klebold went with Robin Anderson to the prom and after the prom seemed happy…. date of birth 8/11/91 and Epling’s younger brother, Nathan Epling…. Kristi agreed to take a polygraph examination if requested. I had her speak with Det. Vanderhoe to make arrangements, tentatively scheduled for Friday, May 28, 1999.
The 22-year-old man who provided one of the guns fired by Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold in the Columbine High School massacre was sentenced Friday to six years in prison. Manes received six years in prison for selling a weapon to a minor and three …
Ctrl #1145, FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION. Date of transcription: 05/10/1999. Chris Tibaldo, date of birth 9/8/1981, 7444 South Zephyr Court, Littleton, Colorado 80123 was interviewed by Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Special Agent (SA) Matthew R. Hellman and Colorado State Patrol (CSP) Investigator Perry J. Powell in the presence of his mother Diana Graves and his attorney Scott Baroway, at the law offices of Dawson and Baroway, 3677 S. Huron Street, #105, Englewood, Colorado 80110. Tibaldo knew both Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, shooters in the attack on Columbine High School. Tibaldo did not know Harris very well, he only sat near Harris at lunch and saw him once in a while before school. Harris seemed to be fairly quiet. Tibaldo knew Klebold better than he knew Harris. Tibaldo, Klebold and Zach Heckler hung out in the computer lab together.
But Mark Heckler, father of group member Zach Heckler, said the group considered themselves outside of the norm, but there was nothing sinister in the coats. “We know these kids,” said Mr. Heckler said. “Nothing indicated that Harris or Klebold were about to explode.”
Eric Veik made three videos with Klebold and Harris. They created this idea and asked me to film it. It was ‘Hitmen for Hire.’ Dillon & Eric were the hitmen, I was the victim & [another student] was the jock harassing me. They used replicas of guns & spoke of killing in the video. I never heard if this video was successful …
Zach Heckler told Eric Veik that Eric Harris’ mother saw a large pipe bomb named “Atlanta” that was later detonated near Chatfield Reservoir. The lead singer further indicated that Eric Veik was told by Nick Romanyshyn that he saw Eric Harris on 4/29/99 with a notebook. Eric Harris apparently made a comment that he was “finalizing plans for tomorrow.”
Charles Phillips … Jewish
Pat McDuffee told police that five of the seven named above were indeed inside the school with guns, in addition he named five more trench coaters — Eric Ault, John Beachem, Eric Dutro, Charles Phillips, and Eric Jackson — as being involved in the planning or bomb-building.
Phillips admitted to being involved in the Trench Coat Mafia about 3 years ago, while at Columbine H.S. Phillips graduated in 1997. Phillips stated he worked with Klebold, Harris and Christopher Moore at Blackjack Pizza in the past.
Perry Was Thought To Be A Shooter. His alibi was he was with his father in a car.
Jim left work at 12:00 p.m. and started driving home. Enroute, he ran into Robert walking towards the school and picked him up and continued home, arriving at about 12:25 p.m.
Kristi Thiebault … TCM
Kristi Thiebault said she was with Robert Perry on the day of the shooting. McDuffie stales Thiebault was a TCM.
Thiebault was asked if she saw Robert Perry on 04/20/1999, she stated she did. Theibault explained after the information about the activities occurring at Columbine High School were being broadcast by the media she went to Robert Perry’s home where she made contact with him.
Cory Friesen provided the alibi for Chris Morris, on the day of the shooting.
Cory Friesen is an associate of the two homicide suspects, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, and was a member of the so-called “Trench Coat Mafia.”
Ault was in the TCM, and Pat McDuffee said this in an interview.
That Ault identified the original members of the “Trench Coat Mafia” as: Tad Bowles, Brian Sargent, Joe Stair, Eric Dutro, Chris Morris, Julie Grunke (Ault’s ex-girlfriend)…. That he was a member of the trenchcoat mafia when he was still a student at Columbine. In fact he helped to start it by wearing a trenchcoat. This caught on and others followed. It was not a hateful group at this time. He was aware that it has become this way…. was part of the planning for the attack. Likes guns and violent movies.
Krista Hanley was standing in the cafeteria line when she heard glass shatter and pipe bombs explode. She dove for cover with the rest of the students. And when the entire cafeteria “got up and moved as one,” Krista escaped through the auditorium and down a hallway. Eric and Dylan were her friends, but that’s all she’ll say.
Witness Krista Noelle Hanley, DOB December 11, 1981, POB Englewood, CO, White female juvenile, 70″ in height, 160 lbs., brown hair, hazel eyes, Home address: 5603 West Alder Avenue, Littleton, CO 80123, Phone: 303-973-5964, Occupation: Student (Junior) at Columbine High School, ex-girlfriend of Eric Jackson…. Eric Jackson was interviewed at his home with both of his parents present. Jackson stated his girlfriend, Krista Hanley is a member of the Trench Coat Mafia.
Markham stated that Saturday, April 17, 1999 she attended the CHS prom with Morris…. Markham did state that she is the girlfriend of Morris and was friends with the alleged shooters, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold…. Alex Marsh related Nicole Markam home number (303) 904-3538. Described as being very involved with the gang.
Sarah Alexandria Marsh
Alexandria Marsh stated that she was a past member of the Trench Coat Mafia…. Markham did state that she is the girlfriend of Morris and was friends with the alleged shooters, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold…. When asked who else was involved in the gang beside Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, she gave the names of: (1) Christine Theibalt — she thought she may have been dating Dyland Klebold/ (2) Joe Stair — graduated last year from Columbia High School. He would wear a duster. She did not see him at the school on the day of the incident. (3) Krista Hanley. (4) Eric Jackson — dating Krista Hanley…. I asked Alex for other members of the group. She stated Joe Stair was a member, as was Brian Sergeant. She stated that the group started to not like Brian Sergeant because he was beginning to be an “all around jack ass.” She stated Eric Jackson was a member and provided most of the transportation for the group. She stated Kristen Theilbaut, Tad Boles, and Charles Philips (graduated two years ago were members. She stated she was closest to Nicole and Kristen and they ate lunch together every day.
Patrick McDuffy PDF — Starts 10783
McDuffie was most informative of group
Patrick McDuffy stated he was in the original Trench Coat…. Eric Harris was REB. He stated Kristen Theobold and Rebecca Nelson were also associates of the TCM
Robyn Anderson ….Klebolds closest friend
She admitted she was one of Dylan Klebold’s closest friends, but also feels he did not want her to know about this…. When asked who his closest friends were, she named Eric Harris, Zach Heckler, Chris Morris and herself…. When Robyn Anderson was asked of the three, Eric Harris, Dylan Klebold, or Chris Morris, who would be the leader, she replied it would be Chris Morris… When confronted about the fact that they trusted her enough in regards to the purchase of the guns and ammunition that that would be an opportune time for them to disclose to her that they were also involved in making bombs or something along that line, she replied that for some reason they did not tell her about this…. she dated Chris Morris for approximately 1 month…. Robyn Anderson stated that Eric and Dylan were closer to Chris Morris and Zach Heckler but still maintained that Zach Heckler had no part in this event…. Robyn Anderson also stated she had no knowledge that Chris Morris was involved in this incident or was a leader in this incident and if she did know any of these facts she would have definitely informed the authorities of this information.
Philip Duran was arrested around 4 p.m. (6 p.m. ET) on suspicion of two separate counts: One for unlawfully providing or permitting a juvenile to possess a handgun and the other for the illegal possession of an assault weapon.
Brooks Brown — Denver Police labels a suspect
Brown was a friend of Klebold and Harris and made a film about the attack a year earlier. Brown said he ran into Harris at the school entrance and Harris told him to leave.
Brooks Refuses Polygraph
… Colorado, telephone number 303-935-5067. It should be noted that numerous requests have been made by leaders of the task force to Brooks Brown and his parents requesting that Brooks Brown submit to a polygraph examination to be given by any polygraph examiner on the task force. All of these requests made by the task force leaders have been rejected by the Brooks Brown family or his attorney for various reasons.
Approximately 15 minutes later, IO received a telephone call from David Henigsman, who stated that he had just had telephone contact with Randy Brown and had told him of IO’s request. David Henigsman stated that Randy Brown’s response to the request made by IO was, “Absolutely not!”
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Joe Stair — Stair said he was at home eating lunch