Columbine tape to be released?
April 14, 2006 10:16 AM   Subscribe

Sitting in an evidence vault for the past seven years, seen by almost no one, the nearly-four-hour self-produced videotape posing, boasting and bitching of the Columbine shooters may soon be released to the public. Some of the victims' families have supported its release while others have opposed it. Is this a case of "cops controlling the information flow" or is it protecting the public from potential copycats? We report. You deride.
posted by spock (18 comments total)
This is important footage that must be made public, if for no other reason than to provide raw material for wacky mash-ups on YouTube.
posted by MaxVonCretin at 10:32 AM on April 14, 2006

Is there a bittorrent?
posted by wfrgms at 10:34 AM on April 14, 2006

Is this a case of "cops controlling the information flow" or is it protecting the public from potential copycats?

It may not be the former but it's certainly not the latter.
posted by sonofsamiam at 10:36 AM on April 14, 2006

Other than family members who were directly effected, why would anyone care what these 2 morons decided to commit to videotape?

Throw it away...
posted by BobFrapples at 10:55 AM on April 14, 2006

Okay, so he thinks he's a god and yet he whines because he can't get laid. I guess I just have one thing to say about that, "NATURAL SELECTION."
posted by Skwirl at 11:01 AM on April 14, 2006

i was, i have no idea when i went to sleep

Well, the article makes the interesting suggestion that it might dispel some of the myth around the two, by showing them as the malign incompetents they were.
posted by spiderwire at 11:47 AM on April 14, 2006

Really interesting article, and it totally shifted my opinion. The idea that the sheriff's dept. and the parents both want the evidence to remain hidden so their own negligence isn't revealed, wow, that's creepy, and answers the question we all had: 'how could they not know?', with 'they could have.'
posted by tula at 12:10 PM on April 14, 2006

Maybe it would inspire a few copycats. Rather than present a picture of two "malign incompetents," I suspect that, for certain alienated teenagers, the videotapes would present a depiction of Klebold and Harris as very charismatic teenage terrorists.

For other teenagers having revenge fantasies against the people who torture and humiliate them, the tapes might be very inspiring, as sick as that may be.

I don't think that's justification for keeping the tapes secret, though. There's a higher value in public disclosure and holding authorities accountable for their incompetence.
posted by jayder at 1:04 PM on April 14, 2006

Bob, perhaps because it could help prevent similar events.

Eh, I'm skeptical. Parents who are so entirely incompetent that they don't notice their child enacting a plan to blow up an ENTIRE FREAKIN' HIGH SCHOOL won't be reached by this dumb video hittin' the tee-vee.
posted by BobFrapples at 1:06 PM on April 14, 2006

I just don't understand the desire... It's snuff film. It's like the 911 tapes being released. Why the morbid fascination? Will it give you something to talk about at work?

You really need to slow down and crane your neck at someone else's misfortune on the road? Get your damn EMT certification; you can see all the misery you want then, but at least you'll make yourself useful.
posted by blendor at 2:01 PM on April 14, 2006

Why would anyone want to watch these?
posted by eustacescrubb at 2:06 PM on April 14, 2006

Blah, I wouldn't want to watch it. I went through that phase where I felt like killing everyone during middle school and I'll be damned if I ever want to revisit that. Just lots of "nobody understands me" whining combined with an adolescent arrogance that nearly had a life of its own, thank god I didn't have any access to firearms. (For that reason, incidentally, I personally thought Columbine presented an excellent argument for gun control).
posted by Ndwright at 2:32 PM on April 14, 2006

It's snuff film.

It isn't the film from the school security cameras showing people getting shot and killed. It's the killers blathering into their own video camera at home, before the event, filled with their neo-Nietzschean self-flattery. I guess I'm not sure why it's been suppressed, actually.
posted by dhartung at 3:01 PM on April 14, 2006

obnoxious gods of self-awareness

Awesome band name? I report, you decide.
posted by dgaicun at 4:34 PM on April 14, 2006

This is so mild. Release the Lesley Ann Downey torture tapes - bet they're really bleak.
posted by jack_mo at 5:50 PM on April 14, 2006

I find it amazing that people don't want to know. Plugging your ears, changing the channel and closing your eyes doesn't make monsters go away. It just gives them a headstart.
posted by srboisvert at 12:53 AM on April 15, 2006

I think you're missing the real point of the article. The parents, cops, school and social service agencies completely bungled the handling of these two boys prior to the incident. This is nothing more than a huge case of CYA.
Reference the myriad number of cases where the social worker or DYS agent is "forced to resign" after children they were supposed to be looking after are found malnourished in cages or sold to circuses.
posted by Gungho at 5:49 AM on April 15, 2006

Why would anyone want to watch these?

For me, in no particular order (some of these kinda overlap, at least a bit):

1. Morbid curiosity

2. Wanting to get a sense of just who this kids were and what they were really like - everything that has come through the media so far has been filtered by the agenda(s) and viewpoint(s) of the teller(s) and vehicle(s) through which the information came - this is the boys in their own words, for once.

3. Seeking to understand just What The Fuck Happened.

4. Wanting to see just how insane or sane they seemed, going into it.

5. Seeing if there is anything there that would lead to help in preventing such a thing from happening again.

6. Curiosity whether bowling really had anything to do with it (with a nod to Michael Moore of course).

7. Curiosity about their filmmaking skills.

I could probably come up with more. But I will watch this if it becomes available to me.

And I wanna give props to Westword as being a kickass free weekly newspaper that has (historically from what I have read, mostly back when I lived in Denver) had some really excellent reporting. They also have (had? is he still there?) a wacky cartoonist named Kenny Be, who among other misadventures related in cartoon form his experience of being arrested by downtown cops for get this: crossing the train tracks on foot at a place other than a crossing. They hauled his ass off to jail.

Anyway, I gotta go check out the Westword archives now, as I hadn't thought of them in years and this reminded me. Some of the best investigative / in-depth reporting I've read in my life has been in its pages. Worth looking at, if you're into that sort of thing, and if they've kept up the quality level since I last was reading them.
posted by beth at 6:24 AM on April 15, 2006 [1 favorite]

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