Web sites worship teen killers

Denver Post, Dec. 14, 1999
By Kristen Go

They wanted cult-hero status.

They got it.

At least by World Wide Web standards.

While authorities have always maintained that one of their primary goals was to keep Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold from attaining the cult-hero status the teenagers so desired, revelations this week defeated those efforts. Web pages and chat rooms on the Internet continue to revere Harris and Klebold, and with the new release of videotaped footage of the two, parents of Columbine High victims are concerned their posthumous popularity will only grow.

On the "Lymph Node Institute Discussion Board'' on Monday, at least 100 messages were posted about Harris and Klebold's April 20 rampage. Some of the messages condemn their actions, while others offer full support for an attack that left 15 people - including the two gunmen - dead and nearly two dozen others wounded.

"Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris Rule,'' reads the subject line from the bulletin board. "Eric and Dylan should be praised for what they did, not be labeled as monsters. ... They did what so many of us young people wanna do.''

Another Web site displays photos of Harris and Klebold, names them

"Colorado's Thrillkill's MVPs'' and contains excerpts from Harris's Internet rantings.

The author of the Web site explains that the Thrillkill site is meant to provide "solid evidence of the end results of pushing people too far with tyrannous laws, overbearing social demands and out right abuse.'' Yet another Web page says, "Support Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, Our fallen heroes!''

Beth Nimmo, mother of slain Columbine student Rachel Scott, is concerned about the idolization of Harris and Klebold and worries about how the release of the video tapes might play into that attitude.

"This makes them look cool to kids, like they're on some higher mission, when it's just pure hatred,'' she said. "No amount of reasoning, tapes or whatever, could ever give them a cause to do what they did. It hurts that anybody is presenting their side of the story.''

"There's a lot of hate out there,'' she said. "Schools are very hard, especially if you're not in the main flow of popularity. There's a lot of picking on, being made fun of. Eric and Dylan weren't special in that - it goes on anyway. I think what's going to happen is kids are going to totally be led astray about why these boys did this.''

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