In the wake of the Marysville-Pilchuck High School shooting Vox.com looked into the bullied school shooter stereotype. What did they come up with? I think the title of the article kind of gives it away.
“Think school shooters are usually bullied and unpopular? You’re wrong.”
It makes me wonder if people will read it with an open mind or just dismiss it so they can continue to live with a comfortable lie.
Anyway, friend of the site, and Columbine author, Dave Cullen was interviewed for the article and once again brought his A-game to the discussion when it came to discussing the Columbine cowards.
“Everybody knows who commits these kind of murders. They’re outcasts, typically goth or other sorts of kids that dress funny and live on the fringes,” Cullen said. “That’s well known. It’s also wrong.”
“It’s complete nonsense,” Cullen said. Both shooters had a healthy circle of friends. Their social calendars, which were released to the public, were “packed.” They went bowling every Friday, and they typically occupied four lanes — enough for 16 people.
There’s also “no compelling evidence,” Cullen explained, that the shooters were bullied more than anyone else or that bullying drove them to the shootings. “We have their journals and videos,” Cullen said, adding that they “never mention bullying” directed at the shooters.
The article goes on to state that depression and mental illness are the main causes of school shootings. It was suggested that schools should hand out questionnaires to students to monitor for signs of depression. I’m afraid that while it may assist in getting some kids some help there are definite flaws by doing this. The first that a lot of kids with problems at home will lie so their parents won’t be notified by the school. Another problem is that any kid with depression will be labeled a potential school shooter and that doesn’t help anyone. Lastly, I don’t want to see depression become an excuse at trial for criminal behavior like bullying and Asperger’s have become in the years since Columbine.
Getting back to the bullying aspect I also wanted to add that this article is a great example of how school shootings have actually done a disservice to the victims of bullying. As I’ve said before now people are more concerned about finding the next shooter than actually doing anything about bullying.
‘Columbine’ author in talks to produce Lifetime mini-series:
In the interest of transparency I have been a fan of Dave Cullen since 2004 when his article The Depressive and The Psychopath was first published. I was fortunate enough to be able to exchange e-mails with Dave after meeting online through a mutual blogging friend of ours. I was fortunate enough to receive a review copy of his book ‘Columbine’. We even follow each other on Facebook and Twitter. What we are not is best buds. I have no private insight into Dave’s inner workings. I know about as much as Dave as he publicly makes known. I also want to add that I have not contacted Dave prior to writing this post. This one is all me.
Anyway having said that Dave recently announced that he is talks to have his book made into a miniseries on the Lifetime Network. It is far from definite and there’s a possibility it may not come to pass.
However there has been a movement, mostly by people who either were at Columbine or lived in the area at the time, for this miniseries not to be made. I respect their opinion. I couldn’t possibly understand what it must have been like to live through something like that and hopefully I never will. But please allow me to explain my opinion of why I think that the miniseries should be made.
As anyone who has read this site for a time knows there were a lot of myths surrounding the shooting at Columbine such as the shooters were bullied, it had to do with jocks, or gothic culture, or the so-called Trenchcoat Mafia. In my opinion Dave’s work on the matter has gone a long way into dispelling those myths. Unfortunately a lot of people still cling to those myths even 13 years later. If the miniseries were to air on the Lifetime Network it would be striking into the heart of the demographic that still believe in those myths. And to be honest with you that’s only if it does done right. I would hope that Lifetime wouldn’t distort things to try to fit some alternative agenda.
However if you agree that the miniseries should not be made you can sign the online petition here.
The other day I posted about how the myth that the Columbine cowards were bullied is still being perpetuated. Today I came across another article that mentioned Columbine and bullying in the same breath, written by a PhD no less.
To my shock and chagrin I found out that this was not an article perpetuating the myth but actually dispelling the myth. And not only was the myth dispelled but it mentioned the man whose opinion I respect most when it comes to all things Columbine and that would be Dave Cullen. Not only did Dave Cullen write the definitive news article on Columbine called “The Depressive and the Psycopath” but he also wrote what I think is the definitive book which is simply entitled “Columbine”.
This is what the article’s author had to say about “Columbine”…
In the days immediately after the tragic event, there was so much misinformation fed to the public by the media, that a lot of unsubstantiated information became legend and were never questioned.
In this revelatory book, Cullen debunks several myths about Harris and Klebold, such as they were part of a group called the “Trenchcoat Mafia” or they were total social outcasts and had specifically targeted “the jocks” who had bullied them.
Instead, Cullen gives us a psychological profile of two teenage killers who were considered good students, who went to their own prom just three days before the murders, and had many friends. In what seems to me to be the greatest irony of all, Cullen shows us, often in the killers’ own words, that rather than being the “victims” who lived a fringe, isolated existence in their suburban high school, they were in fact the real bullies. They were two teenagers filled with raging hatred and contempt for almost everyone, adults and peers alike, and were bombs just waiting to explode.
It actually warms my cold dead heart to see that there are still people out there with the rational intelligence to be responsible enough not to throw every myth, mistruth and conspiracy theory about Columbine.
The Daily Beast
Another post by Dave Cullen. This time on a meeting between the parents of Eric Harris and one of his victims, Daniel Mauser.
Very interesting read however it does not change my opinion that the Harrises bear a major responsibility for what happened.
The Daily Beast
Dave Cullen on Amy Bishop and the UAHuntsville shooting.
I’d like to start by apologizing to Trench and to author Dave Cullen for the delay in getting this review put together. I’ve had the book for a few weeks now, and actually finished it the day after I got it. I’ve started the review several times, only to delete what I had written over and over again. It just seems like no matter what I write, it doesn’t do this book justice.
It would be easy for most readers to be intimidated at first glance by the sheer size of this book. Don’t be. Admittedly, yes I do tend to devour most books I read in one sitting. Anyone who knows me will tell you when it comes to books I am not a normal human being. With “Columbine”, however, it was like a holy quest. I didn’t want to stop reading to eat or sleep.
We all know what happened on April 20, 1999. At least we think we do. 98% of what you thought you knew will be cast aside after reading this book. Cullen sorts through mountains of evidence, conducts hundreds of hours of interviews, and gives us an articulate, unbiased account of the facts. He shows us how much gray area there really is in a situation that most of us only saw in black and white. Ten years of in-depth research brings us a book written with compassionate professionalism.
I could continue to write on and on about this book, but I would only be repeating the dozens of glowing reviews from professional critics that I’ve read. If all you’re looking for is a mindless beach read, perhaps you’d best save this one until fall. If, however, you’re looking for a brutally honest look at one of our nation’s biggest tragedies that will hook you from page one, get your hands on it as soon as possible.
If you haven’t yet read the book Columbine by author and Journalist Dave Cullen you’re really missing out. I haven’t read it yet myself but I’ve read enough reviews of it to now that Dave did a great job of dispelling the myths that have permeated Columbine for the past 10 years.
I’ve been a fan of Dave’s ever since he wrote what I believe to be the definitive article ob Columbine, The Depressive and the Psychopath.
Dave Cullen’s website has all the details you need on the book.
Was Cho Seung-Hui really like the Columbine killers?:
Dave Cullen, who wrote the definitive article about Columbine, is back. This time he’s writing about the Virginia Tech gunman Cho Seung-Hui and analyzing the comparison between Cho and the Columbine killers. The article does not disappoint.
I’m not even going to post any quotes of the article because it’s way too good for that. The article must be read in its entirety.
Author and journalist Dave Cullen, the writer of the definitive article about Columbine The Depressive and the Psychopath, offers his opinion on the Eric Harris journal.
Late last night I was lucky enough to exchange e-mails with one of my internet heroes, Dave Cullen. For those of you unfamiliar with Dave’s work he wrote what I think is the definitive article on Columbine “The Depressive and the Psychopath” and he also has a plethora of Columbine information in his Columbine Almanac. After our exchange he wrote an entry on his blog called “The upside of covering Columbine” where he discussed receiving e-mails from students who are looking for help with their reports about Columbine. He said that it was a minor hassle but nothing made him happier. He also discussed as we did in our exchange how my site gets all the readers who praise the killers while Dave’s site rarely gets one. As it should be really, because Dave is a professional writer and journalist and I’m just some guy with a website and an opinion. Anyway, it’s a good read.