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Fact-filled 'Columbine' a detailed look at tragedy

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The 14th anniversary of the Columbine High School massacre is April 20.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Columbine was once a word that simply stood for a high school, a football team or a state flower, but that changed on April 20, 1999. Now, the word is tainted.

Columbine High School seniors Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold wanted to make a final impression before graduating. Their plan? Blow up the school.

The bomb failed, which triggered even more rage than they already had in them. This resulted in the fatal shooting where they took the lives of 12 students and one teacher before turning the guns on themselves.

As we mark the 14th anniversary of the shooting, many people still can't grasp the idea of what triggered the teens to commit such a vicious crime. Harris and Klebold seemed like normal teenage boys on the outside but were psychopaths deep down inside.

Dave Cullen, author of the book "Columbine," dedicated 10 years of research about the incident to explain what happened that day. He went though hours of videos, read hundreds of journal entries and listened to stories from friends regarding the boys' lives to get every detail.

Cullen's book does an amazing job telling the story from beginning to end. It's full of research and facts instead of what reporters thought they heard and knew. He jumps back and forth each chapter, explaining the events that lead Harris and Klebold to their deaths and to the aftermath for families, friends and the whole community.

The book goes into graphic detail that will make you cringe. It's almost as if you're in the library with everyone, holding hands, praying, silently sobbing and hoping you're not next. Cullen uses details to make you understand what it was really like to experience the tragedy through each and every person in the book.

Some readers argue that Cullen is one sided with this book, which in a sense he is, seeing as how this is his view on the massacre and its trigger after finding his information. Others say he blames the boys' rage on bulling and bad parenting, which isn't the case.

Both Eric and Dylan were loved by friends. Yes, they were bullied because of their association with the Trench Coat Mafia, but that wasn't on a personal level. The pair simply weren't mentally stable, and their friendship grew into something dangerous. If you're looking for a chilling, informative book this month, try reading "Columbine," and see if the questions you've had about the tragedy are answered.


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