Are Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris’s parents to blame for the Columbine shooting?

Sue Klebold, Dylan Klebold, Columbine shooting,

It must be the parents’ fault.

That’s what most of us assumed after the massacre at Columbine High School. In the absence of any other easy explanation, polls showed 85 percent of Americans figured bad parenting caused Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold to kill a dozen students and a teacher and wound 24 others before turning their guns on themselves.

For 17 years, all four parents have stayed silent about that widely held assumption. In fact, they’ve kept quiet about pretty much everything. This week, one of them, Sue Klebold — mother of shooter Dylan Klebold – breaks the silence with ABC’s Diane Sawyer. The interview is set to air on “20/20” this Friday, coinciding with the release of Klebold’s memoir.

Dave Cullen is a journalist who rushed to the JeffCo high school when news of gunfire broke the morning of April 20, 1999. He spent the next ten years researching the rampage for his book, “Columbine.” In painstaking detail, Cullen chronicled Eric Harris’s profile as a classic psychopath intent on killing as many people as possible. Cullen’s portrait of Dylan Klebold was more empathetic. His research showed Dylan as a depressed, suicidal follower — a sidekick who reminded Cullen of himself when he was a teen.

Researching “Eric was like examining a disease under a microscope. He didn’t get inside me,” Cullen writes in the epilogue of a new edition released this week.

“Dylan seeped in surreptitiously. His funeral scene was the second-hardest to write. I cried for his parents, and his brother… I realized later that I was grieving for Dylan, too. What a sweet, loving kid. Most of his life. That shocked me, but I didn’t grasp how it tormented me.”

Cullen conducted hundreds of interviews for his book, but never snagged the one he wanted most – a meeting with Sue Klebold to learn what she knew about the hole into which Dylan had spiraled. Although Sue Klebold still hasn’t granted Cullen an interview, she recently interviewed him about his research on her son. They spent many hours chatting last year in what Cullen lauds as her “search for the truth.”

Colorado Independent Editor Susan Greene recently spoke with Cullen about Sue and Dylan Klebold, about patterns he sees among school shooters and about what, in hindsight, Cullen calls “the real lessons” of Columbine. Here’s part of their conversation:

Greene: The Klebolds did interviews with David Brooks at The New York Times in 2004 and later with Andrew Solomon for his book, Far from the Tree. Sue Klebold also wrote an essay about Columbine for O Magazine in 2009. So, what’s newsworthy about her TV interview this week?

Cullen: We’ve only gotten glimpses. I am so ready for the full story. It can also be revelatory to hear a person like this, and watch her respond on camera. Print is ideal for complexity and breadth, but TV helps us get a sense of what she’s like.

To put these two sets of parents in context, they’ve lived pretty much invisibly since the shooting. The Harrises and Klebolds have gone on with their lives without anyone outside their circles knowing what they look like or sound like. From the public’s perspective, we’ve never heard their voices before. And, from their perspectives, they’ve been walking around all these years knowing most people blame them directly for what happened. These families have been living with that snap judgment all these years. Sue’s interview is a chance to see how accurate – or inaccurate – that snap judgment really was.

Greene: You’ve not met Sue Klebold in person, despite many requests. What do you know about her?

Cullen: From everything I’ve learned about Sue over the years, she’s educated, bright, and compassionate— and approaches the world with a hopeful view. She and her husband named their boys after famous Romantic poets – Dylan after Dylan Thomas – which projects that hopeful, aspirational view. I know she has been enormously concerned and protective of her surviving son, in the aftermath all these years. I know that, unlike her husband and Dylan, she’s an extrovert, which made it unsurprising after the shooting that she went right back to work at Arapahoe Community College, where she was counseling disabled kids. She wanted to be around people and she wanted to contribute. She has been active over the years in non-profit causes around mental health and depression. Those are the issues I bet she’ll be discussing Friday night.

Greene: Can you talk a bit about her son, Dylan Klebold’s motivations compared to fellow shooter Eric Harris’s?

Cullen: Eric was a psychopath. He wanted to kill people, plain and simple. If he had waited another year or two, his plan probably would have been bigger than just Columbine, bigger even than Oklahoma City. He would have taken down a skyscraper or two skyscrapers in downtown Denver, if he could have. For him, as with most psychopaths, being captured wasn’t an option, so dying was the price he knew he had to pay to get the killing done.

Dylan was totally different. While the most frequently used word in Eric’s journal is ‘hate’; the word used most in Dylan’s is ‘love.’ His journal is gushing with love — and hearts, entire pages filled with them — as well as feverish outbursts of rage. The primary target of his anger was himself. (Second most frequent target was God: for making a creature as pathetic and miserable as him.) This is classic depression — deep, suicidal depression. Even on the first pages of his journals written two years before the shooting, he was referring to suicide. He had been looking for a way out for a long time. Following the plan Eric was pushing to carry out the shooting was his way out.

Greene: How does Dylan Klebold’s story relate to other school shooters you’ve researched?

Cullen: Dylan is pretty much a classic case study. He had clinical depression, from which the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force estimates 6 percent of U.S. adolescents suffer. That’s two million kids, most undiagnosed. On top of that, he was suicidal. A study by the Secret Service showed that 61 percent of school shooters were “extremely depressed or desperate,” and 78 percent had a history of suicide attempts or thoughts. Depression is the biggest factor for these shooters – murder as a method to end their own lives. Teen depression and suicide are the real story behind the blight of school shootings in this country. And they were by far the biggest factors for Dylan. I get asked all the time about “lessons” of this tragedy. The great unlearned lesson of Columbine is dealing with teen depression.

Greene: Did Sue Klebold see what was happening with her son?

Cullen: That’s what will be really interesting about Sue’s book — how she missed the signs like so many parents miss the signs. Dylan was painfully shy. He was terrified of strangers. And he was alienated. From what I could tell, his shyness and fear were what his parents thought were his biggest problems. They thought his challenges were pretty much just about not having figured out how to speak out or be part of a group and adjust. There was an inability to see the bigger picture of depression. How many parents know how to spot depression, or how it’s fundamentally different from just being “sad”? Hopefully, that’s what Sue’s book will do — address why she missed it, and how other parents can learn from her, and put depression front and center on the radar screen where it should have been for the last 17 years.

Greene: But the Klebolds did have signs about Dylan. More than a year before Columbine, after he and Eric were arrested for breaking into a van, they were asked to fill out a questionnaire about her son and they wrote: “He is often angry or sullen, and behaviors seem disrespectful to others. He seems intolerant of those in authority and intolerant of others.” The phrase, “He seems intolerant of those in authority” had been crossed out. Doesn’t that show that Dylan’s parents had some pretty strong warning signs that they were ignoring?

Cullen: I’m glad you posed the question that way, because that’s the pervasive line of thinking, and I get where it comes from. But I think there’s a hidden assumption in there leading us astray. To answer your question directly: warning signs, yes — of a troubled teen — but the “ignoring” suggests us imagining Tom and Sue Klebold just shrugging it off. Why would we assume that? All the evidence suggests the opposite: including this answer on this form, where a negligent or denialist parent would have hid the problem or denied it. Tom and Sue bluntly admitted all sorts of distasteful things about Dylan in that answer. They said he was often angry, sullen and disrespectful, and then first wrote the phrase you quoted about authority figures, but then crossed it out to write “intolerant of others”— meaning everyone, a broader statement. So they were copping to the problem here because they were concerned about it, looking for help. And we know from everyone around them that they were on Dylan about it, disciplining him. But kids continue to misbehave. Why do we assume they were OK with it? Because it ended horribly. Did they see that coming? Definitely not. How many parents have sullen, angry, disrespectful boys? And how many of them foresee mass murder?

Greene: I’m interested in this notion of blame, especially because the vast majority of Americans were convinced the shooters’ parents were even more directly responsible for the massacre than the shooters themselves. Eighty-five percent is a huge number. How do you look at blame and responsibility – and the penchant to point the finger — in the context of Columbine?

Cullen: I think the Klebolds raised this sweet kid who befriended Eric – a bad-seed and really monstrous kid who wanted to kill off the entire species and the entire planet. They had the horrible bad luck of their son falling in with the wrong friend. If Dylan hadn’t been hanging out with Eric, he probably wouldn’t have been involved. That’s really the extent of what they did wrong. As for not detecting the extent of Dylan’s depression, I think that happens far more widely than we know. Teenagers’ brain chemistry changes and, so often, parents think it’s a blip rather than the start of a life of adolescent and adult mental illness. They don’t see that their kid needs help. This story plays out in families all over the place all the time. I’m not sure blame and culpability are as helpful as the need for public awareness and detection. And that’s why what Sue Klebold has to say is important.

Greene: How is Sue Klebold feeling about going public after 17 years?

Cullen: She said she’s terrified. She’s expecting this to be rough. Not that it hasn’t been rough for her. But the anonymity and invisibility she has walked around with will end – just like that — with that interview Friday night. People will recognize her at the grocery store or at Target. That’ll be a big change for her.

Greene: And what do you expect the public’s reaction will be?

Cullen: I think that some people, right off the bat, will assume motives of greed because Sue’s coming out with a book. But they should know that she’s donating all proceeds to charity. That dispenses with a huge elephant in the room – assumptions that she’s coming forward for some sort of personal gain. Because she isn’t.

That said, I have a feeling that the reaction won’t be as bad as her fears. For the people who watch the interview or read her book, I think maybe some will re-evaluate past judgments they made and maybe even grieve with her. Maybe.

At the very least, I think people will give her credit for having asked questions about what went wrong with her son and trying to piece it all together. She didn’t have to step out and risk this kind of public shaming. It takes guts. I hope people can see how much guts it really takes.


  1. I am very pleased that Mrs Klebold is stepping forward and sharing her family’s story (and most importantly her son’s story) with the world. It can do a great deal of good. Her eloquence and honesty in previous writing endeavours (for O Magazine and through Andrew Solomon, respectively) have drawn my respect and my trust that she will carry this book forward with love and strength.

    However, I am sorely disappointed to see the inclusion of Mr Cullen within this article. Mr Cullen has written a book about Columbine, yes he has. But what is often neglected is the fact that various “facts” in his book are not the truth. Various events he cites did not come to pass exactly as described and some were even discredited as false within the available evidence on the case. Mr Cullen also has developed the unfortunate habit of glossing over Dylan Klebold’s shortcomings and more vindictive murderous acts. Furthermore, survivors of Columbine and families of victims (as well as the community within Littleton) have spoken out against Mr Cullen’s work in the past as being dishonest and not at all in line with what really happened.

    Mr Cullen has furthermore chosen to rely on a post-mortem diagnosis for Eric Harris as the gospel truth, even though Robert Hare (founder of the ‘psychopath checklist’, referred to in Mr Cullen’s own book) also stated that the test leading to that diagnosis “should be considered valid ONLY IF administered by a suitably qualified and experienced clinician under scientifically controlled and licensed, standardised conditions”. None of those conditions were met when so-called professionals set out to diagnose a deceased 18-year-old and set him up to be the mastermind of a terrible massacre. Eric set out to convince the world that he was evil, only leaving breadcrumb trails in his journal that pointed at his own insecurities and lack of self-esteem. A part of him would certainly feel vindicated at having pulled the wool over the eyes of Mr Cullen and his cohorts so completely that they could not even see Eric for who he really was!

    The general public needs to understand one thing: Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold were equals to one another. One was not pulled in by the other. One was not convinced to kill by the other. These boys both needed help. They both exhibited warning signs long before the massacre. Eric reached out for help; Dylan did not. Dylan wanted to die but also kill, expressing a longing for this dualism long before Eric ever said two words about it (that we know of). To presume otherwise would be to do their respective stories a grave disservice. It is time to put Mr Cullen’s shoddy research to rest once and for all.

    Let Mrs Klebold and the actual story do the talking.

  2. How dare you compare Eric Harris to a disease? How about we compare you promoting your worthless book as spreading a disease? You are polluting the minds of curious people with FALSE INFORMATION!

    Let’s take the Brenda Parker story for starters…Are you willing to admit that Brenda Parker never even knew Eric Harris and your crappy research is the reason why she ended up in the book?

    How dare you say that Dylan’s life was a sad tragic tale but Eric’s wasn’t? How is one teenagers life worth more than any others? You just look at Dylan’s photos and they make you feel some type of way, and that’s all it is.

    I have been researching the Columbine case for 14 years and I am challenging you to go up against me in a test on Columbine knowledge. I have forgotten more information about the shooting than you even know. Meet me on tumblr since you blocked me on twitter, you cowardly bitch.

    Also, how dare you try and take the spotlight away from Sue Klebold? There is a reason she never granted you an interview, but agreed to interview you. She knows you are full of shit. Bottom line.

    All of the Columbine survivors say your book is full of false information. Brooks Brown and Anne Marie Hochhalter have both publicly spoken out about your book’s inaccuracies.

    Why don’t you just give it up. Columbine may have started your career, but that was almost 11 years ago, dude. Why don’t you leave this case alone and go worry about your next book…that no doubt will be full of inaccuracies, blatant false information, and made up stories about the people who refused to be interviewed by you.

  3. Eric Harris was taking a prescription drug for depression. It did not then, but does now have a black box warning:

    “Luvox contains a black-box warning because clinical studies have shown antidepressants may increase the risk of suicide or suicidal thoughts in children, teens, and young adults.”

    I wish that Greene or Cullen had discussed this drug in connection with Harris.

  4. Dave Cullen’s book contains a lot of misinformation and I’m surprised as to why people continue to use it as an “authoritative” source. He is not a psychologist and does not understand psychopathy.

    Both Harris and Klebold took anti-depressants. Harris for obsessive compulsive disorder and Klebold for depression. A defining characteristic of actual psychopaths is the complete absence of any such “mental illness”. They also never commit suicide. In other words neither was a psychopath. How then can Harris have had a serious anxiety disorder when it’s impossible for psychopaths to have such disorders? Because he wasn’t a psychopath as any competent psychologist would know.

    The psychiatrist Peter Breggin has stated that the two anti-depressants Harris had taken, Zoloft and Luvox, could have contributed to his violent actions. According to Breggin, side-effects of these drugs include increased aggression, loss of remorse, depersonalization and mania.

  5. Fullerton is indeed correct that Dave Cullen’s book is full of inaccurate and misleading information. Unfortunately, he takes the ball and runs with it in the wrong direction, focusing on the tired issue of antidepressants.

    The main problem with Mr. Cullen’s book is that his characterization of Eric Harris as a swaggering, confident ladies’ man and Dylan Klebold as his cowering emo lapdog is so thoroughly at variance with the established, known facts of the two boys’ lives that one wonders how a reasonably intelligent (and honest) person who spent ten years looking at the available evidence could have come to such a conclusion.

    I could write a book debunking Cullenbine, but for now I’ll make these points:

    As evidence of Harris’ popularity and promiscuity, Cullen cites the testimony of a now-discredited “Columbine fangirl” (or groupie, if you will) named Brenda Parker. (She claimed to have been Eric’s lover, but later admitted to the police that she had made the whole thing up.) Cullen has steadfastly refused to acknowledge or correct this error.

    It is clear that Eric harbored deep, deep resentment over his lack of success with girls and his low social standing.

    He wrote:
    * Everyone is always making fun of me because of how I look, how fucking weak I am and shit, well I will get you all back: ultimate fucking revenge here. you people could have shown more respect, treated me better, asked for my knowledge or guidence more, treated me more like senior, and maybe I wouldn’t have been as ready to tear your fucking heads off. then again, I have always hated how I looked, I make fun of people who look like me, sometimes without even thinking sometimes just because I want to rip on myself. Thats where a lot of my hate grows from, the fact that I have practically no selfesteem, especially concerning girls and looks and such. therefore people make fun of me… constantly… therefore I get no respect and therefore I get fucking PISSED. as of this date I have enough explosives to kill about 100 people, and then if I get a couple bayonetts, swords, axes, whatever I’ll be able to kill at least 10 more. and that just isnt enough! GUNS! I need guns! Give me some fucking firearms!
    * Whatever I do people make fun of me, and sometimes directly to my face. I’ll get revenge soon enough. fuckers shouldn’t have ripped on me so much huh! HA!

    Those are brief excerpts from his journal. In the past, in response to various things that I have written, Cullen has claimed that I “cherry-pick” entries to make Eric seem as if he had lower self-esteem than he did. Cullen believes that Eric’s numerous expressions of contempt for “all the fat ugly retarded crippled dumbass stupid fuckheads in the world” indicate that he regarded himself as a truly-superior being. I don’t buy that. He hated everyone and everything, but first and foremost he loathed himself.

    This is the last thing that he wrote: “I hate you people for leaving me out of so many fun things. And no don’t fucking say, “well thats your fault” because it isnt, you people had my phone #, and I asked and all, but no. no no dont let the weird looking Eric KID come along, ohh fucking nooo.”

    As Westword reporter Alan Prendergast put it, “That is how the journal ends – not with the howl of the wolf-god, but the whine of the pathetic geek who can’t land a prom date. And decides everybody deserves to die.”

    (In an article published in August 1999, Prendergast – an underrated figure in Columbine journalism – debunked most of the myths that Cullen claimed to have debunked in his book.)

    Eric’s writings are supremely angry – there are parts where his rage boils over into descriptions of brutal cannibalistic sex fantasies. (But some of Dylan’s writings are so disjointed and bizarre that I am inclined to agree with Peter Langman’s view that he was possibly borderline schizophrenic.)

    Here are some quotes from newspaper articles on the basement tapes, written by reporters who (unlike Cullen) actually got to see them when they were screened for the first (and only) time by Jeffco in December 1999:

    * But Harris shows some anger toward his father, Wayne, a military man who moved his family across the country several times. Harris talks of always being the new, “white, scrawny” kid. “I had to go through all that shit so many times,” Harris says.
    * “Only four or five people here didn’t rip on me – four or five out of the whole state of Colorado!” Eric Harris moaned to his pal. If he were just able to get in small fistfights, like he used to, Harris says. Now, he’d get suspended, his parents sued. Now, he says, pointing his shotgun “Arlene” at the screen, he has no choice.
    * “You know who you are. Thanks. You made me feel good. Think about that for a while, f—ing bitches.” – Harris, after listing five girls “who never even called me back.”

    Eric constantly felt slighted. This might be evidence of his psychopathy, and/or it might be evidence that he was extremely sensitive to his very real inability to live up to the masculine ideal that some of his fellow students (and his own brother) embodied. He was a little geeky guy.

    (Next to Klebold, who Cullen would have us believe trembled at the prospect of Eric’s wrath, he looks like a midget. Klebold’s body language in the clips of the two boys together is always confident – he stands up to his full 6’3″/6’4″-ish height.)

    Here is a quote from a Denver Post article (1999-12-14):

    “Contrary to popular opinion in the Columbine community, Harris comes off in the videos as the more sympathetic character of the two. Portrayed in the days after the attack as angry and weird, he is apologetic and somewhat remorseful in the tapes. He’s careful to absolve his parents of any blame and shows sympathy to his mother, Kathy, for what he is about to do, trying not to ‘bond’ with her because he will soon die.

    “‘It’s not their fault. They had no f—ing clue,’ Harris says. ‘It would not solve anything to arrest them.'”

    Was Eric acting, enjoying putting on a show? Cullen would claim that he was. But he can’t explain away the fact that Klebold came across as a bloodthirsty monster:

    “Klebold is monstrous on the videotapes, openly raging about his lifelong hidden anger and all the slights he suffered at the hands of students, teachers and his family. He smiles ghoulishly into the camera, lovingly handles weapons and constantly combs his fingers through his shoulder-length red hair. He shows no contrition, only deadly aggression.

    ‘This goes to all my family: I’m sorry I have so much rage,’ Klebold says. ‘You made me what I am. Actually, you just added to what I am.'”

    And a Rocky Mountain News article (1999-12-13):

    “Then Harris says, ‘Let’s talk about our parents for a minute.’

    “Klebold begins coldly. ‘It’s my life,’ he says. ‘They gave it to me, I can do with it what I want. . . . If they don’t like it, I’m sorry, but that’s too bad.’

    “Harris is gentler. ‘They might have made some mistakes that they weren’t really aware of in their life with me, but they couldn’t have helped it.’

    “Both boys say again and again that their parents are great.

    “The Klebolds saw this tape last fall. They cried. The Harris parents know the tape exists but haven’t seen it.

    “‘It s— to do this to them,’ Harris says. ‘They’re going to go through hell once we’re finished. They’re never going to see the end of it.’

    “Klebold promises his parents there was nothing they could have done to stop what will happen.

    “‘You can’t understand what we feel; you can’t understand no matter how much you think you can,’ he says.

    “Harris plays with a pair of scissors, rapidly snapping the blades together and apart, together and apart. They laugh at the noise.

    “He explains why he didn’t spend more time with his family.

    “‘I didn’t want to do any more bonding with them. It will be a lot easier on them if I haven’t been around as much.'”

    Would a psychopath with no regard for others bother to make such remarks? Again, Cullen would say that Eric is acting for the camera. (Why a guy who wanted to come across as a badass muthafucka would try to spoil that image by talking about his mother is beyond me.)

    On another tape, Eric did start to cry while reminiscing about old friends. Cullen (who hasn’t seen the tape) claims that it was an act. Unlike him, I’ll reserve judgment until I see it for myself.

    The bullying angle might be somewhat exaggerated. But at a school where hulking jocks did demonstrably enjoy many privileges denied to the rest of the student body – not the least of which was the right to torment others without fear of punishment – Eric was a short, scrawny, geeky boy with a shrunken chest. His older brother was the perfect son – athletic enough to make the varsity football team but smart enough to make the honor roll. Even most of Eric’s friends – fellow computer nerds – were well over six feet; they literally towered over him. Dylan, an ugly (sorry, fangirls) ogre of a boy who seldom bathed, had a girl friend (not a girlfriend, per se) who begged him to take her to the prom; Eric, a decent-looking guy who kept himself well-scrubbed, begged six girls for prom dates and was turned down by each and every one of them. Every minute of every day, he was subjected to reminders of his failure to measure up.

    I maintain that Eric’s body language at the beginning of this clip is revealing:

    When Eric sees the larger boys approaching, around the 0:15 mark, he stops talking and tenses up. (The other boy seems them first, and stops talking – he stares straight ahead, not taking his eyes off of them.) He stands as erect as he can, steeling himself for a confrontation. But as he nears them, he lowers his head and cowers like a dog. (Some claim that he is “ramming” through the wall of jocks in a macho manner, but I disagree.)

    Also note that the jock on the right side of the screen is flipping off the camera. It’s hard to see, due to the pixelation, but if you look closely you can tell that his middle finger is extended. So the mutual dislike and contempt between the “popular” crowd and the “outcasts” was very real.

    Later, in the cafeteria, Eric was humiliated in front of some other boys when a girl who had promised to meet him instead walked out of the room without saying a word:

    Around 11:24, he slouches and lowers his head until his chin is resting in his hands. His body language indicates that he is giving up, accepting defeat. He has already lost – that girl has already walked up the stairs and out of his life, at least for the moment – so there’s no point in puffing himself up any longer.

    Examine Eric’s facial expression around the 11:40 mark. Is that the face of a swaggering ladies’ man at the top of his Game, or that of a dorky boy who is beating himself up over his pathetic inability to prevent yet another cruel rejection? (Or neither?)

    I could (and probably will) go on.

  6. What medication was Eric Harris taking? There is conflicting information in the comments. Also, Klebold’s mother never mentioned any medication that her son was prescribed.

    Many medications given for depression now carry Black Box warnings that they can cause suicidal reactions in adolescents. I think there needs to be more investigation into what meds were prescribed, who prescribed them and was the follow-up adequate. The Black Box warning were not in effect at the time of Columbine, but that does not mean that they couldn’t have influenced behavior.

  7. I read Sue Klebold’s book and it was powerful. This woman has suffered immensely, yet continues to investigate how a tragedy like Columbine can be avoided in the future. Instead of hiding herself away she has researched and tried to understand what made her son do such a horrible thing. She has put herself front and center to bring awareness of brain health issues. And, while doing it has never made excuses for her son’s actions. She is certainly brave. Her book made me take a closer look at my own teenage grandsons. What are their actions and behaviors presenting? My heart breaks for the 13 victim’s families. May God bless them and give them peace. I will never forget Columbine and the suffering & loss there.

  8. It is funny how ungodly people like to present what happened 17 years ago with disease, depression, psychopathy and whatever…Eric was a psychopath, Dylan was depressive… They were both DEMON POSSESSED ! We need to realize that there is exists a spiritual world dear friends, and the world is full of evil spirits because the prince of this world is Evil. So don’t try to explain spiritual things with medical vocabulary. Susan that i really admire for her courage can do all research she wants but only demon possessed persons can do such a thing, evil spirits that controls them even when they don’t want and only Jesus can save them. That’s why it is important to be born again and discern these spiritual things that are true. I’ve seen Diane Sawyers’s interview with Susan and she asked her about evil and it was a relevant question, Susan replied she doesn’t believe. But the knowledge of the spiritual world explains it all. don’t want to judge and sounds spooky but Jesus saves.

  9. I just have one thing to add to this discussion by probably better educated and more informed people than I am and it is this.

    I am a peace loving, compassionate, gentle person who was in a bad marriage at one time and I was extremely depressed by it. During this time I read about a “wonder drug” called Paxil and I asked my psychiatrist to prescribe it, which he did.

    After 6 months of taking this drug, I was suffering from the worst impulses to kill my dog, my husband and myself, in the most spectacular manner. My fondest fantasy was to jump off the Golden Gate Bridge with my dog, after I murdered my husband in front of all his friends.

    It was only because I gained weight because of that drug did I decide to stop taking it. I really had no idea the “wonder drug” I was taking was causing these terrible thoughts and feelings.I just thought my marriage was driving me crazy.

    The withdrawal was beyond agony. I clung to my couch like a drowning person for 2 weeks, experiencing the very worst anxiety, paranoia and primal fear I’d ever known.

    Only because I was a 50 year old woman at the time, with 18 years of sobriety and recovery behind me, did I survive those impulses without committing a violent act.

    A 17 year old kid would have almost no chance of resisting the impulse to do something terrible under those circumstances. SSRIs are the cause of the many violent acts we see in today’s society, I really believe that.

    And that’s it.

  10. It’s exactly those ignorant people like you, Laura, who are part of the problem. With your religious agenda you’re not only denying serious mental disorders but are also insulting mentally ill people as “demon possessed”. Good job!

  11. I appreciate her honesty to herself. I saw the interview where she said she could have talked less and listened more, offered less advice and just been a passive listener. My heart broke a little bit when she said that. Very brave, and very self-honest person.

  12. I’m not trying to be offensive, just offering a differing point of view, but this Jesus Saves business? I find that hard to take when I read stories of church congregations being shot up – then I look to the middle east and see that the islamic world has basically been at war for the last, oh 1400 years so God doesn’t appear to be making much headway there either.

    Everybody’s entitled to an opinion though……whether you have a right to ram religion down people’s throats is another thing entirely but do what you gotta. If nothing else, it’s good to talk.

  13. Bless your heart for sharing that. I genuinely hope you’re doing better these days. What you have wrote here is definitely food for thought because I’ve offered an opinion elsewhere on here that basically says it couldn’t have just been the drugs because other med users dont shoot up schools. Having read what you wrote here, I’m starting to think that my previous opinion may just be a bit too simple for my own liking. Now I’m thinking, it’s hard to tell what is going on in the heads of other med users. Perhaps a lot of people on those meds go through those thoughts but maybe most of them know not to act on them. I can well imagine that both of those guys might not have been strong enough internally to stand up to those kinds of feelings. Who knows, but you’ve definitely provided some food for thought either way,

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