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Bestselling Author

FAQ for Columbine
Student Projects

I probably directed you here via email. I try to help as many students as I can, but I get more requests than I can do justice, and I'm two years late  delivering my next book on gay soldiers.


Luckily, the same questions come up repeatedly, and I answer nearly all of them across my three sites. I have posted a wealth of Columbine info here and on my research site, The Columbine Guide. But there is so much info, I realize it's daunting, so I've put this page together to organize it for you, and direct you right to items that most of you ask about. Good luck on your project. FYI, I'm now covering Parkland/#NeverAgain for Vanity Fair.

You can quote me on anything on any of my sites.

(I wrote every word on them.)

Key pages

  • My main Columbine page, with overview and how I came to write the book.

  • My intro Columbine video: 3-minute into. It provides a thumb-nail sketch of each killer, and some words about the survivors and the healing process.

  • Columbine FAQ: Most questions are answered here.

  • The Columbine Guide. My Columbine research site with scans of the journals, photos, diagrams, sketches, autopsies, evidence, official reports, plans, intro guides on teen depression and PTSD, how to survive an attack, etc.

  • Print and TV interviews with me about Columbine.

  • My published articles on Columbine and school shootings.

  • The Columbine student guide. Lots more links and ideas.

  • Further reading.

  • I just did this Poynter Institute Q&A in Oct 2017, about what it was like reporting the tragedy, and the effect on me.

Recent Additions: Parkland, Florida

I am currently covering the aftermath of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, and the birth of the #NeverAgain movement.

"The theme" of Columbine

I get asked about this a lot by students (or about my "message,") so I'll address them specifically. There is no single theme of this book — or of any decent book, in my opinion. I certainly don't write with a message or agenda, and I suggest you avoid any trashy author who does.

If you class requires you to answer "What is the theme?" I would personally respond that that is a simplistic question, but that here are some of the more prominent themes that you found powerful or engaging (and perhaps some that left you cold). There are many in there. Just think about the ideas that were floating about as you read, or the things that puzzled you or conclusions you came to.


You will have to choose which you found most significant, but if you're struggling with what constitutes a theme, I have some ideas here. Hopefully that list will spur other ideas. Please don't feel you have to restrict yourself to anything there; there are many more themes explored in the book.


More on my coming gay soldiers book. Columbine, school shootings and mass murder. 

Columbine best true crime Publishers Weekly
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