Columbine shooters Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold were supposedly victimized outcasts belonging to a "Trenchcoat Mafia" bending on revenge — but none of it was true.

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When Columbine High institution seniors Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris murdered 12 students, one teacher, and ultimately us in an April 20, 1999 shoot in Littleton, Colorado, the media initially described them as victims the bullying and also outcasts thirsty for revenge. They to be allegedly members that a goth subculture known as the Trenchcoat Mafia that fueled their hate for tendency society.

But this rigid has because been proven false. “Most that the initial reporting was wrong,” described Dave Cullen, a journalist who invested a te researching the well known school shooting and also chronicled the aftermath. “We were so anxious come answer the burning inquiry for you that we jumped to conclusions ~ above tiny fragments of evidence in the very first days, even hours.”


Columbine.WikiaDylan Klebold (left) and also Eric Harris. Circa 1998-1999.

It was asserted that Harris and also Klebold were members the the Trenchcoat Mafia, a school team initially report by the media come perpetuate violence and also described as a “sick Goth subculture.” the was said that the team admired every little thing from guns, Nazis, the military, and also rock singer Marilyn Manson.

But the Trenchcoat Mafia was really a school community of harmless computer system gamers that wore black color trench coats.

Moreover, Cullen’s conversations v students and an analysis of police files uncovered the Harris and Klebold were not, in fact, a component of the Trenchcoat Mafia. They walk not appear in any kind of of the group’s annual photos and members that the yes, really Trenchcoat Mafia graduated years before Klebold and also Harris.

Both Harris and also Klebold had actually their own circle the friends, with the latter also attending the college prom through a day on his eight in a limousine filled with a dozen classmates days prior to the shooting. Klebold likewise assisted in student theatrical productions and was a computer system assistant.

Harris was described by his parents as athletic and also he also enjoyed computer system programming. He was a member that a video clip production group with the school’s Rebel News Network and worked in the school’s computer system labs, as well (but wasn’t a member the the Trenchcoat Mafia). His parents stated he was content to be alone, but was by no way a loner and did have actually his own team of friends.

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“I don’t think bullying led to Columbine,” said Jeff Kass, who reported ~ above the occasion for Rocky mountain News. “My factor for the is castle never pointed out it in their diaries.”

Kass eventually penned his own tome ~ above the topic — Columbine: A True Crime Story — and like Cullen, comprehensive the duo’s an individual lives, which each strongly shown potentially dangerous and suspicious activity long prior to April 20, 1999.