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Kinkel tells psychiatrist he blames himself for Columbine killings

The Associated Press
08/18/99 3:11 AM Eastern

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) -- Kip Kinkel believed he was an embarrassment to his parents because he thought they expected him to be perfect. He also blamed himself for the Columbine High School shootings in Littleton, Colo., in April, according to new records filed in the case.

Kinkel's statements, which also touched on the murders of his parents, the May 1998 shootings at Thurston High School in Springfield, in which two students were killed, and suicide, were made to a psychiatrist hired by his defense lawyers, according to a sworn statement by Lane County Deputy District Attorney Kent Mortimore.

His trial is scheduled to begin Sept. 27 with jury selection.

The boy's statements were excerpted by Mortimore from a 45-page report prepared on Kinkel's behalf by Dr. Orin Bolstad, a psychiatrist who will testify at Kinkel's trial, the records indicate.

Few insights into Kinkel's state of mind have emerged from documents filed so far. The snippets of his reflections in the Bolstad interview take up less than one page.

In the documents, Bolstad asked Kinkel about his relationship with his parents and quoted Kinkel as saying, "I had to be 100 percent. No one is perfect though. Lots of times, life sucked. With my parents, if I didn't do the best, I was an embarrassment to my parents."

Concerning the Thurston shootings, Kinkel told Bolstad, "I knew people would be in cafeteria (sic). Just started shooting."

The document also reports Kinkel's statement regarding the murder of his parents, Bill and Faith Kinkel, at the family home the day before the Thurston shootings.

"Got the .22 rifle ... Dad sitting at the bar ... So I (shot him)," Kinkel is quoted as saying.

Regarding the murder of his mother, Kinkel reportedly told Bolstad, "I killed her too. I just wanted to kill myself."

Kinkel also reportedly told Bolstad that when he learned of the shootings in Littleton, Colo., in April, "I flipped out. Started blaming myself."

Mortimore referred to Kinkel's statements in legal arguments over the prosecution's attempt to retain nationally recognized forensic psychiatrist Dr. Park Dietz.

Mortimore indicated in the documents that the Kinkel excerpts were intended to give the judge a sample of the kind of information Dietz already has reviewed in preparing to examine Kinkel on the state's behalf.

Dietz has testified as an expert in cases such as John Hinckley's, for the attempted assassination of President Reagan; serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer; Susan Smith, who drowned her two children; and Richard Davis, who abducted and murdered Polly Klaas.

Kinkel's lawyers claim they discussed Kinkel's case "in some detail" with Dietz's staff and that the law doesn't allow Dietz to now work for the prosecution. In sworn statements to the court, however, Dietz and two staff members denied discussing Kinkel's case with defense lawyers.

Lane County Circuit Judge Jack Mattison is expected to rule Thursday on whether Dietz may testify for the prosecution.

Kinkel has been in custody since the shootings and has been in the Lane County Jail since his 16th birthday. He is charged with 58 crimes, including four counts of aggravated murder.

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