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Klebold paper foretold deadly rampage

Nov. 22, 2000 | 8:43 a.m.

Scripps Howard News Service

DENVER -- Dylan Klebold turned in an essay just weeks before his murderous rampage that stunned his teacher with its violent depictions and prediction of a future too unbelievable to imagine.

Much of the tale came true on April 20, 1999.

The story is about a lone warrior clad in a trench coat who in gory detail beats, stabs and shoots to death a group of ``college-preps,'' then sets off bombs to divert the attention of the police.

``Great details. Quite an ending,'' creative-writing teacher Judy Kelly jotted in the margin, unaware that the very particulars that made the story come alive would soon be enacted in real life.

But the story -- written in February 1999 -- shocked Kelly. The paper and her comments were among the documents included in 11,000 pages of police reports released Tuesday.

``I'm offended by your use of profanity,'' she wrote at the bottom. ``Also, I'd like to talk to you about your story before I give you a grade.''

She did more than talk with Klebold about the violent nature of the story, Jefferson County schools spokeswoman Marilyn Saltzman said.

According to police reports, Kelly spoke with Klebold's parents at a parent-teacher conference. She spoke with his guidance counselor. The counselor spoke with Klebold. Klebold assured him it would be OK. It was just a story, he said.

The families of three Columbine shooting victims have named Kelly, along with other school employees, in their wrongful death lawsuits. They contend she should have done more to alert authorities to Klebold's violent fantasies.

``If I could face the emotion of God, it would have looked like that man,'' Klebold writes. ``I not only saw in his face, but also felt eminating (sic) from him power, complacence, closure, and godliness. The man smiled, and in that instant, thru (sic) no endeavor of my own, I understood his actions.''