Police interview with Susan and Tom Klebold
Mark Obmascik, Kevin Simpson and Stacie Oulton
Denver Post Staff Writers
Nov. 22, 2000- POLICE INTERVIEW WITH SUSAN AND TOM KLEBOLD -- 5-17-99
On 04-30-99, at about 1635 hours I responded to Gary Lozow's office in order to interview Susan and Tom Klebold, the parents of Dylan Klebold. Also present for this interview was Sgt. Randy West, Investigator Cheryl Zimmerman and District Attorney Charles Tingle. Stephanie O'Malley and Gary Lozow were present assisting with the representation of the Klebold parents. Sgt. West explained the purpose of our visit was to obtain background information on Dylan Klebold and he asked that the Klebolds provide that information to us.
The Klebolds advised that Dylan Klebold was born 09-11-81, and was a healthy, happy child, who grew to be very bright. They advised that Dylan Klebold was very good at math, was shy, and was well loved by his teachers and peers. There were no problems with Dylan. He joined Boy Scouts, won a Pinewood Derby and was a pitcher on a little league team. The Klebolds indicated that Dylan was gentle, and was that way until the day he died.
Mr. Klebold indicated that he and his son were very close and he is very upset with the way that the media has portrayed him. Mr. Klebold said that he has no idea what happened or why and indicated that Dylan was his best friend and that they spent a lot of time together. Mr. Klebold said that he believed that his son had a personality that was very similar to his.
Mr. Klebold went on to state that Dylan always had few friends and that he was in a gifted program at Governor's Ranch Elementary, where he had wonderful teachers in his classes. Mr. Klebold indicated that Dylan's transition to junior high school was difficult for him and Mr. Klebold found that to be painful because he knew the issues that Dylan would go through from being in an elementary school to going to junior high school. Mr. Klebold said that he and his wife were not absentee parents and that they were always there for Dylan.
According to Mr. Klebold, Dylan was born at Lutheran Medical Center and went to Governor's Ranch Elementary School, where he was involved in the CHIPS Program between grades three and six. Prior to that, Dylan was in Normandy Elementary for first and second grade. Dylan then went on to junior high school at Ken Caryl and then ended up at Columbine High School. In terms of sports, Dylan played soccer when he was in the fifth or sixth grade and he also played T-Ball and baseball. Dylan was very competitive, however, he was sensitive. During Dylan's time at Ken Caryl Junior High School, there was no gifted program, however, he did moderately well. Mr. Klebold believed that Dylan had drum lessons, however, does not recall any particular extracurricular activities in junior high school other than baseball. Once at Columbine High School, Dylan became involved in the plays at the school and in particular, worked sounds and lights. Dylan was also a computer assistant and did troubleshooting and assisted with computers. Dylan was described by his parents as "pretty quiet" while attending Columbine High School and stated that Dylan worked at Black Jack Pizza for a while, quit, went to work at Computer Renaissance, and then left there, and returned to Black Jack Pizza, which is where he was working at the time of his death.
When asked about girlfriends, the Klebolds indicated that Dylan didn't exactly have a girlfriend, but would go out with a group of friends which Mr. Klebold described as "group dating." The Klebolds said that Dylan was extraordinarily shy in high school, however, he did go to the prom with Robyn Anderson. The Klebolds said that Robyn Anderson and Dylan studied calculus together and described Robyn as a very sweet girl and again said that they don't believe that Dylan ever considered Robyn his girlfriend and again pointed out that there were groups of kids that dated together.
When asked about different friends that Dylan had, the Klebolds said that Dylan had a circle of acquaintances and that it wasn't necessarily a specific group, however, several groups of kids that knew each other. The Klebolds described Dylan's friends as quiet and intelligent kids and maybe shy. The Klebolds said that Dylan's friends were definitely not the most popular kids in school. Dylan had three to four close male friends, who they named as Zach Heckler, Nathan Dykeman, and Eric Harris. The Klebolds also said that Dylan had mentioned Chris Morris' name, however, they don't believe that he had ever been at their house. He also mentioned Dylan was involved in the Fantasy Baseball League with Kristin Theibault, and others who had been at the Klebold's residence. Mr. Klebold said that Dylan was very involved in the Fantasy Baseball League on the Internet and stated that he had a pretty organized web site regarding that. Mr. Klebold said that Dylan would pick players and they would draft different players and they had played for several years. The Klebolds also advised that Dylan was involved in playing Midnight Bowling at Fun-Plex and would play every few weeks with his group of friends.
The Klebolds indicated that they have an older son, Byron, who moved out two and a half years ago and lives in Aurora with a male roommate. They provided his phone number of (blacked out).
Mr. Klebold advised that the transition from Governor's Ranch Elementary to Ken Caryl Junior High could be described as from "cradle to reality." Mr. Klebold said that Dylan was sheltered at his classes at Governor's Ranch. The Klebold's perspective in that Dylan semmed well adjusted. Mrs. Klebold then stated the only time she ever saw Dylan cry was once when he came home from school and went to his bedroom. Dylan then took a box of stuffed toys from the closet and buried himself and fell asleep underneath the stuffed toys. Mrs. Klebold said that she checked on what the problem was, however, Dylan would never tell her what had caused him to cry. The Klebolds indicated that they monitored everything about Dylan and Mr. Klebold said that based on his own experience, Dylan seemed normal. Mr. Klebold went on to state that he asked Dylan in the past if people were picking on him and Dylan would tell him no, and would point out that he was 6'4" so people wouldn't pick on him, however, Dylan did indicate that people picked on Eric (Harris).
When asked about the relationship between Dylan and Eric, Mr. Klebold indicated that Eric Harris was a "best friend, but not the only friend." When asked where Eric and Dylan spent most of their time, the Klebolds indicated that Eric did not spend very much time at the Klebold residence and that Dylan sometimes spent the night at Eric Harris' house, as well as others. The Klebolds said that even though Dylan spent evenings at different friend's houses, he always attended to his homework. The Klebolds also indicated that he knows that Dylan and his friends socialized on the computer and would play different computer games via the internet. When asked about Dylan's friends, the Klebolds indicated that they struck them as happy and healthy and that there was a lot of laughter between Dylan and his friends and that they would watch movies and other activities. The Klebolds indicated that Dylan's friends were always nice and polite to them and indicated that they all seemed like laid back kids without social pressures. The Klebolds indicated that Dylan seemed to like the way that he looked and seemed comfortable in talking to anyone. The Klebolds described Dylan's friends, Nate and Zach, as extroverts and Mrs. Klebold said that she had never met Chris (Morris). Mr. Klebold said that he had met Chris and described him as "serious." The Klebolds said that Eric Harris was quieter and they never felt that they knew him very well, however, he was always respectful. The Klebolds said that Dylan had sleep overs at all of the different boys' homes and Klebold said that it sometimes happened every other weekend. Mrs. Klebold said that she believed it was closer to once a month that Dylan slept at one of his friend's house.
When asked specifically about a friend of Dylan's by the name of Joe, the Klebolds indicated that they have a vague recollection and thought that there may be an association with Black Jack Pizza. When asked about Brooks Brown, the Klebolds indicated that Brooks was a friend of Dylan's and Mrs. Klebold indicated that she and Brooks' mother are friends. They also indicated that Brooks used to have a band and that Dylan played the drums in that band. The Klebolds said that Brooks got out the Chips program in the sixth grade and after that Brooks and Dylan were more acquaintances than friends. The Klebolds said that Brooks had his own circle of friends, however, at some point in the last couple of years Brooks and Dylan had become closer. In fact, Brooks and Dylan discussed possibly writing a play together sometime last year. Mrs. Klebold said that she knew that Judy Brown had problems with Eric Harris and knows that there was some sort of a conflict over a snowball being thrown. Mrs. Klebold said that she did not know about the web site information and didn't know about any threats that were allegedly made by Eric Harris against Brooks Brown. Mrs. Klebold said that she does know that Judy Brown did not like Eric Harris, however, she indicated that "Judy doesn't like a lot of people." Mrs. Klebold said that Dylan did mention that there was a problem between Eric and Brooks, however, Dylan liked both of them. Dylan indicated that he was going to stay out of the conflict. The Klebold's thought that this was a normal range of adolescent behavior. The Klebolds also indicated that Nate and Zach wanted the same girl a few months ago and now they're not talking, indicating that this is also within that normal range of adolescent behavior. Mrs. Klebold said that Dylan was tolerant, even tempered, and never talked back.
Mr. Klebold indicated that he and his son, Dylan, did lots of things together and talked a lot. Mr. Klebold indicated that they played sports together and that they also worked on Dylan's car together and built speakers for the car. Mr. Klebold indicated that Dylan also built his own computer and they played chess together. Mr. Klebold said that he got rheumatoid arthritis approximately three years ago and so he had to quit playing sports with his son. Mr. Klebold said that Dylan was a typical adolescent and would have one word answers at times.
Mr. Klebold indicated that he is a geo physical consultant and that he contracts for independent oil and gas companies. Mr. Klebold said that he is often out of the house, however, he has been home a lot in the last year. Mr. Klebold also indicated that he and his wife have purchased income properties to fix up, however, indicated that Dylan did not like to help in the repairs of their rental properties.
Mrs. Klebold indicated that she has worked for 20 years in higher education and that she started as a tutor, became a lab assistant and worked in a GED lab. Mrs. Klebold said that since September of 1997 she trains people with disabilities.
The Klebold's indicated that they have Rockies season tickets, which they split between four families. Mr. Klebold said that usually he and one of his sons will attend these games. When asked how long they have loved on (blacked out) street, they indicated that they had been there 10 years. The Klebold's indicated that they would drive down to school when Dylan went to elementary and junior high school and then he would drive himself to Columbine High School. When asked about what Dylan's dreams were for the future, they indicated that he wanted to be a computer science major and had been accepted at the University of Arizona. The Klebolds said that they had just gone on a four-day trip to the University of Arizona so that Dylan could pick out his dorm room. The Klebold's indicated that Dylan would not like to dwell on decisions and he appeared to feel comfortable with his decision of going to the University of Arizona.
The Klebold's indicated that there was a lot of involvement in Dylan's life, the last month of his life, however, over Passover, he seemed a bit sadder.
When asked about Dylan's room and any wall decorations, the Klebold's indicated that they never saw anything unusual in Dylan's room and thought that it was normal for a 17 or 18 year old boy. The Klebold's said that Dylan had a Nine Inch Nails poster and another poster of a woman in a leopard bikini. The Klebold's said that Dylan also had three sports pictures regarding baseball and also had some street signs. Mrs. Klebold indicated that Dylan had a poster of Marilyn Manson and that she asked him about it, and in particular asked him what it meant. Dylan had told her that it didn't mean anything and that he didn't really listen to lyrics of Marilyn Manson music, however, did listen to the music. The Klebold's indicated that Dylan liked Techno music, which Mr. Klebold described as "machine made music." In particular, Dylan liked Ramstien and KMFDM. The Klebold's said that Dylan was learning how to make decisions and they would let him make those decisions if he would explain himself and articulate why he was making the decisions he was making. The Klebold's indicated this was an example of Dylan becoming an adult.
When asked about guns, the Klebold's indicated that Dylan did have a BB gun when he was 10 to 11 years old. Dylan also had a hunting knife and he once had throwing knives when he was a child. Mr. Klebold said that he was anti-gun and anti-concealed weapons permit and said he never saw any fascination of guns from Dylan. Mr. Klebold said that his children knew that he was anti-violent and anti-gun. When asked about whether or not Dylan knew the German language, the Klebold's indicated that Dylan took French for three years and German in the fifth grade, however, did not know of any particular fascination with the German language.
The Klebold's indicated that their biggest shock was when Dylan and Eric were caught breaking into a car. They indicated that Dylan went into diversion and did very well with it, as did Eric Harris, and they both got out early. The Klebold's indicated that Dylan was angry when he was caught trespassing into the van and he told them that it was innocent, that the van had been parked there and the stuff that they took belonged to a company.
Sgt. West asked the Klebold's about the PVC and galvanized pipe in the garage, and Mr. Klebold indicated that he fixes his rental homes up and that there is probably parts of pipes and/or PVC in the garage.
When asked about activities that Dylan was interested in, the Klebold's indicated that Dylan and his friends liked to watch videos and that they were like normal teenagers and watched movies, such as action films and comedies. Mr. Klebold indicated that there's a lot of violence in those kinds of movies, however, he felt that these are the kinds of movies that all kids today are watching, and in particular named James Bond movies, Lethal Weapon and Matrix. When asked about the video game "Doom," the Klebold's indicated that Dylan played that game all the time. The Klebold's indicated that Dylan did not hide his playing of "Doom," from his parents and that he would play it on the computer over the phone lines.
When asked about the week proceeding April 20, the Klebold's indicated that on Friday night, April 16th, Eric Harris came over to spend the night sometime between 10 p.m. and 11 p.m. The Klebold's said that they have not seen Eric in about six months at their home previous to that. The Klebold's said that when Eric arrived at their house on Friday night he was carrying a black nylon duffle bag that was "stuffed with something." The Klebold's indicated that it was awkward for Eric to carry this and that he had to use both hands. The Klebold's said that the next morning Eric left sometime between 9 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. and that he did not have the black duffle bag with him. The Klebold's also advised that the bed did not look slept in, and so they do not know whether or not if Eric slept on the bed or on the couch. Mr. Klebold said he assumed it was a computer in the bag.
When asked about the relationship between Dylan and Eric, they advised that they did not have an impression that anyone was the leader, however, advised on occasion Eric would get mad at Dylan if he "screwed something up." When asked about Saturday and Sunday, the Klebold's advised that Saturday the 17th was prom night and that Dylan was going to the prom with Robyn Anderson. The Klebold's indicated that Robyn was in New York and did not get home Saturday until 4:30 p.m. and that Dylan may have been stressed out that Robyn was delayed getting back from New York. The Klebolds said that the limo was supposed to pick them up at 6 p.m at one of the kid's house. The Klebold's said that Robyn Anderson picked Dylan up and that when she arrived there they talked about their future plans with school and the Klebold's videotaped them leaving. The Klebold's said that Dylan and Robyn went to Bella's restaurant in downtown and that there was a total of 12 people in the limo. The Klebold's said that Eric Harris did not have a date for the prom, but did go after the prom. Mrs. Klebold said that Dylan arrived home from the prom at about 3 a.m. on Sunday morning and she asked him how the prom was. Dylan then showed his mother a flask of Schnapps, however, told her that he did not drink but a little bit. Dylan indicated that the rest of the group was going to breakfast, however, he was tired and he was just going to go to bed.
The Klebold's said that on Sunday they believed that Dylan slept late because he had gotten home so late. Mr. Klebold said that he thought that Dylan was going to be going over to Eric's, however, he is not sure. Mrs. Klebold did say that they were home all weekend long and indicated that they normally have dinner together as a family on Sunday nights, however, cannot remember if they actually did have dinner together on Sunday the 18th.
Sgt. West asked the Klebold's if they ever saw the black duffle bag again, and Mr. Klebold said that they did not see it again, nor did they look for it. Mr. Klebold said that the last time he was in Dylan's room was approximately two weeks prior to the 20th and that it was to turn off the computer which had been left on. Mr. Klebold said he didn't go up to Dylan's room that much. Mr. Klebold said he did not believe that Dylan hung out with any kids that they didn't approve of, otherwise they would not have allowed him to hang out with those types of kids.
When asked specifically about April 20th, the Klebold's indicated that Dylan had bowling on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday mornings and therefore would have had a bowling class at 6 a.m. The Klebold's said that they heard Dylan get up and heard him leave the house at about 5:30 a.m on April 20th. They Klebold's said that they did not actually see him leave, but rather heard him yell out "Bye'', and then heard him leave the residence. Mr. Klebold said that he was home all day long and did not see Dylan again.
Mr. Klebold indicated that on April 20th, between 11:30 a.m and noon, Nate Dykeman called him on the telephone at his residence. Nate asked Mr. Klebold if Dylan was there and Mr. Klebold said that Dylan was in school. Mr. Klebold said that Nate said he did not want to worry him, however, there had been a shooting at the school and there had been descriptions of the shooters wearing trench coats. Nate also told Mr. Klebold that Dylan was not in his class and that he was trying to account for all of the people that he knows who wears trench coats. Mr. Klebold said it was a warm day and that he didn't think Dylan would need the trench coat, however, he could not find it in his room. Mr. Klebold said that he then turned on his television and called his wife, who also came home. Mr. Klebold said he then called a family lawyer and said that Dylan may be involved in something at the school. When asked about the "Trench Coat Mafia," Mr. Klebold said that he heard Dylan mention the "Trench Coat Mafia,"
and he advised that Dylan told him that the "jocks" called him and his friends that. Mr. Klebold said that Dylan was kind of amused by the name that the "jocks" had given him.
Mr. Klebold said that he also called his son Byron on April 20th as well as Stephanie who rents their pool house. Mr. Klebold said that Judy Brown also showed up at their residence shortly after that the police showed up at the residence. Mr. Klebold said that a Lakewood detective questioned them in a squad car for a short period and then a search was conducted on the residence.
The Klebold's then advised that on Monday, April 19th, Dylan said that he was going to go to dinner with Eric and some friends at the Outback restaurant. Dylan indicated that Eric had coupons and that it was also Eric's favorite restaurant. The Klebold's said that Dylan left sometime between 6 and 7 p.m. and got home sometime later that night. Mrs. Klebold said she asked Dylan if he had a good time and he said yes and indicated he had steak for dinner.
We then asked the Klebold's if they had any questions of us, and Mr. Klebold advised that he would like to get a copy of anything that was on the computer or any diary that Dylan may have left. The Klebolds indicated they would like to know about any writings by Dylan to help them understand what had happened on April 20th.
Mr. Klebold also indicated that he noticed that Dylan's voice was "tight" on Friday, April 16th. Mr. Klebold said that he made a mental note to talk to Dylan about this and believes that he may have even mentioned his concern to his pastor. Mr. Klebold said that he did not have a chance to talk to Dylan prior to April 20th.
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