Dave Cullen Dave's Comments (member since Jun 01, 2009)

Dave's comments from the Q&A with Dave Cullen group.

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Aug 09, 2010 02:02PM

19522 I have created several videos about the book for classes and book clubs:


I just relaunched the book trailer on youtube. It provides a concise summary of the book and killers in 3 minutes:

Apr 20, 2010 10:06AM

19522 Last year I didn't write a piece on the tenth anniversary, because it was a little overwhelming, and didn't feel up to capturing it all. So today, I'm aiming more modestly.

I have made so many friends in the Columbine community over the last eleven years. There are some extraordinary people out there, and it is one of the great pleasures of my job to get to know them. I'm thinking about you all today. I'm picturing your faces right now.

It's a rough time every year for some of the survivors, and others stopped even paying attention. (I consider everyone who lived through it a survivor, even if someone close to them did not make it--you did.) I wish each of you well.

I think the biggest thing I learned about grief and recovery is that everyone handles it differently--radically differently--and everyone has their own pace. The most frustrating thing we can do for those guys is to try to force them onto some schedule in our heads, or try to make them conform to what we think they should be thinking, feeling or doing. They want to be left to work it out themselves.

Good luck this week folks.
Mar 01, 2010 04:15PM

19522 The paperback edition rolls out this week, and I just posted this:

"How to launch a paperback? My expanded edition of COLUMBINE"

Feb 25, 2010 09:46PM

19522 Today I published this on The Daily Beast:

"The Last Columbine Mystery"--Eric's parents speak.


It's adapted from one part of the Afterword in expanded paperback edition of COLUMBINE (which will be in most bookstores by Monday).

The Afterword is mainly about "Forgiveness"--in quotes, because some of the people involved dislike the term: and how you label it is essential to how you deal with it.

Two families actually met both the Harrises and the Klebolds. I tell Linda Mauser's story in the Daily Beast piece, but Bob Curnow also met with both and had a completely different reaction.
Jan 12, 2010 12:02AM

19522 (Whoops. I was responding to an old question. But maybe it's still useful, so I'll leave it.)

I'm reading Faulkner's Light In August now. I only seem to find time for it on planes. But it's amazing.
Jan 12, 2010 12:00AM

19522 Ed, I actually used the Denver library countless times researching the book, and it was a very busy place, but somehow I still wondered how many people were reading books there. (vs. researching, etc.)

I was stunned by how many readers I had this year through libraries. They are a wonderful gift to readers and writers. Mostly, I want readers. Libraries open the boundaries wide.
Jan 07, 2010 12:11PM

19522 Wow, that's really generous, Martha. Thanks. I have really found Goodreads to be a welcoming place.
Jan 06, 2010 11:43AM

19522 Hey, Columbine won the Goodreads Choice Award!

Thank you so much to everyone that voted. This made me very happy.
Dec 03, 2009 10:22PM

19522 Goodreads nominated me for "Favorite NONFICTION book of 2009." That made me very happy. If you liked the book, please consider voting for it here:


My category is #3.

Your votes determine the winners.
Sep 22, 2009 12:59AM

19522 I'm back on book tour for COLUMBINE starting this morning (Tuesday).

I'll be in Longmont, CO at 11:30 a.m., then LA (Northridge and West Hollywood) Wed/Th, and an editor's conference in Portland Saturday. (Thursday night is at Book Soup in WeHo.)

Oct. 3, I have a homecoming event to my hometown of Elk Grove Village outside Chicago, just before my high school reunion.

Later in October I'm doing the Texas Book Festival, the Southern Book Festival and Grand Rapids' library festival, and a school safety conference in Indiana.

All the tour details are here (and you can see the book trailer there, too):


If you come, take pictures and post them on facebook and twitter, and send to me and I'll add to my tour-pictures page:

Aug 23, 2009 07:13PM

19522 Gary, I cover a whole lot about psychopaths in the book. The current research indicates that they most likely are born that way, or at least with a strong predisposition. But we don't know.

Unfortunately, they have proven nearly impossible to have their thinking turned around. They enjoy a lot of the way they are.
Aug 22, 2009 10:57AM

19522 Cleckley saw a strong association with psychopaths when he wrote The Mask of Sanity way back in the 30s. But there is a big question of cause and effect, with alcohol looking much more like effect.

I did not seem it come up as a major factor in the later literature. Certainly, there is no evidence that taking away substances cures psychopathy: no cure, and no treatment has been found, except for one recent study which showed promise.

Gary, from what you have written here, I doubt the teens were psychopaths.

I also think it's important to look at this case from two angles: 1) the history of behavior among people with similar mental conditions (psychopathy and angry depression), and 2) the particulars of these two boys.

#1 tells us a great deal, because people with each condition do act similarly in many respects. More importantly, it opens a great window to understand WHY these people tend to act a certain way. We'll never understand them without the vast research that's already been performed that allows us to see unmistakable patterns.

But you can't start and end with #1. that's only a framework. Each person is unique. You start with the general and work your way through the massive evidence left behind on them as individuals.

When I look at #2, I see no evidence of drugs or alcohol playing any significant role. Whether or not lots of boys are affected by them is not really germane to this case. That reality raises the issue that we should look at it in this case, but no more.
Aug 21, 2009 12:00PM

19522 Gary wrote: "These boys drug use didn't seem to be a major factor in the book but I believe it was. In fact, the tragedy would not have happened but for the drug use."

Gary, what makes you think that? I saw no evidence of it whatsoever.

And do you mean Eric's Luvox, or the drinking and using pot? Eric rarely drank or used pot. Dylan did seem to drink quite a bit.

I would agree more with Jennifer, though I don't know what the cops would actually have found. (We can never know whether Eric had any pipe bombs at the time. At most there would have likely been a few, as he had not yet started production for several months.) Also, unless Eric was put away for good--unlikely--we probably would have just delayed the problem.

That's the problem with psychopaths. Until we come up with an effective treatment, we are powerless against them. Where is that research money?
Aug 21, 2009 11:59AM

19522 Alias Reader wrote: "Hi Dave, I thought Columbine was well written and extensively researched. You bring some light and understanding to a tragedy that left a nation shaking it's collective head in pain and confusion..."

Thanks, Alias. Numbered footnotes definitely help a scholarly reader or a really diligent reader who wants to check into each item, but they really get in the way and annoy most readers. They also set a certain tone--that this is like a thesis or research paper--which is at odds with what I wanted to do of immersing the reader into the story, and transporting you away. It's a tradeoff, but for this type of book I would never want to go the footnote route.

Similar with photographs: please see the discussion on it and diagrams above. It was not a matter of expense--it was my choice.

I'm unsympathetic to Eric because he knew right from wrong and enjoyed making people suffer and die.

Yes, Mr. D has worked very hard to create a positive environment in the school, including bullying.

I don't know what went on in Dr. Albert's sessions, so I can't assess what he should have foreseen.

Ned Harris was someone's slightly jumbled version in the chaos: they got one name right, not the other.

Aug 11, 2009 10:13AM

19522 Thanks, Darlene and Eve.

I'm glad you got to the book, and this discussion.

I had similar feelings as I discovered what happened over the years. At first I was stunned, then angry, then just hungry to unravel more. It was such a relief to get to a point where it started to make sense. There are still bits that frustrate and/or puzzle me, but I really do feel like I understand it and them now. I hope you did when you finished.
Aug 01, 2009 06:46PM

19522 Thanks, Stephen.

BTW, former Newsweek corespondent Michael Hastings just published an in-depth interview with me about the book:

Jul 10, 2009 10:31PM

19522 FYI, I finally, very belatedly, started a "Columbine" page on Facebook, dedicated to the book. (Technically, a friend finally did it for me, and I just accepted his work.)

If you're on Facebook, clicking on it and adding yourself as a friend would be great:


(I think more fans will mean more people will find it on facebook searches. That's the goal: connecting with people who might be interested in the book, but are unaware of it. There is so much out there. Finding ways to connect is the hard part.)

Jul 10, 2009 10:28PM

19522 Catherine wrote: "Dave, let me ease your mind about the longevity of books in libraries. I'm a librarian and can tell you that your book will likely remain on many library shelves for years; perhaps decades...."

Man, I love the sound of that. That's really the bottom line: getting the book to readers. It's hard to keep books in print these days, so I don't know how long it will be on bookstore shelves for people to find, but it can live on in libraries. Thank God for libraries.

Thank you. I've been wondering how that works.
Jun 30, 2009 10:02PM

19522 Chris wrote: "Dave,

I just finished your excellent book today and I have a feeling it is going to haunt me for a while. I don't have any questions for you but I do want to encourage you to keep writing, whethe..."

Thanks, Chris. I do hope to keep writing the rest of my life, but I sure appreciate the encouragement. I love it, but it can be a rough life, too. (Are there any untormented writers out there? hahaha.) The outpouring of love here and elsewhere has definitely kept me going, and I expect to draw on it for years to come.

Jun 30, 2009 10:00PM

19522 Shira wrote: "
In page 40, you describe how exactly Dylan's calls out "Bye" and shuts the door.
It might sound stupid, but - well, I was just wondering... how can you tell such a small detail? "

Hi Shira. Your English if fine. That detail came from his parents, who he called out the "bye" to. They told police investigators. I have no reason to doubt them on such an innocuous detail, nor did investigators. (I went over the manuscript page with Kate Battan.)

On p. 366 in the endnotes, I listed the various sources for the killers' activities that day.

Thanks for the nice words. Why do you feel Eric was not a charmer?
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