Nearly 15 years ago, on April 20, 1999, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold murdered 12 of their fellow students and a teacher at Columbine, their high school in suburban Denver. Then they turned their guns on themselves. It was not the first and was hardly the last school massacre in American history, but it was among the most lethal, and it lent itself to misinformation and mythologizing.
Dave Cullen, a journalist and writer, spent a decade researching and writing the definitive story of an American tragedy that continues to haunt our schools and society. Cullen will present Lessons of Columbine on March 9 at Elmhurst College.
Throughout his research into the Columbine shooting, Dave Cullen was driven by two particular questions: Why did Harris and Klebold kill, and what became of the survivors? The surprise was that most of what we think we “know” is wrong: It wasn’t about jocks, goths or the Trenchcoat Mafia. The killers didn’t even see themselves as school shooters: Their primary focus was on bombs, including the one they brought into the Columbine cafeteria that never went off.
Columbine won the Edgar Award, the Barnes & Noble Discover Award, the Goodreads Choice Award and several others. It spent 13 weeks on the New York Times best-seller list, and also was declared the Top Education Book of 2009 by the American School Board Journal.
Cullen has written for Buzzfeed, Times of London, Newsweek, The Guardian, The Washington Post, Slate, Salon and The Daily Beast. A frequent television analyst, he has appeared on Today, Katie, NBC Nightly News, PBS Newshour, CBS This Morning, Anderson Cooper 360, The Rachel Maddow Show, Hannity, Talk of the Nation and many other programs.
Cullen’s talk will begin at 7:00 p.m. on Sunday, March 9, in Hammerschmidt Memorial Chapel. A book signing will follow the lecture. Admission is $10 for the general public and free for Elmhurst College students, faculty, staff and alumni.
Tickets are available online or at the door. For more information, call (630) 617-3390.