Secrets of Columbine

Well, at least two secrets of Columbine.

I will be speaking on Sunday at a Colorado Authors book festival in Denver (free admission). They have given us each six minutes to speak before answering questions, and selling and signing books. Speaking for myself, while it will only be six minutes, it will be a good six minutes.

I'll talk about the first days covering Columbine, and what set me on the road to writing the definitive book on the shootings, Columbine: A True Crime Story (Ghost Road Press, 2009). I'll also be talking about a couple of the exclusives in the book, and how I uncovered them. Sometimes it's a question of good reporting or an innovative approach, such as obtaining the college essay of killer Dylan Klebold.

"During my sophomore year and junior years, I had trouble keeping a high G.P.A.," Klebold wrote to the University of Arizona about three months before the shootings. "This was partially a result of my hanging out with the wrong crowd; not caring about my future. It took me a long time to finally realize that the decisions I was making would affect me for the rest of my life."

Sometimes, it's simply calling someone up and asking the right questions. That helped get the psychological profile featuring Klebold's mom that was published under a pseudonym long before the shootings. Psychiatrist Hugh Missildine quoted her as saying, "I think the fear of death will always be there. I wish I could turn off this part of my mind."

Colorado Authors Program.

1 p.m., Sunday, October 23.

JCC (Jewish Community Center) at Phillips Social Hall. 350 S. Dahlia St. Denver, CO 80246

Phone: (303) 316-6360