Susan Klebold speaks

Susan Klebold, mother of Columbine High School killer Dylan Klebold, has finally, after all these years, decided to speak publicly about her son and the events of 4.20.99. She doesn’t give us anything like the understanding we might want – I doubt such a thing is possible – but it’s interesting nonetheless.

Read it here.


  • Wow. I’ll never forget that day and my AA charging out of the office in a bawling panic because she had a child at Columbine.

    I can’t imagine what the parents of both the victims and the perpetrators must feel.

    Thanks for linking this.

  • I think I believed that if I loved someone as deeply as I loved him, I would know if he were in trouble. My maternal instincts would keep him safe. But I didn’t know. And my instincts weren’t enough. And the fact that I never saw tragedy coming is still almost inconceivable to me.

    Many (most?) teenagers have an impenetrable space within them. Even those who seem like an open book.

  • It was a provoking read, and one which should make it difficult to frame either son or mother as monsters.

    I wonder when Oprah will publish a similar essay written by the mother of a suicide bomber in Afghanistan or Pakistan. I know, i know, that’s different because those people are neither white nor nominally Christian.

  • Lex,

    I think there’s one more difference: many mothers of suicide bombers are quite proud of their children and what they’ve done. That doesn’t mean all, but I have seen short TV interviews with parents of bombers, including mothers, who expressed pride. Having been brought up by a mother somewhat like that, this doesn’t surprise me at all and makes it clear that this sort of pride, whether it be of a suicide bomber, kamikaze pilot, or US pilot who drops a bomb in the middle of a wedding party, is not specific to cultures.


    Not a fan of Oprah. Also not a fan of judging before researching.

  • J.S.,

    Indeed, and that most certainly represents a deeper societal psychosis. And without a doubt, those thought patterns are found across religions and nationalities. I would imagine, given how intensely personal and emotional these situations are, that the reaction of mothers varies quite a bit. While some feel pride, i wonder how often that pride comes out of anger? I also wonder how many of them don’t feel pride, but feel a lot like Susan Klebold. And my point was that we’re unlikely to hear stories like that because it upsets the current “fight the evil doers” narrative.


    That article was not, by any stretch of the imagination, the same as the Klebold article. That article makes the female suicide bomber look like a victim of others’ whims (particularly the finding about coercion). Furthermore, that article is within the context of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict which has many sympathizers on the Palestinian side here in the US.

    Most importantly, my comment was phrased (though i see that i forgot the punctuation) as a question, “I wonder when…” I also specified a conflict. So, even considering my snark, i don’t see how i judged before researching since i didn’t judge at all.

  • Lex,

    You’re right. I don’t know how I could have interpreted “that’s different… neither white nor nominally Christian” as a commentary on the possible biases of a Western media outlet. Crazy. And I didn’t even make sure the piece took place in Afghanistan or Pakistan, so hey. Right again.

    As for content, an examination of the emotional state of a teenager who, under the influence of a much stronger personality, is willing to commit suicide and mass murder… oh, right. It wasn’t written by her mother. Nothing at all in common with the Klebold piece. Sorry I misunderstood.

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