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Living with a son’s terrible legacy: Susan Klebold

On April 20, 1999, Susan Klebold's 17-year-old son, Dylan, and his friend Eric Harris gleefully shot 13 people to death at Colorado’s Columbine High School before killing themselves.

Susan Klebold raised a mass murderer. On April 20, 1999, her 17-year-old son, Dylan, and his friend Eric Harris gleefully shot 13 people to death at Colorado’s Columbine High School before killing themselves. She’d seen no sign of Dylan’s despair and rage, shetells O magazine, and facing what he’d done left her “nearly insane with sorrow. I often wished that I would die. I got lost while driving. I’d sit through meetings without the slightest idea of what was being said.” For many in her community, she was a pariah. “I was widely viewed as a perpetrator, or at least an accomplice since I was the person who had raised a ‘monster.’ Our elected officials stated publicly that bad parenting was the cause of the massacre.” Klebold wondered obsessively that if she had somehow raised Dylan differently, disaster could have been averted. “Had I been too strict? Not strict enough? Had I pushed too hard, or not hard enough?” It’s now 10 years after Columbine, and Klebold has no answers; she knows only that her son was angry, depressed, and suicidal, and too proud to seek help. “For the rest of my life, I will be haunted by the horror and anguish Dylan caused.”

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