Research Paper On Eric Harris Columbine Shooting

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April 20, 1999 marks one of the most memorable tragedies in U.S. history. Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris carried out their plan, prepared a year in advance, to take out their fellow classmates and staff members at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado. The shooting spree left 15 people dead and 21 others wounded, some critically. After the massacre, many were left with the question of why somebody would do such a thing. How could someone even think to do something so monstrous? The answer to that, in Eric’s case, is that he does not think like an average person. His brain is not wired the same, because he is a diagnosed psychopath. Eric Harris, a shooter in the 1999 Columbine High School Massacre, was a manipulative psychopath, who …show more content…

“Psychopaths appear charming, likable, but it’s an act. They are coldhearted manipulators who will do anything for their gain” (Cullen 200). Eric was incredibly smart when it came to reading people. He used this to get away with whatever he wanted. “Psychopaths attempt to, and often succeed, in manipulating mental health professionals” (Cullen 275). In his Diversion and therapy sessions, he used manipulation to make it appear that he was growing and maturing. He would admit to some things, such as trying alcohol but disliking it. This gave more credibility to his other lies, such as when he said Zoloft was not doing enough and his doctor switched him to Luvox. This made it appear that he was trying to control his anger issues. Eric understood what empathy looked like, and used this knowledge to get away with his crimes and misbehavior. When writing an apology letter to the victim of the van break-in, Eric made it appear as though he was sorry for his actions. He wrote that if he were the victim, he would feel haunted by the invasion of his personal items and that he was extremely sorry. However, after writing the letter, he wrote in his journal about how ridiculous it was that he got in trouble for breaking into a van left in the middle of nowhere. Eric’s use of manipulation in virtually every aspect of his life provides hefty evidence that he was a …show more content…

It is important to understand that at the time of the Columbine shooting, psychopathy was just beginning to be studied, primarily in adults. While many teenagers may go through a period of rebellion and misbehavior, Eric Harris’s actions were an extremity. Dr. Frank Ochberg describes the big indicators of a psychopath being a lack of empathy, guilt, and remorse (Stenson 3), which is displayed through various accounts of Harris’s life. Although many professionals do not like to diagnose children as psychopaths the large amount of evidence on Eric Harris’s motives, relationships, and activity points highly to a full-fledged

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