Prior to the shooting Eric and Dylan used their school’s camcorder for hours recording their plans and expressing their hatred on VHS tapes that have become known as “The Basement Tapes.” These tapes are dubbed the “Basement Tapes” due to the fact that most of the filming took place in Eric’s bedroom, which was located in the basement of the Harris home.
The tapes have never been released to the public, however, TIME magazine and the victim’s families were allowed to view them.
Below are quotes I have gathered from people who have seen the tapes (TIME Magazine, CHS Parents).
The disturbing images shocked investigators. “You look at it, and it’s like little kids playing army,” said sheriff’s Division Chief John Kiekbusch, who headed the investigation. “But then you think of the terror that went with it, and it’s sickening.”
In one of the tapes, they spent over an hour discussing their hatred for humanity and their classmates. They even named some of the students they wanted to kill.
A few minutes before 11 a.m. on April 20, 1999, Eric and Dylan make their last recording:
Eric: “I just wanted to apologize to you guys for any crap. To everyone I love, I’m really sorry about all this. I know my mom and dad will be just fucking shocked beyond belief.”
Dylan: “It’s what we had to do.”
Dylan: “Just know I’m going to a better place. I didn’t like life too much, and I know I’ll be happy wherever the fuck I go.”
Dylan: “The most deaths in U.S. history,”
While Dylan states this, Eric kisses Arlene, his shotgun he had named after a character in Doom.
Eric: “hopefully” in response to Dylan’s statement.
Dylan: “We’re hoping, we’re hoping. I hope we kill 250 of you.”
In his final days, Eric did take up with a receptionist at the Great Clips salon, but only after asking her friends at Columbine if she liked him. Four days before the killings, Eric invited her into his home, and the couple retreated to his bedroom after his parents arrived. The girl told police “she did not see anything in his room that she considered suspicious.” She was paged by her sister to return home, and Eric put his arm around her and kissed her on the cheek only as she left, the girl said. In this last video with Dylan, Eric bade farewell to the girl.
Eric: “Under different circumstances, it would have been a lot different.”
They offer the contents of their rooms to two of their friends.
Eric: “That’s it, sorry. Goodbye.”
Then Dylan shoves his face into the camera.
March 15, 1999:
This is the tape where Eric and Dylan are seen lounging around in recliners at around 1:00 a.m., drinking Jack Daniels.
Dylan: “I’m going to kill you all.”
Then Eric raises his Savage pump-action shotgun and points it at the camera.
A couple times throughout the tape, Dylan tells Eric to talk more softly.
Dylan: “Ssshh. Your mom can hear a bat breathing.”
Eric: “She hears nothing.”
Eric: “You guys will all die, and it will be fucking soon, I hope you get an idea of what we’re implying here. You all need to die. We need to die, too. We need to fucking kick-start the revolution here.”
At one point in their March 15 tape, they end their conversation to take a video tour of Eric’s room, where their arsenal was stored. Dylan carries the camera as Eric shows off their pipe bombs, guns and ammunition.
Eric: “Let me take you on a tour of my room.”
The tour begins with Eric showing off plastic gloves taken from a doctor’s office.
Eric: “They’re useful in building pipe bombs.”
They said it was a viewing of all their “illegal stuff.”
He has a poster of Pamela Anderson on one wall.
Sitting on the floor beneath some magazines is a white plastic box filled with pipe bombs and ammunition — shotgun shells and two boxes of 9 mm bullets.
As Dylan pans to the bombs, his voice becomes almost reverent
Dylan: “Beautiful. Oh my God.”
They talk about a coffee can full of gunpowder. Eric opens a drawer in his desk and pulls out a black, two-bell alarm clock and talks about using it to construct a bomb. He opens a black plastic box full of carbon-dioxide cartridges wrapped with duct tape, fuses protruding from the end of each. The tape held buckshot against the homemade grenades.
Eric opens another desk drawer, revealing a piece of the handle of one of their sawed-off shotguns. Then he pulls out a black-handled combat knife in a sheath. Hanging on a wall is a 50-foot coil of green fuse. Eric opens a CD box, showing off a receipt from Green Mountain Guns for 13 10-round clips for a 9 mm carbine rifle he later carried into Columbine. Then he pulls a CD case from a bookshelf. Behind it is hidden several large pipe bombs. The two brag about hiding their tools of death — and about the close calls along the way. Eric shows off a black tackle box with his bomb-making equipment inside. They talk openly about concocting their plan under the noses of unsuspecting parents and friends. They talk about the day Eric’s parents found the tackle box — and took only the pipe bombs out of it. They mention the time a clerk from Green Mountain Guns called his home. Wayne Harris answered the phone. “Your clips are in,” the clerk said. Wayne Harris told the clerk he hadn’t ordered any clips for a gun. But Eric said his father never asked whether the caller had the right phone number. Had someone asked questions, April 20 might have been just another day, they say.
Dylan: “We wouldn’t be able to do what we’re going to do,”
He recalls the time his parents walked into his bedroom while he was trying on his trench coat to see if it would conceal the shotgun underneath it.
Dylan: “They didn’t even know it was there,”
Eric recounts the day he was carrying a gym bag he called his “terrorist bag” through his house. His mother saw the butt of a gun sticking out of the zipper, but she assumed it was his BB gun.
At one point, Dylan backs out of the room and pretends to be Eric’s mother.
Eric waves at the camera.
Eric: “Hi, mom.”
The killers’ parents were frequent topics of some sections of the tapes.
Eric: “My parents are the best fucking parents I have ever known. My dad is great. I wish I was a fucking sociopath so I didn’t have any remorse, but I do. This is going to tear them apart. They will never forget it.”
Then, addressing his parents directly, he adds: “There is nothing you guys could have done to prevent any of this.”
Dylan says he could imagine his parents’ guilt.
Dylan: “If only we could have reached them sooner, or found this tape.”
Eric adds: “If only we would have searched their room. If only we would have asked the right questions.”
Eric talks about his mother being thoughtful, bringing him candy and Slim Jims.
Eric: “I really am sorry about all this.”
Dylan: “They gave me my fucking life, it’s up to me what I do with it.”
Dylan: “My parents might have made some mistakes that they weren’t really aware of.”
Dylan talks about his parents and how they taught him self-reliance.
Dylan: “I appreciate that.“
But just as they worry about the toll their rampage will take on their parents, they say they hope any survivors will go insane.
Eric: “I hope people have flashbacks.“
They speak at length about all the people who had wronged them.
Dylan: “You’ve given us shit for years. You’re fucking going to pay for all the shit. We don’t give a shit because we’re going to die doing it.”
They dream of the large bombs that they plan to detonate against unsuspecting students in the school cafeteria. They talk about how they hope that one day Hollywood directors will fight for the right to tell their story. They can’t decide whether Steven Spielberg or Quentin Tarantino should direct the film, according to an excerpt cited by Time.
Dylan: “I know we’re gonna have followers because we’re so fucking God-like.”
Dylan: “We’re not exactly human – we have human bodies but we’ve evolved into one step above you fucking human shit. We actually have fucking self-awareness.”
Eric: “We need a fucking kick start. If we have a fucking religious war – or oil – or anything. We need to get a chain reaction going here.
Eric: “It’s gonna be like Doom man – after the bombs explode. That fucking shotgun (he kisses a gun) straight out of Doom. Go ahead and change gun laws – how do you think we got ours?
Eric: “Shut the fuck up, Nick, you laugh too much. And those two girls sitting next to you, they probably want you to shut the fuck up, too.
Dylan: “Jesus, you’re on a roll.“
Eric: “Rachel and Jen and whatever the fuck little”
Dylan: “I don’t like you people.”
Dylan: “Rachel and Jen, you’re stuck up little bitches, you’re fucking little fucking Christianity, Godly little whores.’
Eric: “Yeah, I love Jesus, I love Jesus, shut the fuck up.
Dylan: “What would Jesus do? What would I do! Boosh! (points at camera as if holding gun).
Eric: “I would shoot you in the mother fucking head! Go Romans – Thank God they fucking crucified that asshole.”
Both: “Go Romans! Go Romans! Yeah! Whooo!”
In one tape Eric says: “Thank God my parents (didn’t) search my room. They would have found so much shit.”
Did you know?
Note: The “Rachel” mentioned in clip #1 is not Rachel Scott as we have been led to believe by the media. Eric and Dylan talk about Nick Baumgart on the tape, and a “Rachel” and “Jen” who are sitting next to him. There was only one class they had with Nick, a Rachel and a Jen: PSYCHOLOGY. Actually there were two Rachels in that class, so we’re not sure exactly which one they’re talking about. But it wasn’t Rachel Scott – they had no classes with her. Click on the image below to view the roster from this class and see for yourself:
Click the photo below to enlarge: