Former Rocky Mountain News reporter Jeff Kass is the author of the other book about Columbine -- and while his effort, Columbine: A True Crime Story, has received only modest attention on a national level, he feels his account has much to recommend it over Columbine, local journalist Dave Cullen's better-known tome. He'll deliver this message in person locally, during a 6 p.m. Thursday, June 4 event at Campo de Fiori restaurant, at 300 Fillmore (call 303-377-7887 for details), as well as during an upcoming tour of other communities where school shootings took place: Blackburg, Virginia, Paducah, Kentucky, Jonesboro, Arkansas and Pearl, Mississippi.
To learn more about the concept behind the tour, which Kass hinted at in the Westword blog linked above, click "Continue."
Jeff Kass book tour press release:
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An unusual book tour. A town hall meeting. A journey through some of America's most well-known school shootings.
Jeff Kass, author of Columbine: A True Crime Story: A victim, the killers and the nation's search for answers (Ghost Road Press 2009) is translating his book of investigative journalism into an on-the-ground exploration of America's school shootings.
Columbine: A True Crime Story was released in March, just before the 10-year anniversary of the April 20, 1999 shootings. His book is the most definitive portrait yet of the killers, their families, and the common denominators among school shooters across the country. It has been featured in the Associated Press, CNN.com, Denver Post, Fox News, MSNBC, NBC Nightly News, New York Times, USA Today, and the Wall Street Journal.
"The emotions of Columbine reach around the globe: it is the world's most iconic school shooting," says Kass, 40, who lives in Denver. "But when it comes to tragedy, geography is destiny. Those who live closest to the sites of school shootings are among the hardest hit -- and also the most inspired to improve their communities.
"After 10 years of writing about Columbine and other school shootings, I have been exposed to these emotions and also think I have found some answers behind school shootings. People across the country will add to the discussion -- and maybe contradict me -- but the heart of the tour is meeting with those at the ground zeros of school shootings."
The final stop in Houston has special significance. Kass will reunite with the Shoels family, who he chronicles in the book and who moved to Texas after their son Isaiah was killed at Columbine. The tour includes:
*Blacksburg, VA: Christiansburg Barnes & Noble -- Monday, June 15 from 7 to 9 pm
*Paducah, KY: McCracken County Library -- Thursday, June 18 from noon to 1:30 pm
*Jonesboro, AK: Barnes & Noble -- Friday, June 19 starts at 5 pm
*Pearl, MS: Ridgeland Barnes & Noble -- Saturday, June 20 starts at 4 pm
Houston, TX: Galleria Barnes & Noble -- Saturday, June 27 from 2 to 4 pm
*Denotes an area at or near the site of a school shooting.
Kass worked at the Rocky Mountain News for 10 years; the paper shut down one month before his book release. He covered Columbine and national stories out of the West for the News, Boston Globe, Christian Science Monitor, Newsday, and US News & World Report.