Basalt High schoolers' plan to beat, kidnap, starve teen breaks on Columbine anniversary

Each anniversary of the April 20, 1999 Columbine High massacre seems to bring disturbing new events -- like Earl Moore's attempted bombing of a nearby mall. This year's shocking tie-in: An announcement that a Basalt High student had been busted for an alleged plan to kidnap, beat and starve another teen.

According to the Aspen Times, the mastermind of the plot is thought to have been a fifteen year old, who joined a trio of accomplices of similar ages in working out the scheme. They're considered to be part of a gang, their intended victim a gang rival.

The idea, local police say, was to coax a thus-far unidentified eighteen year old previously expelled from the school to Arbaney Park. Here's a look at a hand-drawn map of the area, which is dominated by Basalt Middle School, denoted by the initials "B.M.S.;" as pointed out by the Aspen Daily News, there's a scrawl in the lower right-hand corner that reads, "Hit spot."

Once the victim was in place, police believe the perpetrators meant to menace him with Airsoft pistols painted black to make them look more realistic and beat him with baseball bats. Once he was subdued, his limbs would have been immobilized by duct tape for transport to the rugged land near Ruedi Reservoir. Then he would have been left in the woods, where he'd have starved to death.

According to police, the plan came to light earlier this week after the parents of one student involved in the machinations found a map. Their suspicion: It pertained to a drug deal. But a school resource officer reportedly discovered that the real purpose was far darker -- and police maintain that one of the students spilled the details during interviews this past Wednesday.

No formal charges have been filed at this writing, nor has any decision been made about whether the suspects will be treated as juveniles or adults. In the meantime, yet another Columbine anniversary has brought ill tidings.

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More from our Colorado Crimes archive: "Columbine on TV: The five most convoluted school shooting episodes."

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
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