The Twenty-Year Itch

U.S. District Judge Lewis Babcock has spoken. The privacy rights of the parents of two mass murderers outweigh any public interest in learning about the home life of the killers — not to mention the families' dealings with school officials and law enforcement over the escalating bad behavior of the Columbine shooters.

So the depositions of the parents of Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold will remain sealed for twenty years, Babcock ruled.

That's two-oh. Twenty large.

Here's the bright side: four years ago, a magistrate was pushing to destroy the documents, which arose from lawsuits filed by families of Columbine victims. Now there's at least a shot that their descendants might get a glimpse of these files down the road.

For more about what's at stake in the hush-hush depos, see previous coverage here and here.

The decision might be appealed, but don't expect any more Columbine revelations on the immediate horizon. The facts have come out in dripping-slow fashion, years after the people most likely to be embarrassed by them — cops, school brass, district attorneys — have slipped away under cover of night. The lawsuits are long over, but the truth about the nation's deadliest high school shooting is still lawyered up. —Alan Prendergast

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Joel Warner is a former staff writer for Westword and International Business Times. He's also written for WIRED, Men's Journal, Men's Health, Bloomberg Businessweek, Popular Science, Slate, Grantland and many other publications. He's co-author of the 2014 book The Humor Code: A Global Search for What Makes Things Funny, published by Simon & Schuster.
Contact: Joel Warner