Columbine killer's parents, Tom and Sue Klebold, interviewed in new book on parenting

A new book about how children are different from their parents includes an interview with the parents of one of the Columbine shooters.

The book is called "Far from the Tree" and it was written by Andrew Solomon.

While the book includes interviews with hundreds of families dealing with children with autism, down syndrome, mental illness and other diseases, it also includes interviews with parents who children have committed terrible crimes.

Solomon said he came to Colorado several times and met with Tom and Sue Klebold. The Klebold's son, Dylan, and his friend Eric Harris, killed 12 students and a teacher at Columbine High School in 1999 before killing themselves.

"I thought if I got to know them, I would understand why this had happened and I would detect whatever was off in their household," Solomon said in a televised interview. "I think his parents had absolutely no idea. I think if they had known, they would have done something about it."

The Klebolds are 10 pages out of nearly 1,000 pages in the book, according to NBC News, but the book came as a surprise to some of the Columbine victims' families.

"I didn't know about it until this morning," said Coni Sanders, the daughter of teacher Dave Sanders, who died at Columbine.

Sanders said she is trying to look at this as a positive thing, that is hopefully going to help people, rather than an expose on Columbine.

"I am hoping it helps," said Sanders. "That the purpose of this is to parent better."

Sanders, now a family therapist who occasionally works with criminals, said she plans to read the book.

However, she has one concern.

"It does bother me that they may have made money on this," Sanders said.

Some of what Sue Klebold said may surprise Sanders.

"Sue said to me, 'Once I understood that it was actually Dylan that was doing this [the shooting], I had to pray  that he got killed before he hurt any other people,'" said Solomon.

Klebold also told Solomon that if she could talk to her son, she would ask him to forgive her for being his mother and never knowing what was going on inside his head.

"I really genuinely think they had no clue," Solomon said.

Print this article Back to Top