The mother of Columbine High School shooter Dylan Klebold is breaking her silence and speaking to the media ahead of the release of her memoir, A Mother’s Reckoning, on Monday. In an interview with ABC News’ Diane Sawyer, Sue Klebold said she had no idea there was anything wrong with her son before the 1999 attack. In fact, Klebold insists that before Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris began a shooting ramapage that killed 12 fellow students and a teacher she thought she was the kind of parent who knew her kid and would have known if something was wrong.
“Before Columbine happened, I would have been one of those parents,” Klebold said. “I think we like to believe that our love and our understanding is protective, and that ‘if anything were wrong with my kids, I would know,’ but I didn’t know, and I wasn’t able to stop him from hurting other people. I wasn’t able to stop his hurting himself and it’s very hard to live with that.”
Coming to terms with the feeling that she didn’t really know her own son was one of the most difficult aspects of the mental turmoil that followed her around after the shooting.
“Part of the shock of this was that learning that what I believed and how I lived and how I parented was an invention in my own mind. That it, it was a completely different world that he was living in.”
During the interview, Klebold also recalled how she prayed for her son’s death when she first heard of the attack.
“I remember thinking, ‘if this is true, if Dylan is really hurting people, he has to—somehow he has to be stopped.’ And at that moment, I prayed that he would die, that— ‘God, stop this, just make it stop. Don’t let him hurt anybody.’”
Although that may have been her first reaction, Klebold also told the BBC it took her a while to really accept that her son had been a cold-blooded murderer.
“What I believed, at first, was that he was involved in something that had gone terribly wrong and people were hurt and killed. But in my mind, I could not accept him as a killer… until six months later when I actually saw the police report and they were able to say yes, this really occurred.”