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1/25/2018 7:38:29 AM
Posted: 6/19/2001 6:36:38 AM EST
LA Times http://www.latimes.com/wires/20010619/tCB00V6223.html Tuesday, June 19, 2001 Authorities to Release Columbine Notes Associated Press Writer DENVER-- Families of victims of the Columbine High School massacre are hoping 700 pages of crime scene notes and sketches will help them better understand how the bloody rampage unfolded. Documents known as "lab books" from the massacre are scheduled to be released by Jefferson County officials Tuesday. The books contain notes taken by the first officers and investigators to arrive at Columbine on April 20, 1999, when two teen-age gunmen killed 12 students and a teacher before committing suicide. "There's some fairly graphic descriptions in there that will, in their raw form, certainly be upsetting to many of the victims' families," Jefferson County spokesman John Masson said Monday. The lab books were used to create the final diagrams of the crime scene at the school, in the Denver suburb of Littleton. They also include descriptions of the victims' injuries. Some parents requested that those details be withheld. "It's a double-edged sword," said Connie Michalik, whose son, Richard Castaldo, was wounded in the attack. "On one side, it's very painful and on the other, it helps our lawsuit. It's difficult." Michalik and several other Columbine families are suing the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office, which they say mishandled the response to the assault and ignored threats made by Eric Harris, one of the gunmen. Some of the families have been seeking the materials under state open-records laws. They have accused the Sheriff's Office of stalling in responding to requests for information about the massacre. In April, Judge Brooke Jackson ordered the release of the lab books after CBS Broadcasting Inc. and several victims' families asked for them. Jackson noted in his decision that "some of the contents might fall within the 'be careful what you ask for' category." Some relatives of those killed and wounded in the assault believe the sheriff's department hasn't been completely honest. "It's very disturbing, but because we haven't been told the truth about anything it's going to be necessary to look at these," said Brian Rohrbough, whose son, Daniel, was killed outside the school. Rohrbough alleges in a lawsuit that police, not the gunmen, killed his son during an exchange of gunfire with the attackers, Harris and Dylan Klebold. Attorney James Rouse, who represents several Columbine families, said he expects yet more documents to surface after the release of the lab books. "I don't have any reason to believe this is the last bit of evidence or documentation they have," he said. - - - On the Net: Jefferson County Schools District: http://www.jeffco.k12.co.us Victims organization: http://www.hopecolumbine.org Jefferson County Sheriff's Office: Copyright 2001 Los Angeles Times
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