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Thursday, 7 March, 2002, 13:45 GMT
Row over leaked Columbine photos
Teenagers comfort each other at a memorial to Columbine victims
The massacre was one of the worst in US history
Graphic crime scene photographs from the 1999 Columbine High School massacre have been leaked to the victims' families and the region's local newspaper.


Outrage is probably a mild way to describe it

Victim's father Brian Rohrbough

The leaked photographs reportedly show the killers' bodies, those of their young victims, and the various bombs they had planted around the school.

The killers, teenagers Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris, gunned down 12 fellow students and a teacher before committing suicide, in one of the worst massacres in US history.

The Jefferson County Sheriff's Office in Denver, Colorado told the Associated Press news agency that it had not yet verified the authenticity of the photos, which the local Rocky Mountain newspaper did not publish.

However it said that investigators were examining the case files to see if any photographs were missing.

'Outrage'

Furious families of the 13 victims said they had always been promised that any such photographs would remain secret.

Camera still showing the Columbine killers
The killers were filmed on the school's security cameras

"Outrage is probably a mild way to describe it," Brian Rohrbough, whose son Daniel was one of the students killed in the attack, told AP.

Investigators suspect that a law enforcement official may have been involved in the leaking of the photographs.

They have not ruled out the possibility that they may have been stolen.

They have also asked the newspaper's editor, John Temple, to hand over the photographs. He has refused.

Lawsuit dismissed

On Tuesday a judge dismissed a lawsuit brought against several film and computer game makers by the family of one of the murdered teachers at Columbine High School.

The family claimed that Klebold and Harris were motivated to kill by violent films and computer products.

However the presiding judge said that the lawsuit was without merit.

"Setting aside any personal distaste... it is manifest that there is social utility in expressive and imaginative forms of entertainment, even if they contain violence," said US District Judge Lewis Babcock.

America and the gun

Key Stories
See also:

01 Nov 01 | Education
Crime rates fall in US schools
06 Jul 00 | Americas
Columbine audio tapes released
14 Jun 00 | Education
Rise in bomb threats after Columbine
06 Mar 01 | Americas
Terror in US schools and workplaces
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