One of the first things Sue Klebold does when we meet is apologise for her lack of hospitality. We are at a hotel in Denver rather than her home, not for want of congeniality on the 66-year-old’s part, but because, once you have been the target of large-scale hatred, it is never a good idea to let on where you live. Klebold looks like the last person on Earth for whom this designation might apply – a retired college administrator and community stalwart who describes herself as living a “nice little modest life”. Nonetheless, for the last 17 years, she has been a woman forever on the cusp of a dreadful public encounter. “I can be in a doctor’s waiting room and still hope they call me by my first name, rather than shout out Mrs Klebold,” she says. “Every time I meet someone and give my name, there’s a moment of hesitancy where I watch their face very closely. They may say, ‘Gee, why does that sound so familiar?’”
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