Online, Teens 'Idolized' Columbine Killers

The district attorney prosecuting a 14-year-old Pennsylvania boy for plotting a school shooting said the teenager says he communicated online with an 18-year-old from Finland who killed eight people in a school shooting last week, and that he idolized the perpetrators of the 1999 Columbine High School massacre.

Montgomery County District Attorney Bruce Castor said all his information about the conversations came from Dillon Cossey, 14, who denied he and Pekka-Eric Auvinen, 18, discussed detailed murder plots, but confirmed they "idolized and worshipped [Columbine shooters] [Dylon] Klebold and [Eric] Harris."

US investigators have found no evidence of the conversations on Cossey's computer. Finnish police and Cossey's attorney, however, confirm the boys met in cyberspace.

Castor said Cossey "fantasized about being a military leader" and that given enough time he believed the boy would have amassed enough arms to pull off a shooting.

Castor said the boy was "shocked by what happened" in Finland just weeks after his own arrest.

It is unclear on which Web site or Web sites the two teens first made contact, but Cossey's attorney J. David Farrell said his client remembered chatting with Auvinen about video games and the Columbine shooting.

"There is some indication they may have shared direct e-mail addresses and first contacted each other through YouTube," Farrell told

"My client confirms he had contact with him," Farrell said. "There was no indication in any of the e-mails that Auvinen had intentions of committing a violent act."

The Times of London reported this weekend that Auvinen may have been in contact with Cossey on the social networking Web site MySpace before the shooting. Cossey, a home-schooled student, admitted to American police last month that he had planned a Columbine-style attack at a suburban Philadelphia high school.

MySpace denied today that the two had been in contact in MySpace groups, claiming the profile that allegedly belonged to Auvinen was a fake and that neither of the two suspects had belonged to either of the two groups — RIP Eric and Dylan and Natural Selectors.

"Even though we were unable to locate any connection on our site, we are in contact with local law enforcement in Finland to provide any assistance needed. The alleged profile of Pekka-Eric Auvinen was an imposter and has been deleted," MySpace said in a statement.

Finnish investigators, who initially called contact between the two "likely," have yet to access Auvinen's computer; they are backing off the connection after the MySpace denial.

"If [MySpace] says that it's fake then I'm no longer that confident," Rabbe von Hertzen, the detective superintendent in charge of the investigation at Finland's National Bureau of Investigation, told ABC News.

In Pennsylvania, Montgomery County District Attorney Bruce Castor said he told his detectives to run the name of the Finnish shooter through the computer seized from Cossey, 14, who admitted in juvenile court to planning an attack at a suburban Philadelphia high school, The Associated Press reported.

"None of us really think that there's going to be a lot here, but we're going to check it out," said Castor, who heard of the possible connection from media reports, according to The Associated Press.

Tipped off by a boy Cossey tried to recruit, Pennsylvania authorities searched his home last month. They found a rifle, about 30 air-powered guns modeled to look like higher-powered weapons, swords, knives, a bomb-making book, videos of the 1999 Columbine attack and violence-filled notebooks.

Despite the new claims by MySpace, Auvinen did reveal plans for the attack in postings on YouTube -- in which he urged revolution and grinned after taking target practice with a handgun. They also found books and writings about rising up against society. "I am prepared to fight and die for my cause. I, as a natural selector, will eliminate all who I see unfit, disgraces of human race and failures of natural selection," the posting said.

The Times of London reported today that Auvinen may have been in contact with Dillon Cossey on the Internet before the shooting. Cossey, a 14-year-old home-schooled Pennsylvania student, admitted to American police last month that he had planned a Columbine-style attack at a suburban Philadelphia high school.

Cossey's plan was thwarted after authorities searched his home and found a stockpile of weapons, including a rifle, roughly 30 air guns, and a range of knives and bomb-making books. Police also found videos of the Columbine attack and notebooks filled with violent writings. Cossey's mother was also charged with buying her son weapons.

Cossey allegedly told another student that "the world would be better off without bullies."

Auvinen tried to buy his first gun just two weeks after Cossey's arrest. The Times of London reported that police do not believe the timing of Auvinen's purchase was a coincidence. In fact, the two teens may have been in contact over two MySpace groups, including one called "RIP Eric and Dylan," the Times reported, a salute to the two Columbine plotters.

In Auvinen's MySpace page, which the company denies is authentic, he praised the Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold as heroes and in a YouTube post, he delivered a testimony about playing the role of "natural selector." His rampage has prompted the government in Finland, where gun ownership is among the highest in the world, to reexamine its gun policies.

The look into a possible connection between Auvinen and Cossey will continue as part of the broader investigation, Rabbe von Hertzen told ABC News.

"We plan to look into this possibility later," he said. "At the moment, we are focusing on the immediate events surrounding Auvinen?s crime and carrying out an investigation of the crime scene.?

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.