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(Nov. 20) -- The twin sisters who shot themselves in an apparent suicide pact outside of Denver had a picture of the Columbine High School killers among their possessions, but police said there were no indications that the women planned to harm anyone but themselves.

The discovery poses more questions in the mystery of why Candice and Kristin Hermeler, 29, of Melbourne, Australia, turned their guns on themselves at a shooting range in Cherry Creek State Park on Monday. Kristin died at the scene and Candice is hospitalized in serious condition. Candice told police that the sisters planned to take their own lives, Arapahoe County Sheriff's Capt. Louie Perea said. Police are struggling to find a motive.

Police searching their possessions said they found a photocopy of a magazine cover showing the Columbine killers, Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris, along with their victims, Reuters reported.

Klebold and Harris killed 12 students and a teacher at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colo., in April 1999. The pair went on a killing spree throughout the school, using guns, knives and explosives. Both teenagers killed themselves before authorities arrived.

Authorities said there's no reason to believe that the sisters were planning a Columbine-style massacre.

"There was nothing else in their possessions that indicated that they were going to do anything to anyone else but themselves," Perea told Reuters.

The sisters' hotel room in Denver gave little indication as to what they were thinking. There was no suicide note and they had suitcases, shopping bags and purses in the room, The Australian reported.

When the pair arrived at the shooting range, they appeared "jovial, chatty, back-and-forth," said Doug Hamilton, owner of the Family Shooting Center, where the girls took some shots at paper targets before shooting The letters, published yesterday by The Denver Post, indicate the twins had a far stronger connection with the city than previously known.

The Hermeler twins, the only children of South African immigrants to Australia Ernest and Kelsay, attended secondary school in Bendigo and Melbourne's Methodist Ladies College.

They shot themselves at a gun range near Denver last Monday afternoon. Kristin died at the scene. Candice survived her shooting and remains in a serious condition in a Denver hospital.

Candice was asked about the Columbine connection during her two-hour interview with Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office investigators last Thursday. This was after a copy of a Time magazine cover showing the killers and victims of the Columbine massacre was found in the twins' luggage. In an early police account, Candice was said to have responded that she didn't care about it, and that it happened a long time ago.

The Denver Post report says her actual response was more blunt: "I don't give a f---."

Police say the Hermeler twins spent five weeks together in Denver, living in hotels and motels. Judy Brown, Mr Brown's mother, said she had not heard from them during that time, but recalled long phone conversations with the "sensitive and sympathetic" girls in 1999.

Brooks Brown became famous and notorious as the early warning system that failed Columbine High. Friends from the age of eight with Klebold and Harris, they fell out in their mid-teens, with Harris posting death threats against Mr Brown on his website.

The threats were known to local authorities, but had not been followed up. Brown and Harris had reached a rapprochement of sorts, and, meeting Brown in the school grounds in the minutes before the massacre, Harris warned him that he should go home.

Bullying at Columbine was widely reported as the spark that caused Klebold and Harris to explode, although this was later discredited. It resonated for Kristin Hermeler, who appeared to recognise a kindred spirit in Mr Brown, and a sounding board in his mother. "It never goes away," Judy Brown told the Post. "Bullying changes who you are and who you become."

The release of the letters and the identity of the author are a haunting echo for Denver of the the worst US school massacre, which became a worldwide media event, touching many lives.

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