Thursday, December 2, 2010

Was that actually a hostage standoff in Wisconsin?

I have a guest piece again today on Slate's XX Factor:

Understanding Sam Hengel, the Gunman at Marinette High School
Did a hostage standoff actually take place in Wisconsin Monday night, when Marinette High School sophomore Sam Hengel held 24 students and a teacher for six hours? FBI doctrine suggests no, and understanding how Hengel was actually thinking was key to keeping the people he held alive.
. . . In Marinette, Hengel brandished two handguns, but made no demands. Perpetrators like that are quite common. . . . Shooters in victim crises like Marinette are remarkably similar, says Retired Special Agent Gary Noesner, who founded the FBI’s Crisis Negotiation Unit and wrote Stalling For Time: My Life as an FBI Hostage Negotiator. “Helplessness and hopelessness” are the hallmarks, Noesner said. That’s a combustible combination: The person feels powerless to affect his intolerable condition and hopeless that the suffering will ever end.
The full post, at XX Factor Also see: Columbine Student Guide, Columbine Teacher's Guide, Columbine Online research site, Columbine Shooting video.

My previous XX Factor guest was Columbine's Lost Lesson.

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