Week 5-6: It’s Really Just Hostage-Negotiation!

May 31, 2020

Welcome back!

With a new direction of content and a different question, I need to be able to tell what is important to the topic of my question. So far I have been reading several sources written by past members of the BSU and have been learning more from the books than I ever had about forensic psychology! An example of this is the direction through which forensic psychology and its relation to criminal profiling was established. It wasn’t through the investigation of homicide or assault but through hostage-negotiation. 

Hostage-negotiation was, prior to the BSU, taught at the National Academy and was where local police could take classes held by the FBI in order to fully understand more special cases of law enforcement. For hostage-negotiation, they would have “students” from all over the country and they were usually of older age than the teachers and in some cases, police officers from Japan would attend as well. 

In hostage-negotiation, there are mainly three types of cases. These cases include professional criminal, mentally ill, and the fanatic. In order to successfully gain the release of the captives, profilers have to profile the captors in order to figure out their intentions with both the situations and the hostages. Often negotiators use a certain type of middleman in order to keep the captors from believing they have the upper hand in order to avoid making promises they cannot keep. 

In a case that was very important to the BSU namely the Cory Moore case, profiler Pat Mullany was able to effectively convince Moore to let go of the police officer and secretary he was keeping captive. Although the police believed that Moore would likely kill his hostages, Mullany was able to think through his analysis and offer Moore what he really wanted: air time for his beliefs. This fascinating case shows that profiling is an effective way to stop a homicide and is able to display the possible evolutions that the study will experience!


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