Sunday, August 6, 2017

‘Sex slave for sale’: Inside an abducted model’s 6 days of captivity

Italian investigators re-enact the in-suitcase transportation of a model who was drugged by a group, held in a farmhouse and advertised on the internet for sale as a sex slave

To the young British model, the assignment probably seemed routine: Travel to Milan, pose for a few photographs.
Just another ad campaign, her agency told her.
But when she arrived at an address near Milan’s Central Station, any semblance of routine vanished...
“The victim was doped with ketamine,” an Italian prosecutor said at Friday’s arraignment of one of her accused kidnappers, Polish national Lukasz Pawel Herba, 30.

From an original demand of $300,000, the captors reduced their demands to about $60,000, a sum that was never paid.

Read more from the NY Post [HERE]. 

Saturday, August 5, 2017

'A World Without Suicide'

This in-depth article on suicide from is worth taking the time to read. It shares, among many other things, the insight from a survivor who attempted suicide by jumping from the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. 

Kevin Hines shares the following in the article:
Kevin rejects the notion that anyone “chooses” to take their own life. “It’s not a choice when a voice in your head, a third party to your own conscience, is literally screaming in your head, ‘You must die, jump now.’” 
He also challenges the idea that suicide is a selfish act, because to a person in extremis, compelled to believe they are a burden, living can feel like the selfish act. 
Yet he also remembers feeling how little it would have taken to deter him that morning in 2000. “I had made a pact with myself, and many survivors report this, that if anyone said to me that day, ‘Are you OK?’ or ‘Is something wrong?’ or ‘Can I help you?’—I narrowed it down to those three phrases—I would tell them everything and beg for help.” 
As he sat on the bus, where he remembers crying, yelling aloud at the voices to stop, nobody said anything. “It still baffles me that human beings can’t see someone like that, wailing in pain, and say something kind—anything,” he says.

Kevin Hines, who speaks across the world is someone Hostage Negotiation conference organizers should consider having at their next conference.  This helps negotiators with comprehending a key effective negotiator concept- empathy. 

So what's the deal with empathy? Here's what I had to say in a previous article [HERE]:
If we as negotiators are trying to influence a behavioral change in the person, it is necessary to understand their current emotions and behavior.  
Empathy is just that- seeing and understanding the perspective of another.  You need this in order to be an effective negotiator and you need to demonstrate it by taking your time to listen (yep, a pattern is developing here- each of the five skills work off of each other).  
Read more on the general importance of empathy here (really, I suggest you read it).
Read the full article at The Atlantic [HERE]. 

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Al-Qaeda releases South African hostage after almost 6 years

Stephen McGown was kidnapped in Timbuktu, Mali in November 2011 and has finally been released and allowed to return home.

...The Al-Qaeda kidnappers had reportedly demanded a $5 million ransom for his release, but the South African government rejected it and Nkoana-Mashabane said in her news statement that no ransom was paid for McGown’s return. One of his fellow travelers, John Gustafsson from Sweden, was released by Al-Qaeda in June, while a Dutch national, Sjaak Rijke, was freed back in 2015 during a raid by French special forces.

Read more from [HERE].

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Dramatic standoff with potential jumper on Verrazano stretches into 5th hour

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- Police have engaged in a dramatic, five-hour standoff with a potential jumper on the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge Wednesday morning, as they attempt to talk the 30-year-old man off the ledge of the span.
Financial issues might have prompted the apparent suicide attempt, said a source with knowledge of the investigation.
Read more fro [HERE]. 

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

San Diegans hit with 'virtual kidnapping' hoaxes for ransom

The voice on the phone demands a ransom for a family member or co-worker who has been kidnapped.
The caller claims armed men from a Mexican drug cartel are outside and will start shooting if the terms aren’t met.
San Diego police said Wednesday that they have gotten reports of similar “virtual kidnapping” hoax threats made to 10 businesses and individuals last week. Some of the calls originated in the Baja California region of Mexico.
...Ransom amounts varied, from $1,000 to $10,000, depending on the apparent ability of the victim to pay, Wahl said.
Read more from the San Diego Union Tribune [HERE]. 
So what can you do? Here's some tips from the FBI and NYPD:
  • Try to slow the situation down. Request to speak to the victim directly. Ask, “How do I know my loved one is okay?”
  • If they don’t let you speak to the victim, ask them to describe the victim or describe the vehicle they drive, if applicable.
  • Listen carefully to the voice of the kidnapped victim if they speak.
  • Attempt to call, text, or contact the victim via social media. Request that the victim call back from his or her cell phone.
  • While staying on the line with alleged kidnappers, try to call the alleged kidnap victim from another phone.
  • To buy time, repeat the caller’s request and tell them you are writing down the demand, or tell the caller you need time to get things moving.
  • Don’t directly challenge or argue with the caller. Keep your voice low and steady.
  • Request the kidnapped victim call back from his/her cell phone.
Read more on the tips [HERE].