Stalking, Threatening, and Attacking Public Figures: A Psychological and Behavioral Analysis / Edition 1

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Public figures require attention, whether from a constituency who votes them in or out of office, shareholders who decide their economic benefit to the corporation, or fans who judge their performances. However, on the periphery of this normal attention resides a very real risk; that of a much smaller group of individuals who lack the ability to discriminate between their own private fantasies and the figure's public behavior. They may be personally insulted by perceived betrayal, fanatically in love due to a perceived affectionate or sexual invitation, or simply preoccupied with the daily life of the public figure. Such individuals may fixate and do nothing more. Others communicate or approach in a disturbing way. A few will threaten. And on rare occasions, one will breach the public figure's security perimeter and attack.

Stalking, Threatening, and Attacking Public Figures is a comprehensive survey of the current knowledge about stalking, violence risk, and threat management towards public figures. With contributions from forensic psychologists and psychiatrists, clinicians, researchers, attorneys, profilers, and current and former law enforcement professionals, this book is the first of its kind, international in scope, and rich in both depth and complexity.

The book is divided into three sections which, in turn, focus upon defining, explaining, and risk managing this increasingly complex global reality. Chapters include detailed case studies, analyses of quantitative data, reflections from attachment theory and psychoanalytic thought, descriptions of law enforcement and protective organization activities, mental health and psychiatric categorizations and understandings, consideration of risk assessment models and variables, victim perspectives, and others.

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Editorial Reviews

Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: Gary B Kaniuk, Psy.D.(Cermak Health Services)
Description: Written from the perspectives of mental health professionals, lawyers, and law enforcement personnel, this book describes the psychological aspects of individuals who stalk, threaten, or attack public officials, while also focusing on risk management.
Purpose: According to the editors, the purpose is "to advance our understanding of stalking, violence risk, and threat management toward public figures, whether they be politicians, executives, judicial officers, or a wide array of celebrities."
Audience: The book is intended for forensic scientists and security specialists, but graduate students in forensic psychiatry/psychology would benefit from it as well. The editors are well qualified to author this book. Dr. Reid Meloy, a clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego, is president of Forensis, a corporation dedicated to forensic research. Dr. Lorraine Sheridan is a chartered forensic psychologist who completed a doctoral degree in stalking, the first in Europe. Dr. Jens Hoffman is a researcher and lecturer at the University of Darmstadt in Germany. The contributors represent various professions such as psychiatry, psychology, law, and criminal justice, and various countries.
Features: The editors' introduction points out that research into threats and violence against public figures is only in its infancy, since 1991. The three main divisions of the book are devoted to defining risk, explaining risk, and managing risk. The section on defining risk includes the psychological characteristics of the perpetrators, along with the kinds of victims they choose. It also discusses the distinction between "hunters" (individuals who act on their intent) and "howlers" (those who threaten but do not act on it). Section II begins with a theoretical look at attachment theory and object relations theory to help explain stalking. The authors point out that television personalities may be at higher risk than other public figures. They also discuss psychopathy and the potential for violence. The section on managing risk covers the work of police departments and their threat management units, in addition to offender profiling. This instructive book uses many case examples and integrates theory, research, and practice in a coherent manner. The figures and tables serve the text well.
Assessment: This would be a wonderful acquisition for individuals working in forensic and/or correctional environments. The editors and contributors are the movers and shakers in the field, an international collection of social scientists, law enforcement, and legal experts.
From the Publisher
"This would be a wonderful acquisition for individuals working in forensic and/or correctional environments. The editors and contributors are the movers and shakers in the field, an international collection of social scientists, law enforcement, and legal experts."—Doody's Health Sciences Review
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195326383
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 5/28/2008
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 496
  • Sales rank: 549,563
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Table of Contents

Foreword. Robert Fein and Bryan Vossekuil
1. Public Figures Stalking: The State of the Science, J. Reid Meloy, Lorraine Sheridan, Jens Hoffmann
Section I: Defining the Risk
2. A Forensic Investigation of Those Who Stalk Celebrities, J. Reid Meloy, Kris Mohandie, Mila Green McGowan
3. The Role of Psychotic Illness in Attacks on Public Figures, Paul E. Mullen, David V. James, J. Reid Meloy, Michele T. Pathe, Frank R. Farnham, Lulu Preston, Brian Darnley
4. Homicidal Celebrity Stalkers: Dangerous Obsessions with Nonpolitical Public Figures, Louis B. Schlesinger, V. Blair Mesa
5. On Public Figure Howlers, Frederick S. Calhoun, Stephen W. Weston
6. Stalking, Threatening and Attacking Corporate Figures, Jens Hoffmann, Lorraine Sheridan
7. The Public Figure Assassin as Terrorist, James Biesterfeld, J. Reid Meloy
Section II: Explaining the Risk
8. Contributions from Attachment Theory and Pschoanalysis to Advance Understanding of Public Figure Stalking and Attacking, Jens Hoffmann, J. Reid Meloy
9. Celebrities as Victims of Stalking, Jens Hoffmann, Lorraine Sheridan
10. Psychopathy and Predatory Stalking of Public Figures, Mary Ellen O'Toole, Sharon S. Smith, Robert D. Hare
11. Two Case Studies of Corporate-Celebrity Victims: The Stalking of Steven Spielberg and Stephen Wynn, J. Reid Meloy, Kris Mohandie
12. Toward the Measurement and Profiling of Celebrity Worship, John Maltby, David Giles
13. Fanning the Flames of Fandom: Celebrity Worship, Parasocial Interaction, and Stalking, Brian H. Spitzberg, William R. Cupach
Section III: Managing the Risk
14. Operations of the LAPD Threat Management Unit, Jeff Dunn
15. Risk Assessment of Public Figure Stalkers, P. Randall Kropp, Stephen D. Hart, David R. Lyon
16. Preventing Assassination: Psychiatric Consultation to the United States Secret Service, Robert T.M. Phillips
17. Offender Profiling and Celebrity Stalking Cases, Karl Roberts
18. Prosecuting Celebrity Stalkers, Rhonda Saunders, Sean Wainwright
19. Use of Threat Assessment for the Protection of the United States Congress, Mario J. Scalora, William Zimmerman, David G. Wells
20. From Violent Words to Violent Deeds: Assessing Risk from FBI Threating Communication Cases, Sharon S. Smith

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