Hostage Negotiations: A Matter of Survival --Part 1

2bpositive By 2bpositive, 31st Oct 2011 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Essays

Hostage negotiations are a serious matter. Excellent training and experience will determine the success of these type of encounters determining, in a very real sense, who will live and who will die. Let us now explore just one such scenario.

Stakes Are High Where Mistakes Cost Lives

There are many methods being employed to deal with fascilitating the release of hostages. Some ways are through force, and others are through more delicate modes. In either case, the need for communication between the hostage taker and the negotiator is by far the most important. In hostage-taking situations, if communication breaks down greater dangers usually follow. One wrong move is all that is necessary to endanger the lives of hostages, because in the hostage-negotiating game life and death are separated by a very thin line. While there are no rules for taking hostages, there are regulations for dealing with hostage-takers. We shall explore some of them here.

The term "hostage" is defined as "a person given as a pledge, or taken prisoner as by an enemy, until certain conditions are met."1 However, regardless of the definition, there is no way to explain the real meaning of the word unless considering it in a specific situation. Each and every hostage-taking situation must be dealt with individually, since there is no one distinguishable pattern to afford hostage negotiators guidance toward resolving hostage crisis. While there are many reasons why people take hostages, I would rather explore the vital measures which must be utilized to ensure their safe return focusing on the necessity for proper (effective) verbal communication. It is self evident that the taking of hostages is very seldom foreseen. If this was not the case, many more preventative measures would be adopted nationwide to avert future attempts. Let us examine one such case here.

Harry Stone, a 36 year old free-lance photographer, was diagnosed as having AIDS. On August 18, 1981, following a tragic auto accident, Mr. Stone had been rushed to a nearby hospital and given a blood transfusion. Two years later, while visiting his physician for his annual checkup, he was informed of an irregularity in his blood. Further testing concluded that Mr. Stone had contracted the AIDS virus. Knowing there was no cure for this dreaded disease, Mr. Stone fell into a state of depression and frustration. Inflicted with these hardships, Mr. Stone experienced an emotional and physical breakdown and felt totally helpless. His life was completely altered. The quality of his work declined forcing him into a situation where he could no longer pay his bills. The medicine which he was taking for his ailments was paid for out of the little money he had been saving throughout his working years. He was getting no financial assistance from anyone. Additionally, his wife abandoned him afraid of acquiring his disease. all but few of Mr. Stone's friends likewiase discontinued their contact with him for similar reasons.

With no one and no place to turn to Mr. stone searched for information regarding the AIDS virus on his own. He desparately sought assistance to help himself deal with his problems. However, he found everyone to be indifferent to his needs. He found very few organizations that helped victims of this disease, and those that did were located in other states. What disturbed Mr. Stone the most was the fact that the government provided little money for AIDS research and for individuals like himself inflicted with this ailment. In his distraught mind, he associated the lack of significant government assistance in this area as being tantamount to the government handing him a death sentence. In short, Mr. Stone was no longer thinking rationally, and sought a means to gain national publicity and support for his plight through violent (illegal) measures.

On the morning of January 3, 1984, at 9:03 A.M., Mr. Stone entered the New York Department of Health building, the health and home services divivion, armed with a concealed .45 caliber pistol. He proceeded to the fifth floor office of the department head, and pulled it out. He demanded everyone to remain silent, warning them that if they fail to comply they would be shot. The hostages included three female secretarie, two administrative assistants and the department head.. A call was made pursuant to Mr. Stone's demands, notifying all employees in the building to leave. A second call was made to the local police informing them of this hostage crisis. At the same time a young woman, not knowing what was taking place, attempted to push open the door, whereupon Mr. Stone nerviously discharged two shots into the ceiling screaming,"if anyone interferes I'll kill them all!"

The Analysis TO Be CONTINUED in PART 2


Advice, Aids, Analysis, Crisis, Experts, History, Hostages, Life Death, Negitiations, Police, Report, Research Paper, University Report

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author avatar 2bpositive
A Poet and Philosopher. Prophecy portends the future, while poetry helps make sense of the past.
Poetry with a message. Sometimes an eternal message, because this world IS the doorway to our eternity. My poetry, more than merely words on paper, is...(more)

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author avatar Randhir Bechoo
21st Feb 2015 (#)

Interesting article.

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