Kidnapping and Ransom (KNR)

by Ryu

This is all from a book called “The Negotiator” by Ben Lopez. His book was 300 pages long and took me about 5 hours to complete.

I’m going to condense 300 pages of book into a short read. It’s less a book review than an information summary/dump; I did not read the book because I liked the author or because I found him interesting, I just read it to get information.

We’ll divide this into two general sections. One section on characteristics of the author/negotiators and how most KNRs go down:

Hostage negotiators (HNs) have a major good guy/bad guy complex, like all law enforcement types. They are all-good and the other person is an evil monster. He frequently lacks….…. sleep and is a caffeine addict because of the odd hours. Response consultant is another phrase for HN. The major goal is to control the exchange and to make the other guy do what you want him to. Modern KNR theory comes mainly from the NYPD in the 70s. What the NYPD does, Scotland Yard eventually copies. Their motto is “talk to me.” While the kidnappers are talking, they aren’t killing or maiming. Safety through engagement.

The most dangerous phases of KNR for the perps are the abduction and the exchange. During the money drop, the perp has spotters along key points and the drop may take from 3 to 8 hours to complete, with a driver going all around town to make sure there are no tails. Please note that private HNs are not worried about punishment, they just want the hostage back. Police are worried about both recovery and punishment. Most rescues by force fail, and only 10% total of all KNRs are resolved by force. Special nomenclature includes “the package” for the hostage and “the communicator” for the man on the other end who takes calls.

It’s key for the family/business not to pay too early or to make weak statements. There is “The Wait” which is that first phone call made saying that we have so-and-so and we want a random. This is a painful thing for the family. It’s important to keep the media out so that information can be controlled.

“We’ll pay but we need time…” Always drag things out if you are the victim. Kidnappings fall into two categories, the impulsive criminal seizure and the planned KNR. For really paranoid kidnappers, they will use CB radio or personal ads in the back of newspapers, to avoid being tracked. The family should record everything the kidnapper says on the phone. Cops are cigarette and coffee addicts.

Here’s some assorted goodies: the Taliban are a bunch of uneducated hillbillies. Special Force teams cost 100K/month to be on standby. The FBI and CIA are bad at negotiations. The FBI is primarily a political, PR organization. The purpose of a command center is command and control, and also to be away from the public eye. Typically they do not have screens and tons of electronics. The “bunion factor” refers to the fact that public cops get overtime and are delighted to stay late. Feds don’t get overtime and want to go home; thus they will tend to storm the building and be impatient.

If you are the kidnapper, hide in plain sight. You need two guards on the hostage at all times. 8 hours shifts, 2 men per shift, 3 shifts per day is 6 men plus one for the phone negotiations. Thus the total number of men minimum per op is 7. The first kill is the hardest; after that the others are easier. By killing a hostage, most of the time the authorities will be forced to storm the building, due to public pressure “to do something!”

There are a series of rules regarding the police. Don’t let the commander negotiate and police don’t do silent entries; thus when cops do raid, they often get the hostage killed. Always repeat details on the phone.

All KNR situations follow the same steps:
Proof of Live
Ransom Drop

The two golen rules for negotiators themselves are no guns, and don’t do the exchange yourself.

Details on KNRs:

Ransoms vary from 15K to 10^7 dollars US. Typically the perp goes high and is cut down as negotations progress; final sums of 3-10% of the initial offer are common. The HN gives the illusion that the perp really squeezed the family and the business of all their money.

The main thing I learned from this book was the primacy of professionalism and preparation. HNs and the police have a plan they follow everytime. Often the kidnappers are just winging it and hoping for the best. Whoever trains and prepares the most, wins. Every battle is decided before it’s fought. This principle is true for every activity on Earth.

12 Comments to “Kidnapping and Ransom (KNR)”

  1. Russel Crowe’s most underrated movie “Proof of Life”.

    The trailer is very Hollywood but the film itself is realistic.

  2. I hear getting kidnapped for ransom is very common in Mexico. Cab drivers and cops do it all the time.
    Any theories on the Lindberg baby kidnapping? I read somewhere the jews did it. That whole thing was pretty messed up.

    [ed note: lindbergh is literally, old news – think currently. As i wrote about: The elite’s fear of kidnapping and violence from their oppressed is what makes Sao Paolistas fly in helicopters 2000 ft in the air, from heli-pad to heli-pad on top of luxury buildings; they never see The Street. The same with Rio elites]

  3. A common criticism of Breivik is that he should’ve held the communists hostage instead. By making unreasonable (to the System) demands like ending Islamic immigration he could’ve been a more sympathetic figure. Even better, demand compensation for White women raped by pakis…payable to the women. A Norwegian nationalist Robin Hood!

    • Ahhhhh that’s kind of risky. Let’s say he takes a hostage then the demands don’t reach the media? Then he’s screwed, he’s sitting on a hostage that isn’t doing anything for him.

      Its interesting though. Sympathy is a big cost for such a large risk. I myself al loathe to rely on things outside of my own control.

  4. And how to defend against kidnapping, rape and conversion?

    • The best method of conversion is making Janissaries of your enemies’ children: The way the black creates Little Warriors for MLK out of white schoolchildren in Murka. The way Liberal Socialist Fascists in Norway created little schoolhouse liberals demanding more muzz immigrants in Oslo.

  5. That might work Oogie. It’d take some time.

  6. Movies are troublesome for the “hollywoodizing” aspect of fantasizing reality, but if one uses discernment to interpret the depiction of factual info, you can extract some visual aids.

    An interesting movie is Munich – about the PLO kidnapping at the ’72 Olympics. Political kidnappings add their own flavor – as does the quest for the State’s revenge.

    The kidnappers monitored the efficacy of their demands and their foe’s response, by watching it all…on TV, in the dorms.

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