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Chapter 9. Homicidal Managers > Assessing the Danger

Assessing the Danger

The most important step in dealing with a threat of violence is calling in someone skilled in dealing with these problems. Attempting to do it without professional assistance, waiting to gather more information, or hoping that the person is just joking may work the vast majority of the time, but such denial, rationalization, and minimization of the risk periodically leads to catastrophes that could have been averted. Prior to murder in an organization, there is almost always someone who notices that the future perpetrator is behaving in unusual ways that suggest a concerning risk of violence. Many lives could be saved if companies trained people in what to look for, and promoted a culture in which people informed the authorities when they perceived a risk of violence.

Professional threat assessors look at a number of factors that provide an indication of the likelihood of violence. If someone is diagnosed as being a psychopath by the Hare Psychopathy Checklist (see Chapter 5), his or her risk of violence is much greater than average. Among people released from prison, those with a history of psychopathy are four times more likely to engage in violence than those who do not meet the criteria for psychopathy.


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