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Call in the Hostage Negotiator

A terrorist, hijacker, or kidnapper picks up the phone, and magically there’s a law enforcement officer on the other end: “What are your demands?” Then the dance starts. The bad guy gets mad and orders a pizza. The negotiator plays good cop/bad cop and eventually utters, “I just want everyone to go home safe.” It’s a scenario repeated in dozens of Hollywood flicks. But Gary Noesner is the guy who answers those calls in real life. Noesner spent 23 years as an FBI negotiator, including a decade as the department’s top guy. Now he’s written all about it in the book Stalling for Time: My Life as an FBI Negotiator. He has plenty of material, including more high-profile hostage situations than the entire Die Hard franchise squared. In the book, Noesner gives personal accounts of prison riots, militia standoffs, airplane hijackings, embassy takeovers, and more than 120 overseas kidnappings of U.S. citizens.
Mon., Sept. 27, 8 p.m., 2010


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