Volume 50, Issue 6 (November 2005)
The Stalking of Public Figures: Management and Intervention
Public figures are at relatively high risk of unusual contact initiated by fixated individuals. Prior research on managing the threat presented by public figure stalkers concludes that although direct threats rarely precede attacks, there is usually evidence of pre-planning. Furthermore, some public figure attackers do attempt to communicate with their future intended victim prior to attack. Thus, early warning signs from unusual contact behavior can be a powerful tool in threat assessment and risk management. The current paper offers a systematic concept for managing public figure stalking and constitutes five stages: (i) screening, (ii) first analysis, (iii) passive research, (iv) active research and finally (v) considered management strategy. It is concluded that assessment and management of risk are dynamic procedures, requiring ongoing monitoring and flexibility. Furthermore, although different stalkers will engage in ostensibly similar behavior, their motives and underlying psychopathologies may vary considerably. As such, all interventions require individual construction.