Nefarious Notoriety: a Study of the Thoughts Behind Assasination Attempts on Public Figures
January 14, 2011 1:32 PM Subscribe
posted by filthy light thief (31 comments total)
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In 1999, psychologist Robert A. Fein and Executive Director of the US Secret Service's National Threat Assessment Center
, Bryan Vossekuil, published a study of 83 persons who had attempted or succeeded to assassinate a public figure (Google HTML view of pdf)
. Those 83 were all the people who were known to have attacked, or approached to attack, a prominent public ofﬁcial or public ﬁgure in the United States since 1949. The goal was to better understand the motives behind such actions, and included interviews with some of the subjects. NPR covered the report today
, interviewing Fein and discussing the findings. The summary was that the attacks were not political in motive, but attempts at gaining fame. "They experienced failure after failure after failure, and decided that rather than being a 'nobody,' they wanted to be a 'somebody,' " Fein said.
The report was the result of a five year study called the Exceptional Case Study Project, which resulted in the creation of the agency created the National Threat Assessment Center in 1998. NTAC's current website has the original report and other material
, publicly available as PDFs.