We’ve all negotiated in situations that seemed like high stakes – asking for a job raise or bargaining with a rebellious teenager. But few of us have ever been thrown into a situation where our words could literally save or cost someone’s life. On today’s show, we’ll take a look at some of the most famous hostage crises in recent times and explore how negotiators get peaceful outcomes in tense situations and why sometimes things don’t go as planned.
Gary Noesner retired from the FBI in 2003 following a 30 year career as an investigator, instructor, and negotiator. A significant focus of his career was directed toward investigating Middle East hijackings in which American citizens were victimized. In addition, he was an FBI hostage negotiator for 23 years of his career, retiring as the Chief of the FBI’s Crisis Negotiation Unit, Critical Incident Response Group, the first person to hold that position. In that capacity he was heavily involved in numerous crisis incidents covering prison riots, right- wing militia standoffs, religious zealot sieges, terrorist embassy takeovers, airplane hijackings, and over 120 overseas kidnapping cases involving American citizens.