NFL Players and Senseless Violence

Scott Brown writes about the dangers that well known NFL players face on a regular basis. For some, it has even led to their untimely deaths.

Interestingly, many players seem reluctant to hire professional security agents. There is a fear that it will make them seem “self important” and may arouse “indignation”. Is it just me or does this strike anybody else as a stupid reason to forego concerns and plans to safeguard one’s own personal safety?

Does anybody think any less of a country’s President because he/she is flanked by highly trained personal protection specialists? Of course not. Why? Because history has proven to us that there are disturbed individuals in society who would kill a well known person/celebrity just for their 15 minutes of fame.

Why then should an NFL player not be entitled to have a security person(s) looking out for them? I am fairly sure that the family of Sean Taylor wishes that he had employed personal security and that they had confronted those criminals who broke into his house rather than Mr. Taylor.

There is no shame in taking precautions. Ask any security consultant for their opinion on whether a person is better off saying; “I wished I had…” or saying; “I am going to, just in case”.

Consider of all of the wonderful music John Lennon could have produced these past years had he employed a Personal Protection Agent to watch his back and protect him from the lunatics of this world. Artists like Lennon and world class athletes need to be protected so that they can continue to entertain us and thrill us with the gifts that they have been given. They deserve our support, not our indignation.

How safe is "safe"?

Everybody talks about how safe it is in Dubai. Yet the murder of Lebanese pop singer, Suzanne Tamim would indicate otherwise.

The unfortunate singer appears to have been the victm of a well orchestrated murder plot. It is believed that her killer, alleged to be a former Policeman, was paid $2 million to kill her. If the local rumours are true, then she would have had an idea that the person behind it was capable of such an act.

One wonders why people who are in the public eye sometimes do not consider their personal safety. No doubt, denial has much to do with it. Some probably refuse to believe that they are that “important” to require personal protection, while others have difficuly believing that anyone would want to harm them.

I would hazzard a guess that the latter is what happened to John Lennon. Lennon was the epitome of peace and love, yet a crazed lunatic saw fit to shoot him in the back for no reason other than he knew it would bring him fame.

Sometimes it is detrimental to overthink things. Just because we have noble thoughts, does not mean that the rest of the world thinks in a similar manner. We literally need to always watch our backs.

Do not dismiss the dangers of being stalked

Q: My friend told me that she is being stalked. I am very worried for her safety. Are stalkers dangerous or just a nuisance?

A: You are right to be concerned for your friend’s safety. Stalkers are people with serious mental disorders. The ones we tend to hear about most often are the cases involving celebrities. We all know what happened when John Lennon’s stalker followed him home and the ex-Beatle did not have any security around him. I have dealt with many cases and most people would be horrified to discover the thoughts that go through a stalker’s mind.

For instance, we were protecting a television personality some time ago who was being stalked by a person from out of State. The stalker “knew” our client from having seen her on television. However, in his mind, they were involved in a “relationship”. He would write to her work telling her that other television presenters were talking “in code” about our client and he on the air.

Our client became so frightened that she was afraid to go outside of her door. The stalker became more and more irrational and added to her state of fear when he declared that he knew she was sending him special messages by the color of clothes she wore when she appeared on television.

In that particular case, the stalker’s identity was known and the fact that he had previous convictions in his own State for a similar offence. It took several months, but eventually he was picked up by the Police on a warrant. The only way that the victim could go about her life was to have bodyguards protecting her 24 hours a day. Without that protection, she would have been looking over her shoulder everywhere she went and not only would it have made her job as a reporter extremely difficult, it would have hindered her ability to enjoy life.

I often advise clients to have the stalker’s handwriting examined and evaluated by a hand writing expert. On another case, the stalker had sent one of my clients several letters that had been computer generated but he had handwritten her address on the envelopes. I took the envelopes to a highly regarded hand writing expert for subsequent examination.

The expert’s evaluation was quite alarming. The stalker knew where our client lived, since he probably followed her on many occasions as he also knew her work address. Apparently he knew she was married and that is where it became very disturbing. The expert was able to tell that the stalker became angry when he wrote about our client’s husband in the letter.

When he mentioned her husband and even when he wrote her surname (which was her husband’s name and became her married name) on the envelope, he applied more pressure to the pen as the ink was darker. That was a tell tale sign of his anger. When I asked the expert if his handwriting gave away any clues to the stalker’s ability to harm our client or her husband, I was told that he was capable of inflicting physical harm, especially against the husband. The hand writing expert believed that if he did become physical that his preferred method of attack would be up close, most likely with a knife.

The Police will usually get involved and assist as much as possible to find a stalker and arrest them, albeit temporarily. Unfortunately, stalking is only a misdemeanor offence so even if a victim is successful in having a stalker arrested, they will most likely be out on bail in a short time. The best result will be if the authorities can have the person medically examined to determine if they are a real threat.

Those victims who can have their own security will obviously be in the safest position since the Police do not have the manpower to sit outside of a victim’s home at night and accompany them through out the routine of their daily life. For those who can not have their own private security, they should become extra observant as they go about their business and vary their routine.

They should pay attention to their rear-view mirror for anyone following behind their vehicle, make notes of vehicle tag numbers and description of suspicious persons. Dead bolts and an alarm system should be installed in the home. You should consider the use of discreet surveillance cameras.

Above all else, do not take chances. You will not know this person and therefore, you do not know what they are capable of doing. If at all possible, avoid traveling alone and always let people know your times of departure and estimated time of arrival. Listen to your inner feelings. If you feel something is not right, there is a good chance that it is not.