• Narrated by: Mark Deakins
  • Length: 7 hrs and 44 mins
  • Release date: 04-05-22

Trigger Points AudioBook Summary

“An urgent read that illuminates real possibility for change.” (John Carreyrou, New York Times best-selling author of Bad Blood)

For the first time, a story of specialized teams of forensic psychologists, FBI agents, and other experts that are successfully stopping mass shootings—a hopeful, myth-busting narrative built on new details of infamous attacks, never-before-told accounts from perpetrators and survivors, and real-time immersion in confidential threat cases, whose leaders cast a whole new light on how to solve a grievous problem.

It’s time to go beyond all the thoughts and prayers, misguided blame for mental illness, and dug-in disputes over the Second Amendment. Through meticulous reporting and panoramic storytelling, award-winning journalist Mark Follman chronicles the decades-long search for identifiable profiles of mass shooters and brings listeners inside a groundbreaking method for preventing these devastating attacks. The emerging field of behavioral threat assessment, with its synergy of mental health and law enforcement expertise, focuses on circumstances and behaviors leading up to planned acts of violence—warning signs that offer a chance for constructive intervention before it’s too late.

Beginning with pioneering study in the late 1970s of “criminally insane” assassins and the stalking behaviors discovered after John Lennon’s murder and the shooting of Ronald Reagan, Follman traces how the field first grew out of Secret Service investigations and FBI serial-killer hunting. Soon to be revolutionized after the tragedies at Columbine and Virginia Tech, and expanded further after Sandy Hook and Parkland, the method today is used increasingly to thwart attacks brewing within American communities.

As Follman examines threat assessment work throughout the country, he goes inside the FBI’s elite Behavioral Analysis Unit and embeds with an Oregon school district’s innovative violence-prevention program, the first such comprehensive system to prioritize helping kids and spurn punitive measures. The story delves into consequential tragedies and others averted with its focus squarely on progress, revealing the dangers of cultural misunderstanding and media sensationalism along the way. Ultimately, Follman shows how the nation could adopt the techniques of behavioral threat assessment more broadly, with powerful potential to save lives.

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