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NCJ Number: 154640 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Threatening and Otherwise Inappropriate Letters to Members of the United States Congress
Journal: Journal of Forensic Sciences  Dated:(September 1991)  Pages:1445-1468
Author(s): P E Dietz; D B Matthews; D A Martell; T M Stewart; D R Hrouda; J Warren
Date Published: 1991
Page Count: 24
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice (NIJ)
Washington, DC 20531
US Dept of Justice NIJ Pub
Washington, DC 20531
Grant Number: 83-NI-AX-0005
Dataset: DATASET 1
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study examined the characteristics of threatening and otherwise inappropriate communications sent to members of the U.S. Congress by a sample of 86 subjects, 20 of whom threatened assassination.
Abstract: The authors quote excerpts from these letters and provide quantitative data on such variables as the volume, duration, form, and appearance of such communications; the enclosures; the subjects' perceived relationships to the recipients; the thematic content of the communications; and the messages and threats communicated. Comparisons between 43 subjects who pursued encounters with members of Congress and 43 who did not revealed 17 factors associated with such pursuit. In this population, threateners were significantly less likely to pursue an encounter than inappropriate letter writers who did not threaten, regardless of the type of threat or the harm threatened. Inappropriate letters to members of Congress were compared with those sent to Hollywood celebrities. Mentally disordered persons who write to public figures often mention and sometimes threaten public figures other than those to whom the letters are addressed, which raises important issues regarding notification of endangered third parties and the sharing of information among protective agencies. 4 tables and 7 references
Main Term(s): Criminology
Index Term(s): Personal Security/Self Protection; Protection of public figures; Threat assessment
Note: NIJ Reprint Series
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