Hey, let’s be careful out there. —Sgt. Phil Esterhaus, played by Michael Conrad on the hit 1980s TV show “Hill Street Blues”
Quick! Who is more dangerous, a stranger or people close to you. In “Dangerous Instincts: How Gut Feelings Betray Us” (Hudson Street Press, an imprint of Penguin Group USA, 272 pages, $25.95) retired FBI profiler Mary Ellen O’Toole (with co-author Alisa Bowman) gives us a quick answer.
As one of the world’s top experts on psychopathy and criminal behavior, O’Toole has seen repeatedly how relying on the sense of fear alone often fails to protect us from danger. Whether you are opening the door to a stranger or meeting a date you connected with online, you need to know how to protect yourself from harm-physical, financial, legal, and professional.
Using the SMART method, which O’Toole developed and used at the FBI, we can confidently know how to:
• Respond to a threat in any situation
• Hire someone who will work inside your home like a contractor or housekeeper
• Figure out whether a prospective employee is a safe bet
• Know whom you can trust with your children
An especially useful book for women living alone, parents who are concerned about their children’s safety, and employers worried about employees who might go postal, “Dangerous Instincts” gives us the tools used by professionals to navigate potentially hazardous waters. Like “The Gift of Fear” and “The Sociopath Next Door”, it will appeal to anyone looking to make the right call in an ever threatening world. Think about the important decisions you make:
• Is it safe to let your child’s coach give him a ride home from practice?
• Should you make financial investments with someone recommended to you?
• Should you confront that neighbor about a problem you’re having with him?
O’Toole is a much sought after speaker who has addressed multidisciplinary audiences from both the private and public sectors. She continues to lecture at the FBI Academy on psychopathy and interviewing. She has served as adjunct faculty to the FBI’s Prestigious Leadership Development Institute (LDI) at the FBI Academy. While serving as an FBI Agent, O’Toole has been qualified as an expert witness for both the prosecution as well as defense counsel in high profile murder cases in the areas of crime scene assessment, criminal investigative analysis and offender behavior.
O’Toole is the FBI’s primary researcher and author of “The School Shooter: A Threat Assessment Perspective” available @ www.fbi.gov. Her other publications and writings are in the areas of psychopathy, targeted school violence, threat assessment and stalking, serial murder, child abduction and CIA.
She represented the FBI in her media appearances on Larry King Live, Fox News, CNN, MSNBC, Discovery Channel, Forensic Files, Investigative Channel, Discovery Channel and National Public Radio. She is currently an analyst with MSNBC for their new series “Criminal Mindscape” which aired November 8, 2009 and will be featured in an upcoming documentary for the Smithsonian Channel entitled “True Stories: Silence of the Lambs”
About the Authors
Mary Ellen O’Toole, PhD is recognized as one of the FBI’s preeminent experts in the areas of criminal, violent and aberrant behavior. Dr. O’Toole’s exemplary law enforcement career began in the San Francisco’s District Attorney’s Office as a Criminal Investigator and spans over 32 years. She was an FBI agent for 28 years, working more than half of her Bureau career in the organization’s prestigious Behavioral Analysis Unit (BAU). Alisa Bowman is a professional author and collaborator, the coauthor of seven New York Times bestsellers.
Publisher’s website: www.penguingroup.com