Talking to Terrorists: Understanding the Psycho-Social Motivations of Militant Jihadi Terrorists, Mass Hostage-Takers, Suicide Bombers and “Martyrs” This is an account, spanning over a decade, of traveling through the West Bank and Gaza, into the U.S. Department of Defense prisons in Camp Bucca and Camp Victory, down the alleyways of the Casablanca slums, inside Chechnya, in the radicalized neighborhoods of Belgium, the UK, France and the Netherlands and sitting with the hostages of Beslan and Nord Ost, and talking to terrorists… In it’s pages, Dr. Speckhard gives us an account of what puts vulnerable individuals on the terrorist trajectory and what might also take them back off it. One of the only experts to have such a breadth of experience – having interviewed over four hundred terrorists, their friends, family members and hostages – having visited, and even stayed overnight at times in the intimate spaces of terrorists’ homes, interviewing them in their stark prison cells or meeting them in the streets of their shanty towns, Dr. Speckhard gives us a rare glimpse of terrorists within their own contexts. From the mouths of terrorists, their family members, comrades—and even their hostages, we learn of the manipulation of human weakness that can lead to their evil acts. Through careful research of culture and religion, a genuine desire to understand the factors that motivate individuals to embrace terrorism, Dr. Speckhard deftly defines the lethal cocktail that leads to the creation of a terrorist. An internationally recognized expert on the psychological aspects of terrorism and an expert in the area of posttraumatic stress disorder, Dr. Speckhard’s studies also produce a knowledge of how to disengage, deradicalize and rehabilitate a terrorist, reversing his or her trajectory. TALKING TO TERRORISTS reveals the humanity in us all—especially in those we least expect—and offers possibilities for achieving a safer world.
Warrior Princess: A U.S. Navy SEAL’s Journey to Coming out Transgender (coauthored with Kristin Beck) Chris Beck played high school football. He bought a motorcycle, much to his mother’s dismay, at age 17. He grew up to become a Navy SEAL, serving our country for twenty years on thirteen deployments, including seven combat deployments, and ultimately earned a Purple Heart and the Bronze Star. To everyone who saw him, he was a hero. A warrior. A man.
But underneath his burly beard, Chris had a secret, one that had been buried deep inside his heart since he was a little boy—one as hidden as the panty hose in the back of his drawer. He was transgender, and the woman inside needed to get out.
This is the journey of a girl in a man’s body and her road to self-actualization as a woman amidst the PTSD of war, family rejection and our society’s strict gender rules and perceptions. It is about a fight to be free inside one’s own body, a fight that requires the strength of a Warrior Princess.
Kristin’s story of boy to woman explores the tangled emotions of the transgender experience and opens up a new dialogue about being male or female: Is gender merely between your legs or is it something much bigger?
Fetal Abduction: The True Story of Multiple Personalities and Murder This is the story of Annette Morales Rodriguez, a hard-working single mother of three.
It is also the story of Lara, a psychopathic killer who abducted another woman’s fetus, killing both mother and baby.
Unbeknownst to Annette, Lara is a part of her: a dissociative identity, or split personality, formed to help Annette deal with the sexual abuse she endured as a child. Highly protective and driven to act solely in Annette’s interests with no regard for the consequences to others, Lara lacks the moral judgment and remorse of a fully-developed personality. It is she who saw Annette’s desire for and inability to have another baby and plotted to cut one from another woman’s belly to give to her.
Lara confessed in gruesome detail. Annette, entirely amnesic throughout the course of events, has no recollection of the behavior Lara carried out. Dr. Anne Speckhard’s jail interviews with Annette—and Lara—offer a fascinating glimpse inside a woman torn in two. Dr. Speckhard’s analysis of Annette’s behavior and her treatment once in police custody beg the questions: How do you separate the guilty from the innocent when they share the same body and when is it acceptable to violate one’s rights in the interest of public safety?