By Dean L. Jackson & Gregory M. Cooper-
On January 6th, at 11:11AM I received a call from my son. I answered, and the voice on the other end said, “Dad someone has hit a slaughter trough in Fort Lauderdale.” I knew exactly what he meant! He was calling to let me know someone had opened fire in the Baggage Claim area. The slaughter trough was the name I had been using with my family to refer to the Baggage Claim area following the coordinated suicide bombing at the Brussels airport on March 22nd, 2016. My thoughts turned to memories of watching the numerous news reports in March. I remember turning to my wife and saying, “it is unfortunate that everyone’s attention will now be focused on the Ticketing Area and they will continue to ignore the slaughter trough. My wife wanted to know what in the world I was talking about. I told her that I was talking about the Baggage Claim Area at the airport.
travel. Unfortunately no matter the airport, region or country, there seems to be one consistency, the Baggage Claim Area (Slaughter Trough) is largely ignored by airport security. My experience has been the same the world over; we arrive, we disembark, we grab our belongings, hopefully we don’t forget something, we are tired from the flight and fitting like sardines into a too small of a can, most of us are thirsty and probably hungry because we all know what is like to get food or drink on the plane, and maybe most of all, we all want to get to a adult sized bathroom! We all have the same thing in mind... get to baggage claim, get our luggage and get out of the airport! We are herding like sheep headed straight for the Slaughter Trough, I mean Baggage Claim! Unfortunately today the risk is higher than we think and we must consider the fact we are heading straight to a potential slaughter.
"Victimology is often one of the most beneficial investigative tools in classifying and solving a violent crime. It is a crucial part of crime analysis. Through it the investigator tries to evaluate why this particular person was targeted for a violent crime. Very often, just answering this question will lead the investigator to the motive, which will lead to the offender. Victimology is an essential step in arriving at a possible motive. If investigators fail to obtain complete victim histories, they may be overlooking information that could quickly direct their investigations to motives and to suspects.” - FBI Crime Classification Manual
Our Executive Director of the Cold Case Foundation, Gregory M. Cooper, constantly makes the case that crime is not a singular event but rather a culmination of feelings, emotions, actions and opportunity. We must be committed to the truth about ourselves and our environment which in the end will lead to successful and accurate judgement. There are three life saving questions that we must always ask.
Where am I? What am I doing? Who am I with?
Know who you are with! You are with fellow passengers, family/friends, employees and potentially individuals or groups who desire to cause pain and destruction on anyone regardless background. You must be aware of those people not only from the flight but also people coming in and out of the airport.
For many travelers today security is a part of the thought process when we head to the airport and go through the process of boarding our flight. After a long flight in we cannot let our guard down! We must remain vigilant until we have cleared the the airport property.
“When you eliminate the impossible,
whatever remains, however improbable
must be the truth.”
-A. Conan Doyle
The Sign of Four - Sherlock Holmes