Gavin de Becker

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Gavin de Becker (born October 26, 1954)[1] is a best-selling author and specialist in security issues, primarily for governments, large corporations, and public figures.[2] Gavin de Becker is often referred to as the nation's leading expert on the prediction and management of violence.


As a consultant to many major media figures, government agencies, Fortune-500 companies, and universities, his firm has overseen the assessment and management of more than 44,000 cases. His firm maintains the world's largest private library of threat and obsessive communications, consisting of more than 500,000 pieces of material.

He is the designer of the MOSAIC Threat Assessment Systems[3] used to screen threats to Justices of the Supreme Court of the United States, members of United States Congress, and senior officials of the Central Intelligence Agency. Along with the United States Marshals Service, he co-designed the MOSAIC Threat Assessment Systems currently used for assessing all threats to Federal Judges and prosecutors. Los Angeles County Law enforcement agencies adopted MOSAIC in 1997 to help police manage and reduce spousal abuse cases that might escalate to homicide.[4]

He was twice appointed to the President's Advisory Board at the United States Department of Justice, and he served two terms on the Governor's Advisory Board at the California Department of Mental Health.

Mr. de Becker has shared his philosophies about prevention of violence in several appearances on the Oprah Winfrey Show, 60 Minutes, Larry King Live, and 20/20 (U.S. TV series). He has also been profiled in Time Magazine and Newsweek, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, and many others. Mr. de Becker's first book The Gift of Fear was the Nation's #1 Bestseller, on the New York Times Bestseller List for seventeen weeks. It is now published in fourteen languages.

In 2008, Oprah Winfrey dedicated an hour-long show to commemorate the 10-year anniversary of the publication of the book. In the last year of her show, she dedicated two hour-long shows to Mr. de Becker's work in domestic violence.[5] The Domestic Violence MOSAIC's website is:

His latest book, Just 2 Seconds, has been described as the essential guide for protectors of at-risk people and includes 5 lessons for people charged with protecting others. It also includes summaries of incidents from the last several decades for training and analysis. Co-authors of the book are Tom Taylor and Jeff Marquart.[6]

He is Senior Fellow at the UCLA School of Public Affairs [7] and a Senior Advisor to the Rand Corporation [8] on public safety and justice matters.

In 1997, his firm was hired by Bill Cosby to investigate the murder of his son, Ennis.[9] He was reportedly the owner of a Los Angeles house at which George Harrison died of cancer in November 2001.[10]

Gavin de Becker is an advisor and contributor to the anti-bullying organization Bystander Revolution.


Gavin de Becker has testified before the California Senate Judiciary Committee, and has provided testimony regarding stalker laws to the U.S. Senate. He provided consultation and testimony for stalker legislation in Texas, New Mexico, Nevada and Michigan.

After leading a national campaign to keep the assailant of Theresa Saldana in secure custody, he helped design legislation to deal with similar cases. He wrote California's Threat-trespass Statute, which was signed into law by the Governor in 1991, and he has kept these issues on the National agenda.

His firm is also a principal source of study material for federal research project on threats.[11]

Expert Witness Testimony[edit]

Gavin de Becker has provided expert witness testimony in many cases, including the successful prosecution of Arthur Richard Jackson, the assailant of actress Theresa Saldana. He later led a National campaign to keep Jackson incarcerated,[12] as well as the civil case against the employer of murderer Rodney Garmanian.[13]

He testified in the successful prosecution of Tina Marie Ledbetter, who sent 6,000 death threat letters to actor Michael J. Fox, as well as the successful federal prosecution of Richard Pelfrey, stalker of singer Debbie Gibson. De Becker testified in the successful 1994 civil case arising when The Globe tabloid falsely accused an uninvolved man of being the actual assassin of Senator Robert Kennedy (Khawar vs Globe International, Inc). Globe tried to get de Becker's testimony thrown out by a higher court, however it was ultimately upheld by the California Court of Appeals.[14]

De Becker advised the LA County District Attorney in the successful prosecution of Robert Bardo, the murderer of actress Rebecca Schaeffer, and was a consultant on the unsuccessful prosecution of OJ Simpson for the murder of his wife and Ron Goldman,[15][16][17] and the successful civil action against O.J. Simpson.[18] He testified in the nation's first use of a stalking law in a case involving a public figure, as well as in the first successful use of California's Keene Bill. He was an expert for the District Attorney in the unsuccessful murder prosecution of Calvin Broadus (Snoop Doggy Dog), and later testified in the successful civil case against Broadus. He testified in the case against Ralph Nau, a confessed killer who was obsessed with Olivia Newton-John, Madonna, Cher, and others.[19]

De Becker provided an expert witness declaration in the case of Cox Texas Newspapers, LP and Hearst Newspapers, LLC vs. Texas Department of Public Safety, in which de Becker informed the Court that making public detailed information about the protection and logistics of the Governor would enhance risk to persons protected by the State Executive Protection Bureau. The Court relied upon de Becker's opinion and ruled for the State of Texas.




  1. ^ Reagan, Ronald (January 19, 1989). Designation of Gavin de Becker as a Member of the Board of Governors of the United Service Organizations, Incorporated. via Reagan archive
  2. ^ Brown, Patricia Leigh (July 14, 1997). "His Credo: Be Afraid. Be Very Afraid.:[Biography]". New York Times. p. 10
  3. ^ Forrest, Brett (June 2000). UltraViolencePredictor 1.0. Wired
  4. ^ Tamaki, Julie (February 5, 1997). "Software Aids Battle Against Home Violence". Los Angeles Times. 
  5. ^ [1] Gavin de Becker and MOSAIC on Oprah
  6. ^ Kirdahy, Matthew (September 16, 2008) [2]
  7. ^ [3] Gavin de Becker Senior Fellow at UCLA
  8. ^ [4] Rand Corporation 2005 Annual Report - Page 36
  9. ^ Rush, George (June 4, 1997). "Pfeifer and Kelley Say Suit is a 'Minds' Game". New York Daily News. 
  10. ^ article.[5]. [George Harrison]
  11. ^ Hays, Scott (October 17, 1990). "Stalking Fame : Psychology: A seven-year study of letters from obsessed fans gives a Newport Beach expert some new clues into troubled minds.". Los Angeles Times. 
  12. ^ "Saldana Attacker Ordered to Trial on Letter Threats". Los Angeles Times. June 14, 1990. 
  13. ^ McGraw, Carol (June 28, 1988). "Security Guard Charged in Murder, Rape, Kidnap of Brentwood Student". Los Angeles Times. 
  14. ^ California Court of Appeals (June 5th, 1996). [6] Khawar v. Globe International Inc.
  15. ^ Clark, Marcia (1998). Without a Doubt. East Rutherford, NJ: Penguin Books. ISBN 978-0-14-025977-3. 
  16. ^ Darden, Chris (1996). In Contempt. Regan Books. ISBN 978-0-06-039183-6. 
  17. ^ Toobin, Jeffrey (1996). The Run of His Life. Random House Books. ISBN 978-0-679-44170-0. 
  18. ^ Petrocelli, Daniel (1998). Triumph of Justice. Crown. ISBN 978-0-609-60170-9. 
  19. ^ "Judge Denies Freedom to Obsessed Fan". Los Angeles Times. December 13, 1989. 
  20. ^ "Oprah’s Lifeclass Lesson 16: Videos from Following Your Gut". Retrieved November 1, 2011. 

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