The life-or-death situations where an armed assailant is holding innocent people hostage are among the most difficult in all of law enforcement. THE HOSTAGE TAKERS focuses on several prominent cases, revealing the unique forces involved. From the Hanafi siege of three Washington D.C. buildings in 1977 to the 12-hour standoff at an Alabama elementary school in 1988, footage shows how the police respond to these explosive situations. Trained negotiators reveal the different approaches they use to try to end the standoffs, while SWAT commanders discuss the challenges of taking control of these situations by force. Relive the harrowing moments from some famous cases through interviews with former hostages, and explore the strange phenomenon of hostages who end up feeling sympathy for their captors.
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