A brief history of death threats

Until recently, issuing a death threat required some effort. Today, anyone with a phone or computer can make a threat—or receive one. The result is a “golden age” for the dark realm of personal threats.  

Forensic linguist Tanya Karoli Christensen and forensic psychologist Lisa Warren help us trace the history of death threats from eloquently penned letters to casually written social media posts. As the platforms for making threats are changing, so too are the methods for assessing their potency.

Music in this episode by Magnus Ringblom, 91nova, Fabien Tell, BLUE STEEL, Peter Sandberg, Amaranth Cove and Andreas Boldt. Illustration by James Gillray (1756-1815) via Wikimedia Commons.

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1 comment
  • I’ve suspected for quite some time now that we’re living in the some kind of “golden age.” That it turns out to be the golden age of personal threats rings true! Everything is falling apart, it seems, and everybody gets more touchy all the time.

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