Gavin de Becker (born October 26, 1954)[1] is an American author and security specialist, primarily for governments, large corporations, and public figures.[2] He is the founder and chairman of Gavin de Becker and Associates.


Together with the United States Marshals Service, he co-designed the MOSAIC Threat Assessment Systems,[3] which is 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. 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.

De Becker has shared his philosophies about prevention of violence in several appearances on The Oprah Winfrey Show, 60 Minutes, Larry King Live, 20/20, The Jordan Harbinger Show and the Waking Up podcast with Sam Harris. He has also been profiled in Time Magazine and Newsweek, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, and others. De Becker's first book, The Gift of Fear, was a US #1 bestseller on the New York Times Bestseller List.

In 2008, Oprah Winfrey dedicated a 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 de Becker's work in domestic violence.[5]

His latest book, Just 2 Seconds, has been described as a 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]

In 1997, his firm was hired by Bill Cosby to investigate the murder of his son, Ennis.[7]

De Becker served as an expert advisor to the Los Angeles County District Attorney on the criminal prosecution of O.J. Simpson, and served as an advisor on the successful civil case against Simpson. His role is described in several books on the Simpson case, including those written by Marcia Clark[8], Christopher Darden[9], Jeffrey Toobin[10], and Daniel Petrocelli[11].

De Becker has served as an adviser for the anti-bullying resource, Bystander Revolution.[12]

In March 2019, De Becker, who has worked for The Washington Post owner Jeff Bezos, accused the Saudi Arabian government of hacking Bezos' phone. According to BBC, Bezos' top security staffer, Gavin de Becker, "linked the hack to the Washington Post's coverage of the murder of Saudi writer Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul."[13] The Daily Beast ran an op-Ed in which De Becker explained the matter of the Saudi hack in detail.[14]

Expert witness testimonyEdit

Gavin de Becker has provided expert witness testimony in many cases, including the successful prosecution of Arthur Richard Jackson, the assailant of actress Theresa Saldaña. He later led a national campaign to keep Jackson incarcerated.[15] He also testified in the civil case against the employer of murderer Rodney Garmanian.[16]

De Becker testified in the successful 1994 civil case arising when The Globe tabloid 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.[17]

De Becker advised the Los Angeles 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 O.J. Simpson for the murder of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and Ron Goldman,[18][19][20] and the successful civil action against O.J. Simpson.[21]


  • de Becker, Gavin (1997). The Gift of Fear and Other Survival Signals that Protect Us From Violence. Boston: Little, Brown and Company. ISBN 978-0-316-23502-0. OCLC 36143575.
  • —— (1999). Protecting the Gift: Keeping Children and Teenagers Safe (and Parents Sane). New York, NY: Dial Press. ISBN 978-0-385-33309-2. OCLC 317692059.
  • —— (2002). Fear Less: Real Truth about Risk, Safety, and Security in a Time of Terrorism. Boston: Little, Brown and Company. ISBN 978-0-316-08596-0. OCLC 48746358.
  • —— (2008). Just 2 Seconds: Using Time and Space to Defeat Assassins. Gavin de Becker Center for the Study and Reduction of Violence. ISBN 978-0-615-21447-4. OCLC 0615214479.

Cultural referencesEdit

  • Actor Miguel Ferrer, who played Albert Rosenfield, an FBI agent in the 1990s television show Twin Peaks, reported that his character was based on Gavin de Becker. Ferrer reportedly knew de Becker since high school.[22]
  • De Becker gave a eulogy at Carrie Fisher’s memorial service. Fisher and de Becker reportedly attended high school together and they are described as friends. “The first time I had sex was at Carrie’s house,” de Becker stated in the eulogy, and added, “It wasn’t with Carrie, but she arranged it.”[23]
  • De Becker gave the eulogy for Garry Shandling; making reference to a long-term feud with studio head Brad Grey, de Becker said, "Over the years, many people asked me, 'Why doesn't Garry have a family?' My answer was, 'Of course he had a family.' He created the Sanders family, which was as much a family as anything, and he had this family [motioning to the crowd]. And even Brad Grey had a role in his family, because every family has an uncle or a cousin who is a sociopath."[24]


  • De Becker founded and personally funds The Naqaqa Giving Foundation, a charitable foundation that provides medical, educational, and infrastructure support to remote villages in Fiji.[25]
  • He founded and funded Patient Pets, providing pet therapy for violently inclined patients at Atascadero State Hospital.[26] [27]
  • De Becker provided the entire funding for the first Los Angeles County Domestic Violence Hotline, and along with Oprah Winfrey, makes MOSAIC domestic violence assessments available to anyone at no charge.[5]

See alsoEdit


  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. ^ a b [1] Gavin de Becker and MOSAIC on Oprah
  6. ^ Kirdahy, Matthew (September 16, 2008) [2]
  7. ^ Rush, George (June 4, 1997). "Pfeifer and Kelley Say Suit is a 'Minds' Game". New York Daily News.
  8. ^ Clark, Marcia (April 25, 2016). Without a Doubt. Graymalkin Media. ISBN 1631680684.
  9. ^ Darden, Christopher (June 6, 2016). In Contempt. Graymalkin Media. ISBN 1631680749.
  10. ^ Toobin, Jeffrey (September 29, 2015). The Run of His Life: The People v. O.J. Simpson. Random House. ISBN 081298854X.
  11. ^ Petrocelli, Daniel (July 19, 2016). Triumph of Justice: Closing the Book on the O.J. Simpson. Greymalkin Media. ISBN 1631680781.
  12. ^ "Advisors". Bystander Revolution. Retrieved 20 April 2016.
  13. ^ "Saudi Arabia 'hacked Amazon boss's phone', says investigator". BBC News. 31 March 2019.
  14. ^ "Bezos Investigation Finds the Saudis Obtained His Private Data". The Daily Beast. 31 March 2019.
  15. ^ "Saldaña Attacker Ordered to Trial on Letter Threats". Los Angeles Times. June 14, 1990.
  16. ^ Peggy Garrity (August 9, 2016). In the Game: The Highs and Lows of a Trailblazing Trial Lawyer. She Writes Press. p. 145. ISBN 978-1-63152-106-5. Retrieved February 10, 2019.
  17. ^ California Court of Appeals (June 5th, 1996). [3] Khawar v. Globe International Inc.
  18. ^ Clark, Marcia (1998). Without a Doubt. East Rutherford, NJ: Penguin Books. ISBN 978-0-14-025977-3.
  19. ^ Darden, Chris (1996). In Contempt. Regan Books. ISBN 978-0-06-039183-6.
  20. ^ Toobin, Jeffrey (1996). The Run of His Life. Random House Books. ISBN 978-0-679-44170-0.
  21. ^ Petrocelli, Daniel (1998). Triumph of Justice. Crown. ISBN 978-0-609-60170-9.
  22. ^ Buck, Jerry (November 24, 1990). "Ferrer Not Your Average Cop in 'Broken Badges'". Chicago Tribune.
  23. ^ Pressberg, Matt (March 25, 2017). "Carrie Fisher, Debbie Reynolds Funeral Features Dancing, Droids and a Standing Ovation". The Wrap.
  24. ^ Wallace, Amy (April 25, 2016). "Garry Shandling's Memorial Service Was a Funny, Sad, Perfect Tribute to a Beloved Comedy Mentor". GQ Magazine.
  25. ^ [4] Naqaqa Giving Foundation
  26. ^ Anne Davis, Carol (November 15, 2011). "Children Who Kill: Profiles of Pre-Teen and Teenage Killers".
  27. ^ Clark, Joe (November 11, 2015). "My Values Are All I Have". He Doesn't Know How Much I Love Him.

External linksEdit