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Thread: 'To Catch a Predator' shakes up town.

  1. #1
    Elite Member sophie's Avatar
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    Default 'To Catch a Predator' shakes up town.

    at least now i know it was all real...wonder if the show will be cancelled.

    MURPHY, Texas (June 28) - A sting in which police teamed up with "Dateline NBC" to catch online pedophiles was supposed to send a flinty-eyed, Texas-style warning about this Dallas suburb: Don't mess with Murphy.

    Instead, it has turned into a fiasco.




    NBC 'Dateline' used this home in Murphy, Texas, to lure would-be child molestors. The city manager who helped NBC set up the sting lost his job.

    One of the 25 men caught in the sting, a prosecutor from a neighboring county committed suicide when police came to arrest him. The Murphy city manager who approved the operation lost his job in the ensuing furor.

    And the district attorney is refusing to prosecute any of the men, saying many of the cases were tainted by the involvement of amateurs.

    "Certainly these people should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law, but the fact that this was all done for television cameras raises some questions," said Mayor Bret Baldwin.

    It is the first time in nine "Dateline NBC: To Catch a Predator" stings across the country in the past year and a half that prosecutors did not pursue charges.

    "Dateline" has made prime-time entertainment out of contacting would-be child molesters over the Internet, luring them to a meeting place, and videotaping their humiliating confrontations with reporter Chris Hansen.

    "Dateline" works with an activist group called Perverted Justice, which supplies adults who troll Internet chat rooms, posing as underage boys and girls, and try to collect incriminating sex talk.

    City manager Craig Sherwood approved such an operation in this well-to-do community of 11,000 after being approached by "Dateline" and Perverted Justice, but he never informed the mayor or the City Council. He said secrecy was necessary for the sting to be effective.

    Over four days in November, 24 men were arrested at a two-story home in one of Murphy's newer neighborhoods after allegedly arranging to meet boys or girls there.

    Some other suspects contacted Perverted Justice decoys online but never showed up at the house. Among them was Louis Conradt Jr., an assistant prosecutor from neighboring Kauffman County, who allegedly engaged in a sexually explicit online chat with an adult posing as a 13-year-old boy.

    As police knocked at his door and a "Dateline" camera crew waited in the street, Conradt shot himself.

    His sister, Patricia Conradt, told the City Council that police acted as "a judge, jury and executioner that was encouraged by an out-of-control reality show."

    Then, last month, Collin County District Attorney John Roach dropped all charges. He said that in 16 of the cases, he had no jurisdiction, since neither the suspects nor the decoys were in the county during the online chats.

    As for the rest of the cases, he said neither police nor NBC could guarantee the chat logs were authentic and complete.

    "The fact that somebody besides police officers were involved is what makes this case bad," said Roach, who was informed of the sting in advance but did not participate. "If professionals had been running the show, they would have done a much better job rather than being at the beck and call of outsiders."

    As details of the suicide emerged, Murphy's mayor, City Council and most of its residents learned for the first time that potential molesters were being luring to their city. Many were furious.

    "They can chase predators all they want, but they shouldn't do it in a populated area with children, two blocks from an elementary school," said Lisa Watson, 33, who lives down the road from the sting house and has three children and another on the way.

    Bryan Whorton, who lives with his wife and baby across the street from the house, said his neighborhood was put in danger. Cars sped up and down the street and police sprinted from hiding spots, guns drawn, to arrest suspects, he said. One suspect dropped a bag of crack, Whorton said.

    "This is a family community. It didn't look kosher at all," he said.

    Two weeks ago, the City Council voted to buy out the city manager's contract for $255,000.

    NBC's Hansen said Murphy is the only place the show has encountered such resistance.

    "I don't want to get involved in the DA's business or the police business," he said. "I can tell you in the other locations, these issues did not come up."

    Eric Nichols, a Texas deputy attorney general, said that when law enforcement authorities pull an Internet sex sting, officers posing as decoys follow strict rules. Detailed chat logs are kept to ensure that "sex talk" is initiated by the potential predator. That way, a defendant cannot claim entrapment.

    Eric Chase, a defense attorney specializing in sex crimes, said stings are the job of police, not TV crews. "Police should not be abdicating a very important function to either private organizations or entertainment organizations," he said.
    "I'll probably just end up in some seedy bar with some seedy blonde"-some random Englishman

  2. #2
    Elite Member DoveFeatheredRaven's Avatar
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    These city leaders and DA are being stupid. Who cares if some pedophile shot his perverted self because he was about to be caught?! This is ridiculous and I would be pretty damn outraged if I lived there and knew members of my community were getting away with this. For those who lived in another jurisdiction, surely to jebus someone in that county could prosecute them.

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    Elite Member McJag's Avatar
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    I doubt it-the show is too popular and these people were beyond dumb! They-the ones I saw on TV-were actually under the delusion
    that no predetors would have come to THEIR town without this TV show!
    I didn't start out to collect diamonds, but somehow they just kept piling up.-Mae West

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    Elite Member Beeyotch's Avatar
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    Cars sped up and down the street and police sprinted from hiding spots, guns drawn, to arrest suspects, he said. One suspect dropped a bag of crack, Whorton said.
    I agree about the safety issues here. But otherwise, I still can't see why they didn't prosecute the people they caught. They were working with the police, after all and said these issues had never come up before in all the time they'd been doing this. How careless could they have been re: entrapment and procuring the right evidence to make a case?

    Streamline the safety and legal issues, but by all means keep exposing these sick f*cks.

  5. #5
    Elite Member sophie's Avatar
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    ^^they were trying to cover their asses from suits, thats why they didnt prosecute.
    "I'll probably just end up in some seedy bar with some seedy blonde"-some random Englishman

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    Quote Originally Posted by sophie View Post
    His sister, Patricia Conradt, told the City Council that police acted as "a judge, jury and executioner that was encouraged by an out-of-control reality show."
    So it's okay that her brother, an assistant prosecutor who likely had a hand in prosecuting pedophiles, was soliciting sex with children online? Yet it's not okay for the police to set up a sting to catch him and others in the act?

    I've seen all the Predator shows and they clearly show at the beginning that Dateline is documenting what Perverted Justice and the police do, they're not involved in the online chats, they're not involved in the arrests. Apart from Chris Hanson's "interview" of the suspects I don't see how their involvement would be an issue.

    From my point of view these city councils should be applauding Dateline's involvement. They're getting child molesters off the street, something most police forces don't have the resources to do on such a large scale.

  7. #7
    Elite Member lurkur's Avatar
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    I can't believe this. How is the guy from the city in any way responsible for someone deciding to kill himself? He shouldn't have been fired.

    The suicide prosecutor guy was an idiot, and he is the one responsible for what he did. He's the one that went online. He's the one that shot himself. End of story.

    Besides, he was a prosecutor - he was totally aware of these types of situations -- people go on trial for stuff they didn't do everyday. Hell, he probably prosecuted people he knew were innocent - it's part of his job. He would also know the LAW, how the courts work with this subject, and how to argue his way out.

    Dateline NBC doesn't seem to do much more than hold the cameras and have that host guy waltz in to ask the predators questions. I think most of the organizing goes on between Perverted Justice and the cops. NBC probably gives both PJ and the cops funding for the stings, or at the very least, publicity and recognition for what they do.

    And the one mom who said that sort of thing doesn't belong in her neighborhood because it's "not responsible" makes my blood boil. These parents who think nothing bad goes on in their towns just because they don't SEE it are bad parents. They have good intentions, and it's not like they're beating their kids, but they're so naive and blind to what is going on. They leave the responsibility up to someone else. These are the same types of parents who are surprised and horrified when they accidentally catch their "little girl" or "little boy" having sex in their beds when they're not home.

    Texas is probably mad that the guy killed himself because they want to be the ones doing the executing.

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    Elite Member sweetrebel's Avatar
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    I wish nothing on anyone, but if someone in this "small, quiet town" has a child that is molested, they will be the first one yelling for someone to do something.
    Wonder why this is the first time that they have ran into this? Could it be that someone is sticking their head in the sand?
    THE EASIEST WAY OUT IS THROUGH....

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    Elite Member Picara's Avatar
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    I do think this show is dangerous for Chris Hansen. I keep waiting for some guy he's cross examining to reach across the counter and stab him or something. Dangerous job.

    The show does a lot of good by exposing these guys. I've been surprised who they are. One time, a rabbi and a teacher.

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    Elite Member olivia720's Avatar
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    these guys do a hell of a lot better than catching child molesters than cops do. glad someone's doing it.

    And that was stupid that that guy got fired. He had nothing to do with that moron shooting himself.

  11. #11
    Elite Member lurkur's Avatar
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    I'm surprised guys are still getting caught by this show. A lot of those guys who get caught have SEEN THE SHOW and they still do it. These guys must be so blinded by their fucking pedophile lust that they don't even realize anything suspicious when the "kid" just says that the door is open and they can walk in.

    Just curious, has anyone seen an episode where a woman came to the house?

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    Elite Member ManxMouse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lurkur View Post
    Just curious, has anyone seen an episode where a woman came to the house?
    No, women don't do this kind of predatory internet shit.

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    Elite Member nycgirl's Avatar
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    ^^Yeah women aren't usually the sick peverted ones, I've read statistics and like 99.99 percent of these cases are involving men soliciting minors (both male and female) on the net

    But I think the camera factor is a good thing- these sickos deserve to be humiliated on National television, and if they don't want to be caught on the show- they shouldn't troll the net looking for 13 year old virgins to begin with. It's so, so sick. Plus the fact that it's on TV means people are watching it- and hopefully predators who are out there talking to real children on the net are discouraged from going to see them/doing anything out of fear that it could be a sting of some kind.

    Why does this woman talking about her hypocritical prosecutor brother think HE is the victim in this situation? He's the one who tried to have sex with a little boy! Kids who are raped/have sex with strangers that young are ALWAYS traumatized by it later in life. Their brains haven't even developed fully yet and they don't see the bigger picture sometimes. I wonder if this sister has any kids of her own and if she would like it if someone did this to her child. It's really not their fault if a guy killed himself at all, he was obviously mentally unstable to begin with. Nobody should have lost their job over something that they couldn't control. A sick pervert killing himself? I don't care. Sorry if that sounds harsh but it's the truth.

    I mean I don't have children myself but think about- this could happen to one of the children of the members on this board, a friends child, a young relative, anyone......that's why I really don't have any sympathy for those pervs
    Last edited by nycgirl; July 8th, 2007 at 02:33 PM.

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    Elite Member nwgirl's Avatar
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    Default Updated - the sister has filed suit

    NBC's 'Predator' Show Sued Over Suicide

    By LARRY NEUMEISTER, Associated Press Writer

    5 hours agoUPDATED 1 HOUR 36 MINUTES AGO
    NEW YORK - In the "Dateline NBC: To Catch a Predator" show, men accused of having explicit online chats with people they think are underage children go to a house to meet them, where TV cameras, host Chris Hansen and police await.

    Louis William Conradt Jr., of Terrell, Texas, a Dallas suburb, was suspected of being one of those men, except he didn't show up at the house. That didn't stop the TV producers and police from showing up at his, though, and as officers knocked on his door and a camera crew waited in the street, Conradt shot and killed himself.

    His sister, Patricia Conradt, sued NBC Universal Inc. in U.S. District Court in Manhattan on Monday for $105 million, accusing it of taking over police duties and then failing to protect her brother.

    In the lawsuit, Patricia Conradt accused NBC Universal of engaging in a pattern of racketeering activity by bribing police across the country to let it film encounters with suspects it lures to a home where it has set up cameras.

    She said in the lawsuit NBC "steam-rolled" police to arrest her brother after telling police he failed to show up at the rigged house 35 miles away.

    She said her brother was unable to defend himself when police, NBC employees and associates swarmed his yard, creating a relationship between NBC and her brother similar to the relationship a prison guard has with an inmate.

    "The suicide was reasonably foreseeable," her lawsuit said. "At this time, the defendant wore the robe of a state official and Bill wore the shackles of a detainee. Having trespassed and invaded upon Bill's property to broadcast a spectacle to millions, the defendant took no more steps toward protecting him than are received by a gladiator or bull."

    A spokeswoman for NBC Universal, Jenny Tartikoff, said: "We have not yet received the lawsuit, but we plan to defend ourselves vigorously as we believe the claims in the suit to be completely without merit."

    NBC and Perverted Justice have filmed similar operations in other cities, and the network has said the show did not have the same problems elsewhere.

    The lawsuit said Conradt Jr., 57, an assistant county prosecutor, shot himself after he was accused of engaging in a sexually explicit online chat with an adult posing as a 13-year-old boy. It said a police officer at the scene of the shooting told a "Dateline" producer: "That'll make good TV."

    In the lawsuit, Patricia Conradt said NBC was "concerned more with its own profits than with pedophilia."

    Conradt Jr. became a target in a program in which NBC and the activist group Perverted Justice set up shop for four days last November in a two-story home in Murphy, Texas. Perverted Justice staff posed as boys and girls online and arranged to meet men there.

    Two dozen men were arrested, but the district attorney refused to prosecute any of them, saying many of the cases were tainted by the involvement of amateurs and that he lacked jurisdiction in most cases because neither the suspects nor decoys were in the county during the online chats. The city manager was fired for approving the arrangement without telling the mayor or the city council.
    Who didn't know this was coming? What a load of crap. So when the police come knocking and someone offs themselves, it's someone else's fault?
    "The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits."

  15. #15
    Elite Member lurkur's Avatar
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    This is BS. Maybe because her brother was a lawyer, she has some insight on how to wrench money from these types of situations. Anyone see the Married With Children episode where a burglar breaks into the Bundy house and sues Al because Al hits him and he is no longer to perform his "job" stealing from people? heh.

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