To Catch a Predator

American reality television series focusing on exposing pedophiles through sting operations.

To Catch a Predator is a television program designed to catch adults trying to have sex with children below the age of 16. People were lured to meet with a decoy under the pretense of sexual contact and then confronted. Show host Chris Hansen clarified in an interview with NPR News that these subjects should be labeled as potential sexual predators, and not pedophiles. "Pedophiles have a very specific definition, people who are interested in prepubescent sex," he stated.[1]

The series premiered in November 2004, and featured 12 investigations in total held across the United States. The investigations were conducted as undercover sting operations with the help of on-line watchdog group Perverted-Justice. Since the third installment, law enforcement and other officials were also involved, leading to the arrests of most individuals caught. No new episodes have aired since December 2007.

Rockwall County, Texas assistant district attorney Louis Conradt was caught sending pictures and messages to who he thought was a 13-year-old boy but was decoy from Perverted-Justice. When they tried to do a search warrant to his house, Conradt would commit suicide by shooting himself while the police and NBC crew were entering his house. The show would be cancelled afterwards.[2][3]

NBC affiliates WTMJ in Milwaukee, KSHB in Kansas City and WBRE have also done local versions of To Catch a Predator. Various spin-offs have aired in the same format, including To Catch a Con Man, To Catch an ID Thief, To Catch a Car Thief and To Catch an i-Jacker, which featured iPod thieves. To Catch a Predator is also aired on FX and Crime & Investigation Network in the United Kingdom, the Crime & Investigation Network in Australia and New Zealand and FOX Crime in Portugal.

Later in 2016, Chris Hansen would host a similar segment called Hansen vs. Predator during episodes of Crime Watch Daily.[4]

References change

  1. "Ethics of NBC's Sting Show 'To Catch a Predator'", Talk of the Nation, National Public Radio, January 16, 2007
  2. "Prosecutor Kills Himself in Texas Raid Over Child Sex". The New York Times. Retrieved February 27, 2024.
  3. "NBC sued for $105 million over man's death". Reuters. Retrieved February 27, 2024.
  4. "Chris Hansen will be catching predators on 'Crime Watch Daily'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 27, 2024.