To "Catch a Predator" is a classic. It transcended your run of the mill reality tv/crime drama story.
Chris Hansen and his crew reeled us in like we were part of the bust. We were ALL the UCs (that's undercovers... thank you Law & Order:SVU) and it felt like we got the bad guys in real time.
And Lord were there plenty of bad guys. Most importantly it shined a light on how to be more aware of danger in this age of the internet. That was when danger took a turn.
Redditor u/BreakupSimulatorLite wanted to hear about the behind the scenes on the iconic show by asking:
Redditors who knew men caught on "To Catch a Predator" before the show, what were they like?
***ATTENTION- ADULT MATERIAL GOING FORWARD***
I read somewhere that that show caught over 400 peeps. That is an extraordinary accomplishment. That show did an amazing amount of good. And also showed us just how low humanity has sunk.
"One guy showed up to the sting in a company semi-truck. It is blurred out in the episode but the company is Covenant Transport. I went to work for them a few years after the episode. During orientation, they gave us a list of "things that will result in immediate termination. Things like "Driving under the influence, failing a drug screen, and impromptu meetings with Chris Hansen."
"I met the ex-wife of a police officer that was on To Catch a Predator a few years ago. We were both prospective jurors for a sex crime. She was dismissed because of her relationship to the law enforcement profession and because her ex-husband was involved in a sex crime. She had to discuss the whole story to the entire court during voir dire."
"A supervisor at my previous job got busted in a big sting at the end of last year, with a bunch of other dudes. He was kinda dumpy in appearance but thought he was hot crap. Both at the job and with the women. He wasn't. There were more than a few who transferred out of his area or specifically asked not to work directly with him."
"A couple of them said he just creeped them out and let his touch linger longer than was polite. He was just another crap to me. One of those guys that never did anything unless the boss was around, liked to be the one at the company meetings who told everyone to quiet down and listen up when it was already quiet."
Be careful out there everyone!
"This was over a decade ago back in 2008 or 2009. I was on a dating website and was talking to a guy that claimed to be a doctor. I thought it was very unusual that this doctor (Maurice Wolin), had so much free time throughout the day to text me so frequently (texting back then was a bit time-consuming with flip phones). Was also begging me to meet up with him and telling me he wanted to shower me with all these gifts. He seemed a bit arrogant and pompous to me, in the way he would brag about his wealth and cars."
"I was getting suspicious of the guy and reverse searched his phone number. I found out he gave me a fake name, and after getting his real name, I saw all the articles online and saw the guy was on TCAP. I couldn't believe what I was seeing and asked him to send me a new selfie. Sure enough, it was definitely him. I ghosted him and blocked his number and reported his profile to Plenty of Fish and told them he was on TCAP. Just really glad I never met up with him. Be careful out there everyone!"
"I knew the cop from (I think Florala) Alabama that was arrested on the show. He had guns and rope in his vehicle when he went to meet the girl. Super creepy stuff. When he was a sheriff's deputy in Florida, he would come into my job frequently. So, I didn't know him on a personal level, but I did talk to him on a regular basis."
"He was a really nice, respectful guy; he seemed to be a good cop too. I was SHOCKED when I saw the episode. You never really know what goes on in someone's bedroom. Here is part of the episode - https://youtu.be/83BoaCfp9EI"
Why are people like this? And why do they always seem nice? Nice. Never trust nice. Well, never trust anyone at this point.
"I was one dudes RA in university. He was a seriously weird dude, but was relatively friendly, came out to all of the campus events, and was not suspected of being a predator at all by any of us in the dorms back in those days. He was busted on TCAP about 2-3 years after I graduated, so probably sometime 2003-2005."
"I fortunately don't know any predators, but I did work with a young woman who had worked on the show--she did the post production voiceovers for the catfishing texts between the detectives and the predators. She was the voice of the non-existent teen girl. Like the "oh I don't know much about sex, I'm only 13 lol" stuff."
"Apparently she was a production assistant or intern at the production office, and one of the producers was like, "We need somebody with a young-sounding voice--you, say something" and she did, and he was like "Perfect! Come with me" and she recorded all the dialogue. Right after she told a bunch of us at work (this was a couple years later at a different job) I went home that night and watched an episode and could tell it absolutely was her voice. Hilarious."
"Yes, Matty Nash. He was creepy and kept trying to get me to go to Burning Man. When I told him I didn't think that was a good idea because I had a 10 year old kid at the time he said I should bring my kid. Now I don't think he was interested in my kid at all but I did tell him I thought that would be super creepy to bring a kid to Burning Man with a bunch of people on E. This was in 2001. He came over to my house under the guise of talking business and then put the moves on me. I turned him down and sent him home to his wife."
"I didn't know the person directly, but I worked at a company that had an employee caught on the show. This was particularly problematic, as the company was Nickelodeon Animation. Everyone who knew the guy was actually pretty shocked. It was particularly rough for his girlfriend at the time, as she also worked at the studio, so there was no hiding from it."
"For their part, Nickelodeon instituted rigorous background checks for every new employee after the incident, with zero tolerance for any misdeeds involving children. Those background checks are what keeps this lore alive though, as the process if much more intensive than any other studio."
"I just knew a kid who's dad was on the show when we were in middle school. Always felt really bad for the kid and his family."
I See Herbert
"Oh I can actually answer this one. He legit was always trying to sleep with men that were way too young for him (albeit just barely legal) and we made jokes all the time to him about how he was going to wind up on that show. We literally called him Herbert. It was the opposite of a "he was the last person I would suspect" situation."
"Never heard of this show so I googled it."
"Why did To Catch a Predator get Cancelled? Cancellation. The show was cancelled in 2008, in part because Louis Conradt, an assistant district attorney in Rockwall County, Texas, shot himself after he was caught talking to and exchanging pictures with a Perverted-Justice volunteer posing as a 13-year-old boy. HAHAHA WOW WTF!!"
In the Navy
"I don't think he was on the show, but when I was waiting to leave for Navy bootcamp, one of the recruiters was caught in a sting operation. He thought he was texting and meeting up with a teenage girl and went to meet her during work, while in uniform, and in his government vehicle. I know he was arrested but I don't know what happened besides that his wife divorced him iirc."
He was Sweet
"Actually a friend of mine's roommate ended up being one. He was super normal and kind of good looking. He had a girlfriend as well. The only odd thing about him was that he had inherited a bunch of money from his family all in cash. Aside from that he was in his 20s and you'd never think it at all. He was one of the ones that thought he was meeting a 16 year old girl or something like that. He also wasn't very bright."
"It was my best friend's dad. I slept over there all the time as a kid and hung out. He was relatively normal to be honest. Worked a lot. My friend and I recall getting on their home computer when we were younger and there were pictures of trips to Thailand and it looked like he was at some strip club."
"The strippers looked like children but we didn't think anything of it because we were kids and figured the women looked younger in Thailand. They ended up moving out to California and he got caught on the show during my junior year of college. He called my family and all of the other families to explain that he never did anything to us. As far as I know he didn't."
"I didn't know him personally, but he went to the same church as me (when my parents forced me to be religious), and I never knew he existed. He tried to lure an 11 year old girl from the internet to the local park, pretending to be her age, but that 11 year old girl was actually a 19 year old dude (I think that was his age) who had known about him being a creep, and wanted to turn him in to police for it."
"There was a kid who went to my middle school who went to meet up with this "14 yr old girl" who he told he was 21 for some reason (He was actually 13). He took his mom's mini van and drove about 20 miles to go see her. I don't think they ever aired that episode, but I remember hearing Chris Hansen and the rest of the Perverted Justice team were PISSED."
"Officers called his mom and that was pretty much the end of it. He was at school the following Monday and it was almost like it never even happened lol. It was the talk around my small town down there in GA though. I'm still friends with him on Facebook. He's married with a few kids now."
"Anyone remember Walter Babst? He was the high school teacher that got busted on the show THEN WENT BACK TO WORK for a few days. I went to that high school, but I was never in one of his classes, so I can't exactly comment on how he was before."
"There's a local one called Creep catchers in hometown area and a co-worker was on it. He was very quiet and strange, you'd say good morning to him and he would ignore you. He was 23 years old and got caught emailing a so called "13 year old girl" which in reality were the guys on "Creep catchers."
"He talked about sex, and what he wanted to do with her over email and they made a meet up spot, sure enough he shows up and these guys absolutely roast him on camera. He ended up quitting the company that week because management saw the video and asked him to leave."
"Normal dude, loved his girlfriend, working on his car, that sort of thing. I worked with him for two years and had no indication, we went to lunch, hung out, had good conversations. Then years later I walk into work and the boss asks if I still talk to him. Nah lost touch with him a few years back. Why?"
"Then he showed me the video on the web. It was crazy. I remember thinking his eyes were different, like he broke and lost something along the way. Now the other psycho that had worked there we all knew right away. That dude was was messed up."
I hope this show or a similar show picks back up. We need these people exposed often. The internet is just getting crazier.
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