To Catch a Predator

To Catch a Predator

2004, Psychology  -   285 Comments
Ratings: 8.26/10 from 92 users.

To Catch a PredatorOver 40 million Americans have seen Dateline’s ongoing popular series To Catch a Predator, which has caught over two hundred potential child predators.

While the show exposed this epidemic, Chris Hansen’s book, To Catch a Predator, shares the true stories of families who have been targeted by predators, revealing the tactics predators use to manipulate their victims and why even cautious families can be vulnerable to their attacks.

He also offers suggestions from police officers, therapists, and child predators on the best approaches for preventing these crimes.

Most critically, he provides parents with concrete steps they can take to protect their kids today, including how to initiate meaningful conversations with their children. To Catch a Predator teaches parents and children what they need to know before the next predator strikes.

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1 year ago

As a psychologist, I know that these predators are incurable. The recidivism rate is around 90%, they are and always will be a risk to children and society, so should all be given life sentences, no parole.
As a parent, I think they should be taken out and shot.

4 years ago

Thank you CHRIS HANSEN for continuing to expose all these unknown, online sick bastards. Especially for now getting them arrested by the good and dedicated police of Riverside Police department..thank you to them so much too...Its so sad not only to know these are crimes against innocent children are horrendous, but their are alot more abuse that's done to our children that none even addresses and these trusted people are taking everything else they can do and leaving our children, my children...DEVASTATED and hopeless and unable to function in a life their trying so hard and just get thru all the other ignored, unpunished sick abusive that add to it on top...they never stop..and our children are loosing the battle...not these abusers...please do more of this for the other many innocent victims if this F..kup society...thank you for your time and dedication..its very appreciated... Debbie VenturaBeachCa

5 years ago

What the hell?! I can't believe the comments lol. too many predators watching this show huh. ???. die in shame all of you sex predator pricks. ?

5 years ago

In an anon survey, 63% of men nominated age seven as their ideal age for sex if any age were legal.

6 years ago

I can not believe some of the comments on here...some are victim blaming..others are in complete denial. These men had only one thing on their mind how do you explain the condoms, the video cameras, one of them even brought a vibrator for christ sake! The ywere not going round there for a nice chat and a cup of tea. Infact some of these comments are quite worrying some of you sound like pedos yourself

6 years ago

After being captured for trying to have sex with a minor on to catch a predator, one of the sexual predators committed suicide in the trailer they filmed him in, after they called his wife.

6 years ago

In reading more of the comments and seeing the debates about thought crimes and the animal kingdom, it flabbergasts me on how far off point people are about what Chris Hanson is doing. While the police are doing their sting operations, Chris is getting these men on camera, exposing who they are. Why defend these sick pedophiles?

If you're concerned about thought crimes, you should watch "Thought Crimes - The Case of the Cannibal Cop (Gilberto Valle)". HBO put this documentary out and you can watch it for free on YouTube.

My heart goes out to the neighboring families that didn't know about these sting operations being done in their community. Their children unknowingly being put at risk could have the most horrible of consequences. I guess that's a different legal matter ...

6 years ago

Anyone that thinks this is entrapment is a fool. These men are online looking for our children and want to do disgusting things to them. If you can't see that, I feel bad for you. If this program can save one child from a lifetime of damage, suicidal tendencies and self loathing, it's well worth whatever it takes to get here. There is no excuse for a teacher, criminal investigator or a retiree to be sniffing around a 13 year old for sex, what is wrong with these men! I'm glad Chris was there and decided to get law enforcement involved, when the two men walked out and thought they got away with it, did you not see one of them look back at his buddy and laugh? If not, you really need to go back and watch it again. Anyone defending these men and crying entrapment should be reminded again why these men drove from minutes to hours to get here, I didn't see any 13 year olds bring Candy-land or Scrabble, these men of 19 - 60 brought booze and condoms .. sick!

7 years ago

did Chris Hansen end the whole thing by making a blanket statement that "women aren't involved in this predatory activity"? Granted the number is dramatically lower than the majority which consists of men, but there are countless cases of women who have either contributed to the grooming process which resulted in sexual abuse of their own child, wee directly involved in the sexual abuse, or were caught having sexual relations with their underage students. The last category is often mislabeled as anything but sexual abuse solely based on how attractive the female teacher happened coupled with the frequency of the students to be between the ages of 15 to 17 years old. Often if the boys are in this age range and the female teacher is attractive, we make jokes in private regarding how "lucky" the victims were to be victimized. Having had a male teacher attempt to groom me when I was 14, I certainly would have preferred to have an attractive female teacher try to take advantage of me instead, but I find it difficult to comprehend how even that "ideal" scenario based on male stereotypical fantasies would not lead to some type of abnormal or exaggerated behavior in that student's life.

7 years ago

It's actually sick to way they have been catching these perverted individuals and my opinion,people who taking part to produce this sort of program ,or watching it
,are as ****** up as them.What next??set cameras into room of terminally ill people and watch them die....get a life!!!

7 years ago

Guilty pleasure, but Chris Hanson is so cocky and judgmental. A good lawyer could get these guys off.

7 years ago

Soo many child molesters in the comments that are butthurt xD.

7 years ago

Another voice on the Chris Hanson is a sick freak side.

No Victim no crime.

The show goes after a topic which in reality has very very few real victims. Look at the way Perverted Justice does things.
- Make a fake account with a fake 13-17 year old girl picture (even fully grown adults, from a science standpoint)
- Sit in a sex, gay, or role playing chat room (yeah they use RP chat rooms)
- Wait to be messaged, drop their age on the person, generally the "bad guy" tries to say oh well you are too young and tries to leave
- Only to be spammed with messages day after day "do you hate me?" "am i ugly" "what did i do" "talk to me or i'll kill myself"
- After weeks of psychological manipulation the guys finally agree to meet the girls, and when they change their mind because they see how bad things could happen (from a legal standpoint, not because they harming someone), they try and back off, only to be spammed more "do you hate me" "talk to me!!" messages and phone calls.

The cases you see on the TV show are the very very very few select few that actually have someone talking "dirty" to an underage person, funny enough alot of the these underage people are found in the ROLE PLAYING ADULT chat rooms....

So Chris Hanson can shove it. And Perverted Justice. There is a reason why most of their "stings" get taken no place with any legal action, most states call BS, and won't actually charge the people, and the ones that do, the judges only give them a week to month, maybe search their computers but most of the guys are sick freaks, they were tricked and conned by the sick freaks at Perverted Justice

So go after people who have victims, not the lonely dudes in adult sex role playing chat rooms are who tricked

Jonathan Beach
7 years ago

To fix a problem u need to understand a problem - why how, it happens. lets understand how the mind has fantasies, how people have problems in finding mature relationships, and a heathy society understands its own sexuality. Sure morality and values create social fabric, but its lack of perspective and flexibility dont really make a change. why do people get lost on drugs, turn to crime and so on. this is a health issue. yes it wrong, yes we need to protect kids. but if we want to make things better we need to be prepared to see deeper into not just the victim but the perpetrators. anyway - food for thought

9 years ago

i thought this was going to be about the psychology and then tracking the sick fks. this is too disturbing to watch. pure sick. the crazy thing is - i found out a friend of mine had lots of child porn on his pc and was locked up for a while. he moved away. came back to my area. i asked him "where has he been for the past year?" (making out that i didn`t know what happened with him.) - trying to get him to admit what he did. he never admitted to me. i never spoke to him again. it`s fking sick. i have a 13y.o daughter and i dont get to see her. but if some sick fk tried anything with her - i WILL kill him.

9 years ago

why do these kids invite these men to have sex?

9 years ago

They ought to cut these guys junk off and give them a colostomy bag.

Edward Grove
9 years ago

Animals are Among Us!! No Morals!

10 years ago

Its not the Pedophiles fault... parents should watch their damned kids. SIMPLE solution, kids shouldn't even have a PC or laptop in their rooms or be un-supervised on a computer..why are kids even on large random chat rooms?? they are just asking for it..what ever happened to going outside, causing a little mischef/ playing soccer or fishing..

10 years ago

Oh lord!. This tool wrote a book trying to make up for that abortion of a show? That show was actually a step below pedophilia on a scale of decency.
I can't believe some people are so ignorant they actually buy the BS story that the show was a public service. They were cashing in on peoples fears and exploiting sick peoples' weaknesses for ratings.
I feel so sorry for the families of the people "exposed" on the show who had to endure all that public shame and were victimized by NBC worse then they would have been by any "predator".

10 years ago

I think the whole point here is that these men were coming to the house/beach/whatever with the BELIEF that they were going to meet a minor. And with the belief that they were most likely going to have sex with said minor. This is what they believed. That definitely classifies as intent.
It doesn't matter if we think they were lured or if we believe the laws are right or wrong. The laws are in place to protect minors from being taken advantage of. If a person has fantasies then that is all they should remain.
A child is exploring their world as they grow up. They may know what is right and wrong but usually don't have the wisdom to curb those explorations. That is where, we as supposedly responsible adults, need to take a stance. Adults seriously mess each other up, we don't need to be bringing children into our madness.

10 years ago

Stats differ a little, however, in general- reasonable estimates claim 1 in 3 girls and nearly 1 in 5 boys claim to have been sexually abused in childhood; about 40% in this 'popular' 11-14 year old age range. Increased public awareness, more arrests and incarcerations show a small but significant DECLINE in child sexual abuse, by about 20% over the past 2 decades. Considering that reporting this crime is very low, the trend to abuse declining is encouraging. That said a GREAT DEAL MORE needs to be done. Victims still number in the millions, so anything we can do to add fact and visual to the face of sexual deviancy needs to continue. No, all sex offenders are not the same and some treatment programs are proving very effective. Yes It's complicated, but that's not a reason to minimize the problems or give up on any strategies that help reduce these horrific numbers. Note that about 10% of the Sexual Predators out there are responsible for nearly half the crimes (only when their faces are shown on local press do more of their victims start to come forward). In my opinion there are no one size fits all solutions; however, public discussion and investigative shows like dateline do help, as deterrent to those who might be borderline or treatable, in giving a voice to those who are still silently suffering,by de-mystifying the face of predators, who can be anybody, and maybe, hopefully, getting a clearer message out there to ALL, that we as a society will not tolerate sexual abuse of our children - we will prosecute, (even many years after) and we will take preventative actions like these sting operations to keep offenders from touching our children. The men shown in this episode knew it would be illegal for them to have any sexual activity with a minor (anyone under 16 in most countries)...nuff said.

10 years ago

Excitable emotional statements are not a substitute for fact-supported arguments, Soulfly.

10 years ago

Soulflavor, way to dismiss someone who has posted numerous posts detailed, fact-supported arguments by NOT addressing ANY of them. It's so easy to blindly yell out "you're defending pedophilia, you're WRONG" (which he did anything but) without putting some brainpower into understanding his words.

11 years ago

can wait to see Dateline Iran edition. oh way you can marry a 10 year old girl. SMH

darren johnson
11 years ago

Who is this TV Show aimed at and why would anyone watch it. I'm not anti American but this is the worst of the modern American mindset on display and an embarrassment to the country. How could anyone hear this pitched and think great idea, lets make some sleazy entertainment show based around paedophilia. Its a horrible, nasty show from all sides. I think I even hate the presenter more than the PREDATORS!! He reminds me of that C****t Jeremy Kyle.

11 years ago

It's sensational TV, and it is entrapment.

Imagine a mirror universe. The show is called "To Prevent Dumb Slutty Girls from being Dumb Slutty Girls." Cops posing as adult men trolling the net for underage girls.

How long will they have to troll to find underage girls to actually respond? Days, weeks, months, years? And when they situation goes down, the parents of the girl will confront the girl and asks her "What's going on?" No villains to lynch. How much of a ratings will this show get? Will people be interested in watching? Will it even be on the air at all?

Yet even though the mirror universe is almost identical to this one, why don't they do it that way? Things that make you wanna go ... hmmm.

11 years ago

its so funny to watch usa police taking 1 man down with 10 police officers lol :D
on topic - this again fear tactic ,uuu your children are not safe!! :D such a bullsh** btw cant see anything wrong if someone meets young girl if she wants it, its her life not yours and its up to her to decide, when i was 14 i would love to have attention from 20+ girls but only girs get so lucky and get attention from older boys
+ if you put to prision these men who try to meet these girls you should put to prision these girls too, in most of the cases they are out there and waiting someone to write them , most men are just men , they fu** everything that moves it it lets them to do so , deal with it

parents should focus much more on educationg their children than scaring all the time - dont do this dont do that , he will rape you he will kill you, you will get generation of mentally disordered kids out of that

Soul Flavor
11 years ago

I can't believe 50% of the user's posts below. They're defending the predators and saying the show is a scam. Calling it entrapment is like saying, he told me to shoot the gun how is it murder? Or I just pointed the gun at the Police Officer's head how is that attempted murder? The people defending the predators will be the next victims on the show. Is this what judges and defense attorneys have to deal with? It upsets me to the highest level. 100% of people should agree with the show whether they make thousands or BILLIONS off of it.

People defending these guys' public image makes me sick. I couldn't care less if a Police Officer, or a Priest gets broadcast on national TV. Millions of teenage boys/girls are victimized and grow up to be mentally ill because of mischievous older men having sex with them. Claiming that one man killed himself after being caught gives me no sympathy. I'd rather all these men kill themselves than putting innocent children through a lifetime of hell.

As far as I know 90% of mental illnesses, prostitutes, killers, and criminals all come down to some form of child abuse. WHO GIVES A DAMN if NBC is making a little money off of the show, they're helping every single parent (Including all the below posters) by taking potential rapist off the internet, whether temporarily or permanently.

11 years ago

@filmbo The legality doesn't matter because regardless of whether there was an actually minor involved the jury will convicted him simply because no jury would let a child molester go free on a legality.
Bitch you just got Lawyered

11 years ago

why are they all not guilty? They should be put in prison!

11 years ago

So these guys interacted online, in chat rooms, with adults who were posing as minors. (No crime in that)

They sent these adults pictures of themselves and then these adults, posing as minors, invited these men over to a house. (Still nothing to prosecute)

They were met at the door by a nineteen year old actress pretending to be younger. (Once again, not a crime)

They were then spoken to by a reporter for a television show. (Still crime free)

They each left the house and were arrested and charged with various crimes including
1. Attempting a lude act on a child. (I'm sorry, what child was involved?)
2. Sending harmful materials to a minor. (What minor are we talking about?)
3. Exposing oneself via computer to a minor.

(Would the minor in question please stand.)

The program goes on to point out that a minor can not give consent under any cirumstance. Once again I will point out that there was no minor child involved in any of these cases.

Many would argue intent; that these men were guilty by virtue of their admitted intent to engage in sex with a minor. This argument fails because it lacks equal treatment under the law.

Simply stated, if a man has sex with a woman whom he thinks is 14 but who in reality is 19 he has NOT commited a crime. The woman is old enough to give consent and free to pretend to be any age she pleases.

Conversely, if a man has sex with a girl of 14 but has been led to believe she is 19 he IS gluity of a crime and no matter how pure his intent is likely to be convicted.

All of these men plead "not guilty" after consulting with an attorney and being apprised of the fact that no crime had been committed.

Sadly enough, the only one of the men who adequately excercised his rights under the law was the former cop with all the guns. He said NOTHING.

Robo Pastierovi?
11 years ago

damn, not even one pleaded guilty?

11 years ago


11 years ago

It's funny how most of comments here are sicker than the people in the video. Seriously, some people need to get it into their mind that they aren't as "right" as they think they are. This all relates to what society view as right and wrong. Allow me to quote, "Child predators act like animals and so they should be treated as such. Hunting season anyone?"
Strait up immaturity.
But no seriously, the people writing the comments here are sicker than those in the video.

11 years ago

What a complicated problem. I really believe that some people are opportunists who need attention and would easily go for someone who's of age. Some other group are driven by the prospect of committing a crime. Others are purely attracted to young people and are persecuted similar to the way gay men were, but theres an additional problem where the object of their attraction cannot consent. Of course, all of them are breaking the law... but our laws only represent our beliefs about how people should act.

In general our approach seems like a witch hunt and society seems willing to treat people with the worst kinds of punishment. Their decisions to pursue sex with youth are terrible ones especially given our understanding and beliefs, but (and its difficult to say this) our treatment of people who make this decision is not always proportional. In other words, we fail as a society to act rationally when confronted with crimes that invoke such a strong emotional response... and this is also pathetic.

11 years ago

this is not right they have a right to go to jail these are children and they should no what they did was wrong

11 years ago

I won't get into the wrongness of pedophilia here, nor the causes, nor treatment or lack of - there's enough of those opinions/beliefs expressed.
SO, to another thought - ANIMALS - please don't equate those who prey upon children with animals. Animals do not have nor try to have sex with their young. Let's give animals more respect than to call pedophiles "animals." Enough said.

11 years ago

On account of the society dictating incest as a taboo it has actually been found to be the only universal taboo. That is, the only one shared by all societies we have found/studied. It is, in fact, the pedophilia that is dictated by society (I am not in any way condoning their actions as I believe that preying on children for sexual satisfaction is morally wrong).
As for treating sexual predators, even child sex predators, as animals you are deeply wrong. Would you condone treating those with mental disabilities that possibly cause violent behaviours as animals? How about using lobotomies to subdue them? Or maybe we should just kill them and be done with it! Think before you speak. Human lives are not to be thrown away so lightly no matter what. Maybe it is people like you that would write off any sex predator as an animal that should be caged or put down. Stuff like this shouldn't be taken lightly. Nor should it be seen in black and white. The world doesn't work that way.

11 years ago

I must say that this documentary has sparked some controversy in my own thoughts towards the issues of sex predators. Firstly, let's be obvious, all of the men knew that what they had done and were about to do was wrong - whether morally, socially, legally, biologically; whatever spectrum you want to look at. Although these potential relations may be considered "taboo", incest is also a social anathema; seeing a documentary about a mother or father luring their daughter(s) or son(s) into sex would not be taken as lightly. I think what must be remembered is that adolescents are still developing and are unable to reason at the same level as most adults; they are intelligent human beings, but are still incapable of making rational decisions.

Although those involved were overtly sexual towards these men and their actions may be considered a 'trap', I think that such an argument parallels the "they asked for it" statement. Basically, considering the illegitimate and hyper-sexual nature of the internet (and culture in general), I do not think that these apparent young women can be blamed.

Even though I was put off as I heard more "not guilty" than "guilty" verdicts, I do not think that incarceration is the best option for these men, as they clearly stated that they have paraphilic issues with child sexuality. The best option for these men would be therapeutic interventions where they could realize the harm in their actions, and hopefully change their ways. Deterrence has obviously been ineffective.

11 years ago


You couldn't have said that any better!

11 years ago

Child predators act like animals and so they should be treated as such. Hunting season anyone?

11 years ago

People who abuse kids should no longer be considered human beings and therefore, no longer privy to any human rights.

11 years ago

wish they would just drag them out and shoot the fcukers...Id watch that too

Hope there is a special place in hell for ppl like this

11 years ago

wow, these guys are such idiots it is difficult to feel bad for them. But they cannot charge them with having been with these girls..because they didnt actually touch anyone... so Im not sure what they end up getting charged with. Probably some kind of intent and the transmission of the porn to a minor. Some thing they didnt actually do in this case bc the girl was actually a male police officer (heh) so it is interesting how the law interprets intent as guilt when no crime actually even took place.

11 years ago

Most people here are extremely prejudiced.

When I was 12 I got my period and entered womanhood. Shortly after that I started sex-chatting with guys different ages on the net. This was a pretty safe way of developing my sexuality. You don't get pregnant or get STDs from internet sex. Neither do you get physically or mentally abused.

When I was 17 I started a relationship with a guy in his forties. It lasted for about 8 years and we are still friends. I am thoroughly convinced that he never viewed me as a child.

It is my life and my sexuality and I believe I should be free to do as I like with it as soon as I don't hurt anybody else. I see people as individuals not as an age.

11 years ago

somebody tell me this is a joke please?
ok, i'll spare you the finger-pointing.."institutionalised psychopathy in the US" oh and "complete with thug police on hair trigger arrest with maximum violence mode " -- ha, i'd just gotten through a doc where US citizens pay kings' ransoms to 'hunt' purpose bred animals on a game farm from hides at distances from which they can't miss. So uh, no judge, no jury, just your face published for all to see --- trial by stocks. Abu Graib didn't quite hit the spot for the great american trash-tv viewer? Aw diddums, another series of lynch-the-pervert coming your way. After you with the piano wire.. i saw some weird-lookin' fkkr.. he wuz a mekkin' eyes at ma granny.. an' she don't even have no com-puder.. peeeerrrrverrrt!! etc.. ad nausea..

11 years ago

girls would get their periods in 6th grade god makes them ready now a 20 yr old shouldnt be with a 6th grader but if we ran around naked in teepees it would be different but we dont and peoples love for other peoples families and being a productive american u should be able to abstain young girls are hot and older women are jealous of the younger hotter girl the law is protection of adult women no marriage would last if 30 yr olds could date 16 yr olds or even 18 yr olds is socially not right because younger girls love older men and usually younger girls make the moves first and men sometimes jumble women together meaning he remembers certain girls to be similar so they think if it was okay with the last one shes showing similar signs so its cool with her too but its not okay because ultimately just watching mtv's teen mom in our society youngsters r prepared and ready for kids sex leads to kids and if you inpregnate a teenager your ruining her life law helps in all acts of crime & drugs that people do and take that ruin lives and laws help people not make that choice and its a good enough reason to abstain save yourself and our children

just a everyday barber

Charmaine Duckworth
11 years ago

They should do this all over the world....Disgracefull too think it could be ur young child,Guys caught in this act should be locked up and throw away the key,or even left to the public too deal with them ie family.

11 years ago

jbriggs is definately a pedophile then... how can you put a child through any of that? and yest a century ago people werent living as long and morals werent in place... nowadays children should be allowed to have a long innocent childhood not to be soiled by people like you.