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8:01 a.m. - March 15, 2007
To Catch A Pervo
Is there any journalist that loves his job more than Chris Hansen from NBC’s Dateline : To Catch A Predator?

I didn’t think so.

For those of you that haven’t seen this show, or those of you living in the UK, Australia, and other parts of the world (you know, I don’t know if they can get this in Canada or not, so I’ll add my friends up north there as well), it’s a treat.

Oh, it’s predictable as heck, but it’s still must-see entertainment.

Whether they have the sting in BFE land, in suburbia, at a beach, or in the city, it’s basically the same thing.

A. Perverted-Justice, an organization that wants to help wipe out the scourge of creepos that solicit underage teens for sex, sets up decoys in chat rooms.

B. Pervos respond to the decoy, and starts to chat. Inevitably, it gets a bit randy.

C. Pervos goes to meet who they think chatted with them.

D. An actor or actress plays the decoy, maybe talks for a second or two to the pervo, and then Chris Hansen comes out and talks to the pervo, quoting parts of their online chats.

E. The pervo leaves and the cops are outside ready to bust his butt.

F. Hilarity ensues,

You know, sometimes I think the cops overstep their bounds in using entrapment as a way to catch criminals, and I tend to shy away from vigilante groups (like the Minutemen, for example) as a means of justice.

But, you know, as a parent of daughters, any adult who wants to try to have sex, or even talks about sex, with someone under the age of 18 needs to be taken off of the streets and internet. (Yes, I know the age of consent is lower in some states, but a 37-year old dude shouldn’t be trying to score with a 17-year old.)

(Mind you, I do realize that some 17 year olds date 20 years olds, etc. but if you’re 19 or 20, why are you dating someone who is 14? Yeesh. Are you a character in Dazed And Confused or something?)

Anyway, the point of this is to expose these creepos and get them off the ‘net and streets, and also to warn parents of the danger of unmonitored chats by their teenagers. Oh, and to improve the ratings, but that’s a side point.

It basically all starts with some melodramatic intro, and then gets right to the meat, telling us the name of the pervo and his screen name, like just4u69 or luvchx22398 or other such nonsense.

It then takes quotes from the chat, where the decoy plays a little coquette that makes some illusions to sex, but it seems that the pervo always starts the sex talk.

Usually, the creep asks “R U a virgin?” or “Have u been with someone?”

And then they brag, “Well, I’ll teach u how! Lol” or “u wl rmember me”.

At times they get detailed, like “I will undress u and caress ur naked body 4ever”. Ick.

Sometimes they send pervy pics, and the dudes usually are pretty, well, fugly. Who wants to see someone’s fugly junk? How is that going to impress? But, that’s just me.

The high comedy comes when the cretin online says to the decoy “u know I could get busted for this” or “don’t tell anyone or i can go to jail”


A lot of times, you get a little revulsed by this whole thing, and then the real fun starts when they show up at the decoy house.

There are hidden cameras everywhere, cops hiding out and Chris Hansen waiting in the wings.

The pervo talks to the decoy and then it’s SHOWTIME. Chris Hansen just LOVES this part of it.

The usual exchange is this:

“So…what are you doing here?”
“Nothin’…just going to party?”
“Going to party? So you brought alcohol?”
“You brought alcohol to the home of a 14-year old who is home alone?”
“Yeah, but it was all just for me. We were going to just talk.”
“Really. What else is in the bag?”
“So you brought condoms, but you were just going to talk.”
“That’s not what it says in these chats…” as Hansen gets out the reams of paper with the chat logs.
“Oh, I was just having fun.”
“Just having fun when you said that you’d lick her body all over and make her tingle?”
“Um, yeah…”
“A 14-year old…”
“Um, I gotta go….”

And then he steps out side and WHAM! Busted!

The best ones are when the pervo spots Hansen and KNOWS what the deal is.

“You know who I am?”
“So you know what this is.”

You know, dude, I don’t know what will be worse, spending time in a PMITA prison after being caught on Dateline, or going to face your wife after this.

Hansen really loves to spit the words of these creeps right back at them.

My favorite one came from the sting in Darke County, Ohio. This dude had NO clue:

Hansen: You ask her if she’s horny?
Stacey: What’s wrong with that?
Hansen: You ask if she does anal.
Stacey: It’s a question.

Yes, it’s a question. So is, “Do you want an attorney present?” or “What does the people request for bail?” or “Are you freakin’ out of your mind, dillweed??”

Or this doofus in Texas:

So this man who admits to meeting in person dozens of strangers he’s met online says he was just here to play pool... even though he sent a picture of his genitals.
Hansen: What kind of pool game would you use this for?
Knowles: (Laughs) You don’t use that for a pool game.
Hansen: Why would you send it to someone who said they were a 13 year old boy?
Knowles: I send it to everybody.
Hansen: So it’s like your calling card? You send a picture of your genitals to everyone you meet?
Knowles: Yeah, frequently.
Hansen: Why do you do it?
Knowles: Just for fun.
Hansen: You don’t think it’s weird to send pictures of your genitals to kids on the Internet.
Knowles: I might not be the best judge on how everybody does, so…

1…2…3…”No shite, Sherlock!”

The sad thing is that there are more and more out there that don’t get busted, that don’t get caught, and do go out and have sex with teenagers, and justify their actions by saying the teen “wanted it” or “it was consensual sex.”

If they’re under the age of consent – it’s not! Not even if the teen begs and pleads for it.

(Yes, I do know that in some places, this has ensared some 18-year olds who have 16-year old girlfriends – in one part of Georgia, of instance – but I think a 29-year old stockboy at Meijer’s should know better than to ask a 15-year old if they would like to ‘party’, as it were.)

I have heard that one person caught in these stings did commit suicide. He solicited a teenage boy in Texas and sent him some porn. He didn’t go meet him, but that’s enough in Texas for a warrant. He killed himself, and totally locked up his computer – so much so that the cops had to send the computer to the manufacturers to defeat the locks.

He was formerly a district attorney in a county in Texas. He couldn’t face the music. I know he was probably hurting inside, and had unresolved issues (an understatement, I know) but he couldn’t live with what he became, and the world saw what he became.

But I’m not blaming the show, or Hansen, or the cops or group Perverted Justice. They seem to be doing a lot of good, especially in raising the awareness of the issue.

There’s just too much at stake.


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