Well, I was watching 20/20 last night (see my last post) and the 1st part was an investigation of Dateline’s “To Catch a Predator.” They talked about the mishandling of the program while in Murphy, Texas.
They had outtake footage (which I don’t know WHY NBC released to ABC – they would’ve released it to authorities for investigations, but it’s copyrighted, so they had to have released the rights to ABC) and investigation with some of the cops who ran it.
I missed what they reported on for the first part (I had just gotten home from college for the weekend, so I missed the beginning), but when I came in, they were saying that they had gotten an assistant DA, William Conradt, from another county who had chatted online. He didn’t show up, so the decoy called him 3 times (that’s gotta be borderline entrapment) – he didn’t show up still, so they went to him. They had some meetings on his lawn, and went in – he was on his bed with a gun, and he shot himself. He was airlifted out, but died.
His sister, Patricia Conradt says that the news cameras overwhelmed him and he just wanted to die, but Chris Hansen (Dateline) said it was because he had child pornography on his computer.
His sister is suing NBC, saying that they were calling the shots, not the Police Department. Well - as much as it DOES seem that the whole thing was mishandled (as 2 officers quit after the incident), NBC is NOT responsible – even if they WERE in charge – b/c it’s the police department that would have given them that decision. NBC didn’t FORCE anybody to do anything, and they didn’t have any guns, so it’s SOLELY the police department’s responsibility, no matter WHAT NBC or Brian Hansen did!
And the DA, John Roach, said he couldn’t prosecute the suspects because Dateline compromised the evidence, but Murphy Police Chief, Bill Myrick, says that this is absolutely untrue.
My thoughts – it’s a good program, that may have gone to far – and may need to be cleaned up/investigated – but they’re still doing good things for America.