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  08-14-2007, 02:09 AM
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from DallasNews.com http://tinyurl.com/22p4ab

[quote]quote:Murphy, NBC stung by criticism of sex-predator cases

09:53 AM CDT on Tuesday, August 14, 2007

By STEVE THOMPSON / The Dallas Morning News

In November, Dateline NBC producers brought "To Catch a Predator" to Murphy, where police arrested more than 20 men during a four-day sting at this house.

The show was an instant success. It lured would-be child-sex predators to a public shaming, delivered by a handsome host. Ratings, awards and even praise from members of Congress followed.

But now Dateline NBC's "To Catch a Predator" series is taking heat. And so is the police chief of the Collin County town that hosted it eight months ago.

The troubles stem from the show's visit to Murphy, where more than 20 people were arrested but escaped prosecution because of evidence problems. Also a former district attorney ensnared in the sting shot himself.

A lengthy Esquire magazine account of the episode is to hit newsstands today. It assails Dateline for overstepping the bounds of newsgathering, and quotes Collin County District Attorney John Roach blasting Murphy police for being there "like potted plants, to make the scenery."

The article follows other recent pieces questioning the Dateline program, including reports by WFAA-TV (Channel 8) and The Dallas Morning News.
Also Online

Read previous stories about the To Catch a Predator sting operation in Murphy.

Now a Dateline competitor, ABC's 20/20, is investigating. A film crew cornered Murphy Police Chief Billy Myrick last week for an interview in the City Hall parking lot.

Along with the media scrutiny, Dateline is the target of lawsuits. In one, the dead prosecutor's sister blames the show for her brother's suicide. In another, a former Dateline producer accuses the network of firing her because she questioned the show's ethics.

Dateline's executive producer, David Corvo, says criticisms of the show are dwarfed by its accolades. Host Chris Hansen "could make a living just going to children and parent safety groups to receive all the awards he's been given or offered," Mr. Corvo said.

Murphy's police chief said he set out only to put criminals in jail and doesn't understand the negative backlash.

"It's a tragedy on so many fronts that a lot of things have come out of this the way they have," Chief Myrick said.

Dateline launched "To Catch a Predator" in 2004. It filmed a group called Perverted Justice, whose volunteers posed online as children to expose would-be sexual predators. They chatted with those who sent explicit messages, then invited the men to a decoy house. When they showed up, Mr. Hansen confronted them in front of cameras.

In the first sting, set up outside New York City, 18 men arrived in less than three days. In future episodes, many more showed up, and Dateline invited police to make arrests. NBC began paying Perverted Justice as a consultant.

In 11 stings, the show has exposed more than 250 potential predators, many of whom have been convicted.

In November, Dateline producers brought the show to Murphy, a town of about 13,000, where police arrested more than 20 men during a four-day sting.

Officials say that one man who was sending sexually explicit messages to a supposed 13-year-old boy was former Kaufman County District Attorney Louis "Bill" Conradt Jr.

When he couldn't be lured to the home, police obtained a warrant for his arrest. When he didn't answer his door or his telephone, police forced their way into Mr. Conradt's home in Terrell. But before they could arrest him, he put a handgun to his temple and fired.

Esquire investigation

This spring, Esquire magazine sent a reporter to Murphy for a three-month investigation into Mr. Conradt's death. The resulting article accuses Dateline of manipulating the Murphy police.

The magazine also accuses Murphy police of rushing searc
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  08-14-2007, 10:35 AM
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Posting things on the internet is akin to blabbing in public. There is not nor should there be any expectation of privacy.

No one complains when papers publish names of "alleged" child molesters before they have even been tried in court...yet when a baby raper is filmed showing up at a house with the intention of having sex with an underage kid...it is "unfair"...what a load of crap.

they should be shot as soon as they step foot inside the house.
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