This blog post is about the fantastic, sadly no longer running show, To Catch A Predator, or TCAP to save time and space.
For those of you who don't know, TCAP was what it possibly sounds like, it's a show where they try to get people who try to solicite sex from minors on the internet by teaming up with the fantastic people at Perverted Justice (http://www.perverted-justice.com/). I normally wouldn't post a link, but I really support these guys, and hope they don't mind the link. Go PJ!
These people are pretty messed up, and I would recommend you don't look at the PJ website, or watch the show if you can't bear the thought of what these people say to kids, I'm watching one right now, and they mentioned that the chat log was actually too graphic to say on TV, they aren't wrong, I've read them myself.
It's presented by the man with the most lovely voice this side of Johnny Depp, Chris Hanson. He's really an amazing guy, and I miss him. I sometimes wish I had NBC just so I could hear him whenever I wanted. Anyway, back to the actual show itself.
The show was cancelled after it had done 12 investigations, I haven't seen them all myself sadly, but the ones I have seen, are good, and it makes you happy to know that people like PJ are doing what they do, as they've kept going long after TCAP stopped, and still get people convicted this year. They've had over 500 in their entire run.
Despite the good it did, and how much it really did help people by bringing the problem to their attention, and striking fear into the hearts of creeps online, making them fear the Hanson, they had a lot of problems. The main one, and the one that caused their cancellation, was the case of a man who was caught on TCAP, and barricaded himself in his home, and subsequently killed himself. A member of his family sued NBC and blamed them for his death, and Hanson himself was in trouble about it. He was accused of telling the police to go to the mans house, because even though when they go to the sting hosue, they're arrested, he didn't go to the house, but his chats were considered so graphic and bad, that they wanted him arresteed anyway. After a standoff, like I said, he shot himself.
I really don't think Chris Hanson, or TCAP, or NBC was to blame at all, it really was totally his own fault that he killed himself, and he made the choice himself. His sister really had no right to sue them, and it's a real shame this show isn't still going.
Chris Hansen did say a few years back though on Facebook, that after doing some more things, they might go back and do some more, and I really wish they do, but with 2 years with no news, I don't really think it's coming, as much as I wish it would :(
I've been on these chatrooms myself, seen this stuff first hand, and I really wish I could get the cops involved. I'd love to work with PJ one day, they really do great work, and I wish they keep going for as long as they can.
Remember folks, keep your children safe, but also trust them, if you cling onto them too tightly, and secure them too tightly, they yearn for more freedom. It's a two way system. The more you try to protect them from something, the more they want to find out what's so bad about it. You have to let them make their own mistakes, so that they can learn for themselves, just be there for them, they do, that's what they want more than anything :)
Go Team To Catch A Predator, led by the might Hansonator!