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Dateline’s “To Catch a Predator”: Keep Up the Good Work

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What do a pharmacy technician (and former minister of music at a church), a photographer for horse competitions, a rabbi, a fast-food restaurant owner, a middle school math teacher, a convenience store clerk, and a drilling consultant for an oil company have in common?

It turns out, a lot.

Besides the fact that all are men, they were also all trolling for children on the Internet. What did all the perverts do before the Internet? They engage children (or what they think are children) in chat rooms where explicit words are often exchanged, and then try to arrange meetings in the hopes of having sex with said children.

Thanks to Chris Hansen and Dateline NBC’s "To Catch a Predator", some of these guys are getting a lot more than they bargained for. With vigilante groups like Perverted Justice often acting as decoys, these men are being caught red-handed. It’s a good thing, since it seems that about half of them tend to have some sort of career or hobby that requires interacting with children. Astoundingly, when interviewed by Hansen, more and more of the men even admit to having seen the TV show that led to their impending incarceration!

All I can say is, keep up the good work, Dateline et al. Maybe someday all the perverts will be behind bars and you can move on to Internet money scams, because my email inbox is inundated with them.

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  • Wand Atellit

    Is The perverted-justice “Jury” Biased?

  • Wand Atellit

    It has been stated again and again by the owner and senior members of perverted-justice – “We are the ‘Court of Public Opinion’.” In other words, the majority of the members of perverted-justice see themselves as the jury of such a court. This contention is more than backed up by their actions.

    The prime function of the vigilante organization is to pronounce their verdict of “guilty” on those they target, then pronounce and carry out whatever “sentence” this group of untrained, anonymous individuals deems appropriate. In over 1000 PJ “busts”, the “sentence” consisted of their target being anonymously harassed and threatened, the harassment and terrorization of their families, their shunning or forced removal from their neighborhoods, being fired from their jobs, etc.

    The uneducated might suggest “Good for them… After all, they are perverts, right?” Unfortunately, it is often forgotten that the accusations, then the PJ “trial” and the sentencing are being carried out by anonymous, untrained individuals whose very motives, if seen in an actual court of law, would immediately result in their removal from the case. Unlike the perverted-justice kangaroo-court, a real justice system has a method to ensure the accused receives a fair trial. The method is called “jury selection”.

    The purpose of Jury Selection

    “The purpose of jury selection examination is to enable a court to determine whether any prospective jurors are possessed of beliefs that would cause them to be biased in such a manner as to prevent the accused parties from obtaining a fair and impartial trial. To find 12 people who can make a decision about this case in a fair and impartial way. In other words, 12 people who will wait until they have heard all of the facts before making up their minds.”

    In most cases in a real courtroom, jury selection is performed by the court itself, then the prosecutor, then the defending attorney. The intent is to eliminate those who may have preconceived biases one way or the other.

    As an example, it would be very unlikely that someone who had been the victim of a particular violent crime would be allowed to remain on a jury charged with determining the guilt or innocence of someone accused of committing the same or a similar crime. It would simply be impossible for such a person to remain at arm’s length – Unbiased enough to fairly weigh the evidence and pronounce an unbiased verdict.

    Similarly, people who are deemed to be mentally unstable, have had or are being treated for psychological problems, those with admitted psychological disorders, etc. are screened very carefully due to the fact that with jury duty, they have been given the power to seriously impact another person’s life.

    Let’s take a closer look at the PJ “jury”

  • Wand Atellit

    What follows is a compilation of quotes from some of the more ardent PJ “jury” taken directly from the perverted-justice member’s own posts in the publicly accessible perverted-justice forums. While reading each one of the quotes, please take the time to ask yourself “Given this person’s history and experiences, does this person appear to have the necessary mental stability and impartiality required of someone with the power to ruin someone’s life?” Would these people likely be eliminated from the jury if perverted-justice had a legitimate selection process? We’ll leave it to you to decide.

    Please keep in mind – The point of this article is not to “show how crazy PJers are” or anything of the sort. Our intention is not to mock or identify anyone who suffers from mental disorders or who has suffered abuse. We are very much aware that many people who have been diagnosed with mental illness or have suffered abuse go on to lead productive, fulfilling lives. Rather, the point of this article is to ask the question:

    “Given the circumstances, is it likely that these people, people who could potentially ruin someone’s life, have the ability to make fair, impartial, error-free judgements regarding those they target?”

  • Wand Atellit

    ABubbleInLethe “Survivor of se*ual/verbal/physical/emotional abuse/r*pe”

    “Diagnosed (or blessed) with bipolar disorder one, anxiety/panic disorder, and PTSD, which can make my day very interesting at times.”

    Agent K “Very much a survior of mental, emotional, se*ual, and physical abuse.”

    furie75 “I too am a victim, and have made it my personal crusade to make sure that no scumbag will ever breathe on my daughter or future child. I am here as moral support to all of you who contribute to busting the bad guys. I also like to think that I am a little of comic relief in this bleak world.”

    hawk “Survivor of mental/physial/emotional abuse. ”

    Noalani “I have no special training, but being a survivor of mental, physical, and sexual abuse as well, it has been my lifes work to not let the violence dribble down to my kids”

    Persephone 4125 “I have survived sexual assault, emotional abuse, and being a latch-key kid. Some of my children are survivors also.”

    WhyYes…..IAmSpecial! “I am a survivor of every kind of abuse imaginable.”

  • Wand Atellit

    keebler “There has been aspect to my life that is a living hell. Sometimes I want to k!ll my exhusband. The hate and fury is so overwhelming I cannot function. I am totally consumed. Other times I am so fearful for my daughter I am nearly paralyzed. If she is in the shower too long, I’m afraid she is in there killing herself. She’s not…I’m just afraid she is.”

    Rubyxcube “My mother and her sisters were sexually abused by their stepfather. The oldest (my mom was the middle child) even bore a child because of the incest. Yet, through all this my grandmother refused to acknowledge what was going on. She blamed all of the daughters (except the oldest, who could do no wrong) and said everything that happened whas their fault. My step-grandfather was convicted and did serve some jail time.

    Still, he never learned his lesson. When I was about 2-4 years old, he started on the little things, i.e. pinching my rear and having me sit in his lap–these were the things that started the abuse with my mom and her sisters.”

  • Wand Atellit

    Del (Harvey) “For instance, I’ll pick up a phone and hear (without turning it on) a dial tone and then a woman’s voice speaking. Or I can hear someone using that pressurized air stuff and I’ll feel it on my forearms.”

    “Lots of stuff like that. But, like I said, the anti-psychotic drugs usually keep that to a minimum.”

    Mbo “Yeah I suffer from Schizoaffective Disorder (Bipolar Disorder with Schizo Tendencies) so me and all my personalites see hear stuff thats not there . Bust seriously What’s ironic the meds make it worse some times…Hallucinations are constant unless i use “alternative meds”! I’ve seen some crazy things and then some hilarious things at time…I’ve lost my mind years ago and still haven’t found it yet!”

    Erinyes “all the time. I always see things out of the corner of my eye…like bugs, and I turn, to find nothing there. I guess I should have listened better to my folks about drugs when I was younger.”

    “I also have anxiety really bad, and that ALWAYS makes me feel like I am losing my mind.”

    Sky Monkey “All the time. I was diagnosed with ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) which is most commonly a result of a lesser degree of oxygen and stimulation to the frontal lobes of the brain. I forget things all the time, am often driven by impulse, and can even attest to many times that I’ve prioritized things way out of whack. It’s like they say – your minds like a tv that constantly changes channels. You are either unfocused or hyper-focused, yet you cannot stop your mind from attempting to pay attention to everything at once. Your mind is like an engine thats constantly red-lined. I can’t even begin to tell you how exhausting and frustrating it gets at times. While there are plenty of medications out for ADD, there is no single drug that works for everyone, and with most people who have it, if they seek medicinal relief they go through medication after medication to find the one that works for them. I’ve decided to try to tackle life without the use of them, and it’s partially because of the fear of becoming a “medicated” person rather than one who can cope by my own virtue. It’s a constant self management that doesn’t always work, but so far, it’s at least somewhat working.”

    “So yes, there are at least several times during the day that I wonder if I’m losing my mind to all the outside static.”

    Sugarbella: “ME TOO!! I take Xefexor (sp) and Paxil for stress and PTSS (post-traumatic stress syndrome). ”

    perritoo “Also a victim, also on medication – in my case, anti-depressants.”

    angeleyes3785 “I often feel that I’m losing my mind. I have an axiety problem that I’ve been trying to overcome. Lately there’s been so much stress in my life that I often just break down and cry like a baby…sometimes over nothing, sometimes over everything. Depression runs in my family and I think that that’s part of my problems as well.”

    Mozkatt “I’ve been depressed most of my life, finally found a doctor that recognized it, and take an anti-depressant. ”

    CrowGirl09 “Clinically Depressed with ADD. I don’t see things anymore but for about two years when I was a teenager and wasn’t on medication (Prozac and Ritilin) I used to see dead bodies, knifes, dark shadows, horrible men at my window….God, it was so scary. I’d rather die than go through that sh*t again.”

    Satine “I also find that when traumatic things happen to me I tend to go into this “panic mode.” I seclude myself from everyone and rarely go outside. I’m not even gonna list all the medication I’m on and the reasons I’m on it.”

  • Wand Atellit

    mbo “Yeah I suffer from Schizoaffective Disorder (Bipolar Disorder with Schizo Tendencies) so me and all my personalites see hear stuff thats not there . Bust seriously What’s ironic the meds make it worse some times…Hallucinations are constant unless i use “alternative meds”! I’ve seen some crazy things and then some hilarious things at time…I’ve lost my mind years ago and still haven’t found it yet! ”

    shund “From age 13 to 17 I fought a serious anxiety problem. It started shortly after we moved from my hometown with a bout of depression, and then turned to anxiety which manifested itself in the form of mild hypochondria.”

    fishingfool “I don’t really think I’m losing my mind…I know I am. Given the fact that I have ADD, suffer with severe sleep apnea and an anxiety and panic disorder and the rampant drug abuses of the 70’s and early 80’s, I really feel I have the right to be nuts. Don’t you? ”

    TheBuckStopsHere “I was very sick myself with a so-called manic depressive illness, on tons of meds, I finally got the courage to leave in spite of that. The next 12 months were so rough but I learned I was NOT retarded as I was raised by my father ,, the same belife perperrted by my husband. After 12 months I realized I didn’t have one eposiode of suicidal depression untill the anniverasy of my dad’s death,, I figured I had to have suffered from some kind of post -tramatic stress and was not a manic depressive.. OR I’d have sunk into the black pit long before then.”

  • Wand Atellit

    Delirium also known as DelHarvey /Allison Shea “Actually, yes. I frequently hear and see things that aren’t there. However (in all seriousness), I’m on anti-psychotics, which generally prevent me from seeing and hearing things that aren’t usually there.”

  • Wand Atellit

    This is a relatively small, random sampling.

    Please remember – These are the people who have elected themselves as the “protectors of your children”. They have been convinced by Phillip Eide that the real justice system is inadequate, and have taken it upon themselves to enact their own form of “justice”. The question is, given the comments above, are these people qualified to sit in judgement? Given their pasts, do they have the ability to fairly and accurately assess the guilt or innocence of those anonymously accused? We don’t believe they do.

    To see the comments first hand, as posted by the perverted-justice members, please read them for yourself at perverted-justice’s site

    Please note – The comments quoted above are from the publicly accessible perverted-justice forums. The information contained in this article is quoted verbatim from a number of messages posted by the perverted-justice members themselves. Credit has been given to each original author as the source for each quote.

    The quoting of these posts falls completely within the “fair use” doctrine of U.S. copyright law, section 107

  • Wand Atellit

    Here are a few of his more interesting, intellectual qoutes from his blog: On the death of Pope John Paul II: “I remember being HAPPY when the Pope died…. I figured, AWESOME, the Pope has died!”

    On Catholisism: “In America, the Pope does not matter.”

    On Cindy Sheehan: “Look at this bitch, please. Just look at her. I’m honestly amazed that a woman that ugly actually got on TV to begin with.”

    On bird flu: “Sure, 2005 saw more people die or get afflicted by it than previous years, but so what? That doesn’t mean it’s a story.”

    On Natalee Holloway: “It’s just too bad she wasn’t fat.”

    On Bono: “A singer who whined about cancelling African debt. Africa. Does. Not. Matter. Whether the Africans have debt or not, they’re still in Africa, the third-most pointless continent on the planet.”

    And what, you might ask, are the TWO most pointless continents on the
    planet? Well, he makes reference to “the Artic continents”.

    How many continents are there? Maybe he would have known that there is no “Artic continent” had he not dropped out of community college.

    Maybe if he read a book instead of trolling the chat rooms posing as a 14-year-old girl (doesn’t that strike ANYONE as a little perverted?), trying to find “intelligent conversation” (why did he need to pretend he was a 14-year-old girl in order to find intelligent conversation???) he could make some intelligent statements on his blog.

  • Wand Atellit

    ????So what do YOU think of the perverted-justice Jury NOW??????

  • memoriblia

    What a load of bull.

    PJ directs all of it’s evidence to police. The court of public opinion happens after the accused has been convicted. It sounds like the above poster is unhappy that pedophiles are being taken down.

    Anyway, Ad hominium attacks are the lowest form of criticism. This is the complaining of a person that can find no fault with a group of individuals that donate their time to removing predators from the net.

    I applaud those quotes as being from secure individuals that are willing to speak their minds. Misquoting them, out of context with a devious purpose to undermine an organization that puts sex predators behind bars is a clear indication of the posters motives and opinions about children and sex predators.

  • Dynamo of Eternia

    [sarcasm]Well, the ‘artica’ continents are pretty stupid and pointless. All twelve of them!!![/sarcasm]

  • Wand Atellit

    PervertedJusice ex police officer “cop288″ Michael DiMatteo’s character and testimony was found to be of bad character and not used in court as Ex-Officer
    cop288 – Michael DiMatteo
    was caught as an officer PLACING kiddy porn on someones computer THEN arresting them.
    That’s why “cop288″ – Michael DiMatteo -is a FORMER POLICE OFFICER

  • Wand Atellit

    perverted justice BAITER screen named “justice_for_all”

    The judge found Lisa Poehl’s(justice4all) affidavit “wholly inadequate” and canned all her testimony in the case.

  • Wand Atellit

    On, July 8th the Bristol County District Attorney and Norton Police conducted a search warrant at the residence of Mr. Satter in Norton. As stated in newspapers there was a smell of burning materials when the search warrant was executed and one investigator blamed the results on the fact that Perverted_Justice com contacted the Sharon Recreation Department and not the police and said. “It just doesn’t make sense to give the suspect a go_ahead.”

  • Memorbilia

    It’s remarkable that the slander that’s being done by some of the posters here are completely without links or substantiation of any kind.

    Again, rather than discuss how Perverted justice has been working with police to put hundreds of pedophiles behind bars, they’re resorting to slander and personal attacks.

    Quotes taken out of context and obvious slander only point to the fact that pedophiles and their enablers are angry, hurt and lashing out in quite inept mannors.

    The truth is Pj has put 160+ sexual predators out of commission. This angers the apologists to such an extent they spam blogs and no doubt, grind their teeth and wring their hands over these facts.

  • Ty

    Nice to see you pimp a show that makes all men look like perverts and contributes to the fact that women get off easier when they are arrested for child molestation.

    I understand that women predators don’t meet their VICTIMS in chat rooms, but DATELINE NBC should do several shows on female sexual predators in the same light as “To Catch a Predator.”

  • http://blogcritics.com writnkitten

    Ty, here’s some reading material for you.

  • Wand Atellit

    Taken from the perverted-justice site: Xavier himself says this about female predators:

    Xavier Von Erck is Offline:
    Join Date: May 24 2002
    Location: Portland, Oregon
    Posts: 16,775

    Question Quote: There are women out there that also do this, so why is it only the men are getting caught?

    *Stabs the fucking air*

    THERE ARE WOMEN OUT THERE THAT DO THIS? OKAY YOU GO FIND THEM AND THEN COME TO ME AND TELL ME WHERE THE HELL THEY ARE. WE HAVE LOOKED. THEY DO NOT EXIST. WE HAVE LOOKED FOR YEARS. ONCE AGAIN… THEY DO NOT EXIST.

    I DO NOT KNOW HOW MANY TIMES I CAN SAY THIS… BUT IF WE COULD FIND A FEMALE DOING THIS BOTH OURSELVES AND NBC WOULD DO FUCKING BACKFLIPS BECAUSE WE’RE ALL SO TIRED OF BEING ASKED THIS ILLOGICAL AND ILL-ADVISED QUESTION.

    NO, I’LL ADMIT THE TRUTH. WHEN FEMALES HIT ON US, WE TELL THEM TO SHOO, BECAUSE GOD KNOWS WE WOULDN’T WANT ANOTHER ARREST! YOU’VE FOUND US OUT, YOU’VE ENTERED THE SECRET LEVEL BEHIND THE HIDDEN DOOR. A COOKIE FOR THIS KNOWLEDGE.

    /immature rant

    So tired of this question. Do people think that there are all these females that PeeJ and NBC just don’t want to show you? Do you really think that? Go do some HS’ing and then come back with your bevy of females (and no, we want evidence that they’re actually females, not just guys pretending to be because they think it works) and then ask us why we haven’t caught any.

    The only problem is that you won’t be hit on by females while you do this.

    Rawr. Rawr. Rawr.

    [Please confine yourself to just using one name for your anonympous ranting “Wand Atellit”, otherwise it gives the false impression that people are agreeing with you. We wouldn’t want that now, would we? Thanks. Comments Editor]

  • Ty

    “Ty, here’s some reading material for you.”

    That doesn’t explain why Dateline doesn’t do a show about female sexual predators (not working with PJ) in the same light as To Catch a Predator.

    Just because the PJ stings are all about men, DOESN’T MEAN DATELINE CAN’T DO SHOWS THAT PROFILE FEMALE SEXUAL PREDATORS. Just have a school teacher show and put them IN THE SAME LIGHT as the men on TCAP.

  • Ty

    I am more scared my son with have relations with his schoolteacher than my daughter meeting a guy on the internet.

    My daughter knows better than to meet strangers on the net, especially horny older men.

    My son has common sense too, but sometimes these female teachers take advantage of the student-teacher relationship. That scares me much more, and TCAP should do shows that profile female sexual predators, even though they mostly are not internet predators, they ARE predators and DESERVE to be shown.

    Aren’t you more scared of people in trust positions, like FEMALE SCHOOL TEACHERS, than random horny online men looking for sex???

  • Wand Atellit

    “It’s sleazy,” said Cédric Laurant, policy council for the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC). “Especially since they have advertisements on the Web site.”

    Still, it is not considered entrapment if done by another private citizen, Laurant said. “If you chat with someone you assume to be a 13-year-old girl, that’s your problem. And if it ends up on a Web site, there is no law that has been breached.

    “The major concern is that they actually impede law enforcement investigation,” Laurant added.

    Jones said he’s worked cases where Perverted Justice got in the way of criminal investigators. “We’ve had them hit on undercover operations we were going on,” Jones said. “Law enforcement has gone back to them and said ‘Hey, we’re working this site. Back off.’ They basically go, ‘Screw you. We’re doing what we want.'”

  • Diane Von Lastenburg

    PJ, Dateline NBC, and Mr. Hansen all seem to forget that these men who are being entrapped are, by and large, not targetting small children — they’re going after horny teenagers. These are the same teenagers that we glibly assume to be sexually active by age 15. Some states are even requiring that 12-year-old girls get HPV vaccines to protect them “just before” they become sexually active. And then we have a cow when a man has consensual sex with any of them? Doesn’t anyone else see the hypocrisy here? To call these men pedophiles and group them with those who rape small children is outrageous!

  • Wand Atellit

    The Sharon Police Department was never contacted by PervertedJustice, but instead they (the web site) went right to the newspaper.

    Chief Bernstein gave the following time line on the Satter case: July 7, 2004 the Sharon Recreation Department and various news media (papers, TV and radio) were contacted concerning David Satter soliciting sex with a minor on the Internet. The conversations had taken place on July 6, 2004 and went public on July 7th, once they were able in their minds to identify Satter. Perverted Justice as quoted in article(s) states they do not contact police.

    2. Once I became aware, July 7th (early afternoon?) I contacted Mr. Puritz who had also just become aware and as I remember was already starting to gather more information.

    3. On July 7, 2004 Donald Hillegas was told by Mr. Puritz to pick up two computers from the recreation department from areas worked in by David Satter and Maura Palm for administrative purposes. Mr. Hillegas picked the computers up and secured them overnight in the vault at the Town office:. The next day, July 8th at 9:30 AM. Lt. Kaufman and Detective Leavitt at the request of Mr. Puritz, picked up the two computers and secured them in the Police Department evidence room until taken by the Bristol County District Attorney and Norton Police for use in the criminal investigation. (Sharon P.D. report 175024)

    4. On, July 8th the Bristol County District Attorney and Norton Police conducted a search warrant at the residence of Mr. Satter in Norton. As stated in newspapers there was a smell of burning materials when the search warrant was executed and one investigator blamed the results on the fact that Perverted_Justice com contacted the Sharon Recreation Department and not the police and said. “It just doesn’t make sense to give the suspect a go_ahead.”

  • Wand Atellit

    Argus Leader

    “One of the two traveler cases Kelly still is investigating was initiated by a South Dakota woman who posed as a child online and arranged a meeting in Sioux Falls with a man from a neighboring state. Kelly said the suspect did show up, and she expects he will be charged with soliciting a minor.

    Even so, Kelly and other task force members discourage citizens from doing the job of law enforcement. Agencies across the country have paid to enlist the help of Perverted Justice, a group of undercover volunteers that claims 149 convictions since June 2004.

    None of those convictions has taken place in South Dakota.

    “We haven’t been a part of their group. We wouldn’t want to be,” Light said.

    He said it’s important that those who go undercover online get the required training and follow ICAC protocol. Citizens might not understand what’s required for evidence gathering, Light said, and one traveling predator already has avoided prosecution because of a volunteer’s mistake.”

  • jay smith

    sorry, dateline won’t come close to eliminating the ‘perverts’ – only 4% of children who are sexually victimized are the victims of strangers

    About 96% of sex crimes against children under 19 are committed by people the know (priests, teachers, coaches) and family members

  • Cop288

    Perhaps Wand Atellit should check his facts:

    Suit against sheriff cost county $50,000 The federal lawsuit filed against San Bernardino County Sheriff Gary Penrod and two others cost taxpayers $50,000 to defend only to be dropped by the plaintiff under a settlement before it went to trial. Gary Vertican’s $60 million lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Riverside against Penrod, sheriff’s Detective Michael DiMatteo and Probation Officer Melinda Carpenter on Feb. 24 disintegrated for lack of evidence, attorneys for both sides said Tuesday. In the lawsuit, the former Twin Peaks resident accused DiMatteo of planting evidence of child pornography on computer disks seized with a warrant from Vertican’s home in February 2002.

  • Andrew

    I am a 20yr old student from England and first watched ‘to catch a predator’ a few days ago and believe that the show is invaluble to communities and states where the stings are underway. I find it unbelievable that people would object to such operations taking place these men are not tempted into meeting these kids it is what they do and should be punished. In most places the law almost favours these predators and sentences are not nearly harsh enough whereas other cases like murder have harsher sentences. I cannot see the difference these men ruin young childrens lives and will not stop because it is who they are. The show isnt just about entertainment it is almost factual it teaches worried parents that there isnt a certain look to child sex affenders they come from all walks of life and from all age ranges. I thank dateline that they have helped remove for a time at least away from under-age children i only wish that something like ‘to catch a predator’ existed in England.

  • http://80sfilms.today.com writnkitten

    Andrew: Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts!

    I agree that the show is a real eye-opener and speaks to the fact that sexual predators don’t always look “scary”–they can be teachers, priests, neighbors, etc.

    I don’t think you have to commit murder to kill someone’s soul and spirit, and that’s exactly what these perverts do!

  • danny coggins

    if they wasnt on the internet looking for children to have sex with,then they wouldnt have to worry about being judged by so called unqualified people now would they!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!