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To Catch a Predator

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posted on Sep, 27 2006 @ 01:54 PM

Originally posted by seagull
We aren't talking about the ones who only fantasize and control their deviance (sick as it may be). They pose, at the moment, no danger to society in general, and children in particular. All of us, at one time or another, have had that evil random thought, telling us to do something bad, that thought is followed instantly by "God, that's sick..." or something along those lines. These sickos don't have the follow up "God, that's sick...". Their thoughts are followed by action.

I think there's middle ground between "God that's sick!" and taking action. I think it's possible for someone to be fascinated by the world of internet predators the same way people are fascinated with the world of serial killers or the mafia. That type person might not have the reaction of "God that's sick!", but they also aren't on course for acting on it. In a society of free thought we have to defend that free thought even if we dont' agree with the thoughts themselves. I will agree, and emphasize, that the moment those thoughts turn into actions (and showing up at a house 4 hours away at 1 AM with condoms to meet a 12 year old totally qualifies) then they deserve to be exposed and arrested and jailed and whatever else.

From what i can tell, Dateline isn't overstepping any bounds at the moment. However, I do think it's a slippery slope if we lump every person with "deviant thoughts" into the "inhuman creatures" category. I would have a problem if they counted the chatting alone as "action" and arrested them. To me the chatting, even if it is about unacceptable material, is still on the "fantasy" side of the table. But I can totally see a time where going into the wrong chat room will get you a starter file at the FBI.

posted on Sep, 27 2006 @ 02:02 PM
I agree with everything you've said there...the fascination with the Internet can take you places you've never been, alright. Some of the places an inadvertant mouse-click can take you, don't bear thinking about...yuck is way too mild a term.

But I think that would be the fantasy aspect of it. Until one starts chatting with what he assumes to be a child...then it becomes an action.

posted on Sep, 27 2006 @ 02:03 PM
Fascination simply isn't enough though. The fascination these creatures have with children is not the criminal aspect.

I am fascinated with Dakota Fanning. Does that make me a criminal? Her ability to outshine Hollywoods biggest stars on a regular basis has her as one of my top actresses. Fascination is only the beginning of it for these predators.

Power is another big factor in it. They feel the need to be in control, and well it does not take a large amount of physical strength to dominate a young child. But individuals who rape the opposite sex who are not children are also control freaks. It is possible for a man to be capable of rape, but not capable of molesting a young child.

So you see its not just fascination. Its not just the power trip it gives off.

As mentioned previously, some wires in these predators must be wired wrong. Something just does not register when these thoughts go through their mind.

Their background may also play a big role in their actions. Victims of these attacks are at a higher risk of acting out themselves when they reach adulthood. Children of abusive parents are at a higher risk of abusing themselves, this trend remains the same.

[edit on 27-9-2006 by chissler]

posted on Sep, 28 2006 @ 07:53 AM

Originally posted by seagull
I agree with everything you've said there...the fascination with the Internet can take you places you've never been, alright. Some of the places an inadvertant mouse-click can take you, don't bear thinking about...yuck is way too mild a term.

But I think that would be the fantasy aspect of it. Until one starts chatting with what he assumes to be a child...then it becomes an action.

I don't agree. I think chatting is akin to surfing, even though there is another person involved, and here's why. It's almost become a given that internet chat rooms are full of people who lie about who they are. The whole concept of internet chat falls into the "fantasy" area in my opinion. If we start arresting people for chatting with a minor, then we have to verify they *knew* it was a minor. If the chatter says "I'm 13 years old" then fair enough you can start an investigation, but what happens when a 13 year old says "I'm 18 years old" and then the chatter is arrested for "adult chat" with a minor? Or what happens when a chatter has a conversation with a 13 year old but it's non-sexual, just a friendly chat about a common interest?

It seems there are more gray areas in this than at first meets the eye. Here's an example...

I have a friend who plays some multi-player online game. Anyway, he has a "team" he plays with and one night they were all playing and he made a very sexually suggestive remark that wasn't uncommon among the adults playing the game. Turns out the "character" he was talking to was at that moment being controlled by the 11 year old daughter of the guy that typically played that character. So, in that case he was chatting with a minor AND made sexually suggestive remarks, BUT he had no way of knowing who he was talking to. That's the problem with internet communication, it's so unverifiable who the other person is, I'm not sure we should hold people accountable for "chatting" the same way we would for face to face conversation.

Personally, I don't think there's ANY REASON whatsoever that someone under 18 should ever BE in a chat room. I know that ship has sailed, but chat rooms are nothing but sesspools of ick. Any decent communication is going on in the moderated message boards like this one, not the real time chat.

posted on Sep, 28 2006 @ 09:57 AM
A freindly chat about common interests like airplanes or something of the sort are fine. I've certainly got no problem with something as innocent as that. Where's the borderline, though. Where does going too far begin? Asking whether or not they have a boyfriend/girlfreind? That particular question innocent enough on the face of it, could be leadin to other not so innocent and/or suggestive conversation. Where the boundries are is the question we need to answer, if only to our own satisfaction.

Personally, I agree with you that no kid under the age of 13 should be on a chatline. No matter how carefully screened members are, how do you know who or what is on the other end of the line?

posted on Sep, 28 2006 @ 10:30 AM

Originally posted by seagull
A freindly chat about common interests like airplanes or something of the sort are fine. I've certainly got no problem with something as innocent as that. Where's the borderline, though. Where does going too far begin?

I guess that's the million dollar question, and I certainly don't trust our Government to make that distinction. I think "going to far" probably begins in a different place for every different culture, neighborhood, religion, country... Once again, I think it's all down to the parents to protect their kids, and the best way to protect them isn't "Net Nanny" or living in a commune cut off from the world, or even lining up and executing all the convicted sex offenders. The absolute best and maybe only way to really protect them is to educate them. That goes for just about everything really.

Do you think Dateline: To Catch a Predator would be a good education tool to let a 12 or 13 year old watch to show them the dangers of talking to strangers on the internet? I'm not sure myself. In a way I think it would be good as a "scared straight" kind of thing, but then I also think it's a little over the top and I also have a problem with TV shows that make money (ratings) off of showing people on the worst days of their life. Like COPS. Yeah, they're criminals and all, but there's something distasteful in the *enjoyment* of watching people being arrested carted off to jail. It feels like a couple of steps away from public executions. Of course, that's just my own personal opinion.

posted on Sep, 28 2006 @ 01:27 PM
There are some very interesting points being made here. I just finished a 72 hour work week in the pen doing unit work. I know lots of people believe that sex offenders have a tough life in prison; not so much any more. We have a different type of inmate now lots of young gang bangers who don't care about thier own lives and even less about somebody elses; so raping children doesn't seem to bother them. Sad isn't it. I just did a cell search on a sex offender day before yesterday I think; anyway he is in prison for rape of a child and we found pictures of little boys in underware that he had cut out of a catalog which we of course siezed and he is being infracted for possiosion of contraband. Now here is the scary part; he's being released in about 2 months. Rehabilitated I think not. Here's another scary thing I know who he is and where he is going and I can't say anything to warn people because he has rights. Ok fine, he has rights but what about the rights of children to be safe? I predict he will re-offend and return to prison in about 6-12 months for the same crime. Here in Washington we have the 3 strikes and your out guidelines but how many victims will this thing have when he finally gets his third strike?

The pain this crime causes in the victim lasts their entire life but the child isn't the only victim, the entire family is victimized. Our family will never be united again as a family should be. I'm permanatly estranged from 2 of my sisters and to a large degree from my father. I will never allow my piece of crap nephew to set foot on my property and God help him if he comes near my daughter, her friends or any children I know. I'm with Seagull no matter where he settles I will personally notify the county he is in that he is a convicted sex offender and that he should be monitored. It is the right thing to do. Rehabilitation of sex offenders doesn't happen oh yes they are model inmates, they say and do all the things they are supposed to. Bottom line however, they don't change and this crime indeed all sex crimes have more to do with power then sexual desire.

I'm a single parent and I've worked sometimes two jobs and overtime to make ends meet and this is the crime that I worried about the most. I took all possible steps to ensure my daughter's safety and thank you God it never happened to her but the off chance that it could caused me to lose sleep more then once. I was lucky I had family such as Seagull to help me but many working parents don't have help. Believe me anyone trying to hurt her would be dealing with Seagull and that they don't want to do.

Catching these things exposing them for what they are is very important but so to is helping parents keep children safe. We can all help if you see something that doesn't seem right report it; watch out for children in your area. Remember; if it feels wrong it is wrong or as we say at the pen "go with your gut" it is rarely wrong. As adults we have an obligation a duty if you will to protect children whether we know them or not. It is time and past that everyone stands together; children are our future we must protect them in the present.

posted on Sep, 28 2006 @ 04:51 PM
People have mentioned the way kids dress these days, and that's very good. I had a friend who was 14 years old, but looked like she was 18. When walking through the mall, guys would approach her and ask for her number. These were 18-23 year old guys! Of course she lied about her age. In many cases the kids lie about their age, because they think it's "cool" to hang out with older people, as well as look like them.
The peadophiles don't care how a child will dress, they are attracted to that innocence a child posesses. They are more likely going to go after children who look their true age, not those who look older.

I think we have a case of two types of offenders,... the peadophiles, and the 18 and up age group who become attracted to a teenager posing as an adult. It is natural for a person to become attracted to a member of the opposite sex who looks sexually mature. In the case of my friend, she certainly appreared mature in that way, but according to law she was not. She fooled at least a few guys. There are thousands like her out there.
As I've said previously, the young adult males who go after young females knowingly, only see their outer appearance. If the girl's body looks sexually mature, they will have trouble understanding why it is illegal for them to be with these young girls. They don't think about the fact that their minds are not yet fully developed for that kind of activity. That's when they decide that "the law is stupid", and break it without feeling remorse. Of course then there is also the "innocence" factor. Many (though certainly not all) males are always on the look-out for virgins, and you don't find too many of those in the 18 + age group.
There is a lot going on here that may not have been taken into consideration. I have no idea how to fix it or make it better, but I hope we find a way.

posted on Sep, 29 2006 @ 11:22 AM

You know that's not a bad notion. Having children of that age groupwatch it with a parent/guardian, mightn't be a bad idea, at all.

"netnanny" or gov't oversight isn't the answer, you are right on that. Parents are really the only ones capable of doing the job properly, with all other resources there to help.


You are correct, I think, in that a dedophile is attracted to the innocence of the child, as well as the fact that he can control that child.

This is a question I've wondered about often when considering this topic, and I'm curious to hear everyones thoughts on this. Why is it that the vast majority of pedophilia crimes are committed by men? I've thought about it, and I just can't seem to put my finger on why that seems to be the case. I'd appreciate some feedback on this.

posted on Sep, 29 2006 @ 01:26 PM
seagull.... That's a tough question to answer. Didn't men during the Roman times have young boy "companions"? I believe I read somewhere that this was socially acceptable then. Would that be considered the same as peadophelia?
Maybe not, because peadophiles are those who are attracted to very young children, and these companions seem to have been young teenage boys if I remember correctly.

The majority of serial killers are also male. Maybe this kind of psychosis/sickness triggeres different reactions/actions in males and females. Men are the natural hunter/gatherers, while women are the mothers/caretakers. Men are also wired to father as many children as possible,....they're far more sexual than women. Maybe the male peadophiles go into their 'hunting' and 'control' mode (along with a heightened sex/lust drive), while women don't have much of that natural wiring that includes hunting and control. Some women might, but not the majority. This is just my wild guess. I'm sure there are studies somewhere on the internet on this subject.

posted on Sep, 29 2006 @ 04:47 PM
On NBC tonight, Dateline is airing another segment of To Catch A Predator.

If you are not familiar with these specials, I would highly recommend you tune in. It stars Chris Hansen as he confronts these creatures on their misguided ways with children.

Be sure to check it out.

posted on Oct, 4 2006 @ 08:23 AM
Ok, part of this topic is now in the spotlight of national politics. I think we can all agree that Rep. Mark Foley's conversations with teen pages are inappropriate, immoral, and in the words of one of those pages "sick, sick, sick." However, should he be criminally prosecuted? It's my understanding that under Florida law any conversations about specific "sex acts" with a minor is illegal. Other States seem to draw the line at "enticing" to commit sex acts which includes setting up actual meetings with minors, but not simply chatting about sex. My gut instinct is to convict Foley, throw him in jail for 10 years, and make a strong example of him, but the criminalization of words (as opposed to actions) doesn't sit well. It's a tough call. To me it doesn't fit into the "fantasy" category we were discussing earlier because he actually knew the kids, unlike the "Catch a Predator" criminals who just stumble upon them in a chatroom, but he also doesn't seem to "entice" any of the pages to actual meetings. I could be wrong about that as I didn't have the stomach to read all of the messages. Anyway, what's the PTS call on Foley? Jail or not?

posted on Oct, 4 2006 @ 10:08 AM
Well, I'm not 100% up on the details of this case yet but I have heard of it. So my opinion on this one is withheld for the time being.

On explicit talk with a minor, I would firmly support the law to prosecute these individuals. If we permit the monsters to talk to our children in an inappropriate manner, we are only opening the door for possible victims.

Draw the line early, do not permit any actions that are an exploitation of a child.

An adult should be restricted in the conversations they can have with a minor.

posted on Jul, 26 2007 @ 04:20 PM
The 11th installment of this series aired over the last two weeks, and once again it was an eye opening experience. Seems to me that at least nine out of every ten predators that come through the door, are completely aware of who Chris Hansen is, and what Dateline has been doing over the last few years. Yet they continue to risk their lives and put these young children at risk.

Something that really caught my attention from this one, was that it was the first time that a grown man showed up to the house, after having a conversation with a young male, rather than a female. When Hansen confronted the man on this, he completely denied being a homosexual and was very adamant in the fact that he was straight. No, let's not deny that you are here to have sex with a fourteen year old child, we'll just deny that your sexual preference is heterosexual and not homosexual. The guy was happy to oblige that he was here to have sex with a minor, just not with a minor of the same sex.

Found that to be shocking.

I like to think that I am fairly open minded, and I fully understand that not everybody is. But to think that homosexuality carries the same stigma as pedophilia, in someone's mind, wow!

posted on Jul, 26 2007 @ 08:26 PM
They can't help themselves. They are predators, or monsters, and must hunt that which they crave...little kids.

Obviously, my opinion hasn't changed much since last we visited this thread. Torturing them would be too good for them. But that lowers us to their level, and they wouldn't understand it anyway, what mad beast understands why they're being put down. Just kill them and have done.

posted on Jul, 26 2007 @ 08:36 PM
Killing them serves no purpose. We kill one today, another one is born tomorrow.

To resolve this "problem", one must understand the cognitive process that is behind it. Whether the individual prefers men or women, either is a perfectly healthy lifestyle. When one's sexual preference is a child, there is a serious problem here, because it is one of pure exploitation. This is something we need to resolve, and it needs to be looked into now. Rather than cutting them down, one by one. We need to get to the root of it, then once and for all, we can resolve this sexual deviance.

Aside from the fact that this is an adult having sex with a child, look at some of the other details that Chris Hansen is exposing here. These men are driving hours to see these children. I've heard of some driving up to 10 hours to meet with these twelve year old girls. 10 hours! I don't know a man or woman alive that would drive 10 hours for any other man or woman. The shear thought of driving ten hours for a sexual interaction is mind boggling in and of itself. So before we can get to the fact that it is a child they are driving for, there is some serious problems already.

This isn't something we can sweep under the rug. We need to get this out in the open, as NBC Dateline has, and make the public aware of what is happening in our own neighborhoods. We need to understand, and we need to be aware.

Genocide is never the answer. Knowledge is power.

posted on Jul, 26 2007 @ 08:46 PM
There is absolutely no deterent value to removing them from the gene pool, in that you are correct, Chissler. But when one of them is dead, there is no chance that he'll ever hurt another child, ever. With them in prison, there is a better than even chance they'll be released to start all over again...there is no rehabilitation, as you know, of these monsters, so until sentencing guidelines that imprison these monsters forever and a day are laid down, and proven to be abided by, I'll continue advocating their demise.

I'm not a big proponent of capital punishment, save in these sort of cases. Man eating lions and rogue elephants are put down, these monsters are in no wise different from them, save that lions and elephants aren't preying on their own kind.

posted on Jul, 26 2007 @ 09:00 PM
My primary question about this whole child predator issue is, why are there so many seemingly normal men lusting after children? There must be something that's causing it.

Here is my line of thinking:

It's known that the government puts fluoride in the water even though fluoride has been proven to be a dangerous chemical and has no place in our water supply.

Hidden chemicals are placed in the food to cause obesity, headaches, depression, cancer, neurological disease, and many other illnesses in order to get people on prescription medications.

Dangerous chemicals are in almost every product that we use (toothpaste, soap, shampoo, lotions, deodorants, cosmetics, etc) which also are known to cause cancer and other illnesses.

There could be some chemical that these men are exposed to that are causing this behavior. Maybe some men are more sensitive to it than others. Maybe it affects women differently. However... there also seems to be an increase in female predators as well.

I wouldn't be surprised to find out that this is the result of some sort of chemical exposure or even a mass social experiment. There is a lot going on that most people are not even aware of.

posted on Jul, 26 2007 @ 09:11 PM
This sort of predation has historical roots that predate floridation, or mass social experimentation. Men keeping children as sexual playtoys dates back as far as there are written records available, Rome being notable for it.

There is something in the psyches of these people. They crave power, yet can not achieve it in the adult world, so they attempt to achieve a modicum of power over the one kind of human they can control...our children.

I know that my views on this are skewed somewhat to the extreme owing to it having occured in my family. Probably unresolved guilt, whether warrented or not, over not seeing it when it was in all likelihood staring me in the face. I was young and not as suspicious as I am now, but...well anyway.

posted on Jul, 26 2007 @ 09:16 PM

Originally posted by seagull
But when one of them is dead, there is no chance that he'll ever hurt another child, ever.

But when the next one is born, and we still have no idea on how to "rehabilitate" these individuals, many more children are going to be put in harms way. What is the lesser of two evils? Question of ethics really. Who is to say who is right, and who is wrong? I'm against capital punishment, even when faced with these extremes. I see no purpose in taking another life.

Even the worst of lives can still serve a purpose. If merely to observe and understand, in an effort to prevent the "next one".

Originally posted by annestacey
My primary question about this whole child predator issue is, why are there so many seemingly normal men lusting after children? There must be something that's causing it.

One of my primary concerns is that society has lumped these sexual predators in a stereotypical fashion, as all sex craved males. Females are just as capable of exploiting a young child as any man. While the numbers may be leaning in one direction, I believe a case can be made for the latter.

Purely speculation, but I believe a case of an adult woman with a young boy would be reported less, as the male may feel that they are in "love" with the adult woman. While a young girl, who is exploited by an adult male, may feel as if they are a victim. Young women are a victim, young men fall in love.

That is a major assumption here, and I do not believe it to be a blanket statement. But I am certain that it is relevant, and it does happen.

I would love to see Dateline do a segment towards adult females who are attempting to exploit young males. To see if this does exist, and just how prevalent it might be.

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