To Catch a Predator Wiki
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Overview

To Catch a Predator (sometimes abbreviated to TCaP and commonly given the misnomer How to Catch a Predator) was an American reality television series in the television news magazine program Dateline NBC featuring confrontations with host Chris Hansen, partly filmed with hidden camera, of adults arriving at a sting house to have sex with a minor and typically being arrested as a result. The minors are adults impersonating underage persons (generally ages 12–15) in online chats.

The series premiered in November 2004 on the famous Dateline NBC, which was devoted to True Crime and any news type. It premiered as Dangerous Web (with Stone Philips) in Bethpage, Nassau County, Long Island, NY, part of the New York City metropolitan area, with the help of the now-defunct online watchdog group Perverted Justice. Dateline had no Police directly involved, so none of the predators were arrested. However, federal government agencies eventually investigated some of the predators. A year later, in August 2005, the Dateline NBC series held another sting in Herndon, Fairfax County, Virginia, part of the Washington D.C. metropolitan area. This would be the final investigation not to feature direct law enforcement and was now called To Catch a Predator. Viewers thought the show should have direct police; from there, the series changed.

The series unfolded with ten investigations spanning the United States, with direct police involvement. These were initially conducted as undercover sting operations, aided by the online watchdog group Perverted-Justice. As the series progressed, it evolved to involve law enforcement and other officials, leading to the apprehension of most individuals caught. However, the show faced controversy and lawsuits from one of the investigations due to the suicide of a District Attorney caught in the sting, ultimately leading to the end of new investigations in December 2007. Despite this, the series continued for a few more years until 2010, under “Predator Raw,” featuring extended versions of the predators’ interviews from some original investigations. Hansen and Dateline NBC would host spin-offs of the series, namely To Catch a Con Man, To Catch an Identity Thief, To Catch a Car Thief, and To Catch an i-Jacker. However, in 2011, NBC decided not to renew Hansen’s contract, ending his affiliation with Dateline.

Eight years later, in 2015, Hansen started a kick-funding campaign to launch a new series of hidden camera stings, promising t-shirts, mugs, etc. Eventually, in Fairfield, Connecticut, entitled Hansen vs Predator on the online daily True Crime Digest show Crime Watch Daily because Hansen needed a host to distribute his product, and the company agreed to air the episodes if he hosted Crime Watch Daily. Men were confronted, arrested, and shown sporadically throughout Hansen’s tenure in the program, and were posted on YouTube. However, following a failure to give the fans the Kick-starter material, Hansen sent out checks to buy the rewards immediately, but they bounced, and Hansen was arrested. Which ultimately ended this series as well.

However, six years later, in 2021, Hansen made another series on YouTube, posted initially titled Take a Seat with Chris Hansen through the Law&Crime network for the first three episodes, and eventually posted by himself through his streaming service TrueBlue, and is still going to this day, now titled Takedown with Chris Hansen.

Why don't you have a seat right over there...

This Wiki is dedicated to the mid-2000s television program "To Catch a Predator," its spinoffs “Hansen vs Predator” and Takedown with Chris Hansen," \or any predator Chris Hansen has caught and the personnel and predators involved in the stings. For the wiki's current guidelines, please visit the Current Guidelines page.

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