Part 1 of a 3 part series.
He used to be a hero, but now he exploits the abuse of children for views and money. In the 80s and 90s, he was a hard-hitting journalist, tackling some incredibly important stories that shed light on issues like slave labor, the crack cocaine epidemic, and child trafficking. In the early 2000s he was host of the insanely popular TV show, To Catch a Predator. For a while, Chris Hansen was a legitimate celebrity, probably the most famous of any reporter, and beloved by all as a literal hero doing a great public service. However, somewhere along the way he lost sight of the altruistic nature of what he was doing, and now he spends his days shamelessly exploiting underage abuse victims for YouTube views and a quick buck. On this episode of Deep Cuts, we delve into the life, career, and fall of Chris Hansen.
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Welcome to true crime by Indie Drop-In each week we feature an episode from the best independent creators hit subscribe for more great, true crime content. If you would like to help indie drop-in support indie creators, you can buy us a coffee. Just go to buy me a coffee.com forward slash indie drop-in or click the link in the show notes below today’s episode is from deep cuts. Don’t forget to check out the show notes for links to subscribe and follow us on social media. Enjoy the show On this episode, we deal with subjects related to child abuse and trafficking, and we had to touch on these topics in a few places. Listener discretion is advised I’m Dave baker and I’m am price.
And I’m Chris Hanson. And welcome to deep cuts the podcast where we pick a topic and walk you through the ins outs in the nitty gritty. So then you could appear like an interesting and idiosyncratic person and your next forced social function. Today’s topic is Chris Hansen, Who is Chris Hansen. He’s an award winning journalist with a storied career that dates back decades and involves many impressive feats of investigative reporting. He’s exposed the seedy underbelly of the crack epidemic in Detroit, in the 1980s and underground child trafficking ring in Cambodia and most notably, he was the host of extremely popular segment on Dateline NBC and the early two thousands called to catch a predator where he and a team of internet watchdogs and set up a sting operation where they lure child predators to an empty house, catch them on hidden camera, attempting to solicit sex from underage kids.
And in some cases have them arrested by the police. He also experienced a heart fall from the height of fame that saw him be boiled in a scandalous affair with another reporter doing damage control. After one of the predators, he outed committed suicide, divorced from his wife over a million dollars in debt evicted from his house and eventually arrested on fraud charges. He then became a YouTube con man and a caricature of his former self shamelessly exploiting the abuse of children for profit .
So I’m going to help you. I suggest you sit down and take your hands out your pocket. Chris Hanson with Dateline NBC, how are you? Nice to meet you. We’re doing an investigation into the trade under age prostitutes in Cambodia, and we know that you frequented some of the places in around Sure. No right here, sir. I know it’s right there. I’m more than happy to tell you who I am. I am Chris Hansen with Dateline NBC, and we’re doing a story on computer predators.
You don’t want it. You don’t want to touch. Anyway. We have assisted in 25 arrests, six convictions. In fact, in the last five weeks, we’ve had 11 arrests, indictments or convictions. If you go by the full year with that ratio, we will have more arrests, indictments and convictions than Julie Posey did in seven years. Why? Because we have told the public, we’ve told you the viewing audience that you have a role. Two Things came to mind. One, it was socially irresponsible to let these guys just go because it was harder for the police to build a case. In two, it was unfulfilling for the viewer to see these guys walk away in the wind, just from a practical television production.
I have Been in television for 24 years. I’ll just kinda get to them. And I have very seldom and Ana loss. For words, I don’t even know what to ask you first. You know The Eagle on your, the gaming. I watched all your shows to catch a predator and all that. You are a piece I’m here to give you a chance to talk about this. You can go and you can go up a road. I believe he’s in the hallway. And he told them he wasn’t going to hurt. It was a devastating tragedy, a shock to all of us. When the 56 year old, a man who has prosecuted criminals for more than two decades shot himself because the police Were not involved in the early online chats.
They had to rely on perverted justice, not their own detectives. To know what really happens Hansen from to catch a predator. He has been caught cheating on his wife with a woman 20 years younger Than his former host to catch a predator. Chris Hanson has been hit with a civilian harassment charge. He catch a predator host. Chris Hanson has been busted out. A warrant was issued for Chris. He was arrested on Monday in Connecticut. Some content creators tried to make this look like somehow I backed a real product. I backed ABO Escobar. That couldn’t be farther from the truth Recording. Hi, there’s a person who’s been stalking me online and they just showed up to my house.
They have a bunch of camera. People like their YouTube, they’re YouTube stalkers. And the one that’s knocking on your door. Is he the main one that you said has been stalking you? Yes. He’s his dog. He’s yelling. He’s yelling things that make you the authority now. Okay. And what do we know his name is Chris Hanson. Do you feel like he is helping the investigation itself? Okay. Hey everyone. I thought I’d take a quiet moment Today to talk about some of the drama playing out on social media, surrounding a potential television project on the onesie on investigation. What Is the objective here? Because not only do I not know, but you’re your interviewees also don’t know they’re not getting the resources.
You promise them. They’re not getting the justice. You promise them. So what are you doing? What Chris Hanson was doing throughout most of his Q and a that you saw, it was deflecting and amplifying. That’s very common of someone who is deceitful. It’s also very, very effective. Well, lawyers have already spoken out on this subject and talk at length about how this one action that was done by Chris and his team have irreparably damaged. What little case there was against onesie on. So Chris Hansen literally destroyed the credibility of one of the only pieces of evidence against him. Nissan, though it could have actually led to some kind of a conviction or some solid evidence because he pretended to be a part of the FBI investigation and hired a man who deliberately tampered with evidence.
Act one, God don’t let it happen. But if it does, let me be the first one. There where’s the line between advocacy and exploitation in the media. Can anything ever be truly altruistic? When there are views clicks, ratings, advertising, revenue and salaries involved, or maybe genuine altruism doesn’t exist at all after all, everyone has an agenda. Even if you’re not working for fortune fame or notoriety, how can we ever parse out our desire to help others from our need to be validated, to be like the south guilt or to simply feel good about ourselves? Does the way that altruism and the needs of the self are inextricably linked, make any selfless act, inherently selfish.
Our human beings, the community working together to overcome life’s foibles or series of isolated experiences operating in a vacuum of aid, bouncing off of each other. And sometimes in the Pachinko game, one person’s actions benefit the others. Does it matter if the end result is altruism in nature, certain controversies going on right now about the media’s trustworthiness, not withstanding can their role in social good ever be truly trusted when it’s tied. So intrinsically to profit. And the ultimate goal is entertainment rather than information delivery. Many people watch documentaries and take them at face value. Completely unaware that it’s common for filmmakers to take narrative liberties with the stories to make it more entertaining. Many people. If they found out information in a documentary, it wasn’t a hundred percent accurate, would feel shocked, appalled, lied to they demand the filmmakers, be held accountable, not realizing it’s common practice and pretty much all of them do it.
The news media might have been a different story at one point, but the creation of the 24 hour news cycle during the OJ Simpson trial has led to a world where getting enough content out to fill the time and competing with other news organizations has slowly chipped away at journalistic standards. If it bleeds, it leads. This Is a, this is a concept that Werner Hertzog talks a lot about. He has this concept called ecstatic truth, which is that sometimes when people are so obsessed with capturing reality, it just flattens everything and things become boring. And it doesn’t make for good narratives, which is slightly different than the conversation we’re having. But I feel like it’s Jermaine. Like he, he has this concept called an ecstatic truth, which is that the lie is actually more truthful than the actual facts.
So like he’s literally just full on lied and fabricated things in his documentaries that are just whole cloth, not true, but build a world that makes things more that prove the point that he’s trying to make it on a more spiritual level, as opposed to a ones and zeros level. Like he hates, he hates cinema verite, which if you’re not familiar with the process of trying to make movies as real as possible, and, you know, having handheld cameras and going out into the streets and really like making movies the way the world is, he, he disagrees with that and thinks that that is an exercise in futility, which I think both of the, both of these ideas are at play in the way that the media has evolved.
And now shapes our reality. It’s it’s the Narrative about emotional truth and even kind of the branding discussion that we’re having on the Bellefonte episode, which is that specific details and specific facts of certain things don’t necessarily matter as strongly as the overall kind of concept that’s being furthered or delivered to the person. And you know, when you have a specific worldview, sometimes as human beings with the flaws that we have of confirmation bias, the overall concept is more important to us than the little key details in both what Verna Hertz, August talking about as well as the 24 hour news cycle, whenever a person of a certain political affiliation or a certain worldview watches the news to varying degrees from person to person.
They’re not really sitting there investing in the details. They’re investing in the emotional bigger picture of it. Whenever you are constantly pushing information in people’s faces over and over again, every day, you have to continue to ratchet up the sensationalism of it. And at a certain point, it becomes less about what the actual story is saying. And it becomes more about the emotional truth of the bigger concept that you’re talking about. It’s a key for half of the country’s moral fortitude or half of the country’s empathy towards other human beings or, or half of the country’s desire to be self-sufficient and not give handouts or whatever these concepts are. The specific stories are not about the stories.
They are about feeding into that bigger machine. One of my favorite clips of Werner Hertz, August he’s at like a he’s in like Santa Barbara or something. And somebody asking him about this idea of like, why don’t you agree with cinema verite as an approach to telling stories? I don’t understand like your aesthetic truth thesis doesn’t make any sense. And he like, kind of starts to explain it. And then everyone starts booing him and he just stands up and yells happy new year’s losers and walks out of the auditorium. It’s amazing. So to anyone who doesn’t agree with the thesis statement of this Chris Hanson episode, I preemptively say happy new years.
Well, we’ll drop that sound clip in the comments. Anytime anyone gives a shit. When we post this one, journalist in particular may embody all of the gray murkiness of these ethical questions better than anybody else in the world. And his name is Chris Hanson Hanson grew up in Detroit, Michigan, AKA the dumpster fire of the country. As a teenager, growing up in west Bloomfield township, a suburb of Detroit Henson watched the disappearance of Jimmy Hoffa and the media firestorm surrounding it unfold before his eyes. The restaurant that Hoffa was abducted from was just up the road from Hansen’s childhood home, and he’d ride his bike over and watched from behind the police line. As the investigation unfold, he saw the news vans flock to the scene and the home of reporters and camera people covering the story.
He became intoxicated by it. His introduction to journalism wasn’t covering economic crises, watchdog groups calling out big business or political reporting. It was seeing people on the front lines, raking salacious stories Peran is in the water racing to be the first one on the scene to inform the public of some shocking new mystery and maybe even helping to solve it. It created in him a lifelong thirst for pursuing the juiciest most intense stories and getting the scoop before anyone else did. He didn’t want to just report the news. He wanted to dominate this thirst and drive, and also maybe his affluent upbringing would propel his career forward, quicker than most. The solid days were just ahead for old Chrissy hand hands, no relation to old Tommy Han hands director of the Zodiac killer from a previous episode of deep cuts from their handsome, went to college at Michigan state university and got a bachelor’s degree in telecommunications.
He worked for the school paper as a sports writer and did reporting on the college’s radio station. Can you imagine a young version of the distinct Chris Hanson, boys and cadence coming through the boom box in your dorm room, talking about student council petitioning for the lowering of meal plan prices or something. He graduated in 1981, but before ever receiving his degree in his senior year in college, he met Howard linker, a news anchor for Wilx channel 10 in Lansing, Michigan, who became his mentor. He was hired to work at the station as a reporter before even graduating on his first ever reporter job, not even graduated from college yet. He was in the right place at the right time and got assigned to cover a prison riot nearby. He was on the scene covering the riots and an interviewed prisoners afterward. And because he looked out and was basically the only reporter there covering the story, his segment aired nationally on CNN and NBC, his first ever part-time college job got him a nationally syndicated segment, covering a prison riot off the strength of that.
His as a reporter started gaining momentum. You worked in Florida for a couple of years, and then moved back to Detroit. He even got to interview then vice president, George H w Bush, the real turning point in his career, however, was in July of 1987. He got his first big break and did a five-part investigation into the Detroit crack cocaine epidemic for w X Y a T V. Channel seven Here holds 12 shotgun shells and Day as part of a five-part series on the crack problem. I went on dozens and dozens and dozens of narcotics raids with a no crack taskforce. Crazy.
I mean, today, you probably wouldn’t get away with that. Agents Say the gang was well-armed in many of the homes, they found assault, weapon story Had everything Hanson could want. It was a massive salacious story where he was able to flip over the beast of 1980s, Detroit and show the public, the seedy underbelly of this growing problem. He got to be out in the field, actually confronting the story head on. He was in the trenches, working with the DEA and the Detroit police department directly even broke. One of the biggest stories in the history of drug reporting. The chambers brothers, four brothers from Chicago, who were discovered to control the entire crack cocaine business in Detroit, making 55 million a year from crack sales and dealing half the city supply of crack. Some was right there alongside the police and the feds.
When they busted the chambers brothers, he helped blow the lid off the entire operation. But in the course of some of these raids, they discovered a cache, a videotape. And this was one of the drug homes owned by the chambers brothers, the notorious drug money, money, money, they’d go through the homes, the faucets 24 karat gold. Now this was amazing stuff. Once Upon a time drug deal, this was truly idolized. They had all the men toys. Then This was real journalism in, in the early stages of Chris Hanson’s career. This, this whole part is the craziest stuff to me because, you know, we, we know of all these legendary journalists.
I mean, we, you know, we have, we know of like we know of Tom Brokaw and you know, all, all these people who we see as these like legendary reporters and journalists and newscasters who were there for these like huge events in history. But the stuff later on that we’re going to talk about. So just eclipses his early career that I feel like number one, nobody talks about. And I also feel like people don’t know about the fact that before what he ended up becoming and what he got famous for, he was a part of some like world changing news reporting.
And it’s really, it’s really nuts that people just don’t know that about him. They just know him as one specific thing. And nobody has any idea like you literally contributed to like ending a drug cartel in Hanson suddenly became a name on people’s lips in a Michigan news world. He won best TV reporter in Detroit, monthly, and was generally celebrated by his colleagues. However, his first big story also resulted in his first big misstep though, the world and even Hansen wouldn’t know until years later, as part of the five-part investigation, Hanson covered a 17 year old crack dealer named Richard worship Jr or white boy, Rick, as he was purported to be called the segment about where she portrayed him as a child wonder kin underground, crack dealing, becoming a king pin and major player in the Detroit crack game before even graduating high school, Where she was busted for possessing eight kilos of cocaine, the charge, which now has him serving a life sentence.
You’re not Trying to tell me that you were an angel that you never did anything wrong. I mean, I’ve been involved in wrong doing, but I don’t feel I did anything to receive a life sentence. Officers say a tussle started a fight almost between where she Grissom and the officers investigators say that war. She took off running about 25 minutes, a half hour later, the police find him and they roughed him up pretty good to the point where he had to go to the hospital. So the next three or four hours, the police are combing the neighborhood looking for drugs. They got an anonymous Later, more police arrived in. Eventually they found a box containing eight kilos of cocaine.
This wasn’t true where she was actually an informant who had been working for the FBI since he was 14 years old aiding in their ongoing investigation, into the local crack dealing community. White boy, Rick nevertheless became nationally known thanks to Hanson segment, which immediately caught the attention of the FBI. It was majorly unethical for them to have an under agent foreman on the payroll, knowingly sending him into the lion’s den of the world of Detroit crack dealers. They severed all ties with where she immediately and covered up any evidence of their informant relationship with him without the support of the FBI, where she started a career of crack dealing for real and eventually was arrested and sentenced to life in jail. Rick Jr. His boss was the FBI. He’s believed to be the Bureau’s youngest informant ever.
So briefly. He earned nearly $40,000 In informant fees. You ever a cocaine kingpin. And then in the press, they come out and say, drug king, pin white boy, Rick king pin of what? Who? He didn’t have a drug gang. He didn’t have crack houses. Haven’t killed anyone. No, never already want anyone killed. No, I’m sorry to tell you that the legend of white boy, Rick is just not true. That’s this is one of the crazier things to me in this whole story that they didn’t like help him. They didn’t put him in witness protection or no, they were just like, yeah, they were just like, ah, bye.
Well, the, it was, it was, it was totally illegal and totally breaking a million different code of ethics for them to have, be to have a 14 year kid working for them and for the FBI to be like 14 year old kid go deal crack. So when they, when they, when this was revealed, which it was never supposed to be known, there was, it was a total clan desktop line sort of operation by the FBI, you know, operating and in shades of gray. And when it was discovered or not, when it was discovered, but whenever he became focused on, they were just like, we don’t know him. What are you talking about?
It’s awful, awful. And you know, it ruined, ruined the kid’s life. I mean, he eventually found justice and you know, his, his case was reassessed, but not until he was in, you know, in his fifties and having had rotted in prison for the most of his life. So at that point, it’s like, cool, I guess I’m out of jail now. But my entire life was just wasted, which sucks. It wasn’t until 30 years later where she’s ties to the FBI were brought to light and his case was reassessed to Hansen’s credit. He was a vocal advocate for letting worship out of jail. And he was finally paroled after spending three decades behind bars for dealing crack as a 17 year old, because the FBI asked him to, they even made a movie about it.
Starring Matthew McConaughey, the Six 50 lifer law that where she was convicted under was repealed in 1998. So the Supreme court of the state of Michigan said that constitutes cruel and unusual punishment. You have three or four or five, 10 years down the road, Rick, you get out of prison. What do you do? Stop my life. Try and start from the beginning. You know, I want to go on have a, with a job somewhere, man. I need a normal life.
Did he get a large monetary settlement? Yeah. I mean, not every one of these situations, but a lot of times when these movies go into production, they kind of do it with it in mind that they’re going to make the person like an executive producer and get them paid. Yeah. That’s but that’s not even what I’m talking about. You mean, you mean from the, from the federal government? Yeah, he did. But in addition to that, he also was sort of brought on as a producer of this film. So he saw like, you know, monetary gain from the film as well. From there Hanson worked for WWE TV channel four from 1988 to 1993 before being hired as a reporter for now, with anchors, Tom Brokaw and Katie Kirk before leaving channel four.
However, Henson, Hold on. Let me show you if I can do just Tom broke hall, wrong call. Now you’re just trying Out characters like that. Wasn’t even that wasn’t even organically woven into anything Room call. I don’t actually know what he sounds other than Tom brown call. That’s all right, Tom. It’s not bad. It’s more, it’s more Thurston Howell. The third from Gilligan’s island, but I need to, I need, I would have to hear him. I need to hear what Tom Brook, it’s kind Of like that. It’s not, yeah, it’s not bad. It’s definitely no, Tom is definitely not as good as the time you tried out a Marlon Brando impression for the first time and it was like solid, but yeah, yeah, yeah.
Before leaving channel four, however Henson made the most pivotal decision of his life. Something that would shape the direction of the rest of his career and lead him to where he is today. He befriended a fellow reporter who had been recently hired at the station, Kevin Dietz, and before leaving gave him his beeper full of contacts as a final bit of leverage before leaving channel four, he told them that if they wanted someone to cover all the same stories he was covering for them, they should probably ask the guy with the beeper, keep this in mind because it will definitely come into play later on for now, Hanson covered many of the types of stories he was becoming known for. He did an investigation into the lack of regulation of bounty hunters. Most notably helping to expose the clearly racist psychopath, bounty hunter, Keith rotis, who would regularly round up a gang raid the house of predominantly black men with warrants out for their arrest for petty crimes like shoplifting and violently assault and Rob them before turning them into the police.
The one bounty hunter that law enforcement did go after his chief. He armed his Louisiana team as if it was going to war. We brought sawed off shotguns off 3 57 and nine millimeters or tech nine. Curtis Turner will never forget. The night. Rodas came after him. Turner had shoplifted two bottles of aspirin and was on a $500 bind by mistake. He showed up a day late for his court date, but by the time the bounty hunter showed up at his door, he wasn’t wanted anymore. About 6,000 may, all the Russians guns drawn. They come over to me and knock on my front and sit down. That was in that area. And they come over with the guns and the Billy clubs and their, they managed me brand me with me when Keith wrote his and his gang of bounty hunters were finished with Curtis Turner.
This is what he looked like when they grabbed me by the legs and dragged me through this door. They don’t get me up on my feet and nothing. They just grabbed the shackled. Then dragged me down on this concrete stair, Mr. Turner, everything that he got, or that happened to him, he brought on his self it’s better than me shooting him Better than me shooting him. Yeah. It’s like a, it’s like a weird Billy Bob Thornton character. It’s Like, what if Lobo start Billy Bob Thornton. Wolf Wolf. Yeah. I mean, yeah, the, the, maybe, maybe we’ll do an episode on this because I’ve always been fascinated by the world of bounty hunters and just like, and private detectives as well.
I think we talked about that on some episode of just like where the line is and how like, I’ve always just been fascinated with like, cause you know, when you watch movies, they’re presented as like these vigilantes who can bust bad guys and things like, oh, we talked about on the JG arms episode, but you know, where’s the line between the, you know, actual law enforcement and then like these, these licensed civilian, private detectives and bounty hunters and what can they do and what can they not do? It’s, it’s super fascinating to me. And, and this, this story, you know, out of anything really shows like, you know, where is that line?
Because these guys were apparently operating within some realm of their, their, their rights as bounty hunters. But then they were also just like breaking into people’s houses, robbing them, like not following the proper chain of command of like even verifying that the person was still wanted anymore before doing this, which none of that obviously is legal. And yet they were doing this and they were getting away with it until this expo happened. Also, I feel Like I need to state for the record, Keith rotis does have a mullet. You hope hundred percent Hanson’s expo say got Rhoda stripped of his ability to be a bounty hunter.
But he was later busted for assaulting and robbing a black man who had previously had a warrant out for his arrest with a warrant, had been recalled. The police were called and they chase rotis in his vehicle until rotis eventually pulled to the side of the road, pulled out his pistol and shot himself before he could be arrested. Dude could not live in a world where he wasn’t allowed to indiscriminately beat black men without repercussions. In 1994. Now merged with Dateline, NBC and Hanson was one chest move closer to fulfilling his destiny. He was now a part of the Dateline family and a few steps away from the Chris Hanson that we all know and love today because of the particular types of stories he pursued and how effectively he was at reporting on them. He became the network’s go-to guy for covering huge, hard hitting often shocking national stories.
He covered the Oklahoma city bombing, Medicare fraud, the hidden danger of escalators, and much more. He even did an investigation in 1996 that exposed the lack of proper airport security across the country, which actually led to the federal aviation administration revising their security policies. But the revisions weren’t drastic enough. And many people claim that Hanson segment on airport security was a grim warning about the inevitability of an event like nine 11, which Hansen also covered extensively for Dateline. The next big story for Hanson, however, was another pivotal turning point for his career. In 2002, he did an hour long, special on the Indian silk trade in this investigation Hanson and his crew was able to link Indians, child slave labor to many of the high-end clothing brands in the U S the popularity and success of the special showed Hanson.
One thing people ate up stories about the exploitation of children. So he leaned into it hard for his next special. There are some places you might never have heard about notorious places, kind of places as sexual predator would be willing to halfway around the world to reach destinations like this dusty village in Southeast Asia here, the prey is plentiful and easy to stop children huddled by young hustlers like this. These are the children born into poverty and sold for sex. Oh, those kids are so young. Yeah. Yeah. And I mean, up until, I mean, obviously, obviously this wasn’t something that people thought was okay.
But up until this story, which once again is kind of crazy that handsome was kind of involved in, in something like this up until the story, the greater public didn’t know about this, but the government and federal law enforcement and things were well aware that this was just a normal thing that a lot of people did, but it was just kind of a thing where I, yeah, I guess sometimes these people just go and they traveled to another country and they do horrible things to traffic children. And then they come back and we know that they did it and we know who they are. And we just have to kind of let it go because it’s not our jurisdiction. And it really wasn’t until this special that it became this bigger conversation that, I mean, arguably it didn’t really help much as we’ll talk about in a second because of that jurisdictional issue that you know, these people, unless you can figure out some kind of way of cooperating with different law enforcements, you know, in, you know, internationally, there’s literally nothing you can do.
Like you could know that guy goes to Cambodia and like purchases children, but there’s literally nothing we can do about it because he did it in a different country. In 2004 Hanson did another hour long, special on the child sex trade in Cambodia. In addition to christening his trademark focus on child predators, it also established the technique he would go on to use in his future child predator investigations, working in tandem with law enforcement and a watchdog group. In this case, one called justice mission for this investigation, undercover men would pose as predators, soliciting young girls on the streets of Cambodia wearing hidden cameras. During these undercover investigations, the decoys discovered a network of young Cambodian boys acting as pimps for older men offering up girls as young as five years old.
I know that’s disgusting and kind of hard to hear, but fortunately, this investigation led to three dozen girls rescued in the arrest of a dozen traffickers. During the special handsome was also able to interview Cambodia as minister of women’s affairs, where he essentially sat her down, showed her all the hidden camera footage they had captured and allowed her to uncomfortably stew and how terrible she was at her job on camera for 10 minutes. And then he interviewed Ben us secretary of state Colin Powell about the need to crack down on what is known as sex tourism, which is a system by which American citizens can Sturt prostitution laws by traveling to other countries and engaging in illegal activity that they can then flee the country and escape any liability. And while sex tourism can often be utilized to employ the services of age-appropriate consenting sex workers, sometimes in countries where it’s actually legal, which probably isn’t that big of a deal.
It can also be known as a safe Haven for child predators and traffickers, which is obviously horrifying beyond description career turning point number three, almost as an afterthought, the crew was handed some hidden camera footage taken by a humanitarian activist, talking to an American doctor named Jerry album in the footage. The man strikes up a conversation with album about buying underage prostitutes and album essentially gives him step-by-step advice on how to do it. Like This doctor from Oklahoma, our camera crew met up with in the heart of Phnom Penh. Jerry album says he likes Cambodia so much. He visits several times a year. The Cambodian people have been most welcome and most courteous at all times.
And they found some of the most remarkable architectural finds here. Most notably the temples of Angkor Fonts. It’s not only the legendary temple is of anchor watt that draw Dr. Album to Cambodia are hidden. Cameras found that he liked thousands of other tourists comes here for another purpose. This is martinis. It’s a nightclub where young women outnumber men tend to want. And many of the women are for sale. Whenever Dr. Album is in town, he likes to hang out here as we witnessed more than once during our stay, even though prostitution is illegal in Cambodia, finding a girlfriend for the night at Martinez takes just a few words, a few dollars and a stroll out the door.
But the action at martini is pales compared with what else we’re about to see in Cambodia, the human rights investigator with a hidden camera, I’ve found a visitor who was willing to admit he was not here for the scenic beauty or the local cuisine. Yeah. When the camera was hidden, this American Pauling’s Fe pot was happy to brag about his exploits, 50 bucks familiar. You should. He’s Jerry album, the same American doctor we met up with on our arrival in Phnom Penh. And now we know for sure, he’s interested in more than his country’s historic temples.
In fact, Dr. Album offers pointers to a man. He believes is a sex tourist. First on how to cover his trail. Don’t tell anyone you’re going to Cambodia. He says, but Thailand instead, One slip and you can run into trouble. He like the time you snapped a photo of one of the girls here He says he doesn’t go for the youngest of girls.
He prefers teenager. That’s fucking dark. Yeah. I mean, there’s, there’s multiple aspects of this. The obvious one is that this is horrifying and disgusting. And this person is, you know, just vile human garbage. I mean, this is the type of person that would be on Chris Hanson show, but there’s a lot going on here psychologically that it is really dark and really fascinating and really disgusting.
The first thing is he says in giving this advice, he says to keep a low profile, but number one, he’s openly just, he sees a stranger and he starts striking up a conversation with him. And then he just openly offers up all this information to him about these horribly illicit illegal things that he’s doing is that keeping a low profile is like confiding the darkest secrets. You have to a stranger on the street. Number two, was that guy just wearing a t-shirt that was like, yes, I too am a sex tourist. It’s like, yeah, I don’t know. And, and, and second of all, just the mere fact that he’s doing this, it’s so weird and dark and gross that he’s even telling this guy, these things, because if you, if you were, if you were doing something like this, what do you stand to gain from helping another guy do it too?
He’s like getting off on bragging about it to this guy. He’s bragging to this guy about this and giving him advice in the same way that some shitty like self-important guy who thinks he’s like a hot shot in like movie producing or whatever, who, but he’s actually not tries to like give advice to somebody. And this is how you do it. This is how you break into the movie industry. And he doesn’t, he’s not actually successful. He’s actually compensating for the fact that he is not very successful. And he’s trying to cultivate this weird power dynamic with somebody who’s less successful than he is. And making himself feel bigger by positioning himself as some kind of like weird mentor to this other person. And he’s doing that with this, which is really dark and gross.
That that is a thing that he is like feeling braggadocious about. And the last thing is going back to the low profile thing, you agreed to be interviewed on camera for a news investigation that was happening on American news investigation. That was happening in Cambodia. The time you were there. And he thought it was just like a profile of Cambodia or whatever. But if you know that there’s this news crew of Americans covering this at the same time that you’re there, they’re doing it. And then you agree to be on camera and be interviewed. I don’t know what, how fucking dumb could this guy be. In addition to being a disgusting, horrible piece of shit.
However, there’s kind of a bittersweet, maybe more on the side of bitter resolution to this on the strength of this footage, Hanson and his crew decided to tack on an additional moment to the special where Hanson waited in the parking garage of the hospital that Dr. Album worked at and confronted him about the footage later on camera. His reaction is some of the most intense cringing you’ll likely do all month. Chris Hanson with Dateline, NBC, how are you? Nice to meet you. Good. We’re doing an investigation into the trade, underage prostitutes in Cambodia. And we know that you frequented some of the places in around Phnom Penh and it’s fake. That’s true. I have visited there many times with underage girls.
No, not to my knowledge. May I show you a videotape? Yes, but not on tantra. Well, I think you want to see this. We showed him some of the hidden camera video where you say 15, 16, maybe a 14 year old will sneak him. That’s under age doctor. I don’t want to say anything more, but I’ve, I’ve read about things like this. I’ve talked to people, who’ve done this, but I’ve denied any participation in anything like this. I don’t support it, but aren’t you supporting it by going down, I support the people down there. I keep now there are tremendous poverty. They’re very delightful people. And I’d like to go down there and visit my friends and support the people that I know Dr.
Album says he hasn’t violated any law, especially a U S law. And did Americans traveling to other countries to have sex with children. He explained his understanding of that law, or to give advice to a stranger back in Cambodia. If you just did it by accident, he was ready with the same defense. If when we caught up with him, well, I don’t go down there with the intent of trafficking or participating in a sex with underage girls. But Dr. Album may be in for a surprise because president Bush has signed a new law.
Now prosecutors only have to prove that a traveler like Dr. Album had sex with someone younger than 18. So the technicality he’s relying on won’t hold up anymore. It’s not my intent. So it may happen from time to time, but that’s not what you’re trying to do. I don’t want to say it even happens for phone. Seems to be what you’re indicating on. This may happen to other people from time to time. I’m not saying that it happens to me. There are many things I’ve read about many things people have talked to me about, and I don’t want to participate and make judgements of something that may have said when I was drunk or, or it may have been slipped, a pill who knows, but that is not drunk or slipped a pill, right? That’s your defense. Yes. From one app from one, from one episode that I don’t even recognize myself, I don’t even recognize myself saying something like that to people.
Do you know? This is you. I would agree that as me. You also talk about getting three girls for the night for $50. I don’t want to comment specifically on anything on they are any more. Okay. I denied anything, any illegal activity by United States laws. And I will leave it at that. Watching a man’s world crumble around him. The Thing that’s so interesting about that too, is this is obviously somebody who knows that they’re in the wrong. Like his expression is like the kid in middle school. Who’s just like, please don’t call my parents. Yeah. Don’t call my parents.
And then just the, and just the blatant rejection of reality, where like, he knows what he’s saying, doesn’t make any sense. And he knows that. We know that what he’s saying doesn’t make any sense. And we know that he knows that we know, but he’s still just keeping on doing it because what else do you do in that situation? Like, you Know what you do in that situation, you don’t have sex with children in Cambodia. That’s what you do in The first place. But also it’s just like, this is the early flashes of it. But who in this world is better at that than Chris Hanson is. That’s the reason why he goes on to become known for this because he’s like, there’s something about his demeanor and the way that he confronts these situations.
That just feel like it’s like, you don’t stand a chance. The disappointed scolding dad, energy that he has. It’s just uncanny. Yeah. It’s really. Yeah. Yeah. It is. It’s very, I expected so much more of you, which is weird because that’s awful. Like he just raped all those kids. And the fact that Americans get off on, I expected so much more of, Oh, well, we’re going to talk about that. We’re going to talk about that a lot later that that’s, that’s a big discussion for kind of our open discussion part of, of the episode or episode 12 or whatever Episode 75 of the Chris Hanson mythology trilogy.
Just Whatever, just the entire concept of this as entertainment. We’re going to talk about that. We’re gonna go, we’re gonna go deep into that. Put a pin in it. My boy, That’s your new catch phrase. Let’s it’s that? Or cut the mustard. Why not bowl? Yeah. Put mustard in that pin. My boy, despite The hidden camera footage, Hansen’s confrontation with album as well as the fact that he showed the footage to Colin Powell and got a promise on camera that something would be done to get this man behind bars, Maybe a doctor, but he’s a criminal. He’s a criminal. Anything it’d be brought to justice. He will be brought to justice.
The law requires it and he won’t have to worry about being a doctor. Cause he’ll be doing time in jail. And that’s where he belongs. It seems that no legal action ever came against album. There’s really no information about this dude beyond Hansen’s investigation, anywhere on the internet. So I guess he just went on living his normal life, which yeah, I, this First name again. What’s his first name again? Jerry and I album. Yeah. I did research on this guy and it ends at this investigation. That’s the end of any reference to him in any kind of publicly available news articles on the internet. So he did this stuff in Cambodia, the hospital that Chris Hanson confronts him at is not actually in the United States is in Guam.
He was in Guam filling in, in some hospital or whatever, where they confronted him. And you know, they mentioned in the, in the news packet that they had just changed the law to where it was no longer contingent on proving intent, but they just needed to prove that it happened, which seems pretty compelling. That’s not him. Right? That is him. He’s on Facebook. Oh my God. Yeah. That’s a hundred percent him. Yeah. He’s he’s much older. He’s he’s lost weight and he’s just looks older, but that is him. He is a, he has 37 friends. His name is on his name on Facebook is Gerald album.
Gerald. Oh yeah. Gerald with a J. Yeah. Is this his wife? His sister who has this album is one of his friends who’s in at fuck. Oh my God, Dave, this is fucking insane. Yeah, I did not. I did not look on Facebook. I, I was, I was doing research and trying to find this dude and trying to find articles about anything. I’m trying to find out any update on what could have happened to him after this investigation. And there’s nothing. So he extensibly just, he could, they couldn’t pin anything to him. And he went on about his life, but he’s just on Facebook.
Yeah. So the, I don’t know if this is his full profile or if, I mean, there’s still set to private there’s stuff missing. Yeah. There’s stuff missing because it’s set to private. But the last post that we can publicly see is something that was shared in 2018, which is just him trying to get signatures for some kind of petition Help, Gerald album get more signatures. We need 128 more signatures today. It’s a change.org, support science and professor Tim Noel. We are writing to ask if you are willing to join in signing a letter in defense of science and professor Tim Knox of South Africa, many of you know that the story of professor Noricks, he is a world famous professor.
Now a Meredith of exercise science and sports medicine at the university of Cape town who happened to discover that it low carb diet was highly effective in a treatment for obesity type two diabetes and other nutrition-related diseases. He became famous in South Africa for promoting the diet and that, and this has led to various forms of retaliation by his colleagues, perhaps most stunning. However has been the medical authorities. HPE CSA have subjected professor notebooks over the past few years to a public hearing with his medical license, Hayne the balance, the charge, sending a tweet to a breastfeeding mother that she could safely ween her child onto LC H F diet specifically.
He was charged with giving unconventional advice. That is not evidence-based professor Noakes was actually acquitted last April, but the medical board is appealing its own decision. Although there are many disturbing ethical issues surrounding the HP CSA. His treatment of professor X, the petition will only focus on the fact that his advice is evidence-based and that this evidence is acknowledged by groups of physicians, other healthcare providers, scientists, and reach it researchers. So basically he’s defending, he’s trying to get a bunch of people to sign a petition to defend this, this yeah.
And that’s, that’s a post we can see and you ha and you can see comments, people being like incredible. I signed it. Thanks. He’s a modern Galileo. Jerry album said that. And then the only other posts we can see is a picture of him, or he is much thinner. I mean, the listeners at home, you can’t, you didn’t see him in the first place, but he’s like a, he’s like a, you know, he was a, middle-aged kind of slightly balding sort of rotund gentlemen. And in this picture, which is from much more recently, he is basically lost all of his weight. He’s really skinny, but noticeably older, wearing, wearing the age of a man who has a horrible secret weighing on him, that he’s terrified is going to come back to haunt him any Day.
Now, the photo in question was posted on April 12th, 2016, around the same time. I’m assuming it’s his wife. She commented looking handsome. So, you know, that’s cool. Yeah. I mean, this is his sister. I bet it’s his sister. She works at Hebrew. That’s insane. Like he did not get prosecuted because obviously because of whatever international jurisdictional issues or whatever, but like this, this is all over the internet. Like this was a, this was a nationally syndicated special back in the early two thousands.
And now it’s just all over YouTube. Like you can, you know, you go to YouTube and you can type in, you can type in anything from G you can type in Jerry album and you’re going to get footage of him from this special, you can type in Dr. Predator and that’s going to bring up Jerry album footage. Like this is, this is all over the place. So it’s, that’s so insane that he just lives his life. Normally still Also his sister slash wife, whoever she is, she way anti Palestine way, anti Palestinian posting a bunch of weird stuff, weird, weird stuff, Unfucking real Jesus.
And like, there is no gray area to what he did. There’s no gray area. He did some of the most horrific things that a person can do. He says he still does it. I think he, I don’t know. I mean, I want to say if I was in that position, I definitely wouldn’t, but that’s, I think that’s because I’m not a psychopath who would ever do that in the first place. So my, my mind can’t even go there, like, cause you know, I, I can’t even relate to whatever compulsions he might have or whatever. So I have no idea. He has one thing that he’s liked on Facebook, a single thing, but the author Nassim, Nicholas to leave, I don’t know who this author is, but he’s the only page that Gerald has liked.
What the fuck. Yeah. Yeah. He’s like one, one thing. And he’s following three people, Dr. Paula Mason who yoga and Maricka soar boasts. This is so strange. What? Yoga, this is so weird. I don’t know. What’s weird. Or the fact that this guy is just on Facebook or the fact that I found him in like 30 seconds. Yeah. Yeah. You just typed in his name and it was right there and it’s a hundred percent him. Can I see a picture of him again? Can you see a picture of it? The older one or younger Know it’s it’s definitely him. Is it?
It’s it’s definitely him. I, I think it was, this is the best. This is the best footage. It’s it’s 150% him. That’s him. Right? It’s a hundred percent him. He’s just lost. He’s lost all the weight and he’s older obviously, but it’s a hundred percent him. Yeah. The nose is the same. His eyes do that kind of slanty thing that make him look like he’s always wincing wrinkles in the forehead is the same. He has less hair as it four years ago. Obviously still rocking that weird nineties mustache though, man. Yeah. That’s him. Jesus. Wow. That’s I didn’t mean to, I didn’t mean to derail That hits harder than mine.
He is a Brother to the album. Who’s in it at what the fuck. This is so weird that his whole family is just right here. We’re on Facebook. There’s no way we don’t know about this horrific thing that he’s done because it was on national television. He was caught directly on camera saying these things. Wow. Album, his sister, I’m assuming she posted one hour ago and she’s just posting a video of a rainbow. It has 37 views. This is so weird. This is so weird. Like how did, How do you navigate that life? How do you navigate after being out? Like you’re out on national television for this thing that you’ve done, which is just beyond inhumane, beyond disgusting, beyond, you know, the most viral crime you can commit and it, and it’s outed publicly.
And then you just go on with your life and go through this series of loopholes. You just, you don’t actually get in trouble for it. And then you just continue on your life. And he just walks around working his job, going to stores. People see him sensibly. Sometimes he’s recognized and maybe people don’t say anything. Maybe sometimes people do say things. Maybe he knows people and they bring it up sometimes. And then what, what does he do? How did Jesus, how does he navigate that? I have no idea. And so aside from that seems like nothing ever came of that story. He literally talked to Colin Powell and showed him the footage. And Colin Powell was like, this guy has to go to prison, but then never followed up with it.
However, this clip of Hanson confronting album was the final finishing touch to the format that Hanson would later go on to perfect, a charismatic and stern reporter backed by a team of law enforcement officers and specialized watchdogs confronting predators caught in the act on camera and grilling them as they stood in their own confusion, shame and fear. Around this time, an old friend of Hanson’s also had his sight set on taking down predators on camera for the news, Kevin Dietz at channel four, the friend that Hanson had handed over the beeper full of context to those years ago had participated in a similar investigation. Back in Detroit, this investigation was headed up by an internet predator watchdog group, specialized in catfishing child predators on the internet and luring them to locations to be caught on camera or arrested.
They were going from town to town cooperating with local news stations to stage these stings and air them as segments on the news. And Kevin had been chosen a channel four to be the one in front of the camera, confronting them in showing up to solicit sex from minors. DEET saw Hansen’s Cambodia special and realized that his national notoriety might lend some much needed exposure to this very worthy cause. So he called up Chris and told him that the watchdog group he was collaborating with on the Detroit predator sting was shopping around an idea for a TV show to news networks. That Hanson would probably be very interested in hearing their pitch and that if he acted fast, he could become the face of this TV show. Yes, that’s right. Chris Hanson did not create the show he became known for. It was actually a pitch by this watchdog group.
Enhancing was simply to be the face of it because of his influence at Dateline as well as his proven track record for being good at it. This watchdog group was called perverted justice, but who is perverted justice. And why does their name sound Kind of Thanks for listening to this episode, you should definitely go like the Facebook page for the deep cuts pod, because we do lots of cool video content on there that you’ll be sure to like also please join our Facebook group. That’s Deep cuts podcast on Facebook and the deep cuts podcast. Facebook group. Also follow us on Instagram at Too and justice for all perverts.
What are you picturing when you think of the organization behind an operation dedicated to busting child predators, a team of dedicated and passionate impasse altruistically burning the midnight oil to bring these bile criminals to justice, a lone gunman style group of world, where he vigilantes consume with the obsession of exterminating corruption in the world. How about a bunch of internet trolls with questionable motives who just find it funny to watch pedophile squirm? If the name perverted justice sounds kind of off to you, it’s probably because despite Rhett conning themselves years later as moral crusaders dedicated to exposing as many pedophiles as possible, the organization started out as a humor website, wherein members would pose as under-aged kids and chat rooms, catfish, predators, and post their chat logs to the public for entertainment value.
The organization started in 2001 when co-founder Xavier Vaughn, Eric real name Philip John I’d had a somewhat popular blog called the angry german.com. Part of his site was dedicated to trolling people in Yahoo chat rooms, but it wasn’t morally reprehensible criminals. It was stuff like foot fetishes and members of the LGBTQ community. Eventually he had the idea to troll pedophiles, which was less about a desire to expose them and more just an escalation of his chat room, trolling gimmick that was becoming more and more popular if people eat up these hilarious chat logs of me making fun of dudes who are in defeat, they’re going to love me outing actual, real online predators. It was the equivalent of a standup comedian finding their voice after years of experimentation.
Seriously. That’s not even far off to be fair though. As most people do fond, Eric did hate pedophiles. He wasn’t detached from the situation entirely, and it really brings up the moral gray of altruism in the media. His involvement with social change again, Bon Eric was undoubtedly catfishing child predators because he thought it was funny. It was ratcheting up the clicks on his blog. And later on, as he started to craft his own mythology, he convinced himself he was some kind of moral Crusader having a positive impact on the world, which undoubtedly boosted the ego of a lonely self-described misanthropic, loner, internet troll, who opined to hate humanity. However, it makes it hard to believe that he was really trying to do a morally righteous thing. Like he now claims he always was when you read some of his early blog posts from this time, like this one where he expresses his misanthropic world, Humanity is at best a festering sore of illogical individuals who strive to be special flowers, unique, and open-minded befriending people with all their problems.
Simply invites something worse than having no social life. Having one you hate that burdens you without rewarding you. So I will continue to live my life the way it is set up. No friends, no real activities, nothing Or this screed about how much he hates babies. Babies. I simply cannot stand them. They shit, they pee. They cry. That’s all they do. Nothing they’re good for nothing. They should not be taken to restaurant to cry and cry and cry. And making me want to kill making my ears bleed. They are not cute. How are they cute? They don’t even look human they’re bald. They they’re pint-sized. They drool.
(1h 0m 17s):
They make God for sake and tele Tubby sounds. And the only reason people like them or want to have them is because they are insecure and they need these little urchins to give the point of their life Or help log posts, where he literally implies that children should be exposed to a sexually explicit environment without legal repercussions. Hey, a couple of parents throw a party for their star quarterback. So they get a stripper, some pot and some alcohol. Are they facing the prospect of a year in jail? Why in the name of all that is, is that Keebler? He’s a couple Of times he’s like, he’s just a weird internet Troll. It’s just like weird internet slang that I’m just not familiar with from the 2000.
(1h 0m 60s):
I don’t think it’s anything specific. It’s just like when you’re, when you’re like a weird edge Lord internet troll, or like a early two thousands, like so random, like blogger, you say weird stuff. Like what in the name of HG, Abraham Lincoln or what? Like, it’s just weird, random bullshit. Hmm. Why in the name of all that is Keebler. Should anyone care? Oh, that’s right. Those kids were 15 to 18. Of course those agents shouldn’t be able to see naked women smoke pot or drink alcohol. I mean, we need to have our kids paying taxes, driving and being able to be conscripted into the military. You may pay the government and die for the government, but damn you for thinking you’re an adult.
(1h 1m 43s):
What a stupid society repeat what a stupid society. Of course, all this relates back to indirect harm. I love indirect harm. It can get used to justify anything. If you use a faulty causal relationship, or how about This rant about wanting to go on a killing spree? So After suicidal thoughts, I turned my thoughts to killing sprees. No, not indiscriminate psychotic killing sprees, where I shoot innocent people for no good reason. Although that is tempting targeted ones. For example, I launched an assault on a NAMBLA meeting, dead idiots, everywhere. Perhaps I break handgun control ink with a knife and eviscerate everyone, something, some form of complete destructibility.
(1h 2m 28s):
After going down on the keyhole of Von Eric’s old blog posts, it’s very clear that his primary goal was to just unleash his aggression upon humanity. Pedophiles just happened to be the perfect target because everyone would be on his side, which in a lot of ways is, is a lot of what’s going on with this whole Q Anon thing, which is like this orchestrated sabotage job towards a certain group of people that you don’t like, like, oh, you know, we don’t like liberals or we don’t like Democrats, or we don’t like these people. And we don’t, we don’t think that the black lives matter protests are valid, or we don’t think that COVID is a big deal. Like everyone’s making it out to be. So they’ve hit upon this perfect tactic, which is, if you just pretend like you are taking this moral high ground of like, but what about the children?
(1h 3m 17s):
What about the horrible child sex trafficking that’s going on in the Hollywood liberal elite and all these things. And you accuse these people who are outspoken liberals or outspoken, whatever that goes against you, of being pedophiles and you Photoshop their names on to flight logs of, you know, of Jeffrey Epstein. It’s like you implicitly gain this upper hand and make the argument much easier to win because anybody who’s arguing against you is by default siting with pedophiles. So it’s just this like perfect skeleton key tactic to winning a moral argument. And it’s kind of similar to what he was doing. He was masking his desire to exact his aggression on the world under this morally altruistic thing that maybe to a certain degree, he cared about it in that way.
(1h 4m 6s):
But I don’t think it was the primary reason why he was doing it, but doesn’t matter if the end product was objective. Really a good thing. I mean, nobody can argue that even in these early days of perverted justice being a humor website, they weren’t objectively helping to expose online predators who had been lurking in the darkness, getting away with their crimes for who knows how long. Also as perverted justice in their chat log drops started to gain a reputation. It had an actual noticeable effect on the frequency of predatory behavior in the chat rooms. As people started to become scared of getting caught and exposed by them. This feeds into a much larger discussion about intent versus impact and ethics versus end result. So a subdomain of the angriest German popped up perverted justice fond. Eric teamed up with a fellow online troll Frank fence post to start going into chat rooms and learning in the predators.
(1h 4m 51s):
The two actually kind of hate each other. And for all intents and purposes were rivals in their online community, but they both hated child predators and both saw the opportunity to exploit the gimmick for online clout. But Yvonne, Eric was doing this with questionable motives fence posts made him look like mother Teresa, the fake idealized selfless humanitarian version of mother Teresa. We learned about in school, not the homophobic abelist abusive profiteer that she actually was. Anybody want a deep cuts episode about that? Anyway, fence was even more in it for the laws than VanEck was. The whole thing was a joke to him. For instance, here’s the list of rules that fence post put up on the perverted justice do not Call these perverts every hour on the hour from midnight to 6:00 AM asking for hot hot ass, do not offer these numbers to Jehovah’s witnesses, telling them that you need as many prayer meetings as you can possibly get posting these numbers in a gay phone, sex chat is number one, a terrible, terrible thing.
(1h 5m 47s):
Do not do that. Please do not do That. What about the sarcastic urging for people to harass these online predators? It’s difficult to have any kind of sympathy for them, but trying to trick a bunch of lonely gay men into calling child predators. Come on man. One time Frank posted the chat logs of an 18 year old purportedly talking to a 14 year old decoys, but they never discussed anything sexual in the decoy played by Frank, tried to solicit the guy to meet up, but he said, no, despite not having said anything, improper or predatory, the chat log was posted along with his private phone number to the website, simply because an 18 year old was chatting with a 14 year old. I mean, I guess it’s kind of weird. Frank would also regularly trick predators into coming to his house with food, thinking they were coming to hang out with a minor and he’d answered the door with a baseball bat, forced them to give them the food and make them leave, which is kind of funny, but still not the behavior you’d expect from a supposedly serious and dedicated organization.
(1h 6m 39s):
Give me the fucking pizza. There’s like literally like he based his entire persona around doing that his profile photo and all of his like online accounts on different platforms was a picture of him holding a baseball bat and then like shoving like a burger into his mouth. And that was like the thing, you know, like in, in glorious pastors, the bear Jew, which is like he was known for like beating the shit out of Nazis with a baseball bat, he was known for luring pedophiles to his house and robbing them. Basically. It was just like I said, it’s kind of, it’s Almost good. It’s almost The integrity of a lot of the stuff that comes out of this era of perverted justice. Severely comes into question in 2003, they were rapidly growing and as they grew, they added more contributors and decoys to the site.
(1h 7m 25s):
At this point, two key figures would join perverted justice. They were frag and Del Harvey who will come into play later. Also Xavier Vaughn, Eric Frank fencepost frag Del Harvey. This sounds like some mystery men, ragtag crew of misfits superhero bulls. It does. I mean, let’s be real at one. Flaming carrot is great too. Bob burden is great. Three mission man was a dope movie for Xavier fond. Eric is like, I feel like that’s the name of the guy from mutant X, the bullshit bootleg X-Men show that came out in the two thousands. Like, I feel like that’s just his name up until this point. I Mean, part of perverted justice has creed was to never involve law enforcement. This was probably largely due to Von Erik strict libertarian beliefs, insisting that private citizens could take care of their own without the involvement of city, state, or federal government.
(1h 8m 11s):
And it just even further hammers home that the early years of PJ were genuinely entertainment value other than the embarrassment of being exposed. And in some cases, some intense online and phone harassment, most of these predators never saw any actual justice or legal repercussions for what they did at least not from the perverted justice catfishes, but all that changed in 2003, the site was getting bigger and PJ was starting to face backlash from critics about the fact that they weren’t actually getting these predators arrested, simply mocking them on a blog for funsies. So when Eric finally agreed to change the sites, policy law enforcement from any jurisdiction where any specific predator they outdid was chatting from was allowed to reach out to the site about using chat logs, to help them make an arrest.
(1h 8m 53s):
It seems pretty obvious that this was at first meant to just be a symbolic act to assuage the detractors and Von Eric didn’t actually expect any cops to initiate a conversation, but they did. Oh, they did. From this point on perverted justice actually started genuinely getting online predators, put behind bars. They boasted 300 to 500 busts in cooperation with law enforcement that year by 2004, it had doubled to nearly a thousand Von Erik undoubtedly surprised by the response from law enforcement gobsmacked. By the fact that his silly website was actually becoming a real resource for criminal justice and drunk on the righteous indignation of backing into the role of hero of all children and parents made a sharp left turn and optics of this point, suddenly it wasn’t for the laws anymore.
(1h 9m 34s):
And he was no longer a misanthropic loner. Perverted justice was a serious watchdog group dedicated to ending the scourge of online predators. Von Erik was their savior and chief yet another puzzle piece falls in place and not one of the corner ones, a middle piece. That’s just a solid color. One of the hard ones, the press became interested in what PJ was doing and suddenly they were getting interest from local news stations to bring some exposure and resources to the cause. The proposition was simple. The news station would pay, roll a sting operation in which a house would be rented out. Camera’s hidden everywhere. And then perverted justice would use their decoy gimmick, not just to create a bunch of chat logs for internet users to hate, read, and feel superior about, but to lore these predators to the house under the guise of hooking up with a minor at which point, or a poorer would confront them about why they were there, watch them squirm and get it on camera for viewers at home to hate watch and feel superior about they conducted these one-off steam operations for new stations in Milwaukee, Wisconsin St Paul, Minnesota, Atlanta, Georgia, and Kansas city, Kansas.
(1h 10m 32s):
These things started to get national attention and suddenly new stations from all over the country wanted to work with PJ. But the most significant of these early stings happened at good old channel four in Detroit. And guess who the on-camera reporter was for this one? Kevin Dietz, the friend who Chris Hansen had gifted his beeper full of context before leaving the national attention, brought some heat to perverted justice and riding that momentum all the way to the top. They started pitching the idea of doing a show based around their stings on a national news station and Dietz who had the insider information from working with him, reached out to Hansen to tell him that the idea might be right at home at Dateline, where he worked after all Hanson had helped him out at a pivotal moment in his career. And he had a proven track record of being exactly the right person to be the face of a show like this Hanson and Dateline started talking to them and despite a bidding war amongst news orgs, perverted justice ultimately chose NBC and Dateline largely because of Kevin Deitz personal endorsement, but also because one of the predators they busted in one of their, several stings was a higher-up executive at ABC.
(1h 11m 28s):
Talk about a conflict of interest ABC, more like ABC news, ABC, more like ABC. You Can. I love this comedic persona, ABC more like ABC. I don’t want to go there. No don’t want to, I don’t want to party with you. You are. You’re not good guys. No, no. You Got it. The third time perverted justice had always had detractors people who were critical of their ethics and practices who labeled what they did as vigilante justice.
(1h 12m 8s):
We thought their work was shoddy and wouldn’t be able to stick as well as those who heavily criticized the fact that they didn’t work with law enforcement, but now more than ever, they needed to get their household. In order before receiving the kind of attention that a nationally syndicated news program about such a serious topic would bring them. So Von air started making some major changes to their practices. First and foremost, Frank fenceposts was fired from the company fence posts would later claim that the firing was because he was critical of perverted justice, sudden commitment to securing convictions for their chat logs and stings, even more cementing. How he in particular really was just doing it for the laughs and public humiliation. But Vania publicly said that it was because he had threatened his girlfriend. And even if both of those things were true, which it seems like they probably were, the underlying main reason was probably just de-risking PJ’s public reputation.
(1h 12m 52s):
Fence posts had always been an unpredictable and unruly part of the organization, much more volatile in doing the job for ethically gray reasons that anybody else, and they just couldn’t afford the bad PR that his involvement would bring them. What, What do you think Frank fence posts is doing these days? We got to find him on Facebook. Yeah. I don’t know. I mean, what are any of these early two thousands live journal, era, internet trolls doing? I mean, there weren’t even internet trolls. It was, it was like before that was a Fang, like just these people who had just blogged these ranting screeds and they would, you know, go onto message boards and four Chan and things like that. And just like rant about things and like get into arguments. They developed like a community around that, but that, you know, that community doesn’t necessarily exist anymore because it’s sort of in broken out into this, the grander internet and social media ecosystem.
(1h 13m 41s):
So everything is kind of that now. So you can’t really be famous for that anymore because everybody goes onto social media and rants and gets into arguments and things like that. So, yeah. W w where did any of these people go after, you know, Facebook came out and stuff In an interesting twist, Frank fence posts. I don’t know what his real name is, but obviously a Frank fence post is an alias or a pseudonym. And that pseudonym is an homage to a first nations film called dance outside, where one of the main characters is named Frank fence posts, which I’ve never seen, but that’s interesting that he named himself after this character.
(1h 14m 23s):
I think he, I think he actually was first nations. Cool. Yeah. I think that’s probably why that is. Yeah, I think I’ve, I don’t think I mentioned that in this, but cause I, I, I didn’t really focus on him as much as some of the things I was reading were, but I think he was actually native American. That’s cool. Well, yeah. I, everything on my rudimentary quick Google search is just about the movie character, Frank fence posts. Yeah. I mean, I, I I’m sure he doesn’t, he doesn’t use that name and years, although it’s interesting. It’s interesting. Cause we’re going to talk about this later much later, but Del Harvey works at Twitter and she actually goes by that name.
(1h 15m 6s):
It’s not her. Yeah. She just still goes by Del Harvey and Xavier Von Eric. He, he legally changed his name to that. So that’s just his name. Now. They also started hammering out strict rules for decoys so that the chat logs would be admissible in a court of law. They specifically needed to set ground rules so that the chat logs could not be classified as entrapment, which is a real concern when you are not actually catching a criminal in the act of crime, but rather luring them into a trap and prompting them to commit the crime. So after K favoring, a watchdog organization into existence, gaining national attention and establishing themselves as a righteous protector of children, it was time for the next stage and perverted justice. His journey in 2004, teamed up with the nationally known hard-hitting journalists.
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Chris Hansen, perverted justice was ready to premiere their TV show to the world. It was originally known as dark web, but we all know it as to catch a predator. We all know about the massive rise to popularity, of to catch a predator, but many don’t know about it’s even bigger crash and burn the fact that it eventually led to a man’s suicide or the insane links that all Chrissy hand hands went to make a comeback. Find out about all that and more on part two of deep cuts case file. Number 29, Chris Hansen, I’m Dave baker and I’m Andrew Price. You can find me on the firstname.lastname@example.org, where you can find comics like fuck off squad and action hospital and shitty Watchman and a bunch of other stuff.
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Andrew, where can people find you on the internet? You can find me selling crack on the streets of Detroit under the watchful edge of the federal bureau of investigations. And you can also find email@example.com, where you can get my book deadbolt AI That’s as a production by boy genius media.
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If you’d like to find this show, others like it, please visit boy genius, media.com or deep cuts pod.com. If you Want to join in on post episode discussions, please join the deep cuts podcast. Facebook group. Finally subscribe to our YouTube channel for additional video content. The incidental music for this episode was created by Catalino whose music can be found at. We keep odd hours.bandcamp.com and dad beats. You can listen to his podcast, food fight, a food discussion podcast, anywhere you get your podcasts. Thank you to deep cuts for the amazing episode. If you want the rest of the story right now, check the links in the show notes to subscribe to deep cuts. Otherwise the rest of the story we’ll be right here on true crime by Indy drop-in tomorrow.
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Thanks again for listening to true crime by Indy drop-in. If you would like your show featured, reach out to us at Indy drop-in on all social media or go to indie drop in.com. See you next time.