Aug 7, 2007

Society in Decline?

National News:
TX District Attorney Kills Self as Police Arrive "A prosecutor killed himself as police tried to serve him with an arrest warrant alleging he solicited sex with a minor, authorities said. Louis"Bill"Conradt Jr., 56, chief felony assistant district attorney for nearby Rockwall County and former district attorney in Kaufman County, died Sunday...

...Conradt was Kaufman County's elected district attorney for more than two decades before resigning in 2002 to run for a judgeship. He lost and later took the Rockwall County job."

National News:
Sister Sues NBC After Brother Kills Himself "...Conradt Jr. became a target in a program in which NBC and the activist group Perverted Justice set up shop for four days last November in a two-story home in Murphy, Texas.

Perverted Justice staff posed as boys and girls online and arranged to meet men there.

Two dozen men were arrested, but the district attorney refused to prosecute any of them, saying many of the cases were tainted by the involvement of amateurs and that he lacked jurisdiction in most cases because neither the suspects nor decoys were in the county during the online chats.

city manager was fired for approving the arrangement without telling the mayor or the city council... "

Murphy Local News:
Murphy sex sting: Who benefits? By BYRON HARRIS "...All say they are in business to help the public, but each gets another reward from the TV show:

• Perverted Justice gets money.

• NBC gets ratings.

• The Murphy Police Department got famous.

"Murphy, Texas is a well-known name now," District Attorney Roach said. "Not for the reasons they would have liked, but it certainly is."...

...So what's the difference between "To Catch a Predator" and a reality TV show?

"I would say that this is an investigative TV show investigating online predators," Hansen said.

"A reality show is produced by the entertainment division."

Murphy police have not returned phone calls from News 8. Chris Hansen told an audience that some of the Murphy cases may be taken up by another prosecutor.

News 8 has learned that the Dallas County District Attorney has been given some of the cases, but hasn't decided yet whether to accept them. "

Murphy Local News:

Collin County Update on the Criminal Investigation Regarding the Murphy, Texas NBC Dateline Program: Update on the Criminal Investigation Regarding the Murphy, Texas NBC Dateline Program.

June 1, 2007 - Gregory S. Davis, First Assistant District Attorney for Collin County, Texas, has issued the following statement:

“The Collin County District Attorney’s Office reviewed the 23 cases in question, and declined prosecution because they failed to meet our evidentiary standards. We don’t anticipate any further action on these cases.”

There will be no further comment on this matter.

Eric Nishimoto Public Information Office210 S. McDonald StreetSuite 626McKinney, Texas 75069

Murphy Local News:
Murphy Rolling Ridge Residents Angered By NBC Dateline Sting Operation: "...Mayor Bret Baldwin and Councilmember Eric Barna both stated they were not alerted to the sting operation in advance and that it was not discussed with council. Mayor Baldwin indicated that he learned about it on Saturday afternoon after receiving several calls from angry residents. He noted that he confronted the City Manager about the situation and was told, "Anyone who interferes with the police investigation in any way will be arrested.” He said that "Anyone" was emphasized to include Murphy residents or the Mayor himself.

Mr. Daniel stated, “This isn’t about getting sexual predators off the streets of Murphy. To the contrary, we are inviting them to come and visit. This is about ratings for a television show and publicity for a small town police department. I’m disgusted, just disgusted.”

Another unhappy resident said, “These are not Murphy residents being arrested. They are perverts coming from other parts of Texas or another state to our neighborhood. This is not the activity and image we want for our families. Why is it appealing to our City Manager and Police Chief to have Murphy, Texas exposed on national T.V.? What could they possibly be thinking?”

Murphy Local News:

From Monitoring - A Reporter's Blog
A view of Murphy, Texas by the Murphy Monitor newspaper

Internet Predator Sting, Four Months Later: "When the sting was in progress in November, 2006, it set off an intense debate in the community. Among the issues brought out in the town hall meeting: Citizens said they didn't feel safe because the Internet predators were being lured to their town. Some said the Murphy Police Department shouldn't work with Perverted Justice. On the flip side, many citizens fully supported the operation, with several residents offering their houses for the next sting. They said it was important for the police to do everything they could to take the Internet predators off the screen, so to speak.

In November, Murphy was a town divided..."

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