To Catch A Predator
The premise of NBC’s To Catch A Predator was simple: Catch online sexual predators in the act vis-a-vis hidden cameras and sting operations.
In the show, which ran from 2004 to 2007, adult actors and actresses would impersonate underage people online and lure the adult males who contacted them into their homes. When the would-be predators arrived, TV personality Chris Hansen was there with a full camera crew and a real-life police squad to detain them.
On November 5, 2006, Louis William “Bill” Conradt, Jr. became inextricably linked to the show when local law enforcement conducted a sting in Texas, where he was a practicing Assistant District Attorney.
Conradt was caught soliciting minors for sex online, but when SWAT team members arrived at his home to serve the arrest warrant, Conradt shot himself.
The show continued for a year after, with Conradt’s family settling quietly out of court.
Megan Wants To Marry A Millionaire
Attempting to seize on the success of VH1’s Rock Of Love With Bret Michaels, the network debuted Megan Wants A Millionaire in 2009. The show followed the life of Megan Hauserman, a one-time Rock of Love contestant who claimed that her ultimate goal was to become a trophy wife.
In the series, VH1 asked single men with a net worth of more than $1 million to compete for the young reality star’s love. Shortly after its August 2, 2009 premiere, however, the show was abruptly canceled. A grisly murder-suicide involving contestant Ryan Jenkins, a Canadian real estate investor and contestant, had been discovered.
Jenkins, who was rumored to have placed third in the show, married swimsuit model Jasmine Fiore shortly after the show’s premiere — and in less than 48 hours of knowing her.
The model from Santa Cruz, California was discovered on August 15, 2009, strangled and stuffed into a suitcase. Her remains were so mutilated that only the serial numbers on her breast implants enabled her identification.
Jenkins was the only suspect in the case and was immediately charged with the murder. He would never face a courtroom, however. On August 23, 2009, Jenkins was found hanging in a Canada hotel room. Police later found a suicide note on his computer hard drive.
The murder-suicide prompted an immediate cancellation of the series. Hauserman went on to reveal in a People magazine article her fear that she could have been Jenkins’ next victim.
Next, check out how the Slender Man myth led people to kill. Then, discover five criminals who say that popular works of fiction inspired their crimes.