Skip To Content

    People Are Sharing What "To Catch A Predator" Men Were Like Before They Were Caught On The Show, And It's Pretty Scary

    "He never did anything to label himself a creep."

    You might remember a show called To Catch a Predator that aired on NBC in the 2000s, hosted by Chris Hansen.

    Chris Hansen
    NBC

    The show exposed potential predators by having adult actors pretend to be underage children online. Then, they'd set up a meeting and confront the would-be offender once he arrived.

    The most horrifying yet impactful theme of the responses is that predators can be anyone — read on to see the stories.

    NOTE: This post is about child abuse and child sex crimes. 

    1. "I knew the cop from Alabama that was arrested on the show. He had guns and rope in his vehicle when he went to meet the girl. Super creepy stuff. When he was a sheriff’s deputy in Florida, he would come into my job frequently. So, I didn’t know him on a personal level, but I did talk to him on a regular basis. He was a really nice, respectful guy; he seemed to be a good cop, too. I was SHOCKED when I saw the episode. You never really know what goes on in someone’s bedroom."

    Todd Spikes
    NBC

    2. "My husband worked with/was good friends with one of the men on the first ever episode. We were all in our late twenties. He was a highly educated, well-liked guy. He was nice and funny as hell. We were all shocked. He got busted trying to sleep with a 12- or 14-year-old girl."

    friends having dinner
    Compassionate Eye Foundation / Getty Images

    "He got a good lawyer and so To Catch a Predator didn’t show the video of him getting busted, only a photo that he shared in the chat with who he thought was the young girl. We read the chat log between him and the 'girl.' It was disgusting. He called my husband one time after the show aired to say that this was the first time he did anything like this, and he got caught up in the taboo nature of it. Never spoke to him again."

    u/SeoulFeminist

    3. "My boss at my old job — cool dude. Probably widely known as one of the best supervisors on the job. Knew everyone’s strengths and weaknesses and where to put them to best utilize them. Kind of guy to buy everyone a round of drinks. Always invited people to barbecues at his house. Shit rocked everyone's world when it happened."

    construction superviser
    Chris Ryan / Getty Images

    4. "I was best friends with Roberto Forte’s son when I was in elementary/middle school. He (Roberto) was a native Italian and was always extremely friendly. I don’t remember anything that made me think that he would be capable of anything like the stuff he was caught doing. Had plenty of sleepovers at this house, too. Just remember a ton of good food and memories with his son."

    Roberto Forte
    NBC

    "[I] remember watching the episode where they busted him while I was in high school and had no clue it was coming. I remember not being able to take my eyes off the screen as Chris Hansen spoke with him."

    u/rpo5015

    5. "He was in my class for a few years in high school. Cody Green was his name. ... He always wore the same few outfits, super baggy pants and an overly large white hat. I always felt kind of bad for him because it seemed like he came from some messed up ... home, but he was also creepy and weird towards the girls who would give him attention because they felt bad, too. He’d walk by girls and do the 'accidental brush up' thing but really he was grabbing their asses. He was just a weird dude."

    Cody Green
    NBC

    6. "Was someone from my hometown in NY. Went to school with their younger sister. After he graduated high school, he did everything he could to hang out with much younger kids. Always wanted to buy booze for us or roll up a joint and smoke us out in his van."

    man smoking with friend in a van
    Gradyreese / Getty Images/iStockphoto

    7. "I didn't know the guy before the show, but after. Over a decade ago, I was on a dating website and was talking to a guy that claimed to be a doctor. I thought it was very unusual that this doctor had so much free time throughout the day to text me so frequently. [He] was begging me to meet up with him and telling me he'd shower me with all these gifts."

    doctor texting
    Runstudio / Getty Images

    "I was getting suspicious of the guy and reverse searched his phone number. I found out he gave me a fake name, and after getting his real name, I saw all the articles online and saw the guy was on To Catch a Predator. I couldn't believe what I was seeing and asked him to send me a selfie. Sure enough, it was definitely him. I ghosted him and blocked his number. Just really glad I never met up with him."

    u/CalcifersMyHero

    8. "Yes, Matty Nash. He was creepy and kept trying to get me to go to Burning Man. When I told him I didn't think that was a good idea because I had a 10-year-old kid at the time, he said I should bring my kid. Now, I don't think he was interested in my kid at all, but I did tell him I thought that would be super creepy to bring a kid to Burning Man with a bunch of people on E. This was in 2001. He came over to my house under the guise of talking business and then put the moves on me. I turned him down and sent him home to his wife."

    Matty Nash

    9. "I went to school with Robb Kline. From what I can remember ... he was quiet and kept to himself. He never did anything to label himself a creep."

    Robb Kline
    NBC

    "His excuse for showing up has to be one of the worst. Robb said he showed up to let the 13-year-old girl know he wasn't going to be able to hang out after making the 2-hour drive there. He also throws his brother under the bus for the child porn that is on his computer."

    u/iFuckZebraCakes

    10. "He legit was always trying to sleep with men that were way too young for him (albeit just barely legal) and we made jokes all the time to him about how he was going to wind up on that show. We literally called him Herbert. It was the opposite of a 'he was the last person I would suspect' situation."

    Herbert the Pervert on Family Guy

    11. "I was one dude's RA in university. He was a seriously weird dude, but was relatively friendly, came out to all of the campus events, and was not suspected of being a predator at all by any of us in the dorms back in those days. He was busted on To Catch a Predator about 2–3 years after I graduated, so probably sometime 2003–2005."

    college students with an RA outside of a dorm
    Hill Street Studios / Getty Images

    12. "I served with Steve Buchanan before he got out the service. In the show, he goes on talking about how deployment changed him and throws a pity party for himself. The reality is he never deployed — he just said he did to try and get sympathy. He was also a mechanic, so if he did deploy with us, he would have very seldom left base. As for what he was like, he had a creepy-ass vibe to him."

    Steve Buchanan on To Catch a Predator
    NBC

    13. "I knew him from physics classes, nothing else. I remember we were in the same lab group, so we were spending 3–4 hours at a time working on some lab project. He was an immigrant from India and a rather small man, very thin and fairly short.... [He] was the type of guy who had no luck with girls (like zero), which is really common for a lot of dudes at this age."

    Lisapics / Getty Images

    "One time, he wanted to teach me a lesson about never meeting girls online. He told me a story about how his friend was trying to meet girls online and then he met this one ... to his horror, it was a very obese woman ... he then proceeded to point to an obese woman in the class and he whispers to me 'and let me tell you my friend, it was her right over there' and he then erupted into laughter. 'And that, my friend, is why you do not want to meet women online, because you never know what you could get yourself into.'"

    u/rileyoneill

    14. "One of my high school classmates was on the show. In high school, he was actually one of the more popular kids. Kind of one of those funny asshole guys, but [he] wasn’t a bully. He played sports [and] was on the lacrosse team with me. He did drink and smoke. My mom and his mom were pretty close. Honestly, he...seemed relatively normal. A few years later, he had the privilege of meeting Chris Hansen."

    teenagers playing lacrosse
    Image Source / Getty Images/Image Source

    15. "Very short, skinny man; curly hair; appeared aged beyond his years. I don’t remember his name — don’t want to. I was his supervisor in a dirty, old factory in Cleveland. When he was in training, it came to light that he wasn’t strong enough to cut the steel wire in my department. That usually meant he would be let go. But his work ethic was like nothing I’d ever seen — I remember watching him sweep the floor like a man possessed. So I talked to HR and got him transferred to another dept."

    factory workers
    Monty Rakusen / Getty Images/Cultura RF

    "He worked there for a few months, then quit for reasons unknown. About a year later, I saw him on the Greenville, OH episode and everyone at work was talking about it. Hit me right in the gut that I had given this guy an extra chance when I had let so many others go, and also that I hadn’t seen the evil in him."

    u/ath522

    16. "It was my best friend's dad. I slept over there all the time as a kid and hung out. He was relatively normal, to be honest. Worked a lot. My friend and I recall getting on their home computer when we were younger and there were pictures of trips to Thailand and it looked like he was at some strip club. The strippers looked like children, but we didn’t think anything of it because we were kids and figured the women looked younger in Thailand. They ended up moving out to California and he got caught on the show during my junior year of college. He called my family and all of the other families to explain that he never did anything to us. As far as I know, he didn’t."

    kids looking at a computer
    Elva Etienne / Getty Images

    17. "I didn’t know the person directly, but I worked at a company that had a freelancer caught on the show. This was particularly problematic, as the company was Nickelodeon Animation (a popular kid's channel). Everyone who knew the guy was actually pretty shocked. It was particularly rough for his girlfriend at the time, as she also worked at the studio, so there was no hiding from it."

    Justin Smith on the show with the chat log of him saying "it can be dangerous...cause it's illegal" to the decoy
    NBC

    "For their part, Nickelodeon instituted rigorous background checks for every new employee after the incident, with zero tolerance for any misdeeds involving children. Those background checks are what keeps this lore alive though, as the process is much more intensive than any other studio."

    u/SidePullSandwich

    18. "Rabbi David Kaye was my rabbi temporarily when I was a kid. He was a dick and used to scream at us for mundane things, especially the boys. He had been fired and moved away when he was on To Catch a Predator. Fucker deserves to rot."

    David Kaye on the show

    19. "I was underage at the time and met John [Kennelly] through a community kinda thing. He seemed okay; [he] kept trying to persuade my parents to allow me to go over to his place, though. I could always tell something seemed off. Thankfully, [I] dodged a bullet there."

    John Kennelly on the show
    NBC

    20. "I went to school with a guy that was arrested via To Catch a Predator. He didn't get a full-on segment on the show, but he was shown in one of the arrest montages. ... He was 100% a mega creeper. I had a team project with him and went to his place and he had porn pictures printed out and laminated covering his walls."

    man with camera
    Elkhamlichi Jaouad / Getty Images/EyeEm

    21. And finally..."Strange dude. Always a little bit of a different thinker, always just slightly out of step with the mainstream. [He] had a tough time in school; got picked on a lot. Extremely bright, became a lawyer, worked a ton on left-wing causes. Never quite shed his awkwardness, always seemed apart somehow. Nonetheless, he was a friend, or a friendly acquaintance, anyway. Everyone was stunned when he was exposed. No one ever suspected him. He was weird, but so are lots of people."

    lawyer writing in notebook
    Wutthichai Luemuang / Getty Images/EyeEm

    BuzzFeed Daily

    Keep up with the latest daily buzz with the BuzzFeed Daily newsletter!

    Newsletter signup form