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There were few more riveting true-crime TV shows than the reality series 'To Catch a Predator' on 'Dateline'. Here's what we know about the tragic suicide.

The horrible tale of the ‘To Catch a Predator’ suicide

There were few more riveting true-crime TV shows than the reality series To Catch a Predator on Dateline. It took the thrill of criminal investigation and combined it with the instant gratification of seeing a dangerous criminal arrested. 

The show could sometimes get dicey, particularly when the predator was caught red-handed by Chris Hansen and his team of cameras. Yet there were worse outcomes than heated arguments when some episodes were finished, and arguably the most tragic ending was that of Louis William “Bill” Conradt Jr. 

The trap is set

Bill Conradt Jr. was an Assistant District Attorney living in Terrell Texas. In 2006, the online watchdog group, Perverted Justice ( a group used by the show to identify potential online predators), began an investigation into Conradt’s online dealings. Conradt allegedly solicited sex from a watchdog decoy posing as a 13-year-old-boy. 

As per the process on To Catch a Predator, Conradt was given the address of a sting house where police and the show’s host, Chris Hansen, would be waiting to confront Conradt. However, Conradt didn’t take the bait and instead, the police came to his door with an arrest warrant. 

Police knocked on Conradt’s door but there was no answer. The SWAT team standing by forced their way into the home and found Conradt with a shotgun. According to an officer’s account, Condradt uttered “Guys, I’m not going to hurt anybody” before putting the gun to his head and pulling the trigger. Conradt was airlifted to a hospital 30 miles west in Dallas and died shortly after. 

An unsettling end

The aftermath of the controversial incident was a mess of legal issues for To Catch a Predator and Dateline NBC. Conradt’s sister, Patricia Conradt, brought a $105 million lawsuit against NBC. Patricia claimed that Dateline was directly responsible for her brother’s death by hijacking police procedure. 

Patricia accused the police of failing to protect her brother and placing To Catch a Predator’s interests of higher ratings before their duties as law enforcement. NBC denied that it had any involvement in the decision to make the arrest and the police were merely acting on a tip supplied from the watchdog group. 

Dateline’s cameras were present at the scene when Conradt shot himself, their audio picking up the sound of the gunshot. The footage was aired as part of the To Catch a Predator episode but was later stripped from Dateline’s website. In 2008 NBC and Patricia Condradt settled out of court although the details of the settlement remain unknown.

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Comments
  • The only thing this article makes me wonder is, Why did he kill himself? He was a lawyer, former DA, and the police were sent with an arrest warrant. What was in his house, on his computer that the police were about to find? What made suicide a better option?

    Honestly, I’m glad you didn’t speculate. Patricia can afford plenty of lawyers, now. It would be a shame for you to needlessly explain the obvious and then face the court room. For discussing something that Conradt killed himself rather than discuss in the court room.

    May 1, 2020
    • It is quite weird how it all went down, and I don’t understand what actually happened. Like, how did he know the police were going to his house with a warrant and what for? This one isn’t like the other cases where they are caught at the house and know exactly what’s going on. Was he called out within the chat? Or did someone call him and explain that he was caught up in a sting? It doesn’t make much sense tbh…. I’m confused….

      June 20, 2020
    • He was a coward loser and new life as he knew it would be over…that’s why he killed himself!
      There shouldn’t have been as much as $1 going to his sister…but she too will have to answer to a higher court one day!

      September 16, 2020
  • It is quite weird how it all went down, and I don’t understand what actually happened. Like, how did he know the police were going to his house with a warrant and what for? This one isn’t like the other cases where they are caught at the house and know exactly what’s going on. Was he called out within the chat? Or did someone call him and explain that he was caught up in a sting? It doesn’t make much sense tbh…. I’m confused….

    June 20, 2020
  • The only tragedy in my opinion is this result only happened the one time. I’d prefer to have every single child rapist and even every person that thought they were luring a child on this show to have done the same as Conradt, all the disgusting people who have acted or attempted to act on their desire to rape a child should do society a favor and put a shotgun to their head and pull the trigger. They should do it while standing in a fast moving river so that no one even has to waste their time cleaning up the mess or burying these deplorable sick basterds. This does not include those who have not acted or attempted to act on their pedophile desires.

    August 2, 2020
    • My thoughts exactly!

      August 13, 2020
    • I disagree they all need to be housed in a maximum security prison but NOT in protective custody.
      Place them in general population!
      That will take care of the problem. Suicide is much to coward.

      September 16, 2020
  • The guy clearly was a predator.
    He killed himself because he knew life as he k ew it was over as this became public.
    His arrogant sister was more concerned making a $ out of his coward suicide (no option of that in hell) than her concern about her brother a lawyer former state attorney having sexual relations with children, potentally screwing a childs life up for good, without zero regard!
    This guy isn’t worth a tear to be shed over and the NBC show “to catch a predator” should be put back on. Leftist libtards trying to feed the public the idea, that exposing sexual predators of minors isn’t so bad that it needs to ruin zhe predators life? Don’t fall for it!
    Sean Hanson always conducted the interview simple, plain and to the point, there were no factors used that anyone libtard could accuse NBC or anyone involved a sensationalist.
    WE NEED THIS SHOW BACK MORE THAN ANYTHING!

    September 16, 2020
  • Not devestating just a pedo that did the world a favor.

    October 21, 2020
  • LOL! Rot in hell Scum! Don’t know why this is being called a tragedy, should be a miracle!

    March 6, 2021

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