Some of the highly questionable methods employed by Dateline NBC in order to bring audiences To Catch A Predator have already been revealed in a lawsuit brought against the network by a disgruntled former producer. But while the series has unearthed scores of alleged "sex offenders" in its underage internet sex stings, it can only truly add one notch to its belt: a Texas prosecutor who shot himself in the head moments before he was tackled by Chris Hansen and his overzealous friends from local law enforcement. Now, the dead prosecutor's sister is suing NBC for $100 million:
Louis "Bill" Conradt grabbed a gun and shot himself as he spotted cops, reporter Chris Hansen and a camera crew from the popular "To Catch a Predator" segment outside his home on Nov. 5, 2006, according to a notice of claim sent to NBC yesterday.
"NBC was responsible for his death. They conducted their sting operation and intentionally and with negligence sensationalized the situation," Baron said.
The 56-year-old prosecutor, a highly praised 20-year-law enforcement veteran, allegedly went online to solicit sex from a 13-year-old boy.
While some might view the lawsuit as a good excuse to dismantle the series, the network might want to consider turning the tragic developments to their advantage, and breathing new life into its tired premise by adding a "Deal or No Deal Roulette" element to the proceedings: After Hansen confronts the predator with his crimes in a camera-rigged kitchen, he then reveals a pyramid of 26 gorgeous 13-year-olds, each holding a shiny, numbered, potentially loaded revolver.