Retired Missouri police chief Jim Murray, who posed as a 13-year-old girl in a Yahoo chat room and caught his mayor asking for underage sex, made the AP today. The article praises his skills, saying "He knows all the instant-messaging shorthand, the emoticons." Which makes me wonder as I always do, how do these people get so good at encouraging dirty old men to lust over their nubile, fictional bodies? And will this be the year that we discover a mountain of child porn in Chris Hansen's closet, or hear about a pedophilia ring within Perverted Justice? Probably and hopefully not, but the rhetoric of these highly publicized pedophile hunters always reminds me of the anti-gay preachers and politicians who are inevitably outed themselves. Take, for example, these quotes about Murray from the AP.
"There'll be times when you just want to reach through the screen and choke them or slap them," he said. "To think they could talk that way to a girl."
Murray...got a personal computer after retiring and discovered chat rooms and was angered when he was offered pictures of young girls.
He says he only spends about 30 minutes a week on average in chats but several hours more going over hard drives of arrested suspects looking for contacts with other potential victims.
Of course I'm not accusing Murray of anything untoward, only noting that eventually this trope of the heroic undercover pedophile hunter will suffer with the inevitable shocking story of some closeted, self-loathing pedo hiding within the organization that should have hunted them down. Not that the tabloid shows will mind this ready-made narrative.