It seems like, generally speaking, the dust is settling in Murphy from that Sting Operation last month orchestrated by Dateline NBC and Perverted Justice. I still am not sure when the Murphy sting will air on television, but it does not appear that it will be this month.
As this drama has unfolded, while I have gained a great deal of respect for both sides of this issue (and heaven knows I am all for catching these predators and locking them up), I have lost most of the respect I had for perverted justice. I find PJ’s zeal to catch predators admirable, but I find their vendetta to target anyone who disagrees with their extreme methods very, very disturbing.
I want to highlight one of the comments from my previous entry and other things I have seen on the internet since then. One of the commentators on my previous entry was an unfortunate victim of one of the men caught on the Sting operation, but not in the way typically highlighted by Dateline NBC. She was the spouse of one of the men caught:
I wrote Dateline NBC earlier this year. Why? Because my husband (sweet and kind and adored by all) was arrested for trying to pickup a minor. He arranged to meet them on his lunch hour and it was the police. He spent the weekend in jail while I packed up all his stuff and called a lawyer – for me, not him.
The local news station was there for his first hearing. So I got to wait around for the segment to air and pray like crazy no redneck vigilante freak would come to my house, not knowing he wasn’t living there anymore and try to break in. After it aired (which contained the unbelieveable perverted instant messages which preceeded his arrest) I got myself out of the house within 48 sleepless hours.
I believe these people should be caught. I have been a victim of of abuse as a minor. Why I wrote NBC was because that is ALL they show, the perps getting arrested. Everytime someone finds out what my husband did, I have to hear about someone seeing that stuff on Dateline. I’m sick of hearing about it. I lived it.
It’s easy to show that week after week and have people be horrified by it. It IS horrifying. What is more horrifying is that they never, ever talk about the aftermath. What treatment do these people get? What happens to their families who didn’t do anything wrong and are torn apart?
It would be nice if Dateline would follow up more about the CAUSES and AFTERMATH of this behavior. In the further words of that commentator:
“I wrote NBC because it is evident they don’t care about catching perps. They care about the salacious story which makes them money. They will care about us when they start explaining the whys and what to do about it.”
On another place on the web, someone describes that one of the perpetrators caught in the Murphy Sting was his former roommate, John Ed Baker, and he goes on to state that he had always thought there was something fishy about this individual. This drew an angry response from the perpetrator’s (soon-to-be-ex?) wife:
I just can’t believe what I’m reading here. You people are not in anyway directly connected to John Ed right now, therefore, can you really make public statements? I was married to John Ed for 2 1/2 years, we seperated about 3 weeks ago because he was having an affair. Then I hear from friends at church that he’s been arrested. I am devastated that this might be on tv and that people would THINK that it was going on while we were married.
Whether one agrees with this particular “sting” methodology or not, the deplorable behavior of these perpetrators documented in this series has far-reaching and devastating consequences for victims other than the purported minor targets. It would be educational if Dateline would concentrate some attention on the aftermath of these issues, showing how this behavior is destructive to not only the intended target, but to family and friends of the perpetrator as well.
Finally, the commentator on my blog also asked this question, which I believe does bear some consideration:
And most importantly, why there are scores of men who 5 or 10 years ago would have NEVER even thought of such a thing doing it now? What I wouldn’t give for NBC to interview the psychiatrists who are experts in sex addiction who could explain how people end up on this downward spiral and things people should be doing to decrease the likelihood of things getting out of control like that in their homes.
Does anyone have any comments in response to this question? It would be nice to see a large portion of a Dateline NBC episode committed to this topic, rather than the salacious stuff. Of course, the salacious stuff gets ratings, so don’t hold your breath…