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The Latest on O.J. Simpson's Book/Catching Online Predators

Aired March 14, 2007 - 21:00   ET


LARRY KING, CNN ANCHOR: Tonight, Ron Goldman's family -- their outrage helped cancel O.J. Simpson's book.

FRED GOLDMAN, RON GOLDMAN'S FATHER: The fact that someone is willing to publish this garbage is just morally despicable to me.


KING: Now, could their actions help get it published?

What's going on?

I'll ask Ron's father, Fred Goldman, and sister Kim.

And then, men looking for sex with children caught on tape.


CHRIS HANSEN: Could you explain yourself?



KING: They could be your next door neighbors. Their families stunned to learn what they were living with. Now, inside "To Catch A Predator," as Chris Hansen, the man who confronts these potential sex offenders, takes you inside his scariest and most shocking stings.

Plus, John Walsh of "America's Most Wanted" saying right on to Chris Hansen for exposing this threat to America's kids.

It's all next on LARRY KING LIVE.

Good evening.

Fred Goldman is on the way to the studio in Phoenix. He will be joining us, hopefully, shortly.

Here with us in Los Angeles is Kim Goldman, Ron Goldman's sister, and Peter Haven, the Goldman family attorney.

A judge has ordered the rights to O.J. Simpson's canceled book, "If I Did It," to be auctioned off. The proceeds from that auction and any subsequent book profits are to be turned over to the family of Ron Goldman.

What do you mean auctioned off, Peter?

PETER HAVEN, ATTORNEY FOR GOLDMAN FAMILY: Well, the procedure under the code for civil judgment collections in California is that with an intangible like the property rights under this contract, we can request that the court order a sheriff to auction them off. The rights are currently held by HarperCollins. HarperCollins has an agent for service of process located in Sacramento.

KING: Any publisher can bid?

HAVEN: Anyone can bid.

KING: Anyone?

I can bid?


KING: Right.

HAVEN: It's my understanding the bidding will take place in a cafeteria in Sacramento. That's my latest understanding today.

KING: Do you know when?

HAVEN: No, we don't know when, but we're estimating some time in the next month or so.

KING: Kim, why?

You were so adamant against this book -- trash, it should never be read, you'd never read it, it's horrible.

And now -- why?

KIM GOLDMAN, RON GOLDMAN'S SISTER: It's an asset and in order for us to collect on a judgment that we were unanimously awarded back in 1987, the only way for us to satisfy that judgment is to sell off his assets, just like we did with the Heisman Trophy and all of the items in his home that were seized way back when. It's an effort to satisfy the judgment.

It's not us, you know, acknowledging that we want the book published, but it is now -- it's an asset that is -- that is our right.

KING: All right, is it mixed feelings?

K. GOLDMAN: Absolutely. And thank you for asking that. I mean it's -- it's bittersweet. With all these victories that we get, it's bittersweet because we have to weigh the pros and cons and all of the ethics and all the morality steps in and it is very bittersweet to this point.


KING: Now, what is auctioned, Peter, the book?

I -- if I win, I buy the book?

HAVEN: Well, technically, what's being auctioned is all right, title and interest of Simpson and his surrogate or nominee, which in this case is an entity called Lorraine Brook Associates Inc.

KING: So I -- I could buy that and throw it away, right?

HAVEN: You could buy the rights that those entities hold and possess and you could, in theory, keep them and hold them and do what you will with them?

KING: Or I could be Doubleday and pay $10 million and publish it?

HAVEN: You could be Doubleday and pay.

KING: Ron -- Fred Goldman is now in place, the father of Ron Goldman. He is with us in Phoenix.

Fred, I want to play for you -- you were on this show in January in the midst of the initial controversy around all of this.

F. GOLDMAN: Right.

KING: Let's listen to a bit of what you said then.


KING: If you got the rights, what would you do with them?

F. GOLDMAN: Make sure no one else touches it and make sure no one else publishes the book.

KING: You never want that in print?

F. GOLDMAN: I don't want to ever see it in print, frankly. If -- frankly, at this point, the only thing that seems to -- seems to be coming of this is a reaffirmation of his guilt.


KING: All right, what happened, Fred?

What changed?

F. GOLDMAN: Well, I think what changed is very simply the -- the fact that we know more about it now than we did then and we -- we believe that -- that there's perhaps good reason to see it back out in print. Everybody that's read it -- my attorneys specifically -- believe that it's tantamount to a confession.

KING: And so since it is believed to be a confession, you therefore want the public to read it, even though there's the horrible scene, one chapter, about the death of your son?

F. GOLDMAN: As we understand it, he does not go into specifics about the brutality of the murders. But in answer to your question, I guess that there is some good reason to, perhaps, let the public read the confession of a murderer.

K. GOLDMAN: I also think that the point that also needs to be made is that part of the reason that we were so upset the first time that this went down is because he profited from it. He purposefully and, you know, deceitfully, went behind our back, in cahoots with another organization, to evade the judgment.


K. GOLDMAN: And I think that that shouldn't get lost in this, that he was profiting off the crimes. He was benefiting. He glorified it. And he did it in a -- in a deceitful fashion.

So that was partly where some -- most of our anger was coming from.

KING: Will the Goldmans get a percentage of the sales or do they only get the price of the auction, Peter?

HAVEN: Well, if the item is sold to the highest bidder, the Goldmans will get all of the proceeds of that particular sale.

KING: Right.

HAVEN: And the purchaser will then take the right title and interest of Simpson and LBA under the contract.

KING: So they won't be reaping money off someone going to buy the book?

HAVEN: Not on the second part of the transaction, only on the first part.

KING: The sale of the contract to the purchaser of the book?

HAVEN: Correct.

KING: I'm -- I don't think I'm speaking out of court here, Fred. I flew recently cross-country with Judith Regan, who wrote this book with O.J. And she told me that despite that they call it fiction, this, she believes, to be the total truth.

How do you react to that?

F. GOLDMAN: Well, frankly, from the bits and pieces that I've heard about it, I would tend to agree. He never contradicted the timeline or any of the evidence in the criminal trial. If nothing else, he almost validated it all.

KING: We'll take a break and come back.

O.J.'s lawyer will join us. And then we'll get a response from the Goldmans.

Coming up, what O.J. Simpson's lawyer has got to say about all of this, how the Goldmans will respond.

It's next on LARRY KING LIVE.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We, the jury in the above entitled action, find the defendant, Orenthal James Simpson, not guilty of the crime of murder upon Ronald Lyle Goldman, a felony upon Nicole Brown Simpson, a human being, as charged in count one of the information.



KING: We're back with Fred Goldman. He's in Phoenix, the father of the late Ron Goldman. Kim Goldman, the sister of the late Ron Goldman. She's with us here in Los Angeles. And Peter Haven, the Goldman family attorney.

We're having a little difficulty, transmission-wise, with Yale Galanter, the attorney for O.J. Simpson. We hope we can correct that in a moment.

The plan for -- can you buy the book yourself?

HAVEN: I'd never really thought about that, but I suppose in theory it's open to all bidders.

KING: Is this ever going to end for you, Kim?

K. GOLDMAN: No. As far as our family is concerned, we've always maintained that our most important purpose is to hold him responsible for what he did. And all we have now is a judgment that we were awarded that we need to collect on, and this is just a step in that direction.

KING: Fred, since he's already been paid, you wouldn't be taking money from him, would you?

F. GOLDMAN: No. As much as I'd like to. I'd like to take everything he has and leave him penniless.

KING: So then this would just be money for yourself from an entity in which he has already been paid, as opposed to taking something away from a pension fund?

F. GOLDMAN: Well, that's true. It is, in fact, unfortunate, but at this point the only thing that we can do is in some form try to make sure that he never profits from these kinds of things again and we -- we can take whatever we can get, and if it's sold at auction, it's sold at auction.

The fact is that he won't ever be able to profit from this ever again.

KING: What did the judge say, Peter, when he issued the ruling?

HAVEN: Well, the judge had a lot of careful considerations in mind and he wanted to hear some discussion of both the LBA entity and Mr. Simpson. But in the end, there wasn't much discussion at all. He embraced what we had written in our papers and he accepted it and he signed the orders that we proposed.

KING: All right, since we're having difficulty reaching Yale and we only have a few moments left, what was the Simpson argument?

HAVEN: Well, Simpson made arguments that essentially amounted to the assertion that the court didn't have jurisdiction over LBA.

The court, on the other hand, in exercising its discretion, concluded that LBA was nothing more than a sham and a fictional entity...

KING: LBA meaning that...

HAVEN: Lorraine Brook Associates.

And the biggest item of evidence in support of that fact is that Simpson himself admits that he got the money.

KING: Kim, since O.J. got the money and he did the book because he wanted it to get out, why did he even argue against this?

K. GOLDMAN: I don't know. I mean, you know, I think part of it is that what happened in court yesterday, as I understood it, we took away his right and LBA's future -- rights to future payments, which, in his mind, is his kids, which we all know didn't happen, because he paid off his mortgage and his taxes and his bills with it.

So I don't know what his arguments are.

I mean the truth is in the last couple of months, we have done very well to start chipping away at what he has built up as his defense and his ability to use the law to evade the judgment. And our attorneys have been incredibly creative and ingenious in coming up with approaches that actually work to our favor.

KING: So, Fred, you have no trouble sleeping at night?

F. GOLDMAN: Do I have trouble sleeping at night?

KING: I mean over this -- this reversal of fortune?

F. GOLDMAN: No, absolutely not. Like Kim just said a second ago, taking any future dollars from him is just fine with me. He might have been able to -- if we hadn't have been successful in this, he may have been able to get the rest of the money that was payable to him from Regan Books. He may have, in the future, been able to find another publisher to publish it and make additional money.

No, I don't sleep poorly at all knowing that we've taken something away from him.

KING: Thank you all very much.

Fred Goldman, Kim Goldman, as always, and Peter Haven...

HAVEN: Thank you.

KING: ... congratulations. Any time you win one, congratulations.

K. GOLDMAN: Thank you.

HAVEN: Thank you very much.

F. GOLDMAN: Thank you.

KING: We're sorry about Yale Galanter.

If we make a contact, we will probably get some minutes with him later in the show.

Up next, John Walsh has something to say to Chris Hansen, the man who confronts would-be child molesters on "To Catch A Predator."

They'll both join me, when LARRY KING LIVE returns.


HANSEN: Could you explain yourself?


HANSEN: Why don't you go ahead and cover up?


I'm sorry.



KING: We've been able to make contact with Yale Galanter, the attorney for O.J. Simpson, so we'll spend a couple of moments with him and then get into "To Catch A Predator."

Yale, what do you make of that ruling yesterday?

YALE GALANTER, ATTORNEY FOR O.J. SIMPSON: Well, you know, it was a very bizarre ruling from the court. When I was initially in court yesterday morning, the judge had denied their application to add LBA to the assignment order. And then I got on a plane and I started to head east and when I landed, I found out that the judge had changed his mind and ordered it. Now, keep in mind, Larry, I know you've had Peter and the Goldmans on prior to me going live. But keep in mind, there is a federal district court judge in California that has already ruled that the state of California and the California courts do not have jurisdiction to adjudicate this issue.

So we'll be going back to that judge next week. We're also going to reapply to Judge Rosenberg next week and also take an appeal on that order.

KING: Well, if he said California doesn't have the right to rule, where do you go now? Where do they go now?

GALANTER: Well, no. The California District Court, Federal District Court judge ordered them to go back to Florida because LBA is a Florida corporation...


GALANTER: ... and has never done business in the state of California.

So, you know, we believe, with all due respect to Judge Rosenberg, that he overstepped his bounds and there is a conflict not in the orders and we'll go back to court next week and straighten it out.

KING: Why -- why does it matter to you or to O.J. if it's out?

He did it willingly.

What does he care if it's out?

GALANTER: Well, O.J. Simpson really has no rights left in the contract, but LBA does. And, you know, the original deal was set up so that O.J.'s children could benefit or, you know, have some secured interest for their lives in this book deal.

So, you know, there is arm's length transaction between LBA and what was then Regan Books and HarperCollins, and they intend to vigorously pursue those contractual rights that they have.

KING: So, in other words, this is not a closed matter?

GALANTER: Oh, this is definitely not over. And if I were the Goldmans, I wouldn't be drinking the champagne just yet.

KING: All right.

Thanks, Yale.

We'll call on you again.

GALANTER: All right, Larry.

KING: Hopefully we won't have a transmission problem. GALANTER: Thanks for having me.

KING: You're welcome.

GALANTER: Thanks for having me.

KING: We welcome now Chris Hansen, correspondent for the "To Catch A Predator" series on "Dateline NBC." He's the author of the new book, "To Catch A Predator: Protecting Your Kids From Online Enemies Already In Your Home."

The you see its cover.

Joining us, as well, from West Palm Beach is John Walsh, our old friend, the host of "America's Most Wanted," the 1981 abduction and murder of his young son Adam transformed him into this relentless campaigner.

He's teamed, by the way, with the creator of the Baby Einstein videos to produce "The Safe Side" DVD series for kids. And they, by the way, are terrific.

First, let's spend some moments with Chris.

How did "To Catch A Predator" happen?

HANSEN: You know, I was on the phone with a friend of mine who's a reporter in Detroit. I used to work in Detroit. And he said have you heard of these people, Perverted Justice?

I said no, what do they do?

And he laid it out. They go online pretending to be teens. They have a profile. Guys hit on them. There's a conversation. The guy makes a date. And then they would post them on the Web site so people would know what these guys had done.

Well, I started to think, if we could use their expertise, you know, their decoys and we could use our technology, you know, to wire a house with hidden cameras, we could do a pretty compelling piece.

There was anecdotal evidence that this was a real problem. There were high profile cases where kids had met people online and ended up dead.

So we decided let's try it.

KING: Did you have any moral question about being sneaky?

HANSEN: Well...

KING: I know you're after bad people.

HANSEN: Yes, at the end of...

KING: But does bad allow a bad? HANSEN: Well, I don't think it was a bad. I mean we use hidden cameras in a lot of different areas. And, at the end of the day, this was no different than using hidden cameras in Cambodia to expose sex trafficking of underage children, in India to expose child slave labor in the silk business.

We thought that we were taking -- and we believed we were taking these same techniques and merely pointing them at the problem of online predators.

KING: So no qualms on your part?

HANSEN: Well, we obviously were very careful the way we put this together. We consulted with our lawyers. We consulted with, you know, law enforcement experts and with our standards people.

KING: Because these people are suspects, right?

HANSEN: The people who are coming into our house.

KING: Yes.


KING: They're suspects. They're not convicted...

HANSEN: They're not convicted.

KING: ... until they're convicted.

HANSEN: And the first two investigations we did not have law enforcement doing a parallel investigation. So, you know, it was a lot to consider. But we thought that we had taken all the precautions we could.

KING: The first one you did...


KING: Was it kind of weird for you to be hiding...


KING: ... and...

HANSEN: First of all, I'm on my way to this house. I'm stuck in traffic on the Throg's Neck Bridge, on the way to Long Island. And I start to wonder, you know, what is nobody shows up? You know, what if I've just wasted thousands and thousands of dollars of NBC's money?


KING: Did you pitch it to NBC?

HANSEN: Yes, it was my pitch.

So, you know, as a "Dateline" investigation.

So seconds later the phone rings and it's my producer, Lynn Keller, who says, you'd better get here. We've got two guys on the way. And I brake through traffic and I get there and, you know, they've got the transcripts all over the place.

Now, we didn't have it down to a system in those days like we do today.

KING: Yes.

HANSEN: And, you know, I'm scrambling, and for the next two-and- a-half days, guys were bumping into each other coming into this house.

KING: How many do you do a year?

HANSEN: We have done 10 investigations, which translates into, you know, more than 20 shows in about two-and-a-half years.

KING: Before we bring John Walsh in, let's take a classic look at a classic "Catch A Predator" moment.

Chris Hansen faces a man who's shown up to meet an underage girl after some highly sexual Internet exchanges.



HANSEN: What are you doing here?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Getting my ass kicked.

HANSEN: Getting your ass kicked?


I knew it. I knew I should have -- I knew it was a setup.

HANSEN: Oh, really?

I need you to sit down, please.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I need you to just arrest me and take me to jail and execute me.

HANSEN: I need to talk to you first.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Because I -- you know what?

I didn't -- I didn't bring anything, I didn't want to do anything.

HANSEN: Well, why did you come here, though?

Help me to understand.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Because I'm a sick son of a bitch. I've never done it before. I talk about it online all the time. I've never done anything with anybody except my wife. Ever.

HANSEN: What are you doing here on a Saturday morning coming into a house where you believe a 12- or 13-year-old kid is home alone with no parents here?

Do you have kids?


HANSEN: Well, how would you feel if some guy...


HANSEN: ... in his 40s walked into your house trying to hook up with your kids?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'd feel pissed.


KING: John Walsh is in West Palm Beach, Florida.

John, what do you think of this whole concept?

JOHN WALSH, "AMERICA'S MOST WANTED": Well, I think it's great. I think that -- my hat's -- my hat is off to Chris Hansen, to NBC, to the people at Perverted Justice for showing the American public repeatedly that the creep who preys upon our children could live next door. And he could be a rabbi, a school teacher or a priest or anybody. That -- I think they've done a great job. Now that they've partners with law enforcement and they're putting these guys away, I think they've provided a tremendous educational tool to the American public.

KING: One puzzling thing, John and Chris, is when you see these things, they're so ordinary, these guys.

Right, John?

I mean...

WALSH: Oh, absolutely, Larry. I mean...

KING: Like your guy next door.

WALSH: There are 605,000 convicted sex offenders in the United States, 100,000 of them are out there at large right now in non- compliance with their parole and probation. Those are just the creeps we know about. And I don't think why it should surprise anybody that it's the guy next door or it's the rabbi or the special-ed teacher.

I think it's -- I think people have known this for years, but thank god for Chris Hansen and "Dateline." They're -- they're driving that point right home. They're driving it home that guys will drive all night with a six pack and condoms or whatever to have sex with a 12-year-old and then get there and say -- even though a lot of them have rap sheets and have been previously convicted -- not all of them, but many of them say oh, I would -- I don't know why I'm doing this. I would never do something like this.

Well, why did you drive all night?

I think it's great. I think people need to realize it's not the pervert under the bridge the with trench coat, it's the guy next door. It's the guy across the street. It's the guy who's driving the school bus.

KING: Are you ever shocked, Chris, by what you see?

HANSEN: You know, every time we do one of these investigations, Larry, I think I've seen it all. And every time we do another, I'm shocked.

You know, I once went an entire year at "Dateline" not using the word shocked, because I thought it was overused. But there have been things we've seen -- there's just no other word you can use.

KING: Since everybody knows about "To Catch A Predator," why does anybody come?

HANSEN: Well, I think it speaks to a couple of things. One, I think some of these guys don't really think it's ever going to happen to them. "Dateline" can't be everywhere. Law enforcement can't be everywhere. And I think the second thing is these guys develop such obsessions and compulsions and addictions online that this line between reality and fantasy gets blurred. And the next thing you know, they're knocking on our door.

KING: You ever feel compassion for anyone?

HANSEN: I feel sorry for some of them. I'm not defending what they did. But I, you know, there are some sad cases that have walked in that door.

KING: Pathetic sometimes.

HANSEN: Sometimes. Sometimes. Yes.

KING: Do you ever feel at all that you're -- you're using entrapment?

HANSEN: No. It's a very strict protocol. The Perverted Justice decoy goes into a chat room, has a profile that includes a picture that is unmistakably underage. That decoy never makes the first contact. It's always the potential predator.

KING: Still to come, what about the other victims of these child sex predators -- their own families?

That and more straight ahead on LARRY KING LIVE.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't want you to destroy my life.

HANSEN: Well, you made the decision to walk in here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know I'm (UNINTELLIGIBLE). I wasn't going to do anything, I swear.

HANSEN: That's not what it sounds like in this chat room.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. I was just fooling around, sort of.

HANSEN: Damn, you're very sexy.

Do you have a boyfriend?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I know. I'm sorry. Sorry. Please.

HANSEN: So, have you ever been with an old guy before?

No, I need to stay in the chair, please.

Sit down.





HANSEN: What are you doing here?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I thought I would come see him.

HANSEN: Come see him for what?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I wanted to meet him.

HANSEN: What is a 54-year-old man doing coming to this home to see a 13-year-old boy?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Obviously, I made a big mistake.


KING: We are back with Chris Hansen, the author of "To Catch a Predator: Protecting Your Kids from Online Enemies Already in Your Home." And here is West Palm Beach's John Walsh, the host of "America's Most Wanted."

I want to remind you, tomorrow night Governor Mitt Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts candidate to be the Republican nominee for president, will be our special guest.

Before we show another clip, Chris, how many convictions come out of all of these? And how many are thrown out?

HANSEN: None have been thrown out.

KING: None?

HANSEN: We have had right around 250 of these cases being prosecuted. Probably half have gone through the judicial system and each and every one has resulted in a guilty plea, a no contest plea or a conviction.

KING: Are the tapes used in court?

HANSEN: The tapes of the broadcast that air are sometimes used in court, yes. Along with the transcripts.

KING: Let's take a look at another dramatic moment on "To Catch a Predator." The man on the tape is Donald Morrison (ph). He pled guilty to computer porn. Got nine months in prison and then three years probation. Watch.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I have a compulsion for younger women, just meeting them. I haven't -- I've met about a dozen of them online.

HANSEN: And so this is something you do frequently?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, I haven't done it in -- let's see, I have not done it since I moved here to Florida.

HANSEN: And where did you live before?


HANSEN: And so you did this a lot in Texas?


HANSEN: Did you ever get in trouble for it?



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, I got in trouble because I met a girl in Michigan.

HANSEN: And how old is that girl?


HANSEN: And what trouble did you get in there? UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Her grandfather tried to charge me with something, they couldn't do anything, so they arrested me for possessing child pornography because I had nude pictures of her on my computer. They ended up dropping the charges.

HANSEN: And how did you get the naked pictures of the teenage girl?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I met her in Michigan and I took them.

HANSEN: You took the pictures of the girl.


HANSEN: And then you put them on your computer?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: On my computer, yes. They were digital pictures.


KING: Incredible stuff. John Walsh, a psychiatrist -- I forgot where I read it, said the other day that in focusing so much attention on they are incurable, post their addresses, throw the key away, you're focusing away from the fact that there's a possibility these people can be helped. And since you're not a doctor, how do you know they can't?

JOHN WALSH, HOST, "AMERICA'S MOST WANTED": Well, I say this. There was an incredible front page article in The New York Times about a week ago that said, that should we try to keep finding out how we can cure these people or how we can identify them? Absolutely.

That the vast majority of programs up until now had been an incredible failure. That these people were great at conning the public, getting out of prison. Two-thirds of the sex offenders in prison are -- have committed crimes against children.

And that, yes, I say we should study them. Of course we should study them. We should try to find a cure. It's a public health problem. But up until that time, we should know who they are.

You know, you'd mentioned something about the families. Let's look -- the families of these creeps. Let's look at the other side. Let's say there wasn't a Chris Hansen there or there wasn't a "Dateline" there. Then they had come to have sex with a 12-year-old child. That would be another victim.

And what about their nieces and nephews? I think it's a good thing that these people are exposed. And I'm not saying we're -- that this is a violation of their civil liberties. They readily, voluntarily came to those homes to have sex with an underage child and Chris Hansen and "Dateline" was there to catch them doing this.

KING: Chris, an e-mail question from Mike in Minneapolis. "I'm all for stopping sexual predators, but what about the hurt and shame that befalls the predators' families by having this all over television? They have done nothing wrong." Is there not a better way?

HANSEN: Collateral damage. Yes. And that collateral damage exists whether one of these guys walks into our hidden camera house or whether he walks into an FBI sting. One of the reasons we explore this in the book is because I got an e-mail from a woman, and it stuck out from all of the rest. And she said, you should take a look at what happens to the wives, the children that these guys left behind. And that's a whole other area where people are being victimized in this.

KING: Is there a common thread among all of them?

HANSEN: The common thread is, for the most part, these guys don't have the word predator tattooed on their forehead. They look like the guy standing next to you at the dry cleaners or grocery store on Saturday morning.

They come from all walks of life but they are regular guys. Few of these guys, by the way, are convicted sex offenders. We have had our fair share in some really astonishing cases...

KING: What are they then?

HANSEN: They are guys with -- for the most part who don't have criminal records. They come from three categories in our experience. One, the young guys who are opportunists, not defending what they are doing, but they don't see anything wrong for a 23-year-old to have sex with a 13- or 14-year-old.

The other guys, hardcore. They would be doing it anyway. These are the guys who sometimes have criminal records. And the others develop these compulsions and addictions and probably would not be taking part in this behavior had it not been for the Internet.

KING: And, John, what we don't know is why this compulsion, right?

WALSH: Well, that's what The New York Times said, that we should be still studying it. That it is such an overpowering compulsion, that someone can risk their whole life, their whole career and the collateral damage of their family, their reputation and all of those type of things.

But I think we also have to focus on the collateral damage of, what if they were successful? Again, what if they made it to that house and there was a 12-year-old there? And lots of times I profiled tons of guys that just simply never got caught or they had adjudication withheld.

It's illegal, it's a compulsion, it's something we need to study. We have got to hope that we can figure out what to do with these people. But until then, I think it's great that the public knows that they can be the guy -- as Chris said, they can be the guy that lives across the street.

And I feel sorry for their families. I absolutely do. But I think if you wanted -- if you're going to do the crime, you have got to do the crime (sic). And unfortunately, the families suffer tremendously.

KING: Well said. Up next, the man behind a Web site called Perverted Justice. What led him to launch it and what he has to do with catching these predators when LARRY KING LIVE returns.


HANSEN: It appears to be clear from this transcript that you are open to the idea of having sex with this girl?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No. Well, appear, yes. Would I? No. Or maybe. All right. Maybe.

HANSEN: What is it, Alonzo (ph), yes, no, maybe so?


HANSEN: Maybe. So maybe you would have had sex with this girl?


HANSEN: What should happen?




HANSEN: What is your plan tonight?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just out cruising around.

HANSEN: Just out cruising around.


HANSEN: How old are you/.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thirty-five, 40.

HANSEN: Thirty-five, 40? You don't know the exact age?


HANSEN: You're 40. And how old is the boy you wanted to meet tonight?


HANSEN: How old did he say he was in the chat?


HANSEN: Eighteen.


HANSEN: And I can give you the chat, and I want to you tell me where it says that he's 18.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I just went by what his profile said.

HANSEN: The profile said he was 13.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: His profile says he is 18.

HANSEN: No, he tells you right here he's 13.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I apologize for all of this.

HANSEN: "OK, I'm 13. Damn, you're cute." He says, "but let's go a little slower, dude."


KING: We are back. Chris Hansen remains. The correspondent for "To Catch a Predator" series on "Dateline." He's the author of the book with the same title. John Walsh, one of America's heroes, the host of "America's Most Wanted." He's in West Palm Beach. We are joined now from Portland, Oregon, by Xavier Von Erck, he is the director of operations for

We will talk to Xavier in a moment. But one question for Chris from our control room.


KING: Somebody walks in the house, they see you. They see a camera, why don't they just say, good-bye? You can't grab them. Hello, good-bye.

HANSEN: Well, some guys do -- no we can't -- they don't see the cameras at first...


KING: Why do they sit down with you?

HANSEN: I think some of the guys are actually relieved. They have known they have had issues for some time. And some of these interviews turn into counseling sessions, you know? And I think some of them now know they are going to get arrested and they figure, well, why not hang out here as opposed to getting arresting.

KING: Have you have ever had anyone say, so long?

HANSEN: Oh, yes, several, yes.

KING: Xavier, how did this all start? XAVIER VON ERCK, PERVERTED-JUSTICE.COM: It started pretty simply. I was a chatter in chatrooms on Yahoo! and you would see guys come into the rooms and they would say things as brazen to everyone where everyone could see: Are there 14-year-olds in here or 15-year- olds in here that would like to make money? And you would see the same guy six months later or a year later. And eventually we decided, well, let's try to do something about it.

KING: So how does it work? How does Perverted Justice work?

VON ERCK: We go into chatrooms, regional rooms on Yahoo!, AOL, MySpace, we pose as 10- to 15-year-old males or females. And we basically sit, as weird as that may sound, we just go into the room, we sit and we see what happens.

KING: And then what happen when you get contact?

VON ERCK: When we get contact, the individual is usually obviously an older male. He will lead the conversation. He will start talking about sexually-related topics and things he would like to do to our decoy profile. And from there he will bring up the idea of meeting and he will usually come over and meet Chris Hansen or law enforcement.

KING: So you -- did you contact Chris, or did Chris contact you on working together?

VON ERCK: We had done a multitude of local stings. Just small- scale stuff. Guys would come to the house, the door would open, there would be a reporter, they would run. "Dateline" contacted us and wanted to do something a little bit bigger and a little bit more oh, journalistic. And now we have pretty much had 10 investigations. They come in and it has been very fascinating.

KING: How do you make money?

VON ERCK: We get a consulting fee from "Dateline" now. The first three stings we had done gratis, but "Dateline" is such a huge show that it was starting to impact our organization. We couldn't keep our Web site up, where we do all of our work. And they supply us a modest consulting fee.

KING: How many people work for you?

VON ERCK: We have at this point about 100 people who do full- time work going into chatrooms and a full administrative staff.

KING: We have an e-mail question for you from Betsy in Christina Lake (ph), British Columbia: "Keep up the good work. Could I or anyone who is interested become a member of Perverted Justice in order to put these criminals where they belong, in jail forever?"

VON ERCK: That's right. All they have to do is go to the Web site,, click on the "how to help" page, and it will provide you a road map of how to volunteer and one day be trained as a chatroom decoy and have a guy show up, possibly on "Dateline."

KING: John Walsh, what do you make of this?

WALSH: I think it's great. I know that Perverted Justice and "Dateline" and Chris Hansen dot their I's and cross their T's and this is not about violating somebody's, you know, rights. I think it has really educated the public, number one, what a huge compulsion this is. That a guy will drive for hours to have sex with who he thinks is a 12-year-old, probably knowing all along that it's totally illegal and that he may get busted but he's willing to roll the dice and how really dangerous the Internet is.

The whole world has changed. I mean, the information superhighway is a tremendous asset. But now it brings the predator into your living room and that predator can talk to your 12-year-old child and you don't even know what's happening.

KING: And there's no way, Chris, to eliminate that? It's a done deal?

HANSEN: They are out there.

KING: It's a given.

HANSEN: And the best defense is to have a realistic conversation with your child. And if you educate your child and if you set boundaries and have this discussion, that's the best way to protect them.

KING: How important is Perverted Justice to you?

HANSEN: Well, we could not do it without Perverted Justice. They have the expertise, the decoys go in there. And it's incredible to sit over their shoulder and watch them do this.

KING: More with Chris, John and Xavier in a moment. Right now, let's check in with Anderson Cooper. He will host "AC 360" at the top of the hour.

Anderson, what's up tonight?

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Larry, we are going to have more on the rise in violent crime around the United States. What's behind the alarming double-digit rise, in some cases. We will also take a look at drugs that millions of Americans take to get to sleep. They work all right, but in some cases the side effects can be both bizarre and deadly. We will tell you what you need to know to stay safe. That's coming up at the top of the hour, Larry, in about 15 minutes.

KING: That's Anderson Cooper, 10:00 Eastern, 7:00 Pacific. "AC 360."

Coming up here, what every kid, every parent absolutely, positively has to know about Internet predators. Next on LARRY KING LIVE.



HANSEN: Who did you think you were going to meet here?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just this kid I have been talking to.

HANSEN: This kid.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, she's a kid.

HANSEN: How old?


HANSEN: Thirteen. And how old are you?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Too old for a 13- or 14-year-old.

HANSEN: Too old. What do you do for a living?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm not saying. Who do you work for?

HANSEN: I will get to that in a minute.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No. I would really like to know. I'm sure I'm on TV or something right now.

HANSEN: Why don't you just tell me what you do for a living?


HANSEN: And what grade do you teach?


HANSEN: Sixth grade. So you teach kids about the same age as the girl you were coming to see?


KING: Ever fear for your life, Chris?

HANSEN: We have a...


KING: ... take out a gun and shoot you.

HANSEN: That could happen. I mean, we take a lot of precautions. You know, we had this guy show up in our last investigation with an arsenal in his car. He was a police officer. But we have a very strict security protocol that we follow. And a lot goes into it. So I feel comfortable.

KING: All right. Xavier, what is the first thing parents should know about all of this?

VON ERCK: They should know that this is a real crime. It is not just something you see on TV. There are countless stories that we have heard about of minors who have been lured by the Internet and they have been molested, abused.

We have had involvement in trying to find real kids ourselves and we found one who had unfortunately been taken to a place in Washington, put into a basement and abused for a two-week period in the most inhuman and cruel ways.

So parents need to know this is a real crime. They need to have that computer in the living room, in the family room. Don't have it in the child's bedroom. And under no circumstances, never buy your child a Webcam. There's no reason for it. And it's just a gateway into your child's bedroom.

KING: Great advice. Now, John, other than watching, everybody should really watch "The Safe Side," that DVD series you produced with the Baby Einstein folks. What should kids know?

WALSH: Well, I think kids are starting to realize how dangerous the Internet can be. And you mentioned Julie Clark and "The Safe Side" videos, the new one is about Internet safety and can you get it at

But I think kids are starting to realize they can be easily victimized. I wish they didn't think they were immortal. Cox Broadcasting did a survey and said 70 percent of teenagers have been solicited over the Internet. About 30 percent of them have been asked for specific information.

And 15 percent of those kids have gone out and met someone that they had never met before, went out to a location just like we have been talking about and to meet a stranger. And I think kids are starting to realize that the Internet is not all fun and games. It can be a really dangerous playground.

KING: Chris, has this series changed you?

HANSEN: Yes, it has. It's -- in a strange way, I have learned a ton and it ahs changed the way that I look at the Internet. You know, one of the most important things, I think, for parents to do is to set a limit on Internet time. Because if a kid knows he has only got two or three hours, they are going to get down to the business of downloading music, chatting with friends and seeing what the movie schedule is for that weekend and there's less time to be perusing these chatrooms.

KING: Let's take a call. Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Hello.

CALLER: Yes, I wonder what can families do when there's sexual abuse -- severe sexual abuse within the family? People are more than glad to fuss about perpetrators until they find out it's in the family and then parents, children, other relatives.

KING: John, you have had to deal with that?

WALSH: Oh, absolutely. We get calls all of the time over our hotline about relatives suspecting someone in the family or from kids directly. And I send a message, if there are kids watching or if you know that there's abuse in your family, you have got to have the guts to report it. You can do it anonymously. People don't have to know who you are.

But you have to have the guts to report it, to call police, social services. You can remain anonymous. Or if you tell somebody and they don't do anything about it, just keep trying to tell a trusted authority figure or an adult. And you know, that's a real problem, the not having the security to tell someone that it's happening within the family.

And the lady who is -- if she -- I got a sense that she feels she knows something, call somebody. Tell somebody. You can remain anonymous.

KING: One other quick e-mail question from Greg in Georgetown, Cayman Islands: "Are there any cities or police departments that you have wanted to feature on 'To Catch a Predator' that refused?"

HANSEN: You know, that's a good question. We obviously rely on Perverted Justice in most cases to contact police departments. And the way it works is usually the police department will reach out to Perverted Justice and say, hey, look, we think we have a problem. We need your expertise. And then P.J. (ph) will say, OK, do you mind if "Dateline" is part of this investigation?

KING: Xavier, thanks. Continue the great work. We will have you on again soon.

VON ERCK: Thank you.

KING: Xavier Von Erck, director of operations for perverted- Straight ahead, Chris Hansen and John Walsh on the sentencing of the sex offender who raped and murdered little Jessica Lunsford. And another convicted sex offender is now a suspect in the connection with the disappearance of a 6-year-old boy. Details next.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We hope he shows up.

WALSH: I'm hoping he shows up big time.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: White shirt and long sleeves. It's definitely this guy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's walking. He parked down the road and he's walking.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. He's just about one block from us, he's actually running because he's late.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Listen, the guy with the white shirt is approaching the building.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: At what point do you want to grab him?

WALSH: There he is. OK.


KING: John Walsh, a couple of things we wanted to ask you about quickly. The boy named Christopher Michael Barrios, been missing since Thursday. Apparently there are some suspects here, right?

WALSH: A terrible case. The across-the-street convicted sex offender. They picked him up. He's in jail. His mother and father lied to the police three times now about what that guy was doing. It's a horrible case. I just hope that that family gets an answer to their prayers, because I think something terrible has happened to this boy. And it's disgusting that this family changed their story 10 times about where this creep was and what he did.

KING: So you fear the worst?

WALSH: I do, unfortunately, I do fear the worst. But they have got him in jail. And he's not talking, like most of them don't talk. It's really a terrible case.

KING: John Couey will get the death penalty for the murder of Jessica Lunsford. What's your reaction?

WALSH: Justice. Sad justice. My heart goes out and my prayers go out to Mark Lunsford, his family. He has had to sit through this terrible trial. The grandparents that were in the house that night when John Couey broke in there, my prayers are with them. They have gotten justice. But John Couey is the poster boy -- here's a guy that was arrested 24 times, he's the poster boy for the Adam Walsh Act.

This guy was in total violation of his sex offender probation and Mark Lunsford asked a simple question all the time, he says to me, John, I'm just a simple truck driver. What the hell was that guy doing out there? Why was he out there to be able to kidnap my daughter? Hundreds of thousands out there that have fallen through the cracks. We really need to enforce the Adam Walsh Act that was passed last year.

KING: Is -- Chris, how long will "To Catch a Predator" run?

HANSEN: We take a look at it after every series, you know, and we will make that decision once this next series ends.

KING: It is not losing its attention-grabbing, right?

HANSEN: It's not, and it's not stopping people from showing up. I mean, we have guys talk about this show in their chats and still show up. We have guys who recognize me instantly and sit and talk.

KING: Wait a minute. That means they want to be a celebrity.

HANSEN: No, it's as -- you know, this isn't "To Catch a Predator," is it? And the decoy says, what's that? "Dateline." I have never seen "Dateline." Oh, It's a show where they blah, blah, blah. Oh no, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha. And the next thing you know he's in the door. Swear to God.

KING: And your explanation of that is?

HANSEN: The drive to meet a young boy or girl is so strong they are willing to risk it. Or they just don't think it could actually happen to them.

KING: Bizarre.

HANSEN: It is.

KING: Keep on keeping on.

HANSEN: Thanks, Larry. I appreciate it.

KING: The book is "To Catch a Predator: Protecting Your Kids from Online Enemies Already in Your Home." Chris Hansen, the host of that, of course. And, John Walsh, as always, thanks, man.

WALSH: Thank you, Larry.

KING: Thank you, John.

Last night our question of the night was, do you think "To Catch a Predator" is fair or entrapment? Fifty-eight percent of you said fair, 42 percent believe it's entrapment.

Tomorrow night's guest, presidential hopeful Mitt Romney, a Mormon. So our text vote of the night, does a presidential candidate's religion matter? Text your vote from your cell phone to CNNTV, which is 26688. Text KINGA for yes, KINGB for no. We'll reveal the results on tomorrow night's show when our guest is Mitt Romney. Of course, you can always e-mail us by going to

And now we swing to New York, Anderson Cooper and "AC 360" -- Anderson.

COOPER: Larry, thanks very much.


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