Friday, May 17, 2013

NBC Dateline: Chris Hansen goes undercover again

On NBC Dateline Friday May 17, 2013, Chris Hansen returned to undercover stings (like "To Catch a Predator", a few years back)  in an episode called “Wild #Wild Web”, with all the episodes based on Craigslist.   

One of the first cases was a simple lonely hearts catfish situation, in Ft.. Worth, TX, where a woman had stolen another person’s image from FRacebook and used it as her own.  Nev Schulman could have been useful in this report.
The scariest was a “problem eliminator” in Tuscon, AZ, who met with a young female reporter at midnight in a casino to exchange information on a planted “hit”,  The man has not been seen since.
A con artist in Charleston, SC offered a baby for adoption underground, and was caught collecting security deposits for rent from poor people fraudulently.
A “house call” auto mechanic, also in Tucson (not AAA) wanted to charge hundreds for a 25-cent fuse in a fuel pump.
But one of the most telling anecdotes concerned a multi-level marketing scheme in Las Vegas for virility pills based on ads claiming that they were made from oriental herbs that did not need a prescription.  Instead, they used pharmaceuticals for which the FDA requires medical prescriptions.  The pills tended to cause nausea and side effects.  I think I’ve gotten spam for this product.

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The second hour, with Lester Holt, related to a case where a woman (Amber Hilberling) was charged with pushing her husband out a window from a Tulsa, OK highrise.  She would be convicted of 2nd Degree Murder and sentenced to 25 years in prison, story link.  The story became bizarre, as husband Josh had actually ordered court-ordered protection from his wife's violent outbursts. But there was a counterclaim of abuse and questions about the safety of the window.

I think that Chris Hansen ought to make a report on his earlier series, and trace how some of the men convicted in the Peej stings fared, particularly Rabbi Daivd Kaye.  How were they "treated" in jail?  How are they "supervised" when they get out of prison?  NBC Dateline ought to do a followup report.   

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