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To catch a predator

Nov. 11, 2006 | 8:45 p.m.

Events around the Texas investigation took a startling and deadly turn (Chris Hansen, Dateline correspondent)

For an upcoming investigation into online sex predators, we went to Murphy, Texas— a bedroom community outside of Dallas and rigged a house with hidden cameras inside and out. And as always it wasn’t long before men came to the door looking for a young teen home alone. 

54-year-old Stanley Kendall met a boy online who told him he was 13. He was really chatting with a decoy from Perverted-Justice. 

Online, Kendall told the decoy he wanted to teach the inexperienced boy different sex acts and sent a picture of his genitals.

Incredibly, it turns out he’s a school teacher. When confronted, Kendall told us he teaches math at a Dallas Middle School. He also says even though he talked about teaching the boy all about sex, it never would have gone that far.

Outside, officers from the Murphy police department are waiting to arrest him. He’s charged with soliciting a minor online  and is being held on $50,000 bail.

In Texas, the topic of Internet predators has become a highly charged political issue. The Attorney General and the lieutenant governor both used cracking down on child sex predators as a central campaign issue.

  On recent Texas ‘Predator’ investigation
Nov. 11: For the past several weeks Dateline has been working on a new predator investigation, this one set in Texas.  Last weekend, events there took a startling -- and deadly -- turn. Chris Hansen reports.

Dateline NBC

It’s a felony in Texas to solicit a minor for sex over the Internet—even if the suspect never leaves his house and never actually attempts to meet the minor. 

“I guess that’s what I like so much about the way Texas law is written: the fact that the meeting does not have to occur so we can still make a case out of it,” says Murphy Police Chief William Myrick.

That was the case when a decoy from Perverted-Justice started getting messages from a man who we learned was an assistant district attorney from a nearby county. He was a 56-year-old named Louis William Conradt Jr., screenname “inxs00.” He chatted graphically about sex with a Perverted-Justice volunteer pretending to be a 13-year-old boy and he sent pornographic pictures to the decoy. He talked about coming over to the undercover house, but in the end never did. And as far as we know, he never knew Dateline was in the area.

The Murphy police obtained an arrest warrant for Conradt and did something we’ve not seen before: They contacted the local authorities in Conradt’s town and knocked on his door.

Conradt didn’t answer, but police said there were signs he was still inside.  So a tactical team was called in. The officers lined up in formation then broke through the back door. But before they could make the arrest the assistant D.A. pulled out a gun and pointed at his head. Lieutenant Adana Barber was there.

“As they made entry they confronted the subject, I believe he was in the hallway... he told them he wasn’t going to hurt them and then shot himself in the head,” says Barber.

Officers performed CPR and Conradt was airlifted to Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas where he later died.

As is standard procedure, police are investigating the handling of this case.

Officers also seized the computers at Louis William Conradt’s house.

Dateline will continue to report on new developments, and on the rest of our investigation in Murphy, Texas.

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