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Christopher Edward "Chris" Hansen (born March 26, 1959) is an American television journalist. He is known for his work on Dateline NBC, in particular the former segment To Catch a Predator, which revolved around catching potential Internet sex predators using a sting operation.
Hansen attended Brother Rice High School in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. He became a reporter for Lansing NBC affiliate WILX in 1981 during his senior year at Michigan State University. He then reported for WFLA in Tampa, various radio stations and newspapers in Michigan, WXYZ in Detroit, and WDIV as an investigative reporter and anchor from 1988. In May 1993, Hansen joined NBC News as a correspondent for the newsmagazine Now with Tom Brokaw and Katie Couric.
Hansen's notable work for Dateline includes coverage of the Columbine massacre, the Oklahoma City terrorist attack, the Unabomber and the TWA Flight 800 disaster; as well as investigative reports on Indian child slave labor and on counterfeit prescription drug sales in China. Hansen was responsible for most of Dateline's coverage of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, as well as stories on terrorist groups and the operations of Al-Qaeda. He exposed how a group linked to Osama Bin Laden had tried to buy missiles and nuclear weapons components, and he also worked on an exclusive report detailing an attempted 1994 terrorist attack in France. His series on the lack of security at airports resulted in the Federal Aviation Administration opening an investigation and ultimately revising its policies.
In conjunction with the website Perverted-Justice, Hansen hosted a series of Dateline NBC reports under the title To Catch a Predator. Volunteers from Perverted-Justice impersonated underage people (usually 13-15) in chat rooms online and agreed to meet with adults for sex. The meeting places were "sting houses", where camera crews from NBC, and in later episodes local police, awaited the potential sexual predator.
Capitalizing on the success of Hansen and his Predator investigations, Dateline NBC created three Tuesday night spin-offs of its original concept; Hansen hosted To Catch a Con Man and To Catch an I.D. Thief. In March 2007, Hansen's book, To Catch a Predator: Protecting Your Kids from Online Enemies Already in Your Home, was released in the American market.
Hansen has appeared on such television programs as The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Late Night with Conan O'Brien, The Adam Carolla Show, Today, Scarborough Country, The Oprah Winfrey Show, The Rise Guys Morning Show, The Don and Mike Show, The Opie and Anthony Radio Show, Jimmy Kimmel Live!, Glenn Beck Program, and Diggnation.
On January 9, 2007, Hansen appeared on the BET news series, American Gangster. The special, which was hosted by actor Ving Rhames, focused on Detroit drug lords, the Chambers Brothers gang. Hansen gave insight into the lives of the brothers based on the reporting he had done on them in the 1980s and 1990s as a reporter for ABC affiliate WXYZ (Channel 7) and NBC affiliate WDIV (Channel 4). On January 13, 2008 he attended the NBC Golden Globes Winners Special which was poorly attended by the nominees due to the 2007–2008 Writers Guild of America strike.
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