(Serious) friends/relatives of people who were on "To Catch a Predator", what were your reactions like?

Not on the show, but I do have a relevant story so Ima post anyway. Sue me.

A few years ago, I lived in a house with a bunch of other people in Saraland Alabama. We had this one roommate I'll call P---. He was six foot five, corpse-pale, and had a mop of shaggy hair that usually covered his eyes, and claimed to have Fibromyalgia as a cover for a crippling painkiller addiction. Usually, he stayed in his room, which he kept pitch dark, but occasionally he'd zombie shuffle out for a drink or to get food. He only really came out when his strange girlfriend came to visit... In a year of living there, I may have said a paragraph's worth of words to him, and not consecutively. P--- was theoretically a theology student at the University of Mobile, or at least said he was, but if he ever went to class nobody knew about it. Just overall a very odd guy, but a pretty good roommate. Very quiet. Very very quiet.

One day, P--- just fucking vanished.

I'd already moved out by that time, but I remember people texting me "Seth, have you seen P---? He didn't pay his rent, and nobody's seen him. His girlfriend is worried."

Fast forward to just a couple of months ago. An offhand comment by another friend of mine leads to the collective realization that P--- is in jail. A bit of hasty googling, and it turns out he was caught in a sting called "Operation Wrong Destination" and arrested en route to Florida to have sex with a twelve year old. We were scouring old news links for a while after that to confirm; I found his mug shots and everything. I won't post them; even if he's a kiddie diddler, the guy has enough on his plate without me talking shit on the internet. You can google for yourself, I've given more than enough information.

The worst part is that his ex is still in denial about it. He told her he'd decided to kill himself, taken a bunch of pills to OD, and instead just wound up super high and talking to random strangers on craigslist because he didn't want to be alone. He said he never drove to Florida, despite the fact he was arrested there. She believes his bullshit. It's fucking tragic.

So yeh. To answer OP's question to the best of my vaguely related ability: It's fucking strange, man. You think you kinda know people, right? Like, he wasn't a capital F friend, but damn, he was looking at child porn like twenty feet away from me for more than a year. Kinda makes my skin crawl. For people really close to him, though? She's fucking broken. So that's what it's like. It freaks you out if you don't care about them, and ruins you if you do. Nobody wants to learn that a loved one is a monster.

/r/AskReddit Thread