Crime Beat / The boy who overcame the odds

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Episode notes

This episode begins with an investigation that rocked Alberta's foster care system.

Garry Prokopishin took in troubled teenage boys: kids with behavioural and substance abuse issues. His foster home was considered a last resort for teens who had nowhere else to go.

Those boys described having all the freedom in the world at the Prokopishin’s. They were allowed to smoke, they could have friends over, party, go out and not get in trouble.

Prokopishin also took them out for dinner and drinks and made the boys feel special.

A local association recognized him for his tireless efforts with boys, naming him “foster parent of the year."

By 2009, Prokopishin had been operating a foster home for nearly 20 years and during that time 55 teenage boys had come under his care.

Then, one young man came forward alleging sexual abuse.

Before long, police revealed that abuse went beyond just one victim.

The court process revealed Prokopishin used money and threats to manipulate the boys into keeping the abuse a secret for years.

But what set these young boys on a path that led to the Prokopishin home in the first place?

In covering this case, Hixt came to meet one of the young victims who revealed the abuse went much deeper.

That’s what set the stage for his time with Prokopishin, who preyed on his vulnerability.

Follow the shocking turns this case took as Nancy Hixt shares the story of young boy who was abandoned by the very people who were supposed to show him unconditional love and left him wanting a loving home.

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