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Crime Beat podcast: The boy who overcame the odds

Garry Prokopishin
Garry Prokopishin is seen outside his home in northwest Calgary in 2011. Global News

On this episode of the Global News podcast Crime Beat, crime reporter Nancy Hixt shares the story of a young boy who was abandoned by the very people who were supposed to show him unconditional love.

The episode begins with an investigation that rocked Alberta’s foster care system.

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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.

READ MORE: Fostering change — ‘Who is going to believe the troubled kid?’

Those boys described having all the freedom in the world at the Prokopishin’s. They were allowed to smoke, have friends over, party and 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.

READ MORE: Former Foster Parent of the Year sentenced to 10 years for sex abuse

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 the 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.

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READ MORE: Fostering change — One man’s story of abuse in the Alberta foster care system

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 Crime Beat shares the story of a boy who wanted a loving home. 

If you enjoy Crime Beat, please take a minute to rate it on Apple Podcasts or Google Podcasts, tell us what you think and share the show with your friends.

Contact:

Twitter: @nancyhixt

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NancyHixtCrimeBeat/

Email: nancy.hixt@globalnews.ca

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