Taboo: Stolen Childhoods is a series that shines a light on the dark underbelly of our society. Each compelling episode takes Jon Sistiaga to a unique dark place linked by the theme of shattered childhoods – from the web cams of the Philippines to a prison in Colombia, we meet with the abusers and the abused. Filmed with bold honesty and sensitivity Taboo: Stolen Childhoods is a series like nothing you have seen before.
Episode 1: Atonement
Villa Milagro – an isolated village in Florida – has a very particular census: all of its inhabitants have been prosecuted for sexual offenses, as its one of few places that meet sentencing requirements of being completely child-free.
Jon Sistiaga enters their houses and discovers how the toughest laws in the world are applied to child abusers, and what kind of lives can they return to after concluding their sentences. A portrait emerges of a community united in shame and misery. Against the odds though, some have managed to rebuild a life of sorts there, find forgiveness and even find love..
Episode 2: Perversion
Sweetie is a girl that lives in the Philippines. Her daily routine is to sit down in front of her computer and talk with men. Luckily, Sweetie is not real, it is a software created by a dutch foundation to hunt pedophiles.
In this episode, filmed in Spain, Holland and the Philippines, Jon Sistiaga investigates the horrifying world of child pornography.
We meet underaged webcam girls in the Philippines who, with their families support, fall victim to the Western demands for child pornography. Law enforcement officers tasked with tracking illegal images, grading them according to their severity and hunting down the ever-more tech-savy pedophiles who create and exchange them.
Episode 3: Grief
Children who one day disappeared and never came back. Families who await news from their lost children. These are the stories that embody every parents worse nightmares.
Jon Sistiaga travels to the heart of Minnesota to follow the trail of some children disappearances, contacting relatives and investigators. According to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, in the US there are over 3,500 unsolved cases.
We meet with some of the few victims who had lucky escapes, and others who having suffered unimaginable crimes lived to tell the tale.
Episode 4: Monster
Luis Alfredo Garavito – known as ‘The Monster’ – is by every measure the most feared and reviled murderer living today and perhaps ever to have ever lived . He has confessed to have killed, raped and tortured 140 children between the ages of 6 to 16 years old, though experts put the number at 172. He is currently imprisoned in a Colombian prison where Sistiaga, in scenes reminiscent of Silence of the Lambs, has gone to conduct an extended interview with him. With chilling detachment Garavito confesses to unimaginable crimes, tells of his motivations and how he was able to evade capture for so long. In doing so we are afforded a horrifying glimpse into the heart of darkness. We also revisit crime scenes and the families of his victims.
A quirk in Colombia’s legal system means that Garavito will be set free in seven years having served the equivalent of three months for each of his murders.