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AJAs 2020 Finalists

The Making of a Mass Killer


Date Aired or Published Dec. 22, 2020
Media outlet where first aired or published: The Chronicle Herald
Name of Program: Andrew Rankin
If co-produced, list partner:
Location: Halifax
List awards, grants:
Running time (TV/Radio):

Short explanation of the story and how it developed:

This story set out to demonstrate that Canada’s mass killer Gabriel Wortman was seriously abused by his father and that the abuse may have played a role in creating a monster. More broadly the story addressed the prevalence of child abuse in society and its far-reaching consequences. The story took multiple months to come together. It started by earning the trust of the main source, who is referred to as MJ in the story. MJ told the reporter that Wortman was seriously abused by his father and provided several examples off the record. The reporter than found and spoke with two of Wortman's uncles who confirmed on the record that he was abused by his father. The story came together when the RCMP warrants stated that Wortman was seriously abused as a child. Dr. Simon Sherry, an expert in psychopathy and child abuse broadened the story as he provided his commentary on the prevalence of child abuse and its impact on our society.

Resources of the newsroom (money and time) available to complete the story:

The Chronicle Herald provided the reporter with ample time and resources to work on this story exclusively. The Herald also provided the money needed to courier allegations made against Wortman's father to his home and expenses of the advice of a media lawyer needed to complete this story.

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