Shane Munroe was a young boy who ran away from his abusive father and broke into Joan Ferguson's house looking for food and is taken in by Joan. After he gets stuck in a drain trying to save his dog Nicky, his father turns up at the hospital and threatens Joan. She starts a court battle to win custody of him from his father, though she fails and he is made a ward of the state and initially sent to a children's home, where Joan visits him. Shane is then adopted by the Taylor family, where he continues to escape from them and seek refuge with Joan. After Joan meets his new foster parents and sees that they take great care of the boy, she realizes she must break all ties with Shane and when he escapes from them again to stay with Joan, she rejects him and he runs away. He is tormented by a gang of boys in a cafe, until he is "rescued" by a friendly pedophile, who takes him home. Shane gets nervous when his new friend tries to show him some "artistic" photographs and escapes by throwing a pan of boiling water in his face. Joan helps the Taylors and the police to find where he is hiding. Last seen in hospital with Joan where she wishes him goodbye.
The Shane Munroe plot line is seen by many 'Prisoner' fans as one of the few times Joan Ferguson shows true emotions and feelings for others. It could be said that had Ferguson gotten custody of Munroe she probably would have turned her life around and not ended up in criminal activity in the end herself. Ferguson is seen spiraling out of control in the next coming episodes with more and more erratic behaviour.