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View Full Version : CANADA CANADA - Clifford Edward Sherwood, 9, Verdun Quebec, 21 Oct 1954


pardilia
11-12-2007, 08:11 AM
This case has always puzzled me - mostly for the fact that there seems to be absolutely *no* information about the boy who was with him when he was abducted.

http://www.doenetwork.org/cases/208dmqc.html

If they were really abducted together, why isn't there *any* information out there about his friend, Georges Gumbley?

meggilyweggily
11-13-2007, 03:03 AM
From the wording of the casefile, I'm not sure they were abducted together. It just says he disappeared on the way to school with his friend. That could mean that Clifford disappeared while walking to school in the company of a friend, or that Clifford and his friend both disappeared on the way to school. They should be more clear.

pardilia
11-13-2007, 09:47 AM
From the wording of the casefile, I'm not sure they were abducted together. It just says he disappeared on the way to school with his friend. That could mean that Clifford disappeared while walking to school in the company of a friend, or that Clifford and his friend both disappeared on the way to school. They should be more clear.

Well, I've come across other problems with DoeNetwork files...

This case was also on Unsolved Mysteries and it was stated on there that he was in the company of his friend and they both disappeared together. They may have worded it that way since there's no available information on the friend (it focused mainly on Clifford as his mother believes his father had a role in the disappearance).

The only snippet I can find is an article stating that both boys were still missing - but they name the other boy as "George Grumblav" and I cannot find information on either name. (This article is from February 3, 1955)

I've never been able to find any other information on the disappearance(s).

Rhett
11-13-2007, 10:37 AM
And . . . . what happended with the daughters he had living with him? Did he just abandon them to get the boy and run off? Did the girls ever see their brother after he disappeared? Very puzzling case.

pardilia
11-13-2007, 10:50 AM
And . . . . what happended with the daughters he had living with him? Did he just abandon them to get the boy and run off? Did the girls ever see their brother after he disappeared? Very puzzling case.

From what I've read they were in foster care and remained there until they were adults.

A lot of the 'evidence' for his father taking him is odd/circumstantial. He was abusive and part of the 'evidence' is that he would go into a rage or be silent if someone asked him about his son (now, how would you react if your ex-wife was accusing you have abducting your son and his friend? - particularly over a long period of time.) Another part of the 'evidence' is a picture of Clifford with his father where Clifford looks older and is wearing clothes the mother doesn't recognize...but that's explainable by Clifford visiting his father and the mother not being around. It wouldn't be surprising that she wouldn't recognize the picture. (He only appeared to be a few months to a year older, not like 5 or 10 years! :))

There is a post on a website from someone claiming to be his sister saying that he is still missing - which was posted in 2002.

I think it would be very odd if the father took both boys...I think its more likely that it was the act of someone unknown to the family.

What I find odd/disturbing is there is no record of the other boy outside of 1 newspaper article...

Stella
04-12-2008, 08:57 PM
Bumping for another pair of missing boys, Clifford and George.

HollywoodBound
04-13-2008, 03:06 PM
I found a discussion going on over here:
http://www.sitcomsonline.com/boards/showthread.php?t=169032
With some more info on the case, both boys are still missing. A human torso was found in 1955. I wonder if they still have the torso and can DNA test it?

monkalup
02-01-2009, 11:39 AM
From the "MONTREAL STAR" Oct. 25, 1954 -
"SEARCH FOR VERDUN BOYS SHIFTS TO VAUDREUIL AREA"
Verdun police said today that two boys, nine and 12 years of age, missing from their homes for nearly a week, were reported seen hitch-hiking through Vaudreuil, Saturday night.
The boys, Clifford Sherwood and George Gumbly, respectively, left home for school on Thursday morning as usual, but never reached there. It is believed that they decided instead to take to "the open road". Almost everything seems to point to the conclusion they had it all planned out, police stated.
Mrs. Gumbly, mother of the older boy, said to The Star "George did not take his bike to school that morning." She also noted that the boy did not take any of his savings money cached in his bedroom chest of drawers.
Mrs. Sherwood, mother of the younger boy, said her boy left with only his flannel shirt on. "He kissed me good-bye as usual," she observed. "I didn't notice anything strange about his manner." She thought he may have taken the notion of going to Toronto where his father is at present. "At first we thought it was just another one of those one day 'let's run-away-and-never-come-back' things'," Sgt. Det. A. Harvey said. He is investigating with Sgt.Det. J. Marin. "Now the whole thing has gotten out of hand." Sgt. Harvey added.
Police acting on a tip that the boys usually went down to Angrignon Park in Ville Emard searched the bottom of an abandoned pump-house in the park but did not find anything. Police also checked a Lake Masson resident, an uncle of one of the boys, where young Clifford goes every summer.
They said they obtained the Vaudreuil story from a woman who called them saying two boys undoubtedly answering the little fugitives' descriptions were seen going through the town. One of the boys was carrying a rifle, the woman said. Police did not say that this had any connection with a theft at a store on Wellington street last Friday. That night a group of "very young boys" broke into the store and stole a rifle.

Mischa
02-01-2009, 02:56 PM
Sadly Frances Sherwood died a few weeks ago without ever knowing what happend to her son.

http://www.westislandchronicle.com/article-294895-Remembering-Frances-Sherwood.html

thefragile7393
02-03-2009, 11:42 AM
What a bizarre case!

Stella
02-03-2009, 10:57 PM
Poor Mrs. Sherwood. I hope her daughters continue the search for Clifford.

KarlK
02-04-2009, 12:49 AM
If they were really abducted together, why isn't there *any* information out there about his friend, Georges Gumbley?

Saw this story on UM as well.

As for Gumbley maybe his very name provides one reason for the lack of info. I've seen his last named spelled 5 or 6 different ways in the media and maybe quite simply no one got it right. His first name is spelled either "George" or "Georges" depending on source. Now "Georges" is the usual French spelling for "George", the "s" is silent. Taking into account that this happened in the province of Quebec perhaps Georges/George was a French-Canadian and that "Gumbley" is simply the approximated rendition of a French name on the part of a reporter who didn't know the original spelling.

I'm from Maine and anyone who's ever read a Stephen King novel will have noticed that many of the characters in his stories have French-Canadian surnames (about 35% of all people in Maine have French-Canadian surnames or derivatives). They are very common in New England so I'm a little familiar with them. One common such surname that could sound somewhat like "Gumbley" or "Grumbley" to the unfamiliarized ear would be "Tremblay" which in English is often pronounced with the final "ay" sounding more like "ey" as in Murray for example. Unfortunately if that's the case Temblay happens to be the French Canadian equivalent of Smith and kids named Geroges Tremblay must have been a dime a dozen in Quebec back in the 1950's, making research difficult

Perhaps French language papers from Montreal would have the story with the correct spelling in their archives but obviously one has to be able to read French in order to do this. I don't :(

pardilia
02-04-2009, 12:59 AM
Saw this story on UM as well.

As for Gumbley maybe his very name provides one reason for the lack of info. I've seen his last named spelled 5 or 6 different ways in the media and maybe quite simply no one got it right. His first name is spelled either "George" or "Georges" depending on source. Now "Georges" is the usual French spelling for "George", the "s" is silent. Taking into account that this happened in the province of Quebec perhaps Georges/George was a French-Canadian and that "Gumbley" is simply the approximated rendition of a French name on the part of a reporter who didn't know the original spelling.

I'm from Maine and anyone who's ever read a Stephen King novel will have noticed that many of the characters in his stories have French-Canadian surnames. They are very common in New England so I'm a little familiar with them. One common such surname that could sound somewhat like "Gumbley" or "Grumbley" to the unfamiliarized ear would be "Tremblay". Unfortunately if that's the case Temblay happens to be the French Canadian equivalent of Smith and kids named Geroges Tremblay must have been a dime a dozen in Quebec back in the 1950's, making research difficult :(

If you go to the sitcomsonline link someone posted above you'll see that a member of the family has posted about the case. (George's family, that is.) What it boils down to is that George's family didn't think they were abducted - they thought they went to a nearby fishing lake or to the river and drowned. Neither possibilities were ever checked out by the police.

Just my opinion, but I get the impression that a lot of focus was on Clifford because of his mom's reaction - and the possible story there was much more sensational than the drowning theory (which seems much more plausible, again, IMHO).

KarlK
02-08-2009, 07:19 PM
they thought they went to a nearby fishing lake or to the river and drowned. Neither possibilities were ever checked out by the police.

It's not clear exactly what the police did, they did after all check the pump-house in the park so maybe they did look elsewhere. On the other hand, I looked at a map of the city and if by "the river" you mean the St. Lawrence that's a very large river, it would be difficult to search it.

Richard
10-19-2009, 01:26 AM
This case is now 55 years old. Clifford is still missing.

Kat
11-24-2011, 12:27 PM
http://z13.invisionfree.com/PorchlightCanada/index.php?showtopic=1141

Here is a link to a website that I really like when searching for info on missing persons.

They usually will have articles copy and pasted in full that are sometimes not available any longer on the internet.

There are a few articles for Clifford above. It does look like his friend George is also still missing.

http://books.google.com/books?id=XfIDAAAAMBAJ&pg=PA33&lpg=PA33&dq=George+Gumbly&source=bl&ots=cXaSK6aU44&sig=PB29thtTYCsP_-PnDiEXVppnWKk&hl=en&ei=eXzOTu6_OZSLsAKv0-TLDg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CBwQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=George%20Gumbly&f=false
An article above that has an age progression for Clifford. Although I'm adept enough to pull screenshots I am not adept enough to pull that age progression and keep it clear enough to post here. Any takers? It might be nice to have on this thread.

http://books.google.com/books?id=BfUDAAAAMBAJ&pg=PA19&lpg=PA19&dq=George+Gumbly&source=bl&ots=lqE9BSQIad&sig=17HadS_RXmtslaq4SDag0Ew9G80&hl=en&ei=eXzOTu6_OZSLsAKv0-TLDg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=6&ved=0CEEQ6AEwBQ#v=onepage&q=George%20Gumbly&f=false

Better shot of the age progression.

http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1946&dat=19550509&id=xUUjAAAAIBAJ&sjid=dJkFAAAAIBAJ&pg=6788,1407308

The Montreal Gazette - May 9, 1955

Wonder what the end result of this tip of the woman who went missing as the same time as the boys was? (the boys reportedly had a connection to her from having worked for her as messengers?)

Also there was a torso that was pulled from the river the year after the boys went missing. I wonder if DNA has ever been done to prove that wasn't one of the boys? I wonder if it is even still possible to do a test?

Robin Hood
12-04-2011, 04:22 AM
Another link http://www.unsolvedcanada.ca/index.php?topic=1405.0

More spellings of Grumbley, spelling seems to change in every post.

KarlK
12-15-2011, 02:27 PM
More spellings of Grumbley, spelling seems to change in every post.

Yeah, I was wondering when "Gumby" would pop up and there he is in that link. I am also not surprised that a case involving someone named Sherwood would catch Robin Hood's attention :D

Seriously now, I think getting "Gumby's" name right is the only key to progress at this stage. I do not know what to make of this case. As mentioned before, Sherwood's mother appears to be the only one to believe her son was not the victim of an accident, such as drowning.

On the other hand, Unsolved Mysteries would likely not have aired the story based solely on the mother's beliefs. Perhaps they know something we don't.

KarlK
12-15-2011, 02:53 PM
I found a discussion going on over here:
http://www.sitcomsonline.com/boards/showthread.php?t=169032
With some more info on the case, both boys are still missing. A human torso was found in 1955. I wonder if they still have the torso and can DNA test it?

I doubt that, such biological evidence would only be kept for a short period back in those days. The best we could hope for is that there is a record of how and where it was eventually disposed of.

Lilachaze
02-19-2012, 03:51 AM
This case is so intriguing, I always wondered why there’s so little known about George.

necco
02-25-2012, 12:59 AM
According to Unsolved Mysteries, Clifford's father had a picture of Clifford looking a bit older than he was when he disappeared. There was also a driver's license issued to a man with Clifford's birthday with the same first and middle names, just reversed (Edward Clifford as opposed to Clifford Edward) and the last name of Sherwood. They were unable to locate the man to whom the license was issued.

I also wonder how they expected Frances Sherwood to identify a badly decomposed torso as her son.

PFF
02-25-2012, 10:51 AM
Links
http://www.doenetwork.org/cases/208dmqc.html
http://z13.invisionfree.com/PorchlightCanada/index.php?showtopic=3312
Info on Clifford Sherwood - Sitcoms Online Message Boards - Forums
http://www.unsolvedcanada.ca/index.php?topic=1405.0
http://www.freewebs.com/missingcanadians/missing2.htm
http://chriscrimeforum.freeforums.org/clifford-edward-sherwood-october-21-1954-t1746.html

Medea2
01-30-2014, 08:11 PM
The age progression picture on the Doe network looks so much like one of my former colleague in Montreal I am always fascinated to see it. He is the right age too (68). At some point I questioned him about his family and childhood, but there was nothing weird in his past, from what he said. Anyway, it is just weird...