MO MO - Elizabeth 'Betsy' Gill, 2, Cape Girardeau, 13 June 1965


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Nov 23, 2005
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Since the Delia Cly thread got deleted, I figure I'd start a thread for Elizabeth "Betsy" Ann Gill. She vanished from her home, and despite an extensive search, was never located. I don't have a photo of her yet, she was 2 years old, with blonde hair and blue eyes. NCMEC has e-mailed me once again assuring me she is soon to be listed, we will soon see what this little tot looked like. A convicted killer confessed that he "accidentally" ran her over with his car, he said he thought she was dead and was going to go drop her body off a cliff, he put her in his car and while driving, he says she came to, so he finished her. I believe his name was Philip Clark. Maybe someone can find more info about her.I wish the site I have linked below would fix the date on this article, they fixed one date on their site, but not this one. Just a note, she did disappear in 1965.

scroll down on the next one to 1965
Chicago Tribune
June 15, 1965


Cape Girardeau, MO, June 14 (UPD) Police, civil defense workers, and more than 100 volunteers searched today for a girl, 2, who disappeared from her home yesterday.

Beth, youngest of 10 children of Mr. and Mrs. Harry Gill, apparentely wandered away from her home, but police said the possibility of kidnapping had not been ruled out. Both parents were placed under sedation.

A brother, Richard, said Beth was in the care of two sisters, aged 17 and 14, when she disappeared. She had been playing with other children. When they came into the house, Beth failed to appear.
The Oklahoman
June 20 1965


Cape Girardeau, MO (AP) Last Sunday, a little blonde haired girl toddled down the sidewalk near her home here- a sand bucket clutched in her hand- and disappeared.

For a week, a sense of uneasiness has stalked the streets of this southeast Missouri river town of 25,000 residents. for Elizabeth Ann "Betsy" Gill who will be 3 years old in August, has not been seen since then, despite an intensive search.

" I really think she was kidnapped" said Harris Foster, a Cape Girardeau salesman " someone needing a child just picked her up. I don't think she was taken for ransom."

Police chief Irvin Beard said some residents are taking precautions with their own children.

" If someone has taken my baby, because they may not have any children of their own or for any reason, I plead with them to return my child." said her father, Harry Gill, an electrician who works in St. Louis during the week and returns to his wife and ten children on weekends.

" It's a big blank wall, nothing but a big blank wall," said Beard. "We're checking out all leads, anything. We sent reports to all parts of the nation. We just don't know what happened, but, natuarally, everybody seems to have reached the decision the girl was picked up and carried away."

For four futile days, search parties of more than 100 people, using police dogs and a bloodhound, combed deep ravines, abandoned cellars, old wells and discarded auto-bodies. Divers, using searchlights at night, investigated the tangled river underbrush.
Glad to see your post on little Elizabeth Hollow. I look forward to seeing her picture. Such a sad case.
I haven't been here in a while.. Why did the Delia Cly thread get deleted?
rayray said:
I haven't been here in a while.. Why did the Delia Cly thread get deleted?

Who is Delia Cly? has been put in the Archived Forum. Go to the main page of Websleuths and scroll down to the Archived Forums (cases).
I am a friend of Elizabeth "Betsy" Ann Gill's family. Just yesterday I was informed by another friend that this website and the 'string' about Elizabeth Ann existed. I contacted my friend, one of Elizabeth's sisters and made her aware of this posting. She said she has known about this for some time and has, to this point, not responded. She told me that they knew about the Philip O. Clark theory when it happened. That story has been rewritten so many times some of it has not been correct. At one time there was mention of a garbage bag, they didn't even sell garbage bags in 1965. Anyway, the family was made aware of what Clark supposedly said, but the police department looked into it and determined they couldn't make a case against him reference Elizabeth Ann. At that time it appeared Clark was wanting out of this confession was an easy out for him to be brought back to Cape Girardeau for investigation. Apparently, there were other people who confessed to something about Elizabeth Ann as well. After the latest incident of the Karr character confessing he killed Jon Benet Ramsey everyone should realize there's a lot of unbalanced people in this world that would confess to such things. In the end, Philip O. Clark was killed in prison. The family had, many years ago contacted a television program, which I won't mention that name, and were told that Elizabeth Ann's story was too old for them to air. Now with so many tools available and NCMEC available the family is considering trying again, but currently the family has released NO photos of Elizabeth Ann. So if someone has a photo of her I'd be interested to know where they got it. The best information on Elizabeth Ann is that she was abducted and possibly taken to Illinois to become someone's child. If there was an "age progression" photo of her more than likely she'd look like her other sisters as they all look pretty much alike. You may post a message to me about this if you want.
Why haven't they released any of her photos? Not even to news agencies when it first happened?
DKC said:
... with so many tools available and NCMEC available the family is considering trying again, but currently the family has released NO photos of Elizabeth Ann. So if someone has a photo of her I'd be interested to know where they got it. The best information on Elizabeth Ann is that she was abducted and possibly taken to Illinois to become someone's child. If there was an "age progression" photo of her more than likely she'd look like her other sisters as they all look pretty much alike. You may post a message to me about this if you want.
If the family were to contact NCMEC, I am sure that they would profile her case and post photos. They have artists who do age progressions for many of the older cases like that of Elizabeth Ann.
just a very very long shot, but since there are no known pictures of Elizabeth on the internet, it might be worth checking into when Sharon Marshall was born...

edited to add...just saw on one of the Sharon Marshall threads that her date of birth was said to be in 1967...hmmm
Could you please get a picture of her? Not quite sure why there was none to begin with. I'd like to compare her picture. Does she have blue eyes and is a toehead blonde? Was she round or slim? Thanks-
grievousangel said:
just a very very long shot, but since there are no known pictures of Elizabeth on the internet, it might be worth checking into when Sharon Marshall was born...

edited to add...just saw on one of the Sharon Marshall threads that her date of birth was said to be in 1967...hmmm
If I remember correctly, Hollow, came accross news paper articles about Elizabeth while searching archives looking for a match to Sharon Marshall. That was how the thread got started on Elizabeth to begin with.
Just to tell you is pretty far to Cape Girardeu to St. Louis.....where the father was to have worked. It takes about 2 1/2 hours to get there by highway....which in 1963 I'm not sure was there. Backroads would take forever.

Maybe something happened to the child in the care of the older children and they covered it up? Just a really bad thought but I thought I would throw it out there.
Hello everyone!
Gee... I'm not sure how I should begin, so I'll just go for it....

I'm one of Bethy's sisters. Not the one whom DKC mentioned, but I was informed of her post and about this thread and after doing a little reading and checking out this website, I thought I'd respond. Maybe I can clear up some of the questions and concerns, some of you have mentioned, here.

Eisbar, she had (has) blue eyes, but her hair was more of a light, dusty brown.... oval face, but she wasn't pudgy.... maybe a little tiny for her age. My mom is only 4 & 1/2 ft. tall and my dad was 5.5

I'd like you all, to know that pictures of Bethy have never been witheld. Sheromom, all the photos we had, of Bethy, were released to the police, for distribution to news agencies, etc, at the time of her disappearance. Back, in 1965, the news media was nothing like it is, today. Believe it or not, not many news agencies, other than local, were even interested in such events. They were personal, not national tragedies. We (the family) never thought to post on websites, like this. It was so long ago, when she disappeared and I don't think any of us (siblings), are very sleuthey, or web-a-logical..... I mean.... We just never thought about adding Bethy's information to any kind of list, at websites, such as this. The internet was not even in existance, until what.... the 80's? Who'd think that people would be talking about Bethy's disappearance, after 20 years, much less 40 years?

My sisters and I were VERY surprised, when we learned this. There is also, my mother, to consider. My father died in 1970, but mom is still here and we always have to be careful to consider her feelings about this subject. Old wounds have a way of breaking open, with new attention and the loss of my little sister has left holes in our hearts, that will never mend. We were a close family then, as we are now.

My sisters and brothers and I will be seeing each other, this weekend and we'll discuss whether or not, we should post pictures and info. I would expect that we will all agree that it could do some good, even now. It's just that my family is pretty private about this and these days, EVERYONE has to be careful. People prey upon of this kind of tragedy and my family has suffered enough. There are more kooks out there today, than there were 40 years ago, but from what I've seen so far, this is a very good website, the members seem sincere and balanced and it is extremely, well monitored.
Regarding the question of family involvement; a question of accidental death/cover-up, etc.... Let me tell you the story from my own perspective, as I was there, along with my younger sister and 3 little brothers, the day that Beth disappeared. I was 13 years old. It was a Sunday. As Eisbar noted, my Dad was working in St. Louis during the week and would return home, for the weekends. (No interstate) It was a 3 hour, or more drive. He had just left for St. Louis, that Sunday. My mother had been to visit her sister, near Chicago and to attend my sister's 8th grade graduation. Mother was due back, on Saturday, but had car trouble and was delayed, until Sunday. Another, older sister, would check in on us, around noon, I think. Cape Girardeau was a small town, in 1965. Nothing like this had ever happened and no one ever expected it could, or would happen. All the kids in our neighborhood, played between each other's yards. It was our block, our territory and we knew it well. We knew who was who and where we could play and where we couldn't play.

One of the newspaper reports stated that Beth was seen, walking down the sidewalk Carrying a sand pail, but I doubt that was accurate, as she never left the yard, except to play in the neighbor's adjoining yard, unless she was accompanied by someone older... she was not given to wandering away from home. (The newspapers also reported that her nickname was, "Betsy," but that was also, inaccurate. We called her Beth, or Bethy.)

Our house was just a block and a half from the Mississippi River. There had recently, been a motel, built in the neighborhood, just a block from the Mississipi River bridge, which crossed over, into Illinois. The back of that motel stood at the edge of our back yard and one end of the parking lot, was open to the next door neighbor's back yard, where we often, played. My family has always thought that it was most likely, that Beth was seen by someone at the motel and kidnapped. She probably would not have been afraid, had she been approached by a stranger... If they were kind to her. She wasn't afraid of strangers.... none of us were. It would not have been difficult to have just, picked her up and walked away, or coaxed her into a car. I promise you that she was not killed by me, or any of my siblings. She wasn't missing, long enough for any of us, to have been able to deal with something like that.... If I remember correctly, the police were were notified, within an hour of the time, her presence was missed. Also, I was given a pollygraph test, by our chief of police.... I was very ashamed that I might have to admit to him, that I did not watch for her, as closely, as I should have. She wasn't missing, for very long, before we began searching for her, but it only takes a minute, for a child to be snatched up and lives, to be turned inside out. There was an extensive search of the neighborhood. If she were dead, I'm certain her body would have been found. If Bethy had died, by the hand of a family member, it would most certainly have been an accident and I can say without a doubt that any of us, would have been too concerned for her, to have tried to cover it up. I was the oldest person there, at the time and I was supposed to have been in charge, so I won't deny that I was responsible for her disappearance, through my own negligence, athough none of my family has ever burdened me with that blame.

As TKC mentioned, Philip Clark's story turned out to be a hoax. Some of the best leads, we were aware of, were reports of a suspicious couple, who were in the the area, selling hand made purses. (The police called them, "Gypsies".... How's THAT, for effect! "The Gypsies took my baby!" Is that not too corney, or what?) One of those reports, was that this "Gypsey" man and woman, approached a home in Southern Illiniois and the woman made such a fuss over a little girl, that the father asked his wife to take all the children, back into the house. The couple reported it, to the police, when they heard about Beth....there were other reports too, but unfortunately, they weren't enough to solve the mystery, or bring our baby, back home.
If anyone has any questions, I'd be happy to answer anything I can. In the meantime, a big thanks, to all of you, who continue to search for truth.

Welcome Moon. Thanks for posting all the great information. You must have been so scared and devastated when this happened to your sis. I do hope you will have her listed (no pressure intended), it is very important, as, you never know, she may be out there somewhere looking for her true family. Prayers to your family.
Hi Moon,
Thanks for the info and clearing up some facts.
It sounds like a huge job watching all those kids at only 13.
I really think putting out some pictures would help a great deal. To be honest if someone was going to scam you they already have enough info in the newspaper archives so I'm not sure the pictures would make that more likely.
I wonder if you've ever thought to register at an adoption reuinion type of site. Maybe your sister has thought all her life that she was adopted and is now and has been searching for birth parents. I know that might sound way out there but it is at least something to consider.

I would think at the age she went missing it would have been easy for a kind person to coax her to come with them and then raise her as their own child. I am one to always try to be hopeful and at least in this scenario you can imagine that your sister has likely been well cared. Yeah I know this is even more of a needle in the haystack.

I guess I also think this because my husband and his sibling are both adopted. One of them has a complete birth certificate-with the hospital birthdate and biological parent information privatized but the other has a more vague birth certificate. I have wondered if there was any questionable reason for this-not that i think my in-laws are involved in anything but you do wonder about some of the agencies back in the fifties and sixties-the ones that would trick teen moms into giving up their children and that sort of thing.

Whatever your family does my heart goes out to you, I cannot imagine missing somebody for that long and moon, in your case you've probably felt guilty from that day on which just makes me so sad for you. I hope you have come to terms with that day-it's not your fault, you had no reason of suspecting anything and like you said back in the sixties it really was an easier time and kids could be trusted to play in their own yards without having to worry about much of anything other than maybe a skinned knee or a fight with another neighbor or sibling.

Good luck to you and your family.
Actually, sad to say, the problem may have been just as bad, if not worse in the 50's, 60's and 70's. For one, there was no awareness of the problem, also there were no sex offender registries or restrictions. The cases are there, just because no one knows about them, doesn't mean they don't exist. Many children disappeared without a second glance. In the 1950s, I believe, there was quite a prolific amount of little girls disappearing in Oklahoma. I am almost positive there was at least one child killer actively doing all of these kidnappings, there were some of these little girls found raped and strangled in barrels I believe at an old abandoned farmhouse, I think 3. I'd have to go back and look. Point is, back then, if they weren't located right away, the police pretty much just assumed some sort of accident had befell them or they had ran away. No publicity was ever given to these old cases generally unless the family was prominent in society or they made a lot of noise about their missing child.

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