Connie meets Cleo’s older brother, Johnny, in Pennsylvania, where he was adopted. He’s haunted by the memory of saying goodbye to Cleo and longs to fulfill a promise to find her. A late night internet search reveals he may be close.


00:00:00this is a CBC original podcast previously on missing and murdered finding cleo if given is that good afternoon this is Christine speaking with sister cleo died in nineteen seventy five she was eleven years old was apprehended by the province of Saskatchewan sent Arkansas in I know absolutely nothing
00:00:29he is willing to give up their registration the insurance you have any idea clear within New Jersey the group hi it's Connie and Marty it's clear those were the eyes of haunted me when I first got the picture what what is this history can you just read the
00:00:55last sentence again she does his arm she does some time apparently mentioned her siblings Johnny born in nineteen sixty one Cleopatra was born in sixty five are in foster homes and plans are underway for their options there it is her birth year nineteen sixty five very much alive
00:01:20she stares at me across time can you come home I'm Connie Walker in this is missing and murdered finding cleo and investigative podcast by CBC news I think so it's a gorgeous spring day as we pull into a farm just outside of Lancaster Pennsylvania we're here to meet
00:01:59Johnny so Magnus the oldest sibling in this Magnus family the only one who has memories of his sister cleo Johnny has asked us to meet him and his friend Holmes organic farm see if they succeed and Connie among some call nester area in the truck the truck okay
00:02:21we started on this journey to try to find cleo but the further we get down this road and the more we and cover I realize that as much as I want to solve the mystery about where she is and what happened to her I also want to get
00:02:36to know more about her not just how she died but how she lived I'm hopeful that Johnny can help us get to know cleo he was four years older than her it is really the only sibling who knew her before they were adopted hate how are you Johnny
00:02:53suggested we go to one of his favorite spots on the farm would you hang out here we can the stuff so it's nice do you one has chickens and ducks and goats rabbits in eighty acres of fields where he grows vegetables cable stuff set up in the morning
00:03:16this is an amazing to learn you make you nervous it's one of those really big old classic Barnes it's it's on top of a small hill behind Tom's house overlooking the field the big doors are wide open listed in the table just inside looking out at the rows
00:03:40of trees along the small trail that leads into the field yeah Tom as corn last year he gave a write off the stock was a reddish color eight just like I was so fresh where it's nice and triangle is in the summertime we sit here night time just
00:04:00relax it's peaceful I'm kind of surprised when I meet Johnny I thought that because he was older when he was adopted he would sell more like the First Nations people I know from back home but there is no trace of a native accent Johnny sounds like an American
00:04:18yes he does that things a cartoon but looking at him there's no mistaking his route Johnny is a big man and he has a long dark hair and a beard that is flecked with grey his almond shaped eyes are brown and so is his skin Johnny says there
00:04:34aren't a lot of indigenous people in Lancaster in here he's known as chief yeah is as I respect and admire disrespect man thing and it I would tell people first eight years of my life I was indeed lived on a reservation food was one water down one whole
00:04:53getting to go from the other end and it was lunch yeah bridge there and rabbits they know the tape in the morning and evening clothes food would like well how do you cook the rabbit you make soup yeah yeah I remember rabbits to I did not like rabbits
00:05:11you but you knew how to set a snare yes everything yeah before we got here I asked able to describe Johnny for me she's the only sibling who has seen him in person as an adult April told me that Johnny look big and grasses but really he's like
00:05:28a soft teddy bear I like Johnny as soon as a medium which is scheduled to air yeah I'm I'm grievances catch on to what part us so southern secession you Regina can you Regina did you ever go back no I have no need to forms here so well
00:05:46everybody ask keeps as we come back more okay maybe next year but have the desire to homes here family shares a almost as if on cue a young woman walks into the bar that's going to be good and give Johnny a big hug yeah the other guy's beer
00:06:08later for and said that it was chosen to so cook out so you guys are related yep we are both adopted so I just want to paint this picture for you physically Johnny and Erica couldn't look more different he's a large cream man in his mid fifties she's
00:06:27a tiny black woman in her early twenties they look nothing alike but it's obvious they're close in today Johnny has asked his little sister to be here for moral support I just like to get some answers something that his mind so to be so nice if we could
00:06:44get some answers for you know her since she was yeah was they said it I think it helped me because since I didn't work mother sister I got to watch her grow up so it is up to help me out in the end to the other sister Johnny
00:06:58is talking about is the reason we're all here now remember for decades Johnny and his other siblings thought cleo was adopted in Arkansas and now we've discovered she was actually adopted in New Jersey levels truce in New Jersey who next state over Lancaster Pennsylvania is less than two
00:07:18hours from the New Jersey border although we don't know exactly where cleo was adopted in New Jersey it's not a huge state there's a good chance that after their adoption Johnny in cleo we're just a few hours apart without ever knowing it Cleopatra cleo cleo as we talk
00:07:40Johnny's fidgeting with his keys and looking down at his phone it says here the phone every day he's in favor yep you want to be reminded of the fish I've found everybody else but this show what I have found so in Christine's story that she felt she wrote
00:08:06about cleo that we read it said that cleo had been found in Arkansas and that she had been murdered is is that something that you have heard us we heard two but then the mother told some different area it said some different family what to believe so she
00:08:23is a lot of desire to find out what happened to cleo and what happened do you have the same do I've been searching for years but after awhile you just don't know what to do and I think as native say this don't you know they just don't care
00:08:37about us but I care about so care about finding the sister you know I could because there was a dead big deal but I don't feel that way his family I know the Christine in April feel this to a longing to find their sister cleo but Johnny's quest
00:09:06feels a little different unlike his siblings his vision of cleo is not only based on that little photo that they all hold dear Johnny grew up with her he has memories of cleo two down a tree smiling in the Balkans here half a smile but there were family
00:09:26then but then the so we got dropped out there you know was that taken away must've been hard to form attachments in relationships when things were so influx yeah the memory of cleo the Johnny can't stop thinking about is the memory of the last time he saw her
00:09:46it was funny that took us into this anywhere public was like a friggin field Johnny says that he cleo were living at different foster homes at the time into social worker picked him up and drove him to meet cleo to say goodbye it was like halfway between somewhere
00:10:04is your sister his old station wagon to came and it was an appeal twenty they could be a house or somebody who's a like a like a rest stop or something there's your sister go say goodbye to our cleo was about to be adopted but he didn't know
00:10:21where she was going or if he'd ever see her again so try to find her and I had been trying but the year was seventy four minutes thirteen a yes so clear would have been eight or nine amber anything about what she said not really I think I
00:10:45did mostly talking yeah I think I was too but that that member town until factfinder but I was allowed to make tour but I want to feel good what do you what he said was a lie I lied to her because I didn't think I'd ever do it
00:11:09and I didn't think I'd ever I mean I was trying to strong for both of us when you tell her how is a big brother it's a heartbreaking scene to imagine like two siblings meeting in the field say goodbye yeah list of she is driven away and I
00:11:35went the other way and %HESITATION below firm sense what do you think will happen when when and if you find out about cleo what will that mean to you closer filled promise I think I'm just stay alive just sort of reveal this problem much of my work over
00:12:16the last few years focuses on unsolved cases of missing or murdered indigenous women and girls and in our interviews almost always families talk about wanting closure about how important it is to know the truth about how the wondering and unanswered questions lead to a sense of injustice but
00:12:37I wonder if for Johnny innocently adding closure is about more than finding cleo but also finding some resolution about what happened to them all is children since being adopted in the United States Johnny has never returned home to Saskatchewan but the memories of his difficult childhood are never
00:13:01far from his mind memories of child welfare authorities showing up at their house sometimes with the police to take him and cleo all of their siblings into government care were got picked up at at the one place in south battle for when we got picked up at yet
00:13:21from the agency so services a member had a giant stick they wouldn't I wouldn't that was the last one to go when you did you try to fight the market yeah yeah by this point their mother Lillian had left the reserve and moved the family to Battleford a
00:13:38small city in northern Saskatchewan Lillian was a single mom to six kids and she sometimes got her nieces who live just a few blocks away to help look after the kids will Mr Magness still lives in Saskatchewan and remembers the day more than forty years ago when her
00:13:56little cousins were taken away she and her sisters were babysitting for their absolutely and it was after school it was a school day and we I went home and my mom said that you got to go over to our anti lately and so much the kids just going
00:14:12to go to eat a a meeting so we go up there and most of the kids were outside but they were coming and going in the back door and but the baby was there and I ate bouncy share an anti was there she had us and I remember
00:14:26she had a scar on her head she went out the front door and it didn't seem very long and then all of a sudden there was an on the door just burst open there's police officers there and then and then that the social workers in them and then
00:14:44mom they just started loading up the kids the kids were just crying last Monday loaded up pulls crystal baby press camera now and they were loading her up in fact one and he looked and he came back and she had forgotten something you know what was going on
00:15:03and she knew that just hysterical she was young she was crying and the whose officers hand cupped her she was on the floor inches shares crying and screaming Moshi saying that don't take on won't take them mama says police left lily and handcuffed to the front door after
00:15:29they took all of her children away she should never stop crying and it just seemed like it was such a long time made it got dark and my dad came and was quite upset them then I spent the whole time sitting beside her what I remember I got
00:15:48water and gave for some water model township just handcuffed to the door the wooden door old style brass doorknobs then my dad last he had to go to the police department to tell them to come in and hand them that was the last time we ever ever saw
00:16:12those how could something like this have happened why did social workers take Tony in cleo and their siblings was there suspected abuse because of the blue bomb birthmarks that Christine had mentioned something here isn't adding up more than ever I want to find out what led social workers
00:16:35to take this to making these kids from their mother Johnny says that after they were apprehended he and cleo and their siblings were taken to a group home in north Battleford who's ready to group home in north Battleford to sketch I remember that and they were very nice
00:16:54because I tried to be protective of them but they thought I was being bossy nice to end up in the %HESITATION the padded room downstairs they had a padded room downstairs caseih acted out lucky in there that's why I like being alone that's terrible via it was with
00:17:20the group home seem to be temporary and eventually Johnny in assemblies were placed in foster homes living with families in rural areas near Battleford we know that April in in that were placed together in one foster home in Johnny also remembers at one point being in a foster
00:17:37home with cleo we speak our language that but they did would let us speak the language because we'd be like talking to each other and I said lost lost language you you grew up speaking Cree yeah we're together that one year we're both the same school and Medstead
00:17:54but do you remember who the who the foster parents were the machine annex I wonder if we can find this foster family I really want to talk to someone who knew cleo and Johnny at that age we start to search for anyone with a similar name whoever lived
00:18:14in mad stances catch one one two three one two three okay we find a woman named Donna shack who says yep her parents foster kids in the nineteen seventies forty five years but we'll see so we give her and her mom is at a call do you happen
00:18:31to remember of First Nations family that we might have came to your home in nineteen seventy two of a girl named cleo yes you do I remember clay on your money what do you remember about them it is very quiet kids clear what kind of little bit shy
00:18:53curfew days Sir settling the best Johnny was always hungry that's the main thing I remember about him like they're they're condemned clothes were very very limited he didn't have much of anything really when Johnny and clear where they like where the clothes were the affectionate with one another
00:19:14did you feel like they were I'm for it for each other oh absolutely yeah I would file without they were very close yeah and like I said I mean it kind of makes sense when your brother and sister in your shop together into a stranger's home mean that
00:19:28you're gonna you're gonna bond like that anyways but they did seem to be called but clearly one year he was always smiling really Johnny was probably a little bit more serious than cleo but that Gabrielle was always smiling enjoying life and I just don't particularly remember going down
00:19:50in Johnny's bedroom to make his %HESITATION is his man might not and finding the fruit jars and June is open in his closet where he'd been taking food out of the storage room and so I remember telling him he could open up the fridge anytime he wanted he
00:20:07was hungry during daylight get to go eat yeah I guess he'd always maybe should have been hungry had been deprived of food that's heartbreaking to to feel that her to know that he was worried about food as a child alright if you don't know for sure that we
00:20:27take it for granted but there are lots of kids they don't know if there's going to be food in the house for what they're going to have their next meal mission it seem like nice people I'm glad the Johnny and cleo ended up in a safe home but
00:20:40I can't help but think of their sisters April and enact at a foster home just a short drive away experiencing what they described later is terrible abuse I wonder how families were chosen to become foster parents in the nineteen seventies operators that yet yeah you'd be willing to
00:20:58take in kids that help all of them you know one day they said they'll they'll show up with the kids you don't get any notice and then if they don't buy their doctors in there because that that day do you do you remember saying goodbye to Johnny and
00:21:10cleo yeah what was it like can you describe it worrisome wondering what was going to happen to them I guess I think what happened to clear owned if I had good reason to worry I've been thinking about how this Magnus kids found out about their adoption according to
00:21:34April internet's adoptive parents Jeff and Kate the girls were so excited to meet them and to be adopted they call the mommy and Daddy as soon as they matched the clear one Johnny were older did they want to be adopted how did it happen why were they both
00:21:50stand to the United States instead of being adopted in Canada I asked Johnny what he remembers when I got up there was great to make a good I get the it was up to me they gave me a prize is semi doggie Campani gave me a bicycle with
00:22:06banana seat it was like a prize like it's up to me what do you want anything yet the exhibit a hockey school with the the Philadelphia flyers nineteen seventy four but he won their first Stanley Cup who is they the the agency given agency it was like a
00:22:27prize eyes at the time you don't think about and in exchange for those prices what happened I was glad to come the night states I don't I don't know I'm kind of confused I don't quite understand what they said it was up to me what do you want
00:22:42to if you agree to this if you agree to be adopted you can get a price yes that's technically what it was and if you if you said you didn't want to be adopted when they got anything at all I'm shocked by what John is saying he believes
00:22:56that social workers essentially bribed him to agree to be adopted like it was an incentive to be adopted and that what I'd want to go I want to leave anyway which I did looking back on it do you think that's a fair a fair choice to present to
00:23:12a kid at the time it was but right now I pay I was glad to leave so from here I think I'm better off I wonder how clears adoption was presented to her did you have any choice but to go Johnny says he was happy to leave Saskatchewan
00:23:34but I can't help but think of his memory of cleo a young girl crying in a field saying goodbye to her brother it doesn't sound like she was so happy to leave after Johnny finished the hockey school he says he was promised when he was fourteen years old
00:23:51he got on a plane with a social worker to meet his new family here's one I got about the bodies people do seventy five degree of adoption yes where was that in Pennsylvania Lancaster Pennsylvania they lived in a small format is what it was I always thought they
00:24:13were there to help us with the form %HESITATION would seem to fit you think %HESITATION you think that they wanted to adopt you because they wanted help stuff like that actually this isn't the first time I've heard that story indigenous kids adopted in the sixties scoop who believe
00:24:33they were not only adopted to become sons and daughters in a new family but so they can help out as farm hands when Johnny arrived in Pennsylvania he found that the family had already adopted two other indigenous kids from US tribes when I came down here the two
00:24:50adoptive India natives that they had their from Yakima Washington they were Yakima and stuff Indian running away planning the stuff that we're going you know my what's going on in was going on so it must have been just jarring right to live being completely across the continent yeah
00:25:11and then and in a family that there is already stuff going on there yeah it was just I was very strange Johnny says that he and the other adopted kids slept outside intense in the summer and took refuge in the barn when it rained hard the family's biological
00:25:29kids slipped inside the house at some point Johnny says his adoptive parents actually build a separate building for the adopted children to live in but it wasn't connected to the house and I know what to do they left they ran away and I was like by myself and
00:25:45Iran will eventually to this didn't work out Johnny ran away just like his sister's April and enact who lived on the streets of Toronto at thirteen and just like his sister cleo who tried to hitchhike back home to Saskatchewan Johnny speaks so matter of factly about his experience
00:26:07that is hard to get a sense of just how much this is affected him but I can only imagine how difficult it would have been for him and for cleo to move all on their own away from their families away from everything familiar an end up in a
00:26:23new place in a new family I hope the cleo had a better experience than her brother Johnny expected to be welcomed into a new home instead he slept outside with adopted siblings who were also miserable and that's not all here's a funny thing how the form I think
00:26:43I come across as I think I was abused on the far I can say this now because I told friends about it it wasn't any kind of insertion item they played like all your to your cat workable it was a weird game it was like at the time
00:26:58you don't think nothing of it but it was like is nothing inserted but it was still strange I thought about I make I was sitting one day thinking about it like I think I was I can live unless I think I was abused but I would really abuse
00:27:12that makes sense there is a similar game to them I was all was but I don't that abuse yes Johnny says he only thought about that experience after getting information about one of the lawsuits launched by sixty scoop survivors against the Canadian government I was taken from my
00:27:35mother's arms in the hospital for a long time was that she was too I was who I was supposed to be a group in Ontario representing sixteen thousand survivors to the federal government for its role in the sixties scoop it was an officer there who had a gun
00:27:51in my mother thought she was going to get shot so she come back from trying to grab me and saved me our children Apollyon we want them back we have to stand up and say this can't happen anymore the survivors claim they suffered a devastating loss of culture
00:28:10when they were taken from their homes and adopted into white families the worst days of my life for my child I grew up not even knowing that I was native are usually awake at night thinking I was a little alien baby and sometimes someone would come back for
00:28:25me I was wondering as a child how come I was alone but we're nine family goal many say they went to trauma and experienced abuse and their new homes in twenty seventeen they want the judge sided with survivors instead that the government of Canada failed to properly consult
00:28:47with First Nations and fail to protect children from the loss of identity and culture Canada's judicial system to saying that our children are so valuable sacred and pressures that we will protect them by law what a day in a sentence gas following the decision the federal government announced
00:29:15a settlement with survivors worth eight hundred million dollars the details are still being worked out but we know the settlement does not include made tea on non status Indians a lot of %HESITATION lost through the took place there's gonna be international facts of this historical trauma to take
00:29:32place because of this to assume that this is over is a misconception we don't know if Johnny or his siblings will be included if they are it could mean they'll each get a payout between twenty five and fifty thousand dollars but an advocate for indigenous kids did the
00:29:49math and found the settlement amounts to about three dollars and eighty cents per day of a survivor's lost childhood I'm supposed to be grateful that they took me and rob me of a chance to no my family the prospect of money from a settlement isn't what motivates Johnny
00:30:13on either I'm not a game for as one of my sister that's all a lot of the people who call themselves survivors of the sixties scoop feel like they were wrong in that they were taken away from their families and their communities and and they lost their language
00:30:34and their culture do you feel regret about any of that no not at all I said it's just a it is different part of my life I can't you know for the longest time it did bother me and if you wanna talk man's girlfriend she'll tell you %HESITATION
00:30:52stuff I did back in the house started drinking a lot when I was with their that's how we broke up but it's sort of strange as I've come to deal as a win for family I had to said be dead or in jail I think Johnny credits his
00:31:07survival to the people he now calls mom and dad not his biological parents or his adoptive parents bill in Cape Henry are Johnny's foster parents a couple who took him in after he ran away from his adoptive home in Pennsylvania yeah I'd I was over there today they're
00:31:24also parents to his little sister Erica they live like about fifteen minutes from here and there in their seventies I drive Johnny to meet his parents he has one of those big vans that looks like it's from the seventies or eighties before they invented many fans were improve
00:31:46mufflers while we're driving Johnny says something that has stuck with me what is it with the trying to DDS each other simulators to raise you know Francis Scott Duncan we brought up in a simulated I think Johnny means to say that Duncan Campbell Scott would be proud because
00:32:05he Johnny has been assimilated you may not know the name Duncan Campbell Scott but he was deputy superintendent of Indian affairs for the government of Canada in the early nineteen hundreds and he is considered the architect of the residential school system for over one hundred years one hundred
00:32:25and fifty thousand indigenous kids were forcibly removed from their homes and sent to residential schools to be educated and assimilated Campbell Scott's goal was to quote get rid of the Indian problem in Canada on top of the incredible loneliness after being taken from their families and communities the
00:32:48children in residential schools some as young as five or six years old were beaten and punished for speaking their language are practicing their culture many went through horrific physical and sexual abuse kids were forced to attend and live in the schools year after year thousands of kids try
00:33:09to escape residential schools some were found and sent back others died trying to find their way back home the last residential school closed in nineteen ninety eight but generations of indigenous families are still dealing with the effects it's been described as cultural genocide in many see a direct
00:33:31link between the racist attitudes that lead to residential schools and the child welfare policies in force during the sixties scoop Johnny grew up on the reserve because he was part of the sixties scoop he's disconnected from his biological family his community and his culture he has been assimilated
00:33:55but despite everything he's been through Johnny doesn't see himself as a victim I guess that I don't go like all my life sucks it doesn't yeah I live paycheck to paycheck and we arrive at fill in case how as for the some of the more rest on the
00:34:15they have a little weathered cloth banner in the garden by the front door that says welcome all high and Connie and bill media morning my hands are cold I have new men outside nice not only did billing K. adopt nine kids on top of having three biological signs
00:34:36they were also foster parents to over one hundred and thirty kids over thirty years I'm do you remember the day that the Johnny came to earth to live with you almost vividly he had to say are really really short and I just remember them telling me that they
00:34:59had a child that had put himself on the streets because he had was in a bad situation and so he was coming to our house so there it came he's been one of the best believe me I wouldn't trade him for the world I'm not saying that just
00:35:19you I mean it Kay looks exactly like she sounds like a sweet little old grandma her white hair is parted in the middle and pulled back into a low ponytail she's wearing a faded floral smock that she made herself in next to her on her couch is a
00:35:35little embroidered pillow that says the heart that loves is always young so what what did you know about John and about his experience before coming here I knew it was bad I knew the adoption was very very bad I knew that they were abused and I knew that
00:35:54it didn't go well when we were back at the farm Tony told me that a few years after he moved in with billing Kate he wrote a letter to schedule in social services asking about cleo I got a letter saying she died in seventy four that was it
00:36:16I know it's a long time ago but do you remember what it said in that letter back from social services that were going to do and she died that was it they just said she died in nineteen seventy four and that was it I would've been the same
00:36:28year she was a double for me and that's all it said nineteen seventy four the letter April showed me from social services said plans were underway for cleo's adoption in nineteen seventy four did that mean that she died in the same year she was adopted and then letter
00:36:48back to him and they didn't play responded wanna give me an information anyway what was your reaction well yeah I was I was fifteen at the time started doing drugs and drinking and I asked Kean bill what they remember about when Johnny found out about cleo's death I
00:37:10remember when he said that yes occurred where how well she was a family or was it but she murdered did you just die from being sick me these are the questions that you have what is the big secret they are just acting so secretive insert strange not know
00:37:34anything not be told anything and then this child just disappear into thin air and now something is a mark a little answer goes a long way which means that there's on answer questions out there that that something's not right and if she was killed why not tell him
00:37:55how what swimming why if they knew that much they had more information yeah even if they didn't want to tell him how the situation happened because the least tell not they don't want to tell him that what would it mean to think to get answers to that some
00:38:10of those questions that could have closure this way he has nothing he took care of all of these babies until he was placed down here and now we just can't account for this one what what having that responsibility as a child that was very hard for him I
00:38:29guess must've made him the man he is today and it was hard for sometimes we turn out good because of hardships and sometimes we we don't need it meeting Kay and listening to Johnny talk about her I can't help but notice that he doesn't talk about his biological
00:38:50mother Lillian in the same way he only ever called her by her first name never mom to Johnny cay is his mom and you know I don't have anybody down here and she kept me and one for her I said I'd be dead or in jail she was
00:39:07always there for me anyway so I'm like mother unlike Lillian back in the barn Johnny's looking at a picture of billion that April gave us to give to him is that what you look like when you were a kid yeah well did you wear her hair in braids
00:39:29like that a lot Lillian looks really young in this photo maybe in her late teens or early twenties she's really pretty she has long dark hair that she wears in two braids the ends are tied with strips of leather is I live in a strange I'd say I
00:39:45mean sound like them take care the somebody's mother yeah no I just I know it's my mother but to me it's Lillian nice picture over the if you don't you don't feel any kind of attachment to or not relate to said Tony seems angry with Lillian as the
00:40:08oldest he spent the most time with her and he remembers all of the time she let him down this one here the other day sorta yep will set it to make sure that picture look here to find Johnny wants to show me a different picture something he saw
00:40:30online the triggered memories of his childhood was picture of monies in the priests and nuns taking kids away from my house it is my me what happened but it is he was taking kids away but the parents were there and everything kids running away except I didn't run
00:40:52it was they're trying to say was I tried I think it happened in my mind a members they can though he's gonna come save us but he never did was it a painting here was it that can't Monkman painting here I think so I know the painting he's
00:41:08talking about its bakery artist can't Monkman and it's called the scream honestly I have a hard time looking at it I mean it's beautifully done Kent is an amazing artist but it's a horrific scene it's basically a depiction of an apprehension of indigenous kids it looks like it's
00:41:28in front of a house on a reserve there are priests nuns and several Mounties while Canadian police officers in the red surges ripping indigenous kids and babies from their mother's arms the children in the painting crying arms are outstretched reaching for their siblings are their mothers summer running
00:41:51away trying to escape the arms of the white men and women who are there to take them away my only keeps going back to the faces of the mothers they're screaming crying out in anguish desperate to hang on to their children but then you notice the Mounties gun
00:42:10and you know who's going to win this battle it's a scene you can imagine has played out hundreds of times in indigenous communities over generations first in residential schools and then again in the sixties scoop is it can't is trying to make that exact point on the bottom
00:42:31right edge of the painting amount he looks like he's literally about to scoop up a small child who is trying to run away it's just a bad memories you know but she was there my mother was there to rescue me though didn't you wouldn't like there's a lady
00:42:50there with that one our mother was there you mean because though the woman in that photo is reaching for her kids and the police are holding her back but that didn't happen with me us so the scene in the painting actually reminds me of the memory that Chinese
00:43:09cousins have about their apprehension in battle for I don't know if Jonny remembers it differently or if they were apprehended more than once but either way I think that if I find this picture hard to look at I can only imagine how difficult it is for Johnny who
00:43:26has memories of cleo and the rest of his siblings being taken away when when they when they came to take you guys away some of the Duggar very it was I was the only one I was there resisting because they didn't know any better what do mean you
00:43:50resisted has that stick big stick kept looking around for lonely but you never came so were you trying to prevent them from taking you were visiting your siblings yeah did you wish that you could have stayed with relatives they don't think they then have a choice lily didn't
00:44:12tell about the choice they could add Johnny is so calm when he talks about this but clearly it's an incredibly painful memory hell always have I feel like with each interview with cleo siblings were learning snippets about their mother Lillian I cannot fathom the pain she must have
00:44:34experienced as a mother having her children taken away but we know that she may have also experienced that same scene years earlier as a child because the one thing we do know about lily and is that when she was seven years old she too was taken from her
00:44:51home in Santa to a residential school Johnny didn't know this about his mother until right before she died and hopefully with story like is still for the make someone want to help not just about me missing my sister might valley missing sister to it is that people don't
00:45:16realize squads to my girlfriend last night you did no about residential schools sixties groups and missing inverted images children should know because some people just don't care but for me some missing you know you want to know residential schools the sixties scoop in missing and murdered indigenous women
00:45:45and girls do you think those issues are all connected I think so I could have better relacionamento happen I make a joke out of it if I think I had the try factor that all three things going for me mother me and my sister I know it sounds
00:46:05bad but yeah sometimes you gotta laugh about this we in the Johnny suggest that one of Lillian sisters might have more information he shows me one of his messages with a woman named Marlene's Magnus Lillian sister who still live on little pine as I remember all of you
00:46:30I have pictures of all of you just happy and always smiling he says my sister loved you she loved our kids what's happened back there was part of sixties scoop I mean do you mind going up just a little bit because to see talk about getting a letter
00:46:42from cleo well I said apparently yeah would it would go here well this one is that I just cleared out me a letter tell me she was good to go live than they need to get our somewhere in Vermont I don't know who to believe so Marlene who's
00:46:59your mom's sister that cleo wrote her a letter but I love but I never I don't believe either because I didn't know what to believe she said telling me she had a good life and that and then begging me to get her I want to go and get
00:47:13her then shortly after that I was told she had left for the spirit world it was devastating so there at Marlene got a letter from cleo after she was adopted did she know where cleo was living when she sent it does he still have the letter maybe it
00:47:29has a return address the can help narrow your search deceit give you advice about how to get information about cleo no she didn't what is his hearing containers and Christopher or just just below the photographs O. I put my lean on our list of people to talk to
00:47:47but first Johnny wants to call the government of New Jersey again he's hoping he'll have more luck than Christine well yes of one of the help me out act I am calling but in trying to find out information about the deceased relatives back in nineteen seventy five and
00:48:10I was given information from Saskatchewan chewed up in New Jersey of learning what information are not answering your calls later your call will not be connected I should clarify that you're looking for your sister's breast pocket yes explained that dumb we can only look for that record based
00:48:33on their current legal action to get you knew what her name was find it very greatly that way however with the only thing we have no way of checking for that record okay so instead I guess I got a call to schedule and try again another dead end
00:48:54without knowing cleo's adopted name we're no closer to getting answers from New Jersey social services Johnny plans to ask the government of Saskatchewan for a copy of his word file word file is a record kept by social services and is supposed to contain information about every interaction a
00:49:13child has the child welfare apparently they're not easy to access but if Johnny gets his you could shed some more light on why social services became involved with his family and maybe even information about his mother Lillian and cleo you guys got the night then C. divided Johnny
00:49:34Depp and head back to Toronto I leave feeling unsettled with each interview I feel like I'm getting closer and closer to uncovering cleo story but there are still so many questions and the more I learn about what I don't know the more I want to find the answers
00:49:56but the reality is I'm not sure exactly where to go next we're trying every official channel that we can think of and we've had so many brick walls everybody we've talked to says they've never encountered a situation like this before is finding cleo even possible I thought it
00:50:15would be a more straight forward process I thought it would be easier I didn't realize that if we were going to find cleo what we really need is a little lack that very same night Easter morning is up late on her computer so she's going through a bunch
00:50:36of different databases within New Jersey that you could search obituaries newspaper clippings any kind of public record she can access researching like researching cleo researching girls so I used first name cleo and birth year nineteen sixty five nineteen sixty five the year that cleo was born a bit
00:50:56of information from April social services file it was getting late it was like midnight at this point and up came to sit with the click of a button she finds a needle in a haystack and there was this headstone a picture came up and it just looks like
00:51:12someone snapped it in the cemetery and for a sword to tone stone and it looked a little bit old but it had the name cleo and the birth year nineteen sixty five what was the reaction when you saw a headstone with the first name cleo my heart skipped
00:51:30a beat for sure and I looked closer and it said nineteen sixty five to nineteen seventy eight so if this was cleo she died when she was thirteen not eleven like Christine thought in her story yeah exactly a girl named cleo died in a small town in New
00:51:56Jersey in nineteen seventy eight is this cleo did we find her we need to go to New Jersey to find out on the next missing and murdered finding cleo it seems to are you from here as well did you ever just wonder if you would recognize her photo
00:52:32this is clear missing and murdered finding cleo is written in hosted by me Connie Walker it's produced by Marti Luke in Jennifer Fowler Nick Anderson is our audio producer in our senior producer is heather events to see photos of Johnny in the painting he spoke about in this
00:53:02episode the screen by kit Monkman go to our website CBC dot CA slash finding cleo subscribe for free to get the next batch of episodes search missing and murdered finding cleo on apple pie cast or your favorite podcast app for more see BC original podcasts go to CBC
00:53:46dot CA slash original podcasts

Transcribed by algorithms. Report Errata
Disclaimer: The podcast and artwork embedded on this page are from CBC Podcasts, which is the property of its owner and not affiliated with or endorsed by Listen Notes, Inc.


Thank you for helping to keep the podcast database up to date.