I know most of those reading this don’t follow the Romancing stuff (from my other blog/website). I am in the midst of transferring/archiving everything from there over here, and it’s a little bit of a muddle right now, but something has come up and I want to write about it, so bear with me, or ignore this, or whatever.
This is the basic Cathy Harris narrative, the one she’s been pitching now for years and years.
I’ve since shown rather conclusively that the Tozars never existed at all, and Cathy removed the fake FB, page she made, but the whole kidnapped-at-age-three story has persisted.
You can get the whole synopsis, in Cathy’s words, here. Part One is at the bottom of the page with Part Two above it.
There are several rather important elements to that narrative.
First, she insists that she was three years old when she was abducted by the evil Cleo, taken to the farm and then sold as a prostitute to various preachers.
Second, there’s this:
I had been horribly abused by Cleo and her lover and farm hand, Lou.
Lou. Lou was the “farm hand” and Cleo’s “lover,” and Lou sexually abused Cathy for years. In other places, she tells us that Lou (gasp!) drank alcohol, took her to bars and made her stay in the car, and ultimately committed suicide.
But Lou was the farm hand. One of them. There were two.
Felix was the other one. Everyone abused Cathy. Absolutely everyone.
Cathy lived with Cleo and Lou, with Lou dying at some point before Cleo did. When Cathy was about 13, Cleo died and Cathy was taken into foster care and placed with Richard Harris and his family. He was the pastor of Cleo’s church and had known Cathy for years.
She was there until she turned 18, when Harris legally adopted her. She then went to SC for the first of two stints at Bob Jones University.
That’s the basic stuff.
But let’s go back to Lou.
Ah, Lou’s last name was Canby. In the census of 1990, in a list of freqency of use, “Canby” comes in at 26741. So, 26,740 surnames are more commong than “Canby.” Keep that in mind. It’s not the rarest surname around, but it’s certainly not “Smith.”
This is from Ancestry.com. I do not have an account there, but somebody who did got me these screen shots. For those who are not familiar with how Ancestry.com works, you upload your family history data (once you have an account). You have the option to make the information public or to keep it private. If it’s public, then other people who are searching out their own genealogy can see it and incorporate your data into theirs.
This is super for research. It also comes with a bit of a caveat, because the data might not be accurate. However, Ancestry knows this, and has established some methods to let people know how accurate the data is (how many records confirm the spelling of the name, or the date of birth, etc).
This particular screen shot interested me a lot because the account owner is called “fundypedia.”
I have no proof, but I suspect that “fundypedia” is Camille Lewis. If I’m right, she was also interested in Cathy’s claims about Cleo, enough to look up the records. It’s also possible that Camille did the looking at Cathy’s request.
Regardless, notice Cleo, in black. Notice that Cleo Smith (nee “Magsowen”) was married twice? Once (the first time) to Carlton Smith, from whom she was apparently divorced. The second time, she was married to Lou Canby.
You know, Lou. The “farm hand,” “lover,” and “alcoholic.”
Cleo appears to have kept her maiden name from her first marriage until her death, at least for business purposes. She not only owned the farm, she also had some rental property in Philadelphia, and this probably explains her continued use of the surname “Smith.”
Here’s what I’m talking about when it comes to accuracy. Notice that Cleo’s mother appears to have the same birthdate as Cleo? Obviously that is impossible. And Cleo’s father seems to have been only ten years old when Cleo was born? Equally impossible. My guess here is that Cleo’s birth date is incorrect.
This, by the way, is a different user.
But regardless, all the records my friend could find seemed to agree that Louis Canby was Cleo Smith’s second husband, and that’s all I really care about here.
And by now, if you’ve read this far, you’re wondering why in the hell I am rambling on about all this.
Well, Cathy made a big announcement the other day. I pay so little attention to her these days that I didn’t know about until somebody messaged me yesterday, but it appears that Cathy “found” her family.
This makes the second time Cathy has “found” her family, and like that first story, this one has more holes than a colander.
If you watch the video above, you’ll get some little assertions.
First, Cathy was “so young” when abducted that she “forgot” her real name was Salina.
But Cathy Harris was known as Salina Smith throughout her entire childhood. That’s the name under which she attended school.
Cathy was hospitalized when she was in grade school with a burn (another story that has morphed over the years), and the newspaper listed her as being released from the hospital. Here’s the piece.
When I questioned the burn story’s accuracy (something I still have doubts about when it comes to her assertions), she had a friend from school who stated that she remembered Cathy coming to school all bandaged up (like this would prove my doubts unfounded – it didn’t), and that friend knew Cathy as “Salina.”
Here is it in Cathy’s own words:
So this is bullshit. Cathy only adopted the name “Cathy” when she was older.
Second, he says that the “story begins in the late 1970s, when her father passed away and she was taken by a woman he worked for.”
Cathy Harris was born in 1964. According to her own account, she was abducted by Cleo Smith when she was three, which would have been in 1967, not the late 1970s. Guess when Lou Canby died? The late 1970s.
Is Cathy claiming that Lou Canby was her biological father? If so, she’s adding incest to her list of things that she’s suffered.
Cathy says in the news report: “This can’t be real. This only happens this way in the movies.”
That’s Cathy in a nutshell. She wants desperately to be the person in the movie.
Third, notice how the reporter alludes to her “kidnapping” and “abuse,” as though there is a connection between the Canby reunion thing and the alleged “abduction.”
Remember, according to Cathy’s own story which she has repeated to anyone who would listen for years, she was abducted by Cleo Smith when she was three years old. Three years old.
If you watch the video above, notice that one of the men mentions that it’s been about 40 years since he’s seen Cathy, and that he was 15 years old the last time he saw her. She then asks him how old he is now, and he answers “55.” She then says, “I’m younger than you are.”
She is correct. She was born in 1964. She is 53 (and I think due for a birthday soon, so maybe she’s still 52).
That means that if that guy was 15 when he saw her last, she was either 12 or 13.
According to the man in the video (who I have no reason to disbelieve), he last saw Cathy in 1977. That’s the same year that Lou died.
So when, exactly, was Cathy abducted? When she was three, as she has always claimed, or when she was 12?
We know where she was after she was 12. Cleo died (in 1980 or thereabouts, and Cathy would have been about 13 or so) and Richard Harris took her into his family as a foster child. Not informally, mind you. He got money from the state for having her as a foster child. She has complained bitterly about this. He didn’t adopt her until she turned 18 and he no longer could get foster care money for her.
So, we have this, Cathy’s “official press release” on the subject of the now-found family.
Cathy also has insisted for a very long time that she has multiple open cases with the FBI and the CIA and the White House and Congress and the state and everyone else on earth. Imagine please that this is true. Imagine that she related this story, as she’s given it on the internet, involving a man named Lou Canby. Martinsburg, West Virginia, where the Canby family lives, is only 200 miles from Bucks County, Pennsylvania, where Cathy lived.
Don’t you think that the FBI could have found the extended family of Lou Canby by now?
But more importantly, please note something. This is something I’ve been afraid of for a long, long time. I sensed that she was setting the stage for this.
Cathy is morphing the story.
The original was that Cleo Smith abducted her when she was three and abused her until Cleo died when Cathy was about 13.
This new narrative is that Richard Harris, who took her in and ultimately adopted her, is the evil man who hid her in the basement and lied to her “family.”
Cathy has been very, very careful. She has used names only when the people involved are dead. You cannot libel a dead man. You can accuse a dead person of pretty much anything and nobody can do much about it because there are no damages. By the time Cathy went public with her convoluted “story,” Cleo and Lou were long dead. Felix has no last name. She never named Carl McIntire (as a rapist), but described him well enough that anyone could figure it out. He is also dead, as is Bob Jones Jr who she accused of child molestation. She mentions various seminary students who raped her but never gives enough information to target any particular individual. The supposed rapist from BJU is alive, but in all likelihood never existed in the first place. You can’t libel imaginary people.
I know that Richard Harris is elderly. I don’t know his current condition physically. I have always feared that on the day he dies, Cathy will suddenly “remember” that Harris raped her repeatedly and sold her to various other preachers.
Notice how she says “Ms. Harris alleges much mental, physical and sexual abuse occurred as a child during this time period”?
This is new.
Cathy has never before said that she was sexually abused while in Richard Harris’s custody. It was always during the period when she was with Cleo and Lou.
So, what am I to make of all this?
See the trend here? See how it is turning into an abduction that took place “40 years ago” instead of what Cathy has always claimed – 49-50 years ago? The “scum” is gonna be Richard Harris.
Here’s my personal interpretation (beyond setting up Harris) of all this.
I don’t believe that Lou Canby was Cathy Harris’ biological father, nor do I believe that Cleo was her biological mother. I think Cathy was probably the illegitimate child of some relative of Cleo’s and was taken in while very, very young, most probably in infancy. Cathy was raised as their child.
She was called “Salina Smith” because Cleo used the name “Smith” and I suspect that Lou married Cleo after Cathy appeared in the mid sixties. UPDATE: I have Cleo’s estate papers now, and clearly they were never married. The Ancestry stuff is simply incorrect.
My husband is a child of a blended family. His mother was married twice. Dave is a product of the first marriage, along with three siblings. He has a sister who is the product of the second marriage.
He never called his step-father “Dad,” but referred to him by his first name instead. However, the relationship between them was one of father/son. His half-sister was never one time referred to as his “half-sister.” She was simply his sister.
When his mother and stepfather visited his stepfather’s family, they all went. Nobody differentiated between his sister Cheryl (the “real” relation) and Dave and his other siblings (the step-children). They were all just family.
I think it’s probably like this in many families. Children don’t care about shit like this.
So, if Lou and Cleo went to West Virginia to see Lou’s family, they would have taken Cathy (then Salina) with them. Nobody would have said much if anything about her biological origins.
And then Lou died, and within a couple of years, Cleo died, and Cathy went into foster care with the Harrises.
It’s the most natural thing on earth for the Harrises not to go to any special trouble to take Cathy to see those folks in West Virginia, especially if they were not biological relatives in the first place. Why would he do that?
They lost touch. People do this. It’s not unusual.
And then one of the Canby family members sees Cathy’s photo on that story about the BJU protest online and recognizes the girl in the picture, who is in the fourth grade (I know this because that’s how Cathy titled the photo file), which would make her about 9 years old (not three). She finds out how to contact Cathy and says, “Remember me? I knew you when you were nine.”
Who are Cathy Harris’s biological parents?
Honestly, I don’t know. I’m not certain Cathy does. I doubt Cathy cares. She just wants people to think her stories are true and that she is the single most abused person who has ever lived.
One other odd thing is that for years, Cathy and her surrogates have railed at me wanting me to shut up. I need to leave Cathy alone. I need to just go away.
So I did. I have not written a single new word about any of this stuff since the day of the election last November.
And guess what they are complaining about now?
Oh, and one last thing, without going into a lot of detail.
This is from the video of the reunion.
See Cathy’s right arm? It’s visible in several places. She has on short sleeves and she reaches up to hug everyone, which raises the sleeve even higher.
This is the arm that supposedly had Stage IV bone cancer in it and where she had massive surgery, something called limb-saving surgery for chondrosarcoma. It leaves very defined scarring. That arm. This is also the arm that was supposedly severely burned (third degree) when she was a child.
And this is the woman who was diagnosed with Stage IV incurable bone cancer, stayed on chemo for what seemed like years (nobody is treated with chemo for as long as Cathy claims she was) and received “experimental drugs.” She was also burned extensively on her chest as a child.
Are the doctors writing her case up as astonishing and scientifically ground-breaking?
Should we all be thanking “God” for the miracle that is Cathy?
I think I’ll just laugh instead.