Clifford Mathew Sleigh

Clifford Sleigh
Crimes: Abduction, Rape, Murder

It snowed a bit in Edmonton, Alberta on September 6, 1992. That didn’t matter to Corinne “Punky” Gustavson, a happy and active 6-year-old girl. She headed out that morning to play with her 5-year-old buddy, Lindsay Moosewah. The girls’ families lived in the same townhouse complex in northeast Edmonton.

And so the two little girls were having fun in the fenced front yard with not a care in the world. The fun ended abruptly when a man drove up, got out of his vehicle, snatched Punky from over the fence and took off with her.

It’s not like Punky had a chance — she was only 39 pounds and 3’10” tall.

Lindsay Moosewah ran inside her house and told her mom, “A murderer took Corinne.” Her mom in turn rushed to the Gustavson house to break the news that Punky had been snatched.

And hell began for the Gustavson family.

The search for the little girl began immediately. Right away fifteen police officers canvassed the area, going door to door in their search for Punky. Forty friends and neighbours participated in the search efforts on that first day, all in the hope of finding her alive. News media picked up the story and broadcast it far and wide.

A bunch of kids in the townhouse complex eagerly offered their versions of the abduction, including Lindsay Moosewah. Trouble was, they were all young and impressionable. Rumours had spread like wildfire through the neighbourhood and they seemed to have made an impression on the young witnesses.

Lindsay Moosewah’s story changed as she did her best to please everybody. The 5-year-old told the police that the kidnapper had a gun, and 3 earrings, and maybe a moustache. She told them he had a dark complexion and dark hair, and had blood on his hands. She told them he put Punky in a garbage bag, or in the back seat of a 4-door vehicle with a red interior. She told them 3 other children were already in the car.

Sadly, only a few of those details were true and the police couldn’t figure out which of them were. All they knew was Corinne “Punky” Gustavson had been snatched by a man and taken away.

The search for the little girl grew, ultimately involving hundreds of people.

Private donors put together a reward of $100,000 for information leading to the arrest of the culprit.

Tragically, two days after the abduction Corinne Gustavson’s tiny, ravaged body was found in an isolated trucking yard 9 kilometres from her home.

A trucker, Larry Rathburn, was inspecting his rig at the trucking yard when he spotted something that resembled a doll face down in the mud. He immediately called the RCMP.

Corinne GustavsonThe poor little girl’s body wasn’t naked, but had been hastily re-dressed by her killer. Both of her legs were stuffed through one leg hole of her panties, her trousers were on backwards, and her arms weren’t in the sleeves of her jacket. She had no shoes on.

Little Punky had been violently raped before she died. The coroner found that her vagina had been so torn up that she could have bled to death from that injury. But that’s not what killed her. The little girl had been smothered to death.

There was little evidence to be gathered at the scene. It was, after all, a muddy, gravelly trucking yard. Little Punky hadn’t been murdered there, only dumped there. BUT they did find footprints near the body, and the person who left those footprints had been wearing Mitre baseball cleats!

Investigators also found tire tracks that they figured came from a mid-size front-wheel-drive vehicle. The car had worn out summer tires on the front.

Dr. Graeme Dowling, the chief medical examiner, checked the body thoroughly. He took swabs in hopes of finding DNA. He found a hair stuck in some mud on the little girl’s ankle. Sadly the swabs and the hair did not result in a DNA sample.

The hope then was that future developments in DNA technology might develop a DNA sample. Until then the police had to rely upon old-fashioned police work.

Because of the media attention this case got, literally thousands of tips were phoned in to the police. Each of those had to be checked out.

Police were also checking on every sexual assault on a child in Edmonton. On May 21, 1993, Clifford Mathew Sleigh came to the attention of the detectives. This was tip #4411. On that day the 30-year-old Sleigh had raped the teenaged daughter of a friend.

Detectives Kelly Rockwood and Rick Wilks went to interview Clifford Mathew Sleigh. Checking out his apartment, Detective Wilks found Mitre baseball cleats in his closet.

Clifford Mathew Sleigh said he had an alibi for September 6, 1992. He was in Calgary, Alberta at the time, which is a 3-hour drive from Edmonton. The man agreed to give a DNA sample, and his willingness made him less of a suspect in the detectives’ eyes.

The cleats were confiscated to match them against the footprints found at the crime scene. There was no exact match.

Detective Rockwood set about checking Clifford Mathew Sleigh’s alibi. He visited Gail Smith who had been the suspect’s girlfriend at the time.

Interestingly, Gail Smith had met Sleigh in 1991 when he was an inmate and she was a counselor at a halfway house. She lost her job because her relationship with him went against prison rules.

So did Gail Smith say that Clifford Mathew Sleigh was in Calgary that fateful day? Nope. She said that he was with HER visiting her relatives in Edmonton that whole weekend.

Detectives considered the different stories as suspicious so they interviewed Gail Smith’s brother Louis Smith and his wife Koren Smith. Those two backed up her version, and said that Sleigh had been with them that whole weekend.

That made for an airtight alibi. And so the detectives moved on to the next of hundreds of suspects.

The problem was, Gail Smith, Louis Smith and Koren Smith had lied. They lied for a rapist. They lied for a child rapist and murderer.

Beyond any doubt Clifford Mathew Sleigh was the POS hellbeast who brutally raped and murdered Corinne Gustavson.

That weekend he had come to Edmonton to participate in a softball tournament. On the morning of September 6, 1992 Clifford Mathew Sleigh had had a fight with Gail Smith. In a total rage he drove off in a borrowed car. He went looking for someone to rape. Yeah, that would teach his girlfriend a lesson by raping a totally innocent female.

While driving around looking for a victim Clifford Mathew Sleigh spotted the 2 little girls playing in their front yard.

Corinne “Punky” Gustavson was closest to the fence so that’s the one the monster chose to grab. He vented his anger at his girlfriend by raping the little girl brutally, causing extensive internal injuries, and then smothering her to death.

And thanks to his girlfriend, Gail Smith, he got away with that horrific crime for years and went on to commit more. Damn Gail Smith to hell. And her brother and sister-in-law.

In 1994, Clifford Mathew Sleigh raped a second teenage girl. In 1995, he received a 15-year sentence for both rapes.

Years went by and the investigation into Punky’s murder was stagnating. The U.S. TV show “Unsolved Mysteries” featured the crime in May 1993 and that generated hundreds of new tips.

By 1994 the police team working on the case dwindled down to 2 detectives, and then just one. There were other homicide cases to solve after all.

In 2001, American scientists found traces of semen on Punky’s underpants and, using new DNA procedures, created a complete profile of the killer. Yay for technology!

In 2003 Clifford Mathew Sleigh’s DNA was added to Canada’s brand new national DNA databank. Ding ding ding! Jackpot! The police had a match! A one in 25 trillion match!

On March 14, 2003 police charged the murdering monster Sleigh with 1st-degree murder, kidnapping and aggravated sexual assault.

At the start of his trial, the evil shitstain Sleigh offered to plead guilty to manslaughter but the Crown rejected that. Good!

Clifford the POS roadturd Sleigh admitted to abducting and raping little Corinne Gustavson but not killing her. He insisted she was alive and blindfolded when he left her in the truck yard. Riiiight.

On May 26, 2005 Clifford Mathew Sleigh was sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 25 years.

No charges were ever laid against those f*cktards who lied to police and gave this evil asshole a false alibi. I wish the Smiths had been charged. Their stupidity put justice on hold for over a decade — a decade that was beyond terrible for the Gustavsons.

RIP CorinnePunky’s father had had a nervous breakdown and her parents’ marriage split up after her death. They spoke of their grief and devastation in court before the sentencing.

I wish nothing but suffering to Clifford Mathew Sleigh. He’s a rapist and a murderer and deserves nothing better in life than pain.

And to Gail Smith, Louis Smith and Koran Smith, F*CK YOU!

RIP Corinne Gustavson.

And lastly, kudos to the Edmonton police, especially Det. Terry Alm and Det. Al Sauve, for their determined efforts to catch this evil, psychopathic murderer.

Edmonton Journal article
CBC News article
Murderpedia article

17 Responses to Clifford Mathew Sleigh

  1. Bengalpussy says:

    Those three cunts that lied for this sick bastard, need to be charged with perverting the course of justice. In fact im actually shocked that they haven’t been arrested for that. Whomever clifford sleigh, has raped and abused after the smiths lies, should be layed on their toes, lying for some cunt in a child rape and murder is beyond me. I visit a site about murdered children called “gone too soon” and remember reading about little Punky, very upsetting such a cute little girl, and those cunts the smiths lied for him, so following in Cleo’s footsteps, to the smiths “fuck you” may their conscience prick them until they die, and i hope someone within the prison, sticks a shank up sleigh’s ass and twists it, then chops his bollocks off slowly with a rusty blade.

  2. Bengalpussy says:

    Cleo, is the canadian courts and sentences as dumb as our british ones? What i mean is will this cunt sleigh, serve the full 25yrs? And if not, will he be released after the 25yrs is up, or will it be upto the parole board when he can be released? The british parole board will keep a prisoner long after if they still deem him a threat after hes served his sentence, do the canadians do the same?

  3. moodymagic says:

    So this bastard will likely be out before he is 70. This waste of skin will reoffend he is released back to society. Burn in hell Sleigh. Cleo you said it best to the Smiths. FU

  4. Chellesbelles says:

    I don’t know why I keep reading this site. It makes me want to lock up my children and never let them out of the house so no one ever hurts them. I know that is counter-productive, but still… I don’t normally wish torture and death upon people, but this guy and the people who aided him for all those years deserve to be taken to the middle of the city and stoned to death. I would gladly do it myself. Damn them all to hell. Rest in peace precious baby girl.

  5. pj says:

    I remember this. I did not know that this arsehole was given a fake alibi by his girlfriend and her relatives. That’s infuriating that someone could do that without any consenquences. They should have been punished severely because they had to know they were lying to police. Whose car did he borrow? Theirs? I am glad Sleigh is in prison now but I am not happy that after 25 years he can start asking for parole. He’ll still be young enough to do a lot of damage. Hope he doesn’t live long enough to see freedom ever again.

    • Bengalpussy says:

      PJ, im shocked that the smiths wasn’t arrested. Them lying for that cunt sleigh, subjected Punky’s family to more heartache, instead of doing the decent thing, making sure that sleigh, lump of shit was locked away for this unspeakable crime. I don’t know how they can live with themselves, because my conscience would prick at me. I hope to god this murdering cunt is never released from jail, and gets his whooped daily.

  6. Sandra Wilkinson says:

    I have been saying for many many years now, WE DESPERATELY need many secret vigilante groups to be the eyes, ears, power forces to find so many missing children least the ones that are locked up somewhere in this world as sex slaves…We need all good people to always be around with eyes open to help save a child and of course to give the appropriate punishments to the monsters`s (HellBeasts) what they truly deserve!!

  7. alvin gustavson says:

    Thanks to this big fuck who killed my little cousin i wish they kill him for the pain he cost my Family but its bein a long time and she never can play with her friands or hug her dad or mom its just so sad that sick people can do this to kids.its just sick rip punky we still think of you

  8. Alvin Gustavson jr says:

    Your using your dad’s name alvin. Because he the uncle. We were truly screwed over by what this dip sh!t did. It affected so many of her family member including myself and my family. He truly wreaked the family but happy to say her family is doing OK as for that shit stain I’ve heard 2018 he up for releasing. God help us all if he get out. RIP Cousin

  9. J says:

    I hope this fucking scumbag coward piece of shit fucking gets raped every day of his life I hope you and all of your family and friends die horrible deaths anybody that is friends with you or calls you family should be shot and killed like a fucking animal LJ

  10. DecentPeopleOnly says:

    It Reeks of Child Abuse as Well as Murder and Rape

    It Definitely is Evil and I would Support the Death Penalty
    for it by Statute

  11. lisa kongsdorf says:

    I can’t imagine the trauma the family and friends have gone through. I lived in Rundle Park Village when this happened with my husband at the time, my 3 year old dsughter and two foster chikdren. I will never forget the day, who was visiting that weekend, the moment someone knocked on my door and then looking for her. It was a nightmare. It caused significant grief. The search the waiting hearing the helicopters looking for this 6 year olds body the presence of RCMP is forever etched in my mind. And then the news they had found her body and seeing her Mom on the news holding two pictures of her little girl pleading for her return and knowing her lifeless body had already been found. The horrifing things I saw in that complex helped pave my way into social work. I have been a social worker for 16 years and foster parent again for the last 6 years. Punky and her family are often in my thoughts and my prayers. It does take a community to raise a child. What I learned was it also takes a community to grieve a child. Forever heartbroken for this family and the senseless death of their little girl. May they have some sense of peace now.

    • Bengalpuss. says:

      Its amazing the things that can define our path in life, you becoming a social worker because of what happened to punky. When I read comments like yours it makes it even more real. She looked so cute in that picture, bless her <3

  12. Sheila says:

    I hope he is never released from Jail.
    Because it’s likely he will repeat the offense on some other child.
    He needs to just stay in Jail for the rest of his life.
    A life for a life.

  13. Anna says:

    Someone else did the math but seems he will be eligible for parole NEXT YEAR. This cold case should not die out. He will repeat repeat repeat. Some people are not redeemable. In Florida we’d have fried his ass by now. Much sympathy for the family

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