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Ambrose Small Case 1919 One of the most intriguing missing persons cases is that of Toronto theatre magnate Ambrose J. Small. Small was last seen alive on December 2, 1919 after selling his theatre chain for $1 million--a fantastic sum in those days. He lunched with his wife Theresa at the King Edward Hotel, gave her the check to deposit in their bank account, bought some newspapers from a young street vendor--and vanished forever. Small's disappearance was not reported to the police by his wife for nearly two weeks, leading to speculation that she was involved. Theresa was well known in Toronto for her charitable deeds and was used to Ambrose vanishing without warning for extended periods while away on gambling binges. To spare Theresa embarrassment, the Toronto Police did not formally announce Small was missing until his disappearance was reported in the Toronto Star in January 1920. Small had made his fortune in the theatre business staging low-brow plays often with risque themes. After his disappearance it was discovered that Small had a secret 'love nest' above his Grand Opera House in Toronto where he often 'entertained' chorus girls. Not long after Small vanished, his bookkeeper John Doughty vanished too with $105,000 in bonds taken from Small's safe deposit box. Doughty was later found in Oregon and arrested for theft. He was given a five-year prison sentence. Despite international headlines and a $50,000 reward, no trace of Small was ever found. An elderly Grand Opera House employee claimed to have overheard a violent argument between Small and Doughty on the afternoon Small vanished. The case was officially closed by Toronto police in 1960. Modern investigators recently found a memo written by an investigating officer in 1936, a year after Theresa died. The memo stated there was ample evidence that Ambrose Small had been murdered and that both Theresa Small and John Doughty were guilty of the crime--indicating that the Toronto Police were somehow involved in a major cover-up. The ghost of Ambrose Small is said to haunt one of his old theatres in London, Ontario.
Tags: Ambrose  Small  disappearance 
Added: 15th December 2007
Views: 2128
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Posted By: Lava1964
Posted by: Naomi on 2007-12-16 
I was going to say, before I finished reading this, that it sounded like something involving his wife wasn't exactly kosher, and I guess my assumption was correct.
Posted by: Lava1964 on 2007-12-16 
When a husband or wife vanishes or dies under questionable circumstances, the police usually have suspicions about the spouse. From what I've read about this case, the police went to extraordinary measures not to cast any suspicion on Theresa Small. It smells very fishy to me.

One other thing: when John Doughty was caught in Oregon with the missing bonds, the police couldn't charge him with murder. Canadian law at the time said a person could only be charged with murder if a body was found--and Ambrose Small's body was never located. That law has since been changed.
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