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 Post subject: Trenny Lynn Gibson Missing Since 1976
Unread postPosted: Sat Aug 09, 2008 10:52 am 
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This is one case that has always affected me deeply. If I could have 1 wish, it would be to see this one solved.

Trenny Lynn Gibson, 16, went missing on a field trip to the Great Smoky Mountains in October 1976. She had been hiking with several groups of students throughout the day, but spent a lot of time with Robert Simpson, a classmate, even borrowing his jacket to wear. When the students returned to the school bus to go home at about 3pm, Trenny was nowhere to be found. An extensive search of the park revealed only 2 clues. A can of beer and some cigarette butts were found close to the spot Trenny was last seen. Tracking dogs picked up her scent and followed it to a road. Somehow, Robert Simpson ended up with Trenny's comb in his car. It was special to her and her mother said she(Trenny) would never have parted with it. Despite searches of the park for many months, no trace of Trenny was ever found. Robert was never questioned in great detail and the general consensus was that Trenny ran away.


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Unread postPosted: Sat Aug 16, 2008 1:48 pm 
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http://www.charleyproject.org/cases/g/g ... renny.html
Image
Trenny Lynn Gibson


Above: Gibson, circa 1976


Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance

Missing Since: October 8, 1976 from The Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee
Classification: Endangered Missing
Date Of Birth: August 17, 1960
Age: 16 years old
Height and Weight: 5'3, 115 pounds
Distinguishing Characteristics: Brown hair, green eyes.
Clothing/Jewelry Description: A blue blouse, a blue and white striped sweater, a borrowed brown plaid heavy jacket, blue jeans, blue Adidas shoes and a diamond and star sapphire ring.


Details of Disappearance

Gibson accompanied 40 of her classmates from Knoxville, Tennessee on a field trip to The Great Smoky Mountains National Park on October 8, 1976. The students were hiking to Andrews Bald on the trip and separated into small groups when they arrived at the trails. Gibson apparently hiked with several different sections of her classmates at different paces during the day. She was last seen at approximately 3:00 p.m. near Clingman's Dome, walking on a moderately steep trail with sharp dropoffs and dense undergrowth on both sides.
Extensive searches of the park continued until the end of October 1976, but Gibson has never been located. She was a sophomore at Bearden High School at the time of her disappearance. Her case remains unsolved.



Investigating Agency
If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
Tennessee Bureau Of Investigation
615-744-4000



Source Information
Smoky Mountain Disappearances: True Stories From The Great Smoky Mountains
By Juanitta Baldwin and Ester Grubb

The book is available through the Web site below:
Unsolved Disappearances in the Great Smoky Mountains
The Doe Network
NewspaperArchive



Updated 2 times since October 12, 2004.

Last updated May 8, 2006; details of disappearance updated.

Charley Project Home


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Unread postPosted: Sat Aug 16, 2008 1:49 pm 
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Smoky Mountain Disappearances: Trenny Gibson

Many people get lost in the Smoky Mountains but they are usually found--alive or dead. There have been only two cases where they have gone missing without a trace. One of them, Trenny Gibson, 16, disappeared Oct. 8, 1976, while she was on a high school field trip with other students.

Years later, down the hallway of Bearden High School, in the silence of the night, there is a quiet weeping coming from the cafeteria. It is a young girl waiting, forever waiting, for her friends to come back to keep her company.

Trenny Lynn Gibson was a happy Bearden High junior. She was pretty and well liked by most. She had many great times in the classrooms, and hallways of the school, but her best times were in the cafeteria where she held court as reigning princess of the school. The days of girlhood chatting, flirting and dancing were to disappear for this beautiful, innocent girl very soon.

A field trip to the Great Smoky Mountains was planned for October 8, 1976. Trenny was excited, like all the rest of the students to get out of school for the day. The students were hiking to Andrews Bald and back again. The bus trip to the mountains was uneventful.

Once on the trails, students began splitting up so that they could hike with others going at a similar pace. Trenny traveled with various groups on her hike - sometimes speeding up and sometimes slowing down. Then, suddenly, Trenny disappeared. After nearly a month of intensive searching, Trenny was never found. Did she simply lose her way in the wilderness or was she kidnapped? One theory is that she wandered off the trail into the forest, and froze to death as the temperatures dropped during the night. Another theory is that she was followed on the trail by a stalker, and then killed. No one will ever know the truth.

http://www.turnersouth.com/southology/a ... 76,00.html


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 Post subject: Trenny Gibson
Unread postPosted: Sun Aug 17, 2008 9:13 am 
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Thanks for posting that Porchlight! :grin: My theory is either a stalker grabbed her, or Robert knows a lot more than he's telling. If that's the case, he needs to come clean.


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Unread postPosted: Sun Aug 17, 2008 5:10 pm 
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I lean to the stalker...


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 Post subject: Trenny Lynn Gibson Missing Since 1976
Unread postPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2008 1:25 pm 
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The stalker theory is a very credible one. It might explain the beer and cigarette butts close to where Trenny was last seen. It may also explain why the tracking dogs followed her scent to the highway, as she was taken out of the park. Hence this is why no clothing, hair or other evidence was found inside the park.

If Robert had harmed Trenny on the other hand, it may explain why he had her comb. He also went to the Gibson house while the parents were out looking for Trenny and talked to Tina, Trenny's sister. He said that Kelvin Bowman took Trenny or else she took off with some horny hitchhiker. Kelvin Bowman was a student that Trenny had had a dispute with some time earlier. He was in school the day she disappeared. Some of the students said they saw him following the school bus in his car. Did he kill Trenny? Was Robert in on it? A body would prove to be quite a burden. They'd have to bury it or hide it somewhere, or else pack it out to a vehicle. They'd also take quite a chance on being discovered by other students. Robert knew Trenny would be missed as soon as the students gathered back at the bus. He was also the last one seen with her. Did Robert make the statement about the hitchiker to throw people off the track, or did he see someone else out in the woods that day.

I`m rambling, I know! :smile:


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Unread postPosted: Sun Oct 19, 2008 6:33 pm 
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Ramble on lola. Your theory is food for thought and i like it.


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 Post subject: Trenny Lynn Gibson Missing Since 1976
Unread postPosted: Wed Oct 22, 2008 10:45 am 
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As good as the can of Creamy Deluxe, shwa? :grin: :grin: :grin:


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 Post subject: Re: Trenny Lynn Gibson Missing Since 1976
Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2009 4:07 pm 
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Not more than 5 years later I was in Smoky Mountain Nat'l Park, had been to Clingman's Dome and Cades Cove, and have never heard of Trenny Gibson at that time, nor of anyone missing from that area. I must have hiked the very same trails.

During 1980-81 I was a student at Haywood Community College (it was Haywood Tech back then) where I was studying Wildlife Management, Forestry, and Horticulture. Students tend to spend time with other students, of course, but I did make friends with a few of the local people, and also the Cherokees on the reservation. The NC/Tenn state line runs through the National Park, and my school and residence was on the NC side. Isn't it strange that it wasn't until now that I have heard of this story? Well, that happens.

As I read about the story of Trenny Gibson, and of others who have disappeared from there, there's a strange feeling that comes from reading about these familiar places. I have walked the same paths many times, alone or with my dog, never thinking the same thing could have happened to me.
(Twilight Zone theme playing in background.)

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 Post subject: Re: Trenny Lynn Gibson Missing Since 1976
Unread postPosted: Thu Sep 03, 2009 10:25 pm 
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Thanks for the info Bill! I'd love to visit the Smoky Mountains someday, both for their beauty as well as the mysteries and folklore surrounding the area.

You're probably well aware of my theory regarding Trenny's disappearance. I can only hope that the person(s) who took her will one day unburden themselves. Dennis Martin who went missing from the Smokies in 1969, I believe succumed to the elements and is still up in the mountains. As for Pauline Meton who vanished in 1981, I believe she wanted to disappear, so she saw her chance and took it.

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Trenny went missing on a field trip to the Smoky Mountains in October of 1976. She has now been missing for 33 years. Someone out there knows where she is and needs to unburden themselves.


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