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Her soul can finally rest

October 2020

On 15 October, Toronto Police made a stunning announcement in the decades-old murder case of 9 year-old Christine Jessop: they had positively identified her killer. Unfortunately her killer would never face justice, as he had committed suicide in 2015.

Family friend and neighbour Calvin Hoover was identified through DNA evidence as the one who abducted, raped and murdered Christine on 3 October 1984 in the small southern Ontario town of Queensville. Her body was found 30 miles away almost three months later, on New Year’s Eve.

Hoover had been positively identified using a new technique for tracing criminals by using the DNA of relatives submitted to genetic lineage database web sites like Ancestory.com and 23andme.com. Regrettably, such DNA testing wasn’t available in 1984, when Durham Regional Police arrested Guy Paul Morin, another neighbour of the Jessop family.

Morin was tried for Christine’s murder and acquitted in 1986, but the Crown won an appeal of the verdict, a re-trial was ordered and as a result, Morin was convicted in 1992. He spent 18 months behind bars before testing of DNA evidence had advanced to the point where it was able to conclusively exonerate Morin in 1995.

A subsequent public inquiry, chaired by Justice Fred Kaufman, led to several significant changes to how police conduct murder investigations in Canada. The Kaufman Report detailed evidence of police and crown misconduct and of the misrepresentation of forensic evidence by the Ontario Centre of Forensic Sciences. Morin was awarded $1.25 million in compensation, most of which went to cover his legal fees.

When the Jessop family was informed by Toronto Police detectives that Christine’s killer had been positively identified, her mother Janet and brother Kenny expressed both relief and shock. Kenny was quoted as saying that learning Hoover was the murderer of his sister, “came out of the blue,” he always suspected the killer would be someone the family knew.

Hoover’s wife was a co-worker of Christine’s father Robert, both Jessop children would play with Hoover’s children. Janet and Kenny Jessop also recalled the Hoover had taken part in the search for Christine in the weeks after her disappearance, and later attended her funeral and wake after she was found.

In response to the revelation of Christine’s killer had finally been identified, Guy Paul Morin, who has stayed out of the spotlight since his exoneration, issued a statement through his lawyer expressing relief for the Jessop family after their 36 year ordeal.

Christine’s soul can finally rest.

Sources: https://globalnews.ca/news/7401782/christine-jessop-family-cold-case-murder-solved, https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2020/10/16/was-it-him-who-cried-out-please-god-help-me-christine-jessops-mother-on-the-questions-that-come-after-learning-who-killed-her-daughter.html, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christine_Jessop, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guy_Paul_Morin, https://globalnews.ca/news/7400748/christine-jessop-killer-genetic-genealogy, https://globalnews.ca/news/6968994/christine-jessop-guy-paul-morin, https://globalnews.ca/news/7402754/calvin-hoover-toronto-police-christine-jessop-murder, https://toronto.ctvnews.ca/christine-jessop-s-killer-helped-in-search-attended-funeral-and-wake-family-says-1.5148357, https://toronto.citynews.ca/2020/10/15/long-exonerated-guy-paul-morin-relieved-for-jessop-family-after-killer-identified.

About the author

Bruce Forsyth

Bruce Forsyth served in the Royal Canadian Navy Reserve for 13 years (1987-2000). He served with units in Toronto, Hamilton & Windsor and worked or trained at CFB Esquimalt, CFB Halifax, CFB Petawawa, CFB Kingston, CFB Toronto, Camp Borden, The Burwash Training Area and LFCA Training Centre Meaford.

Permanent link to this article: https://militarybruce.com/her-soul-can-finally-rest/

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