Toronto police to provide update on 1984 murder of Christine Jessop

Clay Curtis
October 16, 2020

Toronto Police have released the identity of the man responsible for the 1984 murder of nine-year-old Christine Jessop.

Police Chief James Ramer says that DNA evidence now suggests that Calvin Hoover sexually assaulted Christine Jessop.

Christine, of Queensville, Ont., disappeared on October 3, 1984, as she headed to a park after school to meet a friend.

The young girl disappeared after she was dropped off at home alone by her school bus, and her fate remained a mystery until her body - which showed obvious stab wounds and signs of sexual assault - was tragically recovered more than two months later in a forest some 30 minutes east of her house on New Year's Eve, 1984.

Decades earlier, Jessop's 24-year-old neighbour, Guy Paul Morin was wrongly convicted in the case.

Morin, 34, was convicted of killing Jessop in 1992 after a jury found him innocent in 1986. He was acquitted at his first trial, found guilty of first degree murder at his second trial before a successful Crown Appeal ultimately led to his acquittal in 1995 on fresh evidence submitted jointly by the Crown and the Defense.

He was paid more than a $1 million and received a public apology.

His wrongful conviction was subject of a judicial inquiry.

'I can say that we're all genuinely relieved that the person responsible has finally been identified'.

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Hoover and his wife apparently had a "neighbour acquaintance" relationship with the family at the time, police said.

"I am grateful that the Toronto Police stayed on the case and have now finally solved it". "When DNA exonerated me in January, 1995, I was sure that one day DNA would reveal the real killer and now it has". "And it's from that lineage that the investigators then work downwards to be able to try to identify potential persons of interest".

Genetic genealogy has drawn criticism from the legal community over the absence of regulation for the investigative technique, which poses a problem for protecting personal data. Once detectives had identified him as a suspect, they were able to match the DNA sample to that blood and conclude their investigation.

The break in the case came when investigators discovered that, after Hoover's death in 2015, an autopsy was conducted and samples of his DNA had been retained at the Centre for Forensic Sciences.

Calvin Hoover, of Toronto, Ontario, was 28 years old in 1984. It has obviously generated many more questions for us.

"If you have any information, no matter how insignificant it may seem, please contact police", Ramer said.

The investigation, as we know, resulted in the arrest of Guy Paul Morin.

While he did have an old criminal record, police said it was not significant in relation to Christine's murder. "And you get a phone call out of the blue this morning". "It doesn't make it easy that it's a family friend but it at least puts it all together".

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