36-Year-Old Canadian Cold Case Solved

Josie Klakström

On the 3rd of October 1984, nine-year-old Christine Jessop disappeared after getting off her school bus in Queensville, 40 miles from Toronto.

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Christine Jessop via cbc.ca

Christine’s mother Janet had taken Christine’s older brother to visit their father in a detention facility, and they weren’t at home when Christine returned from school. The little girl had plans to meet a friend after school at a nearby park, and she was seen going into a local store close to her home, to buy bubble gum.

Christine never made it to the park to meet her friend and this would be the last time anyone saw her.

The police were called immediately, and York Regional Police began to canvas the area and spoke to the residents of the small town. Volunteers searched the area for Christine, but she wasn’t found until New Year’s Eve, three months later, 30 miles away in a wooded area of Sunderland.

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Where Christine was found via yorkregion.com

The nine-year-old had been raped and stabbed to death. Because of the location of her body, Durham Regional Police took over the investigation, which was now a murder case.

In February, the police began to interview suspects and they had their eyes set firmly on 25-year-old Guy Paul Morin, who had been labelled a “weird-type guy” by Christine’s mother. He was arrested on the 22nd of April after several interviews.

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Guy Paul Morin being arrested via thestar.com

Morin went to trial in January 1986 in London, Ontario. His cellmates were put on the stand and told the jury that he admitted to the murder. One of these inmates was allegedly an undercover policeman, who said that Morin claimed he had “Redrum the innocent”.

There were hair and fibres found on Christine, which the prosecution cited as belonging to Morin, so the defence brought in experts to dispute the evidence. There was also the issue with the timeline and window of opportunity to take Christine, as Morin hadn’t been in the area.

He was acquitted by the jury, however, this acquittal was appealed by the Crown due to errors in the instructions the judge had given to the jury. On the 28th of May 1990, Morin went back to court for his second jury trial.

The second trial looked much like the first; the same evidence was supplied, and the same witnesses stood on the stand. This time, the jury changed direction.

On the 30th of July 1992, Guy Paul Morin was found guilty of the first-degree murder of Christine Jessop and was sentenced to life in prison.

However, on the 23rd of January 1995, Morin was eliminated as a suspect when DNA evidence was tested against him. He was freed after three years in prison and several more awaiting trial. In 1997, he was awarded $1.25million in compensation for the ten years stolen from him. His imprisonment remains one of the worst wrongful convictions in judicial history.

In October 2020, the Toronto Police used the DNA evidence taken from Christine’s underwear and submitted it to a DNA and genealogy search by the Texas laboratory, Othram, and they found two family trees.

They were able to narrow down the genealogy and through investigative work, detectives cross-matched the list of people who had a connection with the Jessop family and finally tested a DNA sample kept on file. The suspect was Calvin Hoover, and the Jessops knew him.

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Calvin Hoover via cbc.ca

Janet Jessop confirmed that she was friends with Calvin’s (now ex) wife, Heather. The families were neighbourly and Heather had worked with Christine’s father in the past. Calvin Hoover helped with the searches for Christine when she was reported missing and even attended the funeral and wake after her body was discovered.

Unfortunately, Calvin Hoover committed suicide in 2015. However, the DNA sample taken from his autopsy was kept on file, and that’s how investigators found the exact match to the semen stain left in the child’s underwear.

Although the identification of the murderer in the 36-year-old case is new, detective Steve Smith and his team are currently creating a timeline of Hoover’s movements on the day Christine went missing. He also believes there may be other unsolved cases involving Calvin Hoover;

“We’re learning more about the people that he spent time with, where he spent time, and we’re looking at any unsolved cases that may be out there that Calvin could have been involved in.”

Hoover’s ex-wife, Heather issued a statement citing the family’s devastation at the news. They’re as shocked as the rest of the world is;

“Our hearts go out to the Jessop family. We ask for privacy at this time while we all come to terms with this horrendous news that was as shocking to us as it was to the Jessop family.”

As for Guy Paul Morin, he was told of the break in the case by the police coming to his home to tell him in person and apologise. He issued a statement soon after the news;

“I am relieved for Christine’s mother, Janet, and her family, and hope this will give them some peace of mind. They have been through a dreadful ordeal for 36 years since they lost Christine in 1984. I am grateful that the Toronto Police stayed on the case and have now finally solved it.”
Instead of flowers for Christine’s funeral, Janet and Bob Jessop asked for donations to be made to ChildFind, an organisation at the beginning of its journey, that helps find missing children across the country.

This is a story of two tragedies. A little girl who was abducted, sexually assaulted, killed and her body dumped like garbage. Then there are the ten years that Guy Paul Morin lost by overeager authoritarians, hoping to catch a break in a case that had garnered a lot of public attention. Thankfully there is now resolution for both parties, and Christine Jessop’s friends and family have some closure to her death, despite the lack of justice against the paedophile and murderer, Calvin Hoover.

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Josie Klakström is a true crime writer. Follow her at truecrimeedition.com

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