Jessop family joins call for review of police failing to I-D killer as a suspect years ago

Christine Jessop is seen on the left of this composite image and Calvin Hoover is seen on the right.

Christine Jessop's family has joined the call for an independent review of both Durham and Toronto Police, for failing to identify a suspect in her murder case, who earlier this month was revealed to have been her killer. 

On Monday, non-profit Innocence Canada, which was created in part because of the wrongful conviction and exoneration of Guy Paul Morin in the case, says the provincial government should commit to reviewing why then 28-year-old Calvin Hoover was never considered a suspect, despite his close ties to the family and having access to Christine. 

On October 15th, Toronto Police revealed through new DNA genealogy evidence that it was Hoover who likely kidnapped, sexually assaulted, stabbed and killed nine-year-old Christine, after she disappeared from Queensville, Ontario in October 1984, in what would become one of the most scrutinized murder cases in Canada's history. 

"Our prayers were answers on October 15, 2020. But the answer was not justice," Christine's brother Kenneth said in a statement. "It was a kick in the teeth. - With that answer came a million questions." 

"We support Innocence Canada in their call for an independent inquiry into this double miscarriage of justice. They convicted an innocent man of a horrendous crime. They also convicted an innocent family to 36 years of pain, hurt, whispers and nightmares. Now, we need justice."

Innocence Canada co-president Kirk Makin said the review could take various forms, be very specific and completely different from a 1996 inquiry, following the wrongful conviction and exoneration of Guy Paul Morin. 

"We are not looking for a replay," Makin said, adding the cost would be much cheaper than the millions of dollars that have already been sunk into this case. "We are looking at a very specifically targeted review into Hoover and how Hoover was not investigated by these two police forces." 

"It was not in any way looked at the by the previous inquiry because no one knew Hoover was out there, now we do." 

The ministry of the Attorney-General has already said such a probe however, is unnecessary. 

​"As Toronto Police Service is continuing to investigate, it would be premature to consider a public inquiry. Public Inquiries are usually established when there is no other effective mechanism to examine an issue. For these reasons, it would be inappropriate to comment further at this time," the ministry said in a statement this week. 

Toronto Police has already received 50 tips about Hoover's whereabouts and activities, since asking for the public's help following the October 15th announcement. 

In that case, Makin argues the ministry should still commit to a review whenever the TPS investigation is over.