christine jessop

Toronto police just solved the 36-year-old cold case of Christine Jessop

Nearly four decades after the rape and murder of a nine-year-old girl in Toronto stunned and disturbed the nation, police finally think they have identified the perpetrator in an astounding true crime story.

Christine Jessop became a household name during the mid-80s after she was abducted from her family home in Queensville, Ontario, a village in the town of East Gwillimbury, just over an hour drive north of the downtown core.

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.

The Jessops' next door neighbour was eventually wrongfully convicted of the crime in what many felt was a severely mismanaged investigation, but acquitted 11 years after the murder thanks to DNA evidence that cleared him of any involvement. He had served a total of 18 months behind bars by that time.

The case was reopened in 1995, but only for three years and with no leads — until now.

Toronto police provided a sudden update on the long-cold case on Thursday afternoon, revealing that the killer had, after all this time, finally been found through DNA analysis.

Though the news provides some obvious closure for Jessop's grief-stricken family, the killer, Toronto resident Calvin Hoover, will unfortunately not be brought to justice, as he died by his own hand back in 2015.

Hoover's DNA was a match to samples found on Jessop's undergarments at the scene. He was 28 at the time of the unthinkable act, and was apparently known to the family.

"Christine was described as a girl who loved life, her family, school and sports. Her face was on every television set and in every newspaper. Hundreds of community members assisted in searching for Christine," Toronto Chief of Police Jim Ramer said at a press conference today.

"On Friday, October 9, 2020, we positively confirmed the identification of the person responsible for the DNA sample found on Christine’s underwear... if he were alive today, the Toronto Police Service would arrest Calvin Hoover for the murder of Christine Jessop."

Ramer went on to ask the public for any information on Hoover that would help piece together the details of the case and understand Jessop's final minutes.

"It is our hope that [we] may jog someone's memory about the events surrounding Christine's disappearance. If you have any information, no matter how insignificant it may seem, please contact police," he continued.

"There is nothing I can say today that can reverse the tragic events of 36 years ago. There are no winners in this announcement, and this is not a reason to celebrate. It does, however, allow us to take a major step forward in our efforts to bring justice to Christine's family."

Lead photo by

Jessop family via Toronto Police Service


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