Was it him who cried out, ‘please God, help me’? Christine Jessop’s mother on the questions that come after learning who killed her daughter
|Toronto Star 16 Oct 2020 at 19:48|
Who was outside the Jessop family’s Queensville home on the night of Christine Jessop’s wake, screaming: “Help, help, please God, help me”?
Janet Jessop, 78, still remembers hearing the agonized cries into the still, dark, snowy night as she mourned her daughter’s passing with friends indoors.
Originally the prosecution said the voice was Guy Paul Morin, the Jessops’ neighbour; he would eventually be found guilty of murder.
Early DNA technology later exonerated him , revealing that his DNA didn’t match with the sample found inside Christine’s underwear.
That same DNA sample would place another family friend in the police’s sight almost exactly 36 years later.
With the help of genetic genealogy, Toronto police now believe it was Calvin Hoover, the deceased Jessop family friend, .
“Now, I do (believe it was Hoover screaming out), yes, but we’ll never know for sure,” the 78-year-old matriarch of the Jessop family said while commiserating with her son Kenney at his Crystal Beach, Ont., home on Friday.
It was at 11:30 a.m. Thursday morning when cold-case homicide detectives showed up at Janet’s Niagara Falls door with news that left her utterly “numb” inside.
“They told us as gently as they could, but it can only be so gentle in this kind of situation,” she said, explaining how she’d been waiting for this moment for 36 years. “I had to let it all sink in.”
What they told her was that her good friend Heather Hoover’s husband was the individual they’d been looking for since the day Christine’s body was found brutalized and tortured on New Year’s Eve 1984.
When considering the potentially guilty parties, Calvin Hoover might as well have been the was the furthest person from Janet’s mind.
“I didn’t even remember him when they told me,” she said, but it would all come rushing back shortly thereafter.
She remembers calling Hoover’s wife, with whom they had two young boys at the time, the “goofy Newfie”.
“She was a very vivacious girl,” she said. “She as a funny duck, a good friend.”
Since those simple and free days when the Jessops and the Hoovers used to share barbecues and playdates, there’s been plenty of water under the bridge — endless manhunts, suspicious eyes cast in every direction, two high-profile murder trials, a royal commission of inquiry and countless news stories written and consumed.
Now, after all these years, Janet knows the truth.
Both Janet and Kenney believe Hoover knew Christine would be home alone that day and used that information as a means to kidnap, rape and brutalize their young girl.
Despite what she now knows, Janet said the overwhelming feeling in her heart is that of relief.
“It’s over and done, it’s complete, it’s come full circle,” she said. “You’re relaxed, it’s the end, you get on with life now.”