It took 36 years for Toronto police to identify Calvin Hoover as nine-year-old Christine Jessop‘s murderer.
With Hoover’s identity revealed, police said the focus shifted to finding out more about him, before his death by suicide in 2015.
“That was just the beginning of the investigation, it’s actually really kicked into full steam now,” said Det. Steve Smith, with the homicide cold case unit.
Last week Smith travelled to deliver the news in person to Jessop’s mother.
He stayed with her, while a news conference was held to update the media and the public on the break in the decades-old cold case.
“Both the parents said to me that they were concerned that they may not have lived to see this day,” he said. “Our number one goal was to make sure the family was made aware.”
Identifying Hoover was only the beginning for Smith and the team, who he said are now working around the clock to learn more about the killer’s life.
“The objective is to learn more about Calvin, to see where he was during those three decades, see what he was up to, who he was with, what he was doing, and eventually to make sure that there is no other victims or no other crimes that Calvin was involved in,” Smith said.
Hoover had been a friend of the Jessop family.
He was 28 years old when police said he sexually assaulted and stabbed Jessop to death.
Hoover’s wife at the time, Heather, worked with Christine’s father.
Kenney Jessop, Christine’s brother, previously told Global News, “I always knew Auntie Heather, you know, nicknames and that, but we were never really around him … but it all fits together .. I remembered his face when they showed the mugshot.”
Since last week’s news conference, tips have been flooding in for police.
“The public’s come through with all kinds of information, hourly we’re taking statements from people that have known, Calvin, both professionally and personally,” said Smith, adding, “We’re gathering a timeline. See what we can put together, see what we can know about his whereabouts during the 80s, 90s and into the 2000s just to make sure our investigation is full and everything’s covered off.”
Smith learned Hoover was employed most of his life and ‘had an active social life.’
Smith pointed out, no tip is too small and encouraged anyone with information to please contact police.
“The smallest piece that you may think had no relevance of somewhere he was or an event that you attended with him, to us, it may be the linchpin in something that we’re looking at … We want to build a fulsome timeline of all his travels, all the people that he knew, the places he went, the places he frequented,” he said.
Smith is not ruling out the possibility Hoover may have been involved in other crimes.
“We have nothing to say that definitively at this point, but we’re going to leave no stone unturned to make sure that we know for sure if he was or was not involved in any other crimes.”
Court documents obtained by Global News found that in December 1996, Hoover was convicted of impaired driving and was fined $800 and lost his licence for a year.
Smith has spoken to Hoover’s former wife, Heather, and their sons.
“They’ve been as cooperative as they possibly could be. They’re offering us anything that we need from them. They’re shocked, but they’re helping us in any way they can,” he said.
Global News learned that Hoover and Heather divorced and he later married a woman from Welland. They lived in Waterdown together before she died in 2009.
At the time of his death, Hoover had been living in Port Hope on a rural property.
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