Christine Jessop, 9, Queensville, Ontario, 3 Oct 1984
Basic summary of the case:
October 3, 1984. At approximately 3:50 pm, Christine Jessop got off her school bus on Leslie Street, just north of the main intersection in Queensville, Ontario. She was most likely excited about her new acquisition – a plastic recorder (a whistle-like musical instrument) given to her that day by her school teacher. She had apparently made plans to meet her classmate, Leslie Chipman at the park (just east of the main intersection and near the corner store) around 4 pm.
Christine picked up her family’s mail and bounded up the lane and into her home. No one was there. Her father (Bob) was serving time in a correctional facility. Her mother (Janet) was out running errands with Christine’s older brother (Ken).
According to witness testimony, at some point between 4:00 and 4:30 pm, Christine strolled into the convenience store located at the intersection south of her home on Leslie Street and bought some gum.
Leslie Chipman, who had apparently called Christine’s house shortly after she got off the school bus and got no answer there, went to the park to await Christine. Christine never showed up.
When Janet and Ken Jessop arrived home at about 4:10 pm, they saw Christine’s bicycle where she normally kept it – but it was in a fallen state with some minor damage. Her book bag was on the kitchen counter, as well as the mail.
Unable to find Christine, they called her friends and searched the neighbourhood and the nearby park. She was nowhere to be found. Sometime between seven and eight o’clock, Janet called police and a massive search for the little girl began.
On December 31, 1984, Christine’s body was found at the edge of a farmer’s filed near Sunderland, a community 40 km east of Queensville.
Details of the crime scene according to the “Kaufman Report” (CHAPTER V):
“Her body was on its back and decomposed. Her legs were spread apart in an unnatural position and her knees were spread outward. Animals appeared to have eaten at the legs. Her head was pointed north and her feet south. A sweater was pulled over her head. A few bones were scattered between her head and what remained of her legs, giving the appearance that her head and waist were not connected. The victim was wearing a beige turtleneck sweater, a blue pullover sweater, a blouse on which some buttons were missing and two pairs of socks. Her panties were found at her right foot. Blue corduroy pants with a belt and a pair of Nike running shoes were found just south of her feet. These clothes were subsequently identified as belonging to Christine. Her school recorder, with her name still taped on it, was found next to her body. The hand-knitted blue sweater with the zippered front and no collar, which she was last reported wearing, was not found on the body; nor was it ever located.”
Christine had been killed by multiple stab wounds to the upper body.
In 1995, DNA from the semen found on her underwear was used to exonerate a Queensville man who had been wrongly convicted of her murder (Guy Paul Morin). A subsequent inquiry into the matter revealed numerous police blunders and misconduct during the investigation, contaminated evidence, and fabricated witness testimony.
Christine Jessop’s murder remains unsolved to this day.