IN RETROSPECT, the ability to convict Morin, relied on
the capacity to frame him. The clear absence of
evidence which even suggested, let alone proved his
guilt had clearly defined two distinct prosecutorial
capacities; in the absence of credible evidence, the
charge against Guy Paul Morin could have been dropped
because there was no justifiable reason to detain him,
or evidence could have been manufactured to implicate
him in the murder. The charge against Morin was
certainly never dropped, and there is still no reason
to believe that it was ever warranted.
Police had been steered towards Morin by the
victim's mother Janet Jessop, who claimed that her
neighbours were "weird."29
Janet Jessop had allegedly suspected everyone, including her relatives
at one point or another, but her evidently irrational
assertions were never supported by evidence. In 1990,
four years after a jury found Morin to be not guilty,
her response to a reporter who wondered about her
insistence that Morin "did it," was, "Because I know
Such frivolous standards of proof do not
even merit attention, but the emotion and the frenzy
that the Jessop murder provoked, demanded answers and
justice not questions and an unsolved murder file. The
only surefire alternative to answers and justice, is
answers and the perception of justice. But like a
high-strung mob that lynches an innocent suspect, the
perception of justice is a perversion.
Since the discovery that Christine Jessop was
tragically murdered, horror, fear and suspicion
gripped the tiny Queensville community where Christine
had lived and everybody's neighbour was suddenly a
potential murderer. The horror was eternal. A nine
year old girl had been brutally murdered and nothing
said or done, could bring her back. The fear and
suspicion however was potentially manageable, and the
authorities did their very best to resolve it, by
seeking to bring the killer or killers to justice. On
January 1, 1985, the police located Christine's body
and a month latter, they posted a $50,000 reward for
information leading to an arrest. In March of 1985,
police asked FBI agent John Douglas from the Violent
Crimes Behavioral Sciences unit in Virginia, to piece
a profile of the killer. According to John Douglas,
the killer was likely someone from Queensville and
someone that Christine knew. On April 11, 1985, the
police released the profile to the media. It described
a 19-26 year old unemployed male, and that very same
day, police claimed that their suspect list had been
reduced to "less than five people" and that they
expected "to make an arrest in less than a month."31
On April 22,1984, Guy Paul Morin, one of the suspects
on the final "short list" was arrested.
The investigation which lead to the arrest of Morin
was inept, to say the very least. Remarkably, Morin
was evidently arrested, not because the police had
evidence that he was in fact the murderer, but because
in their opinion, evidence which suggested that he was
not, did not exist. Supt. Doug Bulloch disclosed this
rather odd investigative practice when he said; "You
don't find suspects as much as you eliminate them.32
The arrest of Guy Paul Morin suggested that every
other murder suspect had been "eliminated" , but even
that was not entirely true. For example, a maladjusted
young man who frequented the Queensville area, was
missing for most of the day Christine disappeared. A
day or two latter, he hosed down the inside of his
delivery van, upholstery and all, and about six weeks
latter, he disappeared without a trace.33 If Morin
had also vanished without a trace, would he too have
been dropped from the suspect list? Remarkably, that
is what the evidence suggests.
Armed with mere suspicion, the drive to prosecute
Morin, was never substantiated with credible evidence.
Indeed, the entire campaign was fuelled on the bid to
satisfy a blindingly emotional need. For example,
according to the police, the psychological profile
supplied by the FBI "gave us a good feeling about what
And as soon as Morin was arrested, the
police claimed that the fear and paranoia which had
gripped Queensville had subsided and the sense of
general satisfaction was described in terms like; "I
think there's a great sense of relief now. People will
be able to get back to living their normal lives."35
While the singularly emotional drive to prosecute
a suspect in a highly publicized murder case prompted
relief, it simultaneously paved the road to one of the
most obvious judicial perversions in Canadian history.
Criminology Professors Thomas Gabor and Julian
Roberts, illustrate the dynamics of the judicial
capacity to tyrannize, when they say; "when undue
pressure is placed on the system to make an arrest and
achieve a guilty verdict, wrongful convictions are
sure to follow.36 Asserted in a piece titIed "how
the innocent end up behind bars," they clearly expose
the potential consequences of undue community pressure
and excessive zeal on the part of the police and the
prosecution. And the trials and tribulations of Guy
Paul Morin provide a textbook example of the fact that
innocent people do indeed "end up behind bars."
29Globe and Mail, 31/7/92, p. A 6.
30Globe and Mail, 31/7/92, p. A 6.
31The Toronto Sun, 24/6/85, p.4.
32The Toronto Sun, 24/6/85, p.4.
33Globe and Mail, 31/7/92, p. A 7.
34Toronto Sun, 24/4/85, p.5.
35Toronto Sun, 24/4/85, p.5.
36Toronto Star, 12/2/92, p. A 21.