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Tip helps investigators solve Virginia Hannon’s 1984 cold case murder

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    PEMBROKE, Massachusetts (WBZ) — The decades-old Pembroke cold case murder of Virginia Hannon has been solved thanks to a tip received by police.

The Plymout County District Attorney’s office announced Thursday that they have solved Hannon’s murder.

Investigators had been working on Hannon’s case for years when a tipster called them last year saying Jesse Aylward had confessed to the crime before his death.

“Though this investigation has spanned more than 37 years, we have identified Virginia Hannon’s killer and that is — it is Jesse Aylward. We have exhausted all of the evidence that we currently have and it all points in the direction of Jesse Aylward,” District Attorney Timothy J. Cruz said on Thursday.

Aylward died in February 2020.

One day after his death, a man called the police station saying Aylward admitted to killing someone in Pembroke years ago. With that information, police took Aylward’s DNA and compared it to evidence from the scene, and it was a match.

Jesse Aylward admitted to a man that he killed someone in Pembroke years ago. (Photo Credit: Plymouth DA’s Office)

Hannon was beaten, stabbed, and strangled while inside her own home. The motive for the murder remains unknown.

“It’s nice to have a name, to see the effort that they put in wasn’t wasted,” one of Hannon’s relatives said Thursday. “Maybe it will jar someone’s memory, come forward and say something.”

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