“On February 13, 1984, 59-year-old Virginia Hannon was found strangled and stabbed to death in her home on West Street in Pembroke.
Since her murder, Massachusetts State Police and Pembroke Police have worked to solve this case. Police interviewed witnesses, analyzed and tested evidence found at the crime scene, conducted DNA testing, and retested items as DNA science evolved and improved over the years. State Police fielded tips and used forensic genealogy testing through the MSP Crime Lab.
Last year, Pembroke Police received a tip from a person who reported that in early 2019, a man named Jesse Aylward told him that he had killed a person in Pembroke many years ago. The man went on to say that Aylward died the day before in February of 2020.
Investigators preserved a DNA swab from a deceased Aylward.
Jesse Aylward’s DNA profile was then compared to the DNA found on the crime scene evidence and was a match.
“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,” said Plymouth County District Attorney Timothy Cruz.”
Plymouth County D.A. photo.