35 years later, vigil held for Pembroke murder victim in unsolved case

PEMBROKE, Mass. — The first vigil in 35 years was held Tuesday for murder victim Virginia "Ginny" Hannon at the First Church.

The 59-year-old Hannon, a Pembroke widow, was killed in her own home in 1984.

Since then, there have been no arrests, and no answers.

Hannon's family says they've never stopped thinking about her.

"Oh, she was great," said her nephew, Richard Hannon.

The crime devastated the family and terrified the community.

"When this happened everybody was scared, they didn’t know what to think or who was safe," Richard Hannon said.

Virginia Hannon lived two doors down from where her nephew, Richard, and his wife, Judy, now live.

"We drive by that house every day, and I will say the one thing, I try not to, but I drive by and I envision her being murdered," said her niece, Judy Hannon. "It’s hard not to see that visual. I know it’s not a good thing, but I know she struggled."

The killer broke into Hannon's West Street home on Feb. 12, 1984. She was beaten and stabbed more than 20 times, and left covered up in her bed. Since then, police have been investigating, but there have been no arrests.

As a way of honoring her and in a renewed push for information, family, police and the DA held a vigil Tuesday night.

Plymouth County District Attorney Tim Cruz said he's hoping the cold case will be solved.

"Somebody is out there, somebody has not been held accountable, somebody who did a terrible thing, somebody who needs to be held accountable for this community," Cruz said.

Pembroke Police Chief Rick Wall is especially committed to finding Hannon's killer.

"I was one of her paperboys, and she was my lunch lady at school and she was just a piece of the neighborhood," Wall said.

Wall said the crime can be solved.

"Things have changed a lot since 35 years ago, and we’re working to take whatever we have and adjust it to new technology," Wall said.

Her family, too, is hopeful and they're pleading for anyone with information to come forward.

Items collected 35 years ago are awaiting DNA testing, and there's a lot more going on behind the scenes.

Anyone with information on this case is urged to call police or the district attorney.