PEMBROKE — Authorities in Massachusetts say they now know who killed a Pembroke woman in 1984, although the motive for the slaying remains unclear.

Plymouth County District Attorney Timothy Cruz said Thursday that investigators acting on a tip determined through DNA evidence that Jesse Aylward killed Virginia Hannon.

Hannon, a 59-year-old widow who lived alone, was found in her home on Feb. 12, 1984. She had been kicked, punched, stabbed and strangled.

A day after Aylward died last year at age 58, a friend called police to say that Aylward had confessed to a Pembroke killing. Police obtained a DNA sample from Aylward’s body and matched it to evidence from the scene.

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