Author Topic: GRANBY JANE DOE: F, 19-26, found in Hampshire County, MA - 15 November 1978  (Read 271 times)


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In search of 'Granby Girl,' Springfield woman looks to find identity of victim in 1978 homicide case

Updated on August 30, 2015 at 6:33 AMPosted on August 30, 2015 at 6:30 AM

By Patrick Johnson

In search of 'Granby Girl'

The grave stone in Granby's West Street Cemetery, where the remains of an unidentified woman have been buried since 1978. Originally the grave was marked with a wooden cross, but in 1998 people in Granby donated a permanent marker.

SPRINGFIELD For about two years, Kelly Dillon has been preoccupied by thoughts of a young woman she calls G.G. short for "Granby Girl" but who is known by just about everyone else as "Jane Doe."

"I find it appalling she has never been identified," said Dillon, of Springfield. "It's been 37 years. Someone knows where this girl is from or who she was. Someone somewhere knows something."

The young woman's body, or what was left of it, was found in a shallow grave in Granby on Nov. 15, 1978. She had been shot in the head, most likely months earlier, and then buried off Amherst Road near Route 116. Her killer was never found, and neither has her identity.

Since then, all that she ever was and all that she is has been reduced to the words etched onto her grave marker in Granby's West Cemetery:

"Unknown, Nov. 15, 1978. In God's care."
That is not good enough for Dillon.

Since learning of the case two years ago by chance, Dillon, 47, who works as financial administrative assistant for the state of Connecticut, has spent much of her free time trying to track down information that could lead to the discovery of Granby Girl's identity.

Though she has no training or experience in criminal investigations, Dillon over the last two years has reached out to Granby police, Springfield police and the Massachusetts State Police about the case. She has pored through various missing persons databases, scoured the Internet and filed Freedom of Information Act requests for information with the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles and the federal Social Security information.

Granby Girl was found buried under a log in a wooded section of Granby, off Amherst Road and south of Route 116, on Nov. 15, 1978.

The first story of the discovery appeared in the Morning Union, a predecessor of today's The Republican, three days later. To give an idea how long ago that was, the story appeared on the front page alongside news stories about stalled peace negotiations between Israel and Egypt, USSR President Leonid Brezhnev boasting the Soviet Union had developed a neutron bomb and President Jimmy Carter hosting a White House party in celebration of the 50th birthday of Mickey Mouse.

That first story contained many of the elements of the case that have not changed over the years:

The body was that of an unknown woman found under a log by some people out gathering wood. She was approximately 5 feet, 4 inches tall, estimated to be between the ages of 19 and 27, and had dirty blond hair.
An autopsy determined she had been shot in the left temple.
The body was heavily decomposed from being in the woods anywhere from three months to a year before discovery.
The case is unsolved. While no one knows who the Granby Girl is, no one knows who killed her either. The case remains open, according to the office of Northwestern District Attorney David E. Sullivan.

Little information about the status of the investigation was available, but First Assistant District Attorney Steven E. Gagne did say the DA's office is midway through developing new protocols to review longstanding unsolved cases.

He said he does not have any problem with an amateur sleuth like Dillion looking into old cases.