Households need justice, closure after vacation double-homicide nonetheless unsolved 17 years later – The Information Journal

Paulette Watson, like many, used to think about the vacation season the happiest time of the yr. She believes strongly in her religion, and her household at all times comes collectively to have a good time.
However in 2004, the that means of Christmas modified when her daughter was shot to demise on Dec. 26.
Now, 17 years later, the vacation season reminds Watson as soon as once more that she nonetheless would not know who took her daughter’s life.
Gun violence deaths in Delaware hit a report excessive this yr, with shootings claiming the lives of 81 individuals in 2021 alone. In a few of these circumstances, arrests are made on the scene. For others, investigations stay indefinitely ongoing.
That is Paulette Watson’s actuality.
“It is one thing that will likely be with you for the remainder of your life,” she stated. “That void and that vacancy and lacking your youngster.”
Database:Monitoring gun violence in Delaware
On the evening of her demise, 22-year-old Jessica Watson was working the late shift on the Informal Male Massive & Tall retailer close to Milltown. As she and her co-worker, 18-year-old Matthew Macerato, had been closing up the store, a gunman entered and compelled them downstairs into the basement.
They had been each shot at the back of the pinnacle and killed. The identification of the gunman – whom Paulette Watson fears could proceed to hurt others – stays unknown.
“It is laborious to wrap your mind round who might do such a mindless, heartless factor,” Paulette Watson stated.
Background:Double slaying stays unsolved
The Watson household launched a solemn Christmas custom in Jessica’s honor: constructing a memorial outdoors the previous Massive & Tall retailer off Kirkwood Freeway.
After COVID-19 compelled the household to remain dwelling final yr, they returned to the car parking zone on Dec. 26 with balloons and candles in tow. Two of the balloons spelled out “17” in gold.
However at the same time as they memorialize Jessica annually on her demise, Paulette Watson stated the household nonetheless thinks about her nearly day by day. For Paulette Watson, these ideas typically floor when she sees Jessica’s daughter, who’s now 18 years previous.
COVID-19 and Jessica’s reminiscence:16 years later, these households nonetheless anticipate solutions in unsolved murder after Christmas
She stated different family members will name and inform her every time they give thought to Jessica, whether or not due to a present or card from her or simply as a result of she occurred to cross their minds.
“We’re a very close-knit household,” Paulette Watson stated. “Nobody by no means ever forgets.”
The slayings of Jessica Watson and Matthew Macerato have been designated a chilly case by the state police. Nonetheless, this doesn’t imply it is unsolvable.
A person just lately was sentenced to life in jail for a murder in 2013. The case was already thought of chilly by the point Wilmington police named the person a suspect in 2019.
Extra:Man convicted of chilly case homicide in reference to 2013 double capturing in Wilmington
This sort of closure is all that the Watson household desires, Paulette stated. And till they get this “peace of thoughts,” they may proceed to return out and demand justice.
Anybody with details about these homicides is requested to name Delaware Crime Stoppers at 800-TIP-3333 or on-line at
Ship story ideas or concepts to Hannah Edelman at For extra reporting, observe them on Twitter at @h_edelman.