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Saturday, December 11, 1999

12/11/99 Death Notice HOLCOMBE, BROWNING JR.

HOLCOMBE-Browning Jr. Of Greenwich, Connecticut.

Beloved husband of Carolyn and father of Elizabeth B. Sengle of Hinesburg, Vermont; Karen H. Pet of Barrington, Rhode Islane; Jane H. Tranfo of Greenwich, Connecticut and Browning Holcombe, III of Jamison, Pennsylvania. Devoted brother of Sally J. Dideriksen of East Brunswick, New Jersey.

Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on June 11, 1940 to Browning Holcombe, Sr. and the former Jane Hilliard Jackson, Mr. Holcombe attended Pennsylvania State University and the University of Pennsylvania.

After service in the United States Marine Corps, Mr. Holcombe embarked on a career in the television and broadcast industry which would ultimately span four decades. During that time,

Mr. Holcombe held senior positions with Kaiser Broadcasting in Pennsylvania, Metromedia in New York, Petry Television in Chicago and New York and Univision in New York. For the last 10 years, Mr. Holcombe was the President and Chief Executive Officer of Broadcast Sales, Inc., the company which he founded.

Mr. Holcombe was a long-time and active member of the Belle Haven Club in Greenwich. He served on the Board of Directors of that organization from 1992 to 1996, and as Treasurer from 1994 to 1996 and chaired the Tennis Committee.

A memorial service will be held on Sunday, December 12, 1999 at 2:30 PM at The Belle Haven Club. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Mr. Holcombe's memory to the Greenwich Firefighters Association, P.O. Box 4064, Greenwich, Connecticut 06830 or to the Greenwich Police Silver Shield Scholarship Fund, P.O. Box 1123 Greenwich, Connecticut 06830.

Friday, December 10, 1999

12/10/99 Mrs. Margolies hasn't given up; Mother of slain Glenville boy says 'when' NOT 'if'

By Peter Moore
Greenwich Post

When Maryann Margolies speaks of an eventual arrest for the 1984 murder of her son Matthew, she speaks in terms of "when" and not "if"

Strangely enough, she also says that she's never experienced any anger towards Matthew's unknown killer. "Not yet," she adds.

In reference to the crime, she continues, "No one had the right to do it. What I would like to know is when the person is found and arrested can I forgive? I honestly don't know. I can't tell what my feelings will be at this time."

For more than 15 years, Maryann Margolies has led her family in a quest to keep living and to not languish in grief or bitterness.

"I have to think about moving forward," she says, while keeping her composure in the living room of her Pilgrim Drive house where she resides with her husband Jim. "I have to think about living life. However I respond would have an effect [on the family]." She adds that if she wallowed in misery, "it would be more difficult for anybody to have any semblance of happiness."

The whole process dates back to the day of Aug. 31, 1984 when 13-year-old Matthew Margolies left his grandmother's house in Glenville to go fishing. Accounts vary as to where Margolies was last seen alive, but he never came home. Five days later, his body was found in a wooded area near Hawthorne and Greenway Street. He had been stabbed several times and asphyxiated, before his unknown assailant had disposed of his body in a shallow grave.

Maryann recalls Matthew as an active boy who didn't like to confine himself to the house. Shd describes her son as a big baseball fan whose favorite player was Reggie Jackson. Matthew was also fascinated with the outdoors, she adds. "He had a fishing pole in his hand as a rattle," she recalls with a smile.

A silver-franied photograph in Maryann and Jim's living room shows a young Matthew canoeing while another photo shows him peering intently at a single blade of grass. "I would say that [photo] epitomizes his interest in nature and living things," Maryann adds. "He always had that curiosity."

Police have never named a suspect in the killing. In an outside investigation by consultant Vernon Geberth, a former New York City Police Department lieutenant commander, the murder was detemiined to be a crime of lust - Matthew's athletic shorts were stripped off, yet there were no signs that he had been molested.

Geberth also faulted the Greenwich Police Department's investigation, particularly in the early stages before Matthew's body was discovered. The department had not handled a homicide since 15-year-old Martha Moxley was found bludgeoned near her Belle Haven home in 1975. Geberth revealed that no detective had been assigned to Matthew's original missing person report. By the time the body was found, Geberth said, "the investigative arm of the Greenwich Police Department had, in effect, lost six days of crucial informational interviews and neighborhood canvasses, which would later prove to be significant to the homicide investigation." But Maryann Margolies said that she does not completely fault the police department. "I think they "the investigative arm of the Greenwich Police Department had, in effect, lost six days of crucial informational interviews and neighborhood canvasses, which would later prove to be significant to the homicide investigation."

But Maryann Margolies said that she does not completely fault the police department. "I think they tried," she said. "I think they made a concerted effort. They were very compassionate. They were supportive, I was supportive."

However she acknowledges, "They did make some mistakes. They're were some things they should have done differently." But she then adds, "They haven't had to have much involvement in having to find murderers."

The names of the three central suspects in the Margolies case tried," she said. "I think they made a concerted effort. They were very compassionate. They were supportive, I was supportive."

However she acknowledges, "They did make some mistakes. They're were some things they should have done differently." But she then adds, "They haven't had to have much involvement in having to find murderers." The names of the three central suspects in the Margolies case have not been released. Margolies said she has stronger suspicions of two, whom she also declined to identify. It has been revealed that one of the suspects was an acknowledged neighborhood bully who.has since even been accused by a former area father of earlier threatening his own son with a knife similar to the one used to kill Matthew Margolies.

Another suspect was a teenage troublemaker from over the state have not been released. Margolies said she has, stronger suspicions of two, whom she also declined to identify. It has been revealed that one of the suspects was an acknowledged neighborhood bully who has since even been accused by a former area father of earlier threatening his own son with a knife similar to the one used to kill Matthew Margolies.

Another suspect was a teenage troublemaker from over the state line in Port Chester, N.Y. who, like Matthew, frequently fished from the Byram River. This suspect and his father, a Port Chester police officer, agreed to meet a Greenwich detective for a polygraph examination after Matthew's body was found. But on the appointed day, neither showed up. The suspect was recently reported by a retired Port Chester police detective to be serving time in prison for another crime.

In May 1998, Police Chief Peter Robbins announced that the Greenwich Police Department was launching an all-out investigation to solve the Matthew Margolies case. An August 1998 published report quoted Robbins as saying, "I believe the killer is still living here in " town and I think we have the potential to locate this individual and build a good case against him."

Earlier this year, the department asked the state to evaluate forensic evidence connected to the case for DNA samples. In April, Elaine Pagliaro, acting director of the Connecticut Forensic Science Laboratory, said the state would answer the department's request by the end of the month. Information on the laboratory's answer is not available. Pagliaro was saiid Tuesday to be out of her office due to illness.

Chief Robbins refused to comment Tuesday on any aspect of the investigation, including the status of DNA testing. "It's an open case," he said. But Maryann Margolies says that she is convinced that her son's murder will be solved.

"I feel very strongly that whoever did this will be arrested at some point. I'm not giving up on that.

I find it very difficult to believe that given the time of day that this happened, that there [isn't] someone out there who has a piece of information we don't know," she continued. "They may not know how important the information is. They may have their own reasons for not saying anything."

Matthew's mother also remains determined to honor her son's memory.

"There are two things I can do for Matthew. One is to see that justice is carried out. Two, to see that anything connected with his death will be handled with dignity.

"And of course love goes without saying. He's my son and I'll always love him."

Friday, December 3, 1999

12/03/99 Moxley and Margolies web site manager keeps hope alive

By Peter Moore - Greenwich Post

Tom Alessi recalls his old Western Junior High and Greenwich High School classmate Martha Moxley as a "very nice person."

"Never had a,.bad thing to say about anybody," Alessi said. "Everybody liked her. She was very bright and intelligent." For some time now, Alessi,a resident of Stamford, has maintained and updated www.MarthaMoxley.com an informational website on the 24-year-old unsolved murder case. The site serves as a resource center for anybody wishing to learn about the case and its latest happenings as well as a forum for those wishing to air their views or even to E-mail tips about the killing.

As the Moxley site gained fans, Alessi, a facilities manager at the Stamford 911 center, began to receive correspondence from acquaintances about a different matter which had gained far less media attention.

"Several people that I knew from Greenwich, when they found out I was doing the Martha Moxley case website said, 'There's another [murder] that could use some attention too."'

On Aug. 31, 1984, 13-year-old Matthew Margolies, a resident of the Pemberwick section of Greenwich, left his grandmother's house to go fishing. He was last seen walking along the Byram River that afternoon. When he did not return home in the evening, his mother Maryann called police, but it was not until five days later before his body was finally discovered in a wooded hilly area near Hawthorne and Greenway Street.

Matthew had been stabbed several times and an autopsy revealed that his torso had been compressed to the point where breathing was impossible. The knife reportedly used to kill Matthew was found nearby several days later, but was never traced to a suspect. The Greenwich Police Department had not dealt with a homicide since the 1975 Moxley killing and as in the Moxley case, they never arrested a suspect.

Recently, Alessi became acquainted with Kevin McMurray, a reporter who had interviewed Maryann Margolies. McMurray and Alessi then struck a deal for a new site,


"I told [McMurray] that if he wrote the first page of the site that I would go over it and publish it," Alessi said.

The "first page" of the website actually prints out to more than seven pages on paper. McMurray's account and interviews detail how, as in the Moxley the early stages of the investigation.

In an excerpt from his book, "Murder in Greenwich; Who Killed Martha Moxley?" former Los Angeles Police detective Mark Fuhrman writes that several mistakes were noted in the Margolies report, including no detective being delegated to check the initial missing person report, only one detective viewing the crime scene, a lack of clear explanations to various officers of their assignments on the case, and the department's release of "sensitive information" to the media.

Links are also provided on the site to recent news updates on the case and excerpts on the Margolies killing from both Fuhrman's Moxley account and Tim Dumas's "A Wealth of Evil" (formerly "Greentown"), another book on the Moxley murder.

For Alessi, whose says his website programming skills are self taught, maintaining the Margolies site represents another opportunity to shed light on a case sadly still unsolved.

"The most positive thing that I've found is that people have been interested in keeping the cage going and by letting it slip by the wayside," he said. As of noon on Tuesday, the two-month old Margolies site was approaching 1900 hits.

Alessi first became involved with the Moxley site two years ago after meeting Robert Steiner ' an Austrian college student, on CyberSleuths.com, an independent news service which maintains chronicled accounts of crimes. Steiner had created several small web pages containing synopsis of different murders. One eventually became what is today his complete Moxley site.

"I expressed a desire to [Steiner] to take it over and create www.MarthaMoxley.com, since I was closer to the news and was able to devote more time to it," Alessi said.

Alessi said that his maintenance of the two websites is not driven by a need to be noticed, but by a desire to help keep the Moxley and Margolies cases alive in hopes that one day their killers will be found.

"I don't really care for publicity," he said Monday. "The story is not me, the story is the murders."

Maryann Margolies, Matthew's mother is said to be pleased with the website dedicated to solving her son's case.

"She's contacted Kevin, told him she's impressed and mentioned that she wanted to get in touch with me," Alessi said. Attempts to contact Maryann Margolies were unsuccessful.

Alessi and his wife of twelve years Moira are also parents themselves; of a seven-year old boy, also named Matthew. For Alessi, the sites serve as a reminder of how precious the life of his own child really is.

"There's not a day that goes by that you don't think it can happen to your own kid," he said. "That's the scary part. If it happens, you don't want people to forget. [Martha and Matthew] are gone, but hopefully not forgotten."

Sunday, November 28, 1999

11/28/99 New Web site revisits unsolved '84 murder

By Thomas Mellana - Greenwich Time

"The Greenwich curse has manifested itself again. But unlike Martha Moxley, nobody talks about Matthew Margolies from Glenville anymore."

- From "Greentown" by Tim Dumas

Books have not been written about Matthew Margolies. For each newspaper story written about him, 10 appear about that other unsolved Greenwich murder.

But Matthew has found a place on the Web.

A Stamford Web site creator has established a new site about the unsolved 1984 killing of 13-year-old Margolies, whose body was discovered Sept. 5 of that year in the woods near his house, five days after he was reported missing.

"Some of the people from Greenwich who visited Martha's site brought up the fact there was this other unsolved murder in Greenwich," said Tom Alessi, who created the site about two months ago. "I did a little research, and decided this is something people needed to know."

Alessi, 39, a facilities manager at the Stamford 911 center, created a site about the unsolved 1975 murder of Martha Moxley two years ago. A Greenwich native, he was a childhood friend of Moxley, who lived in Belle Haven.

"I was originally from Chickahominy," he said. "I was a classmate of Martha's, and a good friend."

Alessi's strong interest in computers has led him to create Web sites for non-profit organizations in the community as a hobby. Creating one about Moxley seemed a natural.

His Margolies site, which can be reached by a link from the Moxley site, has caught on quickly with cybersleuths and the merely curious.

"In just two months, 1,600 people have looked at it - from all over the country," Alessi said.

Comments they leave on the site's bulletin board are not always flattering to the town or its police department.

"There is a lot of outrage, that two murders in the same town can go unsolved," Alessi said.

"Everyone is entitled to their opinion as to why these cases haven't been solved," Deputy Police Chief James Walters said. "But it doesn't result in anything positive to get into an argument about it. We're just continuing to try to move the investigation forward."

Margolies was an avid fisherman who frequently went fishing with his grandfather, who died shortly before Matthew disappeared. On Aug. 31, 1984, he left his grandmother's house, fishing pole in hand. nearly a week later, his body was discovered on a secluded hillside near his Glenville neighborhood. The murder weapon, a boning knife, was found near his body.

The Web site offers a lengthy synopsis of the murder and the investigation that followed, including photographs of Matthew and his family; a bulletin board on which visitors can record comments; excerpts mentioning the murder from books by Mark Fuhrman and Tim Dumas; and news updates.

"The purpose of this Web site (as well as the Martha Moxley Web site) is to keep the public informed of any developments in the case," Alessi wrote. "But most of all, it is meant to keep Matthew's memory alive for his family and friends."

The site creator's hope, of course, is that it also helps to solve the case.

"Tips would be appreciated," Alessi said. "I would certainly take them and forward them."

As of yet, that has not happened.

"We have not gained any additional information from the Martha Moxley site as of yet, or the Matthew Margolies site," Walters said. "However, as long as they're out there being talked about, we view it as a positive thing."

In May 1998, Police Chief Peter Robbins revealed plans to reinvestigate the Margolies case. Twenty suspects originally identified in the murder have been pared to five, some of whom still live in town.

Walters last week said he could not provide an update on the investigation. Greenwich Time has filed a claim with the state Freedom of Information Commission to see the Margolies investigation case file. The case is pending.

"We can't give out any additional information on that," Walters said.

The Margolies site can be found at matthewmargolies.com. The Moxley site is at marthamoxley.com.

Matthew's mother, Maryann Margolies, could not be reached for comment last week.

Sunday, September 5, 1999

09/05/99 Mother still hopes for arrest

Site where body Found stirs vivid memories

By J.A. Johnson Jr.

Inching down the steep incline, parting low-hanging branches along the way,Maryann Margolies stopped and pointed at bicycle handlebars on the ground.

"They're still there," she said. "I can't believe after all these years they're still there."

For Margolies, the badly rusted metal bars jutting from the earth are a landmark, a headstone of sorts. They mark the spot that had been the shallow grave in which her son, Matthew, had been unceremoniously interred a decade and a half ago.

On Friday morning, Maryann returned to this secluded place on the wooded outskirts of the Glenville neighborhood where Matthew lived his 13 years - that is at the same time unholy and hallowed. She was overwhelmed with the grief she has carried since the youngest of her two children was savagely murdered on August 31, 1984.

"All I want to understand is why. Why did this happen to him? Matthew deserved much better than this," the 59-year-old woman said, her eyes welling with tears. "He was a human being, and he had so much potential to be a contributing person to society. He already was contributing because he made people happy, and if that was all he ever did the rest of his life - making people happy - that would have been outstanding."

It was exactly 15 years ago today (September 5th) that Matthew's body was found by a local volunteer fighter on this wooded hillside below Greenway Drive and overlooking Pemberwick Road.

He had disappeared five days earlier, on August 31, 1984, after having left his grandmother's house less than a mile away to go fishing. Police said they believed the boy was killed that same day by someone who strangled and repeatedly stabbed him.

The 13-year-old's partially clothed body was found in the hastily prepared grave, covered with leaves and stones. The murder weapon, a boning knife, was found beneath the body.

In between the time Matthew was murdered and his body found, the crime scene had been all but destroyed by the elements. Five days of intense heat and steady rain had combined to wash away any trace evidence the killer had left and speed up decomposition of the body.

Detectives started out by identifying some 20 potential suspects, then whittled the number to five, some of whom remain suspects and continue to either live in town, or nearby.

A profiler from the FBI's Behavioral Science Unit told police the killer likely was a white male familiar with Glenville as well as the victim, and who knew of the boy's love of fishing. In a 1986 consultants critique of the investigation, the murderer was further characterized as a sadist who lured Matthew to the secluded hillside where the body was found.

If Matthew had been lured to this death, the hillside overlooking Pemberwick Road would have certainly been a place to tempt an, adventurous boy his age. In the area of the makeshift grave, the rugged terrain flattens a bit at the foot of rock outcroppings that scream to be climbed on. Investigating the nooks and crannies could easily delight a young boy fancying himself an explorer. The area is littered with rusted beer cans and similar debris that make it seem it had been a place to hang out in the days before aluminum containers, the absence of which could indicate that at some point visitors abruptly stopped coming. One could almost envision teens passing long summer days seated amid the rocks, perhaps drinking and smoking, spying on traffic that rolled past below. Charred stones seemed to speak of fires around which young males swapped tales and cemented bonds.

"When we would drive past, Matthew would ask me, 'What's up there?' and I'd tell him that I didn't want him going there," Maryann recalled. "He was very curious about this place for some reason."

One of the suspects, none of whom have been publicly named by police, is said to have been a young troublemaker who got kicks rolling logs from atop the ravine onto the roadway below. Another is rumored to have harbored a grudge against Matthew because he believed the boy somehow responsible for his getting caught growing marijuana in the woods nearby. Yet another suspect, tagged by other children as a neighborhood bully lived up the hill from where Matthew's body was found.

On her somber return to the site, Maryann wore a gold "love knot" on a chain around her neck, explaining, "It's the last thing Matthew gave me!" She reminisced about how 15 years ago, as a recently divorced mother of two, she often worked double shifts to make ends meet. One of those long work days was on August 30, 1984, and Matthew, as usual, was spending the night at his grandmother's house Morgan Avenue, a few blocks from his own house on Pilgrim Drive. "When I was working doubles, I would always call Matthew before bedtime to say good night," Maryann said."When I called him that night, my last words to him were 'I love you,' and that one thing has helped to sustain me. "At least he left this world knowing that his mother loved him."

Matthew was last seen the following day at about 5 p.m., leaving his grandmother's, and was believed headed for a favored angling spot along nearby Byram River. As the boy walked toward his destiny, he carried his prized possession, a fly rod given to him by his grandfather, George Miazga, who died two weeks before. One year later, the tightly knit Glenville community paid tribute to Matthew, dedicating a plaque on the Glenville Road bridge spanning the Byram River.

Below a depiction of a fly rod on the plaque, an inscription reads: "An excellent angler!; and now with God. Matthew Margolies, 1971-1984."

Sunday, May 2, 1999

May 2, 1999 - Events In Greenwich

Emil and Elizabeth Benvenuto are to be honored yesterday at the Hyatt Regency Greenwich for their support of the Connecticut Center for Child Development.

Monday, January 18, 1999


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