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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.

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