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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."

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