"Margolies Case File is Subject of Hearing"
By Ryan Jockers - Greenwich Time
The state Freedom of Information Commission next week is to hear arguments on
whether Greenwich police can withhold records on the 1984 murder of 13-year-old
Matthew Margolies of Glenville.
Greenwich Time, alleging a violation of the Freedom of Information Act, on Oct.
7 appealed Greenwich Police Chief Peter Robbins' denial of its request for the
department's records of the case, which remains unsolved.
The Freedom of Information Commission scheduled a hearing for the appeal for
2:30 p.m. Wednesday in Hartford.
"The Margolies murder was a much-publicized case that is 15 years old, and we
believe Greenwich residents should have information regarding the police
investigation," said Joseph F. Pisani, editor and senior vice president of
Margolies' body was found partly covered with leaves on a secluded hillside
outside the Glenville neighborhood near the Byram River on Sept. 5, 1984.
The Greenwich Police Department began to reinvestigate the Margolies murder in
June 1998, the same month in which a grand jury convened to hear witnesses in
the 1975 murder of 15-year-old Martha Moxley.
Eighteen months later, the grand jury found probable cause to arrest Michael
Skakel, now 39, a former neighbor of Moxley's and a nephew of Ethel Kennedy, who
was arrested Jan. 19 on a charge of murder. Skakel was arraigned March 14 and
has claimed his innocence through his attorney, Michael Sherman of Stamford.
On Aug. 31, J.A. Johnson Jr., a Greenwich Time reporter, made a formal written
request to Robbins for the Police Department's records concerning the Margolies
murder investigation. A month later, on Oct. 1, Robbins denied the request,
citing a state law that exempts certain public records from being made public
because disclosure would not be in the public interest. Robbins did not say in
what way he felt the release of records would hurt the public interest.
An example of such records, according to the state law, includes those that
would endanger individuals who were previously unidentified, signed statements
of witnesses, investigation techniques not known to the public and arrest
records of juveniles.
Robbins would not comment yesterday on the forthcoming Freedom of Information
According to police, Matthew Margolies set out the afternoon of Aug. 31, 1984,
from his Pilgrim Drive home to pursue his pastime, fishing in the Byram River.
Police said they believe Margolies was killed the same afternoon by someone who
repeatedly stabbed and strangled him. The boy's partially nude body was
discovered five days later in a wooded area near the river. The boning knife
believed to be the murder weapon was found a short distance from the body. There
was no evidence Margolies had been sexually assaulted.
Shortly after the murder, the FBI's Behavioral Science Unit profiled Margolies'
killer as a white male familiar with Glenville, who knew Margolies as well as
the victim's passion for fishing. In a town-funded 1986 paid consultant's
critique of the Police Department's investigation, the murderer was further
characterized as a sadist who lured the victim to a secluded area where he would
be able to act out his gory fantasies.