This page consists of three articles which have been written about this website. I would like to thank each reporter for the accuracy in their articles.
Net Life/by Stephanie Schorow
Boston Herald - Tuesday, July 18, 2002
The Martha Moxley murder trial may be over, but the appeals continue, as do a couple of Web sites offering alternative views of the horrific 1975 crime.
After decades of controversy, Michael Skakel, a nephew of Ethel Kennedy, was convicted last week of killing his Greenwich, Conn., neighbor, 15-year-old Moxley. Skakel was also 15 at the time.
The site www.marthamoxley.com, created by a former junior high classmate of Martha, will stay active as "as a testament to not only Martha, but to her mother Dorthy, brother John and other family and friends, prosecutors and investigators who would not rest until the truth was told and the guilty, jailed," said Web master Tom Alessi.
Likewise, www.camp-skakel.com, launched by a California resident convinced of Skakel's innocence, will continue to argue that Skakel was "railroaded and used as a scapegoat by those wishing to restore Greenwich's tarnished image and reputation," said Web mistress Karen Kerby.
What is astonishing about these two supposedly "dueling" Web sites is the high quality of the information they contain and the surprisingly polite (for the Web) opinions posted about the case. Both sites make some effort to provide a neutral platform for discussion and both have links to multiple sources of information about the case. To look through both is to get a sense of what may have passed through the minds of the jurors as they sifted through the evidence. On the Web, where arguments often degenerate into illiterate flaming and wild conspiracy theories pass for reasoned analysis, this is remarkable.
Four years ago, Alessi launched www.marthamoxley.com to draw attention to "The Unsolved Mystery of Who Murdered Martha Moxley." He runs no advertising and takes no donations. The site contains the latest news, plus archives of articles, photos, Skakel's own book proposal, excerpts from Martha's diary, and even a map of the crime scene. Those interested in the minutiae of the case may also follow links to the Sutton Report, a private detective's report commissioned by Skakel's father.
On June 10, the day Skakel was convicted, Alessi changed the word "unsolved" to "solved" on the opening page. "It was very satisfying and something I really NEVER thought I would be able to do," he wrote in an e-mail to me.
Kerby launched www.camp-skakel.com in May 2000 after reading former Los Angeles detective Mark Fuhrman's book about the case; she had also participated in a message board, now offline, at marthamoxley.com. As for her motivation, she insisted in an e-mail that "the plain and simply truth is . . . I firmly believe Michael Skakel is innocent." The site contains information on the case, background on the Skakels and Kennedys and a photo gallery that includes a surprisingly affecting photo of a long-haired and baby- faced 15-year-old Skakel, a striking contrast to the portly, dissipated adult at the trial.
A Californian who has never visited the East Coast, Kerby believes the Skakel and Kennedy families are viewed more impartially outside of New England and that a fair trial for Skakel could only have been held in an area where "the Kennedys and the Skakels are not hated simply for their names."
The folks posting at Camp-Skakel's message boards discuss the case with surprising depth and bring up numerous issues probably not admissible in court, such as whether drinking and smoking pot can cause a person to forget doing a brutal act.
The discussions (which only rarely become profane) reiterate the reason that we have a jury system drawn from "average people."
Those considering creating Web sites about other unsolved cases or to champion a cause could learn something from these two sites. Alessi suggests that grassroots Web masters avoid taking advertising or soliciting money for their efforts. "Money taints the truth," he said. "Stay out of the limelight; the case and the story is not about the Web site. If you are in it for the publicity, you are not doing it for the right reason."
And, in what must be the hardest act of all, "Try to stay neutral even if you know in your heart who was responsible."
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memory alive on the Web
Net Life/by Stephanie Schorow
Boston Herald - Tuesday, June 27, 2000
Like many of Martha Moxley's childhood buddies, Tom Alessi fervently hopes that whoever killed the 15-year-old Greenwich, Conn., girl will face justice someday.
Until then - and even for long afterward - Alessi will keep alive the memory of the bright, blond teen known for her friendly spirit.
Alessi is Webmaster of MarthaMoxley.com, a Web site devoted to his friend's life and unsolved murder.
``There were years that nobody talked about (the case),'' said Alessi, 40, who attended junior high school with Martha. ``I thought it was a lost cause until the Internet came along.''
In October 1975, Moxley's battered body was found near her home in an exclusive area of Greenwich. For 25 years, suspicion has surrounded two of Ethel Kennedy's nephews, Tom and Michael Skakel, who lived nearby.
In March, Michael Skakel was arraigned in a Connecticut juvenile court on charges that he killed Moxley; this week, a hearing continues over whether Skakel (who was 15 in 1975) should be tried as an adult.
What is striking about MarthaMoxley.com is its straightforward (if not entirely dispassionate) recounting of the case, including a timeline, news archives and murder scene maps. There is also information on the Skakel and Kennedy families, the grand jury's investigation and a (somewhat bizarre) book proposal reportedly put forth by Michael Skakel entitled: ``Dead Man Talking: A Kennedy Cousin Comes Clean.''
More affecting, however, is the section where Martha's friends have posted memories of her and a guestbook in which hundreds of people have recorded impressions of the site or the murder.
No advertising is accepted.
Alessi, a facilities administrator for Stamford's 911-emergency system, and the married father of an 8-year-old, seems to have no other agenda than ensuring that the victim won't be overlooked amid the hype of yet another celebrity trial. He acknowledges he has been accused of Kennedy bashing, but the information provided on the Web site is fairly neutral - even if many guestbook comments are not.
``I don't want to come across as judgmental or pointing the finger, because I don't know (who killed Moxley),'' Alessi said.
Of course, he suspects. And he may have played a bit role in the investigation. Friends of Moxley have contacted him through the site, as well as former residents of Elan School in Maine (a drug rehabilitation center where, prosecutors contend, Michael Skakel spoke of the murder), and Alessi has passed along the e-mails to authorities.
But if a court declares Skakel not guilty, ``Not guilty will be the headline on the Web site,'' Alessi said.
Alessi also runs 27 other Web sites, many on unsolved crimes, including others that occurred in Greenwich. He launched MarthaMoxley.com two years ago after he came across a ``Who Murdered Martha Moxley'' Web site created by an Austrian graduate student. Through e-mail with the student, Alessi arranged to take over the site, but only after checking with Martha's mother, Dorothy, about registering the Moxley name.
Although the Internet is awash with unsolved-crime sites stuffed with rumors, speculation and innuendo, Alessi believes they often encourage folks to come forward with real information.
On a personal level, the Web site has reconnected Alessi with old friends, many of whom he had not seen for 20 years, who all wanted the world to know Martha Moxley as they had known her.
The murder has ``always nagged at the community. With all the other unsolved murders in Greenwich, it's given the town a black eye and deservedly so,'' Alessi said.
The Internet can't solve crimes, but, maybe, it might serve justice.
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Greenwich Time, January 3, 1999
By J.A. Johnson Jr., Photo by Mark Conrad
Their lives crossed only briefly, but 23 years after the murder of Greenwich
teenager Martha Moxley, Tom Alessi is helping to keep the 15-year-old girl's
memory alive in cyberspace.
keeps hope alive."
December 3, 1999
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."