The Murder of Matthew Margolies

In 1984, after the recent death of his grandfather, 13 year old Matthew Margolies was trying to make the most of his remaining summer vacation. No one would have known that day as he headed off to fish would be the last time that he would be seen by his family. 


Matthew had spent many days along the river fishing with his grandfather in Greenwich, Connecticut. However, after his grandfather passed away, he still spent a lot of time with his grandmother including the night before he went missing. He woke up that morning on August 31, 1984 like so many others, and had gotten his fishing poles and gear together to go fish along the river. 

Around 5:30 that evening, a few witnesses recalled seeing him but this was the last time the teen was seen alive. His mother became very concerned when he didn't return home when he said he would. Matthew was a responsible kid, kind kid. This was not like him at all. He always asked for permission and was a latchkey kid within the first generation of latchkey kids in the 1980s.The searched began almost immediately but it was not until 5 days later that he was found. 


A volunteer firefighter discovered his body in a shallow grave in an area along the river. Normally, I do not go into a lot of detail but the details here may be the one thing that helps solve this case as they are unusual. In addition to being stabbed repeatedly with a boning knife, dirt had been forced down Matthew's throat suffocating him as well as it is suspected that he was strangled. 

Two weeks after he had disappeared a woman who lived in an apartment building nearby came to police to let them know that she had heard a child screaming between 6-6:30 pm the night he went missing. This allowed police to narrow down his time of death to a very narrow window of 30 minutes to an hour after he was last seen. 

Initially policed looked at a known bully in town and Roger Bates. Bates is incarcerated in Texas for child molestation and was, according to their testimony, the person who molested one of Matthew's friends in 1984. From the beginning, there has been a lot of criticism in how Greenwich Police Department handled the case. Ultimately, there is no solid evidence to tie anyone to the murder. Police believe that whoever killed Matthew was familiar with the area and may have been a resident. 


Despite being an almost 40 year old cold case, there is a detective assigned part time to cold cases in Greenwich so it is considered an open investigation. 

If you have any infomration regarding the murder of Matthew Margolies, please call the Greenwich Police Tip line at 203-622-3323 or 800-362-1176.


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