Customer Reviews: Greentown: Murder and Mystery in Greenwich, America's Wealthiest Community
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on September 27, 1999
I read Tim Dumas' book shortly after I read Mark Fuhman's book on the Moxley case. I must recommend that the Fuhrman book be read first, to get a more concise description of the events of the Moxley case. Dumas' book was a much more in-depth read, with more emphasis on the cultural aspects of being very rich in Greenwich, and he even includes a description of the long tradition in the Belle Haven area of deaths caused by head trauma, going all the way back to the Vikings who first inhabited the area along with Native Americans hundreds of years ago, as if the area is cursed and doomed to have people killed this way throughout its history. I began reading this book around 8 pm one evening and could not put it down until I finished it at 1 am. It scared me, I must say. Dumas' use of graphic descriptions of the body, as well as his profiles of the Skakel family's and other neighbors' backgrounds were chilling, to say the least. I found his book to be excellent, full of information and interesting insights, as well as personal items about some of the suspects which were not included in Fuhrman's book. Some parts of Dumas' book were very overwritten and perhaps prejudiced because of his own experience of having lived in Greenwich during the time of the murder. He also approaches the case from a more sensational, journalistic slant, whereas Mark Fuhrman, who is actually a cop, seems more concerned with legal points. Overall, Dumas' book was absorbing and very informative. I was able to get a good feel for the types of lifestyles which could be found in this wealthy enclave in the 1970's, as well as the background details of this murder yet unsolved, and the probable chain of events that occurred the night Martha Moxley was murdered.
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on July 22, 1998
This is a well-written and thoroughly concise account of Martha Moxley's murder and the subsequent investigation. Once absorbed into the tale, "Greentown" is almost impossible to put down. Not only is the murder itself compelling, but the fact that it remains unsolved presents a mystery of the most interesting sort. The thing that Dumas has done is to deconstruct Greenwich, expose the problems at its heart, and explain how those problems essentially killed Martha. He attempts to solve this crime though its local residents, examining their lives explicitly. Behind the opulent facades lie disturbing tales of abuse and neglect brought on by excessive wealth. Dumas' frustration at the Belle Harbor stonewalling is almost tangible. It seems pretty plain that Tommy and/or Michael Skakel are the killers, and that they may never be apprehended because they are wealthy. It also seems clear that Belle Harbor doesn't mind this injustice, as long as the cameras and report! ers will go away and leave them alone. Still, there is just enough doubt to make everyone wonder. Dumas presents every clue, leading one suspicion after another. The book is as compelling as any fictional murder mystery, but is also an incredibly sobering commentary on injustice in America.
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on January 21, 1999
If you've read Murder in Greenwich first you may, like me, have to get used to and even cringe a bit at the overly dramatic and poetic bits from Dumas in describing the case. Dumas may have had access to a few more interviewees than Fuhrman but he did not have the Sutton reports nor talk at all about the autopsy. Bottom line: Fuhrman is (was) a cop, Dumas is a journalist. What does this mean for you, the reader? Well, if you're a fan of true crime you will probably appreciate Fuhrman's concentration on the case and the murder itself. Dumas is too flowery in his language and he even goes off on a 20-something page tangent all about the extensive history of Greenwich, dating back to the Vikings(!) That's great for a history book but does not have a thing to do with the murder of Martha Moxley and is completely unnecessary (re: padding.) Dumas also speeds through the developments of things years after the murder, lingering on only the first few years after the 1975 killing. Of interest is the reporting of Fuhrman's presence. The problem is also that Dumas has no real opinion of the case or of the identity or motive or carrying out of the murder. Fuhrman comes up front and reconstructs the scene in a very detailed manner and explicitly names the killer in his mind (Michael Skakel.) Dumas is content sitting back and feeding you this strange place called Greenwich. But anyone interested in this case will most definitely read both books. Dumas' book is better read after the more case-involved Fuhrman book. Fuhrman will hook you more to the case first than Dumas will.
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on May 23, 2003
This book had me up through the night reading! I literally could not put it down. But, even though the pace was like a fighter jet, it was the insights into the town and its people -- the wealth, greed, and circling-the-wagons mentality -- that made it special. The author gave us so much more than the case itself. By the time I was done I felt as though I had known the girl, as though I had visited many of the same places, had been snubbed by some of the very same people. The author made me see and feel everything! By contrast, afterwards I picked up Mark Fuhrman's book, and was astounded at the emptiness of the text -- that book was so embarrassingly bad and self-serving I could not finish. I would recommend A Wealth of Evil to anyone interested in a great read and a stirring social commentary.
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on December 4, 2002
I first read Mark Furhman's book Murder in Greenwich and then read this one. It would not have mattered which I read first but I liked Furhman's better. Dumas lived amoung them and it seems his book holds back a lot of information like he is afraid to tell the whole story unlike Furham who wanted this to be solved and have Justice Done. Dumas cast almost a sympthy for the accused wealthy Family and I find it annoying. I also think he did not need to Dis Mark Furhman in his book it makes him look bad. Furham may have had a bad reputation but nobody ever questioned his ability as a cop. I know nothing about Dumas for all I know he was as [messed] up as everyone else into drugs, etc... That does not make him an expert. He shows a lot of arrgogance I lived here so I know more. Well that case needed a new set of eyes an unintimided outsider. I bet if the two of them worked together you would have had a great book.
Both books make me think that both Tommy and Michael did this or are covering for each other. If you read between the lines it you see two MO's and two murder scences I think one of them went into a rage with a golf and the other stabbed her just my opinion. Also the family seems to cover for them at the beginning and then hides both of them (Tommy and Michael)away but not the rest of the kids.
I must say that I am glad they both potray how much Dorthy Moxely was involved as any Mother she would want to know the truth about what happened to her daughter. She is a pillar of strength and made sure her love for her daughter carried on. I believe that police, and the community was too scared of the Skakels to fess up. However, I would of talked because it was so violent why would you want to protect someone capable of doing what was done? Then again if I did it would be blacked out in police reports or I'd be dead. I do not care about wealth or stature the whole community should have been hell bent on finding this murdere not covering it up. Neither book really gives you a great insight because all the people are so vague or gaurded it is pathetic. Overall Dumas gets pieces the Furham book did not and vice versa. Dumas's book raises more questions than answers and Furhman's solved the case. That may tell you something. All in all we will never really know what happened but at least it was not ignored. This is one of the saddest murders I ever read or heard about.
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on January 24, 2000
Timothy Dumas really delivered an outstanding book! He unraveled the case in a way that did not let me put the book down. Timothy's work helped propel the case back into the spotlight. A great piece of work!
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on July 20, 2001
Rarely do I read a book that continually keeps my attention throughout the entire story. This is especially true when reading true crime stories. A Wealth of Evil by Timothy Dumas was more than I could have imagined. Not only is this Dumas's first and only true crime book, but he also put in so much more in a true crime book than most accomplished true crime authors have ever thought of doing.
The story is about the famous Martha Moxley murder in 1975. Immediately the suspects were none other than the Skakel brothers, who coincidentally were distant Kennedy relatives (their aunt being Ethel Skakel Kennedy). As many can imagine, you get a crime involving high people in high places and you have a recipe for getting away with murder!
Dumas not only gives the sordid facts of the murder, but he also gives the reader a detailed view of the town Martha lived in, Greenwich, CT. Dumas, who has lived in Greenwich all his life, could not have described this upscale town any better. The history not only adds to the story, but also gives readers a better idea of how this crime was and is so shocking. Dumas clearly did his homework when writing this book and brought readers a wonderful depiction of a young girl who lost her life much too early in life.
A Wealth of Evil will leave you disturbed by the facts surrounding the case and will keep you wanting justice to be served to the individual who did this crime. A well-written book that will keep you turning pages and not wanting to put the book down until it is finished.
Dumas has proven himself to be a very capable writer of true crime and I can only hope that he will consider writing another true crime book, as he has the gift for telling a good story.
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on May 10, 2002
Tim Dumas is from Greenwich, so all throughout the novel he knows what he's talking about. This book tells about the 1975 murder of 15 yr old Martha Moxley.
I 1st heard about this case on Unsolved Mysteries many years ago & it has haunted me ever since. Martha was beaten to death w/a golf club and the people last seen w/her were 2 brothers that were cousins of the Kennedys (& that's probably why the case is famous, but anyway...). The book tells all about Martha, the Skakels, & the wealthy citizens of this small, elite town. When I started this book I could not put it down & I found it to be chilling, eerie & haunting.
Although Mark Furhman's book was probably more factual, Tim Dumas' book was definitely more entertaining & also, Furhman is not from Greenwich, so it's more difficult for him to understand the culture & background of the suspect that led him (or @ least i think so) to commit such a brutal killing.
I am in prep school in CT & I know what Greenwich is like. I have spoken w/Dorthy Moxley before & my father is friends w/Tom Keegan. So all in all I was able to relate to much of the novel. After reading this I do believe Michael did it & hopefully he will be jail after this trial is over.
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on April 22, 1998
Greentown portrays Greenwich as it REALLY is - the life of the rich and the secluded world that is considered untouchable by anything - even crime. Tim Dumas has captured the heart of the story - that a young girl was murdered and her assailant is still out there. Tim's book made me laugh at the profound insights of life in Greenwich, and he made me cry with his words about Martha, in life and death. There are sure to be some stirrings as evidenced by the resignation of the prosecuting attorney. I recommend this true crime story to anyone who is also intriqued by the Lizzie Borden mystery.
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on June 4, 2016
I learned much from 'A Wealth of Evil.'

The book is, first, well-written from a literary standpoint, with a sound, straightforward narrative that doesn't get in the way of the facts. Second, the book is a comprehensive, well-researched, and reasonably balanced account of the 1975 murder of Martha Moxley, along with some contextually appropriate historical, geographical, and biographical digressions. Having read this book, I feel basically informed on the subject.

However, what I found most important in 'Wealth of Evil' is written between its lines, in the questions it raises. Namely, Ms. Moxley's murder forces us to confront some of the oldest issues about ourselves and what we're capable of, from our psychologies, motives, and behavior, to the enduring mysteries of the personality. Likewise, the murder and its subsequent aftermath expose some equally ageless social matters, such as class division, inequality, injustice, and the other fruits of hidden self-interest and biased loyalties. In this manner, there is much to be learned through the story of the Moxley murder and the chain of events it triggered, and we'd do well to pay attention, lest history repeat itself. As it were, I felt a little more world-wise after reading 'Wealth of Evil' (and, I felt to know *myself* a little better, too).

My thanks goes out to this book's author, subjects, and publisher. I am grateful for, and have benefited from, your work and service.
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