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A Murder in Wellesley

The Inside Story of an Ivy-League Doctor’s Double Life, His Slain Wife, and the Trial That Gripped the Nation

Tom Farmer and Marty Foley

Publication Year: 2012

Inside one of New England’s most infamous murders On Halloween morning in 1999, Mabel Greineder was savagely murdered along a wooded trail in the well-heeled community of Wellesley, Massachusetts. As the shock following the brutal killing slowly subsided, the community was further shaken when the focus of the investigation turned to her husband, Dirk Greineder, a prominent physician and family man who was soon revealed to be leading a secret double life involving prostitutes, pornography, and trysts solicited through the Internet. A Murder in Wellesley takes the reader far beyond the headlines and national news coverage spawned by “May” Greineder’s killing and tells the untold story of the meticulous investigation led by Marty Foley, the lead State Police detective on the case, from the morning of the murder through Dirk Greineder’s ultimate conviction. Exhaustive interviews with key figures in the case, including many who have not talked publicly until now, contribute to an unprecedented behind-the-scenes account of how investigators methodically built their case against Greineder and how the sides taken by Dirk and May’s relatives aided the investigation but bitterly divided their families. A fascinating true-crime procedural that is also a deeply unsettling tale of the psychopath you thought you knew, of deceptions and double lives, and of families torn apart by an unthinkable crime. Culminating in one of the most dramatic courtroom spectacles in recent memory (aired nationally on Court TV), A Murder in Wellesley reveals the truth behind the murder that gripped a nation.

Published by: Northeastern University Press

Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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pp. vii-viii

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pp. 1-6

Nestled in the middle of New England is the affluent community of Wellesley, Massachusetts, a prosperous town of twenty-six thousand residents where the quality of life embodies the best of what the six-state region has to offer. Located just thirteen miles west of Boston, it is home for many of the state’s captains of industry and its professional elite. ...

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pp. 6-21

Trooper Marty Foley’s pager began shrieking at 9:20 a.m. The Massachusetts State Police detective had been up early Halloween morning for a meeting at the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Boston, where his pager was now telling him to call his department’s General Headquarters. ...

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pp. 21-35

Attorney Terry Segal anxiously identified himself to the Wellesley desk officer a short time before noon, still not believing what Dirk Greineder had just told him. More of a family friend than a legal advocate, Segal had rushed to his friend’s aid knowing he must have been devastated over what had happened to May. ...

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pp. 35-46

Trooper Marty Foley followed Terry Segal down Cleveland Road. The lawyer turned left into Dr. Greineder’s driveway, and Foley parked his cruiser in the street in front of the white, split-level home with the number 56 displayed over the front door. To the left of the black door was a large bay window, and to the right an attached two-car garage. ...

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pp. 46-55

Sitting at Bill Kear’s dining room table a short drive from Morses Pond, Marty Foley and Kevin Shea were even more convinced that the stuffy forty-seven-year-old computer trouble-shooter was going to be a damning witness against Dr. Greineder. A resident of Wellesley for nine years, Kear and his Australian silky terrier spent hours together at the pond, ...

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pp. 55-69

Marty Foley knocked on Dr. Greineder’s front door at exactly 1:03 a.m. The doctor was up and opened the door right away, the two German shepherds barking downstairs. “Marty, what’s going on?” the visibly concerned doctor asked. “We have a search warrant to search your house. Can you put your dogs out back?” Foley replied evenly. ...

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pp. 69-78

Belinda Markel was up before the sun on Tuesday morning, the unfamiliarity of her hotel bed only compounding her insomnia induced by incessant questions racing inside her head. Her distress would only increase a few hours later when she returned to her uncle’s house. He was waiting with a shocking request. ...

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pp. 78-87

Deep into her first real sleep since the murder three days before, Belinda Markel was jolted awake on Wednesday, November 3, by the shrill ring of the telephone. Her husband had quietly risen for a workout at the hotel gym, happy that his grief-consumed wife was finally getting some rest, but her uncle had apparently forgotten she planned to sleep late that morning. ...

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pp. 87-103

For the second straight day, Belinda Markel’s sleep was shortened by a predawn telephone call from her uncle. Where Wednesday’s preoccupation had been about finding a pathologist to conduct a second autopsy on May — a search that would continue — Thursday’s urgency was setting up a “defense fund.” ...

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pp. 103-111

Marty Foley and Jill McDermott had almost immediate success Saturday morning as they asked residents arriving at Morses Pond if they had used the recreation area the week before. Wellesley resident Duncan Andrews, an affable middle-aged man walking his dog about 8:15 a.m., told the detectives he had arrived at the pond about the same time the previous Sunday, ...

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pp. 111-120

Returning home to Manhattan after May’s funeral on Monday, November 8, Belinda Markel felt something was seriously wrong. The week following May’s murder had been a long blur of one devastating shock after another, but back home, she was able to step back and reflect on the bizarre happenings in Wellesley. ...

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pp. 121-127

Walking into the Wellesley detective office late in the day on Saturday, November 13, Trooper Marty Foley saw Lt. Wayne Cunningham sitting in his office wearing what Foley could only describe as “a shit-eating grin.” ...

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pp. 127-145

As she boarded a cruise ship in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on Sunday, November 21, Belinda Markel knew it was going to be another melancholy Thanksgiving. It had been just before Thanksgiving the previous year that her grandmother had suffered a stroke, commencing the eight-week illness that culminated with her passing. ...

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pp. 145-157

Sitting outside the closed door to the Norfolk County Grand Jury with Marty Foley on December 15, Belinda Markel could not imagine why her mother had been sequestered inside so long. Prosecutor Rick Grundy had told Belinda and Ilse they would both finish long before lunchtime, but as the clock passed 10 a.m., Ilse had been testifying for well over an hour. ...

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pp. 157-163

As January turned to February, the investigators and prosecutor Rick Grundy were under increasing pressure from District Attorney Bill Keating to arrest Dr. Greineder. In no hurry to begin turning over their evidence to the doctor’s attorney through the mandated discovery process criminal charges would bring, ...

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pp. 163-178

Reporting to the Norfolk County Grand Jury, Marty Foley anticipated that Tuesday, February 29, 2000, would be one of the more memorable days of his police career. It would certainly turn out that way, but not for the reasons Foley expected. Being the final witness to appear before the investigative panel that had been sitting for four months, ...

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pp. 178-187

Arriving at the Wellesley Police Station at 7:30 a.m., Marty Foley was surprised to hear that Dr. Greineder had slept so soundly overnight that he had to be woken not long before Foley’s arrival. Mentioning it to Jill McDermott, the detectives concluded their suspect’s arrest had probably come with an odd sense of relief after weeks of waiting for the police to come. ...

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pp. 187-202

Listening to her mother’s side of the telephone conversation with Britt Greineder, Belinda Markel could see the day was turning bad before they had even left their hotel room for a Thursday morning meeting at the Greineder home with attorney Marty Murphy. “I’ve been reading the papers and I have a lot of questions for him,” ...

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pp. 202-216

It was raw and raining on Tuesday, April 4, 2000, when Belinda Markel and Ilse Stark braced themselves and stepped onto the trail in the pine tree forest at Morses Pond. In Massachusetts for an appointment with District Attorney Bill Keating the next day, May Greineder’s niece and sister wanted to walk the recreation area she had loved so much, ...

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pp. 217-226

Typically running late, Belinda Markel had the added stress of not knowing what to expect once she and her mother finally arrived in Dedham on Thursday, May 24, 2001. They had never been to the affluent suburban home of Norfolk County’s Superior Court. Upon arriving, they nervously glanced at the tangle of television equipment ...

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pp. 227-235

Feeling relaxed as he raised his right hand to be sworn in on Tuesday, June 5, Marty Foley would remain standing on the witness stand for the rest of the day and most of the next morning. After a description of his training and experience, prosecutor Rick Grundy then took the detective to the events of Halloween morning 1999 ...

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pp. 235-245

Ilse Stark’s long awaited appearance on the witness stand finally arrived first thing on Monday, June 11. She delivered everything expected and more. Having previously announced that she was “going first” when it came time to testify against Dirk Greineder, she got no argument from Belinda Markel. “I didn’t want to go on the stand anyway,” Belinda said. ...

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pp. 245-273

Dr. Dirk Greineder woke up in excruciating pain in the early morning hours of Thursday, June 14, suffering a bout of diverticulitis. The day’s testimony from Lt. Ken Martin would do nothing to make him feel better. The fast-talking Martin’s interpretation of the blood covering Dr. Greineder was far easier to understand than Dr. Robin Cotton’s dense DNA testimony. ...

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pp. 273-283

Seating the jury on Monday, June 25, for what would be the final day of testimony, Judge Paul Chernoff had no idea the high-stakes trial he had managed so effectively would nearly spin out of control. Promising the jury they would get the case before the day’s end, the judge fully expected the attorneys to make their final arguments sometime around the lunch hour. ...

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pp. 283-294

Daylight brought another spectacular summer day in New England on Tuesday, June 26, and the lunacy that had filled the sweltering main courtroom at Dedham Superior Court the day before had dissipated with the rising sun. Apparently deciding the negatives of putting Jackie Swerling before the jury far outweighed the potential benefit, ...

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pp. 294-302

Word that the jury had a reached a verdict filtered from their second-floor refuge in Dedham Superior Court during the Friday lunch hour. Energized with nervous excitement, Marty Foley felt confident they had come to the right conclusion. ...

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pp. 303-306

The victory celebration, if justice can be called a victory, ended just after last call at Desmond O’Malley’s, a short walk down Route Nine from the Crowne Plaza Hotel. The extended prosecution team had retired to the Natick hotel for a lighthearted banquet following the guilty verdict, District Attorney Bill Keating buying the steak dinners ...

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Authors’ Note

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pp. 307-308

The senseless slaying of May Greineder is one that has garnered intensive media coverage for more than a decade, but at its core, it is one example among the thousands of domestic murders committed every year, most of which although not receiving the attention of May’s case are no less tragic and devastating to the families involved. ...


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pp. 309-314

E-ISBN-13: 9781555537975
E-ISBN-10: 1555537979
Print-ISBN-13: 9781555537913
Print-ISBN-10: 155553791X

Page Count: 328
Illustrations: 20 illus. 1 map
Publication Year: 2012

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Subject Headings

  • Greineder, Mabel, d. 1999.
  • Greineder, Dirk.
  • Murder -- Massachusetts -- Wellesley -- Case studies.
  • Murder -- Investigation -- Massachusetts -- Wellesley -- Case studies.
  • Trials (Murder) -- Massachusetts -- Norfolk County.
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