A Murder in Wellesley: New book revisits Greineder case

A new book about the gruesome Halloween morning murder of Wellesley’s Mabel Greineder by her husband Dirk at Morses Pond is about to debut. Not coincidentally, the authors will be visiting Wellesley next month to promote their account, almost exactly 13 years after the killing.

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 is written by Boston Herald reporter-turned-PR guy Tom Farmer and Marty Foley, who was the lead state police detective on the Greineder case.  The book promises “the untold story” and includes information from those who previously have declined to speak publicly about this case that “bitterly divided” the Greineders’ family. These sources include the Greineders’ niece, Belinda Markel, who testified against Dirk Greineder, as well as Greineder’s college roommates and crime scene investigators.

The case gained national prominence in the early 2000s as salacious details of allergist Greineder’s secret life of porn and prostitutes, against the backdrop of our “well-heeled” community, aired nationally on Court TV. Numerous TV, magazine and newspaper reports rehashed the story, including an A&E documentary program called City Confidential.

Greineder, now in his early 70s, was sentenced to life in prison for murder in 2001 and he has repeatedly sought to appeal the decision. The state Supreme Judicial Court will hear more arguments in November. Farmer declined to speculate on Greineder’s chances of getting a new trial, saying we’ll have to see what the SJC does.

The fact that the case is still in the news because of the appeals process provides Farmer/Foley with a current hook for their book tour. “This book is the definitive, behind the scenes account of the Greineder case from the perspective of the lead investigator,” Farmer says. He adds that the authors did not seek to speak to the Greineders’ children, instead using their court testimony and previous media coverage, and focusing the book on the investigative side of the case.

Farmer says his book goes well beyond an earlier account, Murder at Morses Pond, which was based largely on the court transcripts. (We’d heard tell of this new book a few years back while at a Wellesley Police Department open house, after pointing out a copy of Murder at Morses Pond in one of the offices. But Farmer, who got decent airtime during an NBC Dateline examination of the case several years back in light of his covering the story for the Herald, declined to discuss his project with us then.)

Asked about his impressions of the Wellesley Police Department, Farmer says: “I believe the Wellesley PD did a very good job on this case, and was and is a very professional PD.”
Farmer and Foley visit Wellesley Books on Oct. 18 at 7pm.
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