Martha Moxley homicide: Case timeline

The homicide of a 15-year-old woman rocked a quiet Connecticut city in 1975. A glance inside on the case that has annoyed investigators.

The woman subsequent door

Martha Moxley
Martha Moxley


In October 1975, Martha Moxley was a well-liked 15-year-old residing along with her mother and father, Dorthy and David, and her brother John, within the non-public Greenwich, Connecticut, neighborhood of Belle Haven — an unique group the place violent crime was unusual.

The neighbors

Skakel family
Rushton and Anne Skakel, and their seven youngsters, lived throughout the road from the Moxley household within the non-public Greenwich, Connecticut, neighborhood of Belle Haven.

Skakel household

One other household residing in Belle Haven was the Skakel household. Martha Moxley turned buddies with two of the Skakel boys, 15-year-old Michael and 17-year-old Tommy.

The Kennedy connection

Ethel and  Robert F. Kennedy
Ethel and  Robert F. Kennedy are proven ,leaving the church on their marriage ceremony day,  June 17, 1950, in Greenwich, Connecticut.

Getty Pictures

The Skakels had been cousins of the Kennedys by way of the wedding of Ethel Skakel and Robert F. Kennedy.

The Skakel’s residence life

Skakel family
The Skakel household

Rockville Superior Court docket

After their mom died of most cancers, Rushton Skakel was the kids’s sole mum or dad. 

Revealing diary entries

Martha Moxley's diary
Martha Moxley’s diary

Rockville Superior Court docket

Martha Moxley recorded some interactions with the Skakels in her diary. In a single entry, she wrote about 17-year-old Tommy Skakel, “Went driving in Tom’s automobile … and I used to be virtually sitting on Tom’s lap … he stored placing his hand on my knee.” In one other entry, she was significantly involved with Michael’s conduct. The month earlier than her demise, on September 19, Martha wrote, “Michael was so completely out of it that he was being an actual ass—- …  I actually must cease going over there.” 

The night time earlier than Halloween

Martha Moxley, proven at age 14 on this 1974 photograph, was murdered on Oct. 30, 1975. 

AP Pictures

On the night time of October 30, 1975, Martha Moxley went to the Skakel home to hang around. 

A horrific discovery

Investigatiors say Martha Moxley’s physique had been dragged by way of the excessive grass in her household’s yard and left beneath a tree.

State of Connecticut Dept. of Emergency Companies & Public Safety

The subsequent afternoon, on Halloween, Martha Moxley’s physique was discovered beneath a tree close to the again of her household’s property. She had been attacked close to her driveway and dragged to that spot by the tree. Investigators consider she was killed between 9:30 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. the night time earlier than. 

The homicide weapon

Martha Moxley murder weapon
Investigators traced a path of blood to the Moxley driveway. There investigators found a chunk of the homicide weapon, the shaft of a 6-iron golf membership, pictured at left.

AP Pictures

Martha Moxley had been overwhelmed and stabbed with a Toney Penna golf membership. Police later discovered an identical golf membership from the identical set on the Skakel property. The golf membership she was struck with shattered from the power of the blows.

Michael Skalel’s alibi

Michael and Tommy Skakel
Michael, left, and and Tommy Skakel

Stephen Skakel/Rockville Superior Court docket

Since Martha Moxley was final seen with the Skakels, police regarded to them for accounts of what occurred that night time. Michael Skakel instructed police that at 9:30 p.m., he left Martha and Tommy to go to his cousin Jimmy Terrien’s home and returned residence round 11:30 p.m. and went straight to mattress.

Tommy Skakel’s alibi

Tommy Skakel was an preliminary suspect and reportedly the final particular person to see Martha Moxley alive. He instructed investigators she went residence shortly after Michael left at 9:30 p.m. Ken Littleton, the Skakel household tutor, mentioned Tommy was watching TV with him round 10 p.m. He seen nothing uncommon about Tommy.

The Skakel’s cooperation ends 

On January 22, 1976, Rushton Skakel, who had allowed police to go looking his residence after the homicide, ended his household’s cooperation with investigators.    

No new leads

No arrest was made in Martha Moxley’s homicide. Years handed and the case went chilly.

The Sutton Report

In an effort to clear his household identify, Rushton Skakel employed his personal crew of investigators. Their findings turned often called The Sutton Report. 

In 1995, a leaked doc from an investigation ordered by Rushton Skakel pointed a finger at Michael Skakel for the primary time. Michael instructed the investigators he did not go straight to mattress after he returned residence from his cousin’s home. He mentioned he went again out, climbed a tree outdoors of Martha Moxley’s  room and masturbated.

An alleged confession

Greg Coleman
Greg Coleman, recounted to an area information reporter what he says Michael Skakel instructed him once they attended  Elan, a reform faculty. “The primary phrases he ever mentioned to me was, ‘I will get away with homicide. I am a Kennedy.'”

AP Pictures

Reviews had additionally begun to flow into that whereas he was attending a reform faculty again in 1978, Michael Skakel had confessed to killing Martha Moxley. Greg Coleman was one pupil who alleged Michael confessed to him saying, “I will get away with homicide. I am a Kennedy.”

The case strikes ahead

Jonathan Benedict
State’s legal professional Jonathan Benedict convened an uncommon and barely used one-person grand jury to have a look at all of the proof and all of the suspects within the case. 

CBS Information

In 1998, state’s legal professional Jonathan Benedict convened a one-person grand jury to evaluate the proof within the case. After an 18-month listening to, Michael Skakel was indicted for Martha Moxley’s homicide. 

Costs filed 

Michael Skakel is charged with bludgeoning Martha Moxley to demise in 1975; he surrenders to police in Greenwich. His trial would start in Could 2002.

Many years after the crime, a conviction

Michael Skakel sentenced
Michael Skakel at his sentencing for the homicide of Martha Moxley.

Jane Rosenberg/

On August 30, 2002, Michael Skakel was sentenced to twenty years to life for killing Martha Moxley. He was 41 years outdated.

Tony Bryant’s account

Michael Skakel’s authorized crew continued the struggle to show his innocence. On August 24, 2003, Tony Bryant, a former classmate of Michael’s, instructed Michael’s attorneys two of his buddies who had been visiting Belle Haven the night time of Martha Moxley’s homicide had confessed to killing a lady.

Armed with Tony Bryant’s story, Michael Skakel’s protection crew requested a brand new trial. The choose denied the request.

An ineffective protection

Mickey Sherman and Hubert Santos.
Michael Skakel’s former legal professional Mickey Sherman, seated, is questioned by Skakel’s new legal professional Hubert Santos.

CBS Information

September 27, 2010 – Michael Skakel’s authorized crew filed a brand new enchantment that argued his trial legal professional, Mickey Sherman, failed to offer a reliable protection. Skakel’s new legal professional, Hubert Santos, argued Sherman ought to have known as witness Dennis Ossorio who may confirm Michael was at his cousin Jimmy Terrien’s home on the time investigators believed Martha was murdered.    

Strolling free

Michael Skakel
Michael Skakel was launched from jail in 2003 after serving greater than 11 years behind bars.

CBS Information

In 2013, a Connecticut choose ordered a brand new trial for Michael Skakel, ruling his unique lawyer had not represented him successfully. After spending over 11 years behind bars, Michael was launched from jail.

A brand new ruling

On December 30, 2016, the Connecticut Supreme Court docket reinstated Michael Skakel’s homicide conviction. The courtroom dominated that his authorized illustration at trial was competent.     

Nonetheless grieving

Dorthy Moxley
in 2016, after Michael Skakel’s homicide conviction was reinstated, Dorthy Moxley mentioned she has little doubt that he was chargeable for her daughter’s 1975 homicide.

CBS Information

Dorthy Moxley at all times believed Michael Skakel was responsible of killing her daughter. “I’m certain that Michael is the younger man who swung the golf membership,” she mentioned after the 2016 listening to. “There isn’t any doubt in my thoughts about that.”

Determination reversed

On Could 4, 2018, the Connecticut Supreme Court docket reversed its 2016 determination and vacated Michael Skakel’s conviction.

The Last Say

Michael Skakel 2020
On October 30, 2020, 45 years after Martha Moxley’s homicide, the State of Connecticut introduced Michael Skakel wouldn’t be retried.


On October 30, 2020, 45 years after Martha Moxley’;s homicide, the State of Connecticut introduced Michael Skakel wouldn’t be retried.

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