Michael Skakel, Kennedy Cousin, Set To Be Released

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Michael Skakel, nephew to the late Robert F. Kennedy, is set to be released from the Connecticut prison where he has spent the last 11years for the 1975 bludgeoning death of neighbor Martha Moxley.

Skakel convicted in 2002, for the murder that occurred 27 years earlier, was granted a new trial by Judge Thomas A. Bishop on the grounds his attorney, famed, and disgraced, New York Attorney Michael “Mickey” Sherman, failed to adequately represent him.

"Trial counsel's failures in each of these areas of representation were significant and, ultimately, fatal to a constitutionally adequate defense. As a consequence of trial counsel's failures as stated, the state procured a judgment of conviction that lacks reliability." Judge Thomas Bishop wrote in his ruling.

Martha Moxley, the forgotten victim in this case, was, at the time of her murder, a neighbor of the Skakel family, in Greenwich, Connecticut.

Martha Moxley, in 1975 was a vivacious 15 year-old, pleasant, attractive, friendly teenage girl. Born in Greenwich, a wealthy section of Connecticut, both families lived in the gated section of Belle Haven. She at the time was fending off the advances of her neighbor, Tommy Skakel, 17, who according to her diary tried repeatedly to get ‘to first and second base.”  

Halloween, 1975, she and a group of friends set out to a Halloween Party at the Skakel residence, which bordered her family’s estate,  less than 200 ft from her home.

Martha never made it home. Her bloody and bludgeoned body was discovered under a tree on her family property. Her pants and underwear had been pulled down. She was not sexually assaulted lending to a theory that the killer may have been visually aroused and masturbated at the scene.

She had been brutally beaten with an expensive Golf Club, 6 Iron from the Toney Penna set. The brutally of the assault stunned locals as the club had been broken and the shaft driven through her neck. The golf clubs were traced to a collection owned by the Skakel’s.

The family stopped cooperating with the local police in early 1976. They claimed, as well as the neighbors, the Kennedy cousins were receiving special, preferred treatment.

According to the late Robert F. Kennedy, Michael Skakel was a “small sensitive child, the runt of the litter with a harsh and occasionally violent alcoholic father who ignored and abused him.”

In 1975, he was privileged, the cousin of America’s most famous family, a relative to the family who had seen the America dream shattered and would see tragedy again. And he knew it.

The case went cold and silent until 1993 when the late Dominick Dunne published the best selling crime drama, “A Season in Purgatory” detailing on the murder.

Dunne, who also wrote extensively on the O.J. Simpson trial and became friends with Los Angeles Police Department Detective Mark Fuhrman and suggested he investigate the case and eventually wrote “Murder in Greenwich,” which name Michale Skakel as the prime suspect. Another book, “Greentown” was also published by Timothy Dumas, a Greenwich local, which came to the same conclusion.

A website, http://marthamoxley.com updated every three minutes, details the night of innocence that escalated into a high profile murder that wouldn't see justice for over twenty-five years.

Due to the continued media attention, the Martha Moxley murder couldn’t be ignored any longer.

Michael Skakel was convicted on June 7, 2002, four days after jury deliberations, for the murder of his 15 year old neighbor Martha Moxley.

 

 

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