MICHAEL SKAKEL Biography - Crimes, Laws and people


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Name: Michael Skakel                                                                 
Born: September 19, 1960                                                             
Michael Skakel, born September 19, 1960, was convicted in 2002 for the 1975         
murder of Martha Moxley. Skakel's father is the brother of Sen. Robert F.           
Kennedy's widow, Ethel.                                                             
Martha Moxley was found dead on October 31, 1975 on her family's property in         
Greenwich, Connecticut, after having been bludgeoned with a golf club, a 6-iron     
soon determined to belong to the Skakels. Initially, the murder remained             
unsolved, though a cloud of suspicion hung over the Skakel home. Ken Littleton       
also became a prime suspect. When William Kennedy Smith was tried for rape in       
1991, information surfaced that he knew more about the Moxley case, resulting in     
renewed investigation to the then, "cold case". In 1993 author Dominick Dunne,       
father of murdered actress Dominique Dunne, published A Season in Purgatory, a       
fictional story loosely based on the murder of Martha Moxley. Mark Fuhrman's         
1998 book Murder in Greenwich named Skakel as the murderer and pointed out           
numerous mistakes the police had made in investigating the crime. During the         
years before the Dunne and Fuhrman books, work had been done by Greenwich Police     
detective Frank Garr and police reporter Leonard Levitt, that named Michael as       
the killer.                                                                         
In June of 1998 a rarely invoked one-man Grand Jury was convened, and after 18       
months (in June of 2000) Michael Skakel was indicted for the murder of Martha       
Moxley. In a highly publicized trial, Skakel was convicted for the murder of         
Martha Moxley on June 7, 2002, and received a sentence of 20 years to life in       
prison. Skakel's alibi was that at the time of the murder he was at his cousin's     
house. The jury also heard part of a taped book proposal, in which Skakel           
admitted to masturbating in a tree that night, but not to killing Moxley.           
Prosecutors took words from this proposal and overlayed them on graphic images       
of Martha Moxley's dead body in a computerized presentation shown to jurors         
during closing arguments. Skakel's defense insists that his words were taken out     
of context.                                                                         
In January of 2003, attorney Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., Skakel's cousin, wrote a       
controversial article in The Atlantic Monthly entitled "A Miscarriage of Justice,"   
insisting that Skakel's indictment "was triggered by an inflamed media, and that     
an innocent man is now in prison". He presents an argument alleging that there       
is more evidence suggesting that then-twenty-three year old Skakel family live-in   
tutor, Ken Littleton, killed Moxley. He also credits the pursuit of Skakel to       
Dominick Dunne.