Martha Moxley – The Halloween Eve Murder on the Kennedy Side of Town

marthamoxeyHALLOWEEN EVE 1975

In 1975, in Greenwich, Connecticut, the night before Halloween started out like any other Halloween eve, for 15-year-old Martha Moxley.

Like the past few years before, Martha and a few friends headed out for a night of ornery pranks, like spraying shaving cream and throwing eggs and toilet paper around the neighborhood, then stopping off at the home of their friends, the Skakel brothers.


Like Martha Moxley, brothers Tommy and Michael Skakel, who were both teens at the time, lived in the gated community of Belle Haven. It is an affluent area of Greenwich, Connecticut where some Hollywood’s elite live and where former President Bush grew up.

The teenage brothers were well known in the neighborhood. They were known for their disrespectful behaviors and lack of discipline. But, and probably foremost, was the fact that they were the nephews of Ethel Skakel-Kennedy, the widow of the late Senator, Robert F. Kennedy.


As planned, Martha Moxley and a few friends ended up at the Skakel residence. After hanging out for a few hours, Martha headed for her own home, just 150 yards across the way. She never made it there.

golf-cluThe next morning, Martha’s body was found under a tree in her own backyard. She was beaten and stabbed with a 6-iron golf club, so powerfully that the shaft had shattered. She had been impaled in the neck with a shard from the shattered golf club. Her slacks and panties had been removed, but no signs of sexual assault were evident.

Tommy and Michael Skakel were immediate persons of interest, as they had been the last to see Martha Moxley alive. They became ‘suspects’ after it was discovered that the murder weapon had been traced back to a set of golf clubs owned by Anne Skakel-Kennedy, who had died two years earlier.

It was then determined that Tommy, the eldest of the two brothers, was actually the last person to see, and speak, with Martha Moxley.


The day Martha’s body was found, a ‘cursory’ search of the Skakel home took place. No further search warrant was ever obtained. Beyond that, the Skakel’s refused to cooperate with police.

Other suspects were considered, including a young male neighbor, a 24 year old tutor, that actually lived with the Skakel’s, and a bum who lived off of a nearby highway. But those avenues all dead ended and eyes turned back to the cousins of the Kennedy’s.

Finally, in 1998, a grand jury investigation took place. Over 50 witnesses were interviewed. A warrant was issued for Michael’s arrest and it was reported that he confessed to murdering Martha that evening in a fit of jealousy.

He was found guilty in 2002 and sentenced to 20 years to life in prison.


skakelIn 2013, Michael Skakel was granted a new trial by Connecticut Judge, Thomas A. Bishop. The reason? It was suddenly ruled that the kin of the Kennedy’s had gotten a bad deal. The judge ruled that Michael’s attorney had ‘failed to adequately represent’ the client, Michael Skakel, in 2002.

The judge stated that Michael’s attorney had ‘failed to locate a witness who backed up Skakel’s alibi that he was at his cousin’s house the night of Martha Moxley’s murder and failed to find a man who challenged a star witness’s claim that Michael actually confessed to anything.

On November 21, 2013, Michael Skakel (53) was released on bond for $1.2 million. As conditions of that bail, he must be monitored constantly with a GPS device. He cannot have contact with any member of the Moxley’s family. He must periodically check in over the phone and, under no circumstances, is he allowed to leave the state of Connecticut, unless granted permission by the courts.

credit – daily mail