Michael Skakel – Deadly Jealousy

Martha Moxley, blond and pretty, will forever be 15 years old. In 1975 Michael Skakel bludgeoned and stabbed her to death with his father’s golf club, pulling down her jeans and leaving her body beneath a fir tree on her own property. The Skakels were a very wealthy family as were all the families in the gated community of Bell Haven, Greenwich, Connecticut. Michael was the middle of 6 children born to Rushton and Anne Skakel. Rushton was the brother of Ethel Skakel Kennedy, wife of Robert Kennedy. In 1973 Anne Skakel died of cancer.  The balance Anne kept within the household was gone and a sibling rivalry amidst chaos took over.  watch ct murders

Michael suffered from undiagnosed dyslexia and his father’s constant lectures about improving his grades. By 13 he was drinking alcohol daily.  Michael had the reputation of being violent and easily losing his temper.  He tortured and killed birds and squirrels. Michael and his older brother Tommy were highly competitive with one another, with Tommy usually coming out on top. In October 1975 Martha Moxley and her friends were out spraying shaving cream and ringing doorbells before running away – celebrating the evening before Halloween. Eventually they stopped at the Skakels house for a party. Martha was observed flirting with and kissing Tommy at the party. Martha left the Skakels home between 9:30 and 11:00 pm but never made it home. Both Tommy and Michael were suspects in the sensationalized murder.  An expensive Toney Penna golf club was found shattered, a piece of it lodged in Martha’s neck. Michael was ruled out as a suspect since he was at a friend’s house during the time of the murder. Michael claimed he left for home at 11:00 p.m. and went to bed. Tommy Skakel and a newly hired tutor remained at the top of the suspect list but no arrest was ever made. 3 years later at the age of 18, Michael Skakel was arrested for drunk driving and in an agreement to drop the charges, Michael was sent to Elan School in Poland Spring where he was treated for alcoholism. The rehabilitation program encouraged clients to confess to issues in their lives that contributed to their drinking.  Michael admitted to his father and Tommy he was involved in Martha’s murder but after receiving the information neither man took further action. watch unsolved mysteries – redux – solved – Martha Moxley

In his early 20′s Michael became sobre. Diagnosed with dyslexia he entered Currey College in Massachusetts which focused on students with learning disabilities. Upon graduation he married golf pro Margret Sheridan.  In 1991 the Moxley case was re-opened when rumours circulated during the trial of William Smith Kennedy that he was at the Skakel home on the night Martha was murdered. Once again attention focused on the Skakel boys.  During the second round of interviews both Tommy and Michael Skakel changed their original alibis. At the time of the murder Michael told police he didn’t go to bed at 11:00pm but instead peeped through neighbours’ windows, then climbed a tree near Martha’s bedroom window, masturbated while still in the tree and returned home at 12:30 a.m. It was also revealed that Michael and Martha argued at the Skakel household after she admitted to Michael she had a “crush” on Tommy. Watch 48 hours mystery – The Ghosts of Greenwich part 1/5

In 1998 a grand jury a grand jury investigated the Moxley murder. Several of Michael’s former friends, neighbours and teachers testified. It was concluded there was enough evidence to proceed with a murder charge against Michael.  Michael turned himself in and even though he was 15 at the time of the murder, 27 years after Martha’s murder, he was tried as an adult.  It was established that Michael’s many psychological issues, in particular his sibling rivalry with Tommy, and Martha’s admission that she preferred Tommy over Michael, led to Martha’s murder. After being found guilty, Michael insisted he was innocent. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison.  He is eligible for parole in 2013.

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