- The thrilling new true-crime documentary Murder and Justice: The Case of Martha Moxley investigates the mysterious death of the 15-year-old.
- All evidence pointed towards brothers Michael and Thomas Skakel, Ethel Kennedy’s nephews.
- What happened on that fateful day back in 1975? And was justice ever served?
- Murder and Justice: The Case of Martha Moxley starts on Sunday, 26 September, on CBS Justice (DStv 170) at 20:00.
Whenever there’s a Kennedy involved, trouble with a capital T seems to follow. The case of Martha Moxley is no different. What really happened on that fateful day back in 1975? And was justice ever served? Find out in Murder and Justice: The Case of Martha Moxley.
It’s one of those great unsolved mysteries. Who was to blame? Did the perpetrator get what they deserved? And are exceptions made for the rich and privileged?
Martha Moxley was an upper-class 15-year-old living in one of Connecticut’s wealthiest suburbs. She had everything going for her – until her life was mysteriously taken one awful Halloween evening. The evidence all pointed towards one person, Michael Skakel, Ethel Kennedy’s nephew.
Martha had been out with her friends, playing Halloween pranks. Among these friends were her neighbours – Thomas and Michael Skakel, and she was last seen joking around with Thomas, who was 17 at the time, at the Skakel family’s swimming pool. The following day, one of her good friends discovered her body in front of Martha’s own house. She’d been bludgeoned to death with a six-iron golf club and stabbed in the head.
It soon became apparent that the golf club came from the Skakel home, and both boys were questioned. Neither of them could properly account for their whereabouts that night, and their alibis have changed many times over the years. Thomas was known for having a violent temper, as well as drinking too much and taking drugs.
The brothers weren’t the only suspects. Two men visiting the area from New York City also reportedly later boasted about having committed the murder. There were always suspicions around the Skakel boys’ tutor, Ken Littleton, and another Kennedy, William Kennedy Smith.
It was only 23 years later that new evidence came to light. Two of Michael’s school friends reported he had boasted about killing Martha. It seemed, they said, that Martha was being pursued by both brothers, and Michael felt that Thomas had stolen his “girlfriend”. They became key witnesses in the trial that followed, in which the circumstantial evidence was overwhelming.
In 2002, Michael was convicted of killing Martha and sentenced to 20 years in jail, a sentence that would be overturned in 2011, after he’d served just 11 years, on the grounds he didn’t receive adequate legal representation.
Michael Skakel is escorted out of Norwalk Superior Court after being sentenced to 20 years to life in prison for the 1975 murder of his neighbor Martha Moxley on 29 August 2002.
Kennedy relative Michael Skakel walks out of a Stamford, Connecticut courthouse after his murder conviction in the death of Martha Moxley was vacated.
Then, in 2020, 45 years later, a decision had to be taken as to whether the case would go to trial again or not.
But what really happened that fateful night?
This gripping new doccie-series, hosted by former federal prosecutor and on-air legal analyst Laura Coates, interrogates the case in intense detail. It’s a 360-degree look at the original evidence, and new theories are tested. Were some big clues overlooked? Some of the world’s preeminent crime experts give their input, as does the original detective on the case, Mark Fuhrman, trial defence attorney Mickey Sherman and Michael’s cousin, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who has always denied Michael was guilty.
It’s a complex case, with so many nuances. All the evidence will be presented in this documentary, and you’ll get to be the judge.
Who really killed Martha Moxley?
Murder and Justice: The Case of Martha Moxley starts on Sunday, 26 September, on CBS Justice (DStv 170) at 20:00