Memories of Martha
Aside from her warmth, I most remember the Wallabees.
Those funny, natural-suede shoes, popular in the ‘70s,
were a staple of Martha’s wardrobe. I can still see her
striding confidently down the hall to her locker in
Western Junior High. It was 1974 and Martha was a new
student in 9th grade. But she just wasn’t any new student;
she was special. She was from California! She was blonde!
She was fun and exciting and different! None of us had
known anyone like her. And that smile was infectious. It
was hard NOT to be happy when you were around her. She was
always laughing, forever upbeat. There really was no one
that didn’t like her in school. And her personality alone
made her stand out.
"Mox" was what people called her and what she signed on
those class notes to me before folding them up into
two-inch squares and passing them. She always knew the
latest gossip, what was going on, or simply how to make
you feel special. She was interesting and interested in
others. She didn’t try to bring attention to herself,
but by being friendly with others, always had a loyal
There were 3 of us that I considered Martha’s best friends.
All four of us, or any combination of us, were always
together. Alison knew her first and their moms grew to be
friends. Alison introduced Christy and me to Martha. We
all were on the yearbook staff. Alison, Martha, and I
were in Ski Club and went on weekend ski trips together,
along with our other friend, Sidney. Christy, Martha and
I went on a charted bus trip to Washington D.C. with our
Government class. We also formed a Western Answer Bowl
team and were runners-up. Martha and I played on the girls’
basketball team, and all of us went to the movies, hung
out at each other’s homes, and talked incessantly
on the phone.
Martha was a loyal friend --- I knew this because she
constantly talked about her best friends back in Piedmont,
California: Carrie, Lynne, Karen, Jane, and others. During
the summer after 9th grade, when Christy and I went off to
horse camp in New Hampshire, Martha went to Lake Tahoe to
see some of these friends. The letters she wrote reminded
me how much she enjoyed her ‘old’ friends but especially how
much fun she had seeing them again. I realize that trip
back was the last time they would see her.
Martha wasn’t only popular with girls, she was also
extremely popular with boys. She was fun and funny and the
boys loved that. I think her older brother, John, kept a
close eye on her as they grew closer with age and while
she dated her boyfriend, Jeff, in 9th grade. She looked
up to her brother and I think was very proud to be starting
the following year at Greenwich High School, which he
Martha loved to do fun and different things. I particularly
remember the surprise 15th birthday party she planned for me
and held at her house. We played goofy games and acted like
little kids. It was just four best friends and Martha’s
boyfriend, Jeff. They all pitched in and bought me an
AM/FM alarm clock radio. I kept that present for years
even after it no longer worked because Martha and the others
had given it to me.
Another very special time we had was when Mrs. Moxley took
the four of us to New York City to see Tommy, the movie.
All of us had been to the City before, being only an hour
away. It was very special, however, to be fifteen and go
to New York just to see a movie and have lunch. It was
these fun and simple times that I remember most about 9th
grade, the year a great girl came to our school.
That was Martha: having fun and doing things with friends
and family. She found time for everyone and everyone wanted
to spend time with her. She was a magnet; her warm, funny,
caring, and outgoing disposition captivated everybody and
earned her ‘best personality’ in the yearbook. Her smile
brightened everyone’s day. Her joyful, carefree laugh filled
everyone’s heart. I remember her smile and her laugh, but I
would do anything to see her Wallabees walking down the
hall toward me again.
Mei (Stone) Versailles (GHS Class '78)
...Her bright blonde hair blowing in the breeze
of the warm October sun (it was a rare "indian summer"
in Greenwich, that year)...she smiled up into Jeff's
face as she made to say goodbye before boarding the
school bus...he leaned down and kissed
her on the cheek...and her smile deepened
(that California-girl beauty came from within
with Martha). I remember being so happy for my
friend, he seemed such a perfect match for her...
the epitome of the age of innocence for us all -
the high school romance, the exquisite handsome
pairing, the good-hearted (& intellectually sharp!)
people they both were. My heart smiled as I
watched them embrace; golden sunshine & autumn colors
yellow school buses lined in a row...
The scene runs through my minds' eye as clear as was that
autumn day....I am but 39, now...but I can become 15 again
as easily as changing my eyes from open to shut....for it
was the last I was to see my friend, the girl who, with her
smile, brought the sun & the beaches of California to often
gray Greenwich days at Western Jr. High (then Greenwich High -
to which House was she assigned? I remember it was not mine -
Bella) I mourn for the world, the loss of Martha...I mourn
for her sweet, sweet Mom (and for her father who I heard later
died from a broken heart) & her brother who must remain strong
in face of this terrible legacy of deceit & frustration...
I mourn for all of us....who knew and loved her...and had our
youth of trust & innocence & Junior Prom dreams ripped from us
by the hands of the like of the Kennedy & Skakel family.
They murdered Martha..and they murdered that which was
within each & all of us...a belief that we were given the
right to live to see our full potential without fear or
loss of life or suppression of Justice as is guaranteed
to us as Americans...and as human beings....
Leigh LaPore Herrmann (GHS Class '78)
I was not as close to her as some who have written here. Still, I remember
and mourn a sweet, vivacious girl who was friendly to everyone, and projected
a wonderful warmth to all those crossed her path. It sometimes seems almost
a requirement that those taken prematurely possess these qualities. I
remember others in the class who would have been forgotten after a year or
two had they met this fate. This has as much to do with the longevity of
this case as anything.
The memory of someone so full of life, who had really just started her life,
cut down just as she was getting off the ground, meeting such an ignominious
end. It's not an exaggeration to say it is reminiscient of JFK or Diana, but
obviously on a smaller scale, not to say that makes it any easier for that
most elegant of women, Dorthy Moxley. A pillar of strength, decency,
courtesy, and noble suffering.
As I said, I wasn't as close to her as many here, but I spoke with her fairly
often and our lockers were in close proximity. Particularly in recent weeks,
as this trial has been in the news frequently, I would hear a snippet about
it at work off the tv in the employee lounge and proceed to be distracted for
the next hour as I recalled a young girl nonchalantly going about her
schoolday, putting up books and other things in her locker, imagining she had
a half-century of life and love, happiness and pain ahead of her when in fact
she was nearing the end of her short but meaningful life. At the edge of an
abyss lies what we are not privileged as mortals to know at this time.
May Martha finally rest in peace and may her mother finally know some peace.
I got to know Martha when we were perhaps 11 or 12. The Moxleys owned the
condominium next to ours in Tahoe City, CA.. We lived there full time and
the Moxleys bought the condo as a second home. Martha & I quickly become
We looked a lot alike. Thin, should length blonde hair, the same height,
loved tennis, testing our limits a bit and always having a good time. We
both loved Elton John, our Wallaby shoes(someone else mentioned that),
swimming in freezing Lake Tahoe and hanging out in the sun. She was so fun
Just a few memories: an early July day when it snowed in the morning & then
Martha & I put on our swim suits to lay in the sun in the afternoon, she (at
14!) complaining about her chubby thighs while playing tennis, buying our
first Elton John 45 record together, bugging John whenever possible and he
was always so annoyed with us and of course, saying good bye when they moved
to the East Coast.
We were terribly sad and didn't know when we would see each other again, but
when we did the following summer it was just like she never left!
Oh, the horror of what happened. I remember the day so clearly. The mean
spirited girl who knew Martha from Piedmont and had moved to Tahoe. She
actually seemed pleased to tell me the news of Martha's death. I was in
shock and called home so my mother could call Dorothy to make sure it wasn't
true. It was very hard to comprehend being to far removed.
Her Tahoe Friend,
Lynn Richardson Flora
May we all take a moment in our hearts today to
remember Martha, and hold those we love a little closer...
Watch over them a little harder, in memory of
one who is no longer able to be held
by her loving Mother.
God bless the Moxleys.
Nancy Rider Riley (GHS Class '78)
My name is Jack Sherman, and I was a classmate of Martha's
at Western Junior High. We were in the same class, and
remember her well. She was one of the most beautiful girls,
as well as the brightest personalities. We were not close
friends, but close enough for me to remember well her
charm and sunny nature. I recall most vividly sitting in
english class next to herin our assigned seats, in old
Mr. Steins class....and we would chuckle about what a funny
strange old man he was!
I had almost forgotten about the whole ordeal until
reading the article in the U.S.A. Today, about Skakel.
Strangely enough, when looking at the web site, I saw the
link on the La Guardia Bombing, in which my good friend
John Kokesburger's father was killed.
I am a spiritual person, and I firmly believe she is in
a better, higher place now.... full of light and love...
that same light and love that she emanated to all of us
here on earth.
Jack Sherman (GHS Class '78)
If you were a friend of Martha's and would like
to let others know about her, please write down your
thoughts and E-Mail it to me at