Fuhrman's whodunit

In new book, O.J. figure names RFK kin in '75 slaying

by Denise Lavoie
Associated Press
(May 9,1998)




STAMFORD, Conn. -- A new book by former Los Angeles Detective Mark Fuhrman on the unsolved 1975 slaying of a 15-year-old girl in Greenwich names a nephew of Robert and Ethel Kennedy as the killer.

In "Murder in Greenwich," Fuhrman suggests that deference to a powerful family led police and prosecutors to bungle the case. The book, which won't hit store shelves until next week, is already drawing scathing criticism from many of its targets.

"Fuhrman has the luxury of not having to back up anything he says so he can name anybody he wants and he can say anything he wants in that book," said Frank Garr, a state investigator and former Greenwich detective who has worked on the case since 1976. He said the book is "loaded with inaccuracies."

Martha Moxley was beaten to death with a golf club on Oct. 30, 1975, on the grounds of her family's mansion in Greenwich. In his book, Fuhrman says he believes Michael Skakel killed Martha. Skakel, then 15, is the son of Rushton Skakel, Ethel Kennedy's brother. The Skakel family lived near the Moxleys.
Investigators said from the beginning they considered both Michael Skakel and his older brother, Thomas, then 17, as suspects. Both Skakel boys were known to be romantically interested in Martha.

Michael Skakel could not be reached for comment. A message left on his home answering machine in Cohasset, Mass., was not returned.

Tom Sheridan, an attorney who represented Michael Skakel in the Moxley case, did not return calls from the Associated Press. Emanuel Margolis, an attorney for the Skakel family, also did not return a call.

Michael Mone, a lawyer who represented Skakel when he spoke to prosecutors last year about his cousin Michael Kennedy and Kennedy's alleged affair with a teen-age baby sitter, refused to comment on Fuhrman's allegations.

Fuhrman theorizes that Michael Skakel flew into a jealous rage the night of the murder after seeing his older brother kissing Martha. Fuhrman claims Michael Skakel once confessed to killing Martha in a group therapy session, then quickly recanted.

Fuhrman, the detective who found the bloody glove in the O.J. Simpson case, pleaded no contest to perjury after being accused during the Simpson trial about lying about his use of the word "n-----." Simpson's lawyers portrayed Fuhrman as a racist and argued that he planted the glove.

In the book, published by Cliff Street Books, a division of HarperCollins, Fuhrman slams Greenwich police and prosecutors, saying they did not aggressively pursue the Skakels as suspects because of the family's wealth and connection to the Kennedys.

Fuhrman cites the police's failure to get a search warrant for the Skakel house, even though the golf club used to kill Martha belonged to the Skakel family.

"They were intimidated by money. They did not want to intrude on this family," Fuhrman said in an interview yesterday.

"I can find very little they did correctly in the investigation," he said. "I don't want to be smug or arrogant about this, but I obviously know much more than they do."

Greenwich Police Chief Peter Robbins said of Fuhrman: "His real intent was to make money. I don't think he was necessarily attempting to solve a crime."