By Kevin McCallum - Stamford Advocate
A roundup of those who took the stand during the skakel trial.
John Higgins, a former classmate of Michael Skakel's at the Elan School.
Higgins was the only person to testify that Skakel confessed to killing Martha Moxley. Higgins, left, claimed that one night in 1978, as he and Skakel sat up late on a dormitory porch, Skakel engaged in a two-hour soliloquy about the crime. In what Higgins described as a "bleeding out," Skakel first said he did not remember what happened, but gradually realized he had killed Moxley, concluding by saying, "I must have done it. I did it." Despite being a member of the Elan police force, Higgins never told school authorities about Skakel's confession. A reluctant witness, Higgins said he only agreed to testify after State Inspector Frank Garr secretly taped telephone conversations with him.
Charles Seigan, a former classmate of Skakel's at the Elan School.
Seigan testified about the physically and verbally abusive atmosphere at the Poland Spring, Maine, drug and alcohol treatment center. Whenever Moxley's murder came up at meetings, Skakel would cry, shake and say he did not know if he killed her, Seigan said.
Elizabeth Arnold, a former classmate of Skakel's at the Elan School.
The first Elan witness to provide a possible motive for the crime, Arnold testified that during a therapy session Skakel said he was upset his brother "stole his girlfriend." She also recalled that Skakel said he was drunk and had "blacked out" and did not know whether he or his brother, Thomas, had killed Moxley. She also recalled how Skakel was "brutalized" by other students in a boxing ring, and how the beatings caused him to stop denying responsibility for the murder and start saying he could not recall.
Gregory Coleman, a former classmate of Skakel's at the Elan School.
Though he died of a heroin overdose last year, the judge admitted into evidence Coleman's previous testimony that Skakel confessed he "drove her skull in with a golf club" and boasted "I'm gonna get away with murder, I'm a Kennedy." Skakel's attorney, Michael Sherman, attacked Coleman's credibility, however, during Skakel's probable cause hearing when, on cross-examination, Coleman admitted being high on heroin when he testified before the one-man grand jury.
Elizabeth Coleman, Gregory Coleman's widow.
Called by prosecutors to rehabilitate Coleman's earlier testimony, Elizabeth Coleman testified that her husband told her as far back as 1986 that Skakel had confessed to the murder.
Alice Dunn, above, a former staff member at the Elan School.
Dunn testified that following a meeting at Elan in which Skakel was beaten and humiliated, she tried to get Skakel to talk about his neighbor's murder, but he claimed he could not remember anything because he had been drinking that evening. On another occasion, Skakel said he was "not in his normal state" that night, and did not know if he had committed the murder or if his brother, Thomas, had done it, Dunn testified.
Jennifer Pease, a former Elan student and friend of Gregory Coleman.
Pease came forward in the middle of the trial to support Coleman's version of events. She testified that Coleman told her in 1979 that Skakel was "sick" and had confessed to Coleman. After posting a message about Elan to a Web site, Pease said she contacted prosecutors because she felt Elan staff member Alice Dunn was "a monster."
A friend and neighbor of Martha's who discovered her bludgeoned body under a tree beside Moxley's house on Oct. 31, 1975.
Jacqueline Wetenhall O'Hara, a childhood friend of Martha Moxley and Michael Skakel.
O'Hara testified that there was little adult supervision at the Skakel home, and that Moxley flirted with Thomas Skakel.
Kenneth Littleton, above, the Skakel family tutor who moved into the home the night of Moxley's murder.
A prime suspect for years, Littleton was granted immunity for his grand jury testimony four years ago. His speech slowed by six psychotropic drugs treating his bi-polar disorder, Littleton said he never met Moxley. On the night of her murder, he was in his room watching "The French Connection," he said. He briefly went outside at 9:30 p.m. to check on a noise, but retreated after he was "spooked" by a rustling in the leaves. When Thomas later joined Littleton in his room to watch the movie, the boy's clothes were clean and he looked "perfectly composed, not agitated," he said. After Moxley's body was discovered the next day, Littleton was instructed to drive Michael and Thomas Skakel and cousin James Terrien to the family's ski house in Windham, N.Y., he said.
Mary Baker, ex-wife of Kenneth Littleton.
Baker outlined how in 1992, after state inspectors told her they suspected her ex-husband of being a serial killer, she agreed to try to trick him into confessing to Moxley's murder on tape. In numerous telephone calls and a meeting in a bugged hotel room, Baker made up stories about past confessions in an effort to get Littleton to incriminate himself. Despite Baker's insistence that Littleton never confessed, the defense tried to use the tapes as evidence that Littleton believed he committed the crime.
Andrea Shakespeare Renna, a friend of Skakel's sister, Julie.
Renna weakened Skakel's alibi when she testified that he was not in the car with his brothers Rushton Jr. and John when they drove their cousin, James Terrien, home around 9:30 p.m. that night. Renna said she was certain Skakel stayed behind in Belle Haven. When Sherman called Renna back as his own witness, however, she admitted she never actually saw Skakel after the car left for the Terriens.
Helen Ix Fitzpatrick, a close friend of Martha's who was with Martha in the Skakels' Lincoln on the night of the murder.
Fitzpatrick said she recalled being ordered out of the car before the older Skakel brothers drove their cousin, James Terrien, home. She said she thought Michael went with them, but could not be sure. Fitzpatrick also said her dog, Zock, barked wildly from about 9:45 p.m. to 10:15 p.m. the night of Moxley's murder.
Mildred "Cissy" Ix, Helen's mother and a close friend of the Skakel family.
Ix testified in 1998 that she had a conversation with Rushton Skakel Sr., during which he told her he feared Michael might have had too much to drink on the night of Moxley's death and may not remember killing her. During the trial, however, Ix changed her story. She now said that Skakel's father mentioned he was considering having his son take a sodium pentothal test, but never explained why.
Andrew Pugh, a childhood friend of Michael Skakel.
He testified that Skakel had a crush on Moxley and an adversarial relationship with his brother, Thomas. After the murder, the atmosphere in the Skakel household became more restrictive and they drifted apart, he said. In 1991, Skakel asked Pugh to speak to an investigative firm trying to clear his name, Sutton Associates. Pugh said he asked Skakel to clear the air about Moxley's murder, and Skakel told him about masturbating in a tree the night of the murder. Prosecutors said Pugh complained that Skakel "mouthed obscenities" at him while he was on the stand.
Thomas Keegan, former Greenwich police chief and supervisor of the Moxley investigation.
Now a South Carolina state representative, Keegan outlined how his detectives processed the crime scene and orchestrated the search for the missing golf handle, which was never located. The defense zeroed in on the fact that in 1976 Keegan applied for an arrest warrant for Thomas Skakel, believing probable cause existed to charge him with Moxley's murder. Keegan also said the brown leather boat shoe Moxley wore the night she was murdered had "Tom" printed on the inside of its sole.
Dorthy Moxley, mother of Martha Moxley.
Dorthy Moxley was the first witness in the case. She testified that she did not know about her 15-year-old-daughter's friendship with the Skakel brothers until reading the girl's diary.
Jim Lunney, a former detective with the Greenwich Police Department.
Lunney explained how he discovered a golf club similar to the murder weapon inside the Skakel home the evening Moxley's body was found. He also said Skakel originally told him that after returning from the Terriens' home, he went straight to bed. Lunney testified that he and other detectives were given regular access to the Skakel home and children.
The Rev. Dan Hickman, a former youth officer with the Greenwich Police Department.
One of the first to arrive at the Moxley house on Walsh Lane after Moxley's body was discovered, Hickman recalled seeing a piece of a golf club sticking out from the victim's neck. First made public in Mark Furhman's book "Murder in Greenwich," Hickman's observation was contradicted by others at the scene, including McGuire.
Dr. H. Wayne Carver, chief medical examiner for Connecticut.
Relying on Dr. Elliott Gross' autopsy, Carver testified that Moxley had no alcohol in her system at the time of her death and there was no evidence of sexual assault. Referring to a gruesome set of autopsy photos, Carver explained how Moxley was struck with the club nearly a dozen times before she was stabbed through the neck with the broken shaft.
Dr. Henry Lee, renowned forensic scientist who conducted a partial reconstruction of the crime in the early 1990s.
Lee testified that he found no blood or DNA linking Michael Skakel to Moxley's murder. Two hairs on the sheet used to wrap the body were "microscopically similar" to Littleton's, Lee said. More recent DNA tests showed one of those hairs did not belong to Littleton. Prosecutors suggested Lee's involvement in the case may have spurred Skakel to change his story to account for the possibility of his DNA being at the scene.
Richard Hoffman, a writer who interviewed Skakel in 1997 for a book about his life.
According to Hoffman's tapes, Skakel said that while drunk and stoned, he masturbated in tree on Moxley's property on the night of the murder. Hoffman testified that Skakel never confessed to the murder.
Michael Meredith, a former Elan student who met Skakel in 1985 while working on the re-election campaign of U.S. Rep. Joseph Kennedy, D-Mass.
Meredith, a movie producer and son of former Dallas Cowboy quarterback Don Meredith, testified that while spending the summer of 1987 at the Skakel home, Michael Skakel said he masturbated in a tree outside Moxley's window on the night of the murder.
Gerrane Ridge, a part-time model.
She estified that during a party Skakel attended at her home in 1997 she heard him say "Ask me why I killed my neighbor." On cross-examination, Ridge said she made up other information about Skakel "to try to appear to be knowledgeable" about the case.
Larry Zicarelli, a Skakel family limo driver
He said Skakel once jumped out of a car while on the Triborough Bridge in New York after allegedly saying he had done something terrible and had to leave the country. Sherman told the jury Skakel was ashamed because he had sought comfort by sleeping with his mother's dress.
Matthew Tucciarone, a Greenwich barber.
Tucciarone testified that in 1977, Skakel, Julie and Rushton Jr. all came into his shop, and while there, Skakel mouthed off about getting a gun and killing someone, adding "I've killed before."
Rushton Skakel Sr., Michael's father.
Away on a hunting trip at the time of the murder, the elder Skakel, left, could shed little light on the night Moxley was killed. Despite a doctor's note that said he suffered from dementia and was incompetent to testify, the former chairman of the board of Great Lakes Carbon showed flashes of clear recollection and humor.
Julie Skakel, sister of Michael Skakel, called by the prosecution as a rebuttal witness. She told police in 1975 that she saw a figure run past her at 9:30 p.m., and yelled "Michael, come back here." The prosecution tried to use this statement to show that Michael Skakel never took the trip to his cousin's house. But during the trial, Julie Skakel said she only yelled "Michael" to the figure because he liked to run around on Mischief Night, and therefore she assumed it was him. She also testified for the first time that she noticed at about 10:30 p.m. that Littleton had changed his clothes. During his closing argument, State's Attorney Jonathan Benedict said Julie Skakel was the "best example of the family support group" helping "keep the wraps on Michael Skakel."