Murder hearing draws a crowd
By Cameron Martin - Greenwich Time
STAMFORD - The note read, "We have gone, see you there" - Dorthy Moxley, 9:38 a.m.
Parked two blocks from state Superior Court in Stamford, Dorthy Moxley and her sister-in-law, Mary Jo Rahatz, decided they could wait no longer. In less than 25 minutes, a reasonable cause pretrial hearing into the death of Dorthy's daughter, Martha, was set to begin. After 25 years of waiting, Dorthy Moxley was ready to go.
She - along with friends and relatives of two families, police, attorneys, investigators, a mob of media and the curious - was taking one more step in a long, halting search for a final reckoning in this murder case.
Dorthy Moxley parked her silver Mercedes at the home of Stamford author Timothy Dumas, who chronicled the death of Martha Moxley in his 1998 book, "Greentown." She and her sister-in-law were joined outside Dumas' Hoyt Street residence by former Greenwich Police Department Detective Stephen Carroll, one of the original investigators of the murder.
"John and Clara are always late," Dorthy Moxley said, without a hint of anger, about her son and daughter-in-law, before affixing the note to the windshield of her car and beginning the 10-minute walk to the Hoyt Street courthouse.
Mother and son drove separately from New Jersey yesterday morning to hear opening testimony in the possible murder trial of former Moxley neighbor Michael Skakel, arraigned March 14 in juvenile court for the 1975 bludgeoning death of Martha Moxley in Belle Haven. Both Skakel and Moxley were 15 at the time.
Yesterday Juvenile Matters Judge Maureen Dennis heard testimony from several witnesses as the state presented evidence to have Skakel, 39, tried as an adult.
Walking toward the courthouse, an hour or so prior to hearing testimony alleging Skakel's admission to the murder of her daughter, Dorthy Moxley said she was anxious for the prosecution to begin presenting its case.
"It's something I've waited for for a long, long time, so I'm eager and anxious," she said. "But I do have this feeling of confidence. Someone did something terribly wrong and there will be justice."
Dressed in a green Hawaiian shirt, Carroll said he came prepared to wait outside in the sun, amid the reporters and onlookers, as the case began. Carroll said he has been ostracized by former police colleagues for cooperating with author and former Los Angeles Police Department Detective Mark Fuhrman on "Murder in Greenwich," the 1998 book that names Michael Skakel as the murderer of Martha Moxley. He said his request to obtain a court seat was, like those of several news organizations, denied. Further, Carroll said he could not explain why he has not been subpoenaed to testify.
"I wish I knew, that's why I'm here. I'd like to find out, but I don't think I will," he said.
There only as an observer, Carroll spoke with numerous news organizations before the 10 a.m. pretrial hearing began. He offered opinions on the evidence likely to be heard, including that Skakel's brother Thomas, a longtime suspect in the case, may have played a role in Moxley's death.
Thomas Skakel has not been granted immunity by prosecuting attorney Jonathan Benedict, and his attorney, Emanuel Margolis, attended yesterday's hearing.
"They must feel he's part and parcel of it," said Carroll of the state's unwillingness to exonerate Thomas Skakel.
Later, following the afternoon lunch break, Carroll, who retired in 1977, said he did not have the opportunity to speak to two former colleagues who testified yesterday - Thomas Keegan, captain of the Greenwich Police detective division at the time of murder, and James Lunney, one of the two original detectives on the case.
"There wouldn't be any great big hugs," Carroll said. "If I got acknowledged at all it'd be a great big plus."
Moved by Dorthy Moxley's ongoing effort to bring someone to justice for the murder of her daughter, Greenwich resident Yosh Kaczmarski, 59, said yesterday he wanted to acknowledge her devotion face-to-face. The medical instrument maker said he took a day off from work to go to the courthouse. After greeting Dorthy Moxley as she and Rahatz walked along Hoyt Street toward the courthouse, he later related:
"She was so gracious, such a nice lady. She said, 'Hi,' and, 'Excuse me, but we're running late,' which was totally understandable," said Kaczmarski.
Ten minutes after his mother and aunt entered the courthouse, John Moxley arrived with his wife, Clara. Soon after, accompanied by a bodyguard and attorney Michael Sherman, Skakel quickly made his way from a black Subaru Forester that pulled up to the steps of the courthouse. Neither Skakel nor Sherman spoke to reporters as they entered the building.
Earlier, before arriving at the courthouse, Skakel appeared more relaxed. While being photographed outside Sherman's office on Fifth Street, several blocks from the court, he walked up to the photographer with a doughnut in each hand.
"Jelly or glazed?" Skakel offered