Skakel's Family Friend Testifies

By J.A. Johnson Jr.
(Staff Writer)
GREENWICH TIME (Aug. 12, 1998)

BRIDGEPORT - A close friend of the family of two suspects in the Martha Moxley murder case yesterday testified before the one-judge grand jury that is probing the unsolved 1975 homicide. Mildred Ix, a neighbor of both the Moxleys and suspects Thomas and Michael Skakel at the time of the murder, did not speak with reporters before entering the sealed courtroom of Superior Court Judge George N. Thim.

Her appearance marked the second time in less than a week a Skakel family intimate appeared before Thim. Appearing last Wednesday was a former Skakel family advisor, the Rev. Mark Connolly. Police reports show Connolly counseled in favor of having then-17-year-old Thomas Skakel submit to psychological testing in connection with the murder investigation.

On Aug. 4, a third person was eliminated as a suspect when former Skakel live-in tutor Kenneth Littleton was given immunity for grand jury testimony concerning what he knew about the night Moxley was brutally bludgeoned and stabbed with a golf club belonging to the Skakel family.

Ix's name appears several times in portions of the Moxley case file that have been made public - obtained in 1983 by Greenwich Time under the state's Freedom of Information laws - with the first coming the day after the murder. On Oct. 31, 1975, according to police reports, Mildred and her husband, Robert Ix, were both questioned about the homicide, but they told investigators they had not been home at the time and "could shed no light on the matter."

Another police report showed that on Jan. 22, 1975, an ambulance was sent to the Ix residence, where the suspects' father, Rushton Skakel, had collapsed in a study where Mildred Ix was preparing to serve him and an attorney with refreshments. The incident occurred soon after Rushton Skakel appeared at police headquarters to withdraw his permission for Thomas' school and medical reports to be released to investigators.

On April 8, 1976, a police report states, Mildred Ix told detectives "that she felt strongly that Thomas Skakel was not involved in the fatal assault of Martha Moxley. She stated that she had a conversation with Mr. Skakel sometime in early March, at which time Mr. Skakel told her that Father Connolly and (name deleted) told him that Thomas should have certain psychiatric examinations." According to that same police report, Ix said that "on March 24, 1976, Mr. Skakel called her and told her that he was greatly relieved because the tests showed Tom was not involved in the murder."

Two years later, police reports said, after Michael Skakel escaped from Elan School in Maine - a reform school for affluent children - Mildred Ix told police "she was aware of Michael leaving the facility but she hasn't seen him."

It was in the March 24, 1976, police report that Littleton was first named as a possible suspect. The report stated, "Mrs. Ix felt strongly that Mr. Littleton should be checked out as a suspect. She could not understand that Mr. Skakel would keep him in his employ because he didn't contribute anything to the household. He was supposed to tutor both Michael and Thomas, but Michael had all 'Fs' on his last report card, and Thomas' card was almost as bad. She also stated that numerous 'girlie' magazines were found in Mr. Littleton's room, and that he frequently goes to the gazebo near the Skakel home nude. He goes there nude in front of the Skakel's 80-year-old housekeeper." By the fall of that year, Littleton had become a suspect. According to police, the tutor failed a polygraph test in October 1976.

A year earlier, when they moved from California to Greenwich in the summer of 1974, the Moxleys were warmly welcomed by their new Belle Haven neighbors, many of whom they met at a cocktail party at the Ixes', across the street from their own house on Walsh Lane. At the time, Mildred Ix's husband, Robert, was president of Cadbury Schweppes U.S.A. Inc. She reportedly had been best friends with Anne Skakel, mother of Michael and Thomas, and had been a surrogate mother to them after Ann Skakel died of cancer in 1973.

Dorthy Moxley said she and Mildred Ix subsequently became good friends, and that her neighbor was a great source of solace in the days following her daughter's murder. Moxley said both Mildred Ix and her daughter, Helen, visited at her home on May 31, just before the appointment of Thim as grand juror was announced. Then-15- year-old Helen Ix had been with Martha Moxley and the Skakel brothers the night of the murder, and is also expected to be a grand jury witness.

During the visit, Moxley said, Mildred Ix complained about renewed publicity about the case created by the publication of two nonfiction books, one by Greenwich native Timothy Dumas and the other by former Los Angeles police detective Mark Fuhrman. Dumas' book appears to hold Thomas Skakel responsible for the murder, while Fuhrman's book alleged Michael was Moxley's murderer.

In a telephone interview yesterday, Dorthy Moxley said when Ix visited her in May, she told of believing in both Skakel brothers' innocence, and that she would be willing to testify before a grand jury. "She said she would tell them what she thought was the truth," Moxley said. "She truly believes that no one in the Skakel family could possibly be guilty."

Also appearing before the grand jury yesterday was a woman in her late 30s or early 40s, who could only be identified as Dorothy. Dorothy refused to speak with a reporter upon emerging from Thim's courtroom after spending about a half hour testifying.

Also at the Bridgeport courthouse was Stamford criminal defense attorney Michael Sherman, who was hired by Michael Skakel to represent him in connection with the grand jury. Sherman, who works mostly in Superior Court in Stamford, said he was in Bridgeport on an unrelated matter. Sherman said he recently met with Skakel to discuss the Moxley case. "Michael has always insisted his innocence in this case, and nothing has changed," the lawyer said.

Thanks to J.A. Johnson Jr. for the article.