"Skakel Cousin, Friend Testify Moxley Grand Jury Revisits Sispect's Alibi." (Greenwich Time, Sept. 23, 1998) By J.A. Johnson Jr. Staff Writer BRIDGEPORT - The Martha Moxley grand jury apparently continues to scrutinize one of the murder suspect's alibis, as it heard testimony for the second day in a row from a family member who placed the suspect miles from the crime scene when interviewed by police 23 years ago. Testifying in the closed proceedings at the Fairfield County Courthouse yesterday was 48-year-old Georgeann Dowdle, a cousin of suspect Michael Skakel who, days after Moxley's murder on Oct. 30, 1975, told Greenwich detectives that Skakel, two of his brothers and her own brother had been at her Cliffdale Road estate. On Monday, the grand jury heard the testimony of Michael Skakel's brother, John, now 39, who in 1975 also told police that on the night his 15-year-old neighbor was murdered, he and brothers Michael and Rushton Skakel Jr. drove cousin James Terrien from their house to the same Cliffdale Road home. Georgeann and James are children of Georgeann Skakel Terrien, the sister of the Skakel brothers' father, Rushton Skakel Sr. After her first husband, John Dowdle, died in 1957, she married George Terrien, a close friend and former roommate of the late Robert Kennedy, uncle of the Skakel brothers. In the years following the Moxley murder, all of the Terrien children changed their last name to Dowdle, except for Desneiges Terrien. Rushton Skakel and George Terrien, along with Skakel friend and attorney Thomas Sheridan, helped establish the private Whitby School, which is now on Lake Avenue but initially held classes in the former stables of "Sursum Corda," as the Terriens' backcountry estate on Cliffdale Road was known. According to an edited version of a police report - obtained by Greenwich Time under freedom of information laws - Georgeann Dowdle told detectives on Nov. 8, 1975, that "she observed her brother and the Skakel brothers - Rushton, John and Michael - return to the house" the night Moxley was slain, but the time she cited for their return was blacked out. "She further stated that her brother and the Skakel brothers went to her brother's room," says the police report, on which the time the Skakels left the Terrien house is also blacked out. When questioned days earlier, on Nov. 2, 1975, a police report states, James Terrien told detectives that just prior to being driven home the night of the murder by John, Michael and Rushton Skakel Jr., he saw Martha Moxley in the Skakel's Otter Rock Drive driveway, talking to his other cousin, Thomas Skakel. James Terrien stuck to that story when reinterviewed on Nov. 8, 1975, police reports state. Desneiges Terrien, who also gave grand jury testimony Monday, told police in 1975 that she had gone to bed at about 10 the night of the murder, and although she did not see her brother return home, she later heard him and the Skakel brothers talking. Thomas and Michael Skakel, who at the time of the murder were 17 and 15 years old, respectively, were with the 15-year-old Moxley prior to her murder the evening of Oct. 30, 1975, and police identified the murder weapon as a golf club belonging to a set of clubs owned by the boys' family. Attorneys for both brothers have maintained their clients' innocence. Greenwich police believe Moxley was killed between 9:50 and 10 p.m., based on the fact that two neighborhood dogs began barking uncontrollably at that time. In 1975, police said, Michael Skakel told detectives he had left Moxley with his brother, Thomas, in their driveway at about 9:15 p.m. the day of the murder, and returned from the Terrien house at 11 p.m. and went to sleep. Also in 1975, Thomas Skakel told detectives he last saw Moxley at 9:30 the night in question, when he left her to go inside his house to write a school report on Abraham Lincoln, police said, an assignment which detectives later determined had never been assigned. But according to published reports, both Skakel brothers in recent years changed stories concerning their whereabouts in 1975, with Thomas allegedly saying he returned outside for a sexual encounter with Moxley at precisely the time police said she was murdered, and Michael stating after returning from the Terriens he went to Moxley's house at about 11:30 p.m. and, believing she was alive, threw stones at her window to awaken her. The brothers gave their revised stories in 1993 to private detectives hired by their family who wrote a report that later was leaked and is now in the possession of the grand jury. The grand jury on Monday also heard from a third sibling of the suspects, Steven Skakel, who, according to a book about the Moxley case published this year, allegedly acknowledged that one of his brothers was the murderer. The only other person to testify yesterday was Elizabeth D'Agostino, identified by court officials as a Skakel family friend. The officials said after the dormant Moxley case was revived in 1991, investigators were contacted by someone who allegedly had been told by D'Agostino that she overheard a conversation among Skakel family members that could be pertinent to the murder investigation. D'Agostino denied to investigators that she heard such a conversation, the court officials said, and therefore was subpoenaed to tell what she knows, under oath, to the grand jury. Testimony is set to resume this morning.
Thanks to J.A. Johnson Jr. for the article.