Prosecutors upset over movie about Michael Skakel
(Norwalk-AP Oct. 3, 2002 12:00 PM) _ Prosecutors who
won a murder conviction against Kennedy cousin Michael
Skakel are upset about a planned movie they say gives
undue credit to Mark Fuhrman, the former Los Angeles
police detective who wrote a book about the case.
Fuhrman, known for his role in the O.J. Simpson
murder trial, wrote "Murder in Greenwich," the only
book on the case to allege Skakel murdered Martha
Moxley in 1975.
Skakel, a nephew of Ethel Kennedy, was convicted in
June of beating Moxley to death with a golf club when
they were 15-year-old neighbors in wealthy Greenwich.
Now 42, he was sentenced to 20 years to life in
Fuhrman's book is being made into a two-hour movie to
air Nov. 15 on USA Network. Christopher Meloni, who
stars in the NBC series "Law and Order: SVU" and HBO's
"Oz," plays Fuhrman.
Prosecutor Jonathan Benedict says a draft of the
script wrongly suggests Fuhrman's book prompted
"It implies that he was, if not responsible,
certainly greatly influential in the decision to bring
about a prosecution," Benedict said.
That assertion is "demeaning to the entire division
of criminal justice in Connecticut," Benedict told The
"The train was out of the station and way down the
tracks before that book ever came out," Benedict said.
"This is a guy who was trying to jump on a train that
already left the station."
The script notes Connecticut authorities convened a
grand jury to investigate the murder a month after
Fuhrman's book was published in May 1998.
Benedict said he decided to seek a grand jury
investigation in January 1998 when he took over the
case, but authorities were awaiting results of
Fuhrman, the detective who found the bloody glove in
the Simpson case, pleaded no contest to perjury after
being accused during that trial of lying about his use
of racial slurs.
He said he was not claiming sole credit for Skakel's
prosecution, but uncovered evidence in the case,
including a book proposal by Skakel, that was a key
part of the trial.
"I think it certainly put the pressure on Connecticut
to do something," Fuhrman said.
Benedict strongly disagreed, saying authorities
already had the book proposal.
"Every piece of information he had we had months in
advance of the book coming out," Benedict said. "He's
trying to take credit for things he simply did not