Moxley copes with life after verdict
By Lindsey Faber - Greenwich Time
For Dorthy Moxley, Halloween came and went this year with an indefinable numbness.
With Michael Skakel convicted and sentenced to 20 years to life in prison, Thursday, the 27th anniversary of her daughter Martha's murder, was to be the first time Moxley could sit back and celebrate justice delivered.
This Halloween was supposed to be different.
But Moxley didn't find solace in any of it, and the finality of the cause she has pressed for so long was instead a haunting and stark reminder that there is nothing more she can do.
For a woman who spent a generation prodding state investigators to keep at it, even when Martha's case seemed most hopeless, Moxley finds herself a little lost without her cause.
"I think I feel like one of those people who has wanted something for so long, and now that I've got it, I don't know what to do with it," she said. "I still don't really know how I feel. It's hard."
Martha Moxley was beaten to death on Oct. 30, 1975, Mischief Night, and in June a Superior Court jury convicted Skakel, her Belle Haven neighbor, of murdering the 15-year-old with his mother's golf club.
It was an ending almost impossible to imagine for Dorthy Moxley, who has spent much of her life wondering if she would ever see her daughter's killer behind bars.
This Halloween, Moxley went to visit friends in California to distract herself. She spent Halloween eve on an airplane reading a light book, just hoping to pass the time peacefully.
But that is just it; there seems to be more time than ever before and fewer ways to fill it.
Next week she will visit a friend in Fairfield County. In November, she will visit another friend in Florida. For the holidays, she will accompany her family on a trip to Park City, Utah.
"I feel as though I've waited for so long to do certain things and now I don't know what to do first," she said. "And when I figure out what to do, sometimes I don't have the same energy I used to."
Moxley is taking an art class and attending a current affairs lecture at Fairleigh Dickinson University in New Jersey, in addition to twice-weekly tennis matches, evenings at the symphony and days at the beauty parlor.
"I'm keeping busy, but I don't know where it is I really want to go right now."
Moxley said she read a book once to prepare herself for this feeling.
"The book was about finding success to be not all you thought it was going to be, and I'm trying not to let it all bother me," she said. "I'm not feeling giddy, but I'm a mature adult so maybe this is the way it's supposed to be."
One thing Moxley is certain of at this point is that she has a need to help others who have suffered the loss of a child or a family member's unsolved murder.
"I have some phone numbers people have given me to get involved," she said. "When you have a problem, it really makes a difference if you can share it with someone who has had a similar problem."
Nevertheless, Moxley reminds herself how blessed she feels to have finally found "justice for Martha."
"I'm still in such a state of shock that we won," she said. "So many people put so much into this. It wasn't quick and easy, but I'm glad."