NBC New YORK, NY

By Michele Marsh, News Channel 4

Photo of Martha Moxley.
Who murdered Martha Moxley Part II: Case turns to Michael Skakel
The Martha Moxley murder case had focused on the older of two brothers for years. Now a grand jury is hearing testimony from witnesses about the younger brother, Michael Skakel.
Greenwich, Conn., Nov. 10 - Many years after Martha Moxley’s untimely death, investigators finally may be on the verge of solving a crime that’s haunted Greenwich for years.
NBC4: Who murdered Martha Moxley - Part I
Martha Moxley Web Site

    Moxley was bludgeoned with a golf club just a few steps from her home. Police now believe that the two prime suspects in the case are the nephews of Ethel Kennedy.
    Police suspect that sibling rivalry between the two men – Tommy Skakel, then 17, and his brother, Michael, then 15 – might have been the motive for Moxley’s murder.
Joseph Ricci, head of a school that Michael Skakel attended, has been the focus of media and grand jury attention in the Moxley murder case.
    According to police reports, both boys spent time with Moxley the night she was killed. Investigators confirm that a grand jury has been zeroing in on some troubling incidents in Michael Skakel’s life, beginning with an arrest at a ski resort three years after Moxley’s murder.
    The incident took place at Windham Ski Resort in upstate New York, approximately two-and-a-half hours from New York City. When the Skakel family first started to vacation at the resort, it was still a private getaway not available to the public.
    The family had a home built in the area, and a reputation soon followed.
    Jimmy O’Connor has owned the Windham Mountain Inn near the ski resort for 28 years.
    “Controversy surrounded them. Something always would happen. Inevitably something would happen,” said O’Connor.
    One night in 1978, Michael Skakel was arrested. Windham Police Chief George Tortorelis said that the younger Skakel was driving down a local road when he came upon two police officers who were helping out a disabled vehicle on the side of the road. The officers allegedly signaled to Michael Skakel to stop.
    According to Tortorelis, “Apparently the Skakel vehicle disregarded the signal, continued on, the other officer who was in the car gave chase to the Skakel vehicle. It turned into a high-speed chase.”
    The chase ended when Michael Skakel rammed his vehicle into a utility pole. He was charged with driving while intoxicated, among other charges.
    Although the car chase incident was totally unrelated to the Moxley murder, it was the beginning of a number of incidents in Michael Skakel’s life.
    The charges against Michael Skakel in the DWI incident were dismissed after he agreed to attend the Elan School to get help for substance abuse.
    Nearly 18 years later, the school’s name resurfaced after a profile of the Moxley murder case was broadcast on Unsolved Mysteries. A flurry of phone calls followed the broadcast, with one call coming from a man who claimed to have been in residence at the Elan School at the same time as Michael Skakel.
    The man added that he had heard Michael Skakel refer to the Moxley murder. A transcript of the phone call to the television show read, “Michael said he did it because he was drunk. He told them this in group therapy.”
    Although Michael Skakel consistently has denied being involved in the young woman’s death, his potential involvement has begun a firestorm of debate.
    A grand jury has been listening to evidence from nearly 40 witnesses at the Fairfield County Courthouse in Connecticut. Several of the witnesses were connected to Michael Skakel through the Elan School.
    “Let me just say that it’s very disturbing that people’s pasts are unearthed in this fashion,” said Joseph Ricci, who was head of the Elan School when Skakel was there.
    Prosecutors suspect that Ricci may have heard Michael Skakel discuss the Moxley murder. But both Ricci and Michael Skakel’s lawyers maintain that whatever Ricci might know should be held strictly confidential.
    “When you sit down with a psychologist or a psychiatrist or their people, you expect that that information is not going to be relayed to the newspapers, investigators or anyone else,” said Mickey Sherman, Michael Skakel’s lawyer.
Dorothy Moxley said that the fact any forward movement in her daughter's case had taken place was "a miracle."
    For lead investigator Frank Garr, the issue of confidentiality has been just one of many problems in the Moxley murder case. Dealing with the Skakel family has provided many setbacks as well.
    “In my estimation, in my opinion, we’ve never gotten cooperation from the Skakel family, and that continues today,” said Garr.
    To Dorothy Moxley, mother of the slain girl, it’s something of a miracle that the case has come even this far.
    “It’s wonderful. You know, it is something I’ve prayed for for years, and when these things start to happen it’s like you can hardly believe it’s true,” said Mrs. Moxley.
    Garr is hoping that the Moxley grand jury will wrap up its investigation by the end of the year.

NBC4: Who murdered Martha Moxley - Part I

Martha Moxley Web Site