Skakel: Wild, Horny And Frustrated
By Andy Thibault, CT Law Tribune
Michael Skakel, accused of bludgeoning pretty blonde neighbor Martha Moxley
with the family 6-iron, could be a prosecutor's best friend.
In his own words, Skakel:
1. Is an entitled Kennedy scion, and was a party animal,
a drunk and a liar.
2.Was at the murder scene.
3. Lusted after Martha.
None of this is in dispute.
Did Michael really confess? Did his brother Tommy or someone else help move
Martha's body around? Can prosecutors put together a puzzle of
circumstantial and physical evidence beyond a reasonable doubt? Pending a
ruling by Stamford Superior Court Judge Maureen Dennis, a jury will decide.
Despite suffering a smashed skull with the golf club 25 years ago in the
exclusive Belle Haven section of Greenwich, Martha Moxley might still have
been breathing. The killer was stunned; he shattered the club. He
proceeded to stab her in the neck - repeatedly -- with the jagged shaft of
the Toney Penna 6-iron. Then he continued to drag 15-year-old Martha
face-down to a safe hiding place. The killer knew his turf.
Michael and Tommy Skakel, nephews of Ethel Skakel Kennedy, were the party
boys of Belle Haven 25 years ago. They liked "good pot" and booze, Monty
Python and the family "Lust-Mobile," a Lincoln Continental. Michael told
police that Tommy felt Martha's leg in that car a short time before she was
murdered on Oct. 30, 1975. Some say Michael was jealous of Tommy's
affection for Martha.
Martha, a transplanted California girl, was both pretty and popular. She
was a skier and a tennis player. She just had her braces removed; her body
was beginning to blossom. She had a steady boyfriend, too.
"I wanted to kiss her. I wanted her to be my girlfriend," Michael Skakel
says in his book proposal, Dead Man Talking: A Kennedy Cousin Comes
Michael initially told police he last saw Martha about 9:10 p.m. in the
"Lust-Mobile." Then he went to a cousin's house to get high and watch TV,
returning for bed around 11.
For many years, police believed the time of death was about 10 p.m. Tommy
Skakel, also an admitted liar, initially said he last saw Martha about
9:30, then shortly before 10, supposedly after making out with Martha. Dogs
in the neighborhood barked loudly about that time. Martha's autopsy
indicates she died between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m.
Michael later changed his story to say he went back out sometime between 11
and midnight. He said he climbed a tree near Martha's bedroom, threw
pebbles at her window and masturbated. "I couldn't settle down," he says in
the book proposal. " I was keyed up, nervous and horny " Even his tree
story doesn't add up. Police and others familiar with the Moxley and Skakel
yards say the nearest climbable tree is about 160 feet away.
Walking home near Martha's body, Michael went on to say he heard some
noises, threw a rock and then ran to his house.
Former Greenwich Police Chief Thomas Keegan testified June 20 in a probable
cause hearing that the killer knew the Skakel name was on a missing piece
of the 6-iron. He pointed to Michael as the killer. Michael's purported
confession came in a long discussion with a fellow patient at a treatment
center in Maine. They were on "Night-Owl" duty together, watching for
Michael's attorney, Mickey Sherman, is the "go-to guy" for Fairfield County
defendants accused of killing ducks, spouses or love rivals. Sherman once
convinced a jury that a man who confronted his girlfriend's cousin in the
shower and stabbed him to death was acting in self defense. He's a familiar
face on Court TV, well-liked by adversaries for his wit and charm. They
also admire his track record. Prosecutors have said they would hire Sherman
if accused of a serious crime.
Sherman calls the evidence against Michael Skakel "flimsy." Likewise, Tommy
Skakel's lawyer, Emmanuel Margolis, says his client is innocent.
Can Mickey Sherman save Michael Skakel? A lot depends on which judge runs
the impending trial, and what evidence is allowed into the record. But
cops, initially pessimistic, now see the odds for a conviction improving
with each passing day.