Moxley murder case goes Hollywood with made-for-TV movie
By James O'Keefe - Greenwich Time

"Murder in Greenwich" -- A movie chronicling the Martha Moxley murder case is coming soon to a television near you.

a two-hour film based on a book by retired Los Angeles police detective Mark Fuhrman -- is to premiere Nov. 15 on the USA Network.

The made-for-TV movie recounts Fuhrman's investigation into Martha's Oct. 30, 1975, slaying in Belle Haven.

"Mark Fuhrman was one of the (movie's) producers so the accuracy is right on," said Kristin Schulman, a USA spokeswoman.

Fuhrman's 1998 book fingered 15-year-old neighbor Michael Skakel as the likely culprit in the golf club bludgeoning of Martha. Skakel, a nephew of Ethel Kennedy, was not charged in the homicide until January 2000.

Though "Murder in Greenwich: Who Killed Martha Moxley?" was written prior to Skakel's arrest, the movie will be updated to include his June conviction for murder.

Skakel, 41, is serving 20 years to life in prison for the crime. He maintains his innocence and is appealing the conviction.

The "Murder in Greenwich" movie was primarily shot in New Zealand with some location shooting in Connecticut, Schulman said.

Christopher Meloni of "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" plays Fuhrman in the film.

"Jackie Brown" and "Mulholland Drive" star Robert Forster portrays retired Greenwich police Detective Stephen Carroll, a key investigator in the murder who later assisted Fuhrman on his book. Carroll died of cancer in December.

The teenage Skakel is portrayed by Jon Foster, who had a small role in the 2001 Kevin Kline film, "Life as a House." Newcomer Maggie Grace plays Martha and serves as the film's narrator.

"She looks an awful lot like Martha," Schulman said.

Martha's mother, Dorthy Moxley, said she believes watching the dramatization of her daughter's murder will be painful.

"But, I'll watch it. It's just one of those things you just have to do," Moxley said. "I'm still a bit overwhelmed by the public interest in the story."

Michael Sherman, the Stamford attorney who defended Skakel at trial, said he does not expect to be a big fan of the movie.

"I haven't seen it or read the script, but obviously I think it's very distressing that any movie is portraying Michael Skakel as guilty," Sher-

man said. "I believe Mr. Skakel didn't commit this crime, and it's going to be very difficult to see any production that's contrary to that. I don't know if I'll watch it."

Skakel prosecutor Jonathan Benedict said he will probably tune in.

"Oh sure, I'll watch it. But I'll probably groan all the way through," he said.

Benedict quipped that Fuhrman likes to take a lot of credit for bringing the 27-year-old murder case to resolution. But Dorthy Moxley said she is happy with the success Fuhrman has enjoyed from his book, which she said placed key points about her daughter's death into the public eye.

"I think Mark's reputation has lost a lot of the tarnish from the O.J. Simpson case. I think it has been shined up a bit by Martha's case," Moxley said. "I think he is a fine person and a wonderful detective."

Moxley said she overheard Fuhrman talking about the "Murder in Greenwich" movie during Skakel's trial at state Superior Court in Norwalk.

"I asked Mark who was going to play me. He told me he didn't know and I joked that I hoped it would be someone like Sharon Stone," Moxley said.

Moxley will actually be portrayed on film by Liddy Holloway, who has appeared in "Hercules: The Legendary Journeys" and the New Zealand soap opera "Shortland Street."

"Murder in Greenwich" was directed by Tom McLoughlin, whose past movies include "Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives" and Stephen King's "Sometimes They Come Back."

McLoughlin's film is the second TV movie based on a notorious local crime. The 1999 movie "Crime in Connecticut: The Story of Alex Kelly" recounted the case of a high school wrestling star accused of raping two classmates and then fleeing to Europe to avoid prosecution.

"Murder in Greenwich" will premiere on USA Network at 8 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 15. The movie will be re-broadcast at 10 p.m. that same night.

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