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On October 30, 1975, 15-year-old Martha Moxley was beaten and stabbed to death by an unknown assailant outside her family’s home in Greenwich, Connecticut. Her body was then left below a tree in her backyard, where it was found the following morning.
For 44 years, her killer has evaded justice, and theories about what happened to the high school sophomore continue to circulate. One particular theory — that Martha was killed by her neighbor Michael Skakel, who was also 15 at the time — made it all the way to trial. But although Michael was found guilty of her murder, his conviction was ultimately overturned in 2018.
To this day, the murder of Martha Moxley remains unsolved, and Michael maintains his innocence. A new team of investigators, however, is reexamining key theories and evidence in “Murder and Justice: The Case of Martha Moxley,” airing Saturdays at 7/6c on Oxygen.
During the “Murder and Justice” premiere, host and former federal prosecutor Laura Coates revisited a widely-discussed piece of evidence from the case — a report summarizing an independent investigation commissioned by the Skakel family patriarch, Rushton Skakel.
In the early 1990s, Rushton Skakel hired a private investigative firm, Sutton Associates, to conduct its own inquiry into the murder of Martha Moxley, reported The Washington Post. Coates explained that Rushton had ordered the report to assess the potential risk posed to his sons Michael and Thomas “Tommy” Skakel, who were facing increased public scrutiny about their potential involvement in the case.
The agency’s highly confidential report was leaked to the press in 1995, and it revealed that both Michael and Tommy had lied to Greenwich police during their initial interviews 20 years earlier. One of the few people who has seen the report is former Los Angeles Police detective and writer Mark Fuhrman, the author of “Murder in Greenwich: Who Killed Martha Moxley?”
In “Murder and Justice,” Coates met with Fuhrman to discuss key findings from the Sutton report. Fuhrman recounted that Tommy had withheld the fact that he had “sexual contact” with Moxley on October 30, 1975, and that his “involvement” with the 15-year-old “was extreme.”
Fuhrman also explained that Michael had revealed to Sutton investigators that after returning from his cousin’s house on the night of Martha’s murder, he climbed a tree outside the Moxley residence. He then threw rocks at Martha’s window, and when she did not answer, he masturbated in the tree. The Skakels used these statements in order to construct a false narrative that could explain the potential presence of their DNA at the crime scene, Fuhrman contended. Fuhrman went on to theorize that Martha’s murder was a “crime of passion,” and that he has “no doubt” Michael Skakel was the one who killed her.
“He puts himself in the tree at the Moxley house. I mean, how much closer do you want to get?” Fuhrman told Coates.
Throughout “Murder in Greenwich,” Fuhrman details this theory further, alleging that Michael’s jealousy over his brother’s romance with Martha is what led to her murder, reported CNN. Michael has continuously denied having anything to do with Martha’s killing, and the State has yet to announce if it will retry him for the murder.
To learn more about the investigation, watch "Murder and Justice: The Case of Martha Moxley” on Oxygen.
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