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MONEY, POWER, AND LIES

Michael Skakel Was Convicted of Murdering Martha Moxley, So Why Is He Free?

Beaten to death in 1975, the girl’s killer was convicted in 2002: Michael Skakel, RFK’s nephew. Why it took so long to catch him, and how he got out of prison afterwards, is shocking.

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Forty-two years after 15-year-old Martha Moxley was murdered in Greenwich, Connecticut, the case has become a seemingly never-ending legal drama.

An elite, dysfunctional family, the influence of wealth, the incompetence of police, the failure of the local newspaper, a poorly functioning judiciary, the targeting of three innocent individuals, and the sway of the Kennedys—all these elements form the tableau surrounding the murder of Moxley.

Despite the conviction of Michael Skakel in 2002, he has been out on $1.2 million bail for the past four years. And some closest to the case remain divided as to who the actual killer is. What we can say with 100 percent certainty is that Michael and/or his older brother Tommy, with the possible assistance of their cousin Jimmy Terrien—all of them nephews of Ethel Kennedy—murdered Moxley.

On Oct. 31, 1975, her body was found under a pine tree at the edge of her family’s property, diagonally across from the Skakels in the Greenwich enclave of Belle Haven on Long Island Sound. She had been beaten about the head 12 to 15 times with a #6 Toney Penna golf club with such savagery that the golf club shattered in the attack. She was also stabbed through the neck with the shaft. Police found two of the golf club’s pieces nearby. The third—part of the handle and shaft—was never recovered.

Law enforcement describe such gratuitous violence as “overkill,” which suggests a personal anger. Overkill also suggests the killer knew his victim. Based on the frenzied barking of two neighborhood dogs, police estimated Martha’s death at around 10 p.m. the previous night, Halloween eve.

The afternoon her body was discovered, police discovered a matching Toney Penna club inside the home of the Moxley’s neighbor, Rusthon Skakel, the brother of Ethel Kennedy. On the handle and shaft—which corresponded to the missing piece of the murder weapon—was the name of Rushton’s late wife, Anne Skakel.

Anne had died of brain cancer three years earlier, leaving her seven children, six boys and a girl, to be raised by their father Rushton. An alcoholic, he was often away, leaving the children’s care to friends, relatives, servants, a coterie of priests and nuns and a series of live-in tutors, according to the family’s own attorney. With little supervision, friends said the Skakel home became a house of horrors, with alcohol, drugs and fights between the siblings.

Of the Skakel children, Michael and his brother Tommy, two years older, seemed the most troubled. Their problems had surfaced before their mother died. In 1971, four years before Martha’s death, Tommy, 12, and Michael, 10, were sent to a psychologist because of temper tantrums and constant battles with each other. Both were two years behind in school and missed classes for weeks.

Tommy’s problems stemmed from his having fallen out of a moving car at age four and suffering head injuries. He was unconscious for ten hours and remained at Greenwich Hospital for two weeks. A neurologist who treated him at the time noted that his personality had changed. “He would rant and rave … and on one occasion put his fist through a door,” Dr. Walter Camp wrote in a report to the family. “He would become violent frequently and quite suddenly. He would jump up from the table, begin to throw things about, turn over beds, pull phones from the wall or threaten siblings.”

Michael had difficulty reading, which would later be diagnosed as dyslexia, and he failed out of half a dozen schools. In his unpublished memoir, written shortly before his indictment, he wrote: “The shame. It’s obvious I’m stupid. My father’s lectures become spankings, become beatings. My brother Tommy follows suit, terrorizing me with my father’s tacit consent.”

But there was a difference between Michael and Tommy. As the family’s attorney Thomas Sheridan noted in a report by Skakel private investigators: Tommy felt loved by his family, Michael did not.

Despite finding the matching club to the murder weapon, the police did not immediately seek a warrant to search the Skakel house. Nor did they conduct separate, detailed interviews of everyone inside the house the previous night. Rather, the Greenwich police seemed unable to believe that someone from their own community was responsible for Martha’s murder. Instead, they theorized she had been attacked by a stranger, an outsider, perhaps a hitchhiker off the nearby Connecticut Turnpike, who had somehow eluded Bell Haven’s two private police patrols, picked up a golf club lying on the ground and for no particular reason beaten Martha to death.

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“We eliminated [suspects], rather than zeroing in,” Steve Carroll, one of the case detectives, said to me at the time.

Moreover, Greenwich detectives, who regularly worked second jobs as chauffeurs and bartenders for the town’s wealthy residents, appeared to be overwhelmed by the wealth and positon of the Skakels. “Maybe it was the Skakel money. Maybe it was their positon,” Carroll said. “But I believe I was subconsciously intimidated by them.”

Suspicion soon fell on Tommy, then 17, and the last known person to see Martha alive. He told police he had left Martha outside his house around 9:30 p.m. and returned home to write a paper for school on Abraham Lincoln. When police questioned his teachers at the private Brunswick school that Tommy attended, each denied such a paper had been assigned.

With no arrest having been made, the following year police focused on a second suspect.

His name was Kenneth Littleton, a teacher at Brunswick whom Rushton had hired as a live-in tutor for Tommy and Michael, and who moved into Skakel home the night of the murder. Although Littleton had never met or even seen Martha, he drew the police’s attention because of a series of petty burglaries he committed the following summer in Nantucket. Greenwich police brought him back to Connecticut, where he failed a lie detector test. Police then informed Brunswick of the burglaries, costing Littleton his job. He subsequently left Greenwich and suffered a series of mental and alcoholic breakdowns from which he never recovered.

II

My involvement began seven years after the murder, in 1982, when the editor of the sister papers, the Stamford Advocate and the Greenwich Time, asked me to investigate the murder amid rumors that the Greenwich police had been paid off. I spent nearly a year on the story, including traveling to Ottowa, where I located Littleton, who was living with a woman he had met. (The Greenwich police had lost track of him because he was free to leave given there was no evidence linking him to the murder.)

At one point I spoke with Littleton’s mother.

“Our family is ruined over this,” she said over the phone. “My son became an alcoholic. His brain was nothing. He couldn’t get a job. My husband and I were at each other’s throats over what we should do. I’m so bitter. We were so naïve. We’re poor people, my husband and I.” Referring to the Skakels, she said, “We don’t have the money they do to protect ourselves. They’re probably just going on living their lives as though nothing happened.”

The papers then sued the Greenwich police under the Connecticut’s Freedom of Information Law for the Moxley case file. A judge ruled that because the case was dormant, the paper was entitled to it. Yet after I prepared my article—which delineated the Greenwich police’s failings in the case’s early days but refuted suggestions the police had been paid off—the paper refused to publish it. When it finally did, seven years later in 1991, the state of Connecticut reopened the case.

This time, the investigation was led by Donald Browne, the Fairfield County State’s Attorney and lead investigator, Jack Soloman. A Greenwich detective was brought on in a subordinate role, Frank Garr. Both Browne and Solomon believed in the efficacy of lie detector tests and Littleton had failed his. For the next four years, he became Solomon’s and Browne’s prime suspect. Garr pursued other leads.

By 1991, Littleton’s life was in shambles. Unable to obtain another teaching position, he had begun drinking and doping and moving about the East Coast. For a time, he lived in Florida and was homeless. He was arrested for a variety of crimes—trespassing, disorderly conduct, drunk driving, shop-lifting. He began hallucinating and was in out of hospitals.

Littleton had obviously suffered a mental breakdown, which Solomon interpreted as guilt over his role in Martha’s murder. Solomon even theorized that he was a serial killer and that Martha had been his first victim.

Soon after taking over the case, Solomon took the extraordinary step of telling Sheridan, the Skakel family attorney, of his Littleton theory. This led Rushton Skakel to hire private investigators “to clear the family name,” as Sheridan put it. In reality, they were hired to dirty up Littleton.

The investigators were Jim Murphy, a former FBI agent, and his assistant Willis “Billy” Krebs, a former NYPD lieutenant. With Solomon’s help, they attempted to link Littleton to the murders of four teenage girls from Massachusetts to Florida. They tried to interest me in writing this. I declined. Instead, a story to that effect appeared in the New York Daily News.

Krebs also interviewed Tommy. First, Krebs warned him the police were conducting tests to determine if the killer had left any DNA traces. Tommy then admitted lying to the police about his whereabouts the night of Martha’s murder and gave a new alibi to potentially explain why his DNA may have been found.

In 1975, he had told police he left Martha at 9:30 to write a paper on Abraham Lincoln. Now, 36-years-old, he told Krebs that he returned outside, where Martha was waiting for him and that the two engaged in mutual masturbation to orgasm. He said he last saw her walking across his lawn towards her home. The time was just before 10 p.m.

As Tommy told this to Krebs, he began to cry. Krebs felt he was on the verge of a possible confession. Instead, Tommy’s attorney cut the questioning short. The opportunity never presented itself again.

Krebs also interviewed Michael. Police had dismissed him as a suspect, believing that he had left the Skakel house at 9:15 p.m. with his two older brothers and driven to the home of his cousin, Jimmy Terrien, in Greenwich’s back country, where they spent a couple of hours before returning around 11. If Michael had gone to Terrien’s and the murder had occurred around 10 o’clock, then Michael could not have committed it.

Krebs warned Michael about the DNA testing, as he had Tommy. Michael then admitted that like Tommy, he had lied to the police. In 1975, he had told the police that after returning from Terrien’s, he had gone straight to bed. Now, he told Krebs a bizarre story—that he had gone out again around midnight, climbed a pine tree outside Martha’s window and masturbated to orgasm. Returning home, he said ran through the very place Martha’s body had been found.

Around this time, I asked Murphy what the Skakels would do if Murphy’s investigation led back to them.

“I was assured by Rushton Skakel,” Murphy answered, “that if any family member committed the murder, the Skakels would publicly acknowledge the crime and seek to provide him with medical help.”

Instead, the Skakels’ attorney fired him.

It wasn’t until two years later that I learned all this. Someone provided me with documents from their investigation. One document revealed that Tommy had lied about his whereabouts the night of the murder not just to the police but to Martha’s mother Dorthy after she called the Skakel home at 3:30 AM, searching for Martha. In addition, he had lied to a psychiatrist at New York City’s Presbyterian Hospital in 1976, a year after the murder, where Rushton had brought him under a false name to hide his identity after Rushton learned Tommy was a suspect.

A second document I received concerned Michael.

“Some feel Michael and other suspects were not thoroughly examined at the time due to a somewhat premature conviction on the part of local authorities that Tommy Skakel was the murderer,” the document Murphy wrote began. “It was only later that the spotlight of serious scrutiny was placed directly on Michael. His arrest on drunk-driving charges in 1978 probably did as much as anything to renew the police’s interest.”

That last sentence brought me up short. The Greenwich police had never considered Michael a suspect—period — but apparently the Skakels did.

The document cited a memo, written in June, 1978, following Michael’s drunken-driving arrest.

“A Tom Sheridan memo of 6/6/78 stated that it was possible Michael could have committed the murder and doesn’t know it and possibly someone else, i.e., Tommy, could have hidden the body and taken Michael to the Terrien’s [sic] to provide him with an alibi,” it read.

There was another document, a report from two former FBI agents Murphy had consulted, who had run the Bureau’s Behavioral Science Lab in Washington, D.C. that profiled murderers. That document described what they considered the personal traits of Martha’s killer: “an explosive temper; a history of fighting; strong sibling rivalry tendencies; behavioral problems at school and at home; under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.”

The report continued: “He may well have been viewed as the ‘problem child’ of ‘black sheep of the family. In all probability, he regularly fantasized about having sexual relations with the victim.” His sexual fantasies were probably accompanied by … masturbation. … He was comfortable being out late at night.”

Meanwhile, Garr, the subordinate Greenwich detective assigned to the case, had been focused on Michael from day the case the case had been reopened. He and Solomon had started a tip line, expecting to receive calls about Tommy and Littleton. Instead, all the calls had been about Michael.

Garr interviewed a Belle Haven neighbor, Cissy Ix, who told him of a conversation she had had with Rushton shortly after the murder. Rushton told her Michael had told him he had been drinking the night of Martha’s murder, blacked out, and feared he may have killed Martha. Until now she had never told anyone of this conversation out of loyalty to Rushton.

Larry Ziccarelli, a Skakel chauffeur when Michael was a teenager, told Garr that each week he drove Michael to a psychiatrist on Park Avenue several years after the murder. Once while stuck in traffic on the Triborough Bridge, Michael had jumped out of the car, telling Ziccarelli he had done something so bad he was either going to leave the country or kill himself by jumping off the bridge.

Garr also interviewed Michael’s boyhood friend Andy Pugh, who said that as teenagers he and Michael had played together very day after school, climbing trees. Their favorite was a pine at the edge of the Moxley property. Pugh said Michael had told him that by a strange coincidence the night of Martha’s murder, he had climbed a tree and masturbated in it. But the tree Michael described to Pugh was not outside Martha’s window. It was the tree under which Martha’s body had been discovered.

Garr also interviewed people from Elan, a private boarding school that Michael had been sent to after his drunken driving arrest in 1978. Two of them told Garr similar stories: that Michael told them he had blacked out the night of the murder and feared he had killed Martha.

In addition, Father Marc Connolly, the Skakel family priest, told Garr he had visited Elan school with Sheridan and Rushton shortly after Michael had arrived. Connolly told Garr a counsellor there told them Michael had described being covered in blood the night of the murder.

Finally, Garr wondered about the role of Skakel cousin Jimmy Terrien. His mother Georgeanne was Rushton’s sister and like Rushton, an alcoholic. His biological father, Jack Dowdle, had drunk himself to death the day Jimmy was born. His step father, George Terrien, whom Jimmy despised, had been Robert Kennedy’s roommate at the University of Virginia law school.

When Dorthy Moxley had called the Skakels at 3:30 a.m. searching for Martha, Tommy had said that Jimmy Terrien might know of her whereabouts, but when Dorthy called Terrien’s, Georgeanne searched the house and reported to her that Jimmy was not at home. He later told police he had been at the home of a married woman. She however, denied he had been with her.

III

Michael spent two years at Elan. Following his release, he seemed to have turned his life around. He preached sobriety and became a mentor to his troubled Kennedy cousins. One of his first disciples was Robert Kennedy Jr., whose own troubled life led to both alcoholism and heroin addiction. In 1983, Kennedy was arrested for heroin possession after passing out in the bathroom of a Republic Airlines plane with a needle in his arm. Michael helped him begin treatment.

Michael also tried to help his cousin, Michael Kennedy, who was married to the daughter of football star Frank Gifford and who was having an affair with the family’s 15-year-old baby-sitter. The two Michaels became close. Kennedy managed the Massachusetts gubernatorial campaign of his older brother, Joe, and obtained a job for Michael Skakel as Joe’s driver.

When a grand jury was empaneled to investigate Michael Kennedy for statutory rape of the baby-sitter, Michael Skakel testified. Six months later, Michael Kennedy died in a freak skiing accident in Aspen Colorado. The Kennedys blamed Michael Skakel. They accused him of being “a suspect in an old unsolved murder” and said he “was trying to extort $250,000 from them by fabricating a story about Michael Kennedy and the family baby-sitter.”

Michael put all this into a 37-page, audio-taped memoir for an autobiographical book proposal. He titled it, “A Kennedy Cousin comes Clean: The first account by an insider of the avarice, perversion and gangsterism of ‘America’s Royal Family.’”

But the Kennedys were only a part of his memoir. He also described his 1978 drunk-driving arrest that got him sent to Elan. He described how Sheridan brought in two goons, who literally kidnapped him and flew him there in the Skakel family plane. And he described the brutal treatment there.

“They beat me for failing school. I just couldn’t do the work and they humiliated me.” At one point they forced him to wear a four-foot-high dunce cap and a sign around his neck with his name and the words “Please confront me about why I murdered my friend.” Another resident told him, “Just admit you did this. Just admit you killed the girl and this will all end.”

When Garr heard about Michael’s memoir, he obtained an out-of-state subpoena, drove to the home of Michael’s ghostwriter in Cambridge, Massachusetts and collected the tapes. The same night he sat in his living room and listened to them all night. He had no interest in the tapes concerning the Kennedys. But listening to Michael relate how at Elan he had been confronted with his having killed Martha, the question Garr asked himself was this: how would people at Elan in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s know of Michael’s involvement in the murder as he didn’t become a suspect until 1991 when the case was reopened?

Most important to Garr, the memoir described the night of Halloween Eve, 1975, and Michael’s feelings towards Martha. “I really liked her. I wanted her to be my girlfriend. … I thought if we spent the evening at my cousin’s [Jimmy Terrien], something romantic might develop.”

He also described returning to is darkened house at 11 p.m., walking around and going outside to Martha’s.

“Martha likes me. I’ll go get a kiss from Martha. I’ll be bold tonight. So I went over to their house. …They had these huge cedar trees, pine trees, right at the front door and I remember climbing up ‘em.

“And I think I threw rocks or sticks at her window and I was yelling her name. …. I’m a little out of my mind because I am drunk or high. I pulled my pants down. I masturbated for 30 seconds in the tree. And I said ‘This is crazy. If they catch me they’re going to think I’m nuts.’ A moment of clarity came into my head and I climbed down the tree. They had an oval driveway and I started—it would be a direct route from their front door to our house. I started to cut through the oval but it’s really dark and when I started walking through something in me said, ‘Don’t go in the dark over there.’… And I remember thinking, ’Oh my God. I hope to God nobody saw me jerking off.’ And then I remember running home and thinking I was gonna tell Andy Pugh that I thought I saw someone there that night.”

Except, thought Garr, as he listened to the tape, there was no tree outside Martha’s window. Andy Pugh had said the pine tree was where Martha’s body had been discovered. Michael had placed himself there.

In 1998, Garr wrote a memo describing much of this to State’s Attorney Donald Browne. Browne, however, took no action. He told Garr there was not enough evidence to indict. Nearing the end of his career, he said to Garr, “I don’t want to out a loser.”

That same year, the first book on Martha Moxley’s murder was published, Greentown, by Tim Dumas. Dumas wrote that some journalists had wondered whether Browne had failed to indict anyone because he had been “paid off”—though Dumas himself suggested this was far from likely, since it was Browne who reopened the case in 1991.

Even so, Browne claimed the line from Greentown presented a conflict of interest for him. “If I proceed to indict, I am leaving myself exposed as having done it to avoid the perception I have been paid off,” he said. “If I don’t, then the perception is I have already been paid off.” After supervising the case for nearly 25 years, he used the unnamed journalists’ idle conjecture as an excuse to withdraw.

Meanwhile, the writer Dominick Dunne appeared. He had been on the case’s fringes, having written a novel, supposedly based on Martha’s murder, in 1993. In 1997 he resurfaced, with a copy Murphy’s entire report on Michael and Tommy that I’d written about two years before. It had been given to him by one of Murphy’s employees who felt Dominick could jump-start his writing career.

Accompanying Dominick was Mark Fuhrman, trying to rehabilitate himself, following his perjured testimony at the OJ Simpson trial. With Dominick’s assistance, he wrote the second book on the case, “Murder in Greenwich.” The book, which came out in 1998 with an introduction by Dominick, conjectured that Michael had murdered Martha.

The new prosecutor, Jonathan Benedict, indicted Michael for Martha’s murder in January 2000, based on Garr’s interviews. Despite all the work Garr had done investigating him, the national media credited Fuhrman for Michael’s indictment two years later.

IV

Perhaps the Skakels’ greatest mistake in defending Michael was paying nearly $2 million to his trial attorney, Mickey Sherman. Unknown to the Skakels, Sherman was under investigation—and subsequently convicted—of evading $1.1 million in income taxes. Sherman was also a grandstander. Six months before the trial began he acknowledged to a panel of lawyers in Las Vegas that he had forgotten the cardinal rule for trial attorneys: “This case isn’t about you. It’s about your client.”

The day after the guilty verdict, Sherman attended a Court TV party for Dunne. When RFK Jr. questioned the propriety of meeting a man who accused his client of murder, Sherman said: “We’re friends. What can I say? I’m a kiss-ass.”

Sherman believed the Skakel case was a lock, his ticket to fame and fortune. Twenty-seven years had passed since the murder. There was no physical evidence and no eye-witness. Many prosecution witnesses from Elan had sketchy pasts and personal problems.

Sherman’s closing argument reflected his cockiness. “He didn’t do it,” Sherman began, referring to Michael. He sounded glib, carefree, almost careless.

What cinched Michael’s guilt was the prosecutor’s closing argument. Benedict claimed Martha could have been murdered as the Greenwich police had maintained, at 10 p.m. But contrary to what the Greenwich police had maintained, Benedict argued in stunningly convincing detail that Michael had never gone to the Terriens.

Michael was convicted and sentenced to 20 years to life in prison for murder. Yet the case wasn’t over. Far from it. The Skakels hired a wily Hartford appeals lawyer, Hubert Santos. His appeals started immediately. In 2013, they bore fruit.

Connecticut Judge Thomas Bishop ruled that Michael deserved a new trial, citing Sherman’s “glaring ineffectiveness.” Bishop cited two Sherman mistakes. The first was his decision—probably at the Skakel family’s direction, although Sherman denied it—to protect Tommy and focus on Littleton as Martha’s alternative killer, what is known as “third party culpability.” A more likely third party, Bishop wrote, was Tommy.

Bishop also criticized Sherman’s failure to locate Georgeanne Terrien’s boyfriend, who was at the Terrien house the night of the murder. As a non-Skakel family member, his testimony supporting Michael’s alibi might have been believed by the jury more than the testimony of the Skakel family members, Bishop wrote.

Michael was released from prison on $1.2 million bond. Connecticut prosecutors appealed Bishop’s decision to its highest court. Early this year in a 4-3 decision, that court overruled Bishop, the decision written by Justice Peter Zarella. Santos appealed again, this time asking for a “reconsideration,” a process that has rarely, if ever, been granted in Connecticut in a murder case. Meanwhile, Michael remains free. Santos says that if the reconsideration motion is denied, he may appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

V

Meanwhile, Robert Kennedy Jr. has become Michael’s most vocal defender. In 2003, the year after Michael’s conviction, Kennedy wrote a 15,000-word article for The Atlantic magazine, claiming that Littleton, not Michael, likely murdered Martha. Last year, he wrote the book Framed, in which he claimed that two black teenagers from the Bronx had murdered Moxley “caveman” style.

As his book jacket describes it, “Kennedy … shows how he tracked down the likely killers, whose presence was detected neither by the police nor the press during 30 years of costly yet shoddy investigation.”

“Using the evidence I have cited in this book,” he wrote, “prosecutors have sufficient cause to indict Burton Tinsley and Adolph Hasbrouck for Martha Moxley’s murder.” In subsequent interviews he has said that if the two men are innocent they should sue him.

Hasbrouck who has worked for ABC television for the past 15 years, told me:

“Why is it they always blame a black man? It’s like Charles Stuart in Boston or Susan Smith in South Carolina.”

Stuart, a white man, claimed a black man had murdered his wife, setting off a city-wide manhunt. Stuart later committed suicide after police closed in on him as his wife’s killer. Susan Smith drowned her two children after claiming a black man had kidnapped them.

As for suing Kennedy for libel, Hasbrouck said, “You need deep pockets to sue for libel. I don’t have the money.”

RFK Jr.’s claim, with its racial “caveman” stereotype, came from a convicted felon named Gitano “Tony” Bryant. Bryant, who claimed to be a cousin of the basketball star, Kobe Bryant. Bryant owed the government millions of dollars in back taxes from a fraudulent tobacco importing scheme. A decade before he had participated in an armed robbery and kidnapping in California. And he has refused to repeat his claim to Connecticut law enforcement authorities.

So where does the case stand? Nobody seems to know. Here’s the tricky part. After writing the majority decision, Zarella retired. That left the court with six judges. If they split along the same lines on Santos’ reconsideration motion, his appeal will be dismissed and presumably Michael will return to prison. Santos, though, has argued that Zarella’s replacement should be included as the seventh judge.

Determining the procedure will be Justice Richard Palmer, one of the three dissenters, who has become the case’s senior judge. The lesson of Connecticut’s highest court seems to be that there is no final decision when it comes to the murder of Martha Moxley.

There’s an old police saying that if a homicide is not solved within the first 48 hours, chances are it will never be. So did Michael kill Moxley? Or did Tommy? What time was she murdered? Was it after midnight when Michael placed himself at the crime scene? If so, where did she go after Tommy left her at 9:30 p.m.? Or was she killed at 10 after Tommy left her following their supposed mutual masturbatory sex to orgasm? If so, what, then, was Tommy’s motive? And if Tommy did murder Martha, would he and the rest of the Skakel family have allowed Michael to spend a decade in prison for a crime Tommy committed?

And what of Jimmy Terrien? What role, if any, did he play? Terrien testified at Michael’s trial but couldn’t remember whether any details concerning Michael’s visit to his house. After completing his testimony, Michael walked over and offered him a hug. Terrien side-stepped him and without a look back walked out of the courtroom, entered a waiting cab, and was gone.

Len Levitt is a former reporter for the Associated Press, Time, Detroit News, and Newsday. His work has appeared in the New York Times Magazine, Esquire, and Harpers. He is the author of six books including Conviction: Solving the Moxley Murder. He writes at NYPD Confidential.