On October 30, 2020, prosecutors in Connecticut dismissed a murder charge against Michael Skakel, two years after the state’s supreme court ruled that Skakel had received ineffective assistance of counsel. Over the past 45 years, as it captured the nation’s attention, the Skakel case evolved into a morality tale and fierce legal struggle at the intersection of wealth, privilege and brutality.
The body of 15-year-old Martha Moxley was found under a pine tree behind her house in an exclusive section of Greenwich, Connecticut, at about 12:30 p.m. on October 31, 1975. The girl had been severely and repeatedly beaten with a golf club and then stabbed with the metal shaft after the club broke.
Moxley’s parents had become concerned the night before when Martha didn’t come home. Martha had last been seen around 9:30 p.m., standing in the driveway of a neighbor’s house, talking to 17-year-old Thomas Skakel, who lived there with his father, his sister and five brothers, including Michael, who was then 15 years old.