Murder in Greenwich: Who Killed Martha Moxley?

Murder in Greenwich: Who Killed Martha Moxley?

by Mark Fuhrman, Stephen Weeks

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The night of October 30, 1975, fifteen-year-old Martha Moxley was bludgeoned and stabbed with a golf club on the grounds of her family's Greenwich home.

The golf club that killed Martha came from the house of Thomas and Michael Skakel, two boys who had been with Martha the night she died. Wealthy and prominent in their own right, the Skakels were related to


The night of October 30, 1975, fifteen-year-old Martha Moxley was bludgeoned and stabbed with a golf club on the grounds of her family's Greenwich home.

The golf club that killed Martha came from the house of Thomas and Michael Skakel, two boys who had been with Martha the night she died. Wealthy and prominent in their own right, the Skakels were related to the Kennedys, as Ethel Skakel Kennedy was the boys' aunt. When the police started looking closely at the Skakels' involvement, the family refused to cooperate.

Twenty-two years later Martha Moxley's murder remained unsolved.

Now Mark Fuhrman, the former LAPD homicide detective who followed his controversial role in he O. J. Simpson trial with the bestseller Murder in Brentwood, turns his investigative skills to the murder of Martha Moxley.

Is this another case of money, power, and fame getting away with murder?

In Murder in Greenwich, Fuhrman investigates this unsolved homicide form the beginning. Using his detective skills to analyze the case and uncover explosive new information—including top secret documents compiled by the Skakels' own private investigators—Mark Fuhrman will reveal:

  • how the local police mishandled the investigation from the beginning
  • how the murder weapon was found—and then lost—at the crime scene
  • how wealth and influence interfered with the investigation
  • how authorities tried to stop Fuhrman's investigation

A beautiful teenager was brutally murder in an exclusive and well-guarded suburb. How could it happen? Why did her killer get away with it? Who was involved in the cover-up? What role did the town of Greenwich itself play in the investigation.

From the investigation, Mark Fuhrman will offer his answers to these questions, as well as the question that everyone is still asking: Who killed Martha Moxley?

Editorial Reviews

Andrew Stuttaford
Not quite a literary classic, Murder in Greenwich is still a compelling read, a real-life Agatha Christie novel. -- National Review

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Edition description:
1 ED
Product dimensions:
6.12(w) x 9.12(h) x 1.01(d)

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One
A Murder in Greenwich

At my funeral I want everybody to be happy and remember all the good times we had.
--Martha Moxley

Although she had lived in Greenwich for only a little more than a year, Martha Moxley had made many friends. At least five hundred of them attended her funeral. All the pews in the nave and the balcony of the First Lutheran Church were filled, along with rows of folding chairs set up in the back. Many more young people stood behind the folding chairs and spilled out the church door. Greenwich High School had excused students from classes in order to attend the service, and students from the local private schools attended as well.

The funeral was held on Tuesday, November 4, 1975. Martha had been dead for five days. During this time, Greenwich had been overwhelmed by Martha's death. Earlier in the week, students had thrown rocks at the television crews who came to Greenwich High School to report on the reaction to the murder. Martha's classmates were starting a scholarship fund in her name, and there were plans to plant a tree in her memory. Before the previous Friday's football game, there had been a moment of silence.

The children of Greenwich were the sons and daughters of some of the wealthiest and most prominent families in the country. Their parents were corporate executives, lawyers, Wall Street bankers, socialites, and polo players. They led a comfortable and sheltered existence -- until Martha Moxley was beaten to death with a golf club on her family's estate in the exclusive neighborhood of Belle Haven.

At her funeral the Reverend Richard Manus read aeulogy that a group of her friends had written: "Martha Moxley loved life. Every day was something special. After only a short time here, she made more friends than most people make in a lifetime.

"She was always the first to come around and she was fun to be around -- it was an education to be with her.

"She made everyone she met feel as though he were her friend. It was an adventure to be with her, and we will always reminisce about the experiences we shared."

Martha's closed coffin stood in front of a church window, the autumn sun filtering through the stained glass and shining onto the casket. Nine of Martha's closest friends walked up and each placed a single yellow rose on the casket as a sign of affection. They all broke into tears during the ritual.

Reverend Manus said that "family came first in Martha's life." The Moxley family "were very close, they did everything together. They were the perfect foursome." Her mother Dorthy, father David, and brother John stood in the front pew. They were still in shock. A business transfer had required their recent move from California, and they chose Greenwich because it was pretty and safe.

Reverend Manus read a poem by Edgar Guest: "No Friend Who Loves Will Ever Die." Then he closed the service with a recitation of the Lord's Prayer.

The mourners filed quietly from the church, past a gauntlet of onlookers outside. Television cameras and news photographers took pictures of the crowd as they exited the church. Several of the fifteen Greenwich police detectives assigned to investigate the murder stood on the sidewalk, closely observing the mourners. Across the street captain of detectives Tom Keegan hid behind a row of parked cars, snapping photos with a camera equipped with a telephoto lens.

Dorthy Moxley was one of the last to leave the church. Outside she saw seventeen-year-old Thomas Skakel. He was standing alone, looking sad and somewhat aloof while his fifteen-year-old brother Michael was talking with his other brothers and friends. Dorthy knew that Martha had been with Thomas the night she died, and he was the last person to be seen with her. Dorthy felt sorry for the boy, so she went up to Thomas and hugged him. She didn't know he was already a suspect in the murder.

At the time, Dorthy didn't believe that Thomas, or anyone else from Belle Haven, could have murdered her daughter. She assumed, like everyone else in Greenwich, that the killer must have been an outsider.

Several youths broke down crying as Martha's coffin was carried into the hearse and driven to the Putnam Hills cemetery. Accompanied by David and John, Dorthy Moxley stepped into the first of a long line of black limousines. A single Greenwich police car with its lights silently flashing led the funeral procession. They drove to the Putnam Hills cemetery to bury a beautiful young girl.

Martha Moxley was murdered on October 30, 1975, the night before Halloween. Earlier that evening, she planned to celebrate Hacker's Night by going out with her friends and engaging in harmless mischief -- throwing eggs at cars and decorating trees with toilet paper. There was no school the next day. It was the beginning of a three-day weekend. And there was a party at the Skakels. Mr. Rushton Skakel was out of town. Whenever he went away, the kids had free run of the house.

Martha Moxley was a pretty, popular fifteen-year-old. Outgoing, even flirtatious, Martha had no problem making friends. She had moved to Greenwich from northern California and had already been voted the girl with the best personality in her junior-high-school class that first year. During the summer, Martha had become even more attractive.She finally got her braces off and lost the last traces of her baby fat.She was beginning to mature into a beautiful, self-assured young woman...

Murder in Greenwich. Copyright © by Mark Fuhrman. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

Meet the Author

Retired LAPD detective Mark Fuhrman is the New York Times bestselling author of Murder in Brentwood, Murder in Greenwich, Murder in Spokane, and Death and Justice. He lives in Idaho.

Mark Fuhrman is a retired Los Angles polices detective and was a witness in the O.J. Simpson criminal trial. He is the author of the New York Times bestseller Murder in Brentwood.

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