Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Martha Moxley Murder

Grand Jury

"I say that justice is truth in action."

— Benjamin Disraeli

"The appointment of a one-man grand jury to probe the1975 murder of Greenwich teenager Martha Moxley is being hailed as a major milestone by those connected with the unsolved homicide," hailed the Greenwich Time on July 18, 1998, when the jury was announced." Since then, more than 50 witnesses have testified, among them Dorothy and John Moxley (David has since passed away), patrolmen Daniel Hickman and Millard Jones, Mildred Ix, Kenneth Littleton, Detective Stephen Carroll, Sheila McGuire and many more.

The juror is Bridgeport Superior Court Judge George Thim, a man with an impeccable court record since he first stepped on the bench in 1985. According to Reuters, "Grand juries, rare in Connecticut, have the power to subpoena witnesses and ultimately to recommend an indictment."

For months, Rushton Skakel has been continuing to dodge the past, but the past is at last yanking at his cuffs. On July 28, 1999, "the 4th District Court of Appeals rejected arguments by Rushton Skakel's lawyers that the 74-year-old man is mentally unfit to travel or testify," an Associated Press memo informs us. "An affidavit by an investigator suggests Skakel may have overheard one of his sons discussing the slaying."

* * * * *

Dorothy Moxley continues to wait and listen and watch from the sidelines. She believes that state prosecutors, in seeking a grand jury, feel they have enough evidence for an indictment. But, it is not vengeance she is after. She wants justice so she can put to peace the haunted memories and, most of all, recall Martha without the pain. "Í wonder how I'll feel when I know who did this," she told the New York Times. "I would think they have lived with a lot of difficulty in keeping this a secret."

Dorothy and John Moxley (AP)
Dorothy and John Moxley (AP)

She now lives, a widow, in a pretty home in the quiet town of Chatham, New Jersey, not far from her son John, a successful commercial realtor. She likes the fact that John, his wife and two children live so near. She enjoys being a grandmother.

As for the Skakels, their "money may prove to do nothing more than extend and amplify the nightmare," pens Timothy Dumas in A Wealth of Evil. "The family's legal bills are mounting precipitously (at one point, they retained ten lawyers in ten states)...and the story in which (Michael) finds himself appears to have no blue sky beyond the gloom." He is angry and bitter. And, if he is guilty, probably very, very nervous.

Martha Elizabeth Moxley, 1960-1975 (AP)
Martha Elizabeth Moxley, 1960-
1975 (AP)

If attitude means anything, then Thomas is innocent. Recently, Dumas met the older Skakel, now 44, on the streets of Stockbridge, where he, his wife and two children live. "Here, Tommy Skakel was a contented man living a steady and uneventful life," Dumas says. He spends his time between helping his wife run a bed and breakfast and working at a nearby manufacturing plant.

In an unintended parody of fate, too dark to be funny, too unbelievable to be ignored, the manufacturer for which he works produces golf clubs.


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