This is the Forward in Joe Bruno’s soon-to-be-released book, “The Mysterious Murder of Martha Moxley: Did the Political and Financial Power of the Kennedy/Skakel Families.”
It all started for me around the year 2000 at a “yard sale” in Sarasota, Fl.
Living amongst the tenements on the Lower East Side of Manhattan in New York City for 48 years, a yard sale was an oddity to me. But my wife figured she could pick up a valuable item or two for almost nothing, so we stopped at a yard sale which took place in someone’s driveway.
As my wife picked through the clothes, figurines, and appliance that were lined up on two long picnic tables, I fingered through a box of paperback books that was laying on the concrete floor. The one that caught my eye was a book featuring a pretty blond girl on the cover. Next to her face in red lettering was written, “WHO KILLED MARTHA MOXLEY?
The title of the book was Murder in Greenwich, and was written by Mark Fuhrman. I knew Fuhrman’s name from the infamous O.J. Simpson trial, but I didn’t know he had become an author. (Unbeknownst to me, Fuhrman had also written a previous book on the Simpson trial called Murder in Brentwood.)
I paid 50 cents for the book, took it home, and put it on a huge shelf of books that I planned to read before I perished.
Fast forward to November 2014 – 14 years later.
I don’t know why, but I picked up Murder in Greenwich and started reading it. At this point in time, I didn’t know that anyone in the Kennedy family was involved, and I thought a Skakel was a form of foreign currency. When I finished Murder in Greenwich the takeaway was that Fuhrman predicted that Michael Skakel, then 15 years old was the killer of 15-year-old Martha Moxley in Greenwich, Connecticut on October 30, 1975.
Soon after Murder in Greenwich was published, Skakel was indicted for Martha’s murder. Then in 2002, Skakel was convicted by a jury of his peers, and he was sentenced to 20 years-life in prison. In 2013, the guilty verdict was overturned by a judge who said that Michael Skakel’s attorney, Mickey Sherman, had not given him a proper defense.
Before I sat down and started my research for The Mysterious Murder of Martha Moxley: Did the Political and Financial Power of the Kennedy/Skakel Families, I knew nothing about the case except what I had read in Fuhrman’s book, in which the time period had ended in 1998.
On January 2, 2015, I began my research in earnest and continued it for one full year. On January 2, 2016, while still immersed in my research, I started writing this book in earnest.
I went into this project with no preconceived notions. With 40 years as a journalist in my back pocket, all my research for this book has been done by reading more than 10 books on the subject of either the Moxley murder, or the Kennedy family’s connection to the Skakels; in particular those concerning Ethel Skakel Kennedy, who married the former United States Attorney General, Robert F. Kennedy. I also pored over 200 magazine and newspaper articles available on the internet; especial the Samford Advocate and Greenwich Times, and the New York Times.
And like Nero Wolfe, I never left the comfort of my home.
I have not spoken to anyone connected with this case: none of the Moxleys, Skakels or Kennedys, and none of the detectives or law enforcement agencies involved. The only contact I had with anyone involved in the Moxley murder case was via email with Len Levitt, who wrote: Conviction: Solving the Moxley Murder in 2006. I asked Levitt a few questions, but he was not effusive in his answers.
In street terms, he gave me the cold shoulder.
Still, all the quotes I needed, and all the facts that are pertinent to this case were already available in print in one form or another. But it takes someone with years of experience to piece together all the facts into a coherent and plausible narrative. Without tooting my horn too loud, I have that experience.
After researching the Moxley Murder Case, and while writing the first draft, I changed my opinion on certain things several times. In fact, after I finished the first draft, I threw it out (deleted it in computer terms), and started again from scratch from a different perspective.
This book is my absolute honest opinion of what transpired in the “Martha Moxley Murder Case,” much like the conclusion Mark Fuhrman arrived at when he gave his final judgement in Murder in Greenwich.
Opinions are like noses; everyone has one. But I back mine up with facts, not other people’s opinions.
And more importantly, unlike other books which have recently been written by people connected to the case in one way or another, I have no horse in this race.
Of course, I feel compassion for the Moxley family. They, along with their daughter, Martha, are the real victims here. No matter what anyone with a vested interest in this case may say.
Martha Moxley (1960 – 1975) – may she rest in peace.