On October 30, 1975, a 15-year-old girl named Martha Moxley was viciously bludgeoned to death in the most exclusive part of Greenwich, Connecticut, one of the most exclusive communities in the United States, where rich people live in grand mansions on lush grounds and go to country clubs and yacht clubs and always feel perfectly safe. The girl’s body was dragged 60 or 80 feet and left under a pine tree near her parents’ house, where it was discovered the following day by a schoolmate.
The only thing that said Greenwich about the crime was that the murder weapon was a No. 6 Toney Penna golf club. Martha was struck so hard that the shaft broke into four pieces, only three of which were discovered at the scene of the crime. The grip part, which might have had fingerprints of the perpetrator on it, has never been found. The killer used one of the pieces, which had a sharp point, as a dagger and stabbed Martha Moxley through her neck.
For a lot of people in Greenwich, it was inconceivable that one of their own kind could have committed such a heinous crime. They talked about how some awful transient must have come in from Interstate 95 and killed the poor girl. Behind closed doors, however, a lot of people in Belle Haven, as the exclusive enclave is called, firmly believed that the perpetrator was most likely one of the brothers who lived in the beautiful residence of Rushton Skakel, a widower with six unruly sons and a daughter and a staff consisting of a tutor, a nanny, a cook, and a gardener. Tommy Skakel, then 17, was the last person to be seen with Martha, and they were roughhousing. Rushton Skakel’s very rich family had been residents of Greenwich for three generations. Martha’s parents had been residents for only a little over a year. For a quarter of a century, the murder has gone unsolved.