On October 30, 1975, fifteen–year–old Martha Moxley was brutally murdered in her backyard on the way home from the house of her Greenwich, Connecticut, neighbors Tommy and Michael Skakel. Her murder made national headlines. But for years no one was arrested, despite troubling clues pointing to the Skakels, a rich and powerful family related to the Kennedys. Enter Leonard Levitt. When two newspapers asked Levitt to look into the murder Levitt soon uncovered groundbreaking information about what had happened that night and subsequently, in the police investigation. But for years, Levitt's superiors mysteriously refused to publish the stories. Convinced that the Moxley family deserved peace and closure at last, Levitt refused to give up. Finally, after Levitt's first article appeared, the case was reopened. Frank Garr, a seasoned Greenwich detective, was appointed investigator on the Moxley case. He pursued unexplored leads and became increasingly convinced that for over a decade, his colleagues had been pursuing the wrong suspects. At first mistrustful of one another, Levitt and Garr became friends, encouraging each other in their quest for the truth as the obstacles against them piled up. In 2002, more than twenty–five years after Moxley's death, thanks largely to Garr's work, Michael Skakel was convicted of the murder.
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Leonard Levitt writes "One Police Plaza," a column for Newsday. He previously held the position of Investigations Editor at the New York Post, and his work has appeared in Time, Harper's, the New York Times Magazine, and Esquire. The recipient of a Rockefeller Foundation Humanities grant, he also served in the Peace Corps in Africa. He lives in Stamford, Connecticut.From Publishers Weekly:
Veteran Newsday police reporter Levitt offers his personal perspective on the long trail from the 1975 murder of teenager Martha Moxley to the 2002 conviction of Michael Skakel, but fails to make his presentation compelling. Levitt's tale includes his struggle with his editor to get his stories published and his bond with Martha's mother, Dorthy, and detective Frank Garr, whom he credits with solving the case. Although his point of view differs from those of others who have written on the crime, such as Mark Fuhrman and Timothy Dumas, Levitt treads over familiar ground. Aside from his bias against the whole Skakel family, perhaps the book's greatest deficiency is Levitt's failure to seriously confront and refute the logical arguments made by Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Skakel's cousin, in a 2003 Atlantic Monthly essay, which contends that the evidence at trial was insufficient and notes that other suspects, including the Skakel family tutor, were more likely to have committed the vicious slaying. One such suspect, the Skakel gardener, who had boasted of a history of sexual assaults, is not even mentioned here. While Levitt deserves credit for his dogged pursuit of the truth, which led to a reopening of the moribund investigation in 1991, he has fallen short of his goal to tell the complete story. B&w photos.
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