Martha Moxley, pictured above in 1974, lived across the street from Skakel and had been at his house with a group of friends the night before she was killed. The case languished for decades until a one-judge grand jury in 2000 concluded there was enough evidence to charge Michael Skakel with murder.

News today...a Connecticut judge has ordered a new trial, saying the defense lawyer failed Kennedy cousin, Michael Skakel in part by not suggesting his older brother might have killed Martha Moxley in Greenwich 38 years ago.

We totally agree! Never thought Michael was capable of that type of violent narcissistic behavior... but his brother and his friends? ABSOLUTELY...

Michael Skakel, pictured in April, has been granted a new trial in his neighbor Martha Moxley's 1975 slaying. (Jason Rearick / Associated Press / April 30, 2013)

October 30, 1975: In the town of Greenwich, Connecticut, the night before Halloween was commonly known as "mischief night" or sometimes "doorbell night". On this particular evening, 15-year-old Martha Moxley, and her friends, set out for an night of harmless pranks; spraying shaving cream, throwing eggs and toilet paper around the neighborhood before stopping at the home of Tommy and Michael Skakel.

The Skakel brothers were well know in the neighborhood for their behavior and lack of discipline -- and also because they were the nephews of Ethel Skakel-Kennedy, widow of the late Senator Robert F. Kennedy.

The Moxley's and Skakel's lived in Belle Haven, a gated community in Greenwich, an affluent area of town where Hollywood actors live and former President George Bush grew up.

Sometime between 9:30 and 11 p.m. that night, Martha left the Skakel house. Home was only 150 yards away, but Martha never made it. Martha's body was found the next day under a tree in her back yard. Her jeans and underwear had been pulled down, but there was no apparent evidence of sexual assault. She had been beaten so hard with a 6-iron that the shaft had shattered. A jagged piece of it was used to stab her through the neck.

Police later learned that the club was part an expensive, Toney Penna, set which had belonged to Tommy and Michael Skakel's mother Anne. Mrs. Skakel had died of cancer two years earlier leaving her husband Rushton to raise their large and reportedly unruly family. Their son, Tommy, then 17, was said to be the last person seen with Martha. According to Martha's diary, she had fended off several past attempts by Skakel to "get to first and second base," said Martha's mother, Dorthy Moxley.

The day Martha's battered body was found, Greenwich police did a cursory search of the house with Rushton Skakel's permission, but they never obtained a warrant to do a thorough search. This lack of a warrant in the investigation led to accusations of "special treatment" for the well-connected, influential family. Full Story

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