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Moxley Case: Excerpts from the Sutton Report

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Editor's Note: As part of's new Crime section, we are archiving some of the most interesting content from This story was first published in 2002.

(Court TV) -- In 1992, at the behest of a Skakel family attorney, a prestigious Long Island private investigative firm, Sutton Associates, began re-investigating the murder of Martha Moxley. The firm spent several years and reportedly over a million dollars poring over the case and re-interviewing witnesses.

Here is an excerpt of the report:

Even conservatively, there are a number of clearly condemning circumstances pointing directly at our principal suspects in the murder of Martha Moxley. These facts function as the board off which we must dive into the murky waters of speculation. Despite all the many obstacles and limitations, it is incumbent upon us to take this jump in order to, at the very least, get a tighter grip on the lose ends of this investigation. First and foremost:

1. Tommy Skakel has lied to authorities about the night of October 30, 1975.

2. Michael Skakel has lied to authorities about the night of October 30, 1975.

We know Tommy Skakel lied, because he, admittedly, altered his story to now include highly relevant facts he purposefully concealed from the Greenwich Police Department, Dr. (Stanley) Lesse, and others. For example, he told the Greenwich Police and Dr. Lesse that the last time he saw Martha Moxley on the night of her murder was at the side of his house, around 9:30 pm. He has subsequently advised Sutton Associates that he actually spent, approximately, an additional thirtv minutes with Martha, engaging in a sexual encounter. If he was not lying then, he is lying now, and visa-versa.

We know Michael Skakel lied, because, in terms of his story, he did the same thing as his brother. If he was not lying then, he is lying now, and visa-versa.

We suspect Ken Littleton has lied because he failed at least two lie-detector tests. This remains only a suspicion, however, because the results of these lie-detector tests (administered under circumstances unclear to Sutton Associates) cannot entirely be trusted. Tommy, we have good reason to believe, was able to pass at least one lie-detector test with his original story. While it is possible Tommy told the truth back then and is lying now, such a scenario seems highly unlikely. (Why would Tommy start telling self-implicating lies after previously telling the truth?) More probably, Tommy was able to fool the polygraph.

Certain individuals are capable of such deception. (If the perpetrator is in some state of denial, for example, their responses may not register on the polygraph.) Tommy, we know, successfully lied to Dr. Lesse. It would seem his capacity for deception is formidable. (Then again, as we will consider in greater depth, later in this section, Tommy may not have murdered Martha Moxley. His deception may have been easier to maintain if executed on the behalf of whoever did murder Martha.)

Just as the polygraph will let some who are lying slip by, it can also falsely identify others who are not lying. Certain individuals, know matter what they say, will fail the polygraph. Such people are usually very nervous, unstable, or agitated. Littleton is all three.

On Kenneth Littleton:

On October 30, 1975, a twenty-three year-old teacher and coach from the exclusive Brunswick School in Greenwich, Connecticut, spent his first night in residence as a tutor for the Skakel family children. It was a job, and a night, which dramatically changed the course of Ken Littleton's life for the worse. Young, athletic, handsome, and a recent graduate from Williams, it seemed his future was full of nothing but promise. In the wake of Martha Moxley's murder, however, Ken Littleton fell victim to heavy substance abuse and extreme psychiatric problems. He was arrested in the summer of 1976, on Nantucket, for grand larceny, breaking and entering, and burglary. His criminal record would grow from that point to include shoplifting, assault and battery, and numerous DWI convictions. Within five years, he was working on a loading dock.

While there is no doubt Littleton was profoundly affected by Martha Moxley's murder and its subsequent investigation, to what end his problems can be attributed to this event is uncertain. He is a haunted man, but why? Is he somehow responsible? Is he involved in some complicity, some conspiracy?

Ken Littleton is a wild card a literally and figuratively. If he is entirely innocent of any involvement in the murder of Martha Moxley, he has certainly gone to great lengths to make it seem otherwise.

A couple of years ago, the tabloid television program, A Current Affair, ambushed Littleton in Canada for an expose-style interview. Anxious, stuttering, and shaking uncontrollably, Ken initially tried to flee the encounter, but then awkwardly relented. He made a few comments and answered some questions while remaining just barely within the realm of coherence. He is a man who suffers from severe depression and alcoholism, and his demeanor is inherently disabled. In this regard, he is his own worst accuser.

Littleton's crime spree on Nantucket, which he attributed to his drinking problem, brought him swiftly to the forefront of speculation in the investigation of Martha Moxley's murder. The Greenwich Police Department's efforts to attach the crime to Tommy Skakel had proven futile. Their focus now shifted. Defenders of Littleton insist the continued harassment of the Greenwich Police a who frequently questioned Littleton while he was working a lead to his dismissal from teaching jobs.

Littleton probably did lose teaching jobs because of his status as a suspect and the Greenwich Police's continued efforts to build a case against him, but he has only himself to blame for their interest. His foolish crimes on Nantucket were a red flag to investigators. Furthermore, to this day, he has left many questions unanswered about his actions and whereabouts on the night of October 30, 1975.

On Tommy Skakel:

No one contests that Tommy Skakel is the last person known to have seen Martha Moxley alive. Partly as a result of this ominous distinction, the second son of Rushton Skakel remains, to this day, a leading suspect, if not the leading suspect, in the investigation of her murder. Those who have labored to establish his innocence have faced as much difficulty as those who have struggled to prove his guilt. As such, Tommy has remained, for better or worse, in a culpable limbo for nearly twenty years.

Such speculation has left quite a paper trail. Tommy has been interviewed and examined by doctors, detectives, police officers, and mental health experts, on repeated occasions, regarding the night of October 30, 1975. Sutton Associates has amassed a collection, as comprehensive as possible, of the materials generated by Tommy0 s suspected involvement in the 'incident. A few omissions were insurmountable: certain files, physical evidence, and recorded interviews, for example, remain in the possession of the Greenwich Police Department, and will likely never be made available.

In addition to collecting and analyzing the findings of other professionals, Sutton Associates has conducted its own extensive investigation into the murder. Tommy Skakel has been among the numerous witnesses and suspects interviewed for this investigation. Sticking largely to the same story he has, to the best of our knowledge, been telling from the outset, Tommy maintains his innocence and professes to have no first-hand knowledge of how Martha Moxley was murdered. The few changes he has made to his story, however, are extremely revelatory. These changes were solicited solely during interviews with Sutton Associates. In conjunction with other circumstantial evidence, they have contributed substantial credence to the possibility of Tommy's guilt and, at the very least, suggest he has wilfully deceived authorities, with considerable success, for many years. We will illustrate and explore the significance of these discrepancies.

While this revelatory information brings us a little farther from establishing Tommy0 s innocence, it does not bring us much closer to proving his guilt. As circumstances now stand, the only means of answering this issue, once and for all, he with Tommy, himself. To obtain a better understanding of the issue, then, we must come to a better understanding of Tommy Skakel a and, specifically, how he has endured under the scrutiny of a high-profile, multi-faceted murder investigation.

The Academy Group's profile of the probable offender shares many obvious characteristics with Tommy Skakel (as well as with other leading suspects). Most notably, the Academy Group believe the offender was between 14 and 18 years of age, resided within easy walking distance of the victim's residence, was in the same socioeconomic status as the victim, had regular interaction with the victim would have exhibited strong sibling rivalry tendencies, would have experienced behavioral problems both at school and at home, and was under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol at the time of this crime.

On Michael Skakel:

At the beginning of the official police investigation into the murder of Martha Moxley, Michael Skakel was not a strong suspect. According to some sources, he was ruled out almost immediately due to what was then perceived as an air-tight alibi, substantiated under polygraph by a number of eye-witnesses. Some feel Michael and other suspects were not thoroughly examined at the time, due to a somewhat premature conviction, on the part of local authorities, that Tommy Skakel was the murderer. It was only later when the spotlight of serious scrutiny was placed directly on Michael. His arrest on drunk driving charges in 1978 probably did as much as anything to renew the police's interest.

Michael, at the time, was plagued with serious emotional problems, living, by many accounts, a reckless and drug-fueled existence. What gradually emerged, from that point forward, was a portrait of a deeply, and somewhat enigmatically, troubled young man. In this light, and during the course of Sutton Associates' investigation, serious questions and unresolved issues have been raised about Michael and the murder of Martha Moxley. At the very least, it is fair to say Michael Skakel has, for whatever reason, often acted out in ways certain to arouse suspicion. Reportedly, Michael once even confessed to the murder of Martha Moxley in a therapy session while a patient at the Elan treatment center. He quickly recanted. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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