Book: Skakel covered in bloodnight of murder

/ Source: The Associated Press

A new book on convicted killer Michael Skakel says the Kennedy cousin described being covered in blood the night of his neighbor’s murder.

Skakel, who was convicted in 2002 of Martha Moxley’s 1975 murder, allegedly made the incriminating comment to a counselor at Elan School, a reform school in Maine where he was sent in the late 1970s. Skakel, like his victim, was 15 at the time of the killing.

In the book “Conviction: Solving the Moxley Murder” by Leonard Levitt, the unnamed counselor describes a conversation he had with Skakel’s father, priest and attorney after Skakel allegedly told him about being covered in blood.

“He (the counselor) said Michael told him there was blood all over the place,” the book quotes Skakel’s priest, the Rev. Mark Connolly, as saying.

Skakel later denied making the remark to the counselor, the book says.

Connolly declined comment Sunday. Thomas Sheridan, Skakel’s attorney in the 1970s, said he did not remember the counselor’s statement.

Skakel was convicted on June 7, 2002, of beating Moxley, his neighbor, to death with a golf club in Greenwich. He is a nephew of Ethel Kennedy, widow of Sen. Robert F. Kennedy.

Skakel is serving a prison sentence of 20 years to life. His appeal is pending with the Connecticut Supreme Court.

Although Skakel has long maintained his innocence, prosecutors at his trial focused on a series of confessions and incriminating statements that witnesses said he made at Elan and later to others.

The defense argued that Skakel was extensively abused and coerced at Elan, and he was miles away at a cousin’s house the night Moxley was killed.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who has long campaigned for his cousin, called the book the latest effort to cash in on the tragedy.

“I’m sure if they had that kind of testimony, they would have used it,” Kennedy said.

Levitt, a Newsday reporter who covered the case for decades, responded by saying the statement would not likely have been admissible during the trial.

“I didn’t write this book for 20 years,” Levitt said. “If that’s cashing in, I’m truly speechless with a cheap comment like that.”

The book, the fourth on the case and the first since Skakel’s conviction, is expected to go on sale this week.