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Conviction

by Leonard Levitt

On October 30, 1975, fifteen-year-old Martha Moxley headed home from Halloween Eve antics with her Greenwich, Connecticut, neighbors Tommy and Michael Skakel. She never made it. Her brutal murder with a golf club in her own backyard 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. After the police department's first unsuccessful attempts to catch the killer, the case lay dormant, and the culprit remained free. Enter Leonard Levitt. In 1982, the Stamford Advocate and Greenwich Time newspapers asked investigative reporter Levitt to look into the murder and the undying rumors of a cover-up. Levitt soon uncovered groundbreaking information about how the police had bungled the investigation, and he learned that Tommy and Michael had lied about their activities on the night of the murder. But Levitt's articles about his findings -- and the haunting questions they raised -- almost never saw the light of day. For years, Levitt's superiors mysteriously refused to publish the stories. Convinced that the Moxley family deserved the peace and closure they had so long been denied, Levitt fought desperately to keep his discoveries alive. Finally, after Levitt's first article appeared, the case was reopened. Enter Frank Garr. As the newly appointed investigator on the Moxley case, the seasoned Greenwich detective doggedly 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, as reporters and detectives often are, 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, a shocked world watched as Michael Skakel was convicted of the murder, thanks largely to the evidence Garr alone had marshaled against him. Now, for the first time, Leonard Levitt tells the amazing true story of Garr's fight to solve the case and of how their friendship with each other, and with Martha Moxley's mother, Dorthy, sustained them over the years. A riveting, suspenseful drama that unfolds like a mystery novel, this incredible memoir also reveals how a police officer and a reporter refused to give up, and how they helped justice to prevail, against all odds.

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