The New York Times bestseller – now in paperback, with a new afterword
“A must-read for those who care about justice and integrity in our public institutions.” —Alan M. Dershowitz, Esq.
The Definitive Story of One of the Most Infamous Murders of the Twentieth Century and the Heartbreaking Miscarriage of Justice That Followed
On Halloween, 1975, fifteen-year-old Martha Moxley’s body was found brutally murdered outside her home in swanky Greenwich, Connecticut. Twenty-seven years after her death, the State of Connecticut spent some $25 million to convict her friend and neighbor, Michael Skakel, of the murder. The trial ignited a media firestorm that transfixed the nation. Now Skakel’s cousin Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., solves the baffling whodunit and clears Michael Skakel’s name.
In this revised edition, which includes developments following the Connecticut Supreme Court decision, Kennedy chronicles how Skakel was railroaded amidst a media frenzy and a colorful cast of characters—from a crooked cop and a narcissistic defense attorney to a parade of perjuring witnesses.
About the Author
Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. is a New York Times bestselling author and one of the nation’s leading environmental activists. His writing has been included in anthologies of America’s best crime writing, best science writing, and best political writing. He is president of Waterkeeper Alliance, the world’s largest clean water advocacy group; a professor of environmental litigation at Pace University Law School in White Plains, NY; and a senior attorney at the Natural Resources Defense Council. Mr. Kennedy is a former Assistant District Attorney in Manhattan. He cohosts the weekly radio show Ring of Fire.
“Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s new book, Framed, is a furious and fascinating condemnation of the persecution of Michael Skakel. This account will shock and astound those who read the press reports of the case at the time, particularly Dominick Dunne’s reportage, and believed Skakel to be the monster portrayed there. It is deeply researched, bitingly written, and entirely convincing.”
—Stuart Woods, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Stone Barrington series and Holly Barker series
“A brilliantly written autopsy of a wrongful prosecution and conviction, Kennedy’s book is a masterpiece that chronicles the Kafkaesque persecution of an innocent man. It is a riveting narrative of greed, hubris, envy and sloth. Michael Skakel’s saga is a heartbreaking account of an abuse of power paralleled in infamy only by the Duke Lacrosse prosecutors.”
—Anne Bremner, American attorney, television personality, defense counsel in Amanda Knox’s Italian murder trial
“Bobby Kennedy pulls no punches in making the compelling case for his cousin’s, Michael Skakel’s, absolute innocence. But he goes much further: indicting those who he believes were complicit in what he calls a frame up by prosecu¬tors, police, and the media. . . . This book is a devastating indictment of our justice system and media for their systemic unwillingness to confront their own errors. It is a must-read for those who care about justice and integrity in our public institutions.”
—Alan M. Dershowitz, author of Taking the Stand: My Life in the Law
“An exciting page turner.”
—Morris Dees, author, attorney, and co-founder of the Southern Poverty Law Center
“In Framed, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., with Capote-like precision, tells his grip¬ping story of an innocent man caught up in a Kafkaesque nightmare between a corrupt prosecution and a disastrously inept criminal defense that resulted in 11½ years in prison for a crime Skakel didn’t and couldn’t have committed. RFK Jr. lays it all out in a page-turner that will convince all but the most rabid Kennedy haters. Then again, the arguments are so compelling, maybe even they’ll be convinced.”
—Michael Shapiro, Perennial Superlawyer, Former Queens County District Attorney, New York Special Prosecutor, faculty Benjamin N. Cardoza School of Law, adjunct Harvard Law School
“Framed is the riveting true story of a life turned upside down by unethical prosecutors and irresponsible journalists in a justice system which is anything but. It is both the story of one man’s nightmare and a cautionary tale for us all . . . because while it is true that we can ensure that we do not COMMIT a crime, we can never ensure that we are not CHARGED with one. Kudos to Kennedy, not only for writing a page-turner, but for never giving up his quest for the Truth.”
—Shawn Holley, defense attorney for O.J. Simpson’s Dream Team and in over 60 trials for high-profile clients, including Tupac Shakur, Snoop Dogg, Paris Hilton, Nicole Ritchie, Lindsay Lohan, and others
“Crime thrillers and true crime stories both aim to explore our notions of jus¬tice. Framed by Robert Kennedy Jr. combines the best of both with a power¬ful story that grabbed me in the first few pages and wouldn’t let go. Kennedy meticulously torpedoes the case that convicted his cousin Michael Skakel of murder. He chronicles a decades-long horror show of incompetence, prejudice, malfeasance, and outright misconduct. What I didn’t expect, though, were the feelings that surfaced while I was reading. Kennedy took me from rage to tears at the injustices suffered by his cousin and family. Framed is a must-read for anyone who cares about our judicial system.”
—Libby Fischer Hellmann, award-winning author of Easy Innocence and other crime thrillers
“An electrifying, meticulous exposé. Kennedy shows how his cousin was wrong¬fully convicted by a grim yet fascinating cast of characters cruelly assembled, as it were, to thwart justice; corrupt police and prosecutors, an incompetent defense lawyer, a judge who falls in love with the 24 hour news cycle while forgetting his role as neutral arbiter, and the TV “commentators” who directed the outcome of the case for ratings and not justice—all conspiring to convict an innocent man while allowing the real murderers to go free. Kennedy gives the reader a front-row seat, and, unlike the jury, all of the evidence necessary to watch, in horror, the conviction of yet another innocent man. If this book does not wake people up to the terrifying reality of how our criminal justice has become a game not of seeking justice but of winning, I do not know what will. This book is mandatory reading for anyone who cares about truth, individual rights, and the corruption of justice in America.”
—Joe Cheshire, attorney in the Duke Lacrosse case, North Carolina’s “Top Lawyer” three years running by SuperLawyer.com
“Kennedy exposes the toxic brew of incompetence and sensationalism that led to his cousin’s conviction. The ‘cold case’ had every ingredient that made it an irresistible stew that fed the ambition and corruption by press, prosecutors, and police; the brutal, senseless murder of a privileged teenage girl, a self-seeking prosecutor with ‘elastic ethics’, a society gossip fabulist who stirred the brew, a crooked cop, sloppy police work, a cavalier defense lawyer, and a ‘Kennedy cousin’ with an ironclad alibi who nevertheless became the perfect suspect. “Now, years after a monumental miscarriage of justice, Kennedy, by careful investigation, deconstructs the prosecution’s case, convincingly shows Michael Skakel’s innocence, and identifies the true culprits who have escaped justice for decades.”
—Dick DeGuerin, considered one of America’s top lawyers, most notably for his defense of Tom DeLay, David Koresh, Robert Durst, and others
“An awful, awful story brilliantly told. How many more innocent men and women will be wrongfully convicted and punished with long and terrible jail sentences? This book is a scream for change.”
—Martin Garbus, legendary criminal and constitutional attorney, educator, and author of Courting Disaster and other books.
“The definitive account of the perfect storm that led to Michael Skakel’s wrongful conviction, Kennedy recounts the blunders of investigators, the miscon¬duct of prosecutors, the perjury of witnesses, the legal ineptitude of judges and defense lawyers, and the failings of a criminal justice system that cares more about defending a conviction, even one that is wrongful, than in delivering justice. And he answers the question that has remained unanswered for more than 40 years: Who killed Martha Moxley?”
—David Cameron, Professor of Political Science, Yale University, and member of Connecticut’s Eyewitness Task Force
“With Capote-like precision, Kennedy tells his gripping story of an innocent man caught up in a Kafkaesque nightmare of a corrupt prosecution and a disastrously inept criminal defense.”
— Michael Shapiro, Esq.
“This book is a must-read for anyone who has been interested in the Martha Moxley case. It is also an important illustration for us all that miscarriages of justice can and do occur when the need for results, power, fame, and money supersede the need for justice.”
—Ann Marie Palladino, Book Review Blogger, “Lit. Wit. Wine & Dine.”
“Kennedy explains with new clarity and detail the pervasive corruption in the Connecticut State Prosecutor’s Office that led to Michael’s wrongful conviction. He shows, in a persuasive, compelling narrative, of how four writers, pursuing their own craven ambitions, orchestrated Michael’s media lynching and wrongful conviction.”
—Randy Wayne White, New York Times bestselling crime writer, author of more than 40 books, including the Doc Ford series, former member of the Florida Judicial Nominating Committee and Florida Bar Association Grievance Committee
“If you think you know about this case, you don’t. If you think that this case ended in justice being served, it didn’t. I was literally left both speechless and enraged while reading this book and learning what actually happened.”
—Mark Geragos, Esq. , noted criminal defense attorney