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Framed: Why Michael Skakel Spent Over a Decade in Prison For a Murder He Didn't Commit
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Framed: Why Michael Skakel Spent Over a Decade in Prison For a Murder He Didn't Commit

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  342 ratings  ·  70 reviews
In 1975, fifteen-year-old Martha Moxley’s body was found in the backyard of her family’s Connecticut home, and a member of America’s beloved Kennedy family, then also fifteen, was accused of the crime. What ensued was a media firestorm and a whodunit that transfixed the nation, providing daily debates—and cruel, dinner table entertainment. Now, forty years after Michael Sk ...more
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published July 12th 2016 by Skyhorse (first published February 9th 2016)
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Average rating 3.85  · 
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Start your review of Framed: Why Michael Skakel Spent Over a Decade in Prison For a Murder He Didn't Commit
Ann Marie (Lit·Wit·Wine·Dine)
Jul 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc, true-crime
That it is better 100 guilty Persons should escape than that one innocent Person should suffer, is a Maxim that has been long and generally approved. - Benjamin Franklin, letter to Benjamin Vaughn dated March 14, 1785

On the evening of October 30, 1975, Martha Moxley, a beautiful fifteen-year-old girl residing in the prestigious Belle Haven enclave of the very affluent town of Greenwich Connecticut, was brutally murdered so close to her own home her mother believes she may have heard her screams.
Aug 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The page count of this book might seem to be a bit low at 288 pages, but the margins of the hardcopy version are quite narrow, and the paragraphs are often long. The font is smaller than that found in many hardcover books. In addition, the leading (line spacing) is not particularly great, so there is a very great deal of content in the 278 pages of text plus Acknowledgments, Table of Contents, Cast of Characters, Timeline, Introduction and Index. The book also includes 16 pages of glossy photogr ...more
Sep 30, 2016 rated it liked it
3.5 stars
I read Mark Fuhrman's book back when it came out, and was convinced that Michael Skakel killed Martha Moxley. Now that I've read Framed, I am not so sure. I do understand that different writers will skew the evidence to make it look like their guy is innocent or guilty depending on their agenda (as a Lizzie Bordenphile, I read four different LB books that "proved" that four different suspects killer Mr. and Mrs. Borden), but if the evidence in Robert Kennedy's book is true, it would app
Laura Hoeman
Jul 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Explains a lot

I've read all the books on this crime, including Murder in Greenwich and those lesser known. They all make interesting reading, but now this one has convinced me that the others are wrong. I now believe Michael Skakel is innocent. I'm glad it sets the record straight, with new facts the others didn't have.
Aug 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
All men make mistakes, but the good man yields when he knows his course is wrong and repairs the evil. The only sin is pride.’ —Sophocles.

New York author Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. has published ‘Crimes Against Nature’, ‘The Riverkeepers’, ‘Judge Frank M. Johnson, Jr: A Biography, and two children’s books ‘St Francis of Assisi’, American Heroes: Joshua Chamberlain and the American Civil War and Robert Smalls: The Boat Thief. His articles have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Los
Chris Bartle
Aug 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I found this book to be entirely convincing on the subject of Michael Skakel's innocence. But, more powerful still, it demonstrates conclusively that there was more than enough reasonable doubt to acquit Michael, so that it is damningly clear that the justice system was manipulated, to the everlasting guilt and shame of those who participated in his conviction. These include irresponsible, even vicious, celebrity mongering journalists like Dominic Dunne, Mark Furman and Nancy Grace, and utterly ...more
Dec 08, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: true-crime
Before I review this book, I have to admit that I came to the case at its heart (the Martha Moxley murder) with a firm belief in Michael Skakel's guilt.

That said, I'm attempting to review this book as objectively as possible, given that Robert F. Kennedy is arguing for his cousin's innocence. I do in fact find that he makes several compelling arguments (the location of Michael that night, a possible confession from another party, the strength needed to break a golf club, the weakness of Michael
Oct 10, 2016 rated it liked it
I admired Robert Kennedy's passion in defending his cousin, Michael Skakel, and he made a compelling case for Michael's innocence. That said, however, I am not sure why he returned time after time to a certain suspect, repeatedly citing a hair found on Martha Moxley's body, only to settle on two different suspects later -- citing hairs again, this time pointing to someone else. That local authorities and Michael's lawyer bungled the case is clear. Less clear is who actually killed the teen. Rega ...more
Dianne Landry
Nov 24, 2016 rated it it was ok
I always believed Michael Skakel was innocent, mainly because I find it hard to accept that 5 or 6 people would be able to stick to a lie about an air-tight alibi for 40 some years. Also, I always thought Mark Fuhrman was sleazy so I never trusted him.

Because of this I wanted to read this book. Unfortunately, I couldn't do it. The writing isn't at all engaging, in fact I found it long winded and plodding. Robert Kennedy Jr. seems to keep repeating himself over and over again.

If you are intereste
Jan 10, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
A tragic story told in a confounding, almost unreadable way...RFK Jr. has *soooooo* much he wants to tell you! The first say, 3 parts, are totally worth it, I say pick up this book just to read those. Not only are they an interesting and in-depth look at this particular case, but also the evolution of the criminal justice system in the U.S. and the truly terrible effects of our culture of celebrity and media upon it. Afterwards, though, just read the epilogue, or maybe skim the rest of the parts ...more
Peter Brown
Aug 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sad story of the justice system - but very well told!

I thoroughly enjoyed the book. Having said that, it is very disturbing view of the justice system. Michael had a bad attorney and the prosecution used the framework of a disgraced former policeman to get a wrongful conviction.
Aug 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Smartly written.
Couldn't put it down or stop talking about it!
Sep 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Very, very well researched. Extraordinary details. I hope someone takes notice!
Mar 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is an incredible book. It's reminiscent of In Cold Blood in that the perpetrators are only found after years of red herrings and false accusations, and the certainty of their perpetration is found in the specificity of the memories of those who witnessed the murder and didn't dare to speak up. The difference between this book and In Cold Blood is that the latter is a classic, and this book, while very well written, can't come up to the sheer poetry of Capote's book. Another difference is th ...more
David Corleto-Bales
Sep 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016
Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. makes an overwhelming and compelling case in exonerating his cousin, Michael Skakel, for the murder of Martha Moxley on the night before Halloween, 1975, and has used impressive and methodical detective skills in uncovering who the real culprits might be. Kennedy first wrote a detailed, mesmerizing defense of his cousin in the Atlantic magazine in 2003, and this book lays out new and important information that points away from Michael Skakel. A great deal is to be said for ...more
Theresa Pollara

If this book is intended as a defense of Mr. Skakel, it should be shortened and better organized--the defense was buried in a lot of vitriol and interesting, but irrelevant information. Maybe start with the alibi, then move right into the other suspects for the SODDI defense, instead of burying this information in the last few chapters.

If any of the information in this book is true, then Mr. Skakel should be granted a new trial. If the real killers are still out there, they need to be
Gloria Piper
Jan 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a true story. The Kennedy's didn't know their cousins, the Skakels, because they have little in common. Nevertheless when Michael Skakel is sent to prison for a crime he did not commit, the author, can't help but notice how no evidence exists to convict Michael. It should have been impossible to convict him. Kennedy investigates and discovers a decades long campaign to frame a Kennedy, even if he is a mere cousin.

Inexperienced and inept police work that should have been handed over to t
Niki Jobst Smith
Jan 23, 2017 rated it liked it
I love crime stories and exploring injustices, so my husband was spot on when getting this book for me. However, the author had a clear bias that he fairly stated from the beginning. I appreciated hearing another side and it was well presented. However, I would be more interested in reading about this case from an unbias author. It sounds like there have been many books published on this crime and case, and none have been fair to the victim or suspects. Also, the format of sharing the informatio ...more
Jul 20, 2018 rated it liked it
This is pretty much written exactly as you would expect a Kennedy to write it. It isn’t so much about Michael Skakel as it is about the author’s cousin. I mean, Robert F. Kennedy is pictured on the FRONT AND BACK of this paperback edition.

While I appreciate the legal details instructing the reader why Michael Skakel should not have been convicted (we all know the term “reasonable doubt”), it seems aggressive how Kennedy claims to have solved the murder by implicating (and not proving in a court
Nov 01, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I don't know much about this case other then seeing the TV movie made many years ago "Murder in Greenwich" which I barely remember. So going into this book I was hoping for a refresher. Start at the beginning tell us the story of the murder and then move on to why the author doesn't think his cousin committed the murder. Instead so far it's been a list of people, how they are related to this case, and then the author blaming everyone for why his cousin couldn't have committed the murder. Um hell ...more
Rory Costello
Oct 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
Growing up in Connecticut, I certainly remember the sensation around the murder of Martha Moxley -- but I never really knew that much about it until now. RFK Jr. presents a mountain of evidence to show that there was a miscarriage of justice against his cousin. What's also interesting is to learn about the Skakel family, and how its politics were diametrically opposed to the beliefs of the Kennedys.

The drawback of the book for me is how Kennedy presents his view of who the real killers are. He l
Jul 17, 2016 rated it liked it
Framed was an entertaining if a bit rambling look at the circumstances that led to Michael Skakel's conviction for murdering Martha Moxley. I had already had doubts about Michael Skakel's guilt & this book just cemented that belief. I think RFK Jr. had good intentions in writing this book but if you thought that his cousin was guilty this book won't change that. He doesn't hide his resentment toward the media & most people involved in the case especially Mark Fuhrman & Dominic Dunne. I personall ...more
Leslie Salley
Aug 28, 2016 rated it liked it
I am a little obsessed with the Martha Moxley case--I have watched and read most anything I can find about it, and I was convinced that someone in the Skakel family did it or helped cover it up. After reading this, I do have doubts about whether it's feasible for Michael or Tommy to have done this and then have used each other and other siblings to cover it up, but I also know families keep secrets, lie for each other, and rich people pay off less wealthy people to stay quiet.

I learned more abo
Sep 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic read, I've been obsessed with this case for a long time, way before Michael's conviction. When they convicted him, I was actually stunned. No evidence, complete chaotic and compromised crime scene, no motive, no weapon... The original prosecutor sat on this case for years, knowing not to bring to trial because there was almost no evidence, no information, a mess of questionable people... Robert Kennedy does such a great job explaining things, keeping readers attention, and presents SO ...more
Marianne Evans
May 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
October 1975, I was a southern, poor, homely, 18 year old girl who only dreamed of the style, the homes, and the wealthy culture of Greenwich. I had no idea everyone was suffering in alcohol, drugs, and the loneliness of absent parents. I knew then, as I believe today, that Mrs. Moxley played a serious role in the murder of her daughter. Those parents failed their children. I’m saddened at the life of Michael; it’s like he was trained as a child to accept abuse. The vile and cruel lies of Fuhrma ...more
Kathleen Kelly
Sep 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book is a must read. I remember reading about this case in Vanity Fair and it was a Dominic Dunne article. I didn't realize what a egotistical, gossipy man he really was. Robert Kennedy Jr.'s part in trying to see that his cousin Michael Skakel gets a fair trial after spending 11 1/2 years locked up in one of the worst prisons we have in this country. This book is a definite eye opener. Very concise, and articulate. If you have any interest in this miscarriage of justice, then you need to r ...more
Aug 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the best examples of legal discourse written

Kennedy takes you through the entire jaded legal process. He sets forth the strengths and weaknesses of all involved. A total and complete indictment of a rigged trial by lying and cheating prosecutors. I'm the end he solved the crime and names the real murderers.
K.C. Wells
Dec 01, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2016
Interesting case that probably wouldn't still be in the news if it hadn't involved Kennedy relations and lots of money. RFK Jr. has a really roundabout way of writing, and I found the whole thing kind of difficult to follow. He also spends a lot of time whining about how Skakel was the victim of libel but has no problem making accusations about plenty of other people. Not super impressive. ...more
Jun 05, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: audiobook
This was a wordy and indulgent tome but did bring up points that could prove reasonable doubt with circumstantial evidence. The real trouble is that we will probably never get the real story of who killed Martha Moxely. Her life, death, and memory (like many other homicides) is overshadowed by the people left behind.
Jennifer Giles Hinojosa
Apr 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book was well-researched and offers a compelling argument for the innocence of Michael Skakel. The author is very long-winded and parts of the book last entirely too long but he manages to get his message across. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in true-crime.
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Robert Francis Kennedy Jr. is an American activist, environmental attorney, and author. Kennedy serves as president of the board of Waterkeeper Alliance, a non-profit environmental group that he helped found in 1999.

He is the third of eleven children of Senator and Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy and Ethel Kennedy.

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