Martha Elizabeth Moxley was born on August 16th 1960 in San Francisco CA. She moved with her parents and older brother to Greenwich,CT. In the summer of 1974. The loss of friends and the adjustment to a new school, would have shaken most kids her age, but not Martha. Instead, she made more friends in her short time in Greenwich, her eulogy noted, than many people make their whole life. Classmates were drawn to her vivacious personality and self-confidence. After just nine months in town, she was voted the most popular girl at Western Junior High School.
She was a person who had everything in the world going for her. She was friendly, athletic, talented in the arts, she was very easy to get along with, upbeat friendly, the kind of kid you’d like to be around. Despite her popularity, Martha was very family-oriented and didn’t mind spending time in the family’s home, sketching in her artist’s notebook or playing with her cat, Tiger. But , she had a wilder side as well, occasionally missing her curfew, drinking a beer and smoking.
In the summer of 1975, Martha spent many days at the Belle Haven Club, swimming and playing tennis. The teens she socialized with around the pool and tennis court were a different breed than her other friends. The children of the exclusive club generally went to private academies and boarding schools and enjoyed a wealth daunting even by Greenwich standards.
I’m having a very difficult time finding out any real information about Martha that doesn’t include her killer, that pompous ass, who’s ego is only slightly less puffed up then his body. It makes me sick that you can’t find out much of anything about her as a person, only as a “Victim”. After some searching, I stumbled upon a letter written by a friend of Martha’s that gave me a real look at a young girl named Martha, who had her whole life ahead of her.
“Aside from her warmth, I most remember the Wallabees. Those funny, natural-suede shoes, popular in the ‘70s,were a staple of Martha’s wardrobe. I can still see her striding confidently down the hall to her locker in Western Junior High. It was 1974 and Martha was a new student in 9th grade. But she just wasn’t any new student; she was special. She was from California! She was blonde! She was fun and exciting and different! None of us had known anyone like her. And that smile was infectious. It was hard NOT to be happy when you were around her. She was always laughing, forever upbeat. There really was no one that didn’t like her in school. And her personality alone made her stand out. "Mox" was what people called her and what she signed on those class notes to me before folding them up into two-inch squares and passing them. She always knew the latest gossip, what was going on, or simply how to make you feel special. She was interesting and interested in others. She didn’t try to bring attention to herself, but by being friendly with others, always had a loyal following. There were 3 of us that I considered Martha’s best friends. All four of us, or any combination of us, were always together. Alison knew her first and their moms grew to be friends. Alison introduced Christy and me to Martha. We all were on the yearbook staff. Alison, Martha, and I were in Ski Club and went on weekend ski trips together, along with our other friend, Sidney. Christy, Martha and I went on a charted bus trip to Washington D.C. with our Government class. We also formed a Western Answer Bowl team and were runners-up. Martha and I played on the girls’ basketball team, and all of us went to the movies, hung out at each other’s homes, and talked incessantly on the phone. Martha was a loyal friend --- I knew this because she constantly talked about her best friends back in Piedmont,California: Carrie, Lynne, Karen, Jane, and others. During the summer after 9th grade, when Christy and I went off to horse camp in New Hampshire, Martha went to Lake Tahoe to see some of these friends. The letters she wrote reminded me how much she enjoyed her ‘old’ friends but especially how much fun she had seeing them again. I realize that trip back was the last time they would see her. Martha wasn’t only popular with girls, she was also extremely popular with boys. She was fun and funny and the boys loved that. I think her older brother, John, kept a close eye on her as they grew closer with age and while she dated her boyfriend, Jeff, in 9th grade. She looked up to her brother and I think was very proud to be starting the following year at Greenwich High School, which he also attended. Martha loved to do fun and different things. I particularly remember the surprise 15th birthday party she planned for me and held at her house. We played goofy games and acted like little kids. It was just four best friends and Martha’s boyfriend, Jeff. They all pitched in and bought me an AM/FM alarm clock radio. I kept that present for years even after it no longer worked because Martha and the others had given it to me. Another very special time we had was when Mrs. Moxley took the four of us to New York City to see Tommy, the movie. All of us had been to the City before, being only an hour away. It was very special, however, to be fifteen and go to New York just to see a movie and have lunch. It was these fun and simple times that I remember most about 9th grade, the year a great girl came to our school. That was Martha: having fun and doing things with friends and family. She found time for everyone and everyone wanted to spend time with her. She was a magnet; her warm, funny, caring, and outgoing disposition captivated everybody and earned her ‘best personality’ in the yearbook. Her smile brightened everyone’s day. Her joyful, carefree laugh filled everyone’s heart. I remember her smile and her laugh, but I would do anything to see her Wallabees walking down the hall toward me again.” ~ Mei (Stone) Versailles
I am told sometimes that I am a pretty empathic guy, but, I was surprised to be almost moved to tears while standing at her grave. The feeling of sadness and loss that stuck me was deeper then I thought possible. What caused me to feel for this young girl? I was only 4 years old at the time of her murder, and I didn’t know anything about her or her accused murder until they brought him in to the court house, his smug face flashing across every television in America. “Murder In Connecticut!” the headlines proclaimed, all media attention seemed to focus on this “Kennedy Cousin” with only the gruesome details of this poor girl, someone’s daughter.
Something caused me to grieve for her. Was it the loss of a bright future that this beautiful young girl never had the chance to live out. Or was it the unfairness that the so called “privileged” are accustomed to. But what I think bothered me most was that Martha had become more of a footnote in the story of her killer, I find that appalling. “The greatest gift in life is to be remembered.” I think its high time to remember Martha, not as the victim of a heinous crime, but for what she really was, a daughter, a sister, a friend, but most of all…Loved.
“Martha loved life and lived a very happy 15 years. She had a lot of friends. As hard as it is, it makes it easier knowing she lived a good life.” ~ Dorothy Moxley
Martha Elizabeth Moxley is buried in Putnam Cemetery in Greenwich, Ct. along side her father David Moxley who died in 1988 of a heart attack.