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Moxley Case: Who was Martha Moxley?

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Editor's Note: As part of's new Crime section, we are archiving some of the most interesting content from This story was first published in 2002.

(Court TV) -- Before her name became synonymous with violence, scandal and the sins of the dissolute rich, Martha Moxley had a more benign role in Greenwich: She was the new girl in town.

In the summer of 1974, just a little more than a year before her murder, 14-year-old Moxley had moved with her parents and older brother to the wealthy New York suburb from Piedmont, California.

The 3,000-mile move, the wholesale loss of friends and the adjustment to a new school, all in the most awkward time of life, might have shaken other teenagers, but not Martha. Instead, the pretty blond bloomed.

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.

"Martha was a person who had everything in the world going for her. She was friendly, she was athletic, she was talented in the arts. Everything seemed to come very easily to Martha," her brother John recalled. "She was very easy to get along with, upbeat friendly, the kind of kid you'd like to be around."

Despite her popularity, John recalled, Martha was family-oriented and didn't mind spending time in the family's huge home, sketching in her artist's notebook or playing with her cat, Tiger. But she was no Pollyanna. She had a wilder side as well, occasionally missing her curfew, drinking a beer and smoking.

Even by her mother's estimation, Martha loved boys and was popular with them. She had at least one steady boyfriend while in Greenwich and her diary and notes to friends record other flirtations. Her autopsy made clear, however, that she was a virgin.

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.

Among the people she hung with that summer were the Skakel boys, Michael and Tommy. It's unclear how much time Martha spent with the Skakel boys. In a letter she wrote to a friend that summer, she said Tommy had hit on her, but she wasn't interested. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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