A new book from Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is stoking the intrigue over the widely chronicled murder that his cousin, Michael Skakel, has been accused of carrying out with a golf club in Greenwich, Connecticut, the night before Halloween in 1975.
Skakel was convicted in 2002 to 20 years in prison, but he was freed in 2013 after a judge ruled he did not get an adequate defense and granted him a new trial.
Kennedy argues that Skakel is innocent and his book, “Framed,” points a finger at other people he says could have bludgeoned the girl to death.
Kennedy spoke with “Today” show anchorman Matt Lauer and part of that interview aired this morning.
“The most powerful piece of evidence is that he could not have done it because he was 11 miles away with five eyewitnesses, plus there was (sic) another eight witnesses at the house where the murder took place who never saw him the entire evening after they saw him leave,” Kennedy said.
Lauer reports that Kennedy believes the Skakel family connections to the Kennedys might have fueled a media frenzy that aided in the conviction.
“In all the articles, he was described as ‘Kennedy cousin Michael Skalel.’ That became his new first name ,” Kennedy said.
Prosecutors and the family of the victim, however, say the claims at the heart of Kennedy's book already have been aired in court.
In a statement, Connecticut's Division of Criminal Justice said the book is "inflammatory and baseless."
Skakel was convicted in 2002 of murdering his neighbor, Martha Moxley, when they were both 15. A judge in 2013 ordered a new trial after finding that a defense attorney failed to adequately represent Skakel.
NBC will air more of the interview with Robert F. Kennedy Jr. on "Dateline" at 10 p.m. local time on Friday night.