Michael C. Skakel (born September 19, 1960) was convicted in 2002 of the 1975 murder of Martha Moxley, his fifteen-year-old neighbor in Greenwich, Connecticut. Skakel is the nephew of Ethel Skakel Kennedy, the widow of the late Senator Robert F. Kennedy.
Michael Skakel was one of six children born to Rushton and Anne Reynolds Skakel. The family lived in the neighborhood of Belle Haven in Greenwich, Connecticut. After his mother's death from brain cancer in 1973, Skakel became an alcoholic and had difficulties at school. His cousin Robert F. Kennedy Jr. later wrote that Skakel was a "small sensitive child -- the runt of the litter with a harsh and occasionally violent alcoholic father who both ignored and abused him."
In 1978, Skakel was arrested for drunken driving in New York. To avoid criminal charges, Skakel's family sent him to the Elan School in Poland Spring, Maine where he received treatment for his addiction. He left the school after two years and spent much of the 1980s competing on the national speed skiing circuit. In 1993, he graduated from Curry College in Milton, Massachusetts and worked as a driver for Ted Kennedy's 1994 reelection campaign. Later that year he took a job working for his cousin Michael Kennedy at the Citizens Energy Corporation as director of international programs.