October 31st – a night of attending costume parties, carving pumpkins, lighting bonfires, playing pranks, visiting haunted places, sharing ghost stories, and watching horror films. But for others Halloween has been a night far from harmless fun, it is the night they lost their lives to cold-blooded killers. Some of these horrific murder cases, more than decades later, are yet to be solved.
11. The Murder of Martha Moxley
15-year-old high school student Martha Moxley was murdered as she left a Halloween party in 1975. She was last seen alive spending time with friends at the home of 15-year-old Michael Skakel in Belle Haven, Connecticut. The case attracted global publicity, as Michael was the nephew of Ethel Skakel Kennedy, the widow of Robert F. Kennedy.
Martha’s close friends witnessed her leaving the Skakel home, flirting with Michael, kissing and then “falling together behind the fence” in the backyard at around 9.30pm.
The next day, her body was discovered under a tree in the backyard, surrounded by pieces of a broken six-iron golf club. An autopsy revealed she had been bludgeoned and stabbed with the club, which belonged to the Skakel family.
Although Michael had become the prime suspect, the investigation was difficult as his father banned access to his school and mental health records. The case went cold and nobody was charged.
An outraged public wanted justice, several books were published about the murder and vigilante investigators found that Michael had significantly changed his alibi for the night of Martha’s murder; Michael claimed he had been window-peeping and masturbating in a tree beside the family home from 11:30pm to 12:30am – a weak alibi as there was no witnesses and this still placed him at the crime scene.
Two former school friends testified they heard Michael confess to killing Martha with the golf club. They said he bragged, “I’m going to get away with murder. I’m a Kennedy.”
Finally in 1998, after an 18-month investigation, it was decided there was enough evidence to charge Michael with murder and now he was no longer 15-years-old he would be tried as an adult. He was sentenced to 20 years to life in prison and sent to the Garner Correctional Institution in Newtown, Connecticut.
10. Nun Strangled To Death By Convent Boy (Allegedly)
In 1981, at the St. Francis Convent, Texas, Johnny Frank Garrett was 17-years-old when on Halloween he allegedly broke into the room of 76-year-old Sister Tadea Benz then sexually assaulted her before strangling her to death.
Garrett was arrested after his fingerprints had been found on a bent butter knife near the body of Sister Benz. Another of his fingerprints had been found on the nun’s headboard.
The case has caused much speculation as other evidence at the scene pointed more towards his innocence. Numerous foreign prints not belonging to Garrett were found at the scene alongside foreign curly, black hairs not belonging to him either.
Also a bloody V-neck T-shirt not belonging to Garrett was found at the scene and shoe prints found outside the convent did not match Garrett’s.
Although his innocence will continue to be speculated as he was ultimately executed aged 28-years-old at Huntsville Unit, by lethal injection in 1992.