Menendez Brothers Story: Jose Enrique Menendez (Jose) was born on May 6, 1944, in the Havana Islands, Cuba. He immigrated to the United States at the age of 16 after the Cuban Revolution. He attended the University of Southern Illinois, where he met his girlfriend, Mary Lewis Anderson (Kitty). They were married in 1963 and moved to New York later.
Their first son, Joseph Lyle Menendez (Lyle), was born on June 10, 1968. After Lyle’s birth, Kitty retired from teaching, and on November 26, 1970, she gave birth to her second son, Eric Mendez (Eric). In 1986, after their father was promoted to executive, the family moved to Beverly Hills, California. Eric became a talented tennis player, and he is ranked 44th in the United States in the Under-18 rankings.
On August 20, 1989, Eric and Lyle shot and killed their mother and father in their bedroom. The Menendez brothers , at first attempting to shoot their father in the back of the head, shot and killed their mother in a way that made her face unrecognizable after she awoke to the sound of gunfire.
Two brothers were leaving the house after the shooting. When they returned home at night, they informed the police by calling 911 that their parents had been shot dead in their bedroom. They said that two of them had gone to a cinema to watch the Batman movie and later to attend another event. Initially, investigators had no doubts about the Menendez brothers .
Police investigations for Menendez brothers
A month after the murder of Jose and Kitty, the Menendez brothers seemed to have run with a lot of money. That’s because of the high investments they made. Lyle bought a new Rolex watch and two restaurants. Eric hired a full-time tennis coach and participated in several tennis tournaments in Israel. He left the original house where he lived with his parents and moved to another house.
They traveled around the country in their mother’s Mercedes Benz and enjoyed the luxury lifestyle. They chose the Caribbean and London for travel. It is estimated that the brothers spent about $700,000 after the death of their parents. The police used informants to inquire about the Menendez brothers, and they said that the luxury lifestyles of these brothers were suspicious.
The police used friends of the Menendez brothers to launch a plot to obtain confessions from themselves as to whether they were involved in the killings. Eric reveals to his family psychiatrist, Jerome O’Sullivan, the reality of his parents’ murder. Eric falls into the trap set by the police.
Jerome later tells his mistress about this. He later divorced his girlfriend. Due to that, she complained to the police that the Menendez brothers were involved in the murder. On March 8, 1990, Lyle was arrested in connection with the murder. Three days after returning from Israel, Eric was arrested in Los Angeles.
The trial against the Menendez brothers
The trial is so controversial in the United States. In 1993, the trial was televised on national television. That is why this has become a nationally sensitive incident. Attorney Leslie Abramson appeared for Eric and Lyle, and the defendant suggested that the Menendez brothers had been abused by their parents since childhood and could not bear the stress of the killings.
They say they were sexually harassed by their father and threatened to kill themselves if they revealed it. Eric and Lyle told the court that their mother was addicted to drugs and that she also helped their father. The Menendez brothers called some of their family members to court as witnesses to show that they had sexually harassed them.
Eric’s cousin said Eric and Lyle told him they had been sexually abused by their father. Then he informed their mother about it. But she denied their allegations. Eric also used nude photos taken by his father when he was a child to take advantage of the trial.
However, the plaintiff questioned the lack of confidence in the child abuse allegations leveled after the killings. If such abuses had taken place, why were they not disclosed at that time? Prosecutors’ lawyers argued that even if it did, it could not be used for murder.
The defendant’s attorneys argued that the audio recording of the alleged confession between Eric and family psychiatrist Jerome O’Sullivan was unacceptably forged. They cited it as a breach of ethics between a patient and a doctor. After two years, though, the California Supreme Court said that the tape could be used as evidence against Eric.
The audiotape also included how Eric’s father used his assets and money for his future financial plans. The Menendez brothers confessed in court that they had bought a rifle for their own protection because their parents also kept one rifle with them in their bed room.
They had shot their parents in the bedroom when they could not bear the violence, but the plaintiff argued that there was an audio recording. No child abuse was involved; it was simply a murder carried out by the siblings to seize the parents’ assets and money.
As the opinion of the jury was similar in the first case, the Attorney General has ordered that this case be heard for the second time by another jury. Accordingly, Judge Stanley Weisberg did not allow the second trial to take place in front of television cameras. Further, the defendant will not be allowed to bring to court the fact that they were sexually abused as children.
Accordingly, on July 2, 1996, the jury unanimously acquitted brothers Eric and Lyle of the charges of conspiracy to murder their parents without seeking any excuses from the defendants. Accordingly, they will be sentenced to life imprisonment so that they can never be pardoned. Even though they didn’t win their case in the Supreme Court, they did get some of their small requests.
Menendez brothers life after the trial
The Menendez brothers , who have been held in two separate cells in two separate prisons in the United States since 1996, will meet face to face on April 4, 2018, at a prison in San Diego after 22 years. The two hugged and cried during the meeting. It was said that they regretted what they had done.
The Menendez brothers have been in prison for 31 years since their first arrest in 1990, after which they were tried and sentenced to life in prison without bail. They say they have been well-punished for what they did for 31 years and are asking the world to give them a chance to spend the rest of their lives well.
Several films and feature documentaries related to this event were made later. A Tik Tok video of the Menendez brothers’ “Inside the Menendez Movement 1:20/20” in 2021 also circulated around the world.
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