As the only journalist who covered the 1989 investigation and the trials in 1993-94 and 1995, I want to welcome the thousands of new supporters of the Menendez brothers. You are collectively responsible for over 554.7 million views of Menendez TikToks. Interest
On the night of August 20, 1989, the last night in the lives of Jose and Kitty Menendez, their elegant residential street in Beverly Hills was so still you could hear a leaf drop. That in itself was neither unusual nor something to arouse suspicion. People pay a steep price to live in such neighborhoods, and they cherish their peace and quiet.
UPDATED – December 14, 2020
I spoke with Lyle Menendez a few days ago.
He told me that he’s OK but said that the Richard J. Donovan prison where the Menendez brothers are housed is undergoing “a severe quarantine.”
I’ve done hundreds of interviews since I began covering the Menendez Brothers story in the Fall of 1989. You never forget your first: on March 9, 1990, I appeared via satellite from my home in Miami Beach on Hard Copy 24 hours after Lyle Menedez’s
Finally! Twenty-seven years after two juries were seated for the trial of Lyle and Erik Menendez, the rebooted Court TV has posted the ENTIRE six-month-long court proceedings (even the heated evidence hearings) on their website.
Two juries in the first trial – one for each brother – heard 101 witnesses and examined 405 exhibits over 85 days of testimony that ran from July 20 to December 3, 1993. The case ended with two mistrials in January 1994 after neither brother’s jury could agree on a verdict.
Now, you can watch the trial and see everything the juries saw.
In the eighteen months since the release of The Menendez Murders, I’ve heard from hundreds of people who have read (or listened) to my book. People reach out on social media, through this website and by writing reviews on Amazon.
Here’s an example of my favorite type of message — a reader who has changed her opinion about Lyle and Erik Menendez after learning the details of their case through my reporting.
This note came from Meg in Michigan a few days ago:
There are four different versions of what happened the night of October 31, 1989.
That’s when Erik Menendez confessed to Dr. Jerome Oziel that he and his brother, Lyle, had killed their parents.
This is a tragedy that destroyed a family. All four of them had remarkable strengths as well as terrible weaknesses and it did not have to be. If at any time over the course of the lives of the four Menendez family members some effective person could have intervened, everyone would still be alive and well and healing. All four of them needed help. And there never was any help for this family.
— Defense Attorney Leslie Abramson, the day before sentencing
The 780 acres of California’s Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility are about a half hour east and slightly south of downtown San Diego.
The penitentiary tops a mesa near an industrial park, just over a mile from the Otay Mesa border crossing.
I always know when I’m close to the jail because my cell phone buzzes with a text message:
“Welcome to Mexico.”
On July 2, 1996, Judge Stanley Weisberg sentenced Lyle and Erik Menendez to life without parole.
Here’s how I described the scene in my book….