Six Degrees of Incarceration: When Erik Menendez Met O.J. Simpson

Six Degrees of Incarceration: When Erik Menendez Met O.J. Simpson

Erik and Lyle Menendez were arrested in March 1990, seven months after they killed their parents.

By June of 1994, the Beverly Hills brothers had been in custody for over four years. During that time, they shared the slammer with many notorious prisoners, including their Brentwood neighbor Orenthal James Simpson, who was arrested 25 years ago today. 

Now that O.J. is back in the news — planning to “set the record straight” on Twitter — let’s take a look back to 1994, when Erik met O.J.

The Menendez Brothers make their first court appearance (video)

The Menendez Brothers make their first court appearance (video)

On Monday, March 12, 1990, Erik and Lyle Menendez – who were being held without bail – were arraigned at Beverly Hills Municipal Court.

The charges against the brothers were read to a packed courtroom that included many supportive family members.  

Erik Menendez looked exhausted because he hadn’t slept since his voluntary surrender and return from Israel a day before.

It was the beginning of the end the lives the boys once knew.

I clearly remember the early days of the investigation in September 1989

I clearly remember the early days of the investigation in September 1989

All of the early media speculation was focused on a connection between the Jose’s home video business and the Mafia.

It was years before the internet, social media, and the 24-hour news cycle. I spent two days with Lyle and Erik Menendez in October while reporting a biography of Jose Menendez’s rags to riches story that ended in tragedy.

The brothers told me loving stories about their parents and were emotionally appropriate. They were not suspects publicly and I had no reason to be suspicious of them.

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