The Menendez brothers were reunited a year ago today, after not having seen each other for almost 22 years.
The brothers were reunited at the R. J. Donovan Correctional Facility near San Diego.
The last time they’d been together was in 1996, two months after they were sentenced to life without parole following their first-degree murder conviction.
The day of the sentencing, the Beverly Hills Police filed a motion asked the judge to place the brothers in separate prisons because they had been co-conspirators in committing a crime.
The judge agreed.
On Christmas eve 1989, my story about the case for the
Miami Herald Sunday magazine included (photo) the first media speculation that the Beverly Hills Police were focused on Erik and Lyle Menendez.
I had interviewed both brothers that October for a biography about their father Jose . The boys were not suspects publicly and I had no reason to be suspicious of them.
Then Lyle Menendez was arrested — on March 8, 1990. A few hours later, BHPD chief Marvin Iannone held a news conference to announce the arrest of Lyle and the international manhunt for Erik.
In the most cryptic comment of the day, Chief Iannone told reporters “who knows what really goes on within a family.”
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.
On the night of August 20, 1989, the last 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 not unusual or suspicious.
People pay a steep price to live in such neighborhoods, and they cherish their peace and quiet.