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.
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
Yes, Erik Menendez was the co-author of a screenplay about a young man who kills his parents and inherits $157,000,000. The script that was completed — and shopped around Hollywood — before the murders.
No, it was never included as evidence in either of the two trials.
Glenn Yeffeth, the boss at my publisher BenBella Books, interviewed me for the company’s podcast, Building Books, and we talked how most of the mainstream media got the original Menendez story wrong in the 1990s.
My first draft was 250,000 words and BenBella only wanted to publish 100,000 words.
On Friday, September 10: “The defense calls Joseph Lyle Menendez,” announced attorney Jill Lansing at five minutes before two o’clock. Lyle, dressed in a navy crew-neck sweater, walked directly to Lansing.
Lansing was blunt:
“Did you love your parents?”
“Yes,” he choked out hoarsely.
“And on August 20, 1989, did you and your brother kill your mom and dad?”