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.
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.
Did the media firestorm influence the verdicts?
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.
After 29 years of reporting, my book The Menendez Murders has finally been released. I’m happy that I can share my work with everybody in the U.S. and around the world who remain fascinated by the case.
It was great fun to hold a discussion, answer questions, and sign books Sunday at the legendary Book Soup on the Sunset Strip.
Lyle and Erik Menendez were sexually molested by their father Jose, and they told others about it before the killings.
It wasn’t a fabricated tale; it was a real-life horror story.
So despite what the prosecutors would like you to believe, these boys were in fear for their lives and at most should have been convicted of manslaughter — not murder.
I became a reluctant witness in the trial when I caught a major prosecution witness in a lie, all because of an audiotaped interview he did with me a year before.
The witness was a Princeton friend of Lyle Menendez.
The friend, Donovan Goodreau, exchanged the mutual confessions with Lyle in the spring before the murders. BOTH boys been sexually molested when they were kids.
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.