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 800 million views of Menendez TikToks as
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.
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.
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….
On March 8, 1990, Lyle Menendez was arrested in Beverly Hills and charged with killing his parents.
Brother Erik Menendez surrendered several days later.
The Menendez brothers have been in jail for more than half their lives.
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.
Through his unparalleled access – and his relentlessly detailed reporting – Robert Rand became America’s unofficial “Menendez-whisperer” when this story dominated the news.
Now, Rand is back, with stunning, never-before seen revelations in The Menendez Murders – a landmark work that upends everything we thought we knew about these crimes, and may rock the criminal justice system. Deeply compelling and meticulously sourced, it’s the essential read of the year. — Evan Wright, author, Generation Kill.
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.
I’ll be discussing and signing The Menendez Murders at Book Soup on the Sunset Strip Sunday at 2 pm.
Come on down!
From a craft standpoint, one of the things I have to applaud Robert for is brilliantly weaving the multiple and complex storylines together to show the many aspects of this strange story, including the brothers’ own account of the days leading to the murders as well as when witness statements conflicted on certain points.
He was still writing the final chapter as the book went into production because new facts kept coming up.
Normally that would be an editor’s nightmare, but in this case it was a welcome challenge to have an author able to capture the latest scoops.