Abused Victims Who'd Had Enough? or Cold-Bloodied Killers Motivated By Money? | Erik & Lyle Menendez | Partners In Crime (Final Instalment) Graphic Content

 (From left to right; The Menendez Family. Lyle, Kitty, Jose & Erik. Picture credit: tvfanatic)

So, as clearly stated in the title of this post, we have come to the end of my Partners In Crime series in this seventh and final instalment and what better way to end this series than with a case that sent shockwaves all over the world. I think just about everyone knows about the Menendez family, to say the case has been highly publicised is an understatement. So many books, TV movies, documentaries and comedy spoofs (yes, comedy spoofs) have been written and created about this fascinating family. Why do they fascinate us and continue to fascinate us? Well, they looked like they had it all, the picture perfect family, the beautiful mansion in Beverly Hills, staying in a location that was once the neighbourhood of the likes of Michael Jackson and Elton John, the vast amount of money, the lifestyle, the talent, the showbiz connections....quite simply, to the onlooker, they had it all......or did they?

My first introduction to this case was many moons ago when my mum was watching the TV movie: Honor Thy Father & Mother: The Menendez Killings, I was just a child but vaguely remember a storyline of two young boys who had a tyrant for a father and ended up killing their parents before going on a massive spending spree with their deceased parents money. I think that's the understanding of most people when they think of this case and it was mine over the years because I didn't really focus that much on it. I'd always see the Menendez case pop up quite a lot because there always seemed to be another movie or documentary based on the case.

(Jose Menendez with his sons, Erik & Lyle. This photo was quite controversial due to where Jose's hand is placed and the allegations that the boys had shared about their father. Picture credit: abcnews)

So I decided that this past week I would really delve into the whole story and what really happened. I was shocked at a lot of the things I heard from the courtroom tapes. I sat through and watched endless hours of the trial that was broadcast on Court TV back in 1993, the testimonies, the cross-examinations, the closing arguments etc as well as the TV interview with Barbara Walters and I've read endless books. There was a lot to get through but I learned a lot about this case that I never knew before. 

In this post, I will be sharing some very graphic details to do with the murders as well as disturbing details to do with child sex abuse. I will try my best to be as sensitive as I can whilst stating the details. Watching and hearing the boys (I keep calling them boys) talk about what they allegedly endured at the hands of their parents was quite difficult to stomach a lot of the time and what was said and done by the pair, before, during and after the murder of their parents is still something that is very much up for discussion and debate. There's people who believe them and there's people who don't. Everyone seems to have a strong opinion on this case and I no doubt will have some smart-ass (it usually happens on Twitter) comment that someone has  seen one TV movie and therefore know everything there is to know about the case and have fully made their minds up about the Menendez brothers. 

I always say to be aware of TV movies based on real murder cases because a lot of the time, dates and times are changed, names are changed, locations are changed and some scenes are created for dramatic affect. It's very rare that you are going to get the real facts from a glossy TV movie. I highly recommend books, the trial footage (if it's available) and any interviews with the actual witnesses, family members or perpetrators themselves, to get an idea of the real story. 

(Erik and Lyle Menendez. Picture credit: vanityfair)

As I always do, I approached my research into this case as if I had never known anything about it before and I started off with the book The Menendez Murders: The Shocking Untold Story of The Menendez Family & The Killings That Stunned A Nation by Robert Rand. This was a real eye-opener of a book and very graphic, it didn't hold back on the details and afterwards when I watched the 1993 trial I heard all of the horrendous details repeated again from the book, it's a very harrowing and interesting read for anyone who is wanting to know a more in-depth, no holds barred, account of the case. 

So with all that being said, let's get into the case. Jose Menendez was quite the success story having come from humble beginnings in Cuba, his background was one of struggle and allegedly quite an abusive one too. He reportedly suffered sexual abuse as a child by a female family member and it seemed to be a common thing in that family with relatives turning a blind eye. Despite the difficulties he faced, he was quite an intelligent child who was very much a dreamer, someone who wanted more out of life, he wasn't one for settling with his lot, he always wanted more and this was (at times) an admirable trait because he became a very successful man but in regards to others, he would often place unrealistic and unnecessary pressure and expectations. Some people would find him very intimidating and hard to get along with as he came across as quite a strong minded, forceful character and this was demonstrated from a young age. 

He had goals to be a professional swimmer and he was quite successful and earned a scholarship at a college. He ended up emigrating to America after the Cuban Revolution during the 1950s and took various jobs whilst studying at university where he met his future wife Mary (who was known as Kitty). Kitty was a beautiful young woman who was very intelligent herself, she'd partaken in beauty pageants in the past and had also done some teaching. She had dreams of becoming an actress and the pair seemed to be something of a romantic love story with the handsome young ambitious Cuban man coming all the way to America and sweeping this all American beauty queen off of her feet. They were soon married and Jose never stopped working towards his dreams. He turned from the swimming to working in the entertainment industry and had managed to work himself all the way to the top quite literally through hard work, grit and determination.

So with all that success in his career, the couple were able to enjoy the fruits of all of Jose's labours and began to live a more comfortable lifestyle. The happy couple welcomed two sons, Joseph Lyle Menendez (Lyle) was born first on the 10th of January 1968 and his brother Erik Galen Menendez was born not that long after in 1970. They were almost like twins, not in looks or personality but they were close. 

In the early years of Lyle's life, everything seemed to be great within the family and with his relationship with his father, however, when he turned 6 years old, things took a more confusing and disturbing turn. Jose began behaving quite inappropriately with his young son. Jose began touching him in private and forcing Lyle to perform sex acts on him and he would do the same. This was done in private away from Kitty and Erik and Jose would tell Lyle that it was their secret and that it was natural. Jose would say that it was a form of father and son bonding and that the Greeks would partake in mutual masturbation before going into battle. Jose would force Lyle to read passages from historical books which supposedly detailed this 'ritual'. He said that it was his role as a father to teach his son how to (as he put it) 'relax' and 'get rid of 'tension'. He told Lyle that he would do the same thing with his child when he became a father in the future. 

Lyle was very confused and loved his father but was also very scared of him and wanted his father's approval in everything. The sexual abuse that Lyle endured was reportedly from the ages of 6 to 8 and it stopped abruptly to Lyle's relief. However, Jose seemed to have turned his attention to Erik and Erik claims that his experience of sexual abuse from his father also started at the age of 6. As I mentioned before, the boys had very different personalities as you would expect but Lyle seemed to be a bit tougher than Erik. Lyle seemed to be a bit more headstrong like Jose whereas Erik cut quite a sensitive figure and would often be very emotional and cry which very much irritated Jose. Jose hated seeing weakness, he didn't have much of a bedside manner and wanted to toughen the boys up. 

As Lyle got older he became more confident and a bit of a rebel who had quite a few of his father's traits and he seemed to be quite bright and good at sports which Jose was thrilled with in the beginning. Jose saw a lot of himself in Lyle and there was an element of favouritism with Jose and the boys. Lyle got things a bit more easier than Erik but Kitty was reportedly always quite distant with the boys, especially Lyle. Kitty began to say things to Lyle which were quite upsetting such as that he ruined her life when he was born, that all of her dreams were ruined when she found out that she was pregnant with him. Depending on her moodswings, she would often blame both of the boys for what she said was not being able to live her life the way she always wanted to live it. Despite living the high life, she apparently resented the boys and didn't seem to be interested in being a mother. Looking after the boys didn't seem to be on her high list of priorities and she wasn't affectionate, neither was Jose who didn't believe in praising people because he said that it stopped people from working harder. 

As I mentioned previously, Lyle's sexual abuse ceased at the age of 8 but Jose's horrific assaults on Erik would continue on for a shocking 12 years. The abuse went from inappropriate touching to the most horrendous things you could imagine. Erik was very detailed and graphic when sharing the details of what he claims had happened with his father and it was nightmarish. Erik was forced to swallow his father's semen, objects were forced into his backside, he would be forced to perform sexual acts on his father whilst Jose would put pins in his legs and body. Erik would cry out in pain and this just further angered Jose and he would say ''Why can't you just be like your brother, you will get used to it.''.

Lyle did try and tell a female relative about the sexual abuse that he suffered in the past and this same relative told Kitty who refused to believe it and branded Lyle a liar and that was the last that was said on the matter. Later on during the 1993 trial, Lyle confessed that during his abuse he remembered taking Erik to some woods and inappropriately touching him. Lyle tearfully apologised to his brother in the courtroom.

This horrible nightmare would be a regular occurrence and it would be even worse if Erik failed at something or got a bad grade. Lyle and Erik were being pressured to take part in sports, particularly tennis. Lyle seemed to be quite good but Erik needed a bit more practice. The boys would be forced to take part in gruelling practice sessions which would often be up to 45 hours per week and this was not counting school. Everything they did was critiqued by Jose and if they took part in a tennis tournament and lost a match, Jose would sit them down and go through the match step by step. Everything would be scrutinised from their performance right down to what they had eaten. The boys food and drink intake was recorded because Jose believed that whatever they ate could affect their performance. There was no room for failure in Jose's book. Jose allegedly took nude photographs of the boys which were shown at the trial. Erik and Lyle claimed that their father often took pictures of them naked. 

The boys went through reportedly 50 tennis coaches because Jose had a habit of getting rid of people that he felt were getting too close to the boys. He didn't want Erik and Lyle to have a friendly relationship with anyone because he believed that they should see everyone as a potential competitor. He didn't believe in friendships because he felt that this would weaken their resolve and make them fail at whatever task or competition they participated in. 

During the years of sexual abuse, Kitty would often come to Erik's room to (he claimed) 'examine' him. Because of the injuries that would be inflicted by Jose, Erik had some blisters on his private area. Kitty would ask him to sit naked on the edge of the bed whilst she touched and apparently squeezed these blisters. There was no discussion and Erik didn't say anything to his mother about how the blisters got there but he was very confused as to why she was doing that and her behaviour was very strange. 

The relationship between Erik and Lyle wasn't just difficult with their father, there non-existent bond with their mother was very difficult too. To the outside world, Jose and Kitty would portray their family as this close-knit, perfect unit but in reality it was more like a warzone. Kitty was having all sorts of personal problems, she was obsessed with her appearance and scared of looking older. She would go on extreme diets and became obsessed with having facial treatments done. She was going through moodswings and drinking heavily. All of this was further exacerbated when she found out that Jose had been having a number of affairs. 

Lyle was going from strength to strength with his tennis career and went on to win the No 1 position for the States Tennis Association, Erik was at number 5 but this still did not satisfy Jose who was annoyed that his family had not been voted to win the Family of The Year award. He felt that if Erik had done better than they would have won. Even though Lyle was in No 1 position, with Jose, there was always a criticism to be had and his attitude was that Lyle was No 1 in the States Tennis Association but it wasn't worldwide so therefore it still wasn't good enough. Previous tennis coaches later commented that Jose was very harsh on the boys and would work them to the bone during practice. 

Erik was still very sensitive as the years went on and Kitty and Jose would force Erik to participate in various tasks in an effort to toughen him up. Jose once told him: ''You are the biggest sissy I have ever known in my life, I'm ashamed that you are my son.''

As Erik grew older the sexual abuse got worse, he now had names for each type of abuse his father inflicted on him, he called them:


Nice sex

Rough sex

Just sex

The type of abuse that Erik would be forced to endure, depended on what mood Jose was in. The abuse had reached the point where Jose was now sodomising his son, according to Erik's testimony. 

Kitty began to taunt Erik about him not having a girlfriend, she would ask him if he was homosexual to which he replied that he wasn't. Both Kitty and Jose were fiercely homophobic and would make distasteful remarks. Erik would think to himself that his father was a hypocrite because of how he was treating him and abusing him. 

Things were going from bad to worse with the family when Erik and Lyle got involved in petty crimes. They both began stealing people's property out of their homes and Jose found out about it. Jose did what he could to fix the situation with the victims involved and gave them their belongings back as well as a large sum of money for any items not returned. Jose was highly embarrassed by this and told a friend that he was going to cut Lyle and Erik out of his will. Jose ordered the boys to attend appointments with a psychiatrist called Dr. Jerome Oziel. 

The marriage between Kitty and Jose was in turmoil on one hand but Jose's success was blossoming on the other, he found himself as the head of RCA Records and had worked with some of the most iconic artists of the 1980s. When it came to money, they were rolling it, money was no object for the Menendez family but it was all under Jose's control. They moved about a bit but always stayed in the most luxurious of places. Jose, not being content being a huge success in the entertainment industry he decided he wanted to move into films too on some capacity but not as an actor. Kitty still had her dreams of becoming an actress or an anchor.

Whilst the family were living in this beautiful big mansion in Beverly Hills, Kitty was still suffering with mental health problems, she was swallowing dozens of pills every day. Jose was still carrying on with other women and Kitty's relationship with her sons was still distant and tense. 

Erik and Lyle grew tired of the fact that Kitty (reportedly) would always stand by and do nothing whilst Jose would shout at them. There was animosity because of her attitude towards the revelation that Lyle had been abused years before but she just cast that aside. The boys couldn't understand why she never attempted to help them or try and keep them safe from Jose. There was more drama when Jose and Kitty would argue and threaten divorce. On one occasion Jose had been putting pressure on Erik during tennis practice and not thinking, Erik shouted ''Alright, Alright'' to which Jose threw him against a glass panel, he then threw him against it again and he fell threw it. Kitty had been watching the whole incident and didn't do a thing to stop it. 

There's people who will say that Kitty and Jose were some of the nicest people you could meet and that they worshipped their two sons, In fact it was reportedly Erik and Lyle who would be very rude to their parents and would be overheard shouting at Kitty and Jose on a number of occasions. 

Things were are brewing point with the family despite living at the beautiful 722 North Elm Drive mansion, Erik wanted to escape and go to university, he had his heart set on it and saw it as a way to get away from the sexual abuse, Jose had other ideas. Jose made it clear that Erik could attend this university but he would still have to come home and stay at the house. To Erik, this meant that his father was basically saying that the abuse was going to continue. Jose also apparently said that both Erik and Lyle would have to continue living by his rules, no matter where they were staying. Jose spelled it out to the boys of what he had planned for their futures, he was going to decide what career they would have and who they would be able to marry. 

Erik was furious and tried to talk to his mother but was greeted with a hostile reception. Erik claimed that Kitty blurted out that she had always known about the sexual abuse and when Erik (who was horrified and in shock) asked her why she didn't help him, she responded ''Why should I help you? Nobody has ever helped me in my life.''

Erik was devastated that Kitty had known about his sexual abuse all of this time and had done nothing to help him. He was very emotional about it. Erik wasn't the only one on the receiving end of Kitty's cold and distant demeanour, Lyle was to find himself in tears over something that had been bothering him for years that Kitty enjoyed tormenting him about and that was his hair. Lyle had suffered from hair loss from his early teens and it had a profound affect on his confidence. Jose and Kitty were very concerned about it but nobody knows if their 'concern' was due to Lyle's state of mind or because Lyle's hair loss wouldn't have fitted in with the perfect image they were trying to portray to the outside world. Whatever the reason, Lyle was given a professional hair piece which was securely glued to his scalp. It was made from real hair and looked natural. The specialist glue enabled him to go swimming, be outside in all kinds of weather, showers etc and it not come off or cause any sort of potential embarrassment. These days, hair pieces and extensions are all the rage but back then it was sort of a hush-hush thing, especially if you were a man. 

Erik claimed that he never knew that Lyle wore a hair piece, not that it was a big deal to him. He knew that Lyle had suffered from hair loss but thought that he'd had some sort of surgery because he'd been swimming with him and never saw the hair come off, he thought it was natural. Erik was surprised to hear some commotion and overheard Lyle shouting ''Please, Mom I need it.''  The next minute, Kitty comes storming out of the room and has Lyle's hair piece in her hand which she threw back at him before going to her bedroom. Lyle was in tears and seemed to be humiliated. His scalp wasn't bleeding but it was red from where Kitty had harshly ripped off the hair piece, now whether this incident actually occurred, we only have Erik and Lyle's word on this but one thing's for sure, there was something very wrong with that relationship (or should I say lack of) that those boys had with their mother. 

Lyle ran off to the guest house, Erik followed to see if he was ok. Lyle went to the bathroom and tried to sort out his hair piece. Erik told him that it didn't matter about his hair and that he still loved him. With emotions running high, Erik opened his heart to Lyle and told him about the abuse at the hands of their father. Lyle was upset about what Erik told him and claimed that he never knew. They both went back and forth in conversation about their horrible experiences with Jose and they wanted to put a stop to it. Lyle was determined and wanted to confront Jose. Some time later this actually happened but he was met with the response ''I do what I want with my family.''

It was clear what the situation was going to be for Lyle and Erik, they had heard they were going to be cut out of their father's will, Jose made it clear that they were going to live by his rules no matter where they were and Erik was terrified because Jose had threatened him in the past that if he told anyone about the sexual abuse that he would not only kill him but he'd kill the person he told, so he thought (or he claims to have thought) that it was only a matter of time before his parents got rid of both himself and Lyle. 

They wanted to run away but decided against the idea because they knew with Jose's connections and money, he would find them. Erik had attempted to run away in the past when he was a child but Jose found him and threatened to kill him if he ever tried anything like that again. They were stuck and didn't know what to do. They later claimed that they were terrified because they knew their parents had guns in the house, Kitty had bought one the year before too. When Erik asked her why she bought it she responded that she planned to kill someone but he didn't ask who it was. This puzzled the courtroom at his trial in 1993 and he explained that you never questioned his parents on anything and he figured it had something to do with someone his father was having an affair with because his mother was completely miserable at this point. 

Kitty was all over the place emotionally and threatened to kill the boys and Jose with poison. It got to the point where Jose started taking Erik and Lyle out for dinner cause they couldn't trust what Kitty was going to do next. 

So the lead up to that horrific and infamous night of the 20th of August 1989, if we are to believe what Erik and Lyle have been saying all of these years, the Menendez family were teetering on the brink and it was all going to come crashing down around them. Depending on what you believe to have happened that horrible night, the story we know is this...

(The Menendez Home where the shocking murders took place. Picture credit: townandcountrymag)

Erik arrived home around 9:30pm (he claims) and was in fear that his father was going to come to his bedroom to abuse him. According to the evidence, Erik burst into the family room where his parents were watching TV on the sofa (Erik claimed that they were standing) and he opened fire. Lyle was behind him, holding a fully loaded gun and they both shot at their parents. At the trial, excuses were made about forgetting details, not being able to remember anything etc but it was clear that they knew what they were doing as only two shots missed as they entered the French doors behind their parents. Jose had been shot 6 times and in one of those shots, Lyle had chillingly walked up behind him and shot him in the back of the head at point blank range. 

As if the horror couldn't get any worse, they had shot Kitty 10 times, remarkably, she was still alive and had ended up on the floor between the sofa and the coffee table. Lyle later drew gasps from people in the courtroom at the trial because he'd described his mother as 'sneaking' around the coffee table so he knew she was still alive. Kitty had been moaning from what her two sons had done to her, covered in open wounds and blood. It was horrific as anyone who has had the unfortunate experience of viewing the crime scene pictures will know.  They both went outside, Erik couldn't deal with his mother's moans of pain and they went to the car where he gave Lyle a cartridge. Coldly and calmly, Lyle walked back into the room and shot his mother in the face. 

Without missing a beat, they came up with the idea of collecting all of the shotgun shells in the room just incase they happened to have their fingerprints on them. So they walked back into that room which was covered in blood, their parents completely slaughtered and laying there, Erik later said they looked like 'wax figures'. They managed to collect every single shell and they both got in Erik's car with the guns and shells. They both realised that they had spots of blood on their clothes. They dumped the shells and got changed at a gas station and went to a movie theatre in an attempt to get some tickets for an alibi, that didn't go to plan and they ended up going back to the house to call the police and put on the performance of a lifetime, screaming and yelling ''somebody killed my parents.''(The Menendez crime scene. picture credit: abcnews)

From the beginning of the investigation, the police actually believed that this horrible set of murders could be the result of the mafia or some sort of dodgy business deal gone wrong. Jose was worth a lot of money ($14 million dollars to be exact plus a $5 million dollar life insurance policy) and he had a lot of enemies. Who could believe that these two, nice young boys could ever do such a thing to their own parents? Lyle was 21 and Erik was 18. I think the cops looked at the house, the fancy cars etc and put 2 and 2 together and came up with 500. Questions raised about how a man from Cuba had come to America and who started out washing dishes to make money, could have amassed such huge success, luxury and wealth. Erik was an absolute mess, they couldn't imagine him killing a spider let alone his own parents, he was like a little boy but was it all an act? 

Whatever the story, the pair of them lived the high life for 7 months whilst the cops went looking in other directions for mob ties, dodgy non-existent drug deals gone wrong etc. The thing that really sealed their fate and raised eyebrows, was the fact that within a short space of time they had learned (they claimed they believed that they had been cut out of their father's will) that suddenly they were multi-millionaires thanks to their father's fortune and they couldn't contain their excitement. There didn't seem to be any upset, any grief. They didn't act like two young boys who had walked into a horrible bloodbath where their parents had been brutally murdered. Other people would be in bed, crying non-stop, on valium, totally beside themselves but not the Menendez brothers, they decided to do a little shopping and bought fancy dinners, cars and holidays. Lyle bought a Rolex and a restaurant, Erik was going to invest some money into a concert. They were spending like mad and in the space of 7 months they blew $700,000. 

Erik (who was apparently sick of Tennis and said that his father forced him to do sports) hired a full time Tennis coach and went on a tournament and ended up in Israel. Before this though, he'd dropped an absolute bombshell at Dr. Jerome Oziel's office and told him everything. The whole situation with Dr Oziel was an absolute shambles and it was hard to keep track cause this Dr was a drama all in himself. Originally, Lyle and Erik were sent to Dr Oziel by Jose after the thefts and they did talk about their childhoods but after the murders, Erik (as, knowing a bit about his nature) started to crumble and couldn't keep quiet so he went to see Dr Oziel. Lyle was absolutely furious and according to Dr Oziel's secretary (who he'd been having an affair with at the time - he was married with kids too), she heard through the door that Lyle said that they would have to kill Dr Oziel. It was all a big drama with Dr Oziel, claiming to be in fear for his life and the life of his family so he told the boys that he was recording their sessions and the tapes would be in a secure location so that if they did indeed murder him, the cops would come after them. It was a security policy on his part but then (according to Lyle and Erik), Dr Oziel was asking questions about the money they inherited and started to put possible business ventures to them. Dr Oziel said he would keep things quiet but his mistress went to the police and the next minute, Lyle's being arrested and Erik flew back to the US and handed himself in. 

(Lyle and Erik with their lawyer, Leslie Abramson: yahoo)

The trial took a while to come about because there was a lot of issues with the tapes that Dr Oziel had recorded of the brothers and it was to be decided if they would be able to be heard in court. After a couple of years of back and forth it was decided that 2 out of the 3 tapes could be played in court and so the trial finally went ahead. 

The Menendez trial was shown on Court TV which was still in it's infancy at the time, it brought America to a standstill. The trial lasted 5 months and resulted in two hung juries. Straight away it was decided that there would have to be a retrial and this time, it was a different judge, different rules and that meant no cameras or media sensation around this new trial. In order to get any information about what took place in court on any particular day, the media had to wait for written accounts of what had transpired. By this point, the public were beginning to be less focused on the case. The 1993 trial had been so sensationalised and so shocking that they didn't think there was anything new to learn about the case. Both Erik and Lyle were sentenced to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole so right now, as it stands, they will die in prison. 

Since they've been in prison they haven't been short of endless letters by female (& male) admirers. They get everything from letters from abuse survivors to naked pictures from lonely housewives. It's crazy to think that Lyle is now 55 and Erik is 52, they've spent such a huge chunk of their lives in prison and missed out on so much. But what was it all for? Were they really two traumatised, abused kids who thought that killing their parents was the only option? or was it all just pure greed and lies? I find it really hard to believe that they were not sexually abused by Jose, this is just my opinion. Going from his background in Cuba, being molested himself and the pure hatred and anger that those boys felt for their parents. What they did was overkill, it wasn't a quick splash of poison in a glass of wine or a quick push down the stairs....they shot the hell out of both of them and then for it to be so up close and personal, the shot to the back of Jose's head and the horrific moment when Lyle walked up to his mother and shot her right in the face, it's just insane. 

Those boys had nothing but hatred for their parents, that anger had to come from somewhere and the way they spent their father's money, almost as if to taunt him and gloat. It was like a celebration for them both. That's a lot of hatred right there and that leads me to believe that there is some truth to what they were saying about the abuse. 

(The grave of Kitty & Jose Menendez. Picture credit: grunge)

The details of the sexual abuse was horrific and they both sat there in a crowded courtroom with the whole of America watching them on TV sharing these disgusting details of being molested and forced to do this and forced to do that, absolutely humiliating. Why would they put themselves through all that? Sympathy? All they had to say was that Jose had touched them once and that would be quite enough to make people sick and feel some sort of empathy for them but what they talked about was just nightmare after nightmare and to me, it explains a lot of that rage and anger. 

If they are indeed, true survivors of sexual abuse I think it does explain quite a lot, even the petty crimes. Stupid behaviour when they lived in a mansion and were privileged so there was no need to steal. Sometimes, people who have been abused carry out strange behaviours as a way of trying to gain some control back. I'm wondering if a lot of what they did during the murders and afterwards was their way of fighting back and getting control, we know its wrong but who know's where a person's mind is when they've spent years being molested by their own father. 

I remember a horrible part during the trial where Erik spoke in detail of how his father forced his penis into his backside and he yelled and cried in agony. Jose told him ''Next time you yell, I'm going to beat you so bad you'll never be able to yell again.'' 

As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, this was going to be a very difficult and disturbing journey and it does throw up a lot of questions.

Both Erik and Lyle have had various relationships behind bars and they have exhausted appeals but they are still no near to ever getting out of prison. There are some people who believe it's time that they were released, they do have a lot of supporters. If they were to be released, I think it would be appropriate for them to be out on licence for the rest of their lives that way they are monitored to some extent. Also, I think it's right that they do not have access to their parents money. At the end of the day they committed murder in the most brutal fashion and the whole thing was horrific and hard to take in but walking up to your own mother and shooting her in the face? I don't even know what to say about that. 

Erik and Lyle had been serving their sentences in separate prisons up until 2018 where they were finally reunited. When they were able to see each other again after so many years they embraced and were very emotional. 

(Erik & Lyle in recent times. Picture credit: abcnews)

Well, if you've made it this far, I take my hat off to you, I really appreciate it as always. This concludes my Partners In Crime Series and wow.....what a case to finish with! Disturbing to say the least but a case which people still talk about today. I could go into the connection between OJ Simpson and the Menendez brothers but this post is long enough (basically they befriended OJ in prison and offered him advice) so I will end it here. 

A little bit of strange trivia: I'm a huge fan of Fright Night (1985) as you may know and during the time of the release of it's sequel: Fright Night 2, Jose Menendez, who was the chairman of Live Entertainment at the time, was in talks to make a third Fright Night movie but sadly it wasn't to be. With Jose's shocking death, a lot of things got put on hold or were never to come to fruition, Fright Night 2 suffered greatly from lack of promotion but we still love it all these years later, it's a hidden gem but I have no doubt if the horrible events of the 20th of August 1989 had not have happened, the movie would have been appreciated more and we could have had a third classic Fright Night movie. 

Also, The Billionaire Boys Club (BBC) was mentioned a lot in the trial, it was alleged that they boys were inspired by this mini-series that was based on a true crime case, inspired the boys to kill their parents as they apparently mentioned that the father in the series, reminded them of Jose. You can find the series here 

Erik denied that BBC inspired them to murder their parents but he claimed that he was friends with one of the boys involved with the case. 

Further Reading & Sources:

The Menendez Murders | Book by Robert Rand

The Menendez Trials | Menendez Trials Youtube

Menendez: A Killing In Beverly Hills | TV Movie

The Billionaire Boys Club | TV Series

Lyle & Erik Menendez | Wikipedia

Menendez Article | Biography

Erik & Lyle Menendez | Crime Museum

Jose Menendez | Find A Grave Memorial

Kitty Menendez | Find A Grave Memorial

The Menendez Brothers: Erik Tells All | Channel 4

The Menendez Brothers | Court TV

RIP Jose & Kitty 

I will be back again with a fresh new case so please keep your eyes peeled for that one. Podcast is in the works too and I have a lot of plans so watch this space. In the meantime, please continue to join me ever Sunday, whether you read my work sitting at your coffee table or late night in bed, I really appreciate it, thank you. 

I hope to see you on my socials

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Take care x 


  1. I just finished reading you final instalment of your Parners In Crime series.

    I want you to know that your series is masterpiece. The amount of work, time, hours & researches that you must have done has blown me away. Thank you for your fascinated series.

    It’s tough to describe my thoughts about Erik and Lyle Menendez because of what they endured when they were young and because of what they have done to their parents. I heard about the case but I learn so much more. Erik and Lyle have been through so much. I do believe that they were abused by Jose. What they did was horrendous but the entire life of this family was beyond shocking, sad and disturbing. Everything seem so perfect from the outside, the perfect happy rich family but it couldn’t be more far from the truth.

    What Jose has done to both of them was certainly inhuman. The sexual abuse on them both make me sick. What Jose has done to both of his own children was horrendous but for 12 years on Erik, it can’t be put into proper words. From Kitty part, all of her verbal abuse to the boys and the fact that she knew all along about the sexual abuse is so shocking and disturbing.

    What happened on the night of the 20th of August 1989 was awful. I’m glad that justice has prevailed. They both killed their parents is cold blood. They have both murdered their parents in such a savage and horrendous way. They deserve to spend the rest of their life in prison.

    Thank you for your Partners In Crime series Jo, you’ve done a masterful work.

    RIP Jose and Kitty.

    1. Thank you so much for the support, I really appreciate it : )