polo colonge Forget Just How Insane the Menendez Brothers Murder Case Was in Its Day in Any Day
Jose Menendez, a 45 year old entertainment executive, was shot point blank in the back of the head with a 12 gauge shotgun and was found in the den, where he and his wife of 26 years, Kitty Menendez, 47, had been watching a movie. Kitty tried to get away, and was found lying in a pool of blood in the hallway, shot in the arms, chest and face. Both were also shot in the kneecap, which was supposed to make it look like a hit job.
Surprised to not hear any sirens after making all that noise, the brothers got in the car and dumped the guns somewhere off of Mulholland Drive, then threw the spent shotgun shells and their bloody clothes in a dumpster at a gas station. They bought movie tickets in Century City for a film they didn’t see, then went to Santa Monica, where they tried to find one of Lyle’s friends who could serve as an alibi; unable to find the guy, they drove back home.
In the week immediately following the killings, Lyle Rolex sporting prep school grad who had been suspended from Princeton for plagiarism to New Jersey, where he test drove a Porsche (calling the Alfa Romeo he had at home a “piece of s t”) and went shopping for clothes.
“‘Well, I’ve been waiting so long to be in this position, that I’m prepared for it,'” Lyle said at his parents’ wake, according to the testimony of pal and Princeton classmate Glenn Stevens.
When he fired the bodyguard, Lyle told him he’d been assured by an uncle in New York that the mob was no longer out to get their family. in their late mother’s Mercedes convertible. They went to London and then to the Caribbean on vacation. They rented a couple of penthouses in Marina del Rey, Calif.
It was later said that the Menendez brothers blew through about $1 million in six months. (“I don’t think it’s understandable. People react to it, to a traumatic event like that, in different ways,” Lyle later tried to explain the spending spree to Barbara Walters.)
But just in case anyone was viewing their behavior as non suspicious or otherwise normal, the game was over soon enough, the big break in the case coming from Erik’s guilty conscience what appeared to be their shocking lack of remorse.
Erik ended up telling his psychologist, Dr. Jerome Oziel, on Oct. 31 that he and Lyle killed their parents. Lyle then joined them that day, and Oziel recalled the older brother acting menacing, he was so angry that Erik had told. Oziel met again with both brothers on Nov. 2, and Lyle told him that, after the previous session, the brothers had talked about killing him, the therapist testified.
It was Oziel’s ex girlfriend who ended up tipping off the police. Oziel testified that, on the night of Oct. 31, he went home and “told her what I needed to tell her.”
LAPD officers arrested Lyle on March 8, 1990. three days later.
it would be the question of doctor patient privilege that held the case up for years. A judge ruled that, by threatening Oziel, Lyle had voided the brothers’ right to confidentiality. The defense’s appeal was granted, then overturned by the California State Supreme Court, which re allowed Oziel’s tape recorded notes, but not the confessions themselves, into evidence.
Lyle and Erik Menendez were indicted on first degree murder charges in December of 1992. County District Attorney’s Office was seeking the death penalty.
Leslie Abramson headed up the defense for Erik, while Jill Lansing was lead defense attorney for Lyle. Simpson murder trial would become the most talked about televised trial of all time, the Menendez brothers’ first murder trial televised pretty much in its entirety on Court TV the nation. A self made millionaire Cuban immigrant and his beauty queen wife, gunned down by their two spoiled brat sons in Beverly Hills case had all the trappings of a Hollywood melodrama (which it would become in 1994, with Edward James Olmos and Beverly D’Angelo playing Jose and Kitty Menendez).
Lyle testified in September 1993 that both parents sexually abused him, his father when he was between 6 and 8 years old, and Kitty would bathe him and have him get into bed with her up until he was 13, after which she continued to “harass” him and be inappropriate. His parents continued to be violent with him into his late teens, Lyle said. When he started dating, Kitty would call his girlfriends “gold diggers” and “bimbos,” he added.
One of the most memorable pieces of testimony, one that made it into the TV movie, was Lyle’s recollection of Kitty ripping off his hair piece during an argument five days before the murder. He claimed that was the first time Erik saw him without his toupee, after which the teen cried and revealed to him that Jose was still sexually abusing him, Lyle testified. (An ex girlfriend of Lyle’s, Jamie Pisarcik, would testify that Erik had talked about Lyle wearing a hairpiece much earlier that year. Pisarcik and Lyle reconciled after his parents were killed, but she ended it in December after finding out he and his brother had pulled the triggers, after which she sold a ring he’d given her and kept the cash. She also testified that when Lyle told her about the abuse in a phone call from jail, she said she didn’t believe him.)
“I had dismissed what had happened to me as something that happened to little boys,” Lyle said in court. Together, they planned to confront their dad.
When he confronted Jose and warned him to leave Erik alone or he’d expose him, his father replied, “‘We all make choices in our life. Erik made his. You made yours,'” Lyle said. The defendant added, “I thought we were in danger. I felt he had no choice. He would kill us. He’d get rid of us in some way. Because I was going to ruin him.”
Asked why they didn’t go to the police, Lyle said he didn’t believe they could help him because “my dad is a rich guy with a lot of power.”
On the night of Aug. 20, Kitty told them they couldn’t go to the movies and Jose told Lyle to wait alone in his room upstairs. Convinced their parents were planning to kill them, they decided to strike first, Lyle testified. They grabbed the shotguns out of their car, headed into the den and started blasting away.
According to the Los Angeles Times in April 1994, probate records showed that there was less than $700,000 in cash left, in addition to the family’s Calabasas home, a condo in New Jersey and some furniture and jewelry. Almost $4 million had gone to taxes,
while another $4 million went to upkeep and mortgages on the Beverly Hills and Calabasas properties. Criminal defense fees amount to $1.495 million at the time.