Menendez Brothers
The Menendez Brothers during a court appearance (Photo Credit: MIKE NELSON | Getty Images)

The Menendez Brothers: Can New Evidence Grant Lyle & Erik Freedom?

The infamous Menendez brothers consist of Lyle and Erik Menendez. Reports suggest that the duo went to prison for the murders of their parents, Jose and Kitty Menendez, in 1989. According to CBS News, new evidence in the case could help them get out of jail.

The duo did take responsibility for their actions. However, this case’s primary focus has been on why they did what they did. Lyle and Erik claimed that they were victims of severe sexual, emotional, and physical abuse. They stated they feared for their lives, and this prompted them to kill their abusive parents.

According to CBS News, the new evidence in this case is Erik’s letter to his cousin, Andy, in December 1988. Furthermore, this letter mentions how Erik feared for his life and even the abuse he faced every day. The letter said, “I’ve been trying to avoid dad. It’s still happening, Andy, but it’s worse for me now. … Every night I stay up thinking he might come in. … I’m afraid. … He’s crazy. He’s warned me a hundred times about telling anyone, especially Lyle.”

Even though Andy testified during his cousin’s trial, prosecutors stated that his testimony was false. Andy stated that when Erik was only 13, he told him how his father constantly touched him inappropriately.

One of the duo’s lawyers, Cliff Gardner, stated that the aforementioned letter proved that the Menendez weren’t liars. Jose Menendez indeed abused them regularly. Furthermore, Gardner also said that Andy’s mother recently discovered the letter in storage. Unfortunately, Andy died in 2003.

Netflix will showcase the story of Lyle and Erik Menendez in the form of an anthology series. According to Tudum by Netflix, this project will premiere later this year.

What did the Menendez Brothers do?

Lyle and Erik Menendez terminated their parents on August 20, 1989. Reports suggest that the brothers used a Mossberg 12-gauge shotgun and fired several times at Jose and Kitty. After their death, Lyle and Erik waited for authorities to show up. They stated that they weren’t at their residence during the incident. Furthermore, they stated that they were at a movie theatre watching the new Batman film.

Interestingly, following the death of their parents, the brothers began to live their lives lavishly. Gradually, authorities came to learn of their actions, and this eventually led to their arrests in 1990.

Interestingly, CBS News reported that Jose Menendez abused another individual named Roy Rossello. Rossello is a former member of the 80s Puerto Rican boy band, Menudo. He claimed that Jose was an executive at RCA Records when he was a minor. Rossello, who is now 54 years old, stated that he went to Jose’s home when he was 14 or 15. After drinking a glass of wine, the teenager apparently couldn’t control his body, and Jose raped him in another room.

In a conversation with 48 Hours, Cliff Gardner said, “The boys were abused as children. They were abused their whole life. … And this is a manslaughter case, not a murder case. It’s just that simple. My hope in the case is that the judge will realize that this new evidence is indeed credible and persuasive, and he’ll vacate the convictions.”

Lyle Menéndez is currently 56 years old, while his brother, Erik, is 53.

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