Millionaire Murderers: The Menendez Brothers
Money is power. The more money you have, the more power you hold. Sometimes this concept can be taken too literally by those surrounded by wealth. So much so that they believe they are untouchable. To an extent, this can be true. Money has the power to sway one’s morals. But this was not the case for the Menendez Brothers.
On the eve of August 20th, 1989 Lyle and Erik Menendez frantically reported the murder of their parents. The bodies of Jose and Kitty Menendez were discovered by police in their Beverly Hills home. The couple had been shot multiple times however Kitty took the brunt of the attack. Having been shot several times in the face, leaving her unrecognizable.
Initially, investigators tried to limit their search to those who may have had a motive to kill Jose and Kitty. Going as far as following potential mob leads. When those leads turned cold, investigators turned their attention to the brothers.
Following the murder of their parents, the Menendez brothers inherited their father’s wealth. Jose made a living as Live Entertainment executive. This left the boys with a generous amount of inheritance. And neither shied away from flaunting their newfound wealth.
Lyle, the eldest of the two, treated himself to a Rolex, a Porsche Carrera, and Chuck’s Spring Street Cafe and a Buffalo wing restaurant in New Jersey. Erik, on the other hand, hired a personal tennis coach and travelled to Israel where he competed in a series of tournaments. The brothers lived lavishly when together, cruising around Los Angelos in there late mothers Mercedes-Benz SL.
It is believed that $700 000 was spent between the two.
On March 8th 1990, Lyle was arrested after confessing to the murder of his parents to his psychologist Jerome Oziel. In turn, Erik willingly handed himself in after returning from Israel three days later.
The Murder of Mr and Mrs Mernendez
On the night of their murder, Jose and Kitty were sat on a couch in the den of their home. Their sons entered carrying shotguns and Jose was promptly shot in the back of the head. The shots woke Kitty who attempted to escape but ended up riddled with bullets. The brothers staged the discovery of their parents’ murder perfectly. Their outbursts of grief had been so believable that investigators completely overlooked them at first.
The trial of the Menendez brothers became a national sensation. Thousands tuned in to witness the fate of the young heirs. In the end, Lyle and Erik were convicted of two counts of first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder. They were then sentenced to life in prison with no possibility of parole.
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