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  1. #256
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Lyle Menendez Has Not Spoken To His Brother Erik In 17 Years

    I miss him every day': Lyle Menendez reveals he has not spoken to brother Erik in 17 years and gets his greatest source of joy from his sexless 'contact visits' with wife he married in prison.

    Megyn Kelly interviewed Lyle Menendez, 49, for a segment on her morning show Wednesday
    She spoke with Lyle, who killed his parents back in 1989, via phone as he is serving a life sentence at the Mule State Creek Prison in California

    He revealed that he has not spoken to his brother Erik in 17 years, and said he gets his greatest joy from wife Rebecca while in prison

    The two married in 2003 and cannot have sex as Lyle is serving life behind bars, limiting their interaction to 'contact visits'

    Lyle also revealed that he never once made eye contact with his parents as he shot them dead inside their home back 1989

    The brothers argued that they were driven to murder their father and mother after a lifetime of physical, emotional and sexual abuse.

    Lyle, 49, is currently serving a life sentence at Mule Creek State Prison in California, where he spoke to Megyn on the phone about why he and his brother Erik killed their parents almost 30 years ago, and the fact that the siblings have been unable to speak to one another for 17 years.

    'We cannot talk on the phone. We communicate just through having the same family members and by writing letters,' revealed Lyle.

    'Is there any joy in your life?' asked Megyn at one point.

    'I get a lot of joy from my marriage. I married a girl from my hometown in New Jersey. Been married over ten years. So, I get a lot of joy from that. I get to talk to her a great deal, visit with her. For me, it's in here, trying to find more meaning in life than mere survival, more than joy.

    Lyle and his wife Rebecca Sneed met after corresponding through the mail and were married in 2003. he has been married twice since his conviction, wedding model and at the time longtime pen-pal Anna Eriksson in 1996 but divorcing her five years later.

    Megyn asked Lyle why he thought Rebecca would want to marry a man in prison.

    'I think in my case, every marriage is unique, you know? But in my case, it was such -- she identified with some of what was coming through the TV screen, the subjects in this case. Revolving around child abuse and being raised in New Jersey,' explained Lyle.

    The conversation then shifted to the physical relationship between the two, with Lyle saying: 'You can maintain intimacy through the phone and we have contact visits. And you know, it's difficult. It's a challenge. You have to be creative.'

    California law prohibits conjugal visits for inmates serving out life without parole sentences so neither of the two brothers has children.

    Then, Megyn delved into the night that the brothers murdered their father, and what drove them to commit such an unthinkable crime.

    'Once I found out what was happening with my brother, I confronted my father. And it was in the midst of that, that my mother got involved and we found out the extent that she knew about it,' said Lyle.

    'And she made a bunch of arguments about it. Overwhelming emotional situation. And for me, it's hard -- it's hard to almost go back and put myself in that situation. But just the pain, the outrage, the fear and just -- I mean, in all reality, just, you know, just anger and just, you know, hopelessness.'

    He went on to reveal that he never once made eye contact with his parents as he shot them dead.

    'It was a dark room. I think you're just blinded by emotion. And just, you know, probably fearful adrenaline, ' said Lyle.

    And in that moment, it was just a 'flood of emotions' he explained to Megyn.

    'You know, I'm feeling everything. You know, I mean, I had kept -- I never had any therapy, for what happened to me as a child,' explained Lyle.

    'I mean, I just buried it inside. You live with this fire inside you. Unresolved.'

    He went on to say: 'My brother and I had some fortune, I guess, because of all of the emotion that went into what happened and proceeded it, that emotion doesn't disappear. My parents are there. We're in the middle of that crime scene.

    'So, it's very emotional. It was not difficult to -- for that emotion to be there. Of course, I'm not telling the officer the truth or the person on the phone the truth.'

    Megyn than closed out the interview by asking Lyle if he had an religious beliefs.

    'I probably believe in heaven and god,' said Lyle.

    'I hope it's a very forgiving god.'

    The interview comes one day after the premiere of the new NBC drama 'Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Brothers.'

    It has now been nearly 30 years since Lyle and Erik shot dead their wealthy parents in Beverly Hills.

    On August 20, 1989, Lyle and Erik walked into the den of their $5million Beverly Hills mansion and shot their father Jose point blank in the back of the head, then shot their mother Kitty in the leg as she tried to run out of the room.

    In the end they shot their father five times and their mother nine, with the final bullet for each going into their kneecaps in an attempt to make the murders look like a mob hit.

    It was not until March of the following year however that police had enough evidence to arrest them, and the two were not convicted for the murders until 1994, with both given life sentences.

    The brothers argued that they were driven to murder their father and mother after a lifetime of physical, emotional and sexual abuse.

    Jose was a Cuban immigrant who fled the country at the age of 16 after Fidel Castro took power and worked his way up from nothing to become CEO of RCA Records, where he was responsible for the signing of groups including the Eurythmics and Jefferson Starship, and later the film studio now known as Artisan Entertainment.

    After killing their father and mother, who was a former school teacher, the two boys got in their car and dumped the murder weapons before going to see the James Bond Film Licence to Kill and then meeting some friends for drinks before returning home just before midnight, at which point Lyle called authorities.

    'Somebody killed my parents,' said the older of the two brothers.

    Police spoke with the brothers after arriving at the home but did not check them for gunshot residue to see if they had recently fired a gun, this despite the fact that they considered them both persons of interest at the time.

    Neighbors meanwhile had not thought to call police after hearing gunshots coming from the house assuming that it was just noise from children playing in the neighborhood.

    With not enough evidence to implicate the brothers police began looking elsewhere for possible suspects while Lyle and Erik began to spend their father's fortune.

    It was later estimated that in the six months after killing their parents the two brothers spent $1million on everything from a full time tennis coach and Porsche to a restaurant in Princeton, New Jersey.

    Their crime caught up with them however when Erik confessed to the crime during a session with his psychologist. Erik then called his brother Lyle to come join his session and after he too detailed what the two brothers had done, the older brother threatened the life of the doctor saying that is he ever told anyone they would kill him as well.

    The psychologist, L. Jerome Oziel, was having an affair at the time with a woman in his office who overheard what was said in the session after listening through the door while the brothers were meeting with the doctor.

    Oziel also later told his girlfriend in detail what had happened, and after the two broke up she went to police and revealed that the brothers had killed their parents and threatened Oziel's life.

    She also informed police that the sessions had been taped.

    The two were arrested soon after, and in a massive blow to their defense the state ruled that when Lyle threatened the life of their psychologist he voided the doctor-patient relationship that would normally have prohibited Oziel from testifying in court.

    Some of the tapes were also allowed into evidence.

    The two brothers were tried separately starting in 1993, and the first trial for both Lyle and Erik ended with deadlocked juries.

    That was due almost entirely to the fact that it was at that first trial when the brothers claimed under oath that they had both been abused for years while being represented by two of the best defense lawyers in the country, who they paid for using the money they had inherited from their parents' $14million estate.

    It all came to head they claimed a week before the killings when Lyle, who was 21 at the time of the murder, claimed that his mother ripped off his toupee in front of Erik, who did not know he was bald.

    The brothers claim that after seeing Lyle in that state, Erik was able to admit to him that Jose had been sexually molesting him for years, and that when they confronted him to stop he told the two: 'He is my son, and I will do what I want with him.'

    Erik said that he was sodomized by his father for the first time when he was six-years-old, and Lyle testified that Jose also made him molest his own brother when they were children.

    The younger brother also testified that Jose forced him to perform four different kinds of sexual acts: oral sex, anal sex, hand massage, or having pins stuck into his buttocks or thighs.

    Lyle said that in addition to his father, his mother also sexually molested him. He also testified that his father forced him to perform oral sex on his mother multiple times and sodomized him when he was just a child.

    Jose's sister testified that this was not true, and while the juries were deadlocked the first time the brothers were tried, they did not get the desired result in their second trial.

    On March 20, 1996, the brothers were found guilty of first-degree murder, receiving life sentences and being spared the death penalty.

    They appealed their case all the way up to the US 9th Circuit Court of Appeals but were denied every time.

    Erik married Tammi Menendez in 1999, as their relationship started from her sending him letters for years.


    Let me just point out that Jose's sister NEVER stated that the molestation was not true. Only Kitty's brothers, Milton and Brian (the latter is now deceased) didn't believe the abuse. Family members wanted to testify about Jose and Kitty's background (both of them were victims of abuse themselves) but the judge did not allow it, ruling that it was "too remote" to have any bearing on the case. I beg to differ. Abuse can be a cycle. It also doesn't mention how Oziel's girlfriend (technically, she was his mistress, as he was married at the time) testified for the defense as a rebuttal witness in the first trial, and she recanted her statement to police, testifying that Lyle never threatened Oziel and that the psychologist kept the tapes for extortion purposes.
    Last edited by Noirdame79; 01-06-2018 at 04:53 PM.

  2. #257
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    A recent article about the late Dominick Dunne's "obsession" with this case, his obvious bias against the defendants and his conflicted sexual identity, which he projected onto Erik Menendez. Using a person's sexual history against them is wrong regarding sexual assault, because it was an assault, not a "relationship" and not "consensual" and to say that victim must be lying because they've allegedly or not had other sexual experiences is wrong on so many levels; it's likely that neither Dunne nor the prosecution in both trials would get away with this today - re-victimizing and sexually harassing a person, defendant or not, in open court and in the media. No matter if Dunne was "fascinated" by Erik, or believed the brothers, even for second, it doesn't change how he judged them for not leaving an abusive situation and called them liars; it doesn't change that he paid at least one person to lie in his articles to damage the credibility of Lyle Menendez; it doesn't change the truth of the matter that there was zero evidence to corroborate that the killings took place for financial gain; it doesn't change the fact that Dunne was a gossip monger rather than a reporter. Yes, he went through terrible times himself and having to be in the closet for all those years must have been difficult, to say the least. But he didn't care about the truth, only getting the story and perpetuating what the prosecution wanted him to.

    Inside Dominick Dunne’s Ties to Menendez Brothers: Shared Parental Abuse, Gay Identity (Exclusive Book Excerpt)

    In an excerpt from his biography “Money, Murder, and Dominick Dunne,” Robert Hofler reveals how Vanity Fair’s star reporter became obsessed with one of the young killers

    In 1993 Dominick Dunne was already famous for saying “he did it” whenever it came to a high-profile murder case he reported on for Vanity Fair. He almost always sided with the prosecution against the defendant, and he did so with the same unbridled partiality he honed a decade earlier when, making his debut in Vanity Fair, he covered the trial of John Sweeney, the Ma Maison chef who strangled to death Dunne’s 22-year-old actress-daughter, Dominique.

    Erik and Lyle Menendez were on trial for double murder in 1993. The two young men and their two middle-aged victims were not celebrities, but they were wealthy, lived in Beverly Hills, and had ties to the movie business. Even more newsworthy: The victims were Erik and Lyle’s parents, Kitty and Jose Menendez, a top executive at Live Entertainment. The brothers loaded and reloaded their 12-gauge Mossberg shotguns 14 times in the TV room of the family mansion at 722 North Elm Drive.

    There was no doubt that Erik and Lyle had murdered their parents on August 20, 1989, as the couple sat watching “The Spy Who Loved Me” on the VCR. The big question of the sensational Menendez trial was whether the father had sexually abused his sons. Dunne said he believed without a doubt that Jose never molested them. He said it before the trial began, and he said it 12 years later when interviewed for a documentary based on his life. “I never ever believed for a second that he sexually abused them,” he told the camera.

    Actually, Dunne did believe the two son’s accusations against Jose Menendez, and he believed it for more than a second. He believed it for the better part of a day. September 11, 1993, was Lyle Menendez’s first day on the stand in his own defense. Defense attorney Jill Lansing questioned him on the stand, “Why did you kill your parents?”

    “Because we were afraid,” Lyle whispered, the tears already beginning to form. “He raped me.”

    “Did you cry?” asked his lawyer.


    “Did you bleed?”


    “Were you scared?”


    “Did you ask him not to?”


    “How did you ask him not to?”

    “I just told him, I don’t…I don’t…”

    According to Lyle, Jose Menendez thought of their sex together as a male bonding ritual. Lyle was only six years old when first raped, and said being anally penetrated made him feel he was “the most important thing” in his father’s life.

    The most heartbreaking moment in his testimony, however, came later when Lyle talked about his younger brother. He revealed his father also raped Erik, and that he, in turn, replicated that sexual abuse by taking his kid brother into the woods to molest him there in a similar matter. In the courtroom, Lyle looked away from his lawyer, and leaning forward on the stand, he faced Erik to apologize, “I don’t understand why, and I’m sorry!”

    Erik and Lyle were not the only ones crying. Several jurors and reporters also wept. Ashen, Dominick Dunne shook his head. “I wonder if I’m wrong. Could I be wrong?” he asked Shoreen Maghame, a young reporter from the City News Service.

    Out in the courthouse hallway, Dunne repeated his “I wonder if I’m wrong” statement to another reporter, and added, “I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I think I believe this. I think he’s telling the truth.”

    Unlike Shoreen Maghame, Playboy reporter Robert Rand agreed with the man from Vanity Fair about almost nothing that happened during the Menendez trial. In fact, Court TV had hired Dunne and Rand to disagree, and late every Friday afternoon throughout the trial the two journalists gave opposing weekly rebuttals on camera. Crime watchers had never seen anything like it. The Menendez trial was only the second one for which the cable network presented gavel-to-gavel coverage, the first being the ten-day Williams Kennedy Smith rape trial in 1991. On Court TV during the months-long Menendez trial, it was Robert Rand for the defense and Dominick Dunne for the prosecution.

    In the hallway, Dunne repeated himself a third time, “I may be wrong.”

    The Menendez trial represented everything Dunne loathed about the criminal justice system. It was all about a couple of wealthy brats using their money to buy themselves justice and, in the process, ruin the good reputations of their victims. Dominick saw the same thing happen to his own daughter, Dominique. The defense raised unsubstantiated charges of abortion and drug use against her, and then, in Dunne’s opinion, the killer got his rich boss to pay for his defense.

    The Menendez trial also proved personally complicated for Dunne. Like Jose Menendez, he, too, had raised two sons in the rarefied hot-house environment of money, privilege, and celebrity that is Beverly Hills. Even more disturbing, Dunne found he strongly identified with one of the young killers and confessed, years later, of being “fascinated” by Erik Menendez.

    Erik was the handsome son, the likable one. He overcame a severe childhood stammer, as did Dunne; and much more significant, Dunne believed Erik to be “homosexual.” In the private journals he kept as an adult, Dunne wrote of not understanding the “equation between” the young heiresses he dated in his hometown of West Hartford, Connecticut, and the adult men he met in the town’s public restrooms, but that he pursued them with “the same fervor.” He claimed to have been only “nine or ten” when he first began performing acts of oral sex on men in the local park.

    Then there were the beatings he received from his father, Dr. Richard Dunne.

    The Menendez trial compelled Dunne, for the first time in his life, to write and publicly talk about the physical abuse he experienced as a child at the hands of his own father. He linked that abuse to what happened to the younger Menendez son. Dunne never publicly revealed the other thing that drew him to Erik: their sexual orientation. While he believed that Jose Menendez called Erik a “******,” Dunne would only say that his own father had called him a “sissy.”

    The word “sissy” in the guarded 1930s of Dunne’s boyhood had been replaced by “******” in the less circumspect times of Erik’s youth. “He mimicked me,” Dominick said of his own father. “He called me a sissy. ‘Sissy’ is a tough word. It may not sound tough, but it’s words that hurt. It lingers.”

    The word “sissy” fastened itself to Dunne’s consciousness because it labeled his greatest fear about himself. He was not a real boy. He was a girl trapped in a boy’s body.

    Dr. Dunne was not the only one who said it. An uncle told Richard that the 6-year-old Nicky Dunne “ought to have been a girl.” A friendly Italian barber told his mother, Dorothy Dunne, the same thing: “He ought to have been a girl.” What remained burned in Dominick Dunne’s memory is that neither parent disagreed with that opinion; no one came to his “rescue” to claim the real little boy within. “I never felt I belonged anywhere, even in my own family. I was the outsider of the six kids,” he said.

    Dunne’s deeply instilled homophobia regarding his own sexual orientation influenced and played into his coverage of the Menendez trial.

    “There was a strain of homosexuality running through the trial,” said the prosecutor, Pamela Bozanich, whom Dunne quickly befriended. “We knew Erik was gay and having oral sex with the inmates.” They also knew of homoerotic photographs taken of Erik. In addition, Dunne liked to gossip about Erik’s possible physical attraction to his high school friend Craig Cignarelli, a witness for the prosecution. Dunne and Bozanich even speculated on why Judge Weisberg often disallowed the word “homosexual” in the courtroom.

    According to Bozanich, defense attorney Leslie Abramson was “panicked that people would find out or think Erik was homosexual. We had this strain all through the trail and Dominick would whisper things people told him.”

    And it didn’t stop there. Early one morning, Bozanich awoke to a frantic phone call. It was Dominick Dunne. He heard he was going to be outed if he did not stop writing about the Menendez trial. Bozanich had to wonder, “Why is he telling me this at six o’clock in the morning?”

    ABC News’s Dan Abrams recalled the hubbub. “It was really a very, very gossipy case,” said the legal analyst. “There’s no question when it came to the trial gossip Dominick was the leader among the reporters there. He was hearing everything. Some of it wasn’t true.”

    One tidbit that turned out to be true, and which Dunne uncovered through his reporting, was a homoerotic photograph taken of Erik Menendez. A detective gave him the tip to contact the photographer Philip Kearney.

    “Dominick was very apologetic when he first phoned me,” Kearney recalled. “He was very respectful.” Which did not stop Dunne from asking if the photographer had an intimate relationship with Erik. In Vanity Fair, Dominick recorded Kearney’s response as being “Spiritually, yes. Physically, almost.”

    Nearly a decade and a half after that interview, Kearney said the relationship was actually “more physical than it was spiritual. I’d give Erik a massage and it would lead to other things.”

    Erik always claimed not to be homosexual but told the photographer, “If I was gay, Craig [Cignarelli] would be my boyfriend.”

    “The statement is nonsensical, but I didn’t challenge it,” said Kearney.

    One day, Erik gave Kearney a screenplay he had written, about a teenager who kills his parents to collect the insurance money. Kearney did not read it but knew the general outline from what Erik told him. “It’s horrible enough reading your own stuff,” Kearney surmised. “And I shelved it.”

    In Dunne’s conversations with Kearney, he focused not on the script that presaged the double murders but rather the photographs. In his testimony Erik claimed that his father forced him to pose naked over an oval mirror to obtain a more dramatic view of his naked torso. Dunne rejected that story. He believed Erik got the idea of the mirror from one of Kearney’s photo sessions, and it was this photo that Dominick insisted illustrate his Vanity Fair article.

    Dunne and Kearney also discussed at length the fateful day that Erik showed up not in the usual sports car but an old clunker. Kearney never knew for sure if Jose Menendez had molested his sons. “What I do know is the father cut them off. He cut them off where it hurt the most in Beverly Hills,” Kearney said of money, cars, and clothes. “And that’s where it was all trailing from. The car wasn’t in a shop. The father had taken it away from him.”

    According to Kearney, Dominick always believed that Lyle masterminded the murders, and “Erik wasn’t strong enough to defy that hook Lyle had in him.”

    The first Menendez trial ended in two hung juries. Dominick Dunne, however, did not cover the second trial, which resulted in two murder convictions. By then, the Vanity Fair writer was engulfed in the O. J. Simpson murder trial. Not that he ever forgot Erik Menendez.

    In 2001, Dunne wrote a letter to Erik to request a face-to-face interview in prison. He had read Erik’s many unproduced screenplays, written before the two sons committed murder, and in the letter he went on to lavish praise on the young man’s talent as a writer. “How often you come to my mind,” Dunne wrote.

    His fascination didn’t stop there. He also made copies of Kearney’s shirtless photograph of Erik, and on special occasions, Dunne would show the photo to guests at his country house in Hadlyme, Connecticut.

    “He could be a Calvin Klein model,” said the man from Vanity Fair.

    Last edited by Noirdame79; 01-06-2018 at 06:25 PM.

  3. #258
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Menendez Left Impression as Businessman and Family Man of Secrets

    It has been more than two decades since the mysterious murder of big time entertainment executive, Jose Menendez, was solved. Despite his death by his two sons, Erik and Lyle, Menendez left a lasting impression as a businessman of power and family man of secrets.

    "Jose was quite the corporate bureaucrat and you know no friendship stood in the way of that," Jose's former business partner Peter Hoffman said.

    Menendez started his corporate climb in New York City. As an exec for RCA, it was Menendez who brought the boy band "Menudo" to English audiences – a group that would later launch the career of singer Ricky Martin. By the time Menendez was killed, he was a successful CEO of a video distribution company.

    Jose Menendez was a Cuban immigrant who had plans to ultimately run for US Senate and "liberate Cuba and oust Fidel Castro," according to journalist Rand.

    Rand is the author of the upcoming book, "The Menendez Murders," and served as a consultant for "Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders."

    "There are a lot of people that work with him and then there's those that were afraid of him," Rand said.

    The murder mystery became an argument of greed versus accusations of physical, mental and sexual abuse.

    Hoffman believes the Menendez brothers were only about the money while the forensic psychiatrist, Dr. William Vicary, believes both of the sons were sexually molested.

    "Both of the brothers had been threatened numerous times by their father that they crossed certain lines that he would beat them so badly that they would never forget it or even kill them," Vicary said.

    Hoffman strongly defends that accusation declaring it as "complete nonsense" and that however difficult he may have been, abuse was not possible.

    While Beverly Hills police never found evidence of abuse, Dr. Vicary says he has no doubt.

    Les Zoeller always claims that he never found any evidence of abuse, but has never shared details of his so-called "investigation".

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