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The Chilling Moments Lyle Menendez and Brother Murdered Parents Detailed in New Interview

First OJ Simpson, then JonBenet Ramsey and now everybody's getting in on the Menendez Brothers murder nostalgia.

Just one day after ABC News released bizarre excerpts from its prison phoner with Lyle Menendez, HLN has released its own interview -- it's chilling.

Speaking with CNN's Chris Cuomo for HLN's "The Menendez Brothers: Murder in Beverly Hills," Lyle detailed the exact moments he and his brother Erik murdered their parents with a shotgun back in 1989.

"That part of it is obviously traumatic and difficult, I can't really parse, it was chaotic," he said of entering his mother and father's room the night of the killings. "It was a dark room and my father was standing ... just a deafening, horrific few moments of my life that come back to me all the time."

"I didn't know what was going to happen in the room," he said. "We definitely fired the instant we entered the room and I think that's part of the reason the police were saying the crime scene was so chaotic. A tremendous amount of shots were fired all over the room, so it was a horrific experience."

The brothers fired somewhere around 15 blasts from their 12-gauge shotguns, brutally killing Jose and Kitty Menendez.

When asked why they fired so many shots, targeting both parents not just their father, Lyle blamed "panic."

"Once you're in a panic, enraged panic ... once you're in that place, you end up using every shell you have and firing way more than you need to," he explained. "I think I would have kept firing until I didn't have anything left to fire, I was just in that place."

During highly-publicized trial, Lyle and Erik alleged they were molested by their father for years.

"You have to understand, my father was a very successful media executive, very high profile media executive. There was no way he was going to go through a child molestation trial," Lyle told Cuomo. The guns were already in the house, they were there in case something happened in the house."

In a separate interview with ABC, Lyle also called his father a "force of nature."

"My father was like a force of nature and you look up to that. You were expected to which be competitive to a fault," he added. "He began to sort of try to groom me to be hypercompetitive and succeed."

Lyle and Erik are both serving life sentences without any chance of parole. The brother play chess through the mail and have "almost never talked" about the murders.


http://toofab.com/2017/01/05/the-ch...r-murdered-parents-detailed-in-new-interview/
 
Respectfully snipped the fascinating post to save space and focus.

I've mentioned before that most documentaries don't get into Jose and Kitty's backgrounds, Kitty's, especially, is very downplayed. During the first trial, the defense wanted to have witnesses testify to that but the judge ruled that it was "too remote" to be relevant to the case, but of course, that is not true as abuse is a cycle. I will try to present some information about Jose and Kitty's childhood years and how it shaped them and carried over into their own offspring and how they treated their children.<>

Beautifully written, Noirdame79. :rose: You insightful writings are like reading a short novel that I don't want to end.

"She began to feel the neglect she had suffered as a child, while seemingly ignoring the mistreatment and damage that her sons suffered."

A friend and I were discussing the brothers when she asked why Kitty allowed the SA. I assumed it was Kitty's desire to keep Jose. Hence, her marriage would remain intact. Learning more of her childhood is enlightening. I'll share this with my friend.

I was able to watch their first trial in real time. I always believed the brothers were heavily abused in various ways. As I heard their stories unfold, in trial testimony, I thought to myself, there is more than one way to kill a person. A bullet just doesn't take as long as verbally beating a person to death or creating constant fear within a child of the abuse that will assuredly be coming.

It is my sincere prayer for the brothers to have another trial, asap.
 
Noirdame
Thank you so very much for all this information. I was a teenager when this all happened, and it's been fascinating reading this thread.
 
At the time, I was about their age and didn't believe them. I've changed my mind as we have learned more about sexual abuse in the last decade.
 
Respectfully snipped the fascinating post to save space and focus.



Beautifully written, Noirdame79. :rose: You insightful writings are like reading a short novel that I don't want to end.

"She began to feel the neglect she had suffered as a child, while seemingly ignoring the mistreatment and damage that her sons suffered."

A friend and I were discussing the brothers when she asked why Kitty allowed the SA. I assumed it was Kitty's desire to keep Jose. Hence, her marriage would remain intact. Learning more of her childhood is enlightening. I'll share this with my friend.

I was able to watch their first trial in real time. I always believed the brothers were heavily abused in various ways. As I heard their stories unfold, in trial testimony, I thought to myself, there is more than one way to kill a person. A bullet just doesn't take as long as verbally beating a person to death or creating constant fear within a child of the abuse that will assuredly be coming.

It is my sincere prayer for the brothers to have another trial, asap.

(Blushing) Thank you , DeDee. I always felt that background information on the parents was crucial to the case and the family dynamic and it makes you wonder if it would have made a difference if the jurors in both trials had been able to hear testimony about it. The judge was certainly not pro-defense but he did put his foot down a few times when he felt that the prosecution was going too far.

Kitty often justified her decision not to divorce Jose by stating that her parents' divorce ruined her childhood, but her insensitivity to her sons' plight is infuriating. It's interesting that Erik often became Kitty's emotional caretaker and confidant, as Kitty had been to her own mother. For that reason, I think Erik felt closer to his mother, despite her abusive and neglectful treatment of him at times. A tragic footnote to Kitty's background story is that her mother, Mae, died of a heart attack on an airline flight, right in front of Erik, who was 15 at the time.

At one point, Kitty became convinced that a model Lyle was dating was infected with AIDS, so she refused to let him eat at the dinner time during that relationship and he was forced to eat off of paper plates in the den.

I do think they deserve a new trial; their second one was a farce, there's really no other way of putting it. There is such a taboo about speaking out against parents, and killing them is often seen as one of the worst crimes, yet we know that many "parents" are abusive and there have been many cases when a parent or parents kill their own children. Parents are still often held in high esteem, although there are some who definitely don't deserve that title. Conceiving, giving birth to, or raising a child doesn't necessarily make someone a parent; it's a title that has to be earned, and that was something that Jose and Kitty did not achieve. You have to wonder if they would still be here today had they actually gotten help or heeded the advice of others.
 
Noirdame
Thank you so very much for all this information. I was a teenager when this all happened, and it's been fascinating reading this thread.

You're welcome. I know I sometimes ramble, but in re-reading books about the case has really brought a lot of things to light than at the time the books were published, where many things fell under the radar, to the point where even the authors didn't seem to catch the significance of.
 
At the time, I was about their age and didn't believe them. I've changed my mind as we have learned more about sexual abuse in the last decade.

Yes, we definitely know more about sexual abuse and child abuse in general than in the 80s and 90s.
 
Segment from the HLN series, "The Killer Next Door". Alicia Hercz, who was a neighbor in New Jersey and who taught at Princeton Day School was interviewed. It includes excerpts from the trial. Snippets of Erik describing how Kitty would lock him in a closet, sometimes for hours; how Jose would taunt him, his homophobia, and his convenient denial that sexually abusing his son had any connection to homosexuality. He and Lyle talk about the sexual abuse (there is some graphic content here). Hercz describes why she thinks that they went on a spending spree after the murders, how she felt, for years, that the family was not normal. She does not believe that Lyle and Erik killed their parents for money.

[video=youtube;5Inb6zCb5Ns]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Inb6zCb5Ns[/video]

It's also clear that they got no enjoyment out of killing their parents. I've seen pro-prosecution people claim that the brothers have shown no remorse, which is not true. Nor did they or their defense attorneys ever claim that Lyle and Erik had the right to kill their abusive parents.That was never the argument or strategy, so the whole "abuse excuse" that some legal experts coined for this case is invalid.
 
Segment from the HLN series, "The Killer Next Door". Alicia Hercz, who was a neighbor in New Jersey and who taught at Princeton Day School was interviewed. It includes excerpts from the trial. Snippets of Erik describing how Kitty would lock him in a closet, sometimes for hours; how Jose would taunt him, his homophobia, and his convenient denial that sexually abusing his son had any connection to homosexuality. He and Lyle talk about the sexual abuse (there is some graphic content here). Hercz describes why she thinks that they went on a spending spree after the murders, how she felt, for years, that the family was not normal. She does not believe that Lyle and Erik killed their parents for money.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Inb6zCb5Ns

It's also clear that they got no enjoyment out of killing their parents. I've seen pro-prosecution people claim that the brothers have shown no remorse, which is not true. Nor did they or their defense attorneys ever claim that Lyle and Erik had the right to kill their abusive parents.That was never the argument or strategy, so the whole "abuse excuse" that some legal experts coined for this case is invalid.

Thank you for posting the video. I shall view it during my insomnia.

Erik explained his sessions with his psychiatrist that should have proven to the first jury how devastated Erik was before and after the murders. He was an emotional wreck. I, too, recall some of the horrific abuse the brothers endured. Sickening stories of toothbrushes. It was harsher than tough love. It was conditional love that was tied to contingencies. There was certainly too much continual harmful parental interference in the young men's lives.

Money is one of the top reasons for murder. Jose gave Lyle the tools for success that he denied Erik. Lyle was prepared for making it in this world. Erik dreamed of becoming a tennis powerhouse. They were going to make it just fine had they not ...

The four of them together were a disaster. Perhaps if the murders had not occurred, Kitty would detest any wife of Lyle's and gloat over Erik's accomplishments in front of Lyle. Jose may recognize a Wimbledon win from Erik but Jose was NPD comorbid with psychopathy, which some successful CEOs are, jmho. Jose would always stray. He loved himself, first and foremost. MOO
 
Erik explained his sessions with his psychiatrist that should have proven to the first jury how devastated Erik was before and after the murders. He was an emotional wreck. I, too, recall some of the horrific abuse the brothers endured. Sickening stories of toothbrushes. It was harsher than tough love. It was conditional love that was tied to contingencies. There was certainly too much continual harmful parental interference in the young men's lives.

The four of them together were a disaster. Perhaps if the murders had not occurred, Kitty would detest any wife of Lyle's and gloat over Erik's accomplishments in front of Lyle. Jose may recognize a Wimbledon win from Erik but Jose was NPD comorbid with psychopathy, which some successful CEOs are, jmho. Jose would always stray. He loved himself, first and foremost.

Erik's grief and guilt over the deaths of his parents and the damage he suffered from a lifetime of abuse was very obvious, as Erik was far more emotional; Lyle had be drilled by Jose from an early age to suppress his emotions, as Jose viewed expressing emotion as a sign of weakness; I've stated that Lyle, even as a child, would "blank out" emotionally, to the point where people thought that he didn't have any feelings at all. He did, of course, and keeping emotions bottled up is not healthy. Covering up emotions and lack of communication is yet another sign that abuse is taking place. Unconditional love was definitely not in Jose's vocabulary; it was all about what he wanted, he didn't care about other people's feelings. Classic narcissist. Forcing your children to be what you want them to be, to threaten, abuse and intimidate them is not a loving or nurturing parent. It was an extremely dysfunctional, toxic family; the boys' teacher and coaches referred to Jose and Kitty as "the parents from hell". Jose refused to believe that his sons could have learning problems (and both of them did) and he even intimidated one of Lyle's teachers at Princeton Day School into giving him a higher grade. Another thing that indicates just how messed up their parenting was is that Jose and Kitty, when Lyle and Erik began "acting out" (such as the burglaries), they considered changing their wills, because the boys were not living up to their expectations and bemoaned how their "perfect family" facade was crumbling. Funny how they didn't seem to make the connection between their appalling lack of parenting skills (to put it mildly) and the lack of ethics and morals they instilled in their sons as a huge part of the problem. Children are not born to meet their parents' expectations, nor do their parents "own them".

Interestingly, Kitty's brother Brian, on the 20/20 ABC Special, inadvertently made a statement which actually revealed a lot about Kitty as a parent. He stated that whenever he tried to give her parental advice, she would reply, "Brian, don't tell me how to raise my boys." Classic toxic/abusive parent statement, as well as "If you don't like what goes on in my house, you can leave", which according to Jose's former brother-in-law, Peter Cano (who was married to Jose's sister Marta for several years) was something that Jose said to him. This incident took place when Cano, Marta and their five children were visiting the Menendez household in Monsey, New York. Lyle, then 5, was "reprimanded" by his father for his hyperactivity and Lyle was so terrified of Jose that he wet himself. Cano was horrified at what he was witnessing, and told Jose that it was no way to treat a child. Jose, defying his brother-in-law, punched Lyle in the chest, knocking the boy on the floor, and told Cano that if he didn't like it, he could leave, which Cano did. Toxic parents, from what I've read and from my own experience, generally use phrases like that whenever someone disapproves of their behavior toward their children or tries to give them advice. If they really want to change and make things better, they would want advice and second opinions. Instead, they continue to repeat the cycle and patterns and go into denial and projection.

It's interesting that Jose's sisters believed that Jose became mentally ill at some point and that he was probably abused. Maybe he was; his mother's domination over his life is not unusual in fathers who molest their children either. Either way, his psychopathy made him successful and powerful but also hurt and alienated a lot of people. He didn't care about feelings or hard work; he cared about results and getting more power from himself. He once said to a business associate, "I've always thought it was better to be feared than to be loved." Very revealing statement about himself.
 
Here is a collection of newsreel footage. Some of it is news reports about the murders; others contain footage from the first trial.

[video=youtube;3StPQRcge8k]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3StPQRcge8k[/video]

You'll notice the testimony of Lyle's former friend, Donovan Goodreau, who was a witness for the prosecution. Goodreau was caught lying on the stand under cross-examination when he stated that Lyle had never confided to him that he and his brother had been sexually abused by their father. However, Lyle's attorney, Jill Lansing, had obtained a taped interview that Goodreau had done with journalist Robert Rand a year before the trial, in which he stated that Lyle did tell him that he and Erik had been molested by Jose. After the tape was played, Goodreau claimed that he could not remember making that statement. Um, okay. His credibility was severely damaged, despite the prosecution's efforts to insinuate that Goodreau must have been fed that information. Notice too, how Lester Kuryiama asked Erik very insulting questions about whether there were any witnesses to the sexual abuse, etc. One of the news reports note that while the battered women syndrome in murder cases had gained support and acceptance, battered child syndrome in similar cases has NOT gained that same acceptance, which is ironic when you consider that children are far more vulnerable in abuse situations. A brief snippet of an interview with Jose's mother, Maria Menendez is also featured. It mentions a screenplay that Erik co-wrote with his former friend, Craig Cignarelli (who also testified for the prosecution and like Donovan Goodreau, proved less than reliable), which he asked Kitty to type for him. The prosecution wanted to introduce the screenplay as evidence, but Judge Stanley Weisberg felt that it was not relevant because it was a collaboration, and the fact that Kitty typed it for Erik, shot down the theory that it showed premeditation. Lyle's former fiancee, Jamie Pisarcik, testified for the prosecution, alleging that Erik knew about Lyle's hairpiece months before the murders, but wavered when asked when that incident occurred. When Erik's attorney, Leslie Abramson, stated that she had proof that incident could not have occurred when Pisarcik alleged, prosecutor Pamela Bozanich ridiculed Abramson's line of questioning. Funny how the prosecution had no problem grilling the brothers and defense witnesses about dates and times but when it came to their own witnesses, it was considered insulting or a joke.

Gah, Pamela Bozanich. Have I mentioned before that I can't stand her? Notice that since David Conn, the lead prosecutor from the second trial has passed away, that she has shown up on pretty much every documentary about the case? Lester Kuryiama keeps a lower profile, which gives her the opportunity to revel in the spotlight, as if she is trying to take the credit for the brothers' conviction, although she and her team failed to get one and she was not involved in the second trial. She comes across as extremely unprofessional; she calls the brothers names, and is so sure that the sexual abuse didn't happen. Bozanich was actually one of the prosecutors of the infamous McMartin Preschool case in the second trial, both of which ended in hung juries. The McMartin prosecutors were lucky that they weren't charged with misconduct: innocent people were falsely accused of sexual abuse that NEVER happened and the prosecution witnesses, including a large number of children, were coached and manipulated into making allegations. Most people don't make the connection regarding Bozanich's involvement because the McMartin trials took place before her marriage, so she went by her maiden name, Ferraro (she married Peter Bozanich while preparations for the first Menendez trial were underway), and taking her husband's name has made it easy to distance herself from the McMartin trial scandal. Funny how she never comments on that case yet she never misses a chance to talk about the Menendez brothers. She made statements that sexual abuse must have happened with the McMartin case but thinks the Menendez brothers were lying. I don't think she's particularly trustworthy, given her history. I smell a huge rat where she is concerned.

What do you make of the friend "not remembering" if his deposition was true or false?

It's so odd. What would be his reason for lying?
 
Other signs that perpetrators of sexual abuse/assault exhibit:

Makes people feel uncomfortable

Refuses to let other people set their own limits (physically, emotionally, socially)

Insists on unwanted touch

Walks in on people in private areas (bedroom, bathroom, etc)

Unsuccessful relationships with peers (his philandering aside, Jose had very few close friends, as did Kitty later in life)

Possessive

Abusive in other ways (physical, verbal and emotional abuse often goes in hand in hand with sexual abuse)

Controlling

Refers to sexual images and stories around them

Exposes children to adult sexual situations without concern

Has secret or planned meetings with children/teens

Frequently exchanges phone calls, texts or emails with kids (while that might not seem particularly unusual between parents and their kids, there is a limit and Jose was known for monitoring his sons closely, even when he was away on business and when Lyle was attending Princeton)

Is overly interested in the sexuality of a child or teen (Jose and Kitty both expressed this)

Interferes with the child's dating life

Talks about the child's appearance

Gives children unexplained gifts or money

Allows kids to be sexually inappropriate with each other

Too good to be true
 
What do you make of the friend "not remembering" if his deposition was true or false?

It's so odd. What would be his reason for lying?

That's a very good question, I've wondered about that myself. On the tape, Goodreau stated that one of the reasons why he and Lyle were so close was because they both suffered similar damage in their childhoods, as they had both been sexually abused. Robert Rand, the journalist whom had conducted that interview, felt that someone had "leaned on Donovan", i.e. got him to change his story during the trial. Forgetting that your close friend confided to you that he and his brother had been sexually abused or wondering if Lyle had even said that all, much less forgetting that you stated that in a taped interview just a year before? After the tape was played, Goodreau stated that he couldn't recall that conversation with Rand at all. Hmmm. Of course, he was called to be a prosecution witness, and he had turned on Lyle at that point. I also mentioned prosecutor Pamela Bozanich's own questionable history regarding her involvement in the McMartin Preschool trial, which makes me wonder. She is the one who tried to salvage the witness by trying to insinuate that Goodreau must have been fed that information, and given that Goodreau had been proven unreliable and evidence of perjury was presented in court, well, I think she has always had her own agenda. Either way, Goodreau wasn't much help to the prosecution's case.
 
Excerpts from The Right To Innocence: Healing The Trauma Of Childhood Sexual Abuse by Beverly Engel, M.F.C.C

A perpetrator will seldom, if ever, admit to abusing a child. If caught in the act, the perpetrator will likely blame someone else - most likely the child. Thus evolves a vicious cycle obscuring the truth about childhood sexual abuse: Perpetrators lie about it, silent partners and family members ignore it, and victims often repress it. As a result, victims often have a difficult time perceiving what the truth is. Moreover, a great deal of misinformation abounds on the topic. This is dangerous: it keeps victims imprisoned in the symptoms and by their families.

Generally speaking, men are particularly reluctant to seek therapy, and even those who do are often unable to tell their therapist they were sexually abused for fear of being judged. Males are sometimes more damaged from the sexual abuse than females and can suffer even more long-term effects. Males are not used to being victims or of being seen as victims in our society, and so they suffer further guilt and shame over having been a victim at all.

Childhood sexual abuse, like rape, is an act of violence and anger, not of sex.

One of two categories in which child molesters fall into is the sociopath. The sociopath has no moral qualms about hurting others to get what he wants. He simply doesn't have regard for others' feelings. He seems to have his own set of values that do not correspond to society's values. This character disorder is manifested by a lack of empathy for the victim, little regard for social taboos, and poor impulse control.

With rare exception, most aggressors do not admit responsibility for sexual abuse. Denial is the most common reaction, the second is to blame either the child or his wife.

Victims of childhood abuse have been taught by their parents to suppress and deny their feelings. Usually, at least one parent is out of touch with his or her feelings. This non-expressive, non-affectionate parent would discourage any outward display of emotion in the household. Children learn to deny their feelings when they live in a home where everyone is busy ignoring the reality of how bad things really are.


So much of this fits not only the Menendez family dynamic, but also Jose Menendez himself.
 
Jose Menendez at age 16, when he first came to America

josemenendez56787654_zpsrrljnelb.jpg


Jose and Kitty

josekitty345676543_zpsdrj2gzwf.jpg


josekitty3457875_zps2kymoe7x.jpg


ht_kittyjosemenendez_le_161230_4x3_992_zpsxxz4eepm.jpg
 
Photos from the second trial

lylemenendez-brothers-erik-lyle-snapped-special-beverly-hills-double-murder-killer-double-murders-oxygen_zpsatanohxu.jpg


Lyle's public defender, Charles Gessler, is seated between them

gettyimages-51568645%201_zpslakebdgc.jpg


Erik testifying while one of his attorneys, Barry Levin, looks on

menendez-trial-08-jef-170102_20x13_1600_zpsyj2oow1h.jpg


20415013-standard_zpsptcruobr.jpg
 
Well, After reading all that info on the parentals etc IMO these boys have paid more than enough for their crime. They deserve a break and a chance at a normal life etc. Their parents totally f'd them up, they IMO need to go free.
 
Sorry SweetT, will have to disagree. There is no justification, imo, to kill anyone, much less one's parents. These brothers were old enough to separate, and live on their own if life in the family home was considered abusive to them. Everyone has their own opinion. In my opinion this was a murder based on greed and entitlement.
 
Sorry SweetT, will have to disagree. There is no justification, imo, to kill anyone, much less one's parents. These brothers were old enough to separate, and live on their own if life in the family home was considered abusive to them. Everyone has their own opinion. In my opinion this was a murder based on greed and entitlement.

I totally respect your opinion.I do not condone murder. (I think they have served enough time) I do have to say though that my brother and I were terribly abused as children, and I cannot tell you how many times my older brother made a plan to kill our stepfather and I talked him out of it. To this day...I am still not sure I made the best decision by talking him out of it. If you knew what we went through and how even to this day my brother is affected.. he is in his 50's now. So I guess I have some empathy from what we went through. Being old enough to separate and mentally being able to are two different things. I was afraid of my step father for yrs, wouldnt go to their house without a big male escort. Never left my kids there alone.
 
Sorry SweetT, will have to disagree. There is no justification, imo, to kill anyone, much less one's parents. These brothers were old enough to separate, and live on their own if life in the family home was considered abusive to them. Everyone has their own opinion. In my opinion this was a murder based on greed and entitlement.

I haven't noticed anyone here condoning the crime. It was never stated, at any time, by the brothers or their defense attorneys, that they had the right to kill their parents because they were abused. The defense strategy was an "imperfect self-defense", that the brothers truly believed their lives were in danger and that their parents would kill them in order to keep them from exposing the family abuse secret. That may not have been the case, but it's possible that the brothers believed that to be true. Abuse changes a person's psychology; that's a fact. Jose was an abusive monster, that has been confirmed at least and their mother was dependant and complicit. No one here is excusing the crime, including the brothers themselves. Battered women suffer in similiar ways where they believe that they cannot leave, as bad as it is. Children of abusive parents (whether they are are adults or not) have an even more difficult time due to the years of conditioning and mistreatment, yet feelings of love and loyalty. As bad as things are, you still have a home and it's familiar. Leaving is always an option, but it's not always the easiest one. Some feel the brothers should be punished with their life without parole sentences and some believe that they have served enough time; either way, they did NOT get a fair trial the second time around and this case isn't as simple as the prosecution and media portray it to be.
 

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