Truth and Lies: The Menendez Brothers – American Sons, American Murderers is an unprecedented, two-hour ABC documentary that includes the first interview with Lyle Menendez in 20 years. Joseph “Lyle” Menendez and Erik Galen Menedez are two brothers convicted of the first-degree murder of their parents in 1989. The 1994 riveting trial made headline news, as the brothers alleged their wealthy, successful parents were sexually and physically abusing them, and they killed them with a shotgun out of fear. The prosecution saw the case differently and accused the brothers of murdering their parents in cold blood, for money. The TV documentary airs tonight on ABC at 9 p.m. ET and you can watch the show streaming live online through ABC Go. You can also watch Truth and Lies: The Menendez Brothers streaming live online through your cable or satellite television provider. You may see a video trailer from tonight’s episode below. Check the videos above for full-length episodes and on-demand videos regarding the Menendez case.
Update! The full ABC documentary Truth and Lies: The Menendez Brother is available to watch, free online and on-demand. You will need a television subscription provider to log in.
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Lyle is the oldest brother, born on Jan. 10, 1968, and Erik, the youngest, was born on Nov. 27, 1970. The Menendez brothers reported the August 20, 1989, murder of Jose Menendez and Mary “Kitty” Menendez to authorities. The 911 calls were rife with panic and emotion and no one immediately suspected the brothers’ involvement. The family lived in a Beverly Hills, California, mansion and appeared to enjoy a lavish lifestyle. According to Lyle’s and Erik’s defense attorneys, their life was anything but lavish. Leslie Abramson defended Erik, and her role in the trial reached celebrity status. A family member testified that he believed the boys were in fact sexually abused. According to a 1993 report by the L.A Times, Erik Menendez confided the abuse in a cousin when he was 13 years old. In 1996, after separate trials, both men were convicted of first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder.
Menendez brothers convicted of 1989 murder of parents 'at peace' https://t.co/ULqQSyDwxs
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The brothers stated under oath that they killed their parents out of fear due to the sexual abuse they were regularly subjected to. The jury disagreed. The Menendez brothers were sentenced to life without parole. Tonight’s documentary will provide an update on both brothers as it has now been 27 years since the murder. The Internet Archive has maintained the Menendez brothers’ court transcripts from the original trial that resulted in hung juries and retrials. You may read the court transcripts here.
Menendez Brothers' Cousin Who Testified About Sexual Abuse Speaks Out https://t.co/orp5r1HnKC
— Eugene Viktorovic (@EugenVictorovic) January 5, 2017
The Menendez brothers’ trial aired on Court TV and was one of the first cases live streamed on television. Court TV is now defunct, but you can read the Menendez case history on the Internet Archive. Jose Menendez was a well-known and successful movie executive. At first, authorities believed the mafia was connected to the crime and the brothers weren’t officially declared suspects. Erik and Lyle drew scrutiny when they began spending the family’s money. Purchases following their parents’ murder included Rolex watches, a Porsche, and travel that totaled approximately $700,000. It wasn’t until Erik confessed the crime to a psychologist that they became official suspects and were charged with the crime. The psychologist Jerome Oziel was having an affair with a woman named Judalon Smyth, according to a Vanity Fair article by crime writer Dominick Dunne. Judalon Smyth took taped confessions to the police and the brothers were declared official suspects in their parents’ murders.
Lyle Menendez’s interview marks the first time in two decades he has spoken about the crimes, but will he have a different story? Will he maintain he and Erik were sexually abused and killed their parents out of fear? Will he confess that the murders were conducted purely out of greed?
The case began as premeditated, first-degree murder, but that was challenged with horrific stories of sexual abuse at the hands of sadistic parents. To this day, some people believe that Erik and Lyle were abused, while others believe they murdered their parents in cold blood in order to get the family fortune. The public was faced with the argument that Lyle and Erik brutally shot their parents repeatedly in order to obtain their family fortune when they were set to inherit everything.
ABC obtained never-before-seen photos of the family including the Menendez brothers with their parents as well as home videos. The Menendez brothers documentary will include testimony from those who knew the brothers as well as the parents.
What do you think about the Menendez brothers’ case? Do you believe they were sexually abused or do you think this was a clear-cut case of greed? Lyle Menendez’s interview will provide his thoughts on the murder of his parents and how he feels about the crime today.
You can watch Truth and Lies: The Menendez Brothers – American Sons, American Murderers streaming live online. Check your local listings for your ABC channel and times. The Menendez brothers interview and documentary should be on demand at sites like Hulu and the official ABC website tomorrow.
[Featured Image by Nick Ut/AP Images]