Lyle and Erik Menendez are in their late 40s now and have been incarcerated for over two decades for the 1989 murder of their parents, Jose and Kitty Menendez. But is it about time that Lyle and Erik, 49- and 46-years-old respectively, finally enjoy life as free men, given the allegations revealed in Menendez: Blood Brothers? That’s something that had a lot of people talking after the Lifetime movie premiered on Sunday night.
As the Inquisitr reported on Friday, Menendez: Blood Brothers took a look back at the August 1989 murders of Hollywood executive Jose Menendez and his wife, Kitty, who were both shot dead in what initially appeared to be a professional hit. At that time, Lyle and Erik Menendez were only 21 and 18 respectively, and while they were, after three trials, ultimately convicted of murdering their parents and sentenced to life in prison, the brothers had notably accused their parents, particularly Jose, of sexually abusing them, suggesting they may have been driven to murder.
This was a key talking point in Menendez: Blood Brothers and people are now talking about whether they believe Lyle and Erik Menendez deserved to be cast in a sympathetic light or not. According to Hollywood Life, a lot of social media users seem to believe what they had seen on Sunday night, empathizing with what Lyle and Erik had supposedly gone through and expressing disgust toward the alleged character of their father, Jose Menendez.
“Their father was disgusting,”
“Just started and I can already see their dad is an a**hole.”
Aside from the allegations that he and his wife Kitty had sexually abused their sons, Jose had been accused in the past of being a dictatorial presence in the Menendez home and a strict perfectionist to a fault. A People article covering Lyle and Erik Menendez’s then-ongoing trial in 1993 had cited the brothers’ cousin, Brian Andersen Jr., who testified that Jose, while at the dinner table, would give the boys pop quizzes about history, business, and current events and would beat them with a belt if they couldn’t provide the correct answer.
“The goal was for [the boys] to be as successful as him.”
Other witnesses had claimed at the time that Jose, who earned a swimming scholarship to the University of Southern Illinois, would also be extremely demanding when it came to his sons’ athletic accomplishments, forcing them to play tennis in unfavorable weather, when they were sick, and even on holidays.
Still, the most damning accusations were those of sexual abuse, and that was the main focus of Lifetime’s Menendez: Blood Brothers.
Nico Tortorella, who played Lyle Menendez, opened up to E! News on what he thinks about the case. And while he didn’t expressly say whether Lyle and Erik Menendez should walk free, he said that it would be nice if the brothers got a retrial, given the sexual abuse allegations they made against their father.
“The judge ruled the sexual abuse case impossible between two men, sexual abuse had to be between a man and a woman and that is absolutely disgusting and that is the only saving grace for them to go back to retrial. I really do hope that this shines a light on this case in a way that hasn’t been seen before, and gives people a space to really empathize.”
Tortorella’s co-star, Myko Olivier, who played the role of Erik, said he believes the sexual abuse allegations may be true, but abuse may not have been a valid excuse for killing one’s parents.
“I do think there was something going on. I don’t necessarily believe abuse is an excuse for murder. They killed their parents and they should serve time for that. But is abuse an excuse, I guess?”
Although many viewers believe the brothers’ claims of sexual abuse, others have been less than sympathetic, suggesting that the Lifetime movie was skewed toward Lyle and Erik’s point of view and that Lyle Menendez, in particular, may have been more motivated by money and a chance to inherit the family fortune.
Do you think Lyle and Erik Menendez should be freed from jail, or at least get a retrial, given their previous allegations and how they were brought to light in Menendez: Blood Brothers?
[Featured Image by Nick Ut/AP Images]