Lyle and Erik Menendez murdered their parents nearly 30 years ago, but the case is getting renewed attention due to NBC’s Law & Order True Crime series. Megyn Kelly spoke with Lyle Menendez on the phone, and he talked about what led up to the murder and if he regrets pulling the trigger.
Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Brothers premiered Tuesday evening on NBC and asked the most important question about the case. It’s not if the Menendez brothers killed their parents because the world knows the answer to that. The story is about why they did it.
Lyle revealed that he regrets killing his parents every single day. He added that while he regrets his actions, he still cannot escape the reality of what led to their retaliation.
“It’s really, a regret every day, a regret every day, but at the same time, I can’t escape what happened anymore than I can escape the memories of what happened to me,” Lyle stated.
Today reported that Lyle is currently serving a life sentence at Mule Creek State Prison in California, while Erik is serving his life sentence in San Deigo, California. The brothers remain in regular contact even though they haven’t seen each other in nearly three decades.
The brothers were only 18 and 21 at the time of the murder. They shot their father, Jose Menendez, 45, in the back of his head, which killed him instantly. Their mother, Kitty, was not so lucky. She tried to get away and ended up being shot 15 times, suffering fatal gunshots to her chest, shoulder, arms, and face.
At first, the boys tried to blame the mafia for the crime. After nearly a year, the boys confessed they killed their parents but claimed it was in self-defense.
Lyle claims even 30 years later that the murders were not premeditated. He said there was no plan. Menendez explained that the houses in Beverly Hills are very close together. He added he would have to be insane to plan a murder under that situation.
Menendez claims that Jose’s lifetime of abuse caused the boys to snap. Lyle stated that he didn’t know the details about what happened between Erik and his father. He just knew he had to stop the abuse.
“I didn’t know the details of what had happened between my brother and my father, and when I first heard about it, I had some of the same reaction that some people have — how could you not have resisted, why didn’t you tell me, why didn’t you run away, why didn’t’ you fight back against your father?” Lyle explained.
Lyle realizes that he will never be released from prison. He regrets turning the gun on his parents, but he still feels that the reason for the bloodshed rests at Jose Menendez’s feet. If he hadn’t of sexually, emotionally, and physically abused them for 18-plus years, they wouldn’t have felt “forced” to take his parents’ lives.
Do you think Lyle Menendez regrets shooting his parents? Is Jose Menendez to blame for his murder?
[Featured Image Mark J Terrill/AP Images]