You thought you hated your parents. The crimes committed by Lyle and Erik Menendez took teenage angst to terrifying levels when they shot and killed mom and their dad, in one of the most brutal, high-profile crimes in American history. The Menendez brothers' homicides at a posh Beverly Hills mansion rattled the nation and thrust the uncomfortable topic of sexual abuse into the national spotlight. Now serving life in prison, the brothers will never see each other or the free world again.
Kitty Menendez Died In Agony After Being Shot Ten Times
The Menendez brothers attacked their parents while their mother rested her head on her father's lap. The two were watching a James Bond movie on television when Lyle Melendez fired the first shots at Jose Menendez, one to his arm and another to the back of his head. They continued to fire away, sending blood and body parts flying everywhere inside the den. Jose Menendez died almost instantly from the shot to the back of the head, but Kitty Menendez suffered ten shots to the legs, arms, chest, and face.
In a particularly gruesome detail, the brothers actually had to leave the den where the shooting took place and retrieve more bullets from their car to reload. Erik then mercilessly delivered the final shot to the face as his mother looked at him. The blast obliterated her left eye and her nose, leaving the former beauty queen unrecognizable.
Lyle Menendez Nearly Decapitated His Father With A Gunshot To The Head
Lyle Menendez fired his shotgun into the back of his father's head, killing him instantly. Jose Menendez never saw his killers and was never aware that his sons were shooting him execution-style. The force of the shot nearly decapitated him.
The Menendez Brothers Claimed Their Dad Raped And Forced Oral Sex On Them
Two juries (one for Erik and one for Lyle) both deadlocked during the first trial, largely because of the defense's controversial allegation that Jose Menendez sexually molested both boys from an early age. The molestation allegations were heinous. According to the brothers, the elder Menendez forced his sons to perform oral sex on him, among other disgusting acts. Lyle Menendez said his father repeatedly raped him, sneaking into his room in the middle of the night.
Lyle Melendez Said He Molested His Brother Erik Menendez, Too
The sordid Menendez house of horrors turned even more sinister when Lyle Menendez testified on the witness stand that he had molested his younger brother, Erik, repeating some of the terrible acts that his father perpetrated on him. Lyle said he took Erik into the woods and used a toothbrush to molest him. Both Menendez brothers were in tears, along with most people in the courtroom, at the shocking revelation.
Lyle Menendez Said His Mother Also Sexually Abused Him
Lyle Menendez took the allegations even further when he claimed on the witness stand that his mother sexually abused him. He said his mother washed his body until he was 13. She also, according to Lyle, forced him to touch her "everywhere" on her body. Lyle testified that when he stopped performing the acts, his mother became enraged. Prosecutors were highly skeptical of Lyle Menendez's claims.
Lyle Menendez Claimed His Father Stuck Tacks Into His Thighs And Buttocks
Lyle Menendez claimed his father forced him to perform oral sex on him. Supposedly the elder Menendez had coded names for four types of sex: "knees" stood for oral sex, "nice sex" meant massaging his genitals; "sex" meant anal penetration; and "rough sex" meant he would force Lyle to perform oral sex on him while sticking sharp tacks and needles into his thighs and buttocks. None of the allegations of sex were ever proved or reported to authorities prior to the witness stand defense.
Immediately After Killing Their Parents, The Brothers Went To The Movies
So what do you do after you commit "the perfect crime"? You have to come up with an alibi to cover your tracks. The brothers intended to go see Batman,but the movie was sold out, so instead they bought tickets to see - ironically - License to Kill. After the movie they met up with friends for drinks before returning home to "discover" the bodies and place a 911 call.
The Murders Were Staged To Look Like A Mafia Hit
The crime was so heinous that authorities believed it was the work of gangsters. Entertainment executive Jose Menendez and his wife Kitty Menendez were shot at close range multiple times by 12-gauge shotguns, as they watched TV on Aug. 20, 1989. "It was definitely a message killing," a source told the Los Angeles Times. "There's no question it's organized crime." Both parents were also shot in the kneecaps to make it look more like a mob hit.