Menendez Brothers' True Story From Monsters Season 2 - Augustman SG (2024)

After the success of Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story in 2020, the makers of the Netflix show understood that there is a large audience that likes to watch such true crime shows. This gave birth to the second season of the documentary show titled Monsters: The Lyle and Erik Menendez Story, which narrates the true story of the Menendez brothers and the unimaginable crime they supposedly committed in the late 80s.

While Netflix has yet to share more details about the release date of the documentary show, Monsters has already grabbed the attention of the viewers. The true story about the Menendez brothers is gripping and hence the audience is excited to see what the new season will look like. If you are keen to know more about what happened, we have gathered all the information about the siblings that you should know. Read on to know more.

Monsters season 2: The true story of the Menendez brothers that inspired the plot of the documentary show

José Enrique Menendez got married to Mary Louise “Kitty” Andersen in 1963 and the couple moved to New York City. Five years later in January 1968, Kitty gave birth to their first son, Joseph Lyle, who goes by his middle name. Lyle’s brother, Erik Galen was born in November 1970. The family lived in Hopewell Township where both brothers studied at Princeton Day School. When Lyle was 13 years old, he told his cousin, Diane Vander Molen, that he was being sexually abused by his father. When Kitty was informed about the same, she took her husband’s side and expressed that Lyle was lying.

The crime they committed

The Menendez brothers were accused of killing their parents and the Netflix documentary show will talk about the true story of how it all went down. The incident took place in August 1989 when José and Kitty were shot by their sons. Lyle and Erik entered the house carrying Mossberg 12-gauge shotguns and shot José six times. Kitty was shot ten times in total. The brothers remained in the house and waited for the police to arrive. Upon questioning, Lyle and Eric told the police that the killings took place while they were at a movie theatre and attending a festival at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium. Due to a lack of evidence, the brothers were free to live their lives freely. Within a few months of the murders, the brothers began to spend money luxuriously on dining, travel, wheels and other expensive things. They spent approximately USD 700,000 together, which led the other family members to think that they had a role in the killings.

The investigation began

In the early stages of the investigation, the police tried to streamline the suspects who had a motive to kill the couple. They also investigated possible mob leads. However, seeing how the brothers were spending the money, they became the prime suspect. To arrest the brothers, the police needed evidence. That is when they brought in Eric’s friend, Craig Cignarelli, in the story. They planted him as a mole to get a confession from the younger brother. However, Erik denied the crime. The only person who knew the truth was his psychologist, Jerome Oziel. He told his mistress, Judalon Smyth, about Eric, who went on to tell the police about the brothers in a fit of rage after her break-up with Oziel. Lyle was arrested in March 1990, after which Erik turned himself in three days later.

The brothers were charged with the murders

Judge James Albrecht declared that the recordings of the conversations between Erik and Oziel were acceptable evidence in a case that began in 1990. The ruling was appealed, but the hearings were delayed for two years. The Supreme Court of California also gave the same verdict as Albrecht in August 1992, except for the tape on which Erik discussed the murders. In December 1992, the brothers were charged with the murders of their parents by a Los Angeles County grand jury.


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The trail began

The true story about the Menendez brothers and why the case became a national sensation will be a part of the Netflix documentary series. Court TV broadcasted the trial when it began in 1993. Leslie Abramson represented the brothers, who claimed that they killed their parents out of fear for their lives. The duo accused the parents of abuse, especially sexual abuse by their father. They described the father as a cruel perfectionist and paedophile while the mother was called an enabling, selfish, mentally unstable alcoholic and drug addict who encouraged her husband’s behaviour. Two family members — cousins Andy Cano and Diane Vander Molen supported the allegations through testimonies along with some physical evidence provided by the defence.

The prosecution contended that the murders were done for financial gain. The defence team disrupted the claim by stating that the brothers did not assume they were getting an inheritance. Erick then narrated how several confrontations erupted within the family when he told his elder brother about the sexual abuse he was experiencing a couple of weeks before the night of the murders. They feared that the parents will kill them and hence they started firing the shotgun in defence.

The second trial began

Since the first trial ended in a deadlock, Los Angeles County District Attorney Gil Garcetti decided that the brothers would be re-tried. Judge Stanley Weisberg did not allow cameras, capped the testimonies about the sexual abuse claims and did not authorise the jury to vote on manslaughter charges instead of murder charges. The brothers were convicted on two counts of first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder. They were sentenced to life in prison with no option of parole in July 1996. The brother appealed the court decision multiple times which were all rejected.

What’s the latest update?

In 2023, new evidence came in purporting that the father had also molested popular Puerto Rican group Menudo’s member Roy Rosselló. On a segment of the Today Show, Rosselló remarked that he was drugged and raped by José Menendez when he was visiting his New Jersey home at the age of 14. All these updates might also be a part of the documentary series about the Menendez brothers.

Hero and Feature Image: Courtesy Netflix/YouTube

This article first appeared on Lifestyle Asia India

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Question: Who were the Menendez brothers?

Answer: Lyle and Erik Menendez have been in the news since they were charged with killing both their parents in the late 80s.

Question: What is the Menendez brothers' case?

Answer: It is about the crime they committed in 1989.

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Menendez Brothers' True Story From Monsters Season 2 - Augustman SG (2024)
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