ID is taking us back to the 1990s with a handful of true crime documentaries, the first being Menendez Brothers: Misjudged?
Most true crime aficionados are familiar with the murder trial(s) of the Menendez brothers, Lyle and Erik, but for those who weren’t part of the media frenzy that began in 1989, here’s a little refresher course. It all began on August 20, 1989 with the brutal shooting deaths of Jose and Kitty Menendez.
21-year-old Lyle Menendez called 911, hysterically shouting that someone had killed his parents. When law enforcement arrived at the Menendez home, Lyle and his 19-year-old brother Erik claimed they had been at a movie, then attended a festival before returning home and discovering the bloody crime scene.
Soon enough, the young men became suspects, and they eventually confessed to the murders, which were very shockingly violent. Jose was shot six times, including a fatal shot to the back of the head, and Kitty was shot 10 times, including a fatal shot to her face.
Court TV broadcast the joint trial of the two brothers in 1993, and it dominated the news before ending in a deadlocked jury. Erik and Lyle claimed to have suffered extreme abuse at the hands of both parents, including sexual abuse perpetrated by their father. Despite the fact that family members backed up those claims (and there was plenty of physical evidence as well), the prosecution argued that the murders were committed for financial gain. After the jury was unable to agree on a verdict, the brothers were retried separately, where they were each found guilty and sentenced to life in prison.
ID will review all of these details before jumping to more recent times, when the story of the Menendez brothers gained traction on TikTok. With modern society taking a more serious approach to abuse and trauma, is it possible that Lyle and Erik were wrongly convicted?
As part of the two-hour special, ID will be showing an exclusive interview with Lyle Menendez.
Other interviewees are the post-conviction attorney, along with media, investigators legal experts and some of the TikTokers who were fascinated enough with the case to bring it back in the public eye, hoping they could gain a new perspective.
Menendez Brothers: Misjudged? Will premiere on ID August 7, and will be available to stream the same day on discovery+.
Are you familiar with the Menendez Brothers’ case? Do you think they should be serving life in prison? Give us your point of view in the comments section.