Lyle and Erik Menendez


Jeime Moreno, Journalist

                                                                      Lyle and Erik Menendez


Joseph Lyle Menéndez born on January 10, 1968 and Erik Galen Menéndez was born November 27, 1970. They are American brothers who were convicted in 1996 for the murders of their parents, José and Mary Menéndez. During the trial in July 1993, the brothers stated they committed the murders in fear that their father would kill them after they threatened to expose him for years of sexual, emotional, and physical abuse. 

The night of the murders, the brothers told police they’d gone out that night to see a movie but had to make a pit stop to retrieve Erik’s ID. That’s when they discovered their parents’ decimated bodies and dialed 911; they said in their interviews. The officers who responded to the 911 call found Erik sobbing on the lawn before entering the crime scene.

The court ordered Erik to see a therapist named Dr. Jerome Oziel in 1988 after being arrested in a spree of burglaries. Soon after the murders, the therapist reached out to Erik and began meeting with the younger Menendez sibling, and Erik admitted to killing his parents. Oziel confided in Judalon Smyth, his mistress, who would later play a pivotal role in the case.

The therapy sessions went on, and Oziel eventually got Erik and Lyle to confess to the murders on camera. Erik stated they did it to “put their mother out of her suffering,” while Lyle stated they were both complicit in the crime. Smyth and Oziel had a tumultuous relationship. She said he was domineering and cruel and when he reportedly assaulted her, Smyth informed Beverly Police that the Menendez brothers had confessed to their parents’ murders. She had the confessions recorded on audiotape. Lyle was apprehended not long after. Erik, who was in Israel, went to Miami and then to Los Angeles, where he surrendered to authorities. Determining whether the confessional tapes are genuine. 

After they both confessed, they gave bene under bars for over 10 years for murder. I hope you enjoyed and learned about Joseph Lyle Menéndez and Erik Galen Menéndez.