Menendez brothers reunion strikes much emotion


The Menedez brother’s most recent mug shots before being transferred to new facilities.

Macee Trottner, Ranger Review Reporter

On September 10, 1996, brothers Lyle and Erik Menendez said goodbye to one another before loading into two separate vans which were taking them to different facilities. The Menendez brothers were convicted of murdering their parents in the late 80s.

The brothers’ story began on August 20, 1989 when Lyle, then 21 and Erike then 18, opened fire on their parents. The murder occurred in the family’s Beverly Hills mansion. The boys were using shotguns they had purchased just days before the murder happened. Their father Jose Menendez was shot once in the head and their mother Kitty Menendez was shot multiple times in her torso and face.

Lyle and Erik last saw each other while they were across the courtyard where they were not allowed to talk to one another. According to ABC News they had hopes of being sent to the same facility but they were taken away separately. The brothers often wrote to one another and would play chess by sending their moves through snail mail.

After over 20 years of being seperated, on April 4, 2018 the brothers reunited at R.J. Donovan Correctional Facility in San Diego, California. In the years that Lyle and Erik were apart they both married after going through the program and filling out the information necessary to marry in prison. Lyle has been married for 14 years and Erik has been married for 20.

Robert Rand, a journalist who has been covering the case since 1989, was a consultant for NBC’s 2017 TV series on the brothers, is still in touch with the Menendez family. Rand said that a family member told him that when the guards let Lyle down the hall to see Erik, Lyle “was surprised he wasn’t feeling more emotional,” but once the guard opened the door and the brothers saw each other they “burst into tears immediately,” Rand said.

“They just hugged each other for a few minutes without saying any words to each other,” Rand said. “Then the prison officials let them spend an hour together in a room.”

Jose was a successful Cuban-American business executive and brought in the family’s money and wealth. Prosecutors at the trials alleged that Lyle and Erik murdered their parents out of greed and were hoping to take their family fortune into their own hands. The defense on the other hand argued that the brothers were acting out of self-defense after enduring years of child abuse from their parents.

After the conviction and 20 plus years apart the brothers are now being housed at the same facility. Rand was told by Lyle in the last few years that he missed his brother so much. Erik had also talked about how much he missed Lyle. “So this is just an overwhelming, emotional, happy moment for not only the brothers but the entire family.”

Though the reunion was reported to be a very emotional time, the brothers are now being housed in a facility where all the inmates are able to interact with one another. The brothers are able to see each other during meals and in the exercise yard.