Revisting the Menendez Brothers 30 Years After They Killed Their Rich Parents
It's not always easy to understand why some true-crime stories grab the public eye and dominate headlines, but the saga of the Menendez brothers was a no-brainer. A pair of handsome siblings perennially dressed in matching pastel sweaters who ruthlessly killed their rich parents in their Beverly Hills mansion, then spent the months after the murders blowing thousands of dollars on luxury cars and vacations? A Hollywood screenwriter couldn't have made them up.
It's been nearly 30 years since the brothers shot Jose and Kitty Menendez to death, and 20 since they were sentenced to life in prison. But the interest in their case hasn't ceased with the passage of time: 2017 brings not one or two, but three television specials about the pair, including Lifetime's Menendez: Blood Brothers, which airs this Sunday, June 11, at 8 pm.
What's become of the "boys," as their lawyer famously and repeatedly referred to them? Here's where the major players of the case are now.
Lyle is serving his life sentence at Mule Creek State Prison in California. He's been married twice: first to a model named Anna Erickson in 1996, then to Rebecca Snead in 2003, despite the fact that he is not allowed conjugal visits.
He runs a support group for inmates who have experienced sexual abuse.
In January 2017, he gave ABC News an interview. "I am the kid that did kill his parents, and no river of tears has changed that and no amount of regret has changed it," he said. "I accept that. You are often defined by a few moments of your life, but that’s not who you are in your life, you know. Your life is your totality of it."
Erik is serving his life sentence atin California. He married his prison pen pal, Tammi Saccoman, in 1997.
He works with terminally ill and physically challenged inmates, according to his brother Lyle.
He is more press-shy than Lyle and has not given as many interviews. Lyle says the brothers stay in touch over letters.
A close friend of Erik Menendez, Cignarelli served as the lynchpin of the prosecution's case. He testified that Erik had confessed the murders to him, with Erik going so far as to describe how his parents' skin flew off from the impact of the bullets.
Erik's defense attorney was such a character that she will be played by Edie Falco in an NBC special this fall. She was almost disbarred when her own expert witness, Dr. William Vicary, confessed that he had altered his medical notes about the brothers at her request.
After the trial, Abramson made appearances on ABC as a legal commentator, weighing in most memorably on the O.J. Simpson trial. She went on to defend Phil Spector in his own murder trial.
Erik's other defense attorney—brother Lyle chose only to use public defenders—took the lead toward the end of the trial, and is believed to have spared Erik the death penalty.
Levin fatally shot himself a few years after the trial, in 2001. He was apparently suffering from a blood disorder that left him in excruciating pain.
David P. Conn
The triumphant prosecutor against the Menendez brothers started his own practice, focusing on criminal defense, a few years after the famous case.
He died in 2006 after a battle with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease.
Stanley M. Weisberg
The two trials of the Menendez brothers weren't the only famous 1990s cases the Los Angeles Superior Court judge Stanley M. Weisberg presided over. He also oversaw the 1992 trial that acquitted the police officers who beat Rodney King, leading to the L.A. riots.
Weisberg retired in 2008. His wife Jacqueline L. Weiss was also a Superior Court judge in California and has also since retired.
Dr. William Vicary
Vicary was the witness whom defense attorney Leslie Abramson apparently tampered with. He performed psychiatric evaluations of both brothers, then admitted to altering his notes when Abramson asked him to.
The psychiatrist still practices in Los Angeles, in an office near an In-N-Out Burger. He has excellent reviews on Yelp.
This story originally appeared on Townandcountrymag.com.
* Minor edits have been made by the Townandcountry.ph editors.