Long before Serial and Making a Murderer, there was Court TV, which according to the Los Angeles Times, had a television sensation on its hands when the channel aired the trial of Erik and Lyle Menendez in 1993. On Sunday, Oct. 2, Oxygen will show a Snapped special about the Menendez brothers, which will focus on the almost 30-year-old crime. According to the Los Angeles Times, the brothers confessed to killing their parents, Jose and Kitty, in 1989, but what made the case so controversial is that Erik and Lyle made unsubstantiated claims that they had been abused by their parents for years. To this day, the Menendez brothers and the murder of their parents have continued to fascinate the public, so where are Erik and Lyle Menendez today?
As the Snapped special is sure to highlight, Erik was 18 years old and Lyle was 21 years old when they shot their parents in the family's Beverly Hills, California mansion. Despite their confession to the crime, the Menendez brothers' first televised trial ended in a mistrial because the jury wasn't unanimous in whether they should be found guilty of manslaughter or murder due to the brothers' abuse claims, according to the Los Angeles Times. As for their second trial in 1996, television cameras had been banned by the judge, according to The New York Times, and the brothers were both found guilty of first degree murder and sentenced to life in prison with no patrol, with the LA Times reporting that they were sent to two different prisons.
Since their conviction in 1996, separate prisons is where the Menendez brothers have stayed. In November 2015, Investigative Discovery aired Menendez Brothers: The Bad Sons as part of Barbara Walters Presents American Scandals , which featured old footage of interviews Walters had previously conducted with the brothers. In the special, Walters, who has received personal letters from Erik, reported that the Menendez brothers both found love behind bars.
Erik married Tammi Saccoman, who began corresponding to Erik through letters during the first trial. The couple first met in 1997 and married in 1999 in Folsom State Prison, as People magazine reported in 2005. Erik and Tammi Menendez are still married, as Walters stated, and there's even a 2009 documentary entitled Mrs. Menendez about their unconventional marriage.
Older brother Lyle has actually married twice since his conviction. He first wed former model Anna Eriksson after she also wrote him letters in prison, but Walters reported that the pair divorced in 2001. He married Rebecca Sneed in 2003, whom he also met through letters while in jail, and Walters said that Tammi and Rebecca work together on prison reform.
Since their convictions, the brothers have stayed apart because of them being placed in different prisons. According to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Lyle is now in Mule Creek State Prison in lone, California while Erik is incarcerated in the Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility in San Diego, California. While discussions of a retrial for the Menendez brothers have happened throughout the years since their conviction, as of 2016, the brothers will spend the rest of their lives in separate facilities for their 1989 parricide even though TV specials about them will probably continue for the rest of their lives.
Image: Investigative Discovery