As a true crime buff, I knew a lot about the murders of Jose and Kitty Menendez that were committed by their sons, Erik and Lyle. I knew about the claims of abuse and the spending spree but this book by Robert Rand, who wrote the book while doing research for the television special on the case, was a really deep dive. It’s not a completely unbiased look at the case and does contain a lot of details about some pretty grizzly topics,but wow it was fascinating and as a true crime lover, I couldn’t get enough.
Here’s the gist: Erik and Lyle were kids whose parents had a lot of money and expected a lot out of them. They suffered from rich-kid syndrome, traveled a lot for tennis tournaments, and for all outsiders, had a bright life ahead of them. But life at home may not have been as it seemed. So one night in August, Erik and Lyle shot their parents to dead with shotguns, leaving them almost unrecognizable. They played dumb at first, but eventually admitted they killed their parents, though they said they did it after years and years of sexual and psychological abuse. Then, the trials begin. There were two, I knew that, but I didn’t know the specifics. I didn’t know the entire saga of the therapist and his mistress and their threats. It was a fascinating read and even though it was pretty clear that Rand believed the Menendez’s claims of abuse, he did a fair job of presenting the facts of the trial and painting the picture that the Menendez’s painted going in to the TV special.
If you like true crime and want more than just trial transcripts, you’ll enjoy this book.