In 1994, the nation was gripped with the case of the Menendez Brothers. Raised in privilege and wealth, handsome brothers Lyle and Erik were sentenced to life in prison, without parole, for brutally killing their parents Jose and Kitty. The brothers claimed it was over Jose's longtime sexual abuse and they feared for their lives. The prosecution pointed to the boys' greed, wanting to take the money left in their father's will. On Oct. 2 at 9/8c, Snapped revisits the first "trial of the century" in a two-part special to interview the people that were there, media experts and friends of the boys. So what have the Menendez Brothers been up to?
Love Behind Bars
The trial garnered so much attention that the boys were flooded with mail in prison from female admirers. Lyle married long-time pen pal, model Anna Eriksson (pictured, left) in 1996. In 2001, they divorced because he was "cheating" with another woman via steamy letters. He married magazine editor Rebecca Sneed in 2003. Erik tied the knot in a telephone ceremony with a wealthy widow named Tammi Saccoman (pictured, right). Although their wedding took place in the prison waiting room with a Twinkie "cake" and they've never had a conjugal visit, they're still married. She moved from her home in Minnesota to Folsom, California, where Erik serves his sentence.
Erik and Lyle were sentenced to serve their time in separate prisons, and do not speak to one another. They do, however, write each other letters and even play chess via snail mail.
The Menendez boys may have found a new path behind bars. In a 2005 People article, Erik is described as finding God and being a model inmate, "leading prayer groups and even working closely with prison authorities to devise a system that would encourage and reward inmates' good behavior."
Despite being married to a woman, rumors circulated in 2014 that Lyle is actually gay. An inmate told Radar that the brother has been living a secret life as a gay man in jail.
Meet Mrs. Menendez
The Menendez Brother case is so tantalizing that everyone's cashing in on it. In 2005, Tammi Saccoman Menendez self-published a book called "They Said We'd Never Make It: My Life With Erik Menendez." She also had a documentary about her released by A&E in 2010 called Mrs. Menendez.
The Menendez Brothers legal team claimed that the boys were sexually abused at the hands of Jose for years and killing him was a matter of self-defense. A new California law, in which sexual abuse victims can bring up their trauma in court, may allow the brothers to file an appeal for new trials.