There are a few crimes that will forever go down in history and the murders of entertainment executive Jose Menéndez and his wife, Mary "Kitty" Menéndez, is one of the most notable. On Aug. 20, 1989, the couple were killed by their sons, Lyle and Erik, who almost got away with it. This story struck fear in families all over the country and it's no surprise that ABC is now releasing a two-hour documentary about the brothers and the murders that captured a nation. It's been almost 30 years since these murders took place and some can't help but wonder are the Menéndez brothers still in jail? The brothers are in fact still in prison and they won't ever be getting out.
It took two years after the murders before the Los Angeles County grand jury were able to issue indictments to Lyle and Erik. After they killed their parents, Lyle and Erik dumped the shotguns they used and went to the movies and out with friends to secure an alibi. When the brothers returned home later, they called the police and although the brothers were definitely considered as suspects, there wasn't enough evidence them at the time. Plus, it didn't help that the brothers weren't ordered to undergo gunshot residue tests to see if they'd recently used a firearm. However, after the murders, the brothers began spending lavishly, buying Rolex watches, cars, and even restaurants, making investigators suspicious. Still, it wasn't until Erik confessed the murders to his psychologist that the police were able to arrest the brothers.
The brother's defense attorney was able to make a compelling case, claiming their parents' were abusive and that's why they killed them, though the claims were never able to be proven. This led to two deadlocked juries. However, during the retrial, the brothers were found to be guilty and convicted of two counts of first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder. They were then sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole on July 2, 1996.
ABC's new documentary, Truth and Lies: The Menéndez Brother - American Sons, American Murders, will include a new interview with Lyle from prison, as well as many more details about the murders and the trials themselves. You can watch the documentary on Thursday, Jan. 5 at 9 p.m. ET on ABC to learn more about how these tragic events unfolded.