The Menéndez brothers will always be linked in the public consciousness, and not just because they're family. Unlike some other murderous duos throughout history, neither turned on the other throughout the investigation into their parents' murder or the two trials that followed. The image of them sitting side by side in their boyish sweaters is something that will linger in the minds of those who watched their trials play out on Court TV: two privileged boys presenting a unified front after joining forces to commit a horrifying double homicide. But do Erik and Lyle Menéndez still speak to this day?
After their trial, the brothers were sent to different prisons to live out their life sentences: Lyle at Mule Creek State Prison and Erik first at New Folsom Prison, then at Pleasant Valley State Prison. For the last twenty years they've been just a few hours away from one another, but they haven't seen each other since they were convicted. However, that doesn't mean they aren't still in contact with one another. Despite the fact that they are unlikely to ever see each other again in person, Erik and Lyle communicate through letters. According to journalist Robert Rand, who was working on a book about the murders, "They do write letters to each other. And actually, recently, they've been playing a chess match together that they make moves by mail."
Erik spoke to People about his separation from Lyle and the level of contact they are still able to have. "I was in Folsom Prison in California. By then, it had been years since I'd seen Lyle," Erik said. "They came in the middle of the night and separated us. They took us each away. He went in one van and I went in another. I never saw him again."
However, despite not having seen or spoken to his brother in years, Erik explained that they still correspond, but that his wife and stepdaughter were his priorities. "My brother took my beatings for me as a kid," Erik told People. "So I will always love him deeply. But we've been apart for so long, we no longer have shared experiences. I do know that he has also had to fight in prison and prove himself as a man. Though we correspond, all our correspondence is read. It's not private. So how much can you share?"
The brothers had reportedly always been close, but these days they're better kept at a distance.