True crime: Why are these TikTokers trying to free the Menendez Brothers?
TikTok is more than just dance trends and Cottagecore. Now, it’s about true crime and righting wrongs. A group of TikTokers is banding together to try and bring justice to the Menendez brothers, Lyle & Erik.
While the brothers were convicted of murdering their parents in 1991, true crime crusaders on the video-sharing app believe they were wrongfully sentenced, claiming Lyle & Erik Menendez acted in self-defense, and the evidence proves it.
But what does that mean for the Menendez brothers? Should they go free? Let’s delve into this true crime case.
•Part 2• #leslieabramson #90s #erikmenendez #lylemenendez #menendezbrothers #justice
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Who are the Menendez Brothers?
On August 20th, 1989, Lyle & Erik Menendez became household names after tearfully calling 911 after their parents had been killed, kicking off a high-profile true crime investigation that shocked the world. Police initially suspected a mob had broken into their home, but months later, evidence would point to two new suspects, namely, the Menendez brothers themselves.
Lyle & Erik were both charged with first-degree murder. Prosecutors depicted the Menendez brothers as money-hungry psychos who mercilessly killed their parents for their inheritance. However, the details of the case could paint a different story. Lyle & Erik Menendez explained they suffered years of emotional & sexual abuse at the hands of their parents, and killed them so their torment would end.
Their first trial ended with a hung jury, meaning the jury was likely divided on whether Lyle & Erik’s defense could be considered. However, at the second trial, the Menendez brothers were found guilty of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
•can you imagine going through these stuff• #erikmenendez #lylemenendez #justiceforthemenendezbrothers
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At the trial stage of true crime stories, there are two types of cases: whodunits and whatsits. There’s no question the Menendez brothers killed their parents, but is their crime really first-degree murder? That’s the bone true crime TikTokers have to pick with the case.
“They didn’t do it for the money. They didn’t, you know, do it because they hated their parents. They wanted the abuse to stop” Jazmine Shah, a sixteen-year-old TikToker, explained about the true crime. Another TikToker, Zahira Agustin, echoed the same line: “They didn’t do it for the money. They didn’t do it because they hated their parents. They just wanted the abuse to stop.”
Shah elaborated on her take. “The brothers were depicted as greedy sociopaths who killed their parents for inheritance but then, I watched the trial. It was so hard to ignore that there were those other things going on in that family and there was so much corroboration of the abuse.”
Help beyond TikTok
True-crime writer Robert Rand stated he agrees with the TikTokers and hopes their videos will drum up enough interest in the case to grant the Menendez brothers a new trial. Rand was involved in the case when it first hit the news and even interviewed Lyle & Erik for his true crime book about the case, The Menendez Murders.
Although Rand detailed Lyle & Erik “lied to the police. They lied to their family. The Menendez brothers lied to a lot of people” about their involvement in their parents’ deaths, he stated he believes the brothers deserve a new trial at least, explaining:
“Just because they were molested doesn’t give you a free pass to kill your parents. But with all of the mitigating evidence, with all of the family history that was presented in the first trial, one can understand, as did half of the jurors, that this should have been a resolution of manslaughter and not murder.”
•I’m glad that Erik and Lyle are at least in prison like this one• #erikmenendez #lylemenendez #menendezbrothers
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The Menendez brothers have been incarcerated since 1996. According to Fox 11, they’ve exhausted all of their appeals but could get a new trial if new evidence is brought to light. Meanwhile, netizens on TikTok are appealing to California authorities, including Governor Gavin Newsom, to get the Menendez brothers a new trial.
Do you think Lyle & Erik Menendez deserve a new trial? Let us know in the comments.
Free the Menendez BrothersMay 17, 2021
me as a tik tocker i believe they did it as an act out of fear, yes they killed there parents but they were molested and tortured! please put yourself in their position fight for what’s right, could you imagine trying to explain to people what you have been through and you know its true and them not believe you NO BECAUSE IT DIDNT HAPPEN TO YOU! they were afraid that there parents (kitty Menendez and Jose Menendez) were going to kill them. Think of their situation like this Erik and Lyle are stray dogs they get taken in and once they thought they were going to finally be loved they were abused by the people who should have cared for them the most they are not violet they were just scared because if you are an actual kind person going to help that said those “stray dogs” are bound to be scared it was an act of self defense not just murder and some people only listen to the fact that they killed there parents but other people need to listen to the fact that they were molested and abused by there own father, when Lester was asking Erik Menendez information you can see the way he thinks, in one interview a man said their father told Lyle Menendez to go upstairs and that he would be there in a second the man said “we all new what that meant” meaning he (their father) was going to rape them but Lyle said no to his father and his father returned with the words “this is my house”. Kitty Menendez knew this was happening and didn’t do a thing about it so you see as (Kitty and Jose Menendez) were supposed to play a role as parents they were in fact the criminals who never got questioned so I WILL FIGHT FOR ( Erik and Lyle Menendez’s) FREEDOM because even if they killed their parents their is a reasoning behind it and I believe that reasoning is because they did it out of fear.May 17, 2021
I believe they should get a new trial, not because what they did was right but because the sentence was exaggerated and self-defense was not considered. I myself have been currently obsessed with this case and according to my research, one of the arguments was that they believed men/boys cannot be raped. In our current generation, we are more aware of rape and sexual assault, and the ideology of “men can’t be raped” has changed and I believe we should all agree that rape can happen to anyone, no matter your gender, why not give the brothers a chance in light of our constantly evolving society. Not just for them but for all who are currently facing time for defending their innocence.May 17, 2021
Rest assured, those two psychopaths aren’t going anywhere. They were both in therapy most of their lives. Planned, prepared and murdered their parents and then went to the movies. When they were caught in their ‘intruder’ lie, they backed off to the next lie, an ‘abuse’ defense. The fact is their Dad was a disciplinarian and they were lazy, entitled crooks. Once they thought they were being written out of the will, they murdered their parents and went on a spending spree.May 19, 2021
Uh no, they got tortured and molested at the young age of 5 all the way up to 15. If you think that’s right then you need to be locked up yourself. We will speak for justice and we will get them there… your so pathetic, go get your head checked out.May 19, 2021
Agreed with person above. There two never changed their story, providing shocking details about their lives they never wanted the world to know. They weren’t even suspects because police found no motives for them. It was only when they the guilt caught up to them and the illegally recorded tape from the therapist was brought to court by the therapist’s mistress did things turn for the brothers. Their motive was because of physical and emotional abuse which the police wouldn’t have been able to check in teh crime scene. Justice for the brothers.May 21, 2021
Kimberly Ann James
They should have never went to prison.June 23, 2021
Free them The mendez brothers deserv more they should be free and give them The years that they been in prisionJune 27, 2021
there are too many errors in the second trail especially not allowing the sexual abuse evidence We know more about sexual abuse now At least give them another trail without the media circus and hystria of the first trails. I think if they did that the Menendez brothers would get off – but if not let’s hear why not, to clear up the conflicting arguments. This case is not going away so the sooner they have a trail the betterMay 23, 2022