Jose Menendez with Lyle & Erik as Boys

Emotional Reunion for Menendez Brothers After 21 Years in Different Prisons

After being separated for more than 21 years in different California state prisons, the Menendez Brothers have finally been reunited. It was a reunion filled with emotions and tears. The last time the famous prisoners saw each other was on September 10, 1996. After their convictions for killing Jose and Kitty, they were separated… until now.

Jose Menendez with Lyle & Erik as Boys
Jose Menendez with Lyle & Erik as Boys. Image Source: CNN

The Menendez Brothers: Their Separated Prison Lives

On September 10, 1996, the brothers saw each other from the yard across a CDCR prison. They could not even speak to each other. Both brothers hoped to be sent away to the same prison.

They were nonetheless put in different vans and transported to different prisons. That was over 21 years ago.

The Menendez Brothers couldn’t even call each on the phone. So they too to writing letters to each other. They even played chess together by sending moves to each other through snail mail.

Both brothers found love while behind bars and got married. Erik has been married for 20 years while Lyle has been married 14.

The Menendez Brothers during a prison interview with Barbara Walters.
The Menendez Brothers during a prison interview with Barbara Walters.

The Menendez Brothers: A Long-Awaited Emotional Reunion

On April 4, 2018, at the Richard J. Donavan Correctional Facility, guards led Lyle Menendez down a hallway to meet with his brother Erik Menendez. Lyle felt no emotions as he walked down the hallway. But once the door was opened and he came face to face with his brother, they both burst into tears.

The Menendez Brothers embraced each other for a while. No words were exchanged between them during this time. CDCR correctional officers left them in the room for an hour to catch up. They had clearly missed each other terribly after more than two decades apart.

These Prison Wives Are Credited with the “Sanity” of the Menendez Brothers

The Horrific Case of the Menendez Brothers

Both Menendez Brothers were convicted of first-degree murder of their parents Jose and Kitty Menendez. They are now serving life sentences with no possibility of parole.

It all began on August 20, 1989 when both brothers shot and murdered their wealthy parents in their Beverly Hills mansion. Lyle was 21 and Erik was 18. They used shotguns that they had purchased a day prior to the murders.

Their father Jose was a successful Cuban-American business executive. He was shot in the head. Their mother received several bullets to her torso and face.

Erik and Lyle were finally arrested for the double homicide in 1990. Their arrests were came after a police report made by Erik’s psychiatrist’s girlfriend. It turns out that he had confessed to the killings to Dr. L. Jerome Oziel during a therapy session.

Lyle then threatened Oziel, according to the psychiatrist’s testimony. If this is actually true, it voided the doctor-patient privilege.

The prosecution at their trial alleged that the brothers killed their parents out of greed. He said they wanted to get the family fortune.

However, the defense argued that the brothers were acting in self-defense. According to them and multiple family members, on both Kitty and Jose’s sides of he families, had for many years suffered abuse from their parents.

They insist their father sexually abused them, and they mother knew it.

The first two trials were declared mistrials. However, in 1996, the Menendez Brothers were convicted of two counts of first-degree murder. They were both sentenced to two consecutive life prison terms without the possibility of parole.

A 1980s photo featuring the Mendendez Family: Lyle, Erik, Kitty and Jose
A 1980s photo featuring the Mendendez Family: Lyle, Erik, Kitty and Jose

Menendez Brothers Reunite at CDCR’s Donavan Facility

The reunion began when Lyle was transferred from North California’s Mule Creek State Prison to San Diego’s R.J. Donovan Correctional Facility in February 2018. Erik has been Donovan since July 2013.

They were housed in different sections of the CDCR state prison to avoid any interactions.

On April 4, 2018 Erik was moved to Lyle’s housing facility at Donovan. Interactions are not prohibited within this prison. Therefore, the brothers will be able to see each other every day at meals and on the yard.

Tina Karen
Tina Karen has been a lifestyle blogger for a while now. As she writes her many blog posts, she makes sure to highlight all the major points of interests rather than only emphasizing the areas she finds preferable. Tina possess a soft voice that comes in handy and enables her to do voice overs. She currently writes news articles for prison loved ones on the Prison Rideshare Network.