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Why the Menendez Brothers Murder Trial Was Such a Media Circus

What they did, at around 10 p.m. on Aug. 20, 1989, was shoot their parents to death in the family’s Beverly Hills mansion on Elm Drive, a 9,000-square-foot Mediterranean-style home previously leased by the likes of Prince and Elton John before Jose Menendez and Mary Louise “Kitty” Menendez bought it less than a year before the murders.

Jose, a 45-year-old entertainment executive, was shot point-blank in the back of the head with a 12-gauge shotgun. He was found in the den, where he and Kitty, 47, his wife of 26 years, had been watching a movie. Kitty was found lying in a pool of blood in the hallway, shot in the arms, chest and face. Each was also shot in the kneecap. 

The brothers got in the car and dumped the guns somewhere off of Mulholland Drive, then threw the spent shotgun shells and their bloody clothes in a dumpster at a gas station. They bought movie tickets in Century City for a film they didn’t see, then went to Santa Monica, where they tried to find one of Lyle’s friends who could serve as an alibi; unable to find the guy, they drove back home.

At 11:47 p.m., 21-year-old Lyle called 911, sobbing to the dispatcher, “Somebody killed my parents!”

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