Apr 26, 2018, 7:12 AM ET

Lyle Menendez describes reunion with brother Erik after 22 years as a 'remarkable moment'


Lyle Menendez, one of the two affluent California brothers convicted for the 1989 murders of their parents, spoke out to DailyMailTV in his first interview since he reunited with his brother, Erik Menendez.

The brothers came face to face earlier this month for the first time in 22 years after Lyle was transferred to the R.J. Donovan Correctional Facility, where Erik had been housed since July 2013, said Robert Rand, a journalist who has covered the case since 1989 and was a consultant for NBC's 2017 TV series on the brothers.

Lyle "ended up bursting into tears" upon seeing his brother, he said in an exclusive interview with DailyMailTV, a preview of which was shared with ABC News' "Good Morning America."

"It was just something I wasn't sure was ever going to happen," Lyle said. "It was just a remarkable moment."

PHOTO: An undated image from Google Maps shows the San Diegos R.J. Donovan Correctional Facility.Google Maps
An undated image from Google Maps shows the San Diego's R.J. Donovan Correctional Facility.

PHOTO: In this Oct. 31, 2016 photo provided by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation is Erik Menendez | In this Feb. 22, 2018 photo provided by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation is Lyle Menendez.AP Images
In this Oct. 31, 2016 photo provided by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation is Erik Menendez | In this Feb. 22, 2018 photo provided by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation is Lyle Menendez.

The two hadn't seen each other since September 1996, when they could see each other across a prison yard but couldn't talk to each other, Rand told ABC News. While in separate prisons, they couldn't talk on the phone, but they would write letters to each other -- sometimes playing chess by sending moves via snail mail, Rand said.

On Aug. 20, 1989, Lyle, then 21, and Erik, then 18, opened fire on their parents inside their Beverly Hills mansion, using shotguns they had bought days before.

In the interview, Lyle admitted he would change how he handled the aftermath of the killings.

"If I could take my consciousness now and go back, I would have gone to the police and taken my chances in exposing what was happening," he said.

PHOTO: Lyle Menendez, right, and brother Erik listen to a charge of murder conspiracy against them, Dec. 29, 1992, in Los Angeles.Chris Martinez/AP Photo
Lyle Menendez, right, and brother Erik listen to a charge of murder conspiracy against them, Dec. 29, 1992, in Los Angeles.

The pair was arrested in 1990 after their psychologist's girlfriend went to police, claiming Erik had confessed to the murders during a session. The doctor-patient privilege was voided after Lyle threatened the doctor's life.

Lyle wishes his brother would have talked to him or a member of the clergy, instead of going to the psychologist, he told DailyMailTV.

"I wish that he had just talked to me, or you know, spent more time going to his parish priest, and not ended up in, sort of this therapist's hands," he said.

PHOTO: Jose Menendez pictured with his sons, Erik, left, and Lyle.Brian Anderson
Jose Menendez pictured with his sons, Erik, left, and Lyle.

During their trial, prosecutors painted the brothers as two spoiled and privileged children who murdered their parents out of greed in an attempt to inherit the family fortune. The defense argued that they acted in self-defense after years of abuse.

The first trial ended in a mistrial. In 1996, at the end of the second trial, the brothers were convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to two consecutive life prison terms without the possibility of parole.

Despite everything that's happened, the pair has "never had any moments of animosity," Lyle told DailyMailTV.

"I love him deeply," he said.

PHOTO: Menendez Brothers Kevork Djansezian/AP Photo
Menendez Brothers

ABC News' Doug Vollmayer and Emily Shapiro contributed to this report.

News - Lyle Menendez describes reunion with brother Erik after 22 years as a 'remarkable moment'

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  • Bree Zee

    Seriously ABC? There's nothing more newsworthy than the reunion story between two psychos?

  • leb121

    They were not kids when this happen, if they were being abuse, why not go to the police & leave home. why because they never got their hand dirty, & probably didn't know how to clean them self when they used the BR. COULDN'T LEAVE THAT EASY LIVING

  • Kajsa Williams

    Why does the press give this twisted loser so much time? Why don't they interview a musician or a scientist or an artist... someone who is contributing to the future or at least contributing to TODAY? I don't care about this greedy, soulless creep (or his equally disgusting and useless brother).

  • wilson

    I should be against the law to talk publicly about any convicted felon with a life sentence. Though, there could be a database where someone could look up the status of an inmate if they have a need for that. But the public doesn't need to have that information shoved at them through the news. Criminals like the Menendezs are famous for what they did and don't need to be rewarded with having a voice. They get 3 free meals a day, access to premium healthcare, rent free, access to learning and self-help. And they get to marry any girl who is fascinated by bad boys behavior. While they don't have freedom, it's probably not a terrible way to live. There are homeless people and under-employed people who have tougher lives than most murderers doing life. Murderers belong in Supermax and should lose all rights except the very basics of life. Erase their existence from the public as part of their punishment.

  • Math Person

    I saw the headline and skipped the article.

    Do we care????? Is this informative? Or a waste of my time??

  • mickey2829

    kill your parents with a shotgun and California rewards you for using a gun. double standard.

  • Ronald Bandor

    I guess they wanted to reminisce about the good old days?

  • idrinkalone

    Convicted murderers talking to each other is the top story of the day?

    Wow, in other news there's a traffic jam somewhere.

  • Andrea Brandon

    Insane that you should even tell this story. THEY KILLED THEIR PARENTS. Why are you glorifying this???

  • haggrr

    I never bought their self defense from abuse claim, but I'm sure they know what real sexual abuse is all about now!

  • weallhaveone

    These two do not ever deserve press coverage, that is until their death notices.

  • Rob Ford

    Why bother with these two lunatics? Does ABC have a special on them that they are peddling...no thanks.

  • snowthrush

    Murderers of their mother and father...we don't care about their remarkable reunion.

  • Nick

    They both look like they are nuts. Given the life the way it is in prison and the fact that we would not keep a dog in such torturous conditions, does it not make sense to just put them to death, like with a dog captured in horrible conditions it would be more humane.


    Wow this article paints them as victims instead of killers. All because the killers were happy to see each other .

  • HamburgerHelperAgain

    Come on ABC we need more stories on Trump silliness. I need my funnybone tickled.

  • HamburgerHelperAgain

    I very rarely ask this.....

    Why is this news?

  • Zed52

    Seriously. Let these 2 rot in jail without any additional media coverage.
    Why does anyone care about this?

  • Rudi Stein

    When asked to describe how it felt to be reunited with his brother, Lyle remarked, "It was a blast, we just shot the breeze."

  • Blue Wave

    Lyle's prison photo could be Charles Manson's from 30 years ago!

  • gs12

    So the only feel good story the media could come up with is happy murderers.

  • Judy

    I wonder what type of sentence they would receive in today's social climate?

  • Native Trout

    I'm puzzled. Am I supposed to feel happy for them?, sad? Why are we supposed to care?

  • Verity Pendelton

    The original "affluenza teens". Murder is never a good idea.

  • voic3ofr3ason

    Assuming journalism is news that is relevant and informing... why is this being featured as a main story? These brothers shot their parents point blank dead with a shotgun. In what way and why do they deserve to be recognized?

  • Pad

    I question our justice system when people who commit a single act against a specific target at a very young age are sentenced without the possibility of parole. There are so many people in prison for life who committed a murder of another street gang banger at age 17 or 18. When they are 40 or 50, they are not the same people they were and they are not a threat to anyone. In the meantime, rapists and child molesters get 10 years and go free. Should be the other way around.

  • OneBitTwoBit

    Let's stop making murderers celebrities.

  • THEFred

    Does anyone know ANYONE who wanted to hear more about these two *******s? Journalism is as dead as their parents.

  • Beelzebub

    I had a choice this morning as my empathy account for the day was already running low and I read this article as I noticed a bee struggling for survival in my pool. The bee won and is now flying free, screw these two turds.

  • Weather3014

    If that was emotional, what will the reunion with the parents be like?

  • BF1964

    I'm sure it's a beautiful thing when two cold-blooded murderers get to hang out together. Brings a tear to one's eye. And breakfast back up one's throat.

  • sue wo

    Who cares? Why haven't they been executed yet instead of being given all the freebies they're getting for the rest of their lives?

  • M113Driver

    Wow ABC ... no news about Russia today?

  • Not A Lemmings

    Not that there's anything wrong with being gay. But knda looks like both are repressed homosexuals. Couldn't handle that fact and did what they did...

  • Rubber Banned

    He hadn't seen his brother since shortly after they blew their parents faces off with a shotgun you mean. What's up with these fluff pieces like these guys are the victims?

  • shivas

    Race bait..er has arrived.

  • shivas

    Media sensationalism at its best.

  • SimpleTruthSeeker

    Must be a very slow day for new news.
    This is recycled with a changed date.

  • Eastern Shore John

    Glad these two are together again. And if you know the whole story, these two should not be in prison for the rest of their lives. Hopefully they will get an appeal.

  • ✪ RedHeadRedemption

    They kind of remind me of Eric and Donald Trump Jr.

  • End of Life Ritual

    I'm pretty sure this is just a re-hash of a story ABC News posted awhile back. I thought there might be something interesting to read here. Guess not.

    Ultimately you don't get to murder someone regardless of the circumstances. You can go to the police. You can run away. Or you can suffer in silence (which obviously is a terrible option). But if you kill, you go to jail. End of story.

  • P bis

    Wait a minute ABC News, these men killed their parents in cold blood and you are trying to make them sound like lovable rock stars!

  • TomInTheD

    From the picture of the boys sitting on their Dad's lap, Lyle doesn't look too happy about where is Dad's hand is. Seems like he is grabbing at it or trying to hide it, keep it from roaming further.

  • zcurves

    WOW ! These reporters are so Glib. They more concerned with these KILLERS emotional reunion than the fact that they KILLED both of their parents! It is called prison for a reason Ms. Robach! Their parents don't get to have a reunion or enjoy a single day of anything! I was especially gobsmacked by Lyle's statement that he wished his brother had "spoken to a priest rather than a therapist"...and therefore maybe not have had a confession which put them behind bars. The media really needs some common sense about crimes and reporting. Victims and Families have rights first and foremost!!! - Political Correctness has run amuck and that is disgusting.

  • gs12

    Planning their next kill I bet.

  • LastSecondTakedown

    Well isn't this the feel good story of the day.

  • stephen_420

    just trash for news today......

  • jerryk2

    This is not news. I don't care about these two. Move on ABC there is more important things then these two.

  • darkest_star

    why is this front page?
    why are you worshiping killers? and then wonder why society is going down the drain faster n faster.