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Mistrial declared over Menendez brothers murder of their parents

A graphic of The Statue of Justice symbol, commonly found in courtrooms around the world


The pair had lived through comfortable, if somewhat restrictive childhoods, with their father José supposedly a powerful and domineering character at the head of the household.

On the 20 August 1989, they entered their family home through a rear door and fatally shot both their father and their mother, Kitty. They ran out of ammunition during the course of their attack, so they made a trip to collect more and returned to finish their work. Cold and calculating, they had planned the murders so precisely as to have avoided police suspicion until the younger of the two, Erik, confessed the crimes during a session with his psychotherapist.

Indeed, even after this confession, trying the two proved difficult. With expensive lawyers hired using the brothers’ inherited wealth, the trial dragged on for six months before being abandoned pending a retrial...