Lyle Menendez has confirmed he and brother Erik appear on former Knicks point guard Mark Jackson’s basketball card which went viral last month.
Now speaking exclusively to DailyMailTV Lyle says he and Erik were at the game but said it was during a ‘hauntingly stressful’ period after killing their parents.
Jose and Kitty Menendez were shot dead in the den of their Beverly Hills home by Lyle and Erik on August 20, 1989, but the brothers would not be arrested until March 8 of the following year.
While Lyle and his brother appeared happy to live the high life during that period – blowing cash on cars, luxury trips and front row seats at New York Knicks games – Lyle reflects on what a ‘horrible’ time it was.
That’s us! A 1990-1991 NBA Hoops card of Knicks guard Mark Jackson went viral after a Reddit user spotted infamous brothers Lyle and Erik Menendez sitting courtside. Lyle revealed the photo represents a dark and ‘horrible’ time after they killed their parents
Then: Erik (left) and Lyle (right) opened fire on their parents Kitty and Jose Menendez in 1989. Initially, the two were not suspected in the murders and had gone on a shopping spree in the months following their parents’ death. They were arrested on March 8, 1990
Now: Erik, 48, (left) and Lyle, 50, (right) are now serving their life sentences at Echo Yard, within the R.J. Donovan Correctional Facility in San Diego, California
He explained: ‘It was sort of a haunting period after my parents passed, before my arrest.
‘And so that was a game that we just sort of got tickets for… we went several times during that time.
‘So I guess it was sort of a shock. I mean, more important things were going on during that period of time, clearly, than the Knicks game.
‘But, I just see myself in the audience there with Erik, it’s just like, wow, they actually, obviously didn’t capture it on that card on purpose, but it shocked me. It’s amazing that somebody spotted it.’
He added that the photo is ‘unusual’ and ‘remarkable’.
Lyle said it was pretty ’emotional’ seeing the photo as it was one of the last ‘rare’ times he and Erik were pictured together before they were imprisoned.
‘It wouldn’t be too long after that, that we would be separated for decades,’ he said.
‘So it is interesting to look back on that and now see that we’re together again.’
He added that he does look a ‘little stressed’ in the photo, but reflects that he hopes he and Erik were able to take their mind off what had happened.
‘It just reminds me of what a horrible period it was really,’ he recalls.
‘It was hauntingly stressful. I think of the picture and at first it makes you smile and then I just start remembering what that period after my parents death was like, you know, it becomes more difficult again.
‘But it is a snapshot of my brother and I together, free, one of the last times, it would be shortly after that that we would not be free again.’
Lyle says he can’t be sure exactly at which game the photo was taken.
‘We went quite a bit. We went to games where we could go. I basically scalped tickets and most of the games I went to were in New York, but my brother and I, after my parents death, were here (in LA), so I’m really not sure which game it was.
‘More important things were going on at that time.’
Reunited: Lyle (left) and Erik (right) Menendez pictured in a Santa Monica courtroom in 1990. The two were serving their sentences apart until they were reunited at the same facility in April
The brothers, who were 21 and 19 at the time, gained notoriety after killing their parents Kitty and Jose Menendez (center) in 1989 in their Beverly Hills mansion
But Lyle admits he and Erik were big Knicks fans and will likely have paid hundreds if not thousands of dollars for their court side seats.
During the murder trial a lot of focus was placed on the brothers’ behavior and spending habits in those months after their parents’ death.
Before they were arrested in March, 1990, they spent a large amount of their parents’ cash.
The brothers took luxury trips and bought expensive cars.
Lyle even bought a chicken wing restaurant in New Jersey, according to an LA Times report in 1994.
But Lyle disagrees that he and Erik were on a spending spree.
‘It’s a wealthy family, you spend a lot of money, like I said, we went to a lot of Knicks games before so, going to Knicks games afterwards wouldn’t be too extravagant, certainly money was not something on my brother’s and my mind at that point.
‘We were dealing with this sort of disaster that had happened, my family and all the pressures related to what was happening and then very shortly after that our arrest and the reasons for what happened are well known at this point and they don’t have anything to do with money.’
In December Lyle, 50, told DailyMailTV how he was looking forward to spending his first Christmas in 22 years with brother Erik, 48, who last year was moved to the same prison as his sibling.
Chilling crime scene photos showing the blood-soaked couch where Jose Menendez was shot five times by his own sons became central to the prosecution
The brothers walked into the den of their $5million Beverly Hills mansion and shot their father Jose point blank in the back of the head, then shot their mother Kitty in the leg
The brothers are serving life sentences without the possibility of parole for fatally shooting their parents in 1989 after suffering years of horrible abuse.
Lyle says he hopes 2019 will be a good year now he’s back alongside Erik.
Speaking of his aspirations for the new year, he said: ‘I just stay hopeful, I don’t take for granted being here with my brother, I don’t take for granted being still married to my wife now and you try to stay healthy, stay hopeful and involve myself, I try to stay very engaged in what’s going on here on the prison yard in terms of the programs they have. We’ll just see what 2019 brings, I’m not sure what will happen.’
Lyle and Erik had an emotional reunion in April, 2018 after two decades apart and have been inseparable since being moved into the same prison together.
Prior to their reunion the last time they saw each other in person was September 10, 1996 following the end of their second trial at which they were both found guilty of first-degree murder.
And Lyle revealed how he and his brother share ‘family time’ while hanging out in prison.
The pair are being held in the same unit within the R.J. Donovan Correctional Facility in San Diego, California.
Lyle – prisoner K13758 – said he and Erik – prisoner K14101 – had settled in well at R.J. Donovan and are both busy with the various rehabilitation programs and ‘freedoms’ on offer there.
‘It’s always interesting to adjust to a new place. So so far, you know, I think, so good. I definitely like it here in San Diego.’
It has been nearly 30 years since Lyle and Erik shot dead their wealthy parents in Beverly Hills.
On August 20, 1989, the brothers walked into the den of their $5million Beverly Hills mansion and shot their father Jose point blank in the back of the head, then shot their mother Kitty in the leg as she tried to run out of the room.
In the end they shot their father five times and their mother nine, with the final bullet for each going into their kneecaps in an attempt to make the murders look like a mob hit.
It was not until March of the following year however, that police had enough evidence to arrest them, and the two were not convicted for the murders until 1996, with both given life sentences.
This is the prison in San Diego where the two brothers have been doing time since April 2018
The brothers argued that they were driven to murder their father and mother after a lifetime of physical, emotional, and sexual abuse.
Erik said that he was sodomized by his father for the first time when he was six-years-old, and Lyle testified that Jose also made him molest his own brother when they were children.
The younger brother also testified that Jose forced him to perform four different kinds of sexual acts: oral sex, anal sex, hand massage, or having pins stuck into his buttocks or thighs.
Lyle said that in addition to his father, his mother also sexually molested him.
He also testified that his father forced him to perform oral sex on his mother multiple times and sodomized him when he was just a child.
While the juries were deadlocked the first time the brothers were tried, they did not get the desired result in their second trial.
On March 20, 1996, the brothers were found guilty of first-degree murder, receiving life sentences and being spared the death penalty.
They appealed their case all the way up to the US 9th Circuit Court of Appeals but were denied every time.