They were the men who ignited two of the most notorious legal trials of the 1990s.
Lyle and Erik Menendez, two brothers who seemingly enjoyed a privileged upbringing, shocked the nation by turning a shotgun on their parents in their Beverly Hills home in August 1989. And O.J. Simpson, a football Hall of Famer turned actor and TV personality, became the top suspect in the June 1994 slaying of ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman in nearby Brentwood, his apprehension marked by an epic car chase through the sprawling freeways of Los Angeles.
But while they were linked in the public consciousness through their association with the gruesome murders, they also forged a tight bond behind bars as they waited out the high-profile jury deliberations that would decide their freedom.
The young Menendez boys first met Simpson at the height of his fame
Simpson and the Menendez brothers had previously met in the mid-1970s, when the former was a record-setting running back with the NFL’s Buffalo Bills and the latter two were the young sons of the Hertz rental car executive who helped ink the famed athlete to an endorsement deal.
The business ties led to a more personal connection, as Simpson became a guest at the Menendez home. Lyle, the older brother, later recalled to People the backyard catches enjoyed with the larger-than-life sporting hero and the signed footballs he gave the boys.
More than a decade later, Lyle ran into Simpson in an L.A. restaurant alongside his Princeton University tennis teammates, a few months before his life was upended by the shotgun blasts fired at Jose and Kitty Menendez.
Erik became Simpson’s neighboring cellmate
When they all met again at Los Angeles County Men’s Central Jail, it was the Menendez brothers, already incarcerated for more than four years and preparing for a retrial after the first one’s hung jury, who were in a position to offer guidance.
As told in Robert Rand’s The Menendez Murders (2018), Simpson wound up in the cell next to Erik following the conclusion of his infamous car chase. While the former NFL star was treated “like royalty” by the awed guards, he also was in shock from the abrupt change to his lifestyle and despondent about his tarnished reputation.
Erik warned his neighbor about the relentless media scrutiny to come and advised him to avoid discussing his case with fellow inmates or guards. He also earned Simpson’s gratitude for penning a letter that urged him to start thinking more about his life and future. “When you cry – remember those tears,” Erik wrote. “Hold them because you’re crying for your children, you’re crying for everything you’re losing.”
Additionally, as revealed in the A&E docuseries The Menendez Murders: Erik Tells All (2018), it was the younger brother who used his connections to hook the athlete up with Johnnie Cochran, the lawyer who would have an outsize impact on the soon-to-come Simpson trial.
Lyle advised Simpson to admit guilt
Lyle had his own frequent interactions with Simpson, the two sharing more than 100 conversations as they awaited meetings with legal representation in the jail’s attorney room.
Believing Simpson to be guilty of the killings, Lyle suggested he accept a plea bargain and offered pointers on the difference between murder and manslaughter charges, though Simpson again seemed a little too preoccupied with his reputation to consider admitting guilt.
Lyle also wrote Simpson a letter in which he urged him to come clean with the full story. “I told him I thought the public would understand,” t
he older brother relayed to Rand for The Menendez Murders. “I expressed my concern that [lawyer] Robert Shapiro wouldn’t let him tell the truth. I said I knew it obviously wasn’t planned, and that he had snapped in the heat of passion.”
Erik believes the Simpson verdict affected his chances of success
While Simpson and the Menendez brothers grew close during their shared time in prison, their paths soon diverged with the outcomes of their contentious and exhaustively covered trials.
On October 3, 1995, Simpson was found not guilty of double homicide. The retrial of Lyle and Erik began just eight days later, eventually ending with their conviction on first-degree murder charges and double life sentences.
While the brothers have largely shied away from publicly discussing their old jailhouse confidant, it’s clear there remains some lingering resentment over the perception that Simpson’s victory spelled bad news for their chances of acquittal.
“O.J.’s verdict had a very negative effect on our case,” the younger brother opined in The Menendez Murders: Erik Tells All, suggesting that the L.A. County District Attorney’s office needed to bounce back from letting a Simpson indictment slip through their grasp.
“Because this verdict was so shocking, there was this sense an extreme injustice had happened and now we’re gonna have to right it with every defendant that comes up,” said Erik, adding, “We were the next defendant.”
[SPORT] UEFA Champions League Final 2021 Live Stream
UEFA Champions League Final 2021 Live Stream The UEFA Champions League final is the crowning night of the European club...
[SPORT] Europa League Final 2021
Europa League Final 2021: Villarreal vs Man Utd – Live stream. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be looking to take the...
[SPORT] Arsenal vs Villarreal live stream
Arsenal vs Villarreal live stream Arsenal trail 2-1 from the first leg; Kieran Tierney, Alexandre Lacazette could return; David Luiz...
[SPORT] Roma vs Manchester United live stream
Roma vs Manchester United live stream Manchester United did the hard work last week at Old Trafford and now simply need...
[SPORT] Real Madrid VS Chelsea Live Match Stream
Real Madrid VS Chelsea Live Match Stream Only the third time the two sides have met, today’s Champions League semi-final...
“My future is clear” – Chelsea & Man United target speaks out amid transfer speculation
Real Madrid defender Raphael Varane has spoken out on his future amid recent transfer rumours linking him with Chelsea and...
#OleOut trending again as Manchester United boss under fire
Manchester United are enduring a tough time on and off the field at present and it appears that the supporters...
New four-year deal at Man United for Eric Bailly
As an organisation, Manchester United have really been put through the wringer over the last seven days.Ever since the announcement...
Arsenal identify key transfer target for this summer
Arsenal are reportedly planning to sign a new No 10 in the summer transfer window.The Gunners let Mesut Ozil leave...
Shearer and Henry in Premier League Hall of Fame
Those footballers who have retired from the game before August 1, 2020, will be eligible for the newly-created Premier League...
[MOVIES] Tragic Jungle (2021) [Spanish]
Tragic Jungle (2021) [Spanish] Movie Download Deep in the jungle, a group of Mexican gum workers crosses their path with...
[MOVIES] Rogue Hostage (2021)
Rogue Hostage (2021) Movie Download Free the hostages. Or everyone dies. Single father and former Marine Kyle Snowden is struggling...
[MOVIES] Akilla’s Escape (2020)
Akilla’s Escape 2020 Movie Download When a routine deal goes bad, a drug trader tries to set things right while...
[MOVIE] A Perfect Enemy (2021)
A Perfect Enemy Movie Download (2021) Successful architect Jeremy Angust is approached on his trip to the Tokyo International Airport...
[MOVIES] INFINITE 2021 ENGLISH MOVIE DOWNLOAD
Infinite 2021 English Movie Download Synopsis: A man discovers that his hallucinations are actually visions from past lives. ...