What Was The Point Of Truth And Lies: The Menendez Brothers - American Sons, American Murderers?
And more questions sparked by ABC's documentary event!
Could this thing have had a more unwieldy title?
What ABC went with: Truth And Lies: The Menendez Brothers - American Sons, American Murderers. It is titled thusly because Truth And Lies: The Menendez Brothers - American Sons, American Murderers; Beverly Hills To Bloody Hills/27 Years Later...Today felt too wordy.
How successful was this show at differentiating Lyle from Erik?
Does it matter which is which and what the differences are between them? Oh yes, indeed it does. Lyle is the older brother who infamously wore the toupee. (Don't worry. We'll come back to the toupee.) Erik is the younger brother with the curly hair. Both Lyle and Erik were tennis stars as children, and both got in trouble for burglarizing homes in Calabasas while in their teens. Lyle claims that his father, the late Jose Menendez, molested him as a young child. Erik asserts that his sexual abuse at the hands of his father occurred from puberty up until the time he and his brother bought some shotguns from Big 5 Sporting Goods and killed their parents. Erik is the smarmy one. Lyle -- formerly referred to as an "alpha male" -- presents a less creepy vibe despite being older...and wearing a toupee.
What is the story with the toupee?
I'm so glad you asked! Truth And Lies: The Menendez Brothers - American Sons, American Murderers all too briefly touches on the fact that a young Lyle wore a toupee at the apparent insistence of his domineering and allegedly abusive father. In the days leading up to the infamous murders, Kitty Menendez ripped Lyle's toupee off in the middle of a family fight. The incident is credited as one of the triggers that led the sons to kill their parents.
How is Lyle's toupee holding up in prison?
We may never know. In Truth And Lies: The Menendez Brothers - American Sons, American Murderers, the only present-day interview with Lyle is over the phone. And he doesn't even say anything new. God forbid Lyle throw us a bone and offer, "I'm sure some of your viewers might be wondering about my toupee...."! A presumably recent photo of Lyle shows him with a completely shaved head, à la Vin Diesel.
How many random acquaintances are interviewed who claimed to have incredibly detailed insider knowledge of personal Menendez family moments?
How many new pieces of information are presented in this documentary?
Don't we all need to know a lot more about Norma Novelli now?
Ms. Norma Novelli, who is all-too-briefly interviewed whilst in casual repose upon a pink couch, is simply listed as "Jailhouse Confidante of Lyle Menendez." There is no other explanation as to who she is, nor is any information provided on how one might also become a jailhouse confidante of either Lyle or Erik Menendez. A quick Google search reveals that #NN sells $1.99 audio cassettes of The Private Diary Of Lyle Menendez In His Own Voice on Amazon.
What was the point of Truth And Lies: The Menendez Brothers - American Sons, American Murderers?
...None? Truth And Lies: The Menendez Brothers - American Sons, American Murderers was simply a rehash of everything we already knew about the murder of Jose and Kitty Menendez. Sure, we see some vintage modeling shots of a young, pensive Erik. But the most detailed interviews with Lyle and Erik came from a replay of their 1996 interview with Barbara Walters (and we're told the brothers haven't seen each other in prison since the year that interview was recorded). Viewers are also treated to a 2002 Barbara Walters interview with Erik's wife (!), who revealed at the time that their marriage has never been consummated. Lyle married two (!) pen pals, neither of whom was Norma Novelli. Again: this all already aired on ABC over a decade ago.
When ABC returns to the well in another fifteen years, what should that special be called?
Maybe You Forgot: Two Rich Kids Killed Their Parents in 1989 - Remember That?