Calls For Menendez Brothers, Convicted of Killing Parents, to Be Freed From Prison

Thousands of TikTok users are leading calls for the Menendez brothers to be freed from prison, decades after they were jailed for brutally killing their parents.

The throng of teenagers and young adults regularly share their support for the Beverly Hill brothers Erik and Lyle, who are serving life sentences without the possibility of parole.

Newsweek has seen dozens of accounts where its users support freeing the brothers, some with hundreds of thousands of followers.

One account with more than 218,300 followers regularly posts videos with the hashtag #justice, which in turn are viewed hundreds of thousands of times.

Another account with 17,000 followers and more than one million likes across its videos, uploaded a clip of Erik Menendez in prison with a sombre music track playing with the caption: "He's not a monster."

Numerous other users defended the brothers, posting videos that repeated testimony used in the brothers' first trials, but largely omitted in their second, that they had been emotionally and sexually abused by their father.

The vast majority of accounts seen by Newsweek were created by teenagers and young adults, with others being anonymous, all of whom would not have been alive when the murders happened.

It is a social media movement with global appeal, with users in different continents lending their support to the brothers.

Fox11 reported Jazmine Shah, a 16-year-old teenager who lives in India, said: "The brothers were depicted as greedy sociopaths who killed their parents for inheritance but then, I watched the trial.

"It was so hard to ignore that there were those other things going on that family and there was so much corroboration of the abuse."

The outlet also reported the teens had sent letters to California Governor Gavin Newsom as well as the Los Angeles County DA George Gascon, explaining they believe they were wrongly given life sentences.

Erik and Lyle shot their parents Jose and Mary Louise while they watched TV and ate ice cream and strawberries in their California mansion on August 20, 1989.

The brothers, who were aged 18 and 21 at the time, shot Jose multiple times in the head and as Mary tried to crawl away to safety, Lyle shot her in the face with a shotgun.

At first, the brothers claimed it was an organized crime killing, although they later confessed to the murders.

Both brothers claimed Jose had sexually and emotionally abused them, while the prosecution argued the pair only wanted to inherit their parents' estimated $14 million fortune.

Following a retrial in 1996, Erik, then aged 26, and Lyle, then aged 21, were convicted of the murders and sentenced.

In 2018, Lyle was transferred from Mule Creek State Prison in Northern California to R.J. Donovan Correctional Facility, in San Diego, where his brother was being detained in a separate unit.

They were later joined in the same housing unit. Lyle had asked to be moved to the same unit as his brother after he learned about his classification status.

The brothers were convicted of brutal killings
The brothers were convicted of brutally killing their parents in 1989. Ted Soqui / Contributor/Getty