Top Menendez Media Picks

The past 30 years have produced a plethora of Menendez news stories, documentaries, dramatizations, podcasts, articles, and books.

Sadly, almost everything produced in the ’90s is heavily prosecution-biased, serving only to perpetuate the “greedy rich kids” narrative. And almost everything from recent years (even shows for which I was interviewed) draws heavily on material that already existed (from the ’90s) and was easily Google-able.

Most media creators (even prestigious production companies) do not devote enough time to the case to get all the facts right and to convey the full, accurate picture of what really happened. They do not take the defense seriously; do not include the injustices of the second trial; and do not take into consideration what we have learned since then about brain development and the psychology of abuse.

But there are some exceptions! And the list is, fortunately, growing.

Here's a list of the best #MenendezMurders books, shows, podcasts, etc., from my personal first-trial manslaughter juror's perspective. Click To Tweet

Here are my favorites:

Best Books

Hung Jury: The Diary of a Menendez Juror

by Hazel Thornton

The Menendez Murders

by Robert Rand


Best Documentaries

Menendez Brothers: Victims or Villains dcg-mark-posterMenendez Brothers: Victims or Villains

(FOX Nation, March 2024)

Four 30-min episodes all about how the media shaped the public narrative of the case in the 90s and how unfair the second trial was.

While you’re there, don’t miss the two-episode panel discussion: The Menendez Brothers: Monsters or Misunderstood?


Menendez + Menudo: Boys Betrayed

(Peacock, 3 episodes, May 2023)

In which Roy Rossello, former Menudo boy band member, accuses Jose Menendez of abusing him.




Menendez Brothers: Misjudged?

(Investigation Discovery ID, 2 hrs. August, 2022)




Erik Tells All

(5-part A&E series, December 2017)





These next two documentaries still have a lot of ’90s prosecution bias in them….and a few redeeming moments:

Truth and Lies (ABC, January 2017) — This is the documentary that brought the case back into the public eye after 20 years. Redeeming moments include journalist Terry Moran’s explanation of why he thinks the brothers were telling the truth, and prosecutor Pam Bozanich admitting, “One kid killing his parents is a bad seed; two kids killing their parents is a bad family.”

The Crimes that Changed Us: Episode 4  (ID Investigation Discovery series, 2020) — Redeeming moments for me, personally, are that I got to say some things that went beyond the jury room deliberations, things which previous producers usually edited out.


Best Dramatization

Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders (NBC, 8 episodes)

This is the ONLY dramatization worth watching. All of the 2-hour movies are prosecution-biased and none of them tells the whole story. They do not take the defense seriously, nor do they include the second trial and explain how unfair it was. LOTC takes its time. It really does require 8 episodes to tell the whole story! (And the story isn’t over, either…)

If you want to know which actress is playing Juror Hazel in Episodes 5, 6, and (most importantly) Episode 7, click here to view my photo album!   Why LOTC is Menendez “Miracle #1”   How LOTC affected me personally


Best Podcasts

These podcasts are the best, not just because they have asked to interview me, but because they feature experts in the fields of law, psychology, domestic violence, crime scene analysis, and criminal profiling.


American Criminal

Introducing American Criminal

Host Jeremy Schwartz

The Menendez Brothers — 4 semi-dramatized episodes that sound like a mini-audiobook

The Menendez Brothers: Juror #9 — March 28, 2024 interview with Hazel Thornton



Host Laura Richards

The Crime Analyst

Menendez Murders (series)

Episodes 146-147: Guest Juror Hazel Thornton

Episodes 148-149: Guest Professor Ann Burgess

Episodes 150-151: Guest Reporter Maggie Freleng


Real Crime Profile Podcast

Hosts Jim Clemente, Laura Richards, and Lisa Zambetti

Menendez + Menudo: Boys Betrayed (series)

Parts 1-3 = Episodes 439-441

Part 4 = Episode 442 = Interview with Menendez Juror Hazel Thornton

Parts 5-6 = Episode 444-445


Hosts Jessa Nicholson and Nick Goetz

Getting Off Podcast

(Currently available on Spotify. Click link for free episode descriptions.)

Episodes 86 & 87 (hosts Jessa & Nick)

Episodes 93 & 94 (with guest Hazel Thornton)

Episodes 125 & 126 (with guest Robert Rand)


Onward with Rosie O’Donnell

This is Rosie’s September 2023 interview with Lyle Menendez. If you are short on time, and/or up to speed on the case, go ahead and skip to the 37-minute mark. The rest, my favorite part, is all about Lyle’s accomplishments in prison and his hopes for the future. You can hear the difference in his voice. Who wants to rehash the past over and over and over and over and over?


Complete First Trial Courtroom Videos

CA v. Menendez (1993) – Court TV Trials on Demand (released in 2020)

It’s hard to believe that, after all these years, people — many of whom hadn’t even been born yet in 1993 — are now watching the entire first trial, to which I had a front row (OK, second row) seat!




Best Websites — Hazel Thornton — Robert Rand


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