Top 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 + Menudo: Boys Betrayed

(Peacock, 3 episodes, May 1, 2023)

   

 

 

 

Menendez Brothers: Misjudged?

(Investigation Discovery ID, 2 hrs. August 7, 2022)

 

 

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Erik Tells All

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

 

 

 

 

These two documentaries have 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 producers previously had 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 only because I have been featured on them, but because they feature experts in the fields of law, psychology, domestic violence, crime scene analysis, and criminal profiling. The hosts are not merely true crime junkies whose knowledge of the case is limited to Googling up prosecution-biased articles and documentaries on the internet.

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

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

 

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 link takes you to Rosie’s September 2003 interview with Lyle Menendez on YouTube. 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 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? (Available wherever you get your podcasts.)

 

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!

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Best Websites

MenendezJuror.com — Hazel Thornton

MenendezMurders.com — Robert Rand

 

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