“Law & Or­der True Crime: The Me­nen­dez Mur­ders”

The Washington Post Sunday - - TELEVISION -

Pre­mieres: Sept. 26 at 10 p.m. (NBC)

The real story: In Au­gust 1989, en­ter­tain­ment ex­ec­u­tive Jose Me­nen­dez and his wife, Kitty, were found bru­tally mur­dered in their Beverly Hills, Calif., man­sion. Their 22-year-old son, Lyle, made a hys­ter­i­cal call to 911, telling an op­er­a­tor that he and his 19-year-old brother, Erik, had come home from a movie to find their par­ents dead.

Po­lice thought it was a mafia hit. But the brothers — sole heirs to their par­ents’ $14 mil­lion es­tate — quickly aroused sus­pi­cion through lav­ish spend­ing sprees and bizarre in­ter­views with de­tec­tives. They were ar­rested in March 1990 and later sen­tenced to life in pri­son with­out pa­role.

The cast: Edie Falco (“The So­pra­nos”) plays Erik’s de­fense at­tor­ney, Les­lie Abram­son, who ar­gued that the brothers had en­dured years of sex­ual and psy­cho­log­i­cal abuse from their fa­ther. An­thony Ed­wards (“ER”) por­trays trial judge Stan­ley Weis­berg, and Gus Halper (“Power”) and Miles Gas­ton Vil­lanueva (“The Young and the Rest­less”) star as Erik and Lyle Me­nen­dez. Josh Charles (“The Good Wife”) plays the brothers’ psy­chol­o­gist, L. Jerome Oziel, whose au­dio record­ings of their ther­apy ses­sions played a piv­otal role in the case.


Edie Falco as Abram­son

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