Lyle Menendez Speaks About His Father From Prison: He Was a ‘Force of Nature’

Lyle Menendez, who is serving life in prison for killing his parents in August 1989, opened up about his father in a new ABC special, which airs on Thursday, January 5.

In a preview on Good Morning America on Thursday, the now 48-year-old revealed what it was like being raised by his dad, Jose Menendez, whom he and his brother Erik Menendez shot to death in their parents’ Beverly Hills home. Listen to what he said in the clip above. “My father was like a force of nature and you look up to that,” he told ABC News from prison. “You are expected to be competitive to a fault. He began to sort of try to groom me to be hypercompetitive and succeed.”

Lyle Menendez
Lyle Menendez during the trial. Ted Soqui/Sygma via Getty Images

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Lyle and Erik Menendez were convicted of first-degree murder in March 1996 and sentenced to two consecutive life-prison terms for killing Jose and their mother, Kitty Menendez. In court, the siblings claimed that their father abused them and that they were acting in self-defense.

Lyle Menendez Speaks About His Father From Prison
The Menendez brothers on trial for the 1989 murder of their parents. Ted Soqui/Sygma via Getty Images

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“I’m a more fully formed adult now. Of course looking back it’s shocking to think about that that happened. That I could have been involved in taking anyone’s life and my parents’ life,” Lyle told ABC News. “It’s still jarringly… it seems unimaginable because it seems so far removed from who I am and who I was.”

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The brothers are serving their time without parole in two separate prisons and haven’t seen each other in years. They do, however, send letters to each other and play chess one move at a time by snail mail.

Lyle Menendez mug shot
Lyle Menendez in 2005.

Back in 2005, Erik also spoke about the case from behind bars. “I’m not a killer. I never was. It’s not who I am,” he told MSNBC. Erik, now 46, acknowledged that he killed his parents, but said: “I’m not a murderer. You know, it’s — I didn’t do this crime because I’m a bad person or for whatever reasons that have been put out there. I panicked and I reacted in the worst imaginable way.”

Truth and Lies: The Menendez Brothers airs on ABC Thursday, January 5, at 9 p.m. ET.

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