The Menendez brothers, who were convicted in the brutal killings of their parents in a Beverly Hills mansion, have been reunited in federal prison after decades apart.
Erik Menendez, 47, moved into the same housing unit as Lyle Menendez, 50, corrections department spokeswoman Terry Thornton told the Associated Press on Thursday.
“They can and do interact with each other, all the inmates in that facility,” Thornton told AP.
The killing was one of the most notorious cases in the 1990s after the pair shot their father, Jose, a wealthy entertainment executive, and their mother, Kitty, a socialite, at point-blank range in 1989. Both died in the attack.
They were arrested months later after one of the brothers allegedly confessed to a psychologist and the other threatened to kill the doctor, thus voiding doctor-patient confidentiality agreements. Their trial — the first ended in a mistrial and the second led to their conviction — garnered millions of viewers.
The brothers claimed they had been sexually abused by their father and only committed the murders out of fear their parents were going to kill them to prevent the molestation claims from becoming public. Prosecutors said there was no evidence of the claims and instead contended the killings were about greed and wanting access to their parents’ fortune.
The brothers are serving life sentences. They had been in separate facilities for years. In February, Lyle Menendez was moved from Mule Creek State Prison in Northern California to San Diego’s R.J. Donovan Correctional Facility, where his brother is also housed, AP reported.
However, the brothers lived in separate housing units and wouldn’t have seen one another since the prison houses nearly 3,900 inmates. On Wednesday, they were moved into the same unit.
After their conviction in 1996, the brothers asked to be sent to the same prison. A detective who investigated the slayings said the partners might conspire to escape together.
Regardless, they have remained close over the years. Lyle Menendez toldABC News in an interview last year that they talk through letters and their “bond is really strong,” adding the alleged abuse in something that will always link them.
“It’s so painful and complicated and confusing,” he told ABC News. “We have an intimacy related to that shared experience… (and) the bond become very great and intense.”
In another interview, in 1996, Erik Menendez said he felt remorse for the killings.
“There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think about what happened and wish I could take that moment back,” he told ABC News.
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