Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Brothers Review: Motive

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On Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Brothers Season 1 Episode 3, Erik finally speaks his truth. After refusing to completely open up to any of his therapists, Erik ultimately accused his father of sexually abusing him as a child. 

With little time to spare in the episode, I was starting to believe that the show would draw out that revelation for a while.

At the very end, viewers got to hear the information that seems to be the only piece of evidence that could save the Menendez brothers. Leslie quickly realizes this is only possible if there is proof of the abuse.

Media Frenzy - Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Brothers Season 1 Episode 3

Leslie's main focus is to keep Erik and Lyle from being executed. Throughout the entire episode, she was pulling out her lawyer skills to get the brothers to talk. How two rich kids managed to gather the hate necessary to shoot their mother in the face was baffling everybody. 

You don't owe those parasites a photo.

Leslie

The members of the media are starting to intrude on the case. In their first hearing, a reporter came up to Erik and Lyle's grandmother to ask for an interview. The reporters only care about ratings, not that they are covering a gruesome crime involving two people who might get the death penalty. 

Judalon sure doesn't care about the case. It's very clear that she just wants fame from being close to the cameras. Her testimony was clearly full of lies, but Dr. Oziel corroborated the lies, and the judge bought their "threatening" story.

I can't quite grasp why the doctor would want his recordings let in as evidence, but then again, it's pretty clear Oziel is a horrible therapist.

Judalon knew information about the boys that she could have only learned from Oziel, who it turns out strangled a former patient. He was obviously milking Erik for money, without actually treating him.

Judalon's confession that Oziel was controlling her mind made her a bad witness, amongst other things. Maybe Leslie should have pushed for these hearings to be open to the public because the potential jury pool probably would have hated Oziel and Judalon after their court appearances. 

I can’t imagine what kind of pain would provoke that kind of violence.

Leslie

Brothers Stand in Court - Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Brothers Season 1 Episode 3

Speaking of appearances, Leslie seems to be complaining that the district attorney's office is using the media to poison the public against Erik and Lyle. The funny thing is, she's making her complaints while surrounded by hundreds of cameras and microphones.

Judalon: You said if I went to the police, I’d be dead in 2 minutes.
Dr. Oziel: Well guess what? It’s going to be a little longer.

Leslie In The Office - Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Brothers Season 1 Episode 3

All the while, Erik was struggling during his time incarcerated. He clearly carries a likeness to his fragile mother, while Lyle is authoritative like his father. That is probably why Erik is the main one doing the confessing.

Erik genuinely seems to want help with his mental issue, while Lyle just wants to control the situation and drive the narrative. Lyle asking his girlfriend to lie about his father assaulting her proves that, but witness tampering also puts their case in danger even more.

Erik saying that he doesn't matter shows how tragic he is. Although Leslie's team is finding it hard to believe that a picture-perfect family would have sexual abuse in their household, anyone can see that the Menendez family had problems. 

There is evidence of the mother having mental problems and the father being extremely mentally abusive. Sexual abuse shouldn’t be that far of a leap as the defense team was making it out to be. I guess people really didn’t believe that rich people committed crimes like that in Beverly Hills in 1990. 

I can't talk anymore. I need to be quiet. I need my Bible.

Erik

Lyle and Erik in Court - Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Brothers Season 1 Episode 3

Whether Erik is telling the truth or not, Leslie has to use this newfound information to her advantage. In Erik's dream, viewers get a glimpse of Erik and Lyle being led into a bedroom with their father.

Also present in that "dream" is Erik and Lyle's cousin. Maybe he can provide the evidence that Leslie needs to create a story of why the brothers ultimately snapped. I believe this is the same cousin who found tapes of Erik's conversations that his parents recorded. These tapes could come into play.

The evidence is piling against Lyle and Erik. With the confession tapes being admitted into evidence, that's basically a nail in their coffins. Further, the public now knows that the brothers used their friend's stolen ID to purchase guns. I don't know what Leslie has up her sleeve, but her all-women team seems up to the task. 

What did you think about this week's episode?

  • Do you believe Erik's claim his father sexually assaulted him? 
  • Do you think the tapes should have been allowed by the judge? 
  • Do you feel an ounce of sympathy for the Menendez boys?

If you've missed any of moment of the case, you can watch Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Brothers online via TV Fanatic.

Episode 3 Review

Editor Rating: 4.3 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.2 / 5.0 (5 Votes)
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Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Brothers Season 1 Episode 3 Quotes

You don't owe those parasites a photo.

Leslie

Judalon: You said if I went to the police, I’d be dead in 2 minutes.
Dr. Oziel: Well guess what? It’s going to be a little longer.