Interesting Questions, Facts, and Information
Partners in Crime
two counts first degree murder each with special circumstances attached, also two counts of conspiracy to commit murder. The verdict was two counts of first degree murder each with special circumstances attached plus two counts of conspiracy to commit murder each. The special circumstances were: lying in wait and multiple murders. Because of the special circumstances involved there were only two sentencing options: life in prison without the possibility of parole or death by execution. The jury decided after deliberating for three days that life in prison was the appropriate punishment for the Menendez brothers. The jury chose to spare the lives of Lyle and Erik because neither brother had a felony record or a history of violence. There have been some appeal attempts but on May 28, 1998, the California Supreme Court voted to uphold the murder convictions and the life-without-parole sentences of both Lyle and Erik. In July 1999, Lyle worked as a janitor at the California Corrections Institution near Tehachapi and Erik worked as a groundskeeper at the California State Prison outside of Sacramento. Information found at www.crimelibrary.com.
|Judge Weissberg set a trial date of June 12, 1995 for the retrial of the Menendez brothers. This trial date was postponed several times. What month did the trial actually start in?||Erik and Lyle Menendez: Brothers in Crime
October. Although this trial date was postponed several times jury selection began in August 1995. One significant difference in this trial was that although the brothers were tried together again, they had only one jury this time. The trial's opening statements actually began on October 11, 1995. The judge also refused to allow this trial to be televised. During the two and a half years between the trials, it allowed the both the defense team and the prosecuting team time to study the mistakes made in the first trial. On March 1, 1996 the jury began to deliberate. On March 14, Judge Weissberg removed two female jurors, for medical reasons. Jury deliberations had to start all over with the placement of the two alternate jurors. Information found at www.crimelibrary.com.
24 days. In Lyle's case his jury took 24 days to deliberate and they also ended up as a hung jury. Their reasons were basically the same as Erik's jury. The jury was unable to decide between whether they were killers or victims. Judge Weissburg declared a mistrial in this case also. Now it was up to the justice system to retry the two men. Information found at www.crimelibrary.com.
16 days. Erik's jury took 16 days to deliberate and ended up deadlocked. The reason for the inability to reach an agreement was that the jury had a tough time trying to decide if the brothers were killers or long suffering victims of abuse. Judge Weissberg declared a mistrial. Information found at www.crimelibrary.com.
July 20, 1993. The trial started on July 20, 1993, with the prosecutor laying out the case against Lyle. Ms. Bozanich described the brutality of the murders, told about the lies and the spending sprees the brothers went on after the murders. The defendant's lawyers relied on the stories about child abuse and molestation that happened early in the boy's lives. The stories that the brothers made up were a big part of their defense which led to the ultimate hung juries at the end. Information found at www.crimelibrary.com.
t. Judge Weissberg ruled that the cases would be tried together in the interests of convenience, time and money. The judge ruled that each brother would have a separate jury. When evidence pertained to Erik, then Lyle's jury would be dismissed from the courtroom and vice versa. Information found at www.crimelibrary.com.
3 years. The Menendez brothers spent 3 years in the Los Angeles County Men's Jail waiting for their trials to begin. They had the privilege to be housed in a special section of the jail for high-profile inmates. Two other famous criminals spent their time in this section known as the jail's 7000 section; they were O.J. Simpson and Richard Ramirez, known as the Nightstalker. They were segregated from the other prisoners and remained in their cells except for an exercise period of one hour three days a week. They were indicted on December 8, 1992, for the murder of their parents. Information found at www.crimelibrary.com.
March 11, 1990. Erik was arrested on March 11, 1990, at the Los Angeles International Airport. Erik was just returning from a tennis tournament in Israel with his Aunt Marta. Now the police had both brothers in custody at the Los Angeles County Men's jail. Both arrests were made based on the evidence retrieved from Dr. Oziel's tapes and reports. The police still had to find some physical evidence against the brothers. Information found at www.crimelibrary.com and www.rotten.com.
March 8, 1990. On March 8, 1990, Detective Zoeller obtained a search warrant for Dr. Oziel's tapes based on information from Judalon Smyth who also was Dr. Oziel's lover. Judalon had overheard some of these conversations and reported it to the police. Dr. Oziel was Erik's psychotherapist and Erik during sessions with him had told the doctor everything.
With this evidence now in hand Detective Zoeller was able to make an arrest. The police arrested Lyle in front of his home on March 8, 1990, in the afternoon. Information found at www.crimelibrary.com and www.rotten.com.
Lyle Menendez. On August 20, 1989 at 11:47 p.m. a 911 call was received at the Beverly Hills Police Department. Lyle Menendez was the caller. The neighbor girl saw the brothers at around 10:00 p.m. arrive at the home. She did not however know who was in the small car that stopped in front of the home. She was waiting for her boyfriend and lost interest in the happenings in front of the Menendez home. Michael Butkus was actually the police officer that responded to the home with his partner John Czarnocki. They did not immediately go into the home. They spent some minutes walking around the outside of the home and listening. They heard screaming and then they saw two men run out of the home almost side by side. The two men running out were the Menendez brothers. Information found at www.crimelibrary.com.
|A television miniseries aired on July 30 and July 31, 1989. This miniseries was called the "Billionaire Boys Club". Erik was watching this show when he called to his older brother to join him. After watching the show that aired over two nights, the brothers began to complain to each other about their father. This was the beginning of the end for Mr. and Mrs. Menendez. What day did the murder happen?||Erik and Lyle Menendez: Brothers in Crime
August 20, 1989. The complaints included how domineering and controlling their father was, and how hard it was to please him with anything that they did. They complained that he treated their mother poorly and he had planned to disinherit them. As the two brothers discussed this they also realized that they would have to kill their mother also. The reason that they came to this conclusion was that they felt their mother would not survive emotionally without their father. The plan was hatched. Lyle wanted to plan the murders so that they would be perfect, but Erik insisted that the murders happen soon. Information found at www.crimelibrary.com.
Mossberg 12-gauge. After many months of investigating the police finally located a store in San Diego that sold two Mossberg 12-gauge shotguns for $199.95 each, on August 18, 1989. The form was signed by Donovan Jay Goodreau. Detective Zoeller followed this finding up by calling Donovan to verify that it was his signature on the form. Detective Zoeller discovered that Donovan had an air tight alibi and was in New York City at the time of this purchase and could not have possibly been in San Diego. Now Detective Zoeller had found the physical link between the shootings and the two brothers. Donovan Goodreau had been Lyle's friend while at Princeton. Donovan was accused of stealing from students in Lyle's dorm and was forced to leave the college. When he left he forgot to take his wallet that contained his driver's license, Social Security card and other identification. He left these items in Lyle's dorm room. This was how Lyle was able to use the false identification when purchasing the two shotguns. Information found at www.crimelibrary.com.
f. Actually Kitty was shot 10 times and Jose was shot 6 times. These were very brutal murders. Kitty was shot in her right leg, 2 times in the right arm, once in the left thigh and left breast, 4 times in the head, and the final shot was near her left knee. Jose was shot in the left elbow, the right arm at least 2 times, one shot to the back of the head, and the final shot to the left knee area just like Kitty. There was another shot that struck Jose but it was unclear where it struck him. The last act the sons performed was to pick up the shell casings that were scattered around the room. Information found at www.crimelibrary.com.
722 Elm Drive, Beverly Hills. The Menendez Family lived at 722 Elm Drive, Beverly Hills. Their home was a $4 million, Mediterranean-style mansion with 23 rooms. The mansion was set back from the street, surrounded by a high iron fence with an iron gate, and was protected by a fancy security system. Information found at www.crimelibrary.com.
Kitty and Jose. Kitty was born Kitty Anderson in Oak Lawn, a suburb south of Chicago. Kitty's family was middle class and she had two older brothers, Milt and Brian, and an older sister, Joan. Jose was born Jose Menendez in Havana, Cuba. He was from an upper-middle class family and he had two older sisters, Teresita, known as "Terry", and Marta. Jose's parents sent him to the United States in 1960 after Castro came to power. Kitty and Jose met while at Southern Illinois University, she was in her senior year and he was in his freshman year, the year was 1962. They eloped in 1963 and were secretly wed.
Information found at www.crimelibrary.com and www.rotten.com.
|In 1819, a young man and his manservant murdered the young man's wife. The murder and ensuing hue and cry for the perpetrators became something of a cause celebre and the victim was dubbed the Colleen Bawn. Any idea what that Gaelic phrase means?||Partners in Crime
The white girl. Ellie Hanley, the Colleen Bawn, was 15 in 1819 when she attracted the attention of the local squire of Ballycahane, County Clare, one John Scanlan. She resisted his advances, however, holding out for marriage. He was, after all, of the landed gentry, while she was merely a farmer's daughter, and orphaned to boot. What a feather in her cap marriage to the dashing Mr. Scanlan would be! Eager to get Ellie into bed, Scanlan proposed that they elope. She promptly raided her guardian's strongbox and relieved him of his life savings -over 120 pounds, and the pair made off to Glin in Limerick with the money and Stephen Sullivan, Scanlan's former batman and now his manservant. Scanlan had arranged for a defrocked priest to perform the marriage ceremony in Glin, and was horrified to discover that although the priest was defrocked, the marriage was legal - a twist he hadn't considered. Knowing that his mother would never accept Ellie as his wife (because she wasn't a 'lady'), Scanlan conspired with Sullivan to dispose of the unwanted bride. They took Ellie for a midnight boat trip on the lake on July 14, three weeks after the wedding. Scanlan rowed out to the middle of the lake - some four miles - and there Sullivan beat Ellie to death with the butt of a shotgun. They tied the girl's body to a large stone and tipped her overboard. Unfortunately for Scanlan and Sullivan, Ellie's body washed up on the shore of the lake in the following September, and she was identified by her clothing. A hue and cry ensued. After dodging all over Ireland, Scanlan and Sullivan eventually returned to Ballycahane in November. They planned to lie low in Scanlan's ancestral home. It was there that the police tracked them down, acting on a tip from a neighbour. Scanlan and Sullivan were tried and sentenced to death. They were hanged in 1820, on July 25 and 27 respectively. The tale of the Colleen Bawn featured all the ingredients of a Victorian morality tale - an innocent girl, a wicked seducer and an evil henchman - and the Victorians lapped it up, seemingly blind to the fact that Ellie had robbed her guardian of his life's savings!
|For a change of pace, what's the last name of the husband and wife detective team created by Agatha Christie?||Partners in Crime
Beresford. We first meet Tommy Beresford and Prudence 'Tuppence' Cowley as a young couple in their twenties in Agatha Christie's second book(which creaks with age!) called "The Secret Adversary", published in 1922. Unlike Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple, who barely age at all between the first and last books in which they appear, Christie allowed the Beresfords to age appropriately. Through the years, they were featured in five books. "Partners in Crime" (published in 1929) is a collection of short stories featuring Tommy and Tuppence, now married and in their late twenties/early thirties. In 1941, Christie published the third book featuring the Beresfords, "N or M?" (which I consider to be the best of the lot), by which time they're in their mid-forties, with adult twin children. In "By the Pricking of My Thumbs" (1968) Tommy and Tuppence are in their early sixties, and in the last book in which they appear, "Postern of Fate" (1973), they are in their seventies. In the 1980s James Warwick and Francesca Ennis brought Tommy and Tuppence to life on British television in the series "Partners in Crime", and in 2006 by Anthony Andrews and Greta Scaachi portrayed the Beresfords in "By the Pricking of My Thumbs" (which, inexplicably, features Miss Marple who is not in the original book, turns Tuppence into a borderline alcoholic, Tommy into a neglectful husband, and completely louses up the plot! Dame Agatha must be rolling in her grave.)
|Americans Richard Hickock and Perry Smith were hanged in 1965 for the 1959 murders of four members of one family. What was the family's name?||Partners in Crime
Clutter. Hickock and Smith met while serving time in prison. Hickock, who exhibited above average intelligence, was a sociopath and paedophile, while Smith, who also had above average intelligence and was gifted both musically and artistically, had been abused as a child and had grown up to be a misfit who blamed others for his failures in life. They hatched the plot to rob the Clutters after Floyd Wells, a fellow inmate who had been one of Clutters ranch hands, told them that Herbert Clutter had a safe in his house in which he kept "thousands of dollars". After their release from prison, the two journeyed to Holcomb, Kansas, and broke into the ranch house. When they found no safe containing any money at all, they brutally tortured, then killed the four family members - Herbert and Bonnie Clutter, their sixteen-year-old daughter Nancy and their fifteen-year-old son Kenyon. The case became the subject of a non-fiction novel by Truman Capote "In Cold Blood".
|This grisly group purportedly operated in Galloway, Scotland in the fifteenth century, carrying out wholesale robbery, murder, and (horrors!) cannibalism. Who was the leader of this fiendish family? ||Partners in Crime
Sawney Bean. The legend of Alexander 'Sawney' Bean and his murderous clan was first circulated in the 18th century, although the events are supposed to have taken place in the early to mid-fifteenth century in the Scottish lowlands. There is some speculation that the legend of Sawney Bean was circulated by agents of the Hanoverian rulers, Georges I and II, to discredit the Jacobites who had taken part in the rebellions of 1715 and 1745. The rebellions were intended to restore the Stuart monarchy - James Francis Edward Stuart, the Old Pretender, and Charles Edward Stuart (aka Bonnie Prince Charlie), the Young Pretender, were the son and grandson of the deposed James II/VII. The stories claim that Sawney Bean and his wife terrorized the countryside in Galloway for 25 years, murdering the travellers they ambushed on the roads, and then dragging the bodies away to their cave to dine on their victims. According to the legend, when the authorities caught up with them the cannibalistic Bean clan numbered some 48 children, grandchildren and great-gandchildren - all born of incestuous relationships - living in a honeycomb of caves festooned with the pickled arms, legs, torsos and other choice bits of the murdered travellers. The band of fearless citizens who finally tracked them down was headed by none other than King James V himself. Historians doubt the legitimacy of the tale because there's no official record of James V having done any such thing, and you'd think there would be. There are, however, records of instances of cannibalism during the great famines that occurred in the 13th, 14th and 15th centuries in Scotland, and that's probably where the Hanoverians got the idea for the Sawney Bean legend.