Who were Jose and Kitty Menendez and how did they die?

CALIFORNIA residents Jose and Kitty Menendez were brutally murdered one Sunday night in their home.

The couple were known for their affluent lifestyle in Beverly Hills.

Who were Jose and Kitty Menendez and how did they die?

Jose and Mary Louise “Kitty” Menendez were married in 1964.

Jose was a businessman whose family migrated from Cuba to Illinois after the Fidel Castro uprising happened.

He came from a prosperous family who lost part of their wealth to the Cuban government.

After graduating from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Jose took his CPA and worked as an executive for RCA in California. 

He was known among show business celebrities and had a successful career in the industry.

Kitty was an elementary school teacher but became a home-maker once she gave birth to her sons Lyle and Erik Menendez.

She met Jose while studying at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale and had grown up in a middle class family from Chicago.

Both Jose and Kitty were murdered by Lyle and Erik on August 20, 1989 while watching TV in their home. 

The couple were fatally shot as they were sprayed with bullets in their den.

Why did the Menendez brothers kill their parents?

The Menendez brothers claimed to have killed Jose and Kitty after being subjected to years of abuse by their father.

The brothers claimed the fatal shooting was a form of "imperfect self-defense," according to The New York Times.

Lyle was 21 and Erik was 18 at the time of the fatal shootings and have been imprisoned since 1996.

Decades after the double murder, Lyle, now 53, expressed regret over his parent’s deaths. 

He told ABC News: “If I could take my consciousness now and go back, I would have gone to the police and taken my chances in exposing what was happening.” 

Erik, 50, expressed similar sentiments to People, saying: “The way I reacted was so destructive to all. It was the most awful devastation. I killed the two people I loved the most.”

What prison sentence did the Menendez brothers get?

The Menendez brothers are serving life sentences without the possibility of parole over the fatal shootings of their parents.

They will never be released from the Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility in San Diego, California.

Lyle and Erik spent much of their sentences held in different prisons in California.

Lyle had been held at Mule Creek State Prison in Northern California but made a request to transfer to the Richard J. Donovan facility to be closer to his brother.

The request was approved by the prison board and he was transferred to the facility.

However, Lyle requested to be housed with Erik, and in April of 2018 was moved into the same unit as his brother.

How can I watch the new Hulu documentary on Lyle and Erik Menendez?

The ABC 20/20 special originally aired April 2 at 9pm ET. 

The episode focuses on the brothers and their new wave of supporters on social media. 

It is now streaming on-demand and on Hulu.

You can catch up on the story with "The Menendez Murders: Erik Tells All” also on Hulu.

Additionally, video of the full trial from 1993 can be found on YouTube.

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