THE MENENDEZ MURDERS—
By: Valerie Milano
Beverly Hills, CA ( The Hollywood Times) 9/20/17 – When we think Beverly Hills and violent crime, we would generally presume it to come from outside. This was just confirmed for the present reporter at a lengthy stint of voir dire during which 75 prospective jurors from the wealthy Westside in LA were closely questioned in connection with a criminal case being tried near LAX.
With regard to the 1989 Menendez murders, crime came from inside when Eric and Lyle Menendez brutally murdered their parents in their Beverly Hills mansion once rented by celebrity singers Prince and Elton John. The sensational trial which followed still lives on in memory for many. In 1994, both brothers were convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.
Now Dick Wolf has created an eight-part LAW & ORDER TRUE CRIME series about the Menendez case starring four-time Emmy Award-winner Edie Falco that was discussed on Thursday, August 3rd at the NBC TCA Press Tour held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. Jennifer Salke lead the panel discussion with Wolf and Falco; emerging talents Gus Halper and Mike Gaston Villanueva, who played the Menendez brothers; director/executive producer Lesli Linka Glatter; and showrunner/executive producer Rene Balcer.
Falco portrays tenacious defense attorney Leslie Abramson for whom the job always came first on this true crime series. Dick Wolf has become almost a “bottomless pit” of programming for NBC and hopes it continues!
Here family dysfunction and collusion between the judge and the district attorney’s office combine in a scenario in which all seven deadly sins are in one place! Angelenos will shudder to hear all too familiar names in law enforcement emerge again and again.
The psychology of abuse victims takes center stage in this series. Both Menendez boys were supposedly molested by their pedophile father and felt their lives to be in imminent danger every single day.
Wolf felt that the audience was one of the biggest mysteries when trying to create compelling crime shows. Hopefully THE MENENDEZ MURDERS has found a winning formula! Judge for yourself when the series launces on Tuesday, September 26th at 10 p.m. on NBC.