How the Menendez Murders Became a Queer Cult Favorite

menendez-murders-edie-falco-dominick-dunne-LA
The Menendez Murders uncovered the seedy side of Beverly Hills-- and soon gained a cult following among murder obsessives.

Most of us know the bare bones details of the story of the Menendez Murders. If not, they go like this: On August 20, 1989, brothers Lyle and Erik Menendez shot their parents, José Menendez, 45, and his wife, Kitty, 47, while they watched television in their Beverly Hills home. José was a powerful Hollywood executive, and he had recently changed his will to leave his sons less than the full $14 million estate they had come to expect. The brothers initially tried to blame the killings on the Mafia, but after blowing a ton of cash after their parents’ death, they fell under instant suspicion. Legacy crime reporter Dominick Dunne covered the case, quite famously, for Vanity Fair, starting with a long 1990 essay called “Nightmare on Elm Drive.”

- Advertisement -

Dunne was famous for always siding with the prosecution, especially after the grisly murder of his own daughter (and “Poltergeist” actress) Dominique Dunne by her boyfriend in 1982. But as he came to know the brothers Menendez, Dunne started to question what he knew, and what he thought he knew.

Erik Menendez confessed the crime, first to his friend and screenwriting partner Craig Cignarelli, and then to his therapist L. Jerome Oziel, in October of the same year. And then the real story came out.

Erik and Lyle Menendez’s defense relied heavily on their claims of physical, emotional, and sexual abuse by their father José. While Dominick Dunne at first dismissed these claims as a cheap ploy for the defense, he later wondered if he had gotten it wrong. While Dunne maintained that the Menendez case lacked “a single sympathetic character,” he also was able to get strangely close to Erik, and to Erik’s close friend Craig Cignarelli, of whom Erik said to photographer Philip Kearney, according to The Wrap: “If I was gay, Craig [Cignarelli] would be my boyfriend.”

The Wrap also states:  “There was a strain of homosexuality running through the trial,” said the prosecutor, Pamela Bozanich, whom Dunne quickly befriended. “We knew Erik was gay and having oral sex with the inmates.” They also knew of homoerotic photographs taken of Erik. In addition, Dunne liked to gossip about Erik’s possible physical attraction to his high school friend Craig Cignarelli, a witness for the prosecution. Dunne and Bozanich even speculated on why Judge Weisberg often disallowed the word “homosexual” in the courtroom.”

This “strain of homosexuality,” of course, refers to the crimes the Menendez brothers accused their father José of perpetrating upon them, including anal and oral sex from the time they were children onward. Erik’s sexual life in prison has also been the cause of much speculation – some of it absolutely wild – when it comes to the press. Much has been made even of the fact that comedian and Gay icon Kathy Griffin received a painted portrait from Erik Menendez which he painted in prison in 2010.

“It was really a very, very gossipy case,” ABC’s Dan Abrams told The Wrap. It remains just as gossipy as ever today, with a new television adaptation – starring Edie Falco as Menendez attorney Leslie Abramson – having just launched its first episode on NBC. There’s no denying that when it comes to certain stories, the passage of time only makes things appear less clear and far more fascinating.

Comments

30 COMMENTS

  1. I really like your blog.. very nice colors & theme.
    Did you make this website yourself or did you hire
    someone to do it for you? Plz reply as I’m looking to create my own blog and would like to find out where u got this
    from. many thanks

  2. Hi, I do think this is an excellent blog. I stumbledupon it 😉 I will revisit once again since i have book-marked it.
    Money and freedom is the best way to change, may you be rich and continue to guide
    other people.

  3. Wow that was odd. I just wrote an really long comment but after I clicked submit my comment didn’t
    show up. Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that over again. Anyway,
    just wanted to say wonderful blog!

  4. magnificent put up, very informative. I ponder why the other specialists of this
    sector do not understand this. You must continue your writing.
    I am confident, you’ve a great readers’ base already!

  5. I have been exploring for a bit for any high quality articles or blog posts in this kind of house .
    Exploring in Yahoo I eventually stumbled upon this
    website. Studying this information So i am happy to express
    that I have an incredibly excellent uncanny feeling I came upon just what I needed.
    I so much without a doubt will make certain to don?t fail to
    remember this site and provides it a look regularly.

  6. Hiya! I know this is kinda off topic however , I’d figured
    I’d ask. Would you be interested in trading links or maybe guest writing a
    blog article or vice-versa? My website addresses a lot of the same subjects as yours and I feel we could greatly benefit from each other.
    If you happen to be interested feel free to send me an email.
    I look forward to hearing from you! Wonderful blog by the way!

  7. Thanks for the good writeup. It actually was once a leisure account it. Glance complex to more delivered agreeable from you! By the way, how could we communicate?

  8. Somebody essentially help to make seriously posts I would state. This is the first time I frequented your website page and thus far? I surprised with the research you made to create this particular publish amazing. Excellent job!

  9. “For ice cream program, you would love your activities with long term ice cream flavors along with flavors of month sub method and significantly far more other system. You would get every month new taste of month for ice cream under flavor of month subprograms. Other subprograms are sherbets, rotators, sorbets, ices, small fats and yogurts gone nuts.”

  10. Sweet blog! I found it while searching on Yahoo News. Do you have any tips on how to get listed in Yahoo News? I’ve been trying for a while but I never seem to get there! Appreciate it

  11. the sims 4 creating kitchenThe Sims 4 is the fourth major title in life simulation video game the sims 4 creating kitchen series The Sims, developed by Maxis the sims 4 creating kitchen and The Sims Studio and published by Electronic Arts. The Sims 4 was originally announced on May 6, 2013, and was released in the sims 4 creating kitchen North America on September 2, 2014 for Hello, Very Nice Site with a lot of Information https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IBxIRaaVEYE of the sims 4 creating kitchen the sims 4 creating kitchen is very easy to the sims 4 creating kitchen learn much of the Game The Sims 4 create a Kitchen and more. The game has the same concept as its predecessor, The Sims 3; players control their Sims in various activities and can form the sims 4 creating kitchen relationships. The game, like most of the series, does not have a defined final goal; gameplay is nonlinear. The Create-a-Sim and Build Mode tools have been redesigned to allow more versatility when creating game content. Emotional state plays a larger role in game play than in previous games in the series, with effects on social interaction, user interface o date EA has released four expansion packs, with the most recent (Cats & Dogs) being released in November 2017. There have also been several “game packs” released, including Parenthood which allows the players to shape the characters’ children and teenagers as they go through life, as well as free updates that include major changes such as the addition of a toddler life stage. See You the sims 4 creating kitchen

  12. Tubebuddy The Tag- and Tubebuddy Thumbnail- Generator will bring your video up Tubebuddy in the ranking on Youtube, is awesome. Many more tools only for one goal, Tubebuddy grow your Channel Much more Subscribers, Views, and Watch time It`s a Free tool, and Very useful plugin for Youtubers Tubebuddy .Much more Subscribers, Views, and Watch time on Youtube.Much more Subscribers, Views, and Watch time on Youtube.Much more Subscribers, Views, and Watch time Tubebuddy on Youtube.Much more Subscribers, Views, and Watch time on Youtube.FREE Tubebuddy FREE Tubebuddy FREE FREETubebuddy FREE.

  13. Many thanks for the superb write-up! I seriously appreciated learning about.I will be sure to save the website and will often return in the future. I would love to suggest you to ultimately continue your nice posts, even think about best trading robot too, have a good day!

  14. Its such as you read my thoughts! You appear to understand so much about this, like you wrote the e book in it or something. I think that you can do with some p.c. to drive the message house a bit, but instead of that, that is fantastic blog. A fantastic read. I’ll certainly be back.

  15. I arrived over here from a different web page about environmental jobs network and considered I might as well consider this. I love what I see thus now I am following you. Looking forward to going over your site yet again.

  16. I’m not sure why but this website is loading extremely slow for me. Is anyone else having this issue or is it a issue on my end? I’ll check back later and see if the problem still exists.

  17. Hi! Would you mind if I share your blog with my zynga group? There’s a lot of folks that I think would really appreciate your content. Please let me know. Thank you

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here