Lyle and Erik Menendez were found guilty of killing their parents, Jose and Kitty Menendez, in 1996, and despite being behind bars for more than 30 years, the brothers have managed to find multiple love connections. Keep reading to get to know Erik and Lyle Menendez’s wives and ex-partners.
Who Is Erik Menendez’s Wife?
Erik and his now-wife, Tammi Menendez, first met in August 1997 after years of correspondence. They both described their connection as being love at first sight — and she and her daughter eventually moved to California to be closer to him. They got married in 1999 in the waiting room at Folsom State Prison, with Tammi saying of the ceremony, “Our wedding cake was a Twinkie. We improvised. It was a wonderful ceremony until I had to leave. That was a very lonely night.”
In a 2005 interview with NBC News, she said she didn’t “set out” to have a relationship with Erik, but that “something happened.” While the two aren’t allowed conjugal visits — they stay in touch with regular visits and 15-minute phone calls — she insisted that she receives “emotional support” from her man. That same year, Tammi released a book entitled They Said We’d Never Make It – My Life with Erik Menendez and noted that her husband helped edit the book.
In a 2005 interview with People, Erik said that his love for his wife motivates him to be the best version of himself. “Tammi’s love has propelled me to become a better person. I want to be the greatest possible husband to her. And this affects the choices I make every day in prison,” he said. “Tammi has taught me how to be a good husband. There is no makeup sex, only a 15-minute phone call, so you really have to try to make things work.”
Who Is Lyle Menendez’s Wife?
Rebecca Sneed was working as a magazine editor when she first began corresponding via letters to Lyle. They went on to exchange vows in the visiting room of his state prison in 2003.
In an interview conducted in January 2017, Lyle admitted that he sometimes feels “guilty” for what she has to go through as his wife. He explained, “People are judgmental, and she has to put up with a lot. But she has the courage to deal with the obstacles. It would be easier to leave, but I’m profoundly grateful that she doesn’t.”
He later reflected on his marriage during ABC’s Truth and Lies: The Menendez Brothers, adding, “I’ve found I can have a healthy marriage that is complicated and built around conversation and finding creative ways to communicate, sharing, without all the props that are normally there in marriage in terms of going out to dinner and having as much intimate time together and so on.”
Today, she works as a defense attorney.
Was Lyle Menendez Married Twice?
Before Lyle’s marriage to Rebecca, he was married to Anna Eriksson. Anna was a model, and her interest was sparked after she saw him during his first trial on television.
Recalling her decision to connect with Lyle, Anna said, “I was watching the lawyers thanking people for all these letters of support Erik got. I thought to myself, ‘What about Lyle?'” The relationship between the two blossomed via letter writing, and in 1994, Anna moved to Los Angeles to be closer to Lyle.
The pair married in July 1996, on the day Lyle was sentenced to life in prison; however, she divorced him in 2001, after learning he had letter correspondence with other women. Two years later, he married Rebecca and they’ve been together ever since.
What Have the Menendez Brothers’ Wives Said About Their Crime?
Erik and Lyle brutally murdered their parents in 1989, shooting them both multiple times. Alleging that their crime was the result of prolonged sexual abuse, the brothers faced years of legal proceedings before they were convicted and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole in 1996.
Speaking about her husband’s crimes, Tammi told NBC News that his past does “trouble” her, but that she knows Erik’s true heart.
“I know his soul, and I do know what happened that night,” she said. “And I do understand. I believe that within everybody put in certain circumstances, you will, you know, be able to kill somebody. I mean I do believe that Erik is a very good person.”
Rebecca, meanwhile, has stayed relatively quiet about her husband’s crime, with Lyle’s account of their marriage serving as the official record.
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