Here's How Much The Menendez Brothers Spent On Their Spree

Photo by Justin Lubin/NBC
For seven years, Lyle and Erik Menendez’s fascinating, gruesome, bewildering crime dominated the news cycle. On August 20, 1989, Lyle (21) and Erik (18) murdered their parents, Jose and Kitty Menendez, in their Calabasas home — though it would be some time before anyone suspected them of the crime. Since this incident clearly screams, “Turn me into a true-crime special,” NBC is recreating the trial with its show Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders, which premiered on September 26.
For people whose parents had just been brutally murdered, Lyle and Erik Menendez sure behaved oddly. Although the brothers’ inheritance was uncertain — their father had threatened to remove them from the will — they did receive an insurance payout of $650,000. And boy, did they begin to spend it. The Menendez brothers’ spending spree was one of the principal pieces of evidence the prosecution used against them in the trial.
Between committing the crime and confessing on October 31, 1989, the brothers went through about $700,000. In today’s terms, that translates to an even million. Here’s what they spent it on.
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Nick Ut/AP/REX/Shutterstock
The brothers decided to pour resources into their burgeoning tennis careers. They hired Mark Heffernan, a tennis coach whose services cost $60,000 a year. Heffernan testified he trained with the brothers for ten hours a day in their adjoining Marina del Rey condos.

Erik, the more committed player, spent money on flights abroad to compete in matches.
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During the trial in October 1995, a jewelry saleswoman, Mary Ellen Mahar, said that four days after the killings, the brothers spent $15,000 on three Rolex watches. They wore their new watches to the funeral the following day.
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Lyle Menendez' bodyguard, Richard Wenskoski, said Lyle would frequently jump out of the limousine and dash into clothing and sporting goods stores. Allegedly, Lyle would drop up to $3,000 a trip.

He reportedly spent a total of $40,000 on clothing.
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Lyle bought a gray, $64,000 special edition Porsche Carrera, replacing his old Alfa Romeo.
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Erik exchanged his Ford Mustang for a tan Jeep Wrangler.
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Lyle put a $300,000 down payment on a restaurant called Chuck's Spring Street Cafe in Princeton, New Jersey. The restaurant cost $550,000 total.

He renamed the restaurant Mr. Buffalo's.
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While pursuing his business goals, Lyle was chauffeured around Princeton, NJ.
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In one of his stranger investments, Erik poured $40,000 into funding a rock concert at the L.A. Palladium with a friend, writer Dominic Dunne reported. The friend ultimately bailed on the project. Erik lost his money.
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The brothers had lofty financial goals. According to real estate agent Valerie Hart, the brothers had been planning to buy a $900,000 luxury condo in the Marina City Club.
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According to court documents, these are the items that the Menendez brothers sought to deem inadmissable to use as evidence during their second trial in 1995.

1. Rental of the bungalow suite at the Hotel Bel-Air
2. A ski trip to Aspen
3. Clothing and accessories purchased in Chicago, Illinois
4. A private limousine used in Beverly Hills and Chicago, Illinois
5. A Sony Big screen entertainment center
6. A Saab Automobile
7. A vacation to Cancun, Mexico
8. Skiing and gambling in Lake Tahoe
9. Traveling the professional tennis circuit
10. Investments at Smith Barney
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