Do you remember Lyle and Erik Menendez?
Those brothers were famous for murdering their wealthy Beverly Hills parents in 1989 before finally being convicted five years later in 1994.
And the Menendez brothers are spotted courtside at a New York Knicks game right after murdering their parents and before they were finally charged with the crime.
It was a fateful night on August 20th 1989 when Jose and Kitty Menendez were casually sitting on their couch in the den of their Beverly Hills mansion when their two sons, Lyle and Erik, entered carrying shotguns. The two murdered their parents in brutal fashion, shooting them multiple times, and the brothers staged it to make it looked like it was connected to organized crime.
After the murders, Lyle called 9-1-1 claiming they had just arrived home to find their parents saying they saw “Batman” and then went to the annual “Taste of LA,” using each other as their alibis.
The Los Angeles Police Department bought into their alibis and didn’t order the brothers to undergo gunshot residue tests to rule them out. After that, the brothers spent nearly $1 million of the insurance money they collected to buy lavish things like Rolexes, Porsches and even restaurants.
Another thing the Menendez brothers bought were courtside tickets to a New York Knicks game before they were apprehended by LAPD March 11th 1990.
They were actually spotted behind a NBA Hoops New York Knicks guard Mark Jackson basketball card seated on the baseline.
The wild thing is, nobody noticed for another 30 years they were sitting right behind Jackson passing the ball in the card’s photo.
The man who spotted it, Stephen Zerance, wasn’t even an NBA fan either. But he is an enormous fan of true crime.
He said, “My friend and I, who is also a true-crime head, knew that the brothers went on a lavish spending spree after they got an insurance payout from their parents’ death. They bought a lot of things: tennis lessons, Rolexes, clothes, businesses, restaurants, cars. Then we noticed they bought courtside tickets to the Knicks at Madison Square Garden.”
That’s how it all began.
Zerance added, “When Getty Images didn’t have anything, it was like a light bulb. There are so many junk cards on eBay.”
Apparently he bought hundreds of cards and sure enough. He spotted the brothers in the card.
Mood: my Mark Jackson basketball card with cameos from the Menendez brothers in the background pic.twitter.com/kqmLag0uze
— STEPHEN ZERANCE (@stephnz) August 12, 2018
Zerance posted this information on Reddit and it didn’t get a whole lot of traction. It might have just fallen through the cracks at the time.
But then Darren Rovell, a sports business reporter and Senior Executive Producer of the Action Network Headquarters confirmed that this was all true.
This checks out. Menendez murder happened Aug. 20, 1989. Brothers were apprehended March 1990. Photo was taken at MSG in 1989-90 season and set came out before 1990-91 season. https://t.co/n2vzRBA6Sg
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) December 8, 2018
That’s when the story spread like wildfire. It received thousands of retweets and was even reported on by CNN and The Washington Post.
Zerance didn’t immediately get credit but eventually he did.