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Brothers Menendez

September 09, 1990

So Jose Menendez was an overachiever, had great charm, intense drive and ambition, a need for excellence and perfection and tried to instill these traits in his children as well as control their destinies. For years we have read how these same traits made old Joe Kennedy's dream of having a son sworn in as President possible, but Johnson and Soble seem to think that same single-mindedness drove Menendez' children to murder him.

So Lyle went on a spending spree after his parents' deaths, and that should be sufficient proof of his guilt. As someone who has experienced when young the death of a parent, fortunately for me in less dramatic circumstances, I know children grieve differently, as when my brother tried to bury his pain at the death of the mother he adored by attending, or throwing, as many parties as he could fit in a day, or my sister seemed to think it necessary to be reassured of her family's love at every waking moment, or I myself retreated and for months afterwards thought I hated everyone who had a mother.

So the police have found a manuscript written by Erik relating a similar crime, and this too should convince us of his guilt. As a would-be writer I have written manuscripts based on many subjects, and I now shudder to think what would happen if, God forbid, any child close to me should suffer an accident, would my novel based on child abuse convince the police of my culpability?

I think a person who is capable of not only killing his parents but blowing off his mother's face, knows no loyalty, and would never have flown back home to surrender after his brother was arrested as Erik did.

PATRICIA H. ARNAZZI

Torrance

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