Whatever Happened To The Menendez Brothers' Home?

In the late '80s, Erik and Lyle Menendez seemingly lived a cushy life of wealth and privilege in their Beverly Hills mansion. Their father, José, was hugely ambitious — a poster boy for the American Dream — and he channeled his energies into making his boys a success, encouraging them both to make waves in the world of professional tennis. The two had talent, and it seemed like their paths in life were set. However, all was not well within the Menendez household. In August 1989, the brothers brutally executed their mother and father in the family home. The pair argued that years of childhood physical and sexual abuse at the hands of their father pushed them to orchestrate the murder of both their parents. However, more skeptical minds believed that they had simply been after his fortune.

The Menendez brothers were just 18 and 21 years old when they decided to kill their parents with shotguns, blowing out their kneecaps for added credibility and blaming it on the mob. Nonetheless, the manner in which the murders were carried out led police to suspect a crime of passion, and the pair eventually confessed to the killings after a seven-year-long investigation. The enviable estate that the family left behind included the "murder mansion" — which once belonged to Elton John — and a second home in Calabasas. However, due to its horrifying history, the former would not sell easily. Since then, the property has changed hands multiple times and has drawn the attention of morbid-minded true crime enthusiasts.

The Menendez Estate

José Menendez arrived in America as a fairly ordinary Cuban immigrant. By the time he died, he was a millionaire who had worked in both the music industry and Hollywood over the course of his career. According to the Los Angeles Times, the estate he left behind was initially valued at over $14 million.

The estate included two sprawling homes that any LA bigwig would be proud of — the family's first house in Calabasas (which was being refurbished at the time of the murder) and a property in Beverly Hills where the murder took place. The luxurious Calabasas house was appraised at $2.65 million and contains a tennis court, swimming pool, wet bar, and guest house (via the Los Angeles Times). During the probate auction in 1994, it fetched just $1.325 million.

The Beverly Hills murder house at 722 North Elm Drive was also hugely desirable prior to the murders, boasting six bedrooms and many of the same amenities as the Calabasas property. Notably, Elton John and Prince were among its previous owners. But it lost a sizeable portion of its original value after the shocking Menendez murders. Built in 1927 and redesigned in the 1980s, the two-story mansion was initially said to be worth a whopping $4.8 million. However, now saddled with a pretty grim history, it eventually sold for much less — after being rented out to a Saudi prince for $50,000, it finally sold for $3,607,975 in 1991.

The Beverly Hills house today

According to Yahoo, despite the abuse and murders that took place on the property, the Menendez Beverly Hills home has been resold several times. It was owned by the mystery writer William Link — who co-created "Murder She Wrote" — for an eight-year period before being sold to business executive Sam Delug in 2001. In 2023, the six-bedroom, eight-bathroom property was listed on Zillow with an assessed value of over $5 million, though it is not currently on the market.

But could the current true crime boom actually put value back on the much-maligned property? Although many years have passed since the murders, the present owners still have to contend with curious visitors turning up in their driveway, and the site has become a place of grim interest for those engaged in true crime tourism. On the true crime website Morbid Tourism, for example, the house features alongside the likes of the Amityville Horror House as a notable spooky location. A number of YouTubers have also filmed themselves visiting the mansion — most notably Jake Webber, whose driveby visit to the property netted him over 1 million views. 

As the commenters beneath Webber's video make clear, the Menendez case remains highly contentious. In fact, some in the online community sympathize with the brothers and believe the defense they made at their three 1990s trials. Though they remain in prison, their attorneys filed a 2023 petition claiming new evidence could set them free (per CNN). Time will tell whether the property will once again end up in the spotlight.