Netflix and Ryan Murphy have found their next Sample – or rather, a few of them.
The second installment of Murphy and Ian Brennan’s anthology series will focus on Lyle and Erik Menendez, the brothers convicted of murdering their parents, José and Kitty, at their Beverly Hills home in 1989. The umbrella title of the series will get plural, with the season going by Monsters: The Story of Lyle and Erik Menendez. Netflix also says it has “exclusive access” to the brothers for an upcoming documentary.
After the overwhelming success of the first Sample, focusing on serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer, Netflix ordered two more episodes and turned the series into an anthology that will “tell stories of other monstrous figures who have influenced society.” The first season currently ranks as Netflix’s third most popular English-language series ever from its first 28 days of release.
The Menendez brothers were tried twice for the murders of their parents, with the first resulting in deadlocked juries and the second in convictions for both brothers on charges of first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder. The brothers said in court that they had been abused for life by their parents and had shot them in fear for their lives. They were each sentenced to life in prison without parole.
The Menendez case was a media sensation in the early 1990s and has since been covered extensively (or exhaustively) in both fictionalized and documentary form. Fox and CBS both aired TV movies about the murders in 1994, and Lifetime ran Menendez: Blood Brothers in 2017. The only season of Law & Order: true crime on NBC also focused on the case, starring Edie Falco as attorney Leslie Abramson. Several true crime shows have also profiled the brothers.
Murphy and Brennan executive produce the anthology series. Details on other writers and producers, as well as casting, will be announced at a later date.