The Menendez Brothers: Killers or Victims?

For the next stop in our journey in the rhetorical analysis of the Menendez Brothers’ case, we viewed Youtuber, Kendall Rae’s The Menendez Brothers: Killers or Victims?

Kendall Rae

Kendall Rae has been active on YouTube for almost ten years and has over 3 million subscribers on her self-titled channel. She began posting True Crime content back in 2016 and since then has gained over 450 million views on all of her videos combined. Kendall Rae also co-hosts the Mile Higher podcast with her husband, Jason Thomas. Focusing on crime, conspiracy, and cognizance, the husband and wife duo cover everything from True Crime to Area 51. With over 370k listeners, the podcast has grown in success along with Kendall. On her main channel, she not only covers well known cases like that of the Menendez brothers, but she also covers smaller, ongoing cases that she believes deserves exposure. She is most known for presenting information about the cases she chooses to cover in a non-biased manner, without embellishment. She gets family members involved when covering missing persons videos, she talks to experts when covering mental health related cases, and she has proven herself to be a credible source of information when it comes to the cases that she covers.

The Menendez Brothers: Killers or Victims begins with introducing us to Erik and Lyle’s parents, Kitty and José, and their lives leading up to their murders. This decision allowed the viewers to form their own opinions on the case. This was particularly interesting and rather refreshing when compared to the last piece of media we watched, Menendez: Blood Brothers. Despite both media being approximately the same length, Kendall Rae’s version was chocked full of information and details that the dramatization glazed over.

An example of this is Erik and Lyle’s involvement in a string of Calabasas break-ins which fueled their desire for luxury goods and to rebel against their overbearing, controlling parents. These were not small-scale break-ins either. The goods that were stolen in one of these robberies amounted to the total sum of $100,000. In a strange turn of events, their father even knew of these escapades and covered for them. However, they were eventually caught after a friend of the brothers’ ratted them out. In the dramatization, this was never mentioned or even hinted at, but in Kendall Rae’s video this topic alone was talked about extensively. The exclusion of the brothers’ previous involvement in criminal activities did not fit the narrative that Menendez: Blood Brothers was spinning. This made the viewers think of the brothers in a particular light and the whole truth was not illuminated. However, Kendall Rae provided an accurate depiction of the brothers’ and their crimes to let the viewers make their own decisions, which is the real beauty behind True Crime.

Kendall Rae’s analysis of the Menendez brother’s case is all together unbiased. Her video shows a different view which the dramatization, Menendez: Blood Brothers, fails to address. Kendall Rae gets straight to the facts, cutting out any “fat” which may convince the viewer to swing one way or another. She doesn’t let any personal emotion slip through her review of the case. She humanizes the victims while also providing all the facts about the family so the audience can form their own conclusions.