One of the strangest stories of 2018 was how a junk wax era basketball card became national news. Not for the accomplishments of the player, but for the notorious duo apparently spotted in the crowd on Mark Jackson’s 1990-91 Hoops card.
You can now eliminate “apparently”.
One of the Menendez brothers has confirmed that the two young men seated courtside at Madison Square Garden are indeed he and his brother Erik…after they’d killed their parents but before they were arrested.
The Daily Mail, based in London, managed to get ahold of Lyle Menendez in a San Diego prison where both brothers are incarcerated. He called last summer’s discovery “unusual and remarkable.”
“I just see myself in the audience there with Erik, it’s just like, wow, they actually, obviously didn’t capture it on that card on purpose, but it shocked me. It’s amazing that somebody spotted it,” Lyle said.
Last year, Erik Menendez was transferred from another facility to the same prison unit where his brother has been housed. They hadn’t seen each other in over 20 years.
The brothers were part of a wealthy family who claimed they committed the murders after years of sexual abuse. After shooting their parents inside the family’s Beverly Hills home in 1989, they weren’t immediately considered suspects and went on a lavish spending spree including trips to watch the New York Knicks play. It was during one of those games that a photographer captured the image of Jackson that showed the duo on the background, watching from expensive seats Lyle Menendez said they typically acquired from scalpers. Their presence on the card wasn’t discovered until this August Twitter post, which at the time was barely noticed.
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
It wasn’t until this fall that someone else shared the discovery online and the story went viral. Not until this week, though, was the identity of the brothers confirmed.
“It was sort of a haunting period after my parents passed, before my arrest,” Lyle Menendez told the Daily Mail. “It’s a wealthy family, you spend a lot of money, like I said, we went to a lot of Knicks games before so, going to Knicks games afterwards wouldn’t be too extravagant, certainly money was not something on my brother’s and my mind at that point.”
The buzz surrounding the card’s infamy did cause a mini rush for a card that was virtually worthless until late last summer. Thousands have been bought and sold online since the story exploded late last year although the Daily Mail story was a bit misleading with regard to the card’s value. They’re readily available on eBay.
Lyle Menendez told The Mail he doesn’t own a copy of the card but would like to get one.