Tammi-Menendez_1
Tammi Menendez | Biography

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  • Full Name Tammi Menendez
  • Occupation Author
Wife of Prison Inmate Erik Menendez, Who Killed His Parents With His Brother

Tammi Menendez | Biography

Author of the Book, ‘They Said We’d Never Make It: My Life With Erik Menendez’

Tammi’s memoir 'They Said We’d Never Make It: My Life With Erik Menendez' is a 247 pages book launched on 17 October 2005. It was published by New Galen Publishing. In the book, Tammi talks about her husband Erik's strenuous life in prison, his prosecution for the murder of his parents, the cruelty of his existence in a maximum-security prison, and their battle to keep their marriage together. She revealed on Larry King Live that Erik also helped with a lot of editing on the book.


Tammi Menendez is the wife of prison inmate Erik Menendez. The latter is serving life in prison for the killings of his parents with his brother Lyle Menendez. 

Are Erik and Tammi Menendez still Married?

Tammi Menendez’s husband since 1999, Erik Menendez, and his brother Lyle Menendez are serving a life sentence in prison for murdering his parents in 1989.

Tammi met Eric in 1997, a year after he was convicted and condemned to life in prison without the possibility of release. 

A documentary titled Mrs. Menendez based on her life was released in 2009. In 2005, Tammi published her memoir titled ‘They Said We’d Never Make It: My Life With Erik Menendez,’ where she shared stories of meeting her future husband, Erik, getting married in prison, and their struggles. 

Chuck Sacooman and Daughters

Tammi Ruth Sacooman was previously married to deceased real-estate developer Chuck Saccoman. She also shared a daughter named Talia with Chuck. 

Talia was just 9-months old when her father, Chuck, committed suicide.

Chuck took his own life after Tammi found out that he was having an affair with his stepdaughter for three years. 

Tammi and Erik would interact via letters while she was still married to Chuck. And not long after Chuck’s death, Talia and Erik got married in a prison waiting room.

‘They Said We’d Never Make It: My Life With Erik Menendez’

Tammi’s memoir ‘They Said We’d Never Make It: My Life With Erik Menendez’ is a 247 pages book launched on 17 October 2005. New Galen Publishing published it. 

In the book, Tammi talks about her husband Erik’s strenuous life in prison, his prosecution for the murder of his parents, the cruelty of his existence in a maximum-security prison, and their battle to keep their marriage together. She revealed on Larry King Live that Erik also helped with a lot of editing on the book.

In her memoir, she mentioned: “I couldn’t imagine what he was going through emotionally, but I wanted to let him know that there were people out there who empathized with the very awful ordeal he was experiencing. Yes, he and Lyle had done something terrible, and they would certainly be punished for it. But even casual observers of the trial understood the depths of the trouble and abuse in the Menendez home.”

How did Tammi Menendez and Husband Erik Menendez Meet?

It all began in 1993 when Tammi watched the first televised trial of Lyle and Erik. She then wrote a letter to Erik during their second trial. Tammi was still married to Chuck when she started writing letters to Erik. 

In a 2005 interview with People talking about the first letter, Erik said, “I saw Tammi’s letter and I felt something. I received thousands of letters, but I set this one aside. I got a feeling. And I wrote her back. Tammi and I continued to correspond. I enjoyed writing to her.” He also noted that they began their relationship as a slow friendship. Phone calls followed the letters in July 1997.

In August 1997, Tammi came to see Erik for the very first time. Although they had been corresponding for years and had also spoken on the phone, he had no idea who she was or how she appeared, but he liked her as a person. “I remember that when I first met Tammi, it was the most beautiful experience of my life. When she crossed the room… Wow! My body lit on fire,” he stated about meeting Tammi.

On the other hand, Tammi stated she sensed “no romantic sparks, no crazy love at first sight, no sexual flashes” on her initial visit in person. Also, she explained that her second visit was romantic because they acted as if they were eating a filet mignon instead of vending machine food. 

Tammi then moved from Minnesota to California to be closer to Erik after they confessed their feelings for one another. However, they hadn’t met officially in person until 1997. On 12 June 1999, the couple exchanged wedding vows in the waiting room of Folsom State Prison. “It was a wonderful ceremony until I had to leave. That was a very lonely night,” she later said. 

Tammi Menendez’s Children 

Erik and Tammy have never had sexual relations and do not share any children, according to TheScotishSun. However, he has a stepdaughter, Talia (Tammi’s daughter from her former marriage), who refers to Erik as “Earth Dad.” Despite two decades of court battles and Erik’s life in prison, the couple is still together. According to Tammi, both she and her daughter Talia drive 150 miles every weekend to see Erik.

The 1989 Murder Trial

On 20 August 1989, Erik and Lyle Menendez, 18 and 21 respectively, murdered both of their parents at their Beverly Hills mansion. The two brothers were found guilty of one of the most infamous crimes of the past decades—the 1989 shotgun killings of their parents—mother Kitty Menendez and father Jose Menendez. 

The Menendez murder case was a barbarous crime in which Jose and Kitty were shot 15 times with two 12-gauge shotguns, rendering them practically recognizable. The executions were so horrific that police initially suspected a mob hit, and early inquiries focused on business competitors and a porn boss with a vendetta against Jose.

Soon after, with the help of a therapist named Dr. Jerome Oziel, both Erik and Lyle were eventually caught on tape, confessing to the killings. Erik stated they did it to put their mother “out of her misery,” and Lyle stated that both of them were complicit in the murder. 

Why the Menendez brothers killed their parents?

Both Erik and Lyle were apprehended for the crimes about a year later and sentenced to life in prison in 1996. The court landed the ruling in favor of the prosecution claim that the brothers took their parents’ lives out of greed for riches. In contrast, Leslie Abramson, their lawyer, maintained that the two committed the crime in self-defense because of growing up in such a violent and sexually abusive environment.

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