Death of Marilyn Monroe
Monroe was born Norma Jeane Mortenson on June 1, 1926, in the charity
ward of Los Angeles County Hospital (her mother Gladys was both poor
and mentally unstable) and baptized Norma Jeane Baker shortly
thereafter. She died under mysterious circumstances at her home in
Brentwood, Los Angeles, on August 5, 1962. She was 36.
Los Angeles County Coroner, Doctor Thomas Noguchi, ruled the death to
be acute barbiturate poisoning and probable suicide. Others
different mind such as Jack Clemmons begged to differ, the Los Angeles
Police Sergeant and first officer on the scene called it murder:
"Marilyn was lying face down in what I call the soldier's position,"
stated Clemmons. "Her hands were by her side and her legs were
stretched out perfectly straight. It was the most obviously staged
death scene I have ever seen. The pill bottles on her bedside table had
been arranged in neat order and the body deliberately positioned. It
all looked too tidy."
But strangely, though the days on
and after her death were liberally laced with both
inconsistencies and contradictions, some quite glaring, murder charges
were neither laid nor pursued.
From such, conspiracy theories are born:
DiMaggio Jr. the son of baseball great Joe DiMaggio, Marilyn’s second
husband, called Monroe shortly after 7:00 p.m. the evening of August 4.
When questioned later as to her behavior, he replied “upbeat and
Peter Lawford, at the time President Kennedy’s
brother-in-law, phoned at 7:30 p.m.(
according to phone
records his was the last local call that
night) Marilyn her voice slurred and virtually
inaudible, telling him to “Say good-bye to the President and say
good-bye to your self, because you’re a really nice guy.” Repeated
callbacks by Lawford allegedly produced nothing but busy signals.
8 p.m. Lawford concerned contacted Eunice Murray, the housekeeper
(hired by Monroe’s psychiatrist to watch over Marilyn) and was told
Monroe was fine.
Clothing manufacturer Henry Rosenfeld,
hairdresser Sydney Guilaroff and former boyfriend Jose Bolanos all
claimed they talked to Monroe between the hours of 8 and 10 and that
Monroe was both coherent and in good spirits. 
At around 10:00 Murray notices a light under Marilyn’s door but thought
little of it.
Carmen, B movie actress, a professed close friend and confident, later
alleged that Marilyn phoned her sometime shortly after 10:00 p.m. and
invited her over but because of the hour she declined. 
around 10:30 p.m.Marilyn’s agent Arthur Jacobs left a concert at the
Hollywood Bowl supposedly after being informed by Mickey Rudin,
Marilyn’s lawyer, that the actress had overdosed (a time in keeping
with the undertakers original estimate of the time of death).
around midnight, Murray seeing the light under Munroe’s door still on,
purportedly knocked a number of times and receiving no reply called Dr.
Ralph Greenson, Monroe’s psychiatrist.
arrived shortly thereafter and unable to enter the bedroom broke the
glass on the French windows. Finding Monroe unresponsive he phoned Dr.
Hyman Engelberg, Monroe’s personal physician.
At around 1 a.m. the morning of August 5 Lawford was purportedly
informed of Marilyn’s death by Rudin.
police were called, responding at approximately 4:30 a.m. August 5. The
housekeeper and doctors are questioned and the time of death
established to be around 12:30 a.m. August 5.
that Monroe’s bedroom looked extremely neat and tidy with fresh linen
on the bed. They also noted that the housekeeper was washing bed sheets
when they arrived. (4:30 a.m.)
Pills were found in the room but
with no way to wash them down (Monroe was known to have difficulty
swallowing pills). Police claimed a glass later found near the bed was
not there initially.
Guy Hockett the undertaker arrived at 5:40
a.m. August 5 and placed the time of death at between 9:30 and 11:30
p.m. August 4 (a time later changed to conform to that of the
Subsequent to later questioning the three witnesses
allegedly changed their stories, the housekeeper (appearing
increasingly nervous and confused) now saying that after initially
noticing a the light under the door at midnight she turned in, only
calling Greenson after awakening 3 hours later and noticing the light
still on. The doctors, seemingly falling in line, changed the time of
death to shortly before 4:00 a.m. August 5.
Despite being the
principal eyewitness Murray apparently left for Europe shortly after
Monroe’s passing thus effectively sidestepping any further questions.
Dr. Noguchi found no sign of drugs in either Monroe’s
stomach or digestive tract, an indication that whatever had killed her
was introduced by a method other than oral. Monroe was found face down,
but “lividity” (a purplish discoloration due to the blood settling)
indicated she had died on her back. There were a number of mostly minor
bruises on her body, along with a bluish discoloration of the
fingernails and mucous membranes (Cyanosis) indicating death was quick.
The toxicologist (showing a serious lack of foresight) failed to comply
with a request by Noguchi for a complete examination of internal
organs, basically limiting his investigation to just the blood (in
which copious amounts of Nembutal and Chloral Hydrate were
found), the problem further aggravated when photographs, samples and
slides of what was examined went missing making it impossible to
determine with certainty the method of drug entry (intravenous was
ruled out and suppositories considered unlikely). Faced with the
aforementioned and seeing no alternative, Noguchi, albeit reluctantly,
wrote that the drugs were ingested orally.
circumstances with its twists, turns, discrepancies and contradictions
made it difficult for investigators of all stripes to get a handle on
exactly who was involved, what happened and when. Was it murder,
suicide (accidental or otherwise) or was it something else.
She was murdered:
unqualified favorite of conspiracy theorists, and why not. Marilyn was
involved with the Kennedys and the Kennedys had enemies, foreign and
domestic, any one of whom might have chosen to murder Monroe as a way
of getting at the President.
Kennedys themselves orchestrated the murder (Marilyn was a loose cannon
“allegedly infatuated with the President and with unrealistic
expectations of becoming First Lady” whose intimate relations with Jack
and possibly Bobbie threatened the presidency as well as the political
aspirations and private lives of both the brothers).
Though possible it's
highly unlikely. It's one thing to plot the assassination of a third
world dictator such as Fidel Castro (Operation Mongoose) quite another
to be involved in the murder of a high profile American movie star. The
brothers, especially Jack, were definitely guilty of certain personal
indiscretions (as have been many other politicians) but the murder
Marilyn Monroe as a way of resolving the issue stretches the bounds of
She committed suicide, perhaps inadvertently:
heavily involved with alcohol and drugs had a history of overdosing and
being resuscitated (the victim of violent mood swings, she had
attempted suicide on numerous occasions).
James Bacon a Hollywood columnist, supposedly having visited the
movie star a few days before her death, stated in an interview with The
Times “She was drinking champagne and straight vodka and occasionally
popping a pill, I said, ‘Marilyn the combination of pills and alcohol
will kill you.’ And she said, ‘It hasn’t killed me yet.’ before taking
another drink and popping another pill. I know at night she took
Peter Lawford is alleged to have stated, “Marilyn took her last big
people think Monroe was depressed and suicidal after being fired from
her last movie “Something’s Gotta Give” due to irresponsible behavior
and absenteeism but apparently she had been reinstated at a higher
salary and was even being considered for future roles.
the week before her death, long time friend and makeup artist Allan
“Whitey” Snyder after paying her a visit stated “she never looked
better and was in great spirits.” As rumor has it and on a more macabre
note, Monroe, shortly before her death, asked him to give his word he
would prepare her face if she died before him. A promise he broken
heartedly fulfilled. He was also a pall-bearer at her funeral.
It was an accident:
is another explanation, however, one which doesn’t involve sinister
plots or mysterious assassins, a straightforward and under the
circumstances somewhat understandable accident, the result of human
error compounded by an equally human need to cover up ones mistakes in
order to avoid possible penalty and/or censure.
Monroe had two
doctors, physician Dr. Hyman Engelberg and psychiatrist Dr. Ralph
Greenson. They had been working together in an effort to wean Marilyn
off Nembutal, substituting instead chloral hydrate, and the possibility
strongly exists that a lack of communication between the two resulted
in a drug overdose.
If Marilyn had been self administering
Nembutal during the day (prescribed by Greenson) and was then given a
chloral hydrate enema (prescribed by Engelberg) and administered by
Eunice Murray during the evening, the interaction would have proved
“God damn it! He gave her a prescription I
didn’t know about!” A statement purportedly made by Greenson to
Marilyn’s lawyer Milton Rudin the night of her death, would if true
certainly lend credibility to this hypothesis.
and second husband Joe DiMaggio (and some say her only true love)
claimed her body, arranged her funeral and for twenty years had a
half-dozen roses delivered three times a week to her final resting
place. In 2006 his adopted granddaughters auctioned off his estate,
included were two letters and a photograph signed “I love you, Joe,
 Somewhat suspiciously all Marilyn’s long distance
phone records from the evening of August 4 were lost (there are rumors
that Marilyn’s last phone call was to the White House).
1998 a TV series called E!
True Hollywood Story aired a documentary on
Carmen in which it was alleged that mobster Johnny Roselli who
purportedly worked for Chicago kingpin Sam Giancana (both later
implicated in the assassination of John
along with Operation
Mongoose the CIA plot to overthrow/kill Castro, and both later
persons unknown) told her it would be a good idea if she left town.
Whether true or not, following Monroe’s death, Carmen moved to
Scottsdale, Arizona, living anonymously for over a decade a life far
removed from her bombshell days in Hollywood. In December 2007, at the
age of 77, the
ex pin-up and B movie actress died from lymphoma at her home in Orange
County, California, her residence since 1978.
 Years later
following a BBC interview and thinking the microphone was off, Murray
alleged to have said “Why at my age, do I still have to cover this
thing?” She then volunteered that Monroe had known the Kennedys
intimately (something vehemently denied earlier by Ralph Greenson) and
that when the doctors arrived Monroe was still alive.
Murray passed away on March 5, 1994, no further details forthcoming.
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