Marilyn Monroe – Essays, Page 2

Contributed by Melinda Barclay.


During the twilight hours of Saturday, August 4, 1962, Marilyn Monroe died as a result of an overdose of barbiturates, a prescription drug. The motion picture star’s death certificate reads “probable suicide” although all the evidence surrounding the death of the renowned movie star indicates one of the most covered-up murders of the time. “Strange sounds were carried on the wind during the night-shouting and the crash of broken glass. Neighbors reported that a hysterical woman had yelled, ‘Murderers! You murderers! Are you satisfied now that she’s dead?’” Reports later confirm that woman to be Pat Newcomb, Monroe’s best friend and companion of both R.F.K and J.F.K. 1 At the time of Monroe’s death, the public had not yet been made aware of the fact that Marilyn had had an affair with the President and that she was currently seeing the Attorney General. These relationships are the most substantial when proving her murder because, earlier on in day, Marilyn had threatened to tell the world of the affairs. This unquestionably would have destroyed the careers of both, John F. Kennedy as well as his brother, Robert F. Kennedy. “In a crush of time and extremity the film star’s home was carefully rearranged, telephone records were seized, papers and notes were destroyed-and a frantic phone call was placed to the White House.”2  Marilyn’s close confidant, Pat Newcomb had spent the night before her death at Monroe’s Brentwood home. “Newcomb said that when she left on Saturday, nothing indicated the impending tragedy. ‘When I last saw her, nothing about her mood or manner had changed…she even said I’d see her tomorrow.’” Five hours later Marilyn Monroe was dead.”3

When Clemmons, the first police officer to arrive at Monroe’s residence, examined the murder scene, he found Marilyn’s maid in a questionable situation. “Searching through the sparsely furnished house which seemed rather small and inelegant for the house of a film star, he found Murray in the service porch off the kitchen, where both the washer and dryer were running… Clemmons thought it odd that the housekeeper was doing laundry in the middle of the night while her employer lay dead in the bedroom.”4 “Murray admitted to Clemmons that she packed her things before calling the police, called the interior decorator to fix a broken window and did Marilyn Monroe’s laundry.”5 Murray claims that Marilyn’s window had been broken in an effort to get into the room when Monroe’s door was allegedly locked and the maid had felt uneasy about her light being on, and the phone cord being drawn out through the bedroom door. If Marilyn’s window had been broken from the outside to get to her as Murray maintains, the glass would have fallen inside the house rather than on the exterior of the residence as it was discovered. Signifying that Murray had fabricated her account of the story about breaking the window to get into the room, when in all likelihood, the perpetrators of the crime broke the bedroom window from the inside to make it look like that was how they got in.6 “Greenson, Monroe’s psychiatrist, stated that Monroe was found clutching a phone-probably trying to call for help. Clemmons found it odd that she didn’t just call to get her maid who was scarcely a loft down the hall.”7 Murray said she became alarmed at Marilyn being in danger by a light she saw under Marilyn’s door on her way to the bathroom. This is impossible because one cannot view Marilyn’s door on the way from the bedroom to the bathroom. Additionally, Marilyn’s rug covers up all the light from the bedroom. Therefore, she could not have possibly seen any light at all.8  Lawford said that while talking to Marilyn earlier in the evening, that the line on the phone went dead. He tried to call back several times but the line was busy. Marilyn had two phone lines. If he was so concerned, he would of called the other one as well.9

The autopsy states that “the colon shows marked congestion and discoloration,” suggesting it was administered via enema or suppository. But according to Monroe’s N.Y internist, Dr. Richard Cottrell, she had episodes of colitis brought about by emotional stress, and in 1961 she was diagnosed as having an ulcerated colon.10 Nogushi, the younger medical examiner who performed the autopsy, clearly requested the reports on her kidney, stomach, urine and intestines, but the reports were never prepared.11 Before Monroe’s body had even arrived, “an array of specimen jars had been neatly arranged on a cart beside the embalming table. Name and case number tags were on each jar, Monroe’s name had already been written on the embalmer’s tags.” This was out of the ordinary since the medical examiner had not even been informed of the autopsy yet, and someone had already arranged the specimen’s. The question is where they got the specimen’s in the first place when her body had not even reached the examiner’s room yet. 12 The autopsy reveals that Marilyn’s stomach was completely empty with absolutely no signs of Nembutal, the fatal drug. “If Monroe had swallowed as many as forty or more capsules of Nembutal, as had been estimated, evidence of yellow dye should have been found in the digestive tract-especially in an empty stomach. Nogushi found no trace of yellow dye…sometimes the residue moves to the duodenum but they found none there either.13 Monroe would have had to of swallowed 52-89 capsules to achieve her percentages of the drug in her blood. No case has yet to be reported in which anyone has swallowed over 12 capsules without leaving any residue in the stomach. Marilyn had no residue at all. 14 “Clemmons noted there being no drinking glass in the room and wondered how she swallowed the Nembutal. The bathroom in her room had been shut off due to remodeling and Murray had said that Marilyn had not come out of her room at all, so how could she have swallowed all those pills? 15 “In one of the police photos, there appears to be a water glass next to the bed. Clemmons stated that it hadn’t been there earlier, when doctors helped him search the room for a drinking vessel…the vessel was never tested in the incomplete autopsy to discover the contents of it.”16

In Addition to an incomplete investigation, Nogushi began to notice his original reports had been altered. He noticed that the numerous bruises all over Monroe’s body, including a very prominent one on her left hip, and others on her arms and on the back of her legs, had been taken out of the autopsy report. According to Grandison, “This initial examination was part of a file that disappeared as the case began to expand.”17 Grandison, who was responsible for ensuing that anyone who died under mysterious circumstances be directed to the L.A county coroner’s office, discovered the first of many irregularities that led him to conclude that Marilyn Monroe’s death was covered up when her body never arrived at the coroner’s office. The body was later found at the Westwood Village Mortuary and “for that to happen, someone had to have called the mortuary and specifically asked for someone to come and pick up the body.” The workers at the mortuary were reluctant to release the corpse to the coroner for unexplained incentives.

The nonappearance of a few key identifications, as to the autopsy reports claims that Monroe died as a result of ingesting the drugs, as they assert to be the cause of death is extremely vital. The most significant factor is the absence of the odor of pear for the reason that the medical examiners would have smelled the scent if the drug was injected directly into the bloodstream rather than through the digestive tract. There were empty pill bottles found in Marilyn’s locked room, but no needles. Yet, no residue was found in her stomach either, proving she neither died of ingesting the drug nor from injecting it.19 In due time, “two of the most important people arriving in a probable-suicide verdict were Greenson and Miner, and both had changed their opinions.” 20

 Attorney General, Robert F. Kennedy was seen by scores of residents at the Monroe home late Saturday night along with his brother-in-law, actor, Peter Lawford . “Shortly before midnight a dark Mercedes sped east on Olympic Boulevard in Beverly Hills. Estimating the car to be driving in excess of 55 miles per hour, Beverly Hills police officer Lynn Franklin flipped on his siren and light and gave a chase… In the car was, Bobby Kennedy, Peter Lawford, and Marilyn Monroe’s psychiatrist, Ralph Greenson. 21 “Elizabeth Pollard, the neighbor directly across the cul-de-sac told Bob Slatzer, a man who claims to be Monroe’s ex-husband, that on the evening of Saturday, August 4, “One of her guests remarked, “Oh look, there’s Robert Kennedy!” They then watched him walk into the Monroe residence with two other men in the late evening.22

            Eunice Murray and Dr. Ralph Greenson had waited four hours before calling the police. She said it was because they “had to get permission from the studio publicity department before we could call anyone.”23 Monroe was discovered well before midnight.“Then why wait until 3:30 to call the police? Deborah Gould, ex-wife of Peter Lawford, says the delay was to get Bobby out of town. Bobby Kennedy had chartered a helicopter that night back to San Francisco. Peter Lawford went to Marilyn’s house to clean up and do what he could before the press arrived.” 24 “Meanwhile, in Los Angeles, reporter Joe Hyams learned that Lawford’s neighbors were upset that a helicopter had touched down on the Santa Monica shore behind the Lawford’s residence in the early hours of Sunday morning, August 5, blowing sand into their swimming pools. Ward Wood, another neighbor, had told a police department contact that he saw Bobby

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Kennedy arrive in a Mercedes at the Lawford main “late Saturday afternoon or in the early evening.” A helicopter logged in for approximately 2 o’clock in the morning under the name of Peter Lawford.25 Guy Hockett, Marilyn’s mortician, said that when he arrived between 5:20 and 6:20 A.M, Marilyn’s body was in an advanced stage of rigor mortis. He estimated that she died between 9:30 and 11:30 Saturday night, between the same time dozens of neighbors reported seeing Bobby Kennedy and Peter Lawford enter the house along with Dr. Ralph Greenson.26 When a local attorney was asked to interview Monroe’s psychiatrist for an inquiry into her death, he expected Dr. Greenson to maintain his beliefs that Monroe had committed suicide. He was wrong. “According to Miner, they had met for several hours, during which, Greenson discussed  ‘not only Marilyn’s habits, but also the private confidences she shared with her psychiatrist.’ Greenson expressed his firm opinion that Marilyn Monroe had not committed suicide. Then he played a half hour tape that Marilyn had made at her home on her own tape recorder. The contents of this tape also led Miner to conclude that she had not committed suicide.”27

Marilyn Monroe was not suicidal, at least not in her final days. According to Dr. Langone:

There are two types of suicidal people, the attempters and the committers. Attempters do not actually follow through with suicide; committers are the ones who do. Ninety percent of all attempters are females whose fathers are either physically or psychologically absent. Attempters are even further divided into three subdivisions. The second group of attempters is mostly made up of women who are crying out for help, attention and love; they go out of their way to make sure they are “discovered” in time to be saved and achieve their goal which is usually to influence the conduct of others. If Marilyn was at all suicidal, she was an attempter, not a committer. She fits into the category well, she grew up without a father, and the times she did attempt suicide, she always made sure someone ‘saved’ her…In her last few weeks, Marilyn showed no signs of possessing any suicidal tendencies. She had been making many plans for the future. She told Henry Rosenfeld that she would be coming to New York, she talked with Lena Pepitone about plans to throw a party in September, she talked with Gene Kelly about plans for a musical, she talked to Sideny Skolsky about making a film on Gene Harlow, Julie Styne talked with her about a musical version of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, she was planning on meeting friends for dinner on Sunday, August 5th, Monday she was going to fly out to New York…she had just purchased a house and was working on that too. None of the people she

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talked to that last week said she sounded depressed, in fact they said she never looked more better and was in great spirits. Marilyn herself said, ‘Let’s all start to live before we get old”…People who oppose any sort of murder theory bring up the fact that she tried to commit suicide several times in the past, but what better way to kill Marilyn Monroe than to make it appear like a suicide 28


Apparently, Bobby Kennedy had contemplated making the murder appear to be a suicide ahead of time.

Private Investigator, Otash, had been taping Kennedy for weeks prior to Monroe’s murder. The day of her killing, “Otash described a struggle in the Monroe bedroom and Kennedy yelling ‘Where is it? Where the hell is it? I have to have it! My family will pay you for it!’ At the conclusion of the struggle, Otash heard physical blows and a door slamming.” This is most likely how Monroe obtained the bruises all over her body. It is obvious that Robert Kennedy was looking for Monroe’s red diary.29 Los Angeles intelligence officer, Rothmiller says, “It was more like a journal. The majority of the entries were notes about conversations Marilyn Monroe had with John F. Kennedy and Robert Kennedy. The subject matter ranged from Russia and Cuba to the mafia and Sinatra. I remember she referred to Castro as ‘Fidel C.’”30 Robert Slatzer remembers a phone conversation he had with Marilyn on the day of her death. “Has anyone else seen this book?” Slatzer asked. “Nobody. But I am so angry I may just call a press conference and show it to the whole world and let everybody know what the Kennedy’s are really like.” 31 Jefferies, the man Murray called to fix the broken window-which was never actually fixed, “said that on the night she died, her file cabinet was broken into and many of its contents were removed.” “Mr. And Mrs. Abe Landau, who lived to the immediate West of Marilyn Monroe, had returned home from a dinner party late Saturday evening and had seen an ambulance and a police car parked in the cul-de-sac in front of the film star’s residence. Near midnight, neighbors heard a helicopter overhead.” Perhaps Bobby had initially gone over to seize the red diary from Marilyn, gave her some drugs to come her down so he could look for it, but gave her far too many. Perhaps that is why there are records of a first ambulance being called before midnight with reports that Monroe was still alive and Bobby had been in the ambulance with her. Maybe that is why the


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ambulance turned around instead of going to the hospital. They had to get Bobby out of town.32

            A few hours before Marilyn had died, the actress told Slatzer that “Bobby Kennedy was here, and he threatened me, screamed at me, and pushed me around!” Slatzer said “now she was afraid and felt she was in terrible danger. Bobby felt she had become a problem and had said to her, ‘If you threaten me, Marilyn, there’s more than one way to keep you quiet.33 Sidney Guilaroff had also talked to Marilyn on that fatal night, “Marilyn was extremely upset. She was in tears and quite hysterical. She said that Bobby Kennedy had been to her house with Lawford, and that Bobby had threatened her. There was a violent argument. She was afraid-terrified.”34 At the same time Marilyn was having conversations with close friends, Bobby Kennedy was telling Otash “she’s ranting and raving. I’m concerned about her and what may come out of this.” 35 “For Robert Kennedy those night hours and the days that followed must have been the most harrowing of his life. If our reconstruction is essentially correct, the death of Marilyn Monroe had been is Chappaquiddick. Unlike his less fortunate brother Edward, he escaped public exposure, but only by a hair’s breadth.”36

            Peter Lawford was also involved in Marilyn Monroe’s murder. “When Deborah Gould asked her ex-husband, Peter Lawford, how Marilyn had died he said, ‘Marilyn took her last big enema.’ Her colon showed congestion and purplish discoloration and it was shown impossible for her to have swallowed the pills or been injected with them.”37  “The loved one’s involved, according to Gould, were the Kennedy brothers. ‘That’s where Peter’s role came in,” she says, “to cover up all the dirty work, and take care of everything.’ Gould, quoting Lawford, says the Kennedy’s ensured there would be no proper inquiry into Marilyn’s death.”38

Various numbers of people were involved in the cover-up of the murder, but not the murder itself. “According to coroner’s aide, Lionel Grandison, Curphey (coroner) was actually covering up the case of Monroe’s death. ‘As I analyze my participation, my conversations with other staff members, and the thing I’ve seen, there’s no doubt in my mind that the Marilyn Monroe case, as we know it now, is not the true case. Some very sensitive areas have been covered up. Evidence was suppressed. Paperwork was taken

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from the files, and people who have knowledge of what happened have not been listened to or sought out.’ Grandison also discovered that someone in the department was

removing and rewriting key material from the Monroe file.” 39 So what ever happened to the Monroe file? Lieutenant Marion Philips states, “In 1962 Chief Parker took the file to show someone in Washington. That was the last we heard of it.”40 “Correspondence between Parker and RFK in the Kennedy library reveals that Parker met with Kennedy on December 12 at the Park University motel in College Park, MD for a mutual matter of interest.”41 Joe Hyams, a reporter, tried to obtain Monroe’s phone records. A employee at the phone company told him “All hell’s broken loose down here. Apparently you’re not the only one interested in Marilyn’s calls. The tapes disappeared…. I’m told it was impounded by men in dark suits and well-shined shoes…. Somebody high up ordered it.”42 James Hamilton, as recorded by the Kennedy Library, was a very close friend of RFK. “It was Captain James Hamilton…who confiscated Marilyn Monroe’s phone records, and it was Captain James Hamilton who directed the cover up of information relating to the circumstances of Marilyn Monroe’s death.”43

             Contemporary cultivation as well as revelations concerning the homicide of America’s most celebrated actress corroborates the person responsible for her death to be Robert F. Kennedy. The first police officer called to the scene told future police chief Iannone “You know what I think?” asked Clemmons, “I think Marilyn Monroe was murdered, and they’re covering up this whole damn thing because the Attorney General was involved!”44  The 700-page autopsy report including interviews, depositions, photographs, and documents have narrowed down to a mere 19-page report. To this day, the L.A district attorney’s office does not welcome any investigation into the murder of Marilyn Monroe. Any person who has ever tried to prove her murder publicly has received death threats from palpable sources. “Marilyn Monroe did not commit suicide. Technology of the modern world of forensic medicine gives the final verdict-case # 81128 was a homicide victim,” an innocent target of the reiterated dirty work of the infamous Kennedy clan. 45Joe DiMaggio, Marilyn’s ex-husband who was reported to be remarrying Marilyn later that week, knowingly excluded any member of the Kennedy


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family from the funeral procession. “…The most poignant moment occurred as the coffin was about to be closed. Joe DiMaggio leaned over to kiss Marilyn one last time. ‘I love you, I love you, I love you,’ Joe wept.”46 “In the wake of his brother’s assassination, Bobby’s murder somehow seemed inevitable. Just as Marilyn’s death had.” 47


1  Donald H. Wolfe, The Last Days of Marilyn Monroe  (New York City: Donald H. Wolfe, 1998), 1.

2  Ibid.., 1.

3  Ibid., 19.

4  Ibid., 5.

5  Ibid., 6.

6  Ibid., 59.

7  Ibid., 7.

8  Ibid., 11.

9  Ibid., 23.

10 Ibid., 7.

11 Ibid., 34.

12 Ibid., 15.

13 Ibid., 30.

14 Ibid., 42.

15 Ibid., 7.

16 Ibid., 10.

17 Ibid., 29.

18 Ibid., 26.

19 Ibid., 31.

20 Ibid., 40.

21 Ibid., 1.

22 Ibid., 62.

23 Ibid., 6.

24 Courtney. “The Candle Burns Down, The Death of Marilyn Monroe.” [].       

May, 1998.

25 Wolfe, 58.

26 Ibid., 14.

27 Ibid., 39.

28 Courtney, 2.

29 Wolfe, 93.

30 Ibid., 37.

31 Ibid., 60.

32 Ibid., 1.

33 Ibid., 456.

34 Ibid., 46.

35 Ibid., 93.

36 Anthony Summers, Goddess: the secret lives of Marilyn Monroe  (New York City: Anthony Summers,

                1986), 405.

37 Courtney, 5.

38 Summers, 395.

39 Wolfe, 35.

40 Ibid., 64.

41 Ibid., 64.

42 Ibid., 49.

43 Ibid., 50.

44 Ibid., 62.

45 Ibid., 43.

46 Barbara Leaming, Marilyn Monroe (New York: Barbara Leaming, 1998), 428.

47 Fred Lawrence Guiles, Legend: The Life and Death of Marilyn Monroe (New York: Fred Lawrence

                Guiles, 1984), 47.

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