My goal in writing this book is to get to the truth. If along that journey this book makes even a minor contribution towards helping unravel the mystery that surrounds the death of Marilyn Monroe, then I’ll consider it a success.
The reasons I’m writing this are twofold. First, I think the memory of Monroe deserves better than the lies and mistakes that masquerade as fact, and second, history deserves better. Especially the history surrounding the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Kennedy’s death may have been nothing less than an overthrow of the government, a coup d’etat in the USA. It’s imperative for Americans to sort this history out. As of the beginning of 2018, all the government records dealing with the assassination of JFK have not been released. There’s still hope to bring clarity to the greatest mystery of the 20th century. Was Lee Harvey Oswald solely responsible, or was there a greater conspiracy involved in the murder of an American president? While that question to date hasn’t been definitively answered, there can be no doubt that there was a conspiracy to cover up the circumstances that surrounded Kennedy’s death that reached into the highest levels of government intelligence agencies. Part of that cover-up involved the dissemination of “red herring” leads and documents designed to muddy the waters and lead investigators away from the truth. It’s a legitimate question to ask if the same thing happened concerning the death of Marilyn Monroe.
There are many similarities and correlations involved in these two deaths. The same macro political events and tensions shaped how the stories would later be told. The same scandals and controversies provide fertile ground for all manner of conspiracy theories. With only fifteen months separating the deaths of Monroe and Kennedy, they occurred in roughly the same time period. Many of the same characters played a part in the buildup to their deaths, and it’s likely both of their lives were effected by the strange interplay of the CIA and the Mob in the assassination plans for Fidel Castro. Monroe’s death has become a subset of JFK’s death. Her name regularly appears when authors speak of Kennedy’s infidelities and her connection to Frank Sinatra brings her into stories centering around Sinatra and Sam Giancana, boss of the Chicago “Outfit.” The connection became cemented when it became clear that Monroe crossed paths with Sam Giancana the weekend before her death at the Cal-Neva casino and resort. There is a reliable source, retired FBI agent Bill Roemer, who says Giancana was there that weekend. Unfortunately, he is the same source for many of the ugly rumors and lies that have sprung forth about that weekend. Many authors repeat his claims that Monroe and Giancana had sex that weekend without ever including the fact that Roemer himself was just making an assumption based on information he was piecing together. He was listening to a bugged conversation and couldn’t make out everything that was said. He really wasn’t totally sure who Giancana and his fellow mobster were talking about. He admitted that he was piecing bits of the conversation together and when he heard something that was said about Giancana having sex with the “same broad” as the Kennedys, he just assumed it was Marilyn. We don’t know the context of the conversation. We don’t really know what Giancana said before his cronies comment, he could have been joking, lying or talking about Kennedy paramour Judith Campbell. Indeed it seems many of the elements of the JFK/Campbell/Giancana connection have been grafted onto Monroe’s story. Also, Roemer completely ignores the fact that by mid 1962 the Outfit knew about the hidden bugs. They never gave up useful information and often would make things up, just to mess with the Feds. Roemer doesn’t mention that Giancana knew that Hoover and the Kennedy brothers would be listening and he could have just wanted to get under their skin by making stuff up about the Kennedy brothers and their infidelities. Because of Roemer’s baseless testimony and rumors of photographs taken that weekend, it’s assumed to be a fact that Giancana had sex with Marilyn Monroe. This has led many credible authors to write things like Monroe regularly “cavorted with gangsters.” This simply isn’t true. I’ve read credible assassination researchers also repeat, as fact, that Monroe was a friend of Johnny Rosselli. Some go as far as a ridiculous assertion that Monroe was Rosselli’s occasional girlfriend!
In 2007, the CIA confirmed what many historians and researchers had known for decades. Giancana and Rosselli, both known and notorious gangsters, were hired by the CIA to assassinate Cuba’s leader, Fidel Castro. For any future researchers out there that want their reconstructions of history to be accurate, allow me to set the record straight about Monroe’s involvement with gangsters and the whole dubious “Double Cross” theory. There’s no evidence that Monroe ever said two words to Rosselli. It’s likely she knew of him, maybe they crossed paths at Hollywood social events, but any kind of sexual relationship with Rosselli (or Giancana, or ANY mobster) is simply absurd. Contrary to some published reports, Monroe was never involved with a gangster. She only saw Giancana a few times and it was always in the company of Frank Sinatra. The stories where police follow Monroe and a young hood from a restaurant to a motel are complete fiction.
As for Rosselli, during her life, Monroe would recall fondly listening to Joe Schenck tell stories of early Hollywood. Long before he ever met Marilyn, Schenck ended up, along with Rosselli, going to jail because of the Willie Bioff scandal, the mob’s shakedown of Hollywood studios in the 1930’s. Schenck was found guilty of tax evasion for his involvement in paying off the mob. He turned government witness and gave information that helped send Rosselli to jail. After they were all released I doubt the two continued to “hang-out.” I think it’s likely Schneck would have warned a young Marilyn to stay away from “Handsome Johnny.” Apart from the Cal-Neva weekend, the closest any Marilyn biographer has come to linking Rosselli to Marilyn is by saying Rosselli used to pick up his girlfriend after she played card games at Marilyn’s boyfriend’s mothers house. From that paltry connection, stories of a friendship have sprung, and now she has become his occasional girlfriend. These lies and countless others are among the reasons why I feel Monroe deserves better. And I haven’t even mentioned the more disturbing stories involving gangster gang-bangs and hooker orgies.
What did happen at Cal-Neva? This is just one of the areas that this book will be exploring. What happened that weekend is a crucial set-up for how Marilyn’s final week played out. While the events of this weekend are important, for an understanding of Monroe’s death, nothing is more important than her relationship with Robert F. Kennedy. Over half the book is dedicated to explaining Marilyn’s connection to RFK and the entire Kennedy family. For over half a century, a Monroe/RFK affair is the cornerstone on which all conspiracy theories have been built. My intention is to show that BOTH the efforts to reveal this rumored “affair” and the efforts to deny it, have been the smokescreen that has obscured the truth about what really happened.
Far more important than sex is the possibility that RFK was using Marilyn for other reasons, and these reasons have been inexplicably ignored. Chances are, that until now, you’ve never heard about the government’s antitrust lawsuit against MCA. So you may be surprised that this case was instrumental in Marilyn’s death. The clues have been there for decades, yet no one has realized their importance. In the mid 1990’s, Susan Strasberg’s book included a quote from Ralph Roberts (Marilyn’s masseur) who was relating a conversation he had with Marilyn shortly before her death. What’s interesting about this quote is that almost all biographers and conspiracy theorists use parts of it, yet no one else besides Strasberg includes the most important part. Conspiracy theorists use the first part which has Marilyn asking Roberts if he has heard the rumors of a Monroe/RFK affair. He replies that all of Hollywood is talking of nothing else. This is used as evidence of an affair. Other biographers, attempting to prove there was no affair, offer up Marilyn’s response of “he’s not my type, or “he’s too puny” as evidence that there was no affair. Almost everyone fails to include the last line, which is the most relevant part. Strasberg’s account of the exchange includes the most important line. Here’s how it reads in her book, Marilyn and Me: (Ralph Roberts is speaking) “She asked me if I’d heard the rumors about Bobby and her. She said, ‘It isn’t true. Anyway, he’s so puny. Bobby is trying to break up MCA and he asked me to help him.’ She loved helping to do something like that.”
This may be the single most important statement that anyone has ever made when it comes to understanding the circumstances that led to Marilyn’s death. In Marilyn research it’s important not to put too much faith in one witness or a single quote. You should always try to verify with multiple attestation. So what are the facts about Monroe and MCA? We know that Marilyn signed on with the talent agency MCA about the same time she established her production company. There’s abundant information on previous agents like Johnny Hyde and Charles Feldman, but it is difficult to find any information on why Marilyn decided to leave MCA at the end of 1961. What we do find on closer examination is two more sources that claim it might have had something to do with Robert Kennedy. We’ll examine those sources more in Part II of this book. I think it’s a very important, and an untapped episode in Marilyn’s last year that provides valuable clues in the investigation of her death. It’s actually one of seven key areas of interest that provide clarity on what exactly happened on Marilyn’s last day alive. There is a vast amount of information and misinformation involved in an investigation into Marilyn’s death. Much of it is just unimportant noise that obscures what’s truly relevant. I’ve tried to narrow the scope of this investigation to seven key areas.
The seven “keys” necessary to finally unlock the mystery of Marilyn Monroe’s death are:
1. The Kennedy Connection
2. Lesbian Rumors
3. MCA Lawsuit
4. The Cal-Neva Weekend
5. RFK’s Movie
6. Marilyn’s Publicists
7. Prescription Drugs
We’ve already touched on three of the seven “keys.” Her connection to the Kennedy family, the weekend at Cal-Neva and the MCA investigation.
The other keys to unlocking the mystery involve investigating the following topics; rumors that Marilyn “dabbled in lesbianism” towards the end of her life, RFK’s movie The Enemy Within, Marilyn’s relationship with her publicists Rupert Allan and Pat Newcomb, and finally the question of, “Where did the drugs come from that killed Marilyn Monroe?”
An investigation into those seven key areas yields all the clues necessary to unlock many of the mysteries that still surround Marilyn’s demise. I want to warn you from the beginning, it’s a work in progress, it’s not a “case closed” type of work that provides a definitive answer. It’s more of a call to reopen the investigation, or maybe more accurately, rethink about what actually what happened. This book WILL provide valuable new evidence that will make you re-think everything you’ve ever believed about Marilyn’s death.
Occam’s razor is a problem solving principle where you attempt to use the fewest amount of assumptions possible, and explain phenomenon with the simplest explanation possible. It’s very to difficult to apply Occam’s razor to the death of Marilyn Monroe. There is no simple explanation that can explain the contradictory mess that results from an investigation into Marilyn’s death. They only thing clear about this case is that an incredible number of people are lying. The amount of lies and contradictions can make your head spin. So not only does any scenario have to explain the facts in a way that’s scientifically sound, the theory also has to explain who’s lying and why. It has to explain the behavior of all the people involved. An additional consideration is the fact that many of the major players involved refuse to disclose ANY pertinent information. An investigation into Marilyn’s death leads to a lot of questions. Why did the housekeeper change her story? Why did the doctors lie about the timeline and why didn’t they disclose important information concerning Marilyn’s prescriptions? Why didn’t Frank Sinatra or Pat Kennedy Lawford ever disclose what happened at Cal-Neva? Why has Pat Newcomb remained silent while her friends name has been tarnished and dragged through the gutter?
Why was there no formal investigation by the police? Why was there no coroner’s inquest? Why did organs and tissue samples disappear from the morgue? Why weren’t all of Marilyn’s August phone calls ever released? These are not simple questions to answer without making a whole bunch of assumptions. Many people have given up trying. I’m not one of them. Many others say to just forget it and let the poor woman rest in peace. I can’t do that either. What if her spirit can’t rest until the truth is told? I believe Marilyn was denied justice and the great irony is that’s it’s because she had a relationship with a man whose sole job and responsibility was to uphold justice across the entire United States.
There is no credible explanation as to why an official investigation or coroner’s inquest was never done, other than to save the reputations of the Kennedy brothers.
I like to think of this book as second generation research into Monroe’s death. First generation consideration consists of all the primary sources, biographies, documentaries, commentary and public domain resources. That research has brought us full circle. In the days immediately following Monroe’s death the main question was whether her overdose was accidental or deliberate. Today, after many of the conspiracy and murder theories have been debunked, we are again left with same question, was it an accident or was it suicide? I take a different view. I think several other alternatives are possible, and it’s these alternatives that will be explored in this book. But for that you will have to wait until Part II of this book.
What follows in next post is a stand alone story I previously published under the name Marilyn Monroe: Last Love. It’s a historical narrative that introduces many of the concepts that I’ve been referring to as the seven keys to unlocking the mystery of Marilyn Monroe’s death. Like all historical narratives it mixes actual history and real life characters with elements of informed conjecture and speculation. I want to assure you this speculation is based on facts and sound reasoning. I want to be clear before you read Last Love of what my intentions were in writing it. I had hoped it would spark debate. I wanted to nudge people to re-examine the facts in a new and different way. I wanted to invite, maybe even incite discussion. I knew the major premise of the story would be controversial but I had hoped to further explain it by a presentation of posts on an accompanying website. I knew this presentation of the facts would be so large and voluminous that it would never fit into one book. Instead of telling people my theories of what happened, I wanted to bring people to the same realization I discovered by consideration of new and different ways to approach the case.
Last Love ends with a suicide scenario. If you apply Occam’s razor to the mass of evidence now assembled, the almost inescapable conclusion would be that Marilyn Monroe deliberately ended her own life. Last Love explores one possible reason for Marilyn’s suicide. It’s actually just a twist on one of the oldest theories available. Regardless of how unlikely it seems on the surface, it’s actually a viable alternative to generally accepted “facts.” I’ll explain why in Part II.
Suicide, accident or conspiracy are the three generally accepted answers to the question of Marilyn’s death. In the second half of the book, I’’ll provide a new “accident” theory. Her death is not a mistake on her part, in this scenario the accident would be in the form of an unintended homicide. The book will close with a murder scenario. In this theory, Marilyn’s murder is not the work of a conspiracy, it’s the act of one, lone, cold-blooded killer.
There’s a popular pseudo-science theory in our current culture that’s usually called something like left and right brain thinking. It’s generally accepted the right brain is more emotional and intuitive, while the left is more analytical and logical. If you were to apply that concept to this book then Part I will be a result of right brain thinking and Part II would represent left brain thinking.
Part I is actually a result of information gleaned in deep mediation. After years of research the information kind of came to me when I stopped trying to think about it. I actually believe the spirit of Marilyn Monroe yearns for the truth to be known and has guided me towards certain truths. If you want to consider it my imagination, that’s okay, I’ll use logic to back up every important detail disclosed in Last Love.
Part II is an analysis of the facts. The left/right brain theory is supplemented by actual science that says both sides of the brain inform each other. This book also represents that view because both parts of the book utilize intuition and logic to formulate possible scenarios that explain not only the facts, but the behavior of the people involved in the moments and years following Marilyn’s death.
Intuition led me to the conclusion that Marilyn Monroe’s death was a suicide, logic won’t let me accept that conclusion. It just doesn’t fit the evidence as I now see it. So I will present three different scenarios, suicide, accident and murder, and let you decide. By the end of this book you should be armed with enough information to allow you to disregard two of the scenarios. What you are left with may finally answer the question, “Who killed Marilyn Monroe?”
A careful analysis of the Marilyn Monroe case presents an amazing amount of incongruities where nothing really adds up and important conclusions often disagree with each other. A researcher, after sifting through voluminous evidence, is often left with a paradox where two mutually exclusive concepts both appear to be true. Allow me to explain by examples. Most rational biographers come to the conclusion that conspiracy theorists can’t be trusted, so all their evidence is suspect. This allows them to dismiss ALL the evidence against any conclusion other than accidental overdose or suicide. Once left with these two options it becomes obvious that it can’t be both, it has to be one or the other. But when you pick one, either one, you are left with a paradox. Let’s say you think it was accidental. You will find an incredible amount of support for your findings. This was the conclusion of nearly all the people who were close to Marilyn at the time. Her housekeeper, her shrink, her publicist, and many friends on both coasts, all felt it had to be a tragic accident. It had almost happened many times before. But the science says “no.” The coroner in the case had always maintained that Marilyn didn’t die from taking pills, forgetting she took them, then taking more. Modern forensic science bears him out. Monroe ingested a large number of pills in a short period of time. The amount of drugs that killed Marilyn has been vastly overestimated, but even with the lower estimates that recent science puts forth, a minimum of 17 to 29 pills, that’s still too many to take by accident. Plus, she had received a prescription of Nembutal just the day before, with the instructions to take one a day. Wouldn’t emptying the 25 pill container have been a wake up call? Wouldn’t she realize she had taken a whole bottle of pills in just over 24 hours? It just doesn’t seem like it could have been an accident.
So you are left with the other option, suicide. Again you’re left with a set of facts totally in opposition to each other. You’re confronted with a mountain of evidence from Marilyn’s closest companions that say she was not suicidal. There was no note. In a telephone conversation she had just minutes before she would have consumed the deadly dose, she was happy and showed no sign that within the next hour she would decide to kill herself. Things were looking up. Her studio had changed hands and a new contract awaited to be signed. She had plans and meetings for the next week. Several new movie projects were in the works. Other offers for employment were coming in. She was working with an author on a new biography. Suicide just doesn’t fit. So what are you left with? It wasn’t an accident, it wasn’t suicide and it wasn’t a conspiracy. Great.
The whole case is a mass of contradictions. Here are two more statements that can’t both be true. She was having an affair with Robert Kennedy; and, she barely knew RFK. Strong arguments have been made for both. Perhaps the ultimate contradiction in the Monroe case is that Robert Kennedy was in Los Angeles on the day Marilyn died; AND, on that same day he never left a ranch in northern California. On one hand you have the mayor of LA, a couple of police chiefs and multiple eye-witnesses that say he was in LA. On the other hand, you have the owner of the ranch, his son, and an employee say RFK was at the ranch that day. Official government documents that detail RFK’s schedule seem to bear that out. In my opinion, it’s the evidence you don’t have that’s the deciding factor for this contradiction. Robert Kennedy was at the ranch that weekend with his wife and four of his oldest children. It’s more than curious that in over a half a century of Bobby being blamed for murder, never once has his wife or children come forward and stated for the record that he was with them all day on August 4, 1962. Sometimes Kennedy silence speaks volumes.
Lack of evidence can be an important clue in the evaluation of Monroe’s case. There are four areas (the first four of the seven keys) that were consistently and effectively denied, downplayed or ignored in the first decade following Marilyn’s death. We will see as this book progresses the handiwork of one of the world’s greatest spin doctors in making this so. It wouldn’t be until 1973, with the publication of Norman Mailer’s Marilyn biography, that most of the American public would be first introduced to just how close Marilyn was to the Kennedy family. Up until then it was largely kept under wraps. In the years following Monroe’s death the lesbian angle of Marilyn’s life was only accepted, and discussed by fringe elements with conspiracy theories. It took decades for information about the Cal-Neva weekend to surface. And finally, right up to our present time, no Marilyn biographer has ever investigated the connection of Marilyn’s last months to the government’s case against MCA. It’s these four ignored elements of Marilyn’s life that are crucial to understanding what played out in Marilyn’s last week. It’s these first four of the seven keys that we will examine in Last Love, the short story that follows in the next post.