Proof and Evidence

Dictionaries define the word proof many ways. Miriam-Webster Dictionary, the online version, for instance, defines the word as follows: The cogency of evidence that compels acceptance by the mind of a truth or a fact: the process or an instance of establishing the validity of a statement especially by derivation from other statements in accordance with principles of reasoning. More simply stated, proof consists of evidence which establishes facts leading to the truth, cogent evidence which can assume many forms: eye-witness testimony or a persuasive demonstration, the weapon linked to a crime, a gun or a knife, on which law enforcement discovered finger prints linking the weapon to a suspect.

The Latin phrase, semper necessitas probandi incumbit ei qui agit, loosely translated into English, renders a common legal precept: the necessity of presenting proof always lies with the entity who filed the charges or, in the matter of criminal charges for which a defendant is being prosecuted, the prosecution must prove the charges and the proof must be established with conclusive evidence, not rumor, not innuendo nor hearsay but conclusive evidence. The Los Angeles County Coroner ruled in 1962 that Marilyn’s death was a probable suicide; and even though the modifier probable was unusual and ambiguous, the authorities ruled that Marilyn’s death was not a homicide and closed the case.

During the ensuing two decades, however, chronic criticism of the original investigation conducted by the Los Angeles Police Department and the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, Marilyn’s perceived to be botched autopsy along with the expressed belief by many that Marilyn was murdered by powerful and wicked men who then engaged in a conspiracy to conceal their crime, the District Attorney of Los Angeles County initiated a threshold re-investigation in 1982. The expressed purpose of that investigation was to determine if sufficient and verifiable evidence existed to warrant reopening Marilyn’s case and undertaking a full criminal investigation to determine if she was, in fact, a homicide victim. The Assistant District Attorney at the time, Ronald H. Carroll, and an investigator, Alan B. Tomich, along with several other investigators, reviewed the case files in 1982 between the months of August and December, conducted additional interviews and addressed all the questions raised by various conspiracists. The district attorney’s office then published, in December of 1982, a twenty-nine page summary report, hereafter abbreviated SR, The Death of Marilyn Monroe: Report to the District Attorney, a copy of which I obtained directly from the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.

The published report concluded: Although factual discrepancies exist and unanswered questions surfaced in our probe, the cumulative evidence available to us fails to support any theory of criminal conduct relating to her death (SR 2). The summary report ended with the following succinct statement: Based on the information available, no further criminal investigation appears required into Miss Monroe’s death (SR 29). The district attorney closed Marilyn’s case again. Still, accusations of misconduct and collusion by the Los Angeles County District Attorney, the Los Angeles Police Department, and all the other acronyms that were allegedly involved in Marilyn’s death, persisted, even after the 1982 threshold re-investigation; and thus, semper necessitas pro­bandi incumbit ei qui agit; and therefore, the burden of proving that Marilyn was, in fact, a homicide victim, that she was grotesquely murdered, rests on the accusing conspiracists.

Beyond a reasonable doubt is the highest standard of proof imposed upon a party during litigation; and it is invariably the standard imposed in criminal proceedings. This standard requires the prosecution to demonstrate that the only logical conclusion a reasonable person could derive from the evidence presented is that the defendant committed the alleged crime, and that no other logical explanation can be inferred or deduced from that evidence. According to Justia Legal Sources, Evidentiary Standards and Burdens of Proof. Beyond a Reasonable Doubt, The United States Supreme Court declared this high standard as the absence of doubt that would give rise to a grave uncertainty, raised in your mind by reasons of the unsatisfactory character of the evidence or lack thereof. […] What is required is not an absolute or mathematical certainty, but a moral certainty.1

I am of the opinion and belief that the rules of evidence that are normally applied in a criminal case being tried in a court of law should also be applied in the case of Marilyn’s death which, for the past half century, has been tried in the court of public opinion and biographical novelization, using all manner of incredible allegation, rumor, innuendo and hearsay masquerading as evidence and proof. Also, I suggest that we, as Marilyn fans, whether casual or devotee, should accept the evidence presented by a conspiracist as valid if and only if the evidence presented could, would and should be accepted as proof by a person who is reasonably intelligent, reasonably prudent and reasonably analytical; and we must judge and duly consider the type of evidence presented.

Is the evidence physical or a testament from an alleged witness? To the testimony of an alleged witness, we must certainly apply a standard of proximity and geography to determine its evidentiary value, meaning what was the witness’s relationship to Marilyn? Was the testimony given by one of Marilyn’s confidants, a close friend, a distant acquaintance or someone completely unconnected to her; and was the testimony corroborated? If the testimony was anecdotal, was it based on a direct, first hand observation or was it based on second or third hand declarations? In short, was the testimony hearsay? Additionally, was the testimony offered by a person with an obvious or questionable agenda?

Excerpts, quotations and other references from related biographies must be judged on their relative merit and on the author’s propensity to fabricate and exaggerate; and we must also include Marilyn’s own voice, her testimony regarding her relationships with the middle Kennedy brothers and mobsters, not only her spoken words but her written words as well, and in certain instances, Marilyn’s silence. Conspiracists seldom if ever quote Marilyn’s testimony or the testimony of her authentic confidants; and there is an overarching, important reason for this, one that will become obvious as we proceed.

Author's Note