And In Closing, Conclusive Evidence

At this point, if any doubt remains that Robert F. Slatzer was not Marilyn’s intimate confidant, did not elope with nor marry her in Tijuana, Mexico, in 1952 while she was romantically involved with Joe DiMaggio, then the following undeniable facts prove conclusively that Marilyn Monroe was not in Tijuana on the dates Slatzer alleged.

Slatzer’s friend, the former boxer, Noble “Kid” Chissell, who testified that he witnessed the wedding in Tijuana, later recanted and admitted to Joseph Jasgur, that Slatzer offered him money to lie.1During an over-lunch-meeting with Chissell, also a friend of Jasgur’s, the photographer questioned the friendly boxer about the alleged Mexican wedding; the boxer admitted: No, Joe, there wasn’t a wedding between Bob Slatzer and Marilyn. […] I don’t think Bob ever knew Marilyn. At the time Robert Slatzer asked his friend to corroborate the Slatzer’s wedding fantasy, evidently Chissell desperately needed money; so the former pugilist simply endorsed a statement stating he was a witness to their “supposed” wedding in Tijuana; but the wedding never did happen.Also, according to Jasgur according to Nobel Chissell, his friend, Slatzer, never paid the promised money. Obviously, along with being a palterer, Slatzer was a welsher; and while Slatzer asserted that Chissell was also Marilyn’s friend, the actress never mentioned Nobel “Kid” Chissell.2

As additional confirmation that Slatzer never married Marilyn Monroe, according to Donald Spoto, Slatzer’s actual wife from 1954 until 1956, Kay Eicher, usually guffawed at the mention of her former husband’s marriage to the blonde movie star. Eicher confirmed for Spoto that Slatzer enjoyed only the one encounter with Marilyn at Niagara Falls in Canada while the actress filmed her Technicolor noir, Niagara, a fact that Eicher also confirmed for journalist, Alex Burton. In October of 1991, Star Magazine published a Burton penned article pertaining to Kay Eicher and Slatzer’s made-for-television movie, Marilyn and Me. The Headline read: “Marilyn and Me is all lies―says ex-wife of man who claims he married sex legend.” According to Burton according to Kay Eicher, she and Slatzer married in September of 1954 in Columbus, Ohio. And we lived in Ohio from the day we met until we separated in 1956, she asserted then added: We were never in California, so how he can say he was hanging out with Marilyn Monroe in Hollywood is amazing. Eicher also observed and correctly noted that Slatzer had been fooling people too long.3Slatzer posed for his photograph with Marilyn during their only encounter at Niagara Falls; and he used that photograph to deceive many persons.

But the final and definitive proof is what follows. Slatzer claimed that he and Marilyn arrived in Tijuana at approximately 11:30 AM on the 4th. Driving time from Los Angeles to Tijuana is approximately three hours, so to arrive at 11:30 AM, Slatzer and his soon to be bride had to leave Los Angeles by 8:30 AM, probably a time when most of the shops and clothing stores in Los Angeles had yet to open. While researching for his tome, Marilyn Monroe: The Biography, Donald Spoto uncovered proof of a shopping excursion by Marilyn and Natasha Lytess which occurred on the 4th of October in 1952. Marilyn wrote a check to JAX of Beverly Hills in the amount of $313.4The check was dated October the 4th. Beneath her signature, she included her address at the time, 2393 Castilian Drive, the house in Hollywood Heights sub-leased with Joe DiMaggio. Obviously, Slatzer’s weekend wife was not with him during the alleged marital weekend in Mexico.

Was Robert F. Slatzer married to the most luminous of Hollywood’s female movie stars, the fantasy dream woman for many men during her lifetime, the fantasy dream woman for many men even now, the ideal male conquest? Did he know Marilyn Monroe? More importantly, perhaps, was he a Marilyn expert? Slatzer certainly knew many details about Marilyn’s life; but those could have been, and apparently they were, learned by reading fan magazines and other publications dedicated to Marilyn’s life and her death. Slatzer obviously added a few details from his own imagination and solicited the addition of details from the Technicolor imaginations of others.

Marilyn certainly met the chubby Ohioan in the early halcyon days during the summer of 1952 while she was filming Niagara in the town of Niagara Falls, Canadian side. According to Richard Allan, one of Marilyn’s Niagara co-stars, a portly and sweaty man with a chubby face, who was also wearing obnoxious cologne, was desperate to have his photograph taken with Marilyn. That sweaty man exuding the bad cologne was Robert Slatzer, claiming to be a writer for the Hollywood Citizen News. Allan testified that Slatzer imposed himself on Marilyn; and since she did not want to be rude, the ever gracious movie star, who regularly consented to pose with her fans for photographs, consented to do the same with Slatzer, even though Allan advised her to just be rude. Tell him to take a canoe down the falls, Allan advised (Gilmore KE:UnAmerican). Marilyn even amicably inscribed a dedication and autographed the color glossy, which means she was possibly with Slatzer at least twice: Polaroid instant color film was not commercially available until 1963. The possibility that he mailed the color photograph to Marilyn in Hollywood in care of Fox Studios for her signature certainly exists; and I have no doubt that Marilyn would have signed the photograph and returned it to Slatzer. However, Will Fowler asserted that Marilyn never signed Slatzer’s photograph, that either Slatzer or a willing accomplice forged the inscription and the signature.

In Fowler’s 1991 correspondence to Howard Rosenberg, entitled Notes I forgot to authenticate re MM–Slatzer Story, Fowler wrote: First time I saw ‘famous’ color still pic of MM & RS, it didn’t have an autograph on it. In other 1991 correspondence, Fowler wrote:

I first saw famous color photograph of Slatzer and Monroe […] at Slatzer’s apartment at 7171 Pacific View Dr., Hollywood, CA 90068. It was in the early 1970s. The photo was not autographed. I said, “Too bad you didn’t get Marilyn to sign it for you.” Shortly thereafter […] a scrawly, nearly unreadable signature appeared on the photo.5

Perhaps, then, Slatzer did not send his color glossy to Marilyn after all; and perhaps Marilyn neither inscribed nor signed that famous photograph.

As a result of Marilyn’s generous complaisance, Slatzer parlayed a photograph taken of him posing with her at the waterfalls into an amazing, fortuitously lucrative and virtually lifelong career. He was frequently accorded the status of expert and former spouse when he appeared as a guest on several television talk shows hosted by uninformed micro­phonists like Larry King, Hugh Downs, Sally Jessy Raphael, Geraldo Rivera and Phil Do­nahue. He invariably complained that Marilyn’s death was never properly investigated; he knew for a fact that she did not commit suicide. She was injected with the drugs that killed her. She was murdered by Robert Kennedy. The television microphonists, the other guests and the audience would listen intently as Slatzer spun his tales about his incredibly famous weekend bride.

Robert Slatzer beguiled many persons, including many of Marilyn’s post-Slatzer biographers. Even a few of her acknowledged friends who were alive at that time believed his published account. Susan Strasberg, for example, commented that Marilyn was adept at compartmentalizing her friendships; and just because Slatzer was unknown to some of Marilyn’s friends did not mean he was necessarily a liar. It is certainly plausible that all of Marilyn’s friends did not know all of Marilyn’s friends; however, the problem is this: Slatzer was unknown to all of Marilyn’s real friends, unless you count Jeanne Carmen and Tony Curtis as real Marilyn friends. For everyone who was actually close to Marilyn, to have missed Slatzer’s presence stretches a fellow’s credulity; but apparently Susan Strasberg found Slatzer credible while others completely endorsed his dubious story, and in so doing, validated what was essentially a brazen tarradiddle.

If Slatzer’s name, address and telephone numbers had appeared in any of Marilyn’s personal address books auctioned by Julien’s in 1999, his credibility might have been somewhat enhanced; but his name was curiously absent. Once again, I must ask: why? Perhaps, you might assert, Marilyn had memorized Slatzer’s telephone number due to frequent use, in spite of the difficulty she experienced, according to some of her costars and directors, memorizing even simple lines of dialogue. However, the names and addresses and telephone numbers of persons she contacted regularly still appeared in those books. Odd, to me and others, that Robert Slatzer’s name and the pertinent information did not appear therein, strongly suggesting that he was not, in reality, a part of Marilyn’s actual life.

Certainly Slatzer was obsessed with Marilyn; but he did not actually know her. The evidence clearly indicates that he was in her presence most certainly once, possibly twice; and the evidence conclusively proves that he and Marilyn were never husband and wife. Never. And here the mysterious marriage certificate must resurface.

For years, Robert Slatzer skated. Apparently, not one person, neither talk-show host nor interviewer nor Marilyn’s friends, ever directly asked Robert Slater to produce some documentation that conclusively verified his Saturday marriage to Marilyn Monroe. He never voluntarily produced any, either. After all, as his memoir clearly explained, the Mexican attorney’s wooden match destroyed the original marriage certificate; and yet, according to Robert Slatzer, the attorney gave his former wife a copy of the document, which returned with her to Los Angeles. After he realized she was experiencing second thoughts about their marriage, that she was uncomfortable with her decision, he told her to destroy the certificate, to tear it up; but she told Slatzer that she would never ever destroy that certificate: she would keep it always. Marilyn’s marriage to Slatzer was so important to her, according to him, that she intended to keep the documentary representation of it forever and ever. Then they returned to Tijuana; and Slatzer paid the attorney who married them to incinerate the original Marriage certificate. How absurdly odd and nonsensical. Marilyn fundamentally told Slatzer that the documentary representation of their marriage meant more to her than the actual marriage itself; and then she married Joe DiMaggio.

Over the many years that have come and gone since Marilyn’s death, many pieces of paper and documents memorializing her life have been discovered, receipts for clothes and jewelry, apothecary receipts, in short, all types of receipts, letters and cards from fans, acquaintances and friends, in short, all types of documents; but the marriage certificate that she promised to keep forever and ever has never been found among all those pieces of paper and documents. That single fact alone casts more than reasonable doubt on Slatzer’s story. That piece of paper could have ended all the debate regarding Slatzer’s questionable veracity.

An expansion of the middle Kennedy brother’s tarradiddle, Marilyn’s romantic involvement with them and their involvement in her death, meaning they either killed her or had her killed, are Slatzer’s contribution to Marilyn’s cañon and the orthodoxies of her alleged murder. Slatzer also contributed Marilyn’s Little Red Diary, her Red Book of Secrets, in which, according to him, she kept an accounting of the tiptop secrets revealed to her by John and Robert Kennedy. In a later section, I evaluate the mythology surrounding that legend.

Suffice it to say, there are more than a few additional details and contentions in Slatzer’s memoir that are demonstrably false, based on what is undeniably known about Marilyn’s real life. Those realities reduce Slatzer’s memoir generally, and his marriage claim specifically, to the level of a completely deceitful mendacity. Robert F. Slatzer outlived his alleged weekend wife by forty-one years: he died in 2005 at the age of seventy-seven. While it is impolite to speak ill of the dead, in this case, I have to proffer an assessment of the man based on and derived from facts revealed by time and the unwinding of history’s spiral. If Robert Franklin Slatzer was not a fraud, then he was a reasonable facsimile thereof.

A Character from Gunsmoke