Section 17

August the 5th in 1962

Fear and dread must have hung palpably in Marilyn’s living room as Los Angeles Police Officer, Sgt Jack Clemmons, a large and imposing fellow, entered just before sun rise on the morning of August the 5th, a Sunday. Doctors Greenson and Engelberg along with Eunice Murray, who opened the door for officer Clemmons, greeted him in silence.

Greenson directed the police sergeant to Marilyn’s bedroom and her lifeless body.

Marilyn was lying on her stomach, her obviously nude body partially covered by a sheet. Her head was turned to the right. Clemmons knew immediately, based on the her body’s appearance, that the movie star was dead. Greenson announced that Marilyn was clutching a telephone receiver when he had initially entered the bedroom; but the psychiatrist admitted that he had taken it from her hand. When questioned by Clemmons, Greenson denied that Marilyn’s body had been moved and he denied any attempt to revive her. Marilyn’s psychiatrist then indicated the empty prescription vial of Nembutal among the many prescription containers resting on Marilyn’s small and cluttered bedside table. Written by Dr. Engelberg, Marilyn had filled the prescription for twenty-five 100mg Nembutal capsules just two days previous. Greenson commented: Marilyn must have swallowed all the pills the vial once contained.

Marilyn’s bedroom did not impress Sgt Clemmons. Apparently he expected to encounter a home and a bedroom more consistent with one occupied by a Hollywood movie star as famous and as popular as Marilyn Monroe, very large and obviously very expensive; in fact, Clemmons was not impressed by Marilyn’s hacienda at all. He would later describe it as cheesy. But then, the sergeant was not a Marilyn Monroe fan. If you want to know my reaction to her, it was completely negative, Clemmons informed Robert Slatzer during an interview in 1974. Sgt Clemmons added that he did not admire women who flaunt their loose morals. I admire women who are feminine […] (Slatzer 290). Perhaps Sgt Clemmons’ negative attitude about the ostentatiously vulgar and unfeminine movie star adversely effected his perception of the scene in Marilyn’s bedroom that sad Sunday morning.