The Seldom Quoted Hearsay Testaments

As I noted earlier in this section, the first biography that questioned the accepted mythology of Marilyn’s romantic involvement with the middle Kennedy brothers appeared in 1993, thirty-one years after Marilyn’s death. Biographer Donald Spoto questioned the veracity of Frank Capell, Robert Slatzer and Jeanne Carmen along with their bizarre assertions. Three biographies followed thereafter which also refuted the long accepted murder orthodoxies. In 2007, Randy Taraborrelli published The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe; in 2012, Michelle Morgan published Marilyn Monroe: Private and Undisclosed; and then, in 2014, Gary Vitacco-Robles published an exhaustively researched and significantly monumental two volume tome, Icon: The Life, Times and Films of Marilyn Monroe. Unfortunately, during the past two and one-half decades since Spoto’s publication, more than a few additional books that accepted the testaments of Capell, Slatzer and Carmen, along with various murder orthodoxies, have also been published. Many of those repeated the threadbare allegations of sexual obsession, state secrets and delusions of a Kennedy marriage along with murder and mayhem; but then, where there is mayhem, there is usually money to be procured.

Seldom quoted regarding her alleged affairs with the middle Kennedy brothers, and her expectations of a White House marriage, are persons who were actually close to Marilyn, who were actually her friends and her confidants. Why? The testimony of friends and confidants, those who actually knew Marilyn Monroe, would at least cast reasonable doubt, if not virtually disprove, all the malarkey posited by those who have used her for financial gain and yet never knew her nor even met her. But more importantly, why has Marilyn’s testimony been omitted, why has her own voice been silenced by the conspiracists? Because every conspiracy theory and virtually every allegation of affairs with the middle Kennedy brothers, hooligans and sundry mobsters began after Marilyn’s death, began with rumor and innuendo; and the actual testimony offered by the woman involved, limited though it is, contradicted all the wild allegations.

Had Marilyn been obsessed with the President of the United States and if she was desperately in love with his brother, as some writers and conspiracists continue to contend, is it not reasonable to expect that she would have mentioned that during conversations with her genuine confidants? Even though Marilyn guarded her privacy like a lioness guards her cubs, she spoke with a few of her close friends about her relationship with the President of the United States.

According to Susan Strasberg, Marilyn’s close friend and the daughter of Lee and Paula Strasberg, Marilyn admitted that she had a one-night romance with the president; but she denied any involvement at all with his brother. Also according to Susan, although Marilyn was exhilarated by John Kennedy’s pursuit of her, she knew that a lengthy relationship with him was not possible. According to Susan, Marilyn admitted that she found the secrecy and the drama surrounding her one night encounter with the captivating president more than exciting; but she was not interested in a permanent or lifetime relationship with a man like John Kennedy. About that she was very clear and certain (Spoto 505). According to Ralph Roberts, Marilyn’s personal masseur and one of her tightest pals, Marilyn confessed to the weekend encounter with John Kennedy and confirmed that weekend was the only encounter of her affair with the President. Even though rumors of a lengthy and complex relationship between her and John Kennedy were numerous and constant, Marilyn indicated to Roberts that the desert encounter was not a significant incident for her or John Kennedy, a onetime unique event (Spoto 487). Roberts also recounted that Marilyn telephoned him from the Crosby estate during that weekend: She asked me about the soleus muscle,1which she knew something about from the Mabel Ellsworth Todd book [The Thinking Body] and she had obviously been talking about this with the president, who was known to have all sorts of ailments, muscle and back trouble. Eventually, John Kennedy himself took the telephone to thank Ralph for his professional advice (Spoto 487). Odd, don’t you think, that President Kennedy would be so cavalier about revealing himself if he had any concern at all that Marilyn posed a revelatory threat, just might expose him as an adulterer; but then, Jacqueline already knew her husband was an adulterer, as did many other persons, small and large. Besides, if all the persons who attended that weekend retreat at Bing Crosby’s estate knew that Marilyn and John Kennedy were sharing a bedroom, doing the horizontal bop, and apparently they did or at least assumed as much and several so testified, then the encounter certainly was not a secret: a secret is known by only one person.

Susan and Ralph Roberts are not the only friends in whom Marilyn confided her John Kennedy tryst. According to Sidney Skolsky, Marilyn’s close friend and allegedly an intimate confidant whose association with her began in 1950, she liked the president; she liked the image of her, this pitiful orphan and waif, whose association with the leader of the free world provided an affirmation of her significance. She also confided in Ralph Roberts, Earl Wilson and Rupert Allan that she found the president to be witty and funny; and she was extremely flattered by the attention he had shown her. Still, Marilyn understood, according to Skolsky, that her role in John Kennedy’s life, like the role of other women with whom the president shared his sexual interests and proclivities, and of which Marilyn was keenly aware, was necessarily shallow and temporal. Marilyn was not a prepubescent little girl or silly teenager; she was an experienced, worldly woman.

According to the women who testified about their affairs with him, John Kennedy never promised them a long term relationship; and he never promised that marriage was even a remote possibility. Kennedy possessed real feelings for the actress Gene Tierney, according to Michael O’Brien; but even so, he advised her that he could not and would not divorce Jacqueline; and his relationship with Tierney could not, and would not, lead to marriage. Why would John Kennedy promise marriage to Marilyn when he refused to make such a promise to his many other paramours, including one for whom he allegedly had feelings? To assert that he promised marriage to only one of many lovers is nonsensical.

So who should we believe, the factoidal and biographical novelists, fraudulent persons who only claimed to be Marilyn’s friends; or should we believe Marilyn Monroe, the woman who was actually involved? Speaking only for me, of course, I believe the later. Once again, Donald Spoto summarized the situation precisely, noting that Marilyn’s normal honesty and candor regarding her romantic involvements provided enough reason to believe her; and when combined with some reliable external evidence which supported her assertions, versions of an affair that began decades ago, versions in which Marilyn envisioned herself as First Lady and versions in which Marilyn became obsessed with John Kennedy fall into the category of tales written by dime store journalists, tales written by journalists seeking fast money and faster notoriety and tales written by journalists who do not verify historical facts and are therefore unreliable. Spoto did not reveal the reliable external evidence to which he alluded. So I can only offer the following once again, risking an accusation of repetition. Tangible evidence which proves the generally accepted notion that Marilyn and President Kennedy engaged in a lengthy romantic relationship does not exist. On the other hand, tangible evidence which disproves that notion does not exist either. But then, that is the precise corollary that I would expect: trying to find tangible evidence to prove or disprove the existence of something entirely imaginary is like trying to pick-up mercury with a pair of tweezers.

I might offer the commentary of Randy Taraborrelli regarding his research into Marilyn’s alleged affair with President Kennedy as reliable external evidence. Instead, I only submit Tarabor­relli’s testimony as that of a rebuttal witness.

During an ABC News interview in 2009, the author discussed what his research revealed with Chris Cuomo:

We found that, for instance, Marilyn and JFK, it’s been long assumed and reported that their relationship was very complex and, you know, took many, many years out of her life, out of his life; and I have to tell you we’re looking at probably one weekend in Marilyn Monroe’s life.

Then Cuomo interrupted: So the idea of this extended affair, you debunk it? Taraborrelli continued:

Absolutely. It’s just not the case. Marilyn and JFK probably had one weekend at Bing Crosby’s home. In fact, we know they did. We assume they were intimate. We … I wasn’t there, so … but I assume they were intimate at least one night of the two nights they were at Bing Crosby’s and then Chris, that’s it.

Taraborrelli did not discover any additional evidence to support more than the one night fugacious encounter with President Kennedy;2but Taraborrelli’s beliefs regarding Marilyn’s involvement with the president diverged from the beliefs held by Spoto and Vitacco-Robles on one significant point. Fueled by her burgeoning loss of sanity and her steady withdrawal from reality, according to Taraborrelli, after their one tryst, Marilyn developed an obsession with the sitting president. That obsession fed her delusion that he would divorce and take an actress wife. Obviously, Taraborrelli just dismissed Marilyn’s statements to Susan Strasberg and others. Had he accepted Marilyn’s testaments, the basic premise of Taraborrelli’s book would have been negated. Taraborrelli insisted and attempted to prove that Marilyn’s grip on reality was tenuous, at best, by August of 1962.

Oddly, though, Marilyn’s purported romance with Robert Kennedy has become even more persistent and pernicious than her brief dalliance with John Kennedy; and the reason for its persistence can be found on the pages of the sensationalist books written by conspiracists, essentially the gossip columnists of biographical literature, writers who asserted that second and third hand testimonies were, in fact, facts. The fabrication’s genealogical DNA can be traced through Slat­zer and Carmen, through Mailer and Heymann, through history to both its father and its mother, Frank Capell; but according to Spoto, the attorney general’s schedule and travel logs during 1961 and 1962, preserved in the Kennedy Library and in the National Archives, clearly indicated that the attorney general and Marilyn participated in a courteous and respectful friendship, that Marilyn telephoned and briefly talked with the attorney general several times during a ten month period; but the geographical locations of each during that time made an affair impossible even if both had been inclined to a dalliance, which is itself far from the truth on both counts (Spoto 489-490).

In 1993 on the 30th of March, during a television interview on MSNBC, Bryant Gumbel asserted to Spoto that Marilyn was the plaything of the Kennedys, that she slept with both JFK and Bobby and was in love with Bobby when she died. Spoto called Gumbel’s assertions a lot of hooey. It’s absolute rubbish, the biographer responded. An incredulous Gumbel asked: She didn’t sleep with them? For Gumbel, apparently, the Kennedy mythology had become an orthodoxy, a gospel that could not be questioned. Spoto continued:

Marilyn Monroe never had an affair with Robert Kennedy. What we can document very firmly is that they met on four social occasions, always in the presence of a number of other people; but there isn’t a single shred of credible evidence nor a single credible witness to the fact that there was any intimacy between them and how do we establish this Bryant? We line up on one side of the page the whereabouts of Bobby Kennedy during his tenure as attorney general and on the other side of the page we can line up where Marilyn Monroe was. It’s very difficult to conduct an affair from eight-thousand miles distance.

Of course, Spoto’s detractors assert that the main goal of his Marilyn biography and his position regarding her relationships with John and Robert Kennedy was to absolve and exonerate his Kennedy friends, to continue the obfuscation of the truth and the facts, to continue the cover-up of Kennedy crimes because of a misguided loyalty to the memory of America’s Royal Family.3

Since Donald Spoto was born in 1941, he would have been in his early twenties during the Kennedy administration. As a native of New Rochelle, New York, he could have known a Kennedy or two or three; but evidence to support that possibility remains undiscovered. While Spoto wrote a biography about the former First Lady, it was not published until 2000, years after the principals involved with the Marilyn and Kennedy legends had relocated into eternity. Although Jackie Kennedy was alive in 1993 when Spoto’s Marilyn biography was published, she died soon thereafter; and Spoto did not interview the former first lady for his Marilyn publication. At any rate, the accusation that Spoto only wanted to protect the Kennedy legacy and the memory of the middle Kennedy brothers appears to be vacuous, without a historical or a factual basis.

In his posthumously published memoir, The Bureau: My Thirty Years in Hoover’s FBI, William Sullivan, who was Deputy Director of the FBI under Hoover, asserted that the boss desperately wanted and attempted to catch Robert Kennedy in compromising situations; but the FBI director never did because Robert Kennedy was virtually a Puritan. Agents of the FBI often observed him at parties during which the attorney general drank from the same glass of Scotch for hours, Sullivan asserted; and the yarns involving a love affair between Bobby Kennedy and Marilyn Monroe were just that, yarns started by Frank Capell, a right-wing zealot with a yarn spinning history. Capell’s tale developed briefly into a conflagration because J. Edgar Hoover gleefully fanned the flames that Capell’s fabrication ignited; and if any of Capell’s innuendoes had been true, Edwin Guthman asserted to Donald Spoto, then Hoover most certainly would have known and employed that scandalous information against Robert Kennedy when he campaigned for his senate seat and then later for the presidency (Spoto 493). Also, during an ABC News interview, conducted in 2009, Randy Taraborrelli stated: Where Marilyn and Bobby are concerned, there’s just not enough evidence to support a relationship between the two of them that was anything more than platonic; and, in fact, I believe that they were only even in each other’s company three times.4I must note here, that the accusations of Kennedy legacy protection along with protection of the Camelot mythology leveled at Donald Spoto have not been leveled at Taraborrelli even though he, like Spoto, discounted the Marilyn and Robert Kennedy affair legends due to a lack of evidentiary proof.

As I noted earlier, Richard Goodwin reported to Donald Spoto, during an interview, that Robert Kennedy never mentioned Marilyn, not even once during one of the many intimate conversations in which they engaged over the years preceding Robert Kennedy’s tragic assassination; and such was the case with Marilyn. Sidney Skolsky asserted that Marilyn never mentioned the attorney general. Peter Lawford’s close friends, William Asher, Milton Ebbins and Joseph Naar, according to Spoto, who interviewed each man, insisted that the friendship between Marilyn and Robert Kennedy was simply platonic; and regarding Norman Mailer’s novel biographical novel, Sidney Skolsky commented that Mailer simply wrote his purple prose to generate greenbacks, a fact to which Mailer admitted in 1973 and again in the 1975 paperback edition of his novel biographical novel, as I have also previously noted herein.

The story of Marilyn’s affairs with the middle Kennedy brothers has been presumed to be a reality for decades; and virtually all the conspiracists writers have asserted that the assembled testimony offered by their witnesses provided the proof which transforms presumption into fact. Admittedly, Marilyn certainly had a sexual moment with President Kennedy during the weekend of March the 24th in 1962. Several persons saw them together and said so; but more importantly, Marilyn confided to various confidants that she and the leader of the free world enjoyed that one, and only one, tryst. Tangible evidence and proof of additional encounters simply does not exist.

Admittedly, Marilyn knew Robert F. Kennedy. She danced with him at the Lawford’s beach house and she telephoned his office at the Justice Department; but what do those facts substantially mean or otherwise prove, precisely? John Seigenthaler, Robert Kennedy’s administrative assistant and admittedly his friend for most of his political life, apparently believed that his friend’s social encounters with Marilyn were simply that and nothing more. In an article written by Mr. Seigenthaler, he asserted that he was present when Robert Kennedy met the blonde movie star at Peter Lawford’s beach house on the 1st of February in 1962. Yes, Seigenthaler admitted, Robert Kennedy danced with Marilyn Monroe. So what? I danced with Janet Leigh. Ethel Kennedy danced with Tony Curtis and Bobby danced with Ethel. It was dinner, dancing, conversation―and that was it, a precise assessment and a concise explanation.5

Marilyn’s alleged affair with the attorney general began with Maurice Ries, an unfounded imputation advanced by Frank Capell’s 1964 politically motivated pamphlet, political codswallop advanced and expanded by Norman Mailer and then Robert Slatzer. Even Anthony Summers admitted that Capell’s pamphlet and allegations were trash motivated by questionable politics; but then the conspiracist pathographer, at one and the same time, advanced Capell’s politically motivated trash.

Marilyn asked both Rupert Allan and Ralph Roberts if they had heard the rumors regarding a romance between her and Robert Kennedy. When each man responded affirmatively, she stated emphatically that the rumors were false; and she confided in each man that she did not find Robert Kennedy physically appealing. According to Ralph Roberts, as I noted earlier, Marilyn asserted that Robert Kennedy was not her physical type: she liked him, just not physically. Again, according to Susan Strasberg, Marilyn denied any involvement with the attorney general. However, in a world of conspiracies, intemperate and bizarre speculations, I am expected to accept, as unassailable fact, the second and third, often fourth hand testimony of persons either on the periphery of Marilyn’s life or not involved in her life at all. I am expected to accept even anonymous testimony while I am expected to disregard the testimony of the actual woman involved along with her testimony to her nearest friends and closest confidants. Preposterous to say the least.

I would be remiss, and also disingenuous, if I did not mention within this section the testimony Anthony Summers attributed to Sidney Skolsky, the Marilyn confidant and Hollywood gossip columnist who I referenced earlier and who was also quoted by Donald Spoto. In his source notes, Summers declared that he interviewed Skolsky in 1983, two decades plus one year after Marilyn’s death. At that time, Skolsky was eighty-one years old. Summers also referenced The Story of Marilyn Monroe, essentially, I assume, a compendium of magazine panegyrics about Marilyn writ­ten by Skolsky and published by Dell in 1954. Summers also referenced a 1975 publication written by the columnist entitled, Don’t Get Me Wrong, I Love Hollywood. I have neither read nor reviewed either.

As noted earlier, Marilyn confided her relationship with John Kennedy to Skolsky, whose testimony Donald Spoto reported; but the testimony attributed to the Hollywood gossip columnist by Summers indicated a much more serious relationship with the sitting president than the one presented by Spoto. Skolsky did not doubt that Marilyn was deeply involved with John Kennedy, Summers asserted and reported that the gossip columnist received direct confirmation of the presidential affair from Marilyn. According to Summers according to Skolsky according to an irritated and complaining Marilyn, the lovers encountered problems being alone. Even during the times when they managed to be alone, the lovers were compelled to leave the bedroom light ablaze. Always in attendance at the president’s assignations, even those involving Marilyn, his Secret Service detail would push down the door, if the lights were extinguished, and rush into the room with pistols drawn, a fellow visualizes, ready to plug John Kennedy’s doxies, even Marilyn Monroe. According to Summers, Skolsky did not believe the Secret Service ever barged in with pistols drawn.

According to Summers according to Skolsky according to Marilyn, she had been invited to attend a White House dinner planned for March of 1962. She planned to take Skolsky with her. The preceding conversation about a White House dinner invitation, if ever extended, that is, allegedly occurred in February of 1962 immediately before Marilyn traveled to Mexico and communed with several dangerous communists. The White House dinner never transpired, though, so Skolsky never met President Kennedy or the First Lady as far as I was able to determine.

Apparently Skolsky had his daughter, Steffi, eavesdrop on several of his telephone conversations with Marilyn, simply because, Summers stated, Skolsky simply felt like having a witness. But then, why would a trusted friend and confidant engage in such chicanery; and under what set of circumstances would a trusted friend and confidant want a collaborative eavesdropper and a secret witness? I’m sure I’m not sure. At any rate, Steffi told Summers that Marilyn believed her friend, Pat Newcomb, was jealous of her, from which Summers made a quantum leap of presumption. The 4th of August quarrel between Marilyn and Pat Newcomb has been a subject of debate for five decades. Even though there is no evidence whatsoever to support such an assertion, it has nonetheless been asserted that Pat Newcomb was in love with Robert Kennedy. Therefore, Summers concluded, the girlfriend’s argument that weekend just might have been over the attorney general. Might have been? Does that qualify as evidence?

Finally, Sidney Skolsky’s last telephone conversation with Marilyn allegedly occurred on August the 4th in 1962 while Steffi Skolsky, once again, eavesdropped. Marilyn’s trusted friend and confidant asked about her plans for that night. According to Steffi Skolsky according to Summers, Marilyn told Sidney that she might visit Santa Monica Beach. Just about everybody was going to be there; and she expected to meet one the Kennedys. I assume Sydney Skolsky did not remember that August the 4th conversation with Marilyn or her Kennedy expectation: oddly, Summers relied on Steffi’s recollections. However, there is an important reason why that detail might have dropped from Sidney’s memory. Details regarding the important reason to follow.

The preceding statements attributed to Sidney Skolsky and his daughter are compelling and interesting but also slightly curious. For instance, Marilyn’s statements to Susan Strasberg and Ralph Roberts contradicted Skolsky’s assertion about the nature of her affair with John Kennedy, that it involved only one encounter. Skolsky’s testimony about the bedroom light and the Secret Service is oddly humorous when a fellow considers just how frequently John Kennedy availed himself of women while he traveled with his Secret Service agents, several of whom testified to the president’s wanton behavior in the presence of other witnesses. None of the Secret Service Agents who so testified stated that they ever considered barging into the room with the president and one of his doxies, even if the room suddenly went black. Besides, were they not aware of the activity with which the president was engaged during those moments of blackness? Certainly they were. Also and significantly, not one of those agents ever mentioned Marilyn Monroe.

I can think of at least twenty-five reasons why Pat Newcomb could have envied Marilyn Monroe: maybe Pat envied Marilyn’s fame, her success, her beauty, her ability to sing and dance, her tiny waist or even her blue eyes. Nothing in the testimony of Steffi Skolsky alleging Pat Newcomb’s jealousy even suggested that the envy involved Robert Kennedy or that Pat’s alleged envy even existed.

Steffi Skolsky’s assertion to Anthony Summers that Marilyn hoped to see a Kennedy at Santa Monica Beach on August the 4th is also curious. Peter Lawford invited Marilyn to yet another one of his Santa Monica dinner parties on that date; but she declined to attend; and too, if Marilyn was expecting a visit by Robert Kennedy that Saturday in August, as asserted by more than a few conspiracists, why would she be planning a trip to the beach during which she merely hoped to meet a Kennedy? That assertion seems unusual. Also, known facts regarding the middle Kennedy brother’s August the 4th itineraries render Steffi’s assertion dubious.

On August the 4th in 1962, President Kennedy was in Hyannisport with his family. His Saturday began with a late morning cruise aboard the Marlin, accompanied by the First Lady, his father and his daughter, Caroline. After the cruise, he took his daughter to the Hyannis Country Club where they watched golfers on the first tee. They also visited the pro shop. In the afternoon, Caroline visited her grandfather along with her father; and then later that afternoon, she and her father sailed the Victura. John Kennedy was not in California nor scheduled to visit California on August the 4th in 1962; and on that date, Robert Kennedy was in Gilroy, California, with John Bates and his family. So, why would Marilyn expect to see one of the middle Kennedy brothers at Santa Monica Beach. Steffi’s testimony regarding Marilyn’s Kennedy expectation neither had, nor has, any historical basis or evidentiary proof and is potently challenged by the facts. Perhaps she simply recalled another eavesdropped conversation between her father and his famous good friend.

I would also be remiss if I did not present the following facts. Sidney Skolsky died on May the 3rd in 1983, one day beyond his eighty-first birthday; and he died due to complications from Parkinson’s disease and atherosclerosis. I was unable to uncover the stage to which Sidney’s disease had developed or the exact complications from which he died. However, persons who die from Parkinson’s disease have, more often than not, reached an advanced stage; and in Sidney’s case, his atherosclerosis, which inhibits the proper flow of blood to the brain, could have aggravated the Parkinson’s while that circulatory disease itself can cause confusion and eyesight problems.

As you may already know, Parkinson’s is an incredibly debilitating and horrific disease, particularly during its advanced or later stages. The majority of afflicted persons display severe shaking at times and also spells of rigidity along with episodes of freezing. They experience slowness, difficulty walking, difficulty thinking, depression and anxiety. Also during its advanced stage, Parkinson’s more often than not causes dementia in the form of Alzheimer’s disease. During the dementia stage, the afflicted display neuropsychiatric and also cognitive disorders, including impaired speech and word recognition, impaired recall, impaired perception and impaired estimation of time; and in severe cases, patients may even suffer hallucinations and delusions.

Also during Parkinson’s dementia stage, the afflicted experience difficulty remembering significant events as their long term or episodic memory quickly fades. The loss of memory usually conforms to the following order: first short-term and then episodic, followed by semantic and finally procedural. Eventually the patient simply loses their ability to remember. I repeat, I could not determine the severity of Sidney’s disease immediately prior to his death; but if complications from it killed him, as reported by his obituaries and various biographical sketches, then it is reasonable and logical to conclude that his disease had reached an advanced stage during the first few months of 1983, the only time during 1983 when Summers could have interviewed the gossip columnist, certainly an important factor that must be used to evaluate Skolsky’s alleged testimony, an important factor left unrevealed by Anthony Summers.

I readily admit that the testimony which I presented in the preceding section is sparse and it is actually hearsay. The reason for its paucity is two-fold: 1) Marilyn did not have many close friends in whom she confided and 2) she simply did not discuss her personal life with many persons, especially persons she knew she could not trust. She had, after all, been betrayed more than just a few times during her cinematic career. Additionally, Marilyn did not leave behind a detailed autobiography; and she did not leave behind a cache of extensive interviews. The interviews she left behind were primarily publicity driven and controlled to a great degree by 20th Century-Fox Film Corporation. Still and all, had she sat for many extensive interviews, it is doubtful that she would have discussed her relationships with the middle Kennedy brothers.

So, in the end, what should a fellow conclude, based on all of the preceding? Here I return to the words of Sarah Churchwell because I recognize, like she recognized, that in the case of Marilyn’s alleged affairs, each and every one of them, a belief that they actually occurred precedes factual proof. Research, various conspiracists have alleged, resulted in discovered testimonial evidence which they offered as proof, the very flimsiness of which demonstrated the inflexible opinions and the inflexible beliefs those conspiracists already held (Churchwell 102).

From Capell to Mailer to Slatzer to many others, the references offered are circular, revolving back and forth, from one to the other flimsy testament. When a person searches for evidence to prove a theory in which he or she already believes, that person will no doubt discover something because a foregone conclusion can, and will, be proven by anything, a humorous thank-you note, a letter to a former step-son, a telephone conversation the contents of which were, and are, unknown and will forever be unknown. And something unknown is often the best form of evidence and proof for a conspiracist to accept and also offer.

In May of 2012, Carl Anthony, author, historian, screenwriter and journalist offered the following opinion: context is everything. Documentation, even better. Regarding the alleged affair between Marilyn and John Kennedy, Anthony correctly observed: the tale involved a romanticized story that the American people have long cherished and held dear about a beloved President and one they simply will not relinquish, possibly out of concern that the beloved President might possibly be damaged somehow, damaged along with the National Psyche.6Mr. Anthony touched upon an interesting point relating to myths: the popularity of the persons involved transform a myth into a desire, a myth and a desire easy to accept and therefore believe. People simply want to believe that the cinema goddess, the charismatic and handsome president were, in fact, long term lovers, proof or a lack thereof notwithstanding.

Mr. Anthony continued and noted that no original documentation has ever credibly proven a Kennedy–Monroe affair. Anthony noted the appearance of the legend in Mailer’s writings, an inclusion that Mailer later admitted to be entirely imaginary;7but, as Anthony additionally noted, the idea was out of the gate and presented as an undeniable fact by journalist Earl Wilson, also a gossip columnist, in his book Show Business Laid Bare, which featured the connection to Kennedy brother-in-law, Peter Lawford. Finally, Anthony referenced The Peter Lawford Story, a book ghostwritten for Lawford’s last wife and his widow, Deborah Seaton Lawford, that was published in 1988, slightly three years beyond Lawford’s Christmas Eve death in 1984. Anthony correctly noted: That was a case of somebody never witness to the alleged affair writing a book for somebody else who was never witness to any affair, based on what they claimed was the revealed secrets of it all by someone who was already dead.8Well, after all, just how much evidence and proof does a fellow actually need? Well, after all, more than the evidence and proof offered to date.

Forgive me as I repeat once again, the evident reality of the matter is this: there was no evidence, is no evidence and will never be any evidence that Marilyn and the middle Kennedy brothers engaged in the type of romantic affairs of which they are invariably accused. After more than one half century of supposition, rumor and innuendo, is it not time to face the factual truth? Marilyn Monroe and John Kennedy did not engage in a lengthy romance. Marilyn Monroe never visited nor slept with John Kennedy at the White House and she never flew on Air Force One while she was John Kennedy’s mistress disguised as a John Kennedy’s secretary. Also, while Marilyn and Robert Kennedy danced to the twist recordings of Chubby Checker, just like I did in 1962, they were never involved in a romance of any sort, nor an affair, and they never touched toes beneath the sheets. To believe otherwise is to believe the fantasies of some, at best, and the outright lies of others, at worst. But then, at the bottom of it all, of course, as Carl Anthony correctly noted, are the individuals involved in entertainment who simply exploit the legendary mythology for financial gain.

In one of director John Ford’s many great Westerns, as the movie came to an end, the hero revealed the facts behind his legend; and the facts revealed that he was not what his many friends and admirers believed him to be. The newspaper man, after learning the facts, crumpled the notes he had been taking while the hero spoke; and then he emphatically threw the wad of paper into a fire blazing in a nearby potbelly stove. You’re not going to use the story? the hero asked incredulously. No, sir, replied the newspaper man, then added: This is the West, sir: when the legend becomes fact, print the legend. This is the world of Marilyn’s Murder Orthodoxies in which the facts and the truth are also ignored and legends persist.

Finally, in one of the many documentaries about the life and death of Marilyn Monroe, Joan Greenson, Ralph Greenson’s daughter, commented that the truth pertaining to Marilyn is no longer important or even relevant: Nobody cares anymore what the truth is. It’s more interesting to have all the speculation and the wilder the speculation the more interesting it gets. In Joan’s opinion, Marilyn has been obscured by all the fantasy and hyperbole. It amazes me, she commented, that people who find out that I knew her and who are big fans never ask me about the real person because they’re not interested. They want the illusions.9

SECTION 6: Marilyn's Red Book of Secrets