Marilyn's Murder Orthodoxies
What happened inside Marilyn’s bedroom after she closed the door behind her, for some, remains a mystery. Her autopsy revealed that she died from acute barbiturate poisoning, a massive drug overdose. She apparently had enough barbiturates in her body to kill fifteen people, more than a few conspiracists have asserted, requiring her to ingest a colossally excessive number of capsules, somewhere between forty-five, seventy-five and even more, depending on account and conspiracist. Donald Burleson, for instance, opined that Marilyn must have swallowed in excess of one-hundred capsules considering the concentration of drugs in her blood. The Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office ruled her death a probable suicide although, as many persons have duly noted, the qualifying modifier probable was unusual if not unique to Marilyn’s case. The use of that unusual modifier opened the door for wild speculations, fuzzy ruminations and theories about what Marilyn did or did not do, or what was done to her, behind her closed bedroom door.
The first questions one might ask are these: why wasn’t, and why hasn’t, the probable suicide ruling by the Office of the Los Angeles County Coroner been accepted by most of the general public and most of the denizens living in the Realm of Marilyn? During her life, she experienced impulses to kill herself: once she considered throwing herself into the street below the window of her thirteenth floor apartment in Manhattan and she wrote about leaping into the dark waters of the East River from the Brooklyn Bridge. She attempted suicide at least four times during her life, three times by overdose and once by asphyxiation; and she was a known depressive under the constant care of a psychiatrist; she was a known abuser of barbiturates, often washing them down with champagne, a practice her friends and various doctors informed her was potentially deadly, a caution about which she apparently cared little if at all; and she often pricked the capsules with a needle so the onset of their effects would arrive faster. According to her poet friend, Norman Rosten, Marilyn “hungered for death” (Vitacco-Robles v2:568). Was it not plausible to conclude, considering the toxicology report, her history and her somewhat nonchalant attitude about death, that she killed herself?
Perhaps the reluctance to accept a probable suicide edict has something to do with who Marilyn Monroe was and what she represented to the millions of fans who adored her, adored her movies and her talent, adored her charm and her humor, adored her beauty. To them, she was a person, a woman, a goddess who had it all. They loved her and they sensed that she loved them. Those feelings about Marilyn persist today.
It is difficult to accept that a person who we love does not love us enough, in return, to stick around. Suicide? Simply unacceptable. The incongruity of an amazing life ended by a sad and lonely death, a death that repudiated life, simply could not, and cannot for many, be made congruous, could not and cannot be arranged into any sort of acceptable balance. Similar to the tragic assassinations of John and Robert Kennedy, which at the hands of persons as inconsequential as Lee Harvey Oswald and Sirhan Bishara Sirhan, seem incredibly unbalanced, so does the death of Marilyn Monroe by her own hand seem incredibly unbalanced and even inexplicable. There must be more to this story, sinister and powerful forces at work behind the scenes, manipulating shadowy human pawns to do evil things, to assassinate, to murder death kill.
Conspiracy theories involving the untimely or mysterious death of a famous person invariably seem to have this in common: at least one association that can be classified as detrimental to the deceased or sinister in nature, leading to the inevitable conspiracy theories. In Marilyn’s case, she was certainly famous; her death was certainly untimely, certainly mysterious and presented more than one association that qualified as detrimental and sinister, although many of those associations fall within the category of unverified allegation and rumor. Marilyn’s alleged associations and the perceived murkiness surrounding her death, the many perceived to be unanswered questions, have resulted in more than a few conspiracy theories alleging homicide perpetrated by powerful men and faceless forces. As one conspiracy theorist assessed Marilyn’s situation, she simply got involved with wicked and powerful men, waded into the black water so far that she simply got in over her pretty blonde head.
Apparently whispers that Marilyn might have been murdered began not long after her body was entombed at Westwood Village Memorial Park. Probable culprits in those whispers, even then, included the centrally important middle Kennedy Brothers; but the whispers became audible conversation with the publication of Norman Mailer’s biographical novel in 1973, became shouts with the publication of Bob Slatzer’s brazen tarradiddle in 1974, and then became guttural howls with the publication in 1985 of Anthony Summer’s often referenced and quoted orthodoxy, Goddess: The Secret Lives of Marilyn Monroe. In those publications, and many that followed thereafter, Marilyn was reduced to a depthless and a peripheral victim in a contrived murder mystery.
The Middle Kennedy Brothers
For many persons these words, the Kennedys murdered Marilyn, have the same import and veracity as the Synoptic Gospels. However, in all but one conspiracy theory, the Brothers are not directly involved in Marilyn’s actual murder. From a safe distance, they merely order her elimination or allow her murder to occur in order to save their personal lives and political careers. The wicked and evil intelligence acronyms, the FBI and the CIA, become involved or participate in one way or another in Marilyn’s death, usually at the behest of John and Robert Kennedy.
For decades it has been reported, and believed by most of the world’s population, certainly most of the American population, that Marilyn had a lengthy love affair with John F. Kennedy, one that began as early as 1949 in some accounts, when he was a United States Representative. At that time, Marilyn was a relatively unknown starlet; but by then, she had invested three years in her cinematic career, careening about in Hollywood like a pinball among the chauvinists controlling the chauvinistic and oppressive studio system. Others contend that the affair began after Kennedy’s election to the Senate in 1952, probably in mid-1953, generally coinciding with the time of Marilyn’s rapid rise to stardom and international fame.
Robert F., the diminutive Kennedy brother, allegedly became a player in Marilyn’s life and the murder conspiracies because his older brother simply grew bored with the world’s most famous movie star and passed her off, like a sexual football, to his little brother for the big score. Some conspiracists contend that John sent Bobby to get Marilyn off his back because she had become obsessed with the handsome, charismatic and powerful president. Marilyn then proceeded to fall desperately in love with the younger Kennedy because, after all, one Kennedy brother is just as good as any other and a Kennedy by any name smells and tastes just as sweet. I have even read several accounts in which baby brother Teddy received several sexual hand-offs during a few of the many alleged orgies that involved a star-studded, fun-loving group of political swingers, voyeurs and sexy sensualists.
During their affairs with Marilyn, both the president and the attorney general revealed all their tiptop but nonetheless dirty and ugly secrets to their shared lover. Why not? Why would that be risky? Samir Muqaddin, a Los Angeles County Morgue employee, who appears prominently in the section herein dedicated to Marilyn’s diary, asserted in his memoir that Marilyn was actually a government agent, taken to high level security briefings and meetings during which tiptop government officials, including agents of the CIA and the FBI along with John and Robert Kennedy, openly discussed sensitive national security secrets and covert plans. Sometimes those careless officials openly discussed highly sensitive information at parties here there and everywhere which Marilyn attended with the middle Kennedy brothers.
But the conversation and the secrets John and Robert revealed to Marilyn became even more sensitive and intimate during their after copulation pillow talk. Each brother revealed his desire to expel communism from Cuba by either deposing or murdering Fidel Castro. Their desire was so intense, they admitted, they approved the use of the FBI, the CIA and murderous mobsters to obtain some relief and achieve fulfillment. Each brother revealed their nefarious entanglements with the MOB and mobsters, their illegal political machinations and their illegal efforts around the globe to topple governments and manipulate foreign leaders by using the dark and sinister CIA. John admitted to complicity in concealing the facts about the Roswell UFO incident, the existence of rascally aliens and rascally alien corpses; and he also admitted that the US military was attempting to reverse engineer the crashed alien space craft. The president and attorney general both trusted Marilyn, or perhaps they were just behaving like teenage boys trying to impress her, and so they confided in her. According to virtually all the conspiracists, Marilyn responded to their trust and their confidence by keeping a tabulation, a record of all the Brother’s revealed to her in a Red Book of Secrets, a diary now known infamously as Marilyn’s Little Red Diary.
The Intelligence MOB
Because of her association with the sitting president of the United States, the sitting attorney general and the information they revealed to her, Marilyn had become a national security liability. As a result thereof, some theorists contend, either the FBI or the CIA, possibly both agencies, acting on orders from either John or Robert Kennedy, possibly both men, murdered Marilyn. Samir Muqaddin asserted that Marilyn, the intelligence operative, had been compromised by her sexual entanglements and her fragile mental state by mid 1962; and the knowledge she had obtained from the middle Kennedy brothers regarding the nefarious activities of the CIA had transformed her into a potential source of leaks, an undesirable security situation which came to the attention of James Jesus Angleton, the CIA’s legendary Associate Deputy Director of Operations for Counterintelligence from 1954 until 1975. Thus, theorists have posited, the CIA and Angleton acted unilaterally to murder Marilyn to preserve that agency’s security, not necessarily on orders from John or Robert Kennedy.
Within these governmental agency hypotheses, there are three similar and related constructs. The entire US intelligence community, but primarily the Central Intelligence Agency, which John Kennedy allegedly threatened to dismantle after the Bay of Pigs’ fiasco, actively participated in Marilyn’s murder in order to: 1) ensnare the Brothers in a potential scandal so grotesque that, fearing its revelation to the American public and the resultant damage to their lives and political careers, they could be forced to resign; 2) provide the intelligence community with a means, not to force the Brothers to resign, but to control them, making Marilyn’s murder an instrument of black mail; and 3) ensure that the spy agencies’ secrets would not be revealed. Some conspiracists opine that Marilyn’s murder was possibly the precursor to President Kennedy’s assassination in 1963 by MOB controlled and MOB implanted rogue elements within the CIA.
A fourth, distinctly different construct posits that J. Edgar Hoover and his federal investigative bureau acted out of concern for John and Robert Kennedy, acted to actually protect them from the revelations of the dumb blonde movie star. J. Edgar realized that Marilyn had to be eliminated to protect the middle Kennedy brothers from themselves and their unwholesome, perverted sexual appetites.
A fifth construct maintains that neither the FBI or the CIA actively participated in Marilyn’s murder but participated in the subsequent cover-up by sanitizing Marilyn’s hacienda, removing documents linking her to the middle Kennedy brothers and by confiscating her telephone records. The cover-up precipitated by the intelligence agencies was either ordered by the middle Kennedy brothers or was simply a unilateral effort to protect John and Robert from guilt by association and to prevent any personal or political damage. Remarkably, this massive cover-up, or Kennedy legacy protection, has now endured over one-half century.
The Criminal MOB
Just like Marilyn’s purported association with John and Robert Kennedy, it has been alleged and believed for decades that she was a mistress of the MOB and sexually involved with various mobsters, Sam Giancana, Johnny Roselli and Tony Accardo just to name three; but several others pop up now and then, here and there in various conspiracy theories. A portion of Marilyn’s mobster legend arises from her association with Frank Sinatra and his links to mobsters through business and real estate holdings in Las Vegas and Lake Tahoe. Like the middle Kennedy brothers, the MOB, along with Marilyn’s nefarious mobster lovers, feared her and feared what she knew about them, their entanglements with John and Robert Kennedy and their attempts to depose and murder Fidel Castro. Thus, Marilyn could not be allowed to reveal the MOB’s ugly secrets and ugly entanglements, an accounting of which she also kept in her Little Red Diary. So, the MOB was compelled to snuff her out: her knowledge, they feared, could be used to destroy the entire Cosa Nostra.
Some theorists allege that certain mobsters, but particularly Sam Giancana, felt betrayed by the Kennedy clan. The Chicago Outfit had delivered the votes of union members that gave John Kennedy the presidency in 1960 and Sam Giancana expected the Kennedy’s cooperation thereafter. Despite assurances by Joseph Kennedy, Sr. that a Kennedy administration would not target organized crime, once appointed attorney general, Robert Kennedy immediately began a crusade against powerful labor unions by exposing the criminal underpinnings of Jimmy Hoffa and his teamsters union. Giancana and other mobsters wanted some satisfaction, some revenge and they decided their revenge should be in the form of a dead Marilyn Monroe. Tendrils within this theory parallel the constructs within the FBI and CIA orthodoxies: a grotesque scandal leading to resignation or black mail leading to manipulation. What better way to facilitate the Brother’s cooperative behavior than by implicating them in or framing them for their shared paramour’s murder. Apparently, Sam Giancana believed that he might actually supplant the monarchs of Camelot. Oddly, a construct within a MOB related orthodoxy includes Marilyn’s elimination in order to actually protect the middle Kennedy brothers from exposure and ruination, to protect them from themselves.
The Cal–Neva Orthodoxies
In an interesting MOB scenario twist, theorists postulate that Frank Sinatra invited Marilyn to visit Cal-Neva Lodge during the weekend of July the 28th so that he, Peter Lawford and Sam Giancana could convince her not to hold her press conference and tattle on the middle Kennedy brothers, expose their adulterous activities and thereby ruin them politically. Sam Giancana, some believe, could not dissuade Marilyn from revealing her affairs with John and Robert along with what she knew about their political ugliness; so he ordered her whacked.
In another related Cal-Neva twist, George Masters, one of Marilyn’s hairdressers, alleged that he and Marilyn returned to Cal-Neva on August the 3rd so she could meet with Sam Giancana who was not present when Marilyn visited Tahoe during the weekend of July the 28th. He invited her to return the weekend of August the 4th for a face to face meeting in hopes of personally convincing her not to reveal her secret tryst with John Kennedy. Since Marilyn refused again and pledged to hold her press conference in spite of the gangster’s entreaties, Giancana simply murdered her and then transported the body to Los Angeles.
The Psychiatrist and the Attorney General
A relatively recent addition to the canon of Marilyn’s Murder Orthodoxies, one proffered by Jay Margolis and Richard Buskin in their murder orthodoxy, The Murder of Marilyn Monroe: Case Closed, involves Robert Kennedy and Marilyn’s psychiatrist, who conspire to eliminate Marilyn. In this surreal and Kafkaesque orthodoxy, Marilyn was not only sexually involved with the attorney general, along with members of the MOB, but she was also bedding her aging therapist, Dr. Ralph Greenson. Convinced by Robert Kennedy that Marilyn planned to expose the psychiatrist, thereby ruining his personal life and his career, the attorney general also convinced Dr. Greenson that his most famous patient or client, as he preferred to call them, had to be eliminated. So Greenson performed the dirty deed with a long cardiac needle and an injection of an unknown liquid directly into Marilyn’s pumping heart. This particular orthodoxy, otherwise known as The Ambulance Theory, appears predominantly in a later section.
The Patriarch and the Gangster
Patriarch of the Kennedy Clan, Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr., appears on the wanted-for-murder poster in yet another conspiracy theory. Robert Kennedy impregnated Marilyn not much in advance of her death, some allege. She attempted to use her pregnancy to force the attorney general into a divorce and then a Hollywood shotgun wedding. The senior Kennedy could not allow that to happen. Robert promised to wed Marilyn but only after she aborted the pregnancy, which, according to at least one conspiracists, she did during the weekend of July the 28th. Fearing that she would eventually reveal her affairs with both of his sons and that she was forced to abort a Kennedy fetus, thereby creating an ugly sexual scandal, the senior Kennedy and his president son, John Fitzgerald, hired Sam Giancana to eliminate Marilyn. The patriarch conceived and arranged the murder plot despite the debilitating stroke he suffered on December the 19th in 1961, which partially paralyzed him and limited his ability to communicate effectively. Little did the Kennedys know, however, that the conniving mobster had plans to use Marilyn’s murder to control and manipulate them. So, under the guise of helping the Kennedys save themselves from scandal and political ruination, Giancana dispatched his minions to murder Marilyn and thereafter arrange the phony suicide scene.
The Russian Secret Police
So sayeth Lyudmila Temnova, a Russian documentarian, KGB agent Vladislav Egorov came to America in 1958 to arrange Nikita Khrushchev’s now infamous visit. Vlad met Marilyn at a state dinner while operating from the United Nations as a Soviet diplomat; and naturally, she began a liaison with the Soviet spy that developed, naturally, into a steamy hot romance. During this time and during her liaison with Egorov, the Soviets recruited Marilyn. She went over to the dark side and became, quite naturally, a Russian spy and a traitor.
During her love affair with Egorov, a few conspiracists, by extension and a quantum leap, purport that Marilyn began to keep a tabulation of the USSR’s nasty activities. She recorded in her diary not only the Soviet’s pernicious works around the world but also within the borders of the continental United States, all the while, revealing the brother’s pillow talk secrets to her Russian lovers; but by 1962, Marilyn had become a liability to the Soviets and the KGB: the knowledge she had gained was too sensitive, too dangerous and she was too unstable. In order to prevent Marilyn from going public with her activities as a Russian KGB agent, some theorists hypothesize, the KGB murdered her. Marilyn had to be silenced; she had to be eliminated. The KGB scenario is possibly the only Marilyn murder orthodoxy that does not involve John or Robert Kennedy in a central role.
An old and common thread weaves its way through the preceding maze of conspiracies and entangles the principle players: sex. Marilyn’s powerful sexual allure. Along with her wicked, powerful and dangerous lovers, she intended to expose all the evil acronyms, the FBI, the CIA and the MOB. According to multiple conspiracists, Marilyn was so angered by the way her lovers treated her that she wanted some satisfaction; she wanted some revenge; and she intended to get some, to avenge herself, even if so doing absolutely ruined her life and her career. Marilyn intended to hold, the conspiracists contend, a monumental revelatory press conference on the 6th of August. On that blue Monday, she intended to open her Red Book of Secrets, her Little Red Diary, and read. Most conspiracists believe that fear over what Marilyn could and would reveal during that press conference triggered her gruesome murder.
The X-Files and Financial Motivations
The final three conspiracy theories do not directly involve sex; but the involvement of John Kennedy is featured in the murder conspiracy which involves Unidentified Flying Objects. Donald R. Burleson, PhD and Dr. Steven Greer are the leading proponents of a murder orthodoxy in which John Kennedy revealed the existence of UFOs and the Zeta Riticulan, Skinny Bob, to Marilyn during their affair, during their pillow talk. Marilyn had to be murdered to prevent her from spilling the alien’s beans. One conspiracy theory includes actual aliens as the murderers of Marilyn Monroe. They, like their human being counterparts, feared the blonde movie star’s revelations, did not want their existence or their activities on Earth revealed; and therefore, Marilyn had to be silenced.
Financial motivations eventually enter the murder orthodoxy cyclorama. Apparently Marilyn’s close friends and acting mentors, socio-communists Lee and Paula Strasberg, had Marilyn murdered because she was planning to write them out of her all important will. Marilyn intended to withdraw from the Strasbergs and dispense with Paula like she had dispensed with Natasha Lytess in 1955. And finally, a related theory asserts that the executives at 20th Century-Fox Film Corporation had Marilyn murdered for a life insurance settlement check. The studio was in terrible financial condition; and as a result of the quagmire known as Cleopatra, and the affair known as Liz and Richard, Fox was teetering on the verge of failure and bankruptcy.
How did all the preceding theories develop? Why did such a vast and disparate, evil and powerful gaggle of men and enemies come to be arrayed against one Hollywood movie star, a star often described by the many persons who actually knew her as timid and vulnerable, shy and lonely, often diffident and achingly self-conscious, but sweet and caring. How did she become such a liability that the powerful men and the clandestine agencies heretofore mentioned would risk murdering the most famous woman on Earth?