Welcome to a very special Femme Fatale Friday here at White Rose of Avalon! Today is August 5, 2022. Sixty years ago today, on August 5, 1962, Marilyn Monroe was found dead in her bed. Exactly 60 years ago this morning the world was learning that the most famous woman in the world was dead of an apparent drug overdose! Now, for this post, I will be sharing my thoughts on her tragic fate, including what I think really happened to the Silver Screen Siren! This will differ from other posts I have done about her in that I will not be covering much of her life, other than the final day of her existence.
By August 4, 1962, Marilyn was still the reigning sex symbol of Hollywood’s Golden Age. She had been having a rocky time of it for the last few months. Her long lived on and off affair with John F. Kennedy was ended, he sent his brother Bobby to tell her it was over! This led to Bobby and Marilyn having a love affair of their own. She was being ignored by everyone in the Kennedy administration at this point, making her feel insecure and unloved. Marilyn had been fired from Something’s Gotta Give, but thanks to Dean Martin threatening to walk if his friend was not brought back, she was rehired.
There were rumors that she planned to remarry her ex-husband Joe DiMaggio. These rumors are heightened by the fact that one of the people that she spoke to on the night of August 4 was Joe DiMaggio’s son! Other people she would speak to would include her psychiatrist Ralph Greenson and Peter Lawford. Peter Lawford was the husband of Pat Kennedy, therefore the brother-in-law of both JFK and RFK! It was Peter Lawford’s home where Marilyn would meet with the Kennedy brothers and conduct her affairs. In fact, Lawford’s home was famously bugged (as was Marilyn’s own) and people that heard the tapes stated that you could hear Marilyn and John F. Kennedy talking and having sex on the tapes, proving the affair once and for all!
There is much of Marilyn’s death that is unknown for certain. I will begin with the facts. Early morning on August 5, 1962, Eunice Murray who was Marilyn’s housekeeper, called Dr. Greenson concerned that Marilyn’s door was locked with the light on and she wasn’t answering. It would take well over an hour for Greenson to eventually call the police. When the police arrived Mrs. Murray was doing a load of laundry. There were pill bottles on the bedside table and her toxicology would state that her cause of death was a barbiturate overdose. This has gone down for the record as being either an accident or suicide.
Now, onto the conjecture. Several people have come forward in the last sixty years with stories about what possibly happened that night because they claimed to have been there. There was the ambulance driver who claimed that he picked Marilyn up and drove her to the hospital, only to return her when she regained consciousness. Then he also claimed to have seen Dr. Greenson attempt to give her an adrenaline shot to the heart, missing and accidentally killing her in the process! There is also the traffic cop who claimed to have pulled over a vehicle where Peter Lawford was driving and Bobby Kennedy was a passenger. They claimed that they were speeding because they were in a rush to get Bobby on a plane to rejoin his family! There is also the wife of a powerful man who was called away to handle the situation at 10 o’clock Saturday night, many hours before the police were notified. There is a man who claimed to have found a file stating that Marilyn knew things about the Kennedy administration that would have gotten her killed had she revealed them. Finally, some old-school mobsters have claimed to have heard talk of how “Marilyn had to go because she knew too much.” This likely referred to not only knowing about the mob but the Kennedy administration as well!
For this final section, I will share my opinions on what went down on that horrific night. I believe that several things that occurred are highly suspect. For one, why would Eunice Murray call Dr. Greenson instead of notifying the authorities if she believed that her employer was in trouble? Secondly, why on Earth would Mrs. Murray be doing laundry the night that Marilyn was found dead? So suspicious! Why was Bobby Kennedy in town? Why were people called to Marilyn’s home at 10? Why was an ambulance called, at least according to one account? None of this makes any sense!
If we go with the official cause of death being probable suicide or possible accident then we are ignoring all of these odd things. There is also the fact that no vomit was found anywhere in her bedroom. If she had overdosed by taking barbiturates orally, she should have been sick to her stomach! There were also no barbiturates found in her stomach, but they could have been processed already, as some testing in the 1990s proved. There is a theory that the barbiturates could have been administered by an enema, as there were no needle marks found during the autopsy. Interestingly, a lack of needle marks disproves the claim of the adrenaline injection. However, I am a bit hesitant to believe that the autopsy was not altered in any way. I think it would have been very easy to pay off the medical examiner to lie on the autopsy to prevent the truth from coming out.
I have always been on the side of conspiracy theories when it comes to Marilyn’s demise. I personally think that she was murdered with Kennedys and likely the mob as well involved in some way. Bobby was there that night to ensure things would go down the way they were planned. Eunice Murray and Dr. Greenson were involved, either simply in the cover-up or by actually doing the deed of killing her (by injection or of an enema). The reason she was killed was that she had written down everything that anyone in the Kennedy administration had ever told her. She kept it in her red diary, which disappeared after her death. In the last weeks of her life, she began talking about sharing what she knew during a press conference. This would have been the last straw for the government, who already suspected Marilyn of having communist leanings, and they would have needed to prevent state secrets from getting out! I have no proof, no one will ever know for sure. But what I know is that whether it was the Kennedys or Dr. Greenson or the mob, Marilyn was murdered!
I hope you have enjoyed this post. Do you think Marilyn killed herself, accidentally overdosed, or was murdered? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!
Note on Image: The image at the top of the post is from the last photo shoot of Marilyn. I thought it to be a perfect thing to use for this post. I found the image on https://www.chelmerfineart.com/itemDetail.asp?work=18271.
- The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe by J. Randy Taraborrelli
- Goddess: The Secret Lives of Marilyn Monroe by Anthony Summers
- The Last Days of Marilyn Monroe by Donald H. Wolfe
- The Mystery of Marilyn Monroe: The Unheard Tapes (2022)