On August 5, 1962, the lifeless body of Hollywood’s sensation of the 1950s was found lying face down in her home in Los Angeles. At the time of her death, Marilyn Monroe was 36 years old and having an alleged relationship with John. F. Kennedy, the then 35th president of the United States of America. An empty bottle of sleeping pills was found by her bed, and her death has officially been ruled a suicide, after all, it was not a shock to the public that Hollywood’s blonde beauty was a party lover, addicted to sleeping pills with a sad, yet mysterious past. Many believed Monroe was depressed and took her own life or accidentally overdosed, while others think she was murdered by powerful people.
Early Life and Rise to Stardom
On June 1, 1926, a beautiful baby girl named Norma Jeane Mortenson was born in Los Angeles, California. Her mother Gladys Pearl, was married to John Newton Baker, an abusive man. Gladys spent the rest of her life in and out of hospitals after being diagnosed for having schizophrenia and was rarely in touch with her daughter. Monroe became a ward of the state and growing up, she spent most of her time in foster care and orphanages.
By late 1940’s, Monroe had a successful career as a model. That year, she signed her first movie contract and with that came a new name and image, she started calling herself ‘Marilyn Monroe’ and dyed her hair blonde.
Initially, Monroe wasn’t considered to be star acting material and her acting career didn’t really take off but within a few years she became star. She took the world by storm in the 1950s and her films were a box office hit.
Her movies included ‘Gentleman Prefer Blondes’, ‘How to Marry a Millionaire’, ‘The Prince and the Showgirl’ (1957), ‘The Misfits’ (1961).
Her relationships were a matter of public curiosity, and she was often on the cover page of various magazines. Dougherty, a neighbor proposed that he could marry Monroe so that she would not be sent to an orphanage or another foster home. When they got married, Monroe had just turned 16. She eventually divorced him, as her modelling career bloomed.
She then married baseball player DiMaggio for nine months. After that she married Miller, the famous playwright but they soon began having marital problems.
Rumors said that Monroe was having an alleged affair with the Kennedy brothers, President John F. Kennedy or his brother Robert Kennedy, the U.S Attorney General around the time of her death.
The Sequence of Events Leading to the Discovery of her Body
At approximately 3:30 a.m on Sunday, August 5th, Murray woke up and saw light from under Monroe’s bedroom door, but she was not able to get a response and found the door locked. Murray first telephoned Dr. Ralph Greenson, who was Monroe’s psychiatrist. On his advice, she looked in through a window and saw Monroe lying face down on her bed, covered by a sheet and gripping a telephone receiver. As soon as he arrived, he entered the room by breaking a window and found Monroe dead. He called her physician, Hyman Engelberg, who came at the house at around 3:50 a.m. and officially confirmed the death. At 4:25 am, they informed the Los Angeles Police Department.
Monroe died between 8:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. on August 4, and the toxicology report showed that the cause of death acute barbiturate poisoning. The possibility that Monroe had unintentionally overdosed was ruled out because the dosages found in her body were several times over the lethal limit.
Disparities surrounding her Death
Monroe had just been rehired for a new movie, Something’s Got to Give, and left no suicide note. Her autopsy report claimed many pills caused her death, but no evidence of the capsules was found in her stomach.
The most suspicious fact is that Monroe’s housekeeper was seen cleaning Marilyn’s bedsheets in the middle of the night as police arrived at the bungalow. Many people also question why it took so long for the housemaid and psychiatrist to inform the police about the death of Monroe.
Actor Peter Lawford who was Monroe’s friend and President John F. Kennedy’s brother-in-law called her shortly after 7 p.m. on the day she died. He said that she sounded pessimistic and was muttering her words.
But according to Murray, her housekeeper, the actress received a call from her ex-husband’s son Joe DiMaggio Jr. around the same time. He told newspapers that she sounded normal. After the call, Murray shortly spoke to Monroe and the actress proceeded into her room.
- The Kennedy Brothers had something to do with it
The most widely believed theory is that the Kennedy brothers murdered her, or at least one of them did. People believe both of the Kennedys may have had her murdered and covered it up to protect their public images. The motive here was intended to shield John F. Kennedy from irrevocable character ruination should their relationship ever be brought to the notice of the public.
Similarly, another theory states that Monroe was indeed sleeping with Robert Kennedy but got too attached, and he had her murdered to protect his career.
People who were close to her claim Monroe was allegedly keeping records of conversations detailing highly confidential government information in a “little red book”. If this were the case, that’d be all the more reason for the Kennedys or different public officials to want her to shut up for good.
Despite reported sightings of Robert Kennedy in LA and entering her house, Kennedy stated he was in San Francisco on the night of Monroe’s death. But neighbors claim to have heard Kennedy and Monroe fighting that night with Peter Lawford present, followed by a loud bang, thought to be the moment of her death. It could also have been one of the Kennedys that hired a mob boss to get rid of Monroe.
2) The CIA/FBI
Another theory states that the CIA murdered her to hurt the Kennedy brothers.
The theory alleges that the CIA knew Monroe and Robert Kennedy were having an affair. They had her killed to get back at the Kennedy family for the Bay of Pigs invasion disaster.
It was believed that Monroe was either a Communist sympathizer or friendly with sympathizers and the with claims of Monroe’s dangerous red diary, some believe the CIA and/or FBI had Monroe taken out.
Compounded with the idea that Marilyn was involved with at least one Kennedy, this narrative is rather compelling.
3) Did she know too much about Aliens?
This suggests that Monroe was murdered by the CIA because she knew the truth about Roswell. Allegedly, she was prepared to reveal it all to the public.
This theory is of the mind that Kennedy told his lover all about the 1947 purported UFO crash in Roswell, New Mexico. JFK is said to have informed Monroe he witnessed evidence of “things from outer space” at a secret airbase.
After that Marilyn was threatening to hold a press conference to tell the world what John. F. Kennedy had told her during pillow talk about having seen debris from an extraterrestrial vehicle at what the document calls a ‘secret airbase’ and this was the reason she was murdered. This theory, like most, rests firmly on the assumption Monroe was having an affair with John F. Kennedy.
4) Her Psychiatrist, Dr. Ralph Green
Another theory suggests that Dr. Ralph Greenson, her psychiatrist and the only person her trusted during this time in her life, murdered her.
According to this theory, Dr. Greenson fell in love with Marilyn Monroe and was having an intimate relationship with her. It is illegal for a psychiatrist to have a relationship with a client, so maybe he was afraid that his reputation would be ruined, if this ever reached the light of day.
Becky Altringer, who is has investigated Monroe’s death for years, claimed that Dr. Greenson administered a needle that took her life.
Most agree her death was likely achieved by a fatal injection because of the lack of pill capsules in her body and a small, mysterious bruise on her lower body that was never explained.
Nowadays, Marilyn Monroe is known for an image in a white dress standing on an air vent in New York City. She once said “I am alone; I am always alone no matter what”, and this has always proved to be true throughout her life. Despite all the fame she had garnered, she has been described as a very lonely person and due to her traumatic childhood, it was difficult for her to form meaningful bonds with people. At the end of the day, we may never know whether the mystery of Marilyn Monroe’s death like most famous celebrity deaths, but we do know that a beautiful, talented young woman who was living her dreams, had to pass away tragically.
By Richa Maria