Is the Official Coroner's Report of Marilyn Monroe's Death Correct?
The death of celebrity sex-symbol, Marilyn Monroe has remained unsolved for the past forty years. The public sees Monroe as a suicide victim. Others believe that the cause of Monroe’s death was murder. This is a much debated topic and no one really knows the answer. However, conflicting testimonies, meaningful motive, and questionable evidence denies the theory that Monroe took her own life. Marilyn Monroe was a victim of murder.
Monroe has had many ups and downs throughout her life. She had a career as an actress for sixteen years and made twenty nine films within that period of time. Her mother was mentally ill and she didn’t know her father; this forced her to live much of her life with a friend named Grace McKee and in an orphanage. Monroe knew her whole life she wanted to be a star. In fact, she said herself, “I want to be a big star more than anything. It’s something precious” (Ellen online). Unfortunately, throughout the end of her career she became ill which eventually led to her demise.
Although Monroe’s death was claimed to be suicidal, conflicting stories leads one to believe her death was the result of murder. Eunice Murray, Monroe’s housekeeper, was guilty of changing her story about what happened on the night of August 4, 1962. Murray claimed that she saw a light on in Monroe’s room all night, and that the door was locked, so no one could enter. This statement proved to be a lie, considering Monroe had just put in deep-pile carpeting, and there were no functioning locks on her door. “The housekeeper’s story seemed strange from the beginning. Murray must have realized that this excuse sounded flimsy because she later changed her story” (Woog 29). It was also documented that throughout the night Monroe received many phone calls. However, Murray was quick to answer the phone every time, and she denied that Monroe was home. Many people have also questioned the story of the mysterious ambulance. Dr. Greenson claimed that he had called the police as soon as he found Monroe dead. Schaefer, an ambulance driver, claimed that she did not die at home. “The ambulance took her to Santa Monica Hospital. She passed away at the hospital” (32). The ambulance company got rid of these records, so there is no way to prove or disprove the existence of the mysterious ambulance. If this is true, it means that someone tried to save Monroe at the hospital, but for unexplainable reasons they returned her home in time for Murray and Greenson to call the police. With such confusion of what actually took place the night of Monroe’s death it is hard to believe that she committed suicide.
In addition to the conflicting testimonies of the acquaintances of Monroe, there were many motives to get rid of her. The greatest motive of all was her affairs with both the Kennedy brothers. This made the CIA nervous because she new top secret information that could put the United States in a tough situation during the Cold War.
Marilyn Monroe was in a position to bring down the presidency. She was cognizant of Jack Kennedy’s martial infidelities and other private matters. She has had his notes and letters and was privy to Kennedy’s involvement with Sam Glancana. That the Kennedy brothers had discussed national security matters with the film star added to an astonishing array of indiscretions (“Marilyn Monroe Theories” online).
Not only did Monroe know information that she shouldn’t have known, but her affairs with the Kennedy brothers would simply ruin their respected name. This provided even more motive to kill her. “It’s important to distinguish the cover-up of embarrassing information by powerful people from the commitment of a crime to eliminate people who can potentially create embarrassment” (online). Also, Speriglio stated on record that “Marilyn knew more about what the president was doing, thinking, planning, than the public, the press, the Congress, the Senate, the Cabinet and even the Attorney General” (Woog 78). The security of politics is extremely important, especially during the time of war. Another statement that supports the theory that the CIA aided in the murder of Monroe, was stated by Peter Harry Brown. He wrote, “because of Marilyn’s loose words on the plot to kill Fidel Castro, the CIA had a strong stake in her demise” (76). Clearly, the knowledge that Monroe had was powerful, and this would soon lead to her murder.
Most importantly, the investigation of Monroe’s death and autopsy reports provide questionable evidence to the suicide theory. When Clemmons arrived to the scene of Monroe’s death he found her in solder’s position (lying face down, arms by her side, right arm slightly bent, legs stretched out perfectly straight). Clemmons stated that he had seen a number of suicides and he immediately came to the conclusion that she must have been placed this way. “Contrary to the common conception, an overdose of sleeping tablets usually causes victims to suffer convulsions and vomiting before they are in a contorted position” (“Marilyn’s Death-Undisputed Facts” online). As she lied in her bed nude (also unusual considering she slept in a brassiere, eye shades , and earplugs), it was discovered that there was a bottle of sedatives in the room with her. However, there were no traces of any glasses of water or fluids in the room for her to take them with. The room also seemed to be unnaturally tidy that evening. “The whole part of the house I saw had been picked up. That’s not characteristic because when there’s been a suicide, things are usually left lying around the room. Almost nobody is very neat when they are going to commit suicide” (Woog 31). Could this have been part of a cover up by her housekeeper? Murray seemed to be very secretive from the beginning. Especially since she called herself a nurse, but she had neither the training nor the credentials. The evidence within her room is continually inconsistent with the events of a suicide. Therefore, someone else must have been involved in Monroe’s death.
Professionally Monroe was at her peak. She had a new movie coming out, a biographical film of her life-long idol was being made, and she was to be remarried in five days to her lover, Joe DiMaggio. “Suicide by deliberate Nembutal overdose would have been an action entirely inconsistent with everything in Marilyn Monroe’s life at the time” (50). Monroe was also noted to have been in a great mood the day of her death. She even began to compose a letter to her soon to be husband that afternoon. “Dear Joe, if I can only succeed in making you happy, I will have succeeded in the biggest and most difficult thing there is – that is to make one person completely happy. Your happiness means my happiness and …” (27). Why would she kill herself if she was clearly excited about plans that she had for her future? There was so much that lie ahead for her in her life, and she knew it.
According to autopsy results administered by Dr. Thomas Noguchi, there were also many unusual signs that appeared within the administered tests that contradict the suicide theory. There were signs of pentobarbital found in her liver and chloral hydrate was found in her blood. Key forensic experts claimed that there were no traces of Nembutal in her stomach or intestinal track. This means she couldn’t have swallowed the pills. “Spoto explains that one possible explanation that was consistent with the physical evidence was that drugs were administered in an enema” (“Conflicting Statements” online). If it was an enema that was administered it would be highly unlikely that Monroe could have done it herself because they must be inserted into the rectum. This shows that Monroe’s death was aided by another individual.
Suicide was an easy way to close the case on Marilyn Monroe’s death. However, stories don’t match up, evidence is left in question, and motivation proves that her cause of death was something other than suicide. Monroe was not only planning for her future, but she had begun to put everything bad behind her. Although this mystery remains unsolved, the beautiful blond bomb-shell will live in our hearts and memories forever.