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The Enduring Mystery of Marilyn Monroe

One of the most fascinating – and deeply controversial – pieces of documentation that has surfaced concerning the still-controversial death of Marilyn Monroe came from an individual that the FBI identified, in its now-declassified dossier on the Hollywood legend, as a “former Special Agent, who is currently Field Representative, Appointment Section, Governor’s Office, State of California.”

Written and sent to the FBI in 1963, its contents are eye-opening in the extreme, since they suggest that the attorney general, himself, Bobby Kennedy, was involved in a plot to “induce” Monroe’s suicide. The lengthy document sent to the FBI begins as follows:

“Robert Kennedy had been having a romance and sex affair over a period of time with Marilyn Monroe. He had met her, the first date being arranged by his sister and brother-in-law, Mr. And Mrs. Peter Lawford. Robert Kennedy had been spending much time in Hollywood during the last part of 1961 and early 1962, in connection with his trying to have a film made of his book dealing with the crime investigations. He used to meet with producer Jerry Wald. He was reported to be intensely jealous of the fact that they had been making a film of John F. Kennedy’s book of the PT boat story.”

Robert Francis Kennedy

Robert Francis Kennedy

The unidentified writer continued that RFK was deeply involved with Marilyn Monroe, and had repeatedly promised to divorce his wife to marry Marilyn. Eventually, however, she realized that Bobby had no intention of marrying her, at all – and almost certainly never had any such plans.

Adding to that woe, was the fact that, as the Bureau was also informed, “…about this time, 20th Century Fox studio had decided to cancel [Monroe’s] contract. She had become very unreliable, being late for set, etc. In addition, the studio was in financial difficulty due to the large expenditures caused in the filming of ‘Cleopatra.’ The studio notified Marilyn that they were canceling her contract. This was right in the middle of a picture she was making. They decided to replace her with actress Lee Remick.”

The spiraling bad luck, in both her private life and her acting career, prompted Monroe to turn to Bobby Kennedy yet again, even though it was clear to her that the relationship was doomed to go nowhere. It was a decision that may well have cost Marilyn her life, as the words of the FBI’s confidante demonstrate:

“Marilyn telephoned Robert Kennedy from her home at Brentwood, California, person-to-person, at the Department of Justice, Washington, D.C. to tell him the bad news. Robert Kennedy told her not to worry about the contract – he would take care of everything. When nothing was done, she again called him from her home to the Department of Justice, person-to-person, and on this occasion they had unpleasant words.

“She was reported to have threatened to make public their affair. On the day that Marilyn died, Robert Kennedy was in town, and registered at the Beverly Hills Hotel. By coincidence, this is across the street from the house in which a number of years earlier his father, Joseph Kennedy, had lived for a time, common-law, with Gloria Swanson.”

It was at this point in the informant’s story that things turned decidedly dark. Hardly surprising, since he outlined something controversial in the extreme: a plot to manipulate Marilyn Monroe into taking her own life. It began like this, FBI documents state:

Peter Lawford

Peter Lawford

“Peter Lawford knew from Marilyn’s friends that she often made suicide threats and that she was inclined to fake a suicide attempt in order to arouse sympathy. Lawford is reported as having made a ‘special arrangement’ with Marilyn’s psychiatrist, Dr. Ralph Greenson, of Beverly Hills. The psychiatrist was treating Marilyn for emotional problems and getting her off the use of barbiturates. On her last visit to him, he prescribed [illegible] tablets, and gave her a prescription for 60 of them, which was unusual in quantity, especially since she saw him frequently.”

That “special arrangement” had one goal: the death of the Hollywood goddess. The statement to the FBI continues:

“[Monroe’s] housekeeper put the bottle of pills on the night table. It is reported the housekeeper and Marilyn’s personal secretary and press agent, Pat Newcombe, were cooperating in the plan to induce suicide. Pat Newcombe was rewarded for her cooperation by being put on the head of the Federal payroll as top assistant to George Stevens, Jr., head of the Motion Pictures Activities Division of the U.S. Information Service. His father, George Stevens, Sr., is a left-wing Hollywood director, who is well known for specializing in the making of slanted and left-wing pictures. One of these was the ‘Diary of Anne Frank.’”

On the day of Marilyn’s death, said the FBI’s source, Robert Kennedy checked out of the Beverly Hills Hotel and flew from Los Angeles International Airport via Western Airlines to San Francisco, where he checked into the St. Francis Hotel; the owner of the hotel being a Mr. London, a friend of Robert Kennedy. From there, Kennedy phoned Peter Lawford “to find out if Marilyn was dead yet.”

FBI records reveal what reportedly happened next: “Peter Lawford had called Marilyn’s number and spoke with her, and then checked again later to make sure she did not answer. Marilyn expected to have her stomach pumped out and to get sympathy through her suicide attempt. The psychiatrist left word for Marilyn to take a drive in the fresh air, but did not come to see her until after she was known to be dead.

Joe DiMaggio, Sr. with Marilyn Monroe.

Joe DiMaggio, Sr. with Marilyn Monroe.

“Marilyn received a call from Joe DiMaggio, Jr., who was in the U.S. Marines, stationed at Camp Pendleton, California. They were very friendly. Marilyn told him she was getting very sleepy. The last call she attempted to make was to Peter Lawford to return a call her had made to her. Joe DiMaggio, Sr., knows the whole story and is reported to have stated when Robert Kennedy gets out of office, he intends to kill him. [Deleted] knew of the affair between Robert Kennedy and Marilyn.”

The story was not over, however; in fact, far from it. The FBI’s source had far more to add: “While Robert Kennedy was carrying on his sex affair with Marilyn Monroe, on a few occasions, John F. Kennedy came out and had sex parties with [Deleted], an actress. Chief of Police Parker, of the Los Angeles Police Department, has the toll call tickets obtained from the telephone company on the calls made from Marilyn’s residence telephone. They are in his safe at Los Angeles Headquarters.”

From there, things got even more intriguing:

“Florabel Muir, the columnist, has considerable information and knowledge of the Robert F. Kennedy and Marilyn Monroe affair. She personally saw the telephone call records. Marilyn Monroe’s psychiatrist, although he knew she had taken the pills, did not come to her home until after she was dead. He made contact with the coroner and an arrangement was made for a psychiatric board of inquiry to be appointed by the coroner, an unheard of procedure in the area. This was so the findings could be recorded that she was emotionally unbalanced. It was reported this arrangement was to discredit any statements she may have made before she died.

“During the period of time that Robert F. Kennedy was having his sex affair with Marilyn Monroe, on one occasion a sex party was conducted at which several other persons were present. Tap recording was secretly made and is in the possession of a Los Angeles private detective agency. The detective wants $5,000 for a certified copy of the recording, in which all the voices are identifiable.”

We may never know for sure to what extent the data provided to the FBI was acted upon – even if at all. We can say one thing for certain, however: just as with the deaths of JFK, Robert Kennedy, and Martin Luther King, nagging suspicions remain that the official explanation may not be the correct explanation.

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Nick Redfern works full time as a writer, lecturer, and journalist. He writes about a wide range of unsolved mysteries, including Bigfoot, UFOs, the Loch Ness Monster, alien encounters, and government conspiracies. Nick has written 41 books, writes for Mysterious Universe and has appeared on numerous television shows on the The History Channel, National Geographic Channel and SyFy Channel.
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