On the evening of Aug. 4, 1962 three men entered Marilyn Monroe’s residence and killed her. This tragic murder (as opposed to the suicidal overdose official historians led us to believe occurred on the morning of Aug. 5) served as the first of many high-profile political assassinations of the 1960s. In the following pages, you’ll discover the identity of these powerful figures that wanted to silence Hollywood’s most glamorous movie star. This work is primarily based upon three books: Donald H. Wolfe’s The Last Days of Marilyn Monroe, Matthew Smith’s Marilyn’s Last Words, and Milo Speriglio’sMarilyn Monroe Murder Cover-up.
Although these men arrive at different conclusions, I’ve compiled the best evidence from all of them to reconstruct what happened to Ms. Norma Jean Baker, and why.
THE WALLS HAVE EARS
When news of her death sped like a meteor from L.A. to the rest of America, Attorney General Bobby Kennedy claimed to have spent the entire weekend in San Francisco. That statement was a categorical lie.Initially, the San Francisco Chronicle reported on Friday, Aug. 3 that Bobby Kennedy “arrived without his usual smile and shook hands woodenly with those who welcomed him.” The reason for his preoccupation is simple: He’d been sent by his brother—President John F. Kennedy—to take care of some business that could get very messy. He most certainly didn’t look forward to it.
Rather than stay in San Francisco, Kennedy flew south and checked in to the Beverly Hilton Hotel later Friday night. He then commenced to have dinner with Marilyn Monroe at La Scala, where the two argued about their relationship, as well as her affair with another former lover, President Kennedy. The heated exchange involved some potential information that could have sunk both brothers in a heartbeat.
During a Friday afternoon call to close friend Robert Slatzer, Marilyn threatened, “I’m going to blow the lid off this whole damn thing! I’m going to tell everything! Everybody has been calling trying to get the story anyway—Winchell [and] Kilgallen. And it’s clear to me now that the Kennedys got what they wanted out of me and then moved on!” After pausing for a moment, she continued, “Well, I’ve told a couple of people already.”
Marilyn made this call from a pay phone out of fear that her home lines were bugged. She had good reason to be suspicious. Kennedy enemy Jimmy Hoffa hired private eye Fred Otash to bug in-law and Rat Pack actor Peter Lawford’s Santa Monica house, which served as the Kennedy’s playground for sexual liaisons. [Lawford was married to Bobby and Jack’s sister, Patricia.] Here, Marilyn was recorded making love on different occasions with John Kennedy and later his brother, Bobby. Realizing the windfall of blackmail material at his disposal, Hoffa next hired “King of the Wiretappers” Bernard Spindel, to tap her phone and all the rooms in her newly purchased home.
Hoffa’s “ears” weren’t the only ones present at this address. J. Edgar Hoover also had Marilyn’s house bugged, as did CIA Counterintelligence Chief James Jesus Angleton (whose name appears on a cover sheet to authorize the surveillance). In addition, Marilyn also recorded home tapes of herself free-associating about the sordid details of her complicated life. She spoke in very explicit terms about her sexual relationship with JFK.
The reason why various researchers have been effective over the years in piecing together what happened to Marilyn is because the walls had ears (many ears)—and everybody was listening.
SATURDAY AFTERNOON—ARGUMENT NUMBER ONE
Unable to adequately convince Marilyn to see things his way Friday night, RFK returned to San Francisco. He then took a helicopter back to L.A. on Saturday afternoon, landing at Fox Studios in Hollywood, where a car driven by Peter Lawford awaited. [Fox was producing a film version of his book, The Enemy Within.]
Some prominent individuals, as well as those nearest to Marilyn, contradicted his alibi that he remained in San Francisco all weekend. L.A. Mayor Sam Yorty confirmed that Bobby was in L.A. on Aug. 4, as did future LAPD Police Chief Daryl Gates. In his book, Chief: My Life in the LAPD, he wrote, “The truth is, we knew Bobby Kennedy was in town on Aug. 4. We always knew he was here.” Marilyn’s housekeeper, Eunice Murray, also admitted years later that RFK visited Ms. Monroe’s house on Aug. 4. Her words were confirmed by handyman Norman Jeffries, who adamantly stated that RFK and Lawford arrived at Marilyn’s residence between 3 and 4 p.m.
After clandestinely securing a room at the Beverly Hilton Hotel Saturday afternoon, Kennedy and Lawford did indeed drive to Marilyn’s home. Utilizing a different technique than the previous night (i.e., using honey instead of vinegar), Bobby first made love to Marilyn. But by this time, Marilyn had wised-up to their tactics, especially when Bobby demanded the incriminating evidence that she kept in her possession.
As Bobby rampaged from room-to-room searching for letters, photos, and other documents, a violent struggle broke out. Slamming doors and arguing, Bobby demanded, “Where is it? Where the hell is it? I have to have it! My family will pay you for it!”
Standing up to him, Marilyn shot back. “I’m tired of this whole damn thing, of being a plaything!”
Panicked by their heated argument, Bobby began wailing like a falsetto-voiced old woman. “Where is it? Where is it? Where the f*** is it?”
Instead of answering, Marilyn threatened to hold a press conference and spill the beans on them.
Out of control, Bobby grabbed Marilyn and pushed her to the floor, bellowing, “If you threaten me, Marilyn, there’s more than one way to keep you quiet.”
Marilyn had become a serious problem, but before she kicked Bobby and Lawford out of her house, they called Dr. Ralph Greenson (Marilyn’s personal psychiatrist) and told him to come over. He did, subsequently giving Marilyn a shot of pentobarbital to calm her nerves. By this time, Kennedy and Lawford had stormed from the premises, leaving Marilyn with Greenson until he left at 7 p.m.
BOOK OF SECRETS
What did Bobby Kennedy so desperately seek that Marilyn wouldn’t relinquish? The answer: a little red diary that she began keeping ever since her affair with Bobby began in the summer of 1962. Marilyn kept it partly as a way of compiling notes so that she’d have political topics to discuss with her lover. The other reason, of course—if even on a subconscious level—was as ammunition against the brothers.
This “book of secrets” became such a threat that a CIA document released in 1994 (dating back to the Kennedy era) categorized it as a “national security concern.” It also became a great source of interestto James Jesus Angleton. Although some have doubted its existence, individuals such as Mike Rothmiller, an LAPD officer in the Organized Crime Intelligence Division, verify its authenticity. Others do, too, such as coroner’s aide Lionel Grandison, handyman Norman Jeffries, plus long-time friend and investigator Robert Slatzer. Last but not least, Bobby learned of its existence approximately 10 days before Marilyn’s murder.
If this diary sent him into such fits of rage, everyone most certainly wants to know: What did Marilyn write about? In addition to having a photo of President Kennedy with Chicago mob boss Sam Giancana,Marilyn’s book of secrets revealed:
• her affairs with JFK and RFK;
• CIA plans to assassinate Fidel Castro;
• a host of mobsters hired by the CIA (and on their payroll);
• Bobby Kennedy’s admission that he ran the country on the day of the Bay of Pigs disaster because JFK was ailing with a bad back and under sedation. Bobby was actually the one in charge who foiled the CIA’s operation by persuading the president to withdraw air cover— something the Agency never forgave;
• Bobby’s plans to imprison Jimmy Hoffa;
• their conversations about the Soviet Union;
• atomic test secrets;
• Frank Sinatra’s ties to the underworld;
• Giancana and Johnny Roselli on the State Department payroll;
• the CIA’s role in the assassination of Dominican Republic President Raphael Trujillo.
In the days before widespread Internet access and scores of conspiracy books, this news promised to be explosive on the grandest of scales. Obviously, nobody—from the president, attorney general, CIA, FBI, and the Mob—wanted it to see the light of day, and they’d take whatever steps were necessary to conceal it. Also, although each of these factions had major disputes with each other, their one unifying goal was the danger Marilyn’s diary presented to them.