Top 10 Controversies Related to the Death of Marilyn Monroe
Marilyn Monroe was one of the most influential and best loved American icons of her time. The trademark red lipped pout, a head full of golden curls and an hour glass figure that women continue to envy till date, this Hollywood bombshell had an entire nation of suitors sighing in rapture. Be it her quintessential pose in a billowing white dress in The Seven Year Itch or the naive Sugar in Some Like It Hot, Monroe was stunning in every role she performed. Needless to say, this diva had a string of lovers from Joe DiMaggio, the baseball legend, Arthur Miller, the renowned playwright to the Kennedy brothers, late president John F. Kennedy and Robert Kennedy.
Born Norma Jean Mortenson in 1926, this starlet’s life was riddled with misfortunes. Success though immense was short lived as Monroe suffered from mental affectations throughout her life, which gradually worsened before her death in 1962 at the young age of thirty six. Her sudden death shocked millions of her fans and even today, nearly half a century after her death, many continue to speculate the reason that might have caused it. Here are top ten reasons why her untimely death is regarded controversial.
10. The Will
According to Monroe’s will, the people who stood to benefit from it were handful. On August 17th 1962, her will was questioned. On October 25th, the same year, the Los Angeles Times reported the contestation of the will by longtime business manager, Inez Melson, who claimed that Monroe was under the undue influence of Lee Strasberg and Dr. Marianne Kris (both of whom lay share to 50% and 25% respectively of Monroe’s fortune). However, the court ruled out Melson’s accusations.
9. Unhappy Marriages
Though fame never evaded her, Marilyn Monroe’s life was nothing short of misfortunes. One of the primary reasons that may have led to her untimely death may have the stress of her unhappy marriages to Joe DiMaggio and Arthur Miller. DiMaggio, despite having loved Monroe, was insanely jealous of her, going to the extent to breaking and entering other people’s apartment to spy on her, when it got unbearable, she had to leave. Her marriage to Miller was no better. After the initial romantic phase of their marriage, Miller began to despise her and the two quarreled very often. In the 1960s, she suffered a series of failed pregnancies, her health deteriorated and she had several nervous breakdowns, which began affecting her otherwise brilliant career and she began her descent into despair and approaching death most likely aggravated by her unsuccessful marriages.
8. Connection to the Kennedys
Marilyn met the Kennedys through her friendship to actor Peter Lawford and his wife Pat Kennedy. She allegedly had separate simultaneous affairs with both of Pat’s brothers, John F. Kennedy and Robert Kennedy, though there was no firm evidence of the fact. Her relationship with the powerful brothers caused her incessant stress for Monroe was set upon winning the President’s affections and she began imagining herself as the future First Lady of the US. A week before Monroe died, ruthless mobster Sam Giancana was hired by the Kennedy administration to make sure that she did not create problems for the State. She was drugged and made to pose for compromising photos in her barely conscious state, so that the photos could be later used to blackmail. The following weekend, Monroe was found dead in her apartment.
7. What the autopsy said!
The official autopsy report said that Monroe had committed suicide. However, the fact that she had overdosed on drugs seems to suggest the likelihood of two other ways she could have died, namely, murder or accident. Forensic experts have a hard time accepting the suicide verdict based on vital evidences like how there were no traces of drugs in her stomach and intestinal tract and no puncture marks (from injections) on her body. That could only suggest that Monroe had been forced to overdose on drugs.
6. Was it suicide?
Fans find this a more plausible explanation for the starlet’s sudden and shocking death. Monroe was no stranger at trying to take her own life. She had attempted it four times before her death. She was clearly a patient of manic depression and was undergoing treatment and daily counseling sessions with her psychologist Dr. Greenhouse. But, many forensic experts also find fault with the theory unless Marilyn herself prepared and administered the barbiturate enema on herself. Moreover, things were looking up for Monroe before she died, her career was improving and she was set to remarry Joe DiMaggio.
5. Or an accident?
Though somewhat unlikely, the possibility of her death having been an accident couldn’t entirely be ruled out. Dr. Greenson along with associate Dr. Hyman Engelberg was working to cure Marilyn’s addiction to Nembutal by substituting it with chloral hydrate. Greenson gave her a heavy dose of chloral hydrate on the day she died unaware of the fact that she had been taking Nembutal pills throughout the day on Dr. Engelberg’s prescription. However, that still doesn’t explain why she had traces of barbiturate enema in her system and who could have administered it.
4. The Time of Death
There is a shroud of mystery surrounding the death of the diva. At 7.15 PM of the Saturday night, she was recorded talking happily to her ex-husband, DiMaggio and later to her psychologist, Dr. Greenson. However, half an hour later when friend Peter Lawford called, she seemed heavily drugged and making threats that seemed suicidal. Her publicist put the time of her death between 10 PM to 10.30 M. What happened in those mere hours remains unclear and mysterious.
3. The FBI files that went missing
The FBI and the National Archives in the US do not have the reports of the investigation of Marilyn Monroe’s tragic and sudden death. The Associated Press under the Freedom of Information Act had tried for several months to lay a hand on her case reports only to realise that the chronicles start from 1955 and end a few months before her death. J. Edgar Hoover, who was then the FBI Director had kept Monroe under close scrutiny.
2. The Suspicious Housekeeper
At 8 PM the night Monroe died, Eunice Murray, her housekeeper reportedly told Lawford that Marilyn was doing well and later that night at around 10 PM, after having seen a light under Monroe’s door claimed to have presumed that her mistress was fine. At around midnight, she knocks on Marilyn’s door to get no reply and calls in her psychiatrist. When the police arrived at 4.30 AM in the morning, they noticed that Marilyn’s bedding linen had been changed and Murray had been washing the dirty linen, as if to wash away any forensic evidence that may have suggested foul play. Murray later changed her story by saying that she had gone to bed at midnight and only called the doctor after 3 AM in the morning. Despite being a key witness, Murray traveled to Europe shortly after the death, the money for which no one knew where she got from and it only seems likely that she had something to do with Monroe’s death
Conspiracy theorists love this hypothesis. Having been close to the Kennedys and the lover of the then President of United States, it wouldn’t be surprising if Monroe knew some dirty state secrets. Peter Lawford claimed that it was her ambitious zeal to become the next First Lady that made the Kennedy brothers wary of her. But, the fact that she knew enough secrets about the presidency, JFK’s marital infidelity and other private affairs led her to become a threat to state security. Moreover, she did not take the news of JFK’s rejection very well, the news of which was delivered by the other brother. Some witnesses, including a policeman reported having seen Bobby Kennedy near the vicinity of Monroe’s apartment on the night she died, but nothing was proved for certain.