Read The Murder of Marilyn Monroe Online
Authors: Jay Margolis
Copyright © 2014 Jay Margolis and Richard Buskin All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any manner without the express written consent of the publisher, except in the case of brief excerpts in critical reviews or articles. All inquiries should be addressed to Skyhorse Publishing, 307 West 36th Street, 11th Floor, New York, NY 10018.
Skyhorse Publishing books may be purchased in bulk at special discounts for sales promotion, corporate gifts, fund-raising, or educational purposes. Special editions can also be created to specifications. For details, contact the Special Sales Department, Skyhorse Publishing, 307 West 36th Street, 11th Floor, New York, NY 10018 or
Skyhorse® and Skyhorse Publishing® are registered trademarks of Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.®, a Delaware corporation.
Visit our website at
10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data is available on file.
Cover design by Brian Peterson ISBN: 978-1-62873-757-8
Ebook ISBN: 978-1-62914126-8
Printed in the United States of America
People say I am ruthless. I am not ruthless. And if I find the man who is calling me ruthless, I shall destroy him.
—Robert Francis Kennedy Jack Kennedy could have been a movie star himself. He had the charisma, the charm, that come-hither quality that can never be duplicated. Is it any wonder he got elected president?
—Marilyn Monroe to Lawrence Quirk It’s not what you are. It’s what people think you are.
—Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr.
1. How Did Marilyn Monroe Really Die?
2. Marilyn’s Close Friends Get Suspicious
3. Bobby Kennedy Brought Along One of His Two Long-time Personal Bodyguards to Sedate Marilyn in the Afternoon
4. A Surprise Evening Visit from Bobby Kennedy and Gangster Squad LAPD Partners Archie Case and James Ahern
5. Schaefer Ambulance Attendant James Edwin Hall Told the Truth
6. Hall, Liebowitz, Lawford, Newcomb, and Iannone Witnessed a Murder Not an Adrenaline Shot
7. The Soundman
8. Walt Schaefer’s Involvement
9. Who the Hell Is Ken Hunter?
10. Famous Clients Were Commonplace at Schaefer Ambulance
11. The Men at Beverly and Western
12. The Santa Monica Hospital “Story”
13. Murray Leib and the Mysterious Car Washes
14. Detective Lynn Franklin Pulls Over a Very Drunk Peter Lawford
15. Detective Franklin Connects the Dots
16. Greenson’s Motives for Killing His Patient
17. Does Greenson’s Official Story Check Out?
18. Did Chief Parker Cover Up Bobby Kennedy’s Tracks in Los Angeles?
19. Behind the Scenes at Marilyn Monroe’s Funeral
20. Dr. Greenson Calls the Police to Say Marilyn Monroe Committed Suicide
21. The Greenson and Engelberg Agreement
22. Was Lawford’s Call to Ebbins a Cry for Help or Just a Really Good Alibi?
23. Bill Asher Also Claims Lawford Phoned Him in a Panic
24. Dolores Naar Claims Dr. Greenson Gave Marilyn Sedatives
First, I would like to thank Richard Buskin, the best co-author anyone could hope for. We worked really well together, and the use of his interviews with Marilyn’s friends—including her stand-in Evelyn Moriarty and Twentieth Century-Fox security guard George Erengis—helped enhance this book.
I am also grateful to Michelle Morgan for granting permission to use her 1997 James Hall interview in this book; James Spada for permission to quote from several of his interviews, including the late Fred Otash; Marilyn’s last professional photographer, George Barris, who has believed in me since the genesis of my first MM book; Raymond Strait, who was Jayne Mansfield’s press secretary for the last ten years of her life; the late Jane Russell, Marilyn’s co-star in
Gentlemen Prefer Blondes;
MM’s press agent, Michael Selsman; Allan Abbott for spending several hours discussing her case with me; Devik Wiener for inviting me into his father’s archives at the Hollywood Vaults in Los Angeles; eyewitnesses Don Schulman and Irene Gizzi for providing key testimony with regard to the Robert Kennedy assassination; and Schaefer Ambulance driver Edgardo Villalobos for revealing previously unknown information not just about MM, but also RFK.
Other thanks go out to Roy Turner, Gloria Romanoff, Marijane Gray, Sylvia Leib, Carl Bellonzi, Ruth Tarnowski, Rigo Chacon, Tony Plant, Mike Carlson, Robert Dambacher, Daniel Stewart, John Watkins, former FBI agent Monte Hall, the late Robert Joling, the late C. David Heymann, his widow Bea for her continued support, and both Anthony Summers and Donald H. Wolfe for their research into Marilyn’s death, Shane O’Sullivan for being the first to seriously investigate CIA presence at the Ambassador Hotel on June 5, 1968, and especially the late Professor Philip H. Melanson for mentioning three eyewitnesses who saw
second and third gunmen in the pantry, a major contribution to RFK assassination research.
I am indebted to Greg Schreiner, the President of the
fan club, for always being available to help in any way he can; Elias W. Amador, M.D., for his medical expertise with regard to MM’s death; Michelle Justice, co-author of the fan newspaper
Runnin’ Wild: All About Marilyn,
for permission to use James Hall’s 1992 polygraph examination conducted by Donald E. Fraser; assorted confidential sources; and last, but not least, my parents and friends.
Jay Margolis, Los Angeles, March 2014
PRIVATE DETECTIVE FRED OTASH’S SOUNDMAN THE NIGHT MARILYN MONROE DIED TO JAY MARGOLIS: “What happened to the story that they were taking Marilyn to the hospital, where she was in the ambulance and Bobby Kennedy was in the ambulance with her? I remember that story from forty years ago! It’s bullshit. Total bullshit. Eunice Murray has told probably a dozen fucking stories from the night that it happened.”
SYLVIA LEIB, WIDOW OF AMBULANCE DRIVER MURRAY LEIB, TO JAY MARGOLIS (04/25/2012): “Marilyn had called Bobby and she was so hysterical and she was threatening to tell a lot of stuff to the
. And he came down to talk to her. Bobby Kennedy had been there.”
SUICIDE PREVENTION TEAM MEMBER DR. ROBERT LITMAN (08/18/1962): “At least in 1960, when I went through the medical literature on this very subject (because we were encountering this problem when consulting for Dr. Curphey back then), there was no case in the medical records where it could be authenticated that someone had died of barbiturate poisoning under the circumstances that they had become so drugged that they did not know what they were doing, and they took a lethal dose.”
MARILYN MONROE’S CLOSE FRIEND AND MASSEUR RALPH ROBERTS: “That last weekend, I think she was in better shape than all those years I’d been around. And she was very excited about having her own house after all. I remember her saying, ‘It’s so good, laughing again.’ I called her at 6 o’clock [to confirm a dinner engagement with Marilyn at her house that night] and Greenson answered. He said, ‘She’s not here.’ It could have been so easy that she was busy, which I would have accepted . . . It would be easier to believe that she committed suicide but I don’t. I think somebody done her in.”
AMBULANCE ATTENDANT JAMES HALL TO JAMES SPADA (06/03/1990): “Marilyn was in another room—not her own—when I arrived. Pat Newcomb was there . . . Bobby was there earlier. That’s been corroborated. That’s when they gave her knockout drops, I believe. That didn’t kill her and she made it through until I got there . . . I know Dr. Greenson killed her . . . He stuck a needle into her chest. One minute later, she was gone . . . If we had taken her away, she’d be alive today and Bobby Kennedy would be in jail.”
Norma Jeane Mortenson
June 1, 1926–August 4, 1962
HOW DID MARILYN MONROE REALLY DIE?
In 1983, Peter Lawford discussed his friend Marilyn Monroe at length with biographer C. David Heymann for the latter’s biography on Jackie Kennedy. Apparently, out of deep guilt (he had always held himself responsible for her death), Lawford conceded to having been part of a conspiracy to murder Marilyn Monroe, labeling himself a co-conspirator along with his brother-in-law Bobby Kennedy and Marilyn’s psychiatrist, Dr. Ralph Greenson. The secret was kept all these years and the public was deceived into believing that Monroe’s death was accidental.
Natalie Trundy, Jacobs’ twenty-one-year-old girlfriend at the time, told biographer Anthony Summers that shortly after 10:30 p.m., Arthur “went to Marilyn’s house, and I don’t think I saw him for two days. He had to fudge the press.” Marilyn’s close friend and former publicist, Rupert Allan, told biographers Peter Harry Brown and Patte Barham, “It was carefully done and beautifully executed . . . It was decided to play up the ‘accidental death’ scenario but none of us believed it.”
Referring to August 4, 1962, Marilyn’s friend, reporter George Carpozi, Jr., said, “Bobby then calls Peter Lawford and says to him, ‘Okay, this time she’s getting out of hand.’ Peter calls up Dr. Greenson—this was all organized beforehand—and says, ‘Look, doc, let’s get the show on the road,’ and right after that afternoon call, Greenson goes to Marilyn’s.” As for the months leading to her death, Peter Lawford told Heymann:
Marilyn realized the affair [between her and Jack Kennedy] was over but couldn’t accept it. She began writing these rather pathetic letters to Jack and continued calling. She threatened to go to the press. He finally sent Bobby Kennedy out to California to cool her off . . .
He tried to explain to her that the President was an extremely busy man, that running the country was an imposing task, that while Jack cared a great deal for her, he was already married and couldn’t very well simply sneak off and see a divorce lawyer.
Although it probably wasn’t easy for her, she would have to accept this decision and stop calling the President. She took it pretty hard. Bobby felt for her. They met again the following day and passed the afternoon walking along the beach.
It wasn’t Bobby’s intention, but that evening they became lovers and spent the night in our guest bedroom. Almost immediately the affair got very heavy, and they began seeing a lot of each other. Now Marilyn was calling the Department of Justice instead of the White House . . .
Pretty soon Marilyn announced that she was in love with Bobby and that
had promised to marry her. It was as if she could no longer tell the difference between Bobby and Jack . . .
According to Lawford, he told Marilyn to get her act together before it messed up her career, but she couldn’t accept how she’d been used by the Kennedy brothers.
Intriguingly, Norman Mailer wrote in
(Warner Books updated paperback edition, March 1975) how “through the generosity of Pat Newcomb, he had the opportunity to hear Marilyn talking casually on tape.” Furthermore, the British actor himself claimed to have heard the tapes she recorded for her psychiatrist Dr. Ralph Greenson, in which she freely spoke her daily thoughts, and Lawford stated that these revealed her love for the Attorney General and her desire to marry him despite he and his brother “passing her around like a football.”
When neither brother would any longer accept her calls, she then began calling the First Lady at the White House and Bobby’s wife Ethel at their home in Hickory Hill. Talking with Heymann, Lawford mentioned something even more disturbing that he learned when listening to Marilyn’s private recordings following her death:
I suppose the most surprising revelation in Marilyn’s own tapes was the fact that not only did Marilyn have an affair with both Kennedys, she was also sleeping with Dr. Greenson, who appeared to be deeply in love with her.