Controversy Was Sex Symbol Marilyn Monroe Murdered Part 1

About the controversy surrounding the death of sex symbol Marilyn Monroe, history and exploration of whether or not her death was murder.




Victim: The sex symbol of a generation. Marilyn Monroe began life as Norma Jean Mortenson, daughter of Gladys Baker and Edward Mortenson, on June 1, 1926, in Los Angeles, Calif. At age 16, after a childhood spent in foster homes, Marilyn married Jim Dougherty, who later became a Los Angeles policeman. Having worked as a photographer's model, she broke into the movies, in which she was initially cast as a beautiful but dumb blonde. From bit parts, she rose to stardom in the 1950s in such films as Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953) and Some Like It Hot (1959).

Her Death: On Saturday, Aug. 4, 1962, Marilyn Monroe puttered around her newly purchased Spanish-style home in the exclusive Brentwood area of Los Angeles. She chatted with her friend and press agent Patricia Newcomb--who had been her overnight houseguest--by the swimming pool. Her psychiatrist, Dr. Ralph Greenson, stopped by and spoke privately with her at about five in the afternoon. Miss Newcomb left about 6:00 P.M. and Dr. Greenson left at 6:30. Neighbors also reported having seen Robert Kennedy there late in the day. Marilyn received a number of phone calls--from her lawyer, from Peter Lawford, and from Joe DiMaggio, Jr.--after which she told her housekeeper, Mrs. Eunice Murray, that she was going to retire early. At eight that evening she went to her bedroom. Sometime after that Marilyn apparently tried to call Ralph Roberts, her masseur. His answering service later gave him the message that a "fuzzy-voiced and troubled" woman had tried to contact him.

At 4:25 A.M. the Los Angeles Police Dept. received a call from Dr. Hyman Engelberg, Marilyn's personal physician, who reported that he had pronounced the star dead at 3:40 A.M.

Official Version: The Los Angeles Police report stated that Mrs. Murray awoke about 3:30 A.M. and noticed that a light was still on in Marilyn's bedroom. After knocking on the door and getting no response, Mrs. Murray went to the bedroom window and saw Marilyn lying naked on her bed. Sensing something was wrong, she called Dr. Greenson, the psychiatrist, who told her to call Dr. Engelberg. Greenson entered the bedroom at approximately 3:40 and found Marilyn's body. Dr. Engelberg arrived shortly thereafter and pronounced her dead.

The subsequent coroner's report, issued by Los Angeles Deputy Medical Examiner Dr. Thomas Noguchi, gave the cause of death as "acute barbiturate poisoning, ingestion of overdose." The toxicologist's report, prepared by R. J. Abernathy of the Los Angeles County Coroner's Office, recorded 4.5 mg. percent of barbiturates in the blood and 13 mg. percent in the liver.

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