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Marilyn Monroe: Causes of Death

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It’s a mark of Marilyn Monroe’s unique place in the pop-icon pantheon that her very death has taken on a life of its own. Over the three decades since she died, conspiracy meisters from the right, the left, and Mars have been coming up with accounts of her demise that rival the most arabesque takes on the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. ”Next thing you know,” Johnny Carson has observed, ”they’ll be reporting that Marilyn Monroe was the second gunman in Dallas.” Here is a guide to the Monroe doctrines and who has espoused them.

Cause of death: Probable suicide
According to: Los Angeles County medical examiner Thomas Noguchi (”Coroner of the Stars”), county coroner Theodore J. Curphey, and the Suicide Investigation Team appointed by Curphey in 1962
Who was behind it: Only Marilyn
Why: Despondent over her fading movie career, she OD’d on barbiturates.

Cause of death: Accidental
According to: Goddess: The Secret Lives of Marilyn Monroe (1985) by Anthony Summers
Who was behind it: Bobby Kennedy, brother-in-law Peter Lawford, and the FBI. They hushed up the awful truth about her Kennedy affairs. Dumped by Bobby, a depressed Monroe accidentally overdosed, and a cover-up was orchestrated to clean out all incriminating material from her home. Key missing item: her diary, which supposedly contained security-sensitive information.
Why: To avoid ruinous scandal.

Cause of death: Murder
According to: The Strange Death of Marilyn Monroe (1964) by ultraright wing, red-baiting journalist and author Frank A. Capell
Who was behind it: Bobby Kennedy, with the help of the ”Communist Conspiracy”
Why: He feared she would go public about their affair.

Cause of death: Murder
According to: Who Killed Marilyn? (1976) by Tony Sciacca
Who was behind it: Fidel Castro
Why: Getting revenge for exploding cigars and other CIA assassination attempts by framing Bobby for the murder. (Apparently, Bobby managed to cover up any evidence.)

Cause of death: Murder
According to: Double Cross (1992) by Sam and Chuck Giancana, godson and brother, respectively, of Chicago boss Sam ”Mooney” Giancana
Who was behind it: The CIA and the Mob, through Mooney, who hired hit men Needles Gianola, Mugsy Tortorella, and two others to insert a lethal suppository into an already drugged-out Monroe
Why: CIA motive: Supposed CIA operative Monroe had become a security risk. Mob motive: To stop Kennedy administration attacks on organized crime by attempting to frame Bobby for her murder.

Cause of death: Murder
According to: The Marilyn Files (1992) by Robert F. Slatzer
Who was behind it: Dr. Ralph Greenson, her psychiatrist. In one of this book’s more imaginative conjectures, an ambulance driver claims he saw Greenson give a lethal injection to a comatose Monroe. (Greenson died in 1979.)
Why: Smitten with his patient, Greenson killed her out of jealousy and contributed to an elaborate cover-up.

Cause of death: Murder
According to: Marilyn: The Last Take (1992) by Peter Harry Brown and Patte B. Barnham
Who was behind it: Bobby Kennedy. Lawford, Twentieth Century Fox publicists, and the Secret Service helped in the cover-up
Why: Bobby feared she would go public about their affair.

Cause of death: Murder
According to: The Murder of Marilyn Monroe (1992) by Leonore Canevari, Jeanette van Wyhe, Christian Dimas, and Rachel Dimas, who conducted interviews with the ghosts of Monroe, Lawford, and others during 1990 seance sessions
Who was behind it: Bobby Kennedy and the FBI. Marilyn’s spirit names her killers, ”Dave … Tony … Phil” — an FBI agent and two mobsters. Lawford’s ghost flirts, while JFK’s and RFK’s have “no comment.”
Why: Monroe threatened to tell all at a press conference.

Cause of death: None; she’s still alive.
According to: Supermarket tabloid the Sun, in a 1990 story (right above ”Unborn Baby Is Found Growing in Woman’s Foot”)
Who was behind it: JFK, Bobby Kennedy, and George Hayden (identified as an 82-year-old Australian intelligence officer), who kidnapped a drugged and brainwashed Monroe to Australia, where, as Barbara, she now lives the ”simple life of a sheep rancher’s wife”
Why: That press conference again

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