From Marilyn Monroe's allegedly scandalous connections to one of the nation’s most publicized political dynasties to her painful days pre-fame, the life of the Hollywood bombshell has been rehashed time and time again. In recent years, with technology allowing us to dive deeper into the details of her life and death than ever before, the story has taken interesting new twists and turns. Strap your tinfoil hats on ladies and gentlemen, because we’re about to delve into the latest theory surrounding Marilyn Monroe’s alleged suicide.
First, the basics. Marilyn Monroe was a much more complicated figure than history often gives her credit for. Her life was fraught with sadness and suffering. She was an avid reader and in constant pursuit of knowledge. Her life in the public eye was filled with scrutiny, as many couldn’t differentiate between the women she portrayed on screen and the woman she was in her own life. When she crossed paths with then-President John F. Kennedy, the youngest elected President and a pop culture phenomenon in his own right, the rumor mill couldn’t resist the idea the two were an item.
Most infamously, JFK and Marilyn were believed to have rendezvoused at Bing Crosby’s Palm Springs home in March 1962. A masseuse friend of Marilyn’s claims she called him from Crosby’s with questions about a back massage. He heard what he described as a familiar Bostonian accent in the background and was put on the phone with President Kennedy briefly. It is believed that they had an intimate sexual encounter that evening, but history still debates whether this was the beginning of an affair or a simple fling. Rumors surrounding Kennedy’s insatiable sexual appetite didn’t begin or end with Marilyn, but at that point, they reached a fever pitch. Her infamous Madison Square Garden performance of “Happy Birthday, Mr. President” that May did nothing to quell those rumors.
There are variations on what happened next. While there is evidence that Marilyn regarded this as a one-off fling, many believe it began an affair. Some believe that the President became tired of Marilyn’s advances, as he had no intention of leaving his wife, and “passed” Marilyn off to his brother, Robert F. Kennedy. Others argue that cheating would be out of character for RFK, who was a devout Catholic and married with 7 children at the time. At any rate, it isn’t unreasonable to think the two were at least friends.
Here’s where the conspiracy gets stranger. At some point in the time Marilyn was acquainted with the Kennedys, she allegedly became aware of some highly classified information regarding the United States government and possibilities of extraterrestrial life. JFK had told her of visiting a “secret air base” many assume is the much speculated about Area 51 in Nevada. There he saw extraterrestrial aircrafts and debris recovered from a UFO crash in Roswell, New Mexico in 1947.
As the story goes, the CIA had learned of the affair between Marilyn and JFK and wiretapped her phones to ensure she wasn’t sharing any sensitive information she may have become privy to. Furious with the Kennedy brothers over their treatment of her, Marilyn thought to reveal that information to the public. This would have ruined Kennedy’s presidency and legacy, which was full of more secrets that stood to be revealed if more attention was drawn to the family. A memo regarding the information obtained by the wiretap was created just two days before Marilyn’s death.
Marilyn was found dead in the early morning hours of August 6, 1962, at the age of 36. She was found face down, nude, with empty bottles nearby and a phone receiver in her hand. The death was ruled a probable suicide, as Marilyn was found with a large number of barbiturates in her system. She had been receiving psychiatric treatment for some time when she passed, leading many to cite her history of mental health struggles as what led her to end her life. Many do not believe she took her own life, which leads us back to this theory involving the Kennedys.
Theorists cite the alleged CIA memo as a breaking point for all involved. The CIA felt it critical to keep this information from the public, despite JFK’s ambivalence on the issue. With the threat of Marilyn revealing this information to the public, the CIA took matters into their own hands, murdering Marilyn Monroe and staging it as a suicide. The theory goes on to say that JFK’s decision to release UFO and extraterrestrial information to NASA lead to his assassination on November 22, 1963.
The 1960s were a wildly different time than today. It’s much harder to track down the truth about what happened in the last few months of Marilyn’s life. Whether you subscribe to this theory or any of the countless others, you’ll likely agree the mystery shrouding her death makes it one of the great unsolved crimes in American history.