Conspiracy Theory

Do You Believe the Marilyn Monroe Murder Conspiracy?

Marilyn Monroe, the quintessential blonde bombshell, was arguably the biggest star of her era and continues to be a towering pop culture icon today. She also might have been murdered. Significant and unexpected events tend to propagate a great deal of off-the-wall — but sometimes believable — conspiracy theories, and Monroe's death is no different.

The Story So Far

On August 5th, 1962, Marilyn Monroe was found dead of a drug overdose in her Los Angeles home. This all too common fate for illustrious stars seemed fitting for a woman known for her substance abuse problems and rocky personal life. However, the story around her death is filled with holes. Her story is intermingled with the Mafia, the Kennedy brothers, and overwhelming amounts of deceit. Officially, her death was deemed "probable suicide" from a drug overdose. But unofficially, there might be more to the story. There are several conspiracy theories around Marilyn's death, but the theory that's arguably the juiciest is the Kennedy conspiracy.

Related Video: The Mysterious Death of Marilyn Monroe

The Kennedys Murdered Monroe

If you know anything about Marilyn Monroe's story, you know how much speculation there was that she was having an affair with President Kennedy. Not only that, but many speculated that she was also having an affair with his brother, Robert Kennedy. In a BBC interview in 1983, Monroe's housekeeper, Eunice Murray, broke down and said, "Well of course Bobby Kennedy was there [on Aug. 4], and of course there was an affair with Bobby Kennedy."

This confession confirmed what many had speculated for years. Bobby Kennedy likely had significant knowledge of why and how Marilyn Monroe died.

Due to this admission, as well as the continued speculation of an affair with JFK, many believe that there was a secret plot to urge her suicide as a coverup for the affairs. Monroe did struggle with depression and had made suicide attempts in the past. It's thought that she had threatened to make her affairs public.

A partially redacted FBI document found in 2007 may link the Kennedys to Monroe's death. It suggests that through unclear means, the Kennedys sought to provide Monroe with drugs that would cause her to overdose and subsequently left her to die.

Beyond this conspiracy, the theories get a little more far-fetched.

Killed by a Mob Boss

Still linked to Bobby Kennedy, the next leading theory is that famous Chicago Mafia boss Sam Giancana ordered Monroe to be killed. It's speculated that Giancana orchestrated Monroe's first big Hollywood contract in exchange for her seduction of powerful men that he could then blackmail. Giancana supposedly grew concerned over what Monroe knew and thus had her house bugged by famous wiretapper Bernard Spindel. Spindel claims to have heard Kennedy and Monroe fighting on the night of her death, but these recordings were said to have been destroyed in 1966.

So was it Giancana or Kennedy? It could be either ... or both.

According to some reports, at what was thought to be her time of death, you could hear a loud bang on the recording of Kennedy, followed by silence. However, it's also widely thought that Giancana ordered a hit on Monroe to keep his secrets safe. In the biggest twist of all, it's also thought that one of the Kennedys could have hired Giancana's men to kill Monroe. The plot lines are endless.

The Other Theories

While these two theories are the most plausible, as conspiracy theories go, there are some rather quirky ones as well. Some believe that the CIA killed her because she discovered secret intel about Area 51 from the Kennedy brothers and was threatening to make it public.

Others believe that her doctors accidentally gave her too much medication because she lied to them about what she was taking, and thus, the doctors covered up the death as a suicide. While the theories range from the believable to the absurd, most tie back to the Kennedys. It's likely that the truth lies somewhere in this family's past.

What's the Truth?

Marilyn Monroe's life and death is riddled with mystery, lies, deception, and plenty of plausible motives for wanting her killed. Oddly, her autopsy demonstrated that there was no pill residue found in her stomach, indicating that she had to have received the drugs in some other manner. Toxicology samples from her liver were taken but never tested.

If there is more to the official story, there are too many conflicting narratives from people long dead to ever know the truth. This leads to one of the greatest pop-culture mysteries of all time, creating a fertile breeding ground for conspiracy theorists. Which theory do you believe? Was it a suicide or was she murdered?

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Former Hollywood screenwriter Donald H. Wolfe lays out the case for why Monroe's death was murder in "The Last Days of Marilyn Monroe." We handpick reading recommendations we think you may like. If you choose to make a purchase, Curiosity will get a share of the sale.

Written by Trevor English August 24, 2018

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