Within weeks of Marilyn's death, Florabel Muir, Hollywood columnist for the
New York Daily News
received a momentous tip. Bobby, using an assumed name, had checked into the St. Francis Hotel in Los Angeles on the eve of Marilyn Monroe's death. The resourceful reporter went into action. She placed a twenty-dollar bill in the hands of a young hotel telephone operator and in return received a log of Kennedy's incoming and outgoing phone calls.
Marilyn knew the St. Francis Hotel was her lover's Los Angeles haunt. Anticipating that he just might be in town, Marilyn called. “Mr. Kennedy is not a guest today,” she was notified. “Just in case we hear from him, I'll tell the attorney general you called, Miss Monroe.” Marilyn was satisfied Bobby
in town and was staying at the hotel. Muir noted several calls from Marilyn on August 4, but none were returned from Bobby's room. The columnist's scoop was censored by her editors.
For years after Marilyn's death, other witnesses talked about Kennedy's unreported arrival in Los Angeles that day. Sam Yorty was mayor of Los Angeles in 1962 and he says, “Damn right the SOB was in town.” Lawford informed Milton Green that Bobby went to Marilyn's house just hours before she died. William Parker, a Kennedy supporter, was the chief of police of Los Angeles at the time. He claimed Bobby was not in the city. Chief of Detectives Thad Brown disagreed; he told several associates that Bobby was in Los Angeles and had been seen in a hotel with Lawford. Brown's brother, Finis, also a police detective, received confirmation from several eyewitnesses. And Hugh McDonald, head of the homicide division of the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department in 1962, placed Bobby in the city that day.
Controversial police chief of Los Angeles, Daryl Gates (now retired), was a member of the department for three decades. In 1975, he was director of operations and supervised a probe into Monroe's death prompted by public pressure. Like the 1982 Los Angeles district attorney's probe, the investigation was diluted. In 1984, the Los Angeles Police Department was asked for copies of the police files on Monroe. They said the file was not public record, and it remains sealed and confidential.
In Gate's bestselling book
published in 1992, he wrote, “... in 1973 the [police] reports were destroyed.” After Chief William Parker's death in 1966, Mayor Sam Yorty ordered the police department to send him the file on Monroe's death. He was told no such file existed. The chief said, “We found relevant reports in the archives of the late Deputy Chief Thad Brown.” Gates failed to say it was
the LAPD that “found” the files. It was Thad's son who had discovered Chief of Detectives Brown's personal files after his death. The documents and photographs were not in the archives, as Gates claimed, but were gathering dust, covered with mildew, stored in Brown's garage.
Thad Brown was a bullheadedly honest cop, who sometimes worked around the clock. Against his wishes, Chief Parker put “his man” Captain James Hamilton, head of the LAPD Intelligence Unit, on the Monroe case. Hamilton's probe was extremely confidential, reports reaching only the eyes of Parker and perhaps the Kennedys.
Captain Hamilton was indeed biased; he was mentioned often in Bobby Kennedy's book,
The Enemy Within,
as a friend. Just a year after Marilyn Monroe's death, Hamilton retired, becoming chief of security for the National Football League, a post to which he came highly recommended by Bobby Kennedy.
The Reddin Security Agency, presided over by Tom Reddin, once Chief of the Los Angeles Police Department, remembers Hamilton as being “Parker's man.” While kept in the dark about the Monroe investigation, Reddin learned from his own sources there was a Kennedy connection and that the brothers had had sexual relationships with Marilyn. Parker's successor, Tom Reddin, said, “Hamilton was extremely secretive, he only talked to two people, God and Chief Parker. ”
Brown, head of homicide, was not at all convinced that Marilyn had committed suicide, or that her demise was accidental. He spent hundreds of off-duty hours investigating the death. Off the record, he advised Assistant Treasury Department Chief Virgil Crabtree that a private White House phone number had been found in Marilyn's bedclothes. Occasionally Brown obtained carbon copies of intelligence reports never intended for his eyes. Bobby Kennedy's name was mentioned frequently. Thad Brown went to his grave still suggesting that Marilyn Monroe had been murdered.
Feared by presidents, senators, and congressmen, J. Edgar Hoover, FBI chief, in 1962 was the most powerful man in Washington.
Just miles away, at the FBI headquarters, Marilyn was also profiled in a locked cabinet marked
Inside were voluminous records about her life and death. Frequent requests to obtain the records under the Freedom of Information Act were fruitless. Most of the pages obtained were heavily censored, but the Kennedy names could be observed, the connections obliterated in black ink.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation was established in 1907. At its beginnings the bureau had few responsibilities. In 1924, J. Edgar Hoover was named director of the FBI, to serve at the President's will. He remained in office until his death in 1972, a decade after the demise of Marilyn Monroe. The shrewd bureau chief grossly misused his office to be assured total control and to guarantee himself a lifetime position.
When Hoover was placed in this high position, the government wanted to eliminate corruption of the bureau and get the FBI out of politics. Hoover had other plans. He began to accumulate files, wiretap and bugging transcriptions, and compromising candid photos. His targets included public figures, nearly every aspiring politician, office holder, and official in Washington, D.C. His investigations were unauthorized by anyone but himself. The subjects were not necessarily suspected of any wrongdoing, and the so-called investigations were not even in the jurisdiction of the FBI. Among the accumulated dossiers were reports of adultery, homosexuality, and other embarrassments. Hoover also maintained a clandestine “Political Sex Deviate Index.” The FBI chief would go down in history as a notorious blackmailer. Protected by his badge of authority, Hoover became untouchable.
Files for Hoover's eyes only were kept in Helen Gandy's office, adjacent to his. She was his most trusted employee, had worked for him briefly as a clerk in 1918, then as his secretary. Since 1939 she had held the title of executive assistant. Like her boss, she never marriedânor were she and Hoover romantically linked.
The locked files were numbered. Indexed by three-by-five cards, the white ones marked PF, for personal files, the others on pink cards listed as OC, official and confidential. A number of the notably sensitive folders were deceptively labeled. The Richard Nixon file was not under his name, it was indexed
Immediately after Hoover's death the PF and OC files were allegedly destroyed.
Hoover began his file on JFK upon his discharge from the navy. When Hoover learned of Joseph Kennedy's political ambitions for his son, FBI surveillance teams were assigned to spy on the young Kennedy.
John and Robert Kennedy were desperate to replace J. Edgar Hoover. They had a favor to repay; besides they disliked the FBI director. Bobby Kennedy had made a promise to Chief William H. Parker, of the Los Angeles Police Department. If Parker cooperated in the cover-up of the Kennedy connection in Marilyn's death, the directorship of the FBI could be his.
Hoover was summoned to a meeting at the White House with the Kennedys. The director had spies in the administration of every president he servedâhe was well prepared. Before leaving the fifth floor of the Justice Department building, the command post of the entire FBI, he had made a photocopy of the secret Kennedy file.
The Kennedys suggested Hoover should retire. He was not asked to resign, that might anger him. Hoover dropped a thick file on the President's desk, demanding that he and his brother read it immediately. The file contained a stack of photos, which included clandestine film of Marilyn Monroe with each of the Kennedys. Needless to say, the subject of resignation was dropped!
The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Central Intelligence Agency operate independently, frequently not sharing information, and frequently at odds. The CIA, established in 1947, has seldom been free of controversy. The agency's covert operations included subsidizing political leaders in other countries and secretly recruiting influential people, at times even underworld leaders.
A massive cover-up still exists regarding the involvement of the Kennedys and the Mafia in Marilyn Monroe's death. Huge classified files concerning the Monroe death are said to still exist. Efforts to obtain the documents under the Freedom of Information Act have proved fruitless; none have been released. The CIA will not declassify the records, citing the federal statute of “national security.”
On the night of the murder, Eunice Murray had been asked by Greenson to spend the night with Marilyn. She left the house to retrieve her clothes and toiletries. The eavesdroppers knew of her departure and dispatched Marilyn's killers at once. On Mrs. Murray's return, she found a comatose Marilyn and immediately phoned Greenson. But her ever-changing chronicle of the “last hours” added to the mystery. She first reported the “discovery” at around midnight, saying she had been startled by “the light on in her room.” Marilyn was accustomed to being up at wee hours of the morning. The housekeeper told Sergeant Jack Clemmons she had summoned Marilyn's doctors. She insisted Drs. Engelberg and Greenson had been there since 12:30
Marilyn's physician and psychiatrist corroborated Murray.
Greenson, Engelberg, and Murray were no strangers to each other. Soon after Monroe's death, Dr. Engelberg moved his office from Wilshire Boulevard to the same building in Beverly Hills where Dr. Greenson practiced.
Clemmons never questioned Mrs. Murray about the light being on in Marilyn's room. But it would have been impossible for Murray to see light coming from a crack under the door, as during the remodeling of her west side home Marilyn had new thick shag carpeting installed in her bedroom and houseguests and friends confirmed it was difficult to close the door; the bottom still needed to be shaved at least a quarter of an inch.
During the years after Monroe's death, the housekeeper's story changed. In 1975 Eunice Murray wrote her memoirs,
Marilyn: The Last Months.
Her explanation was altered again in the book: “I was alarmed by a telephone cord that was under Marilyn's door.”
Two impossible scenarios were created by Murray as the reason she was alarmed and checked on Marilyn. Marilyn had two telephones, both with long extension cords. The pink phone was unlisted, the number given to intimates who needed to reach her, including the studios and the press, and it was connected to an answering service. The number for Marilyn's hot line, the white phone, was given to only a privileged few, including the Kennedy brothers. The housekeeper never identified which phone cord was under the door the night her suspicions were aroused.
A decade later, Mrs. Murray made her first plausible statement on a BBC documentary, “The Last Days of Marilyn Monroe.” The syndicated telecast aired throughout the world. Marilyn's former housekeeper admitted on camera that Bobby Kennedy was in the actress's home on August 4, 1962, opening up the possibility that accounts of the death were fraudulent. Up to then, she had consistently denied that the attorney general ever visited Monroe. Also in 1975, Mrs. Murray went before the cameras of ABC Television making the same assertion.
In August 1985, ABC flew its interviewer Sylvia Chase and producer Stanhope Gould to Hollywood. Upon arrival Gould began the arduous process of arranging for interviews for the proposed three-segment expose on the murder of Marilyn. “We want to put all witnesses of the events on camera,” he insisted. Although he was warned by some professional consultants that the show would never get on the air, he insisted, “I have approval all the way up. Arledge himself gave us the go ahead. We have no restrictions. ” The man in charge was Roone Arledge, President of ABC news and sports, also a personal friend of Ethel Kennedy.
Producer Gould was warned by technical adviser and coauthor of this book, Milo Speriglio, that some of the witnesses would talk about Marilyn's affairs with both the Kennedy brothers, but still Arledge insisted there would be no problem.
ABC spared no expense for this major story. Chase and Gould were given executive suites at a luxury hotel. Using their most experienced film crews, they traveled throughout southern California piecing together the story of stories.
Among the important eyewitnesses was Eunice Murray. She was by then a widow living with her daughter, and her sole income came from Social Security benefits. When the ABC news team arrived for the interview Mrs. Murray was not as cooperative as they had hoped. What she had to say, something she kept secret for twenty-three years, had value. She did not ask for any money.
was not a daily newscast, but it fell under the regulations of a news program. In an effort to show “good will and appreciation” without paying cash compensation to Mrs. Murray, one of the crew was sent to the local market and returned with bags of groceries. Mrs. Murray then agreed to answer questions.
Sylvia Chase had faced tough interview assignments before and came prepared. However, when the ABC-TV veteran questioned Marilyn's former housekeeper about Bobby Kennedy, Mrs. Murray confessed. “Bobby was with Marilyn the day she died.” Chase had not expected this revelation, which would dramatically alter the facts as previously reported.