The eternal farewell
We’ve now come to the very last chapter in the Monroe story. As you all know, yesterday marks the 50th anniversary of the day she was found unresponsive, at her house in Los Angeles. It was a massive shock, for her fans as well as for the people she surrounded herself with. Yes, she hadn’t been doing well for a while, but it started to seem as though she would overcome her problems and she just had so many fun times to look forward to.
Fans still loved her and her newest project ‘Something’s got to give’ was going to be her best performance ever. Although the offical cause of death was set at “probable suicide”, barely any of her close friends believed she took her own life. Not at all surprising, seeing as there are some elements in the investigation that may point into a different direction. However, before we get to that part, let’s go back to August 8th, 1962, the day of her funeral.
Her final resting place
After she passed away, Joe DiMaggio took up the hard task of guiding her to her final resting place. He arranged her entire funeral and decided not to allow certain familiar faces. Her Hollywood friends, such as Frank Sinatra, were not allowed to join the ceremony. He always blamed them for her addictions and simply couldn’t understand why they hadn’t tried to help her. Monroe’s mother, Gladys, was also absent. She was staying with her first daughter, Bernice Miracle, in Florida and had to stay there because of her mental health. When she was informed about her daughter’s death, she responded by saying: “I never wanted her to become an actress.”
Shortly after her passing, the press started to show its most horrible side. They circled her house like vultures, took pictures of her bedroom (with her body still in it) and kept on videotaping as they carried her body out. Things didn’t improve much at the funeral. It was the first time that an icon had died in such a tragic way and it had most certainly ignited a whole media circus. Some even went so far as hiring a helicopter, to tape the procession. Fortunately, her final route wasn’t surrounded by press only. Many of her fans had gathered along the roads, to say goodbye to their idol.
Monroe’s casket was then interred in a pink marble crypt and her final resting place would forever be the ‘Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery’ in Los Angeles. Joe DiMaggio, her second husband, would never stop loving her and arranged for 6 red roses to be put beside her grave for the next 20 year, three times a week. He never remarried and missed her intensely. Some sources say that shortly before she died, Monroe and DiMaggio started falling in love again and they even made plans to get married. Though, he never spoke publicly about his relationship to Monroe, as opposed to many other people, who tried to make some money by ‘coming forward’ with their stories. DiMaggio passed away at the age of 84 right after he softly whispered his last words: “I’ll finally get to see Marilyn.”
Back in the sixties, the audience wasn’t aware of Monroe’s pill abuse and they refused to believe she killed herself, letting all sorts of speculations run wild. There were off course some other reasons that led to believe that something else might’ve happened. As the police responded to the emergency call, they noted the room is extremely tidy and it appeared the bed had fresh linen on it. Also, her maid was washing sheets as they arrived. On top of that, she changed her story about the evening multiple times. They were also unable to find anything Monroe could’ve used to wash the pills down, seeing as though she always gagged when she had to swallow a pill, even if she was taking them with water. In the end, they did find a glass, right next to her bed, but the police always claimed it wasn’t there when they searched the room. Finally, the pathologist was unable to find traced that indicated she had taken any pills but they find enormous amounts of Nembutal and choral hydrate in her blood. They also found that her body was covered in bruises. The pathologist had asked the toxicologist to examine her liver, kidneys, stomach and so on, to find out how the drugs got into her system, but he didn’t feel that was a necessary step to take. Not too long after that, the samples along with the medical photographs disappeared, making them unable to determine the exact cause of death.
Although we’ll probably never know what really happened that fatal night, I do want to share some of the most frequent conspiracy-claims that were made, despite how I really feel about them.
2. The mob
Another theory says that she was killed by the mob. This story is also closely linked to her affair with Kennedy. Maffia boss Giancana supposedly hated Kennedy, who was fighting the organized crime and was chasing them. He therefore wired Monroe’s mansion and was aware of the affair. He then had her killed, hoping her affair would be exposed and Kennedy would be forced to step down. However, the theory also states that Bobby Kennedy went by her house that night, and took any evidence that might hurt his family
At the time of her death, Monroe had employed two docters. One of the most frequent theories is that they both prescribed her meds (unaware of what the other one was prescribing), who were lethal when combined. When the maid calls Greenson that night, who later founds Monroe unresponsive, both doctors try to figure out what went wrong and come to the conclusion that they caused her death. They clean up her room, wash the sheets and convince the maid to lie. They give her plenty of money to keep her quiet, which she uses to travel to Europe one months later. This story has some other alternative versions, like the one where Greenson never called her but was simply present at her house that night.
The last theory claims Monroe was killed by the FBI or the CIA. Multiple stories have been told surrounding this theory. One even claims the CIA hired the mob to do the dirty work. Numerous reasons are given, one says they accused her of being a communist, another says they wanted to keep her silent about the whole Kennedy thing. Other sources say CIA wanted to get revenge for the failed invasion of Pig Bay. They wanted to discredit Kennedy, by linking her death to him. Finally, there are some sources that say she was killed by the government, for knowing too much. They say the Kennedy’s had shared too much sensitive information.
As you can see, all these theories are very diverse (and sometimes just too ridiculous). There are some more theories but I won’t describe any more. If anyone feels the need to read some more, there are plenty sites on the internet that explain everything into detail, or you can go look a book titled ‘The Mysterious Death of Marilyn Monroe’.
This past week, I’ve been trying to teach you as much as I possible can on the life and career of Marilyn Monroe. I’ve spend my days by comparing books, interviews and documentaries, to make sure I made no mistakes, and to give you as much information as I could. I wanted to create the correct image of an actress, but most of all of a woman, who had a very tough life. I hope that I was able to prove that she was so much more than a dumb, sexy blonde who devoured every man in her path. Her tough years and mental suffering they caused her, followed her around her whole life. She was an insecure woman, who was counting on the support of others to make her feel less worried. Marilyn always feared people would ridicule her and she fought hard to be cast as something other than the dumb blonde.
She knew she was better than that. She wanted nothing more than to see her dreams come true and struggled with her status as a star and as a sexsymbol. On top of that, Fox really treated her bad throughout her whole career. She was paid far less than the other actors and they refused to let her rest, even when she was really sick. Her career meant a lot to her, surely, but nothing was ever going to replace her desire to have a child. The many miscarriages she suffered, along with her failed marriages, began to tear her apart and she was unable to find the support she desperately needed. Her inner battle was starting to show on the outside.
In the end, it was Joe DiMaggio who would bring some peace to her mind again, and who would love her deeply for the rest of his life. She would become Hollywood’s biggest female icon, but would never experience it herself. On August 5th, 1962, she ceased her inner battle and finally found the peace and quiet she was looking for. Norma Jeane Mortenson would forever be remembered as Marilyn Monroe, talented actress, with a breakable soul.
Please don’t make me a joke. End with what I believe. I don’t mind making jokes, but I don’t want to look like one… I want to be an artist, an actress with integrity… If fame goes by, so long, I’ve had you, fame. If it goes by, I’ve always known it was fickle. So at least it’s something I experienced, but that’s not where I live.
Part 1: Marilyn Monroe: marked by an unhappy childhood
Part 2: How Norma Jeane became Marilyn Monroe
Part 3: Marilyn Monroe: the rocky road that led to her final breakthrough
Part 4: Hollywood’s latest discovery wins the audiences’ hearts
Part 5: Dark clouds gather over happily married, serious actress
Part 6: Her final return to Hollywood ends in tragedy
Part 7: The eternal farewell
Documentary: The Final Days: