Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Marilyn Monroe

The Death of Marilyn

Marilyn Monroe publicity photo
Marilyn Monroe publicity photo

Sometime after 10 p.m. on August 4, 1962, Marilyn Monroe slipped into a coma caused by an overdose of sleeping pills. She would never regain consciousness. Shortly after she was discovered, a bizarre set of activities took place in her Brentwood home at 12305 Fifth Helena Drive. Some items were allegedly removed, including a diary and an incriminating note which could have far-reaching implications, if discovered. The order for their removal was believed to have come from someone in the White House, in an attempt to prevent a scandal from toppling the presidency of John F. Kennedy.

Many witnesses said they observed Marilyn being secretly taken that night by an ambulance crew to a nearby hospital before being returned again to her Brentwood home in Los Angeles. Forever steeped in mystery are the exact events that took place on the night that one of the world's leading sex symbols and movie legends died. According to some accounts, Marilyn's body was rediscovered by her house companion, Eunice Murray, and her psychiatrist, Dr. Greenson, several hours following the initial discovery of her remains. 

Greenson would later tell police that Murray alerted him around 3:30 a.m. that something might be wrong with Marilyn, the morning following Marilyn's death. When he arrived at Marilyn's home, he broke into her bedroom and found her lying nude and face down in her bed. She was clutching a phone in her right hand. After a brief examination he determined that she was dead.

Exactly how and when Marilyn Monroe died sparked a debate that would last more than 40 years and generate many theories, including that of murder. Some of these theories even implicated John F. Kennedy and his brother Robert in the mysterious death.

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