Marilyn Monroe died of a barbiturate overdose. Her body was discovered on August 5, 1962, in her home at 12305 Fifth Helena Drive in Brentwood, CA. Since then, her tragic demise has been the subject of some of the most enduring conspiracy theories in history - including that she was one of many historical suicides that were actually murder. Yet, the actual details of her passing are just as shocking and interesting as the stories bandied about by conspiracy theorists.
Whether you believe she was a celebrity MK Ultra victim or not, knowing how Marilyn Monroe really died and the many strange details that surround it might just surprise you more than even the most plausible conspiracy.
According to the coroner’s report, Marilyn Monroe overdosed on Nembutal pills. However, no pills were found in her stomach. The deputy coroner, Dr. Thomas Noguchi, later explained the lack of pills as a result of Monroe’s long history of substance abuse. The pills in her stomach were digested more quickly than they would have been by someone who wasn’t an addict.
Yet, the fact that no pills were found in her stomach has been used by conspiracy theorists through the years to support their theory that perhaps she did not die of an overdose at all, but instead was assassinated by the CIA, FBI, or her own housekeeper.
Dr. Thomas Noguchi was tasked with the autopsy, but he wasn't exactly given a complete picture. According to him, when he received Marilyn Monroe's body in the morgue, the samples from her stomach and intestines had been destroyed. This affected toxicology reports, which made Dr. Noguchi believe people would think she'd been assassinated.
He also discovered that, while other organs had been sent to the toxicology labs, tests were never done. The only parts of Monroe's body that were put to complete toxicology tests were samples of her blood and her liver.
Sgt. Jack Clemmons of the Los Angeles Police Department was the first officer to arrive on the scene of Marilyn Monroe’s passing. Later, in his own writings of the event, he recalled that Monroe’s housekeeper Eunice Murray was running the washing machine when he arrived. He also noted that Murray was acting strangely and was evasive when questioned.
Detective Sgt. Robert E. Byron, who arrived on the scene a few minutes after Clemmons, also noted in his report that Murray was acting like an unreliable witness. He wrote: “It is officer’s opinion that Mrs. Murray was vague and possibly evasive in answering questions pertaining to the activities of Miss Monroe during this time.”
Conspiracy theorists have used Murray’s behavior that tragic night as proof that there was something inappropriate and fishy going on, and that perhaps the housekeeper knew more than she was letting on.
Marilyn Monroe spoke to several people on the phone the night she passed. Among them was Peter Lawford, an old friend of the actress and the brother-in-law of John F. Kennedy. According to Lawford, Monroe seemed to be under the influence of drugs. He also claimed she told him: "Say goodbye to Pat, say goodbye to the president, and say goodbye to yourself, because you're a nice guy."
Lawford became extremely worried about Monroe, and phoned several people to check up on her. When he was unable to reach Dr. Ralph Greenson, Lawford called Monroe’s lawyer Milton A. Rudin, who in turn reached out to Monroe’s housekeeper, who told him that Monroe was fine.
This message, however, has further fueled conspiracy theories that perhaps John F. Kennedy and the government were somehow involved in Monroe’s demise.