The Suspicious Death Of Marilyn Monroe That Haunts People To This Day

Kevin Callahan, Staff Writer

Born in 1926, Norma Jeane Mortenson was a foster child growing up during the Great Depression. Her father had not been in the picture, and her mother was committed to a psychiatric hospital when Mortenson was very little. When Mortenson was in her early teens, her mother had returned into her life. 

The two would go to the Chinese Theatre in downtown Los Angeles and watch whatever film was being presented that night. Mortenson soon began to fantasize about being a glamorous Hollywood bombshell like her idol, Jean Harlow. 

During World War II, Mortenson was working at an explosives factory. During that time, newspapers and magazines would often go on press tours and take pictures of the workers in factories. It was during one of these press tours when a photographer took a picture of the beautiful young girl. Mortenson’s modeling career began, starting off as a pin-up girl for calendars which sold very well. 

However, Mortenson’s dream was to be on the silver screen, so she got her manager to get her a deal with a film company. Her beginnings in film were not successful, but Mortenson did not give up and continued to pursue her dreams. She soon landed a deal with film company Twentieth Century Fox. She was advised to change her look from an innocent “girl next door” to a more seductive, mature look and change her name too. Thus, Marilyn Monroe was born. Her career was a success throughout the 50s and soon she became one of Hollywood’s most notorious young actresses. 

However, something strange would happen to Monroe, something that sparked the curiosity of millions around the world: her death.

It was August 5th, 1962. Presumably it was a beautiful night. A starry sky and the warm Los Angeles breeze, calm and clear. It was half past three in the morning when Monroe’s housekeeper, Eunice Murray, had called Monroe’s psychiatrist Dr. Ralph Greeson in a frantic panic. Monroe had gone into her room at eight at night, and it was now three thirty. The lights were still on, and when Murray would call for Monroe there was no response. The door was locked. Murray was fearful for the young actress’ life.

When Greeson arrived, he consulted with Murray. Greeson took a fire poker and smashed the window of Monroe’s bedroom and crawled inside. What he found in her room would soon shock the entire country and would be on every front page of every newspaper and magazine, every news show, and radio show in the nation: Marilyn Monroe was dead.

The body was found face down and covered with a blanket, and in her hand she clutched a phone. Next to her stood her nightstand, which was covered with pill bottles and prescriptions. At first glance it seemed clear what happened.

The police ruled her death a suicide. The police report stated that, at half past three, Murray called Dr. Greeson. Greeson then broke into Monroe’s room and saw her dead. After that they called Monroe’s personal doctor and finally the police had arrived at around five in the morning. Monroe had “ingested” around forty pills (no drugs were found in her stomach, but they were found in her liver). The autopsy could not be completed, for some of her organs were completely destroyed. 

There are many contradictions to Greeson and Murray’s story. 

“It was the most obviously staged death scene I had ever seen,” a first responder said, “it all looked too tidy.”

Monroe’s body was laid perfectly straight, arms unnaturally at both sides. The bottles of pills were lined perfectly in rows at her nightstand. Even though there were many pill bottles, there was no water glass or liquids, but after the police search, a glass of water somehow showed up on her nightstand. 

Murray had been washing the sheets that Monroe had presumably died in when the police arrived. Something that seems to be even more strange and suspicious is the fact that the glass from Monroe’s window was found outside her room, which suggests that Greeson had broken it from inside the bedroom. 

Murray and Greeson told police that Monroe had been in horrible moods, and that she was in a horrible physical condition. However, close friends of Monroe stated that she had been in the best of spirits and physical condition she had been in a long time.

Could the story that Murray and Greeson said to the police have been completely falisified? Could Marilyn Monroe been murdered? 

Conspiracy theories regarding whether Monroe was murdered began to gain traction in the mid 70s. The main theory claims that the Kennedy brothers were involved in some way with Monroe’s untimely death. Rumors about Monroe and JFK’s affair had been brewing for quite some time, and, as the theory states, Monroe threatened to go public. Fearful of having the President’s image ruined, either the government, or JFK himself, hired Murray and Greeson to stage Monroe’s death and fool the public. 

What really happened that night? Who was right? Many questions regarding the tragic death of Norma Jeane Mortenson will remain questions forever as the only one who knows how she died that night was Monroe herself, and, if she was murdered, the person who killed her.