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There has long been speculation around the death of Marilyn Monroe, now a filmmaker is claiming there's new evidence.

Was Marilyn Monroe’s death actually a murder? There’s new evidence

Hollywood actress, singer, and icon Marilyn Monroe’s death by suicide is considered one of the biggest tragedies of stardom history. However, some people don’t believe she killed herself, citing conspiracies linking her death to the U.S. government and her affair with former U.S. President John F. Kennedy. 

A new docuseries could shine some light on the circumstances around Marilyn Monroe’s death. Filmmakers at ZDF Enterprises claim they have new evidence showing foul play in the way Monroe died. They will air this new evidence on an episode of Cold Case: History, currently in production. Here are the details.

Monroe’s early years

Marilyn Monroe was born Norma Jean Baker and she had a tragic childhood. Her mother, Gladys, had a nervous breakdown when Marilyn Monroe was seven and was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. Monroe was put into foster care and was abused by one of her caregivers. 

Norma Jean Baker was discovered while working at a defense plant during World War II by a photographer scouting women to feature in propaganda work. Due to her beauty, she was signed to an agency, dyed her hair blond, and changed her name to Marilyn Monroe.

The toll of stardom

Marilyn Monroe went on to be a famous film star and was considered one of the most beautiful women in Hollywood. She starred in Gentlemen Prefer Blonds, How to Marry a Millionaire, and The Seven Year Itch, featuring the famous scene when Monroe’s dress exposes her legs thanks to an air vent. Although Monroe was typecast as a dumb blond, she was very intelligent and progressive for her time. 

However, as time went on, Monroe became increasingly dependent on alcohol & drugs. She became known as being difficult to work with, showing up late on set & often intoxicated. Monroe’s mentor recommended she see a psychotherapist, who prescribed her barbiturates for her anxiety & depression. 

On August 4, 1962, Marilyn Monroe was found dead in her apartment with a bottle of pills in her hand. The pills had been prescribed to treat her depression and were found scattered all over the room. Due to the pill bottle, police ruled her death was “probable suicide, caused by a self-administered overdose of sedative drugs”.

Suicide or murder? 

However, the officer on the scene, Jack Clemmons, thought something was fishy. The bottle & pills looked too staged from his account of the events. He remained unconvinced it was what it looked like. Clemmens helped develop the 1964 pamphlet, The Strange Case of Marilyn Monroe that alleged her death was a communist plot. 

Rumors began circulating that Monroe was killed because of her connection with the Kennedy brothers. The pamphlet Clemmens helped draft claimed Monroe was killed on John F. Kennedy’s orders because she was sleeping with his brother Robert, JFK’s attorney general. In 2007, Australian filmmaker Philippe Mora unearthed a partially redacted FBI document alleging Robert Kennedy ordered Monroe’s assassination.

Marilyn Monroe and JFK

There were also allegations that Monroe & JFK had an affair. Marilyn Monroe first met John F. Kennedy before he became president at a charity event in New York. Monroe attended with her husband, playwright Arthur Miller, and Kennedy was there with his wife, Jacqueline. 

However, their connection was mostly circumstantial, as the Kennedy brothers had some connections to Hollywood stars, most notably the Rat Pack (a group of performers including Frank Sinatra & Sammy Davis Jr.) member Peter Lawford, who was married to John & Robert Kennedy’s sister, Patricia. Some conspiracy theorists allege that Lawford led the attack on Monroe. 

In the 1993 book Marilyn Monroe: The Biography author Donald Spoto speculates the only place Monroe & Kennedy would have slept together was at their mutual friend, crooner Bing Crosby’s house in Palm Beach in 1962 – four months before Monroe’s death and while JFK was president. Spoto received the information Monroe & JFK may have had an affair via Monroe’s masseur Ralph Roberts.

New forensic evidence? 

Books, movies, and documentaries have come & gone alleging they have another piece of the puzzle regarding Marilyn Monroe’s death. What makes the upcoming Cold Case: History documentary so special? Filmmakers boast new forensic evidence and testimony surrounding Monroe’s death. In a statement, ZDFE.unscripted vice president Ralf Rueckauer explained the excitement behind the series. 

“Developing this series has been an exciting journey with each episode unraveling a mystery. It’s been fascinating to see modern day forensics at work dispelling age old theories, particularly in the case of Marilyn Monroe, where we have unearthed new evidence and testimony.” 

What this “unearthed new evidence & testimony” is won’t be revealed until the docuseries airs. Rueckauer didn’t elaborate when the Daily Mail asked for further comment, but one of the show developers said the show reveals “new evidence, narrowing the circle of possible perpetrators.”

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