50 Year Anniversary of Her Death

Questions Still Remain

By: Joseph Giacalone

On August 5, 1962, the world was stunned to find that actress and pin up girl, Marilyn Monroe was dead. 50 years after that dreadful day, her fans question the death investigation and autopsy findings. Books, documentaries and Internet post have examined her death from every typical angle, only to conclude that the manner of death should have been classified as “Undetermined” instead of the famous, “Probable Suicide.” Investigators should never be so razor focused. Every death should be treated as suspicious until proven otherwise.

As a former investigator, I have never seen a death conclusion labeled as such. If the Los Angeles Coroner was so unsure, why didn’t he use the proper classification? There are only five to choose from: Natural, Accidental, Suicide, Homicide and Undetermined. But here are just some of the points that keep conspiracy theories alive:

  • The detective established the time of death as 12:30 AM by interviewing Monroe’s doctors and her housekeeper. The housekeeper later changed her story to 3AM.

Her housekeeper claims she saw her light on at 12 AM, knocked on the door but didn’t get a response. The housekeeper said she called Monroe’s doctor. Really? If you thought she needed medical attention why wait for over 30 minutes for her doctor to arrive? If Marilyn had dies between 12 AM and 12:30 AM, Livor Mortis (pooling of blood in the dependent areas of the body) would have been evident.was any other methods of estimating time of death used? Rigor Mortis (stiffening of the joints), Algor Mortis (body temperature)? Both of her doctors then change the time of death to 3:50 AM. By that time Rigor Mortis would have definitely begun to settle in. But in my research, I could not find any indications or mentions of Rigor Mortis.

  • Pill bottles are found in the room, but no indication of water or other liquid used to take them?

I don’t know about you, but I need water to take one pill, let alone many chalky pills. To confound the situation, the pathologist could not find any indications of capsules in her stomach. To make matters worse, toxicology tests on Monroe’s organs were never conducted and later destroyed before they could be. You would think that a high profile case like this would have all the I’s dotted and T’s crossed.

There are too many inconsistencies in the interviews, police records, autopsy results to even begin to discuss. Volumes of books have been written on the case. So here we are 50 years later and still considering the classification of death of Marilyn Monroe, “Probably Something Else.”

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