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The Probable Cause of Marilyn Monroe’s Death Essay

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Updated: Oct 1st, 2021


She was an icon. She was a sex symbol. She was the goddess of the movie world in the 1950s. She was the late Marilyn Monroe. Men wanted to possess her. Women wanted to be like her. She had many lovers, many admirers, she associated with the rich and powerful, but in the end, she was so emotionally and psychologically troubled that when she died in 1962, with bottles of drugs beside her, it was not difficult to conclude that she probably killed herself through overdose. But immediately after her death and even many years afterward, there were still those who believe that she did not commit suicide. There were others who said that she did not die from accidental overdose but was murdered upon the order of the Kennedy brothers or the American mafia.


The following best describes the reason why Marilyn Monroe was an American icon and why even after today, many on the planet are still fascinated by her. According to one author:

She was perhaps the most instantly recognizable movie star of her day, but more importantly, the subject of millions of men’s fantasies of the utterly desirable woman. Her hair was platinum gossamer, her mouth red, lush, and inviting, her figure the ultimate hourglass. She spoke baby-talk in a whispery voice laden with promises; she walked with small, wiggly steps that could stop a weak heart… (Lakoff, 117).

Marilyn Monroe became a very famous actress in the 1950s. She had charm, beauty, and talent. Her very sexy figure added to her many assets. Her blonde hair made her stand out from the crowd, and soon afterward, the world was at her feet. She was sought after by movie studios because they knew that she would make a lot of money for them. With success came fame and fortune. It also meant that doors were opened for her, and she could now be with the rich and famous. But this does not mean that everything was beneficial for her.

In 1962 Marilyn Monroe was still at the peak of her game. In fact, she was invited to sing at the birthday of President John F. Kennedy. She also signed a new contract ensuring her a busy year ahead. But her life was not all that perfect. She had several failed marriages. At one time, she was even married to Joe DiMaggio, the Michael Jordan of his time – one of the most famous New York Yankee baseball players in the history of the game. One could just imagine what kind of life she led, the lack of privacy, and the constant pressure coming from people who just wanted to have a piece of her.

In the years before her death, Marilyn Monroe had her high and low moments. She was married to celebrities and had affairs with both President John F. Kennedy and his equally powerful and popular brother Senator Robert F. Kennedy. She had failed marriages, and her affair with the President and the Senator gave her more problems than bliss. In the days prior to her, it was known to many that she was suffering from emotional problems. This explains the drugs present in her home at the time of her death.

There are three possible explanations for her death, and these are listed below:

  1. She committed suicide by taking a significant amount of pills.
  2. She died from an accidental overdose.
  3. She was murdered upon the orders of the Kennedys or by the American mafia.

Conspiracy Theories

Assuming that she committed suicide, then there must be a good reason for taking her own life. But she was at the prime of her life. She made a lot of money. She had everything that she needed. If she committed suicide, then there should be evidence showing that she ingested a great number of pills. If she died from an accidental overdose, then there should be evidence to show that she was drunk because it is the only way that she could ingest a large number of pills without her knowing it. But it seems that the evidence does not strengthen the idea of suicide or accidental overdose.

The following reasons reinforced the arguments of those who believe that Marilyn Monroe was murdered and did not die from suicide or accidental overdose:

  • She had no alcohol in her system;
  • She had pentobarbital and chloral hydrate in her system that came from less dangerous sedatives in her home;
  • There was no trace of pills in her stomach;
  • There was no drinking glass that was found near her body from which she would have used to swallow a great number of pills; and
  • Experts said that vomiting usually follows the swallowing of so many pills at once, but there was no evidence of vomiting in Monroe’s case (Kroth, 273).

If there were no traces of pills in the stomach and yet she died from an overdose, then it can be argued that there must be foul play. If there were no traces of pills in the stomach, then there must be an explanation for the high levels of drugs in her blood. The killer must have injected the substance into her, and that is one way to kill her. If she was murdered, then who was behind the plot to kill her? It was mentioned earlier that her connection with the Kennedy brothers, the first one was the U.S. president and the other a U.S. senator, may have been enough of a reason to silence her. Her relationship with these men is not good for America. She had to disappear to protect the great careers of the two brothers.

The evidence that would strengthen this claim is the fact that Robert Kennedy was in Chicago the day Monroe died. There were even those who argue that the delay in calling the doctors or police after she died was because the authorities made sure that Robert Kennedy was already out of town (Kroth, 273). But there are others who said that Robert Kennedy’s role was only an indirect one. It was the mafia who killed Monroe.

In 1992 a book was released that provided details of the mafia. In the same book, it was revealed that mobster Sam “Mooney” Giancana ordered the death of Marilyn Monroe to get back at Robert Kennedy for his role in prosecuting American mobsters (Kroth, 273). In fact, the book said that the murder was timed exactly when Robert Kennedy was visiting Chicago. The drugs were inserted inside the anus of Monroe, thus delivering a deadly mix of chemicals into her body.

The revelation by a mob family that it was the American mafia who killed Marilyn Monroe was further strengthened by a remark made by Monroe’s friend, the actor Peter Lawford who said, “Marilyn took her last big enema” (Kroth, 273). But there was no evidence to prove that there was a killer or a group of killers inside the locked room. The room of Monroe was locked from the inside, and that they have to break one of the windows of her room so that she can be resuscitated (Nickell, 265). If there were men inside the room, then the door should have been unlocked, or at least the window should have been open.

Analyzing the Evidence

The theory that she committed suicide by taking in a huge amount of drugs is related to the second theory, which is she died from an accidental overdose. Both require taking drugs willingly without being coerced by another person. In order to prove that she committed suicide then one should prove that she was mentally and emotionally troubled. In this regard, there are those who said that Monroe had no reason to kill herself because although she was fired from the set of the movie Something Got to Give, it was learned later on that executives of 20th Century Fox studios were negotiating for her return to the set (Knight, 499). Aside from that, on August 1, 1962, Monroe signed a $1 Million dollar contract with the said studio (Kryzhanovskii, 239). The evidence indeed does not support the theory that she committed suicide.

If she did kill herself, then the only reason for that is emotional and psychological instability. Those who believe that she committed suicide will probably point out that Marilyn Monroe’s mother suffered the same problem. According to one author, Monroe’s mother had a history of mental disturbance, and a few years after Marilyn Monroe was born, her mother’s behavior “…became more erratic, and she was committed to a mental institution” (Lakoff, 118). But others will argue that no one can prove that mental illness can be passed on from mother to daughter.

If she did not kill herself, then the second probable cause is death from an accidental overdose. This means that after drinking so much alcohol, she was so drunk to determine if she was taking the right amount of medication. Thus, since she was drunk, she accidentally ingested handfuls of drugs. The only problem with this theory is that there was no alcohol in her system. So if she was not drunk and yet had high levels of toxic substance in her blood, then it means that she was murdered.

If there are drugs in the system, then the killer used something to deliver the drugs into her system. But if there was a murderer in the room, then he or she must have injected the substance into her bloodstream. But there is only one problem with this theory, “…there were no injection marks found on her body” (Kroth, 273). Then there must be another way of forcing Monroe to take in the drugs.

As mentioned earlier, the mafia claimed that they introduced the drugs through the anus, using a suppository (Kroth, 274). This is the reason why there was no trace of pills in the stomach and yet explains how the drugs were delivered to her bloodstream. But as mentioned earlier, the door was locked from the inside and tat a window has to be broken so others can enter. The autopsy also proved that drugs were ingested because, “Underneath the stomach’s lining or mucosa, there was observed a widespread pinpoint hemorrhaging – the very raw, red appearance that would be expected in the case of the large overdose of barbiturates (Nickell, 264). Aside from that, there is one crucial piece of evidence, Monroe’s last act was to reach for the phone; she was found dead with her hand resting on the phone (Nickell, 265). Based on the evidence, Monroe was not murdered, and she did not die from an accidental overdose, but she committed suicide.


Having a great career and a one million dollar contract should have given any person the incentive to live a long, fruitful life. But this was not the case with Marilyn Monroe. She died from an overdose of drugs. There were other theories given – that she was murdered and that she died from an accidental overdose. But the evidence points to suicide as the cause of death. The autopsy explained everything, as well as the fact that the door was locked from the inside. Still, if there was a government conspiracy to murder her and cover it up, then it would have been very easy to do. It would have been easy to tamper with the autopsy and to cover everything up. The Kennedy brothers had everything to lose if Marilyn Monroe would tell all.

Works Cited

Knigt, Peter. Conspiracy Theories in American History: An Encyclopedia. CA: ABC-CLIO, Inc., 2003.

Kroth, Jerome. Conspiracy in Camelot. New York: Algora Publishing, 2003.

Kryzhanovskii, Mikhail. White House Special Handbook, or How to Rule America and the World. New York: Algora Publishing, 2007.

Lakoff, Robin T. Face Value, the Politics of Beauty. New York: Routledge, 1984.

Nickell, Joe. Crime Science: Methods of Forensic Detection. KY: The University Press of Kentucky, 1999.

Welkos, Robert. “.” 2005. Los Angeles Times. 2008. Web.

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