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Conspiracy: Marilyn Monroe was Killed

Welcome to the Conspiracy Series

This week we will be diving into the death of Marilyn Monroe.

Marilyn Monroe, a famous movie star from the 1950s and early 60s, passed away on August 4, 1962.  She died from an apparent overdose and her death was ruled a suicide. This caused many people to question the coroner’s decision and come up with theories of their own of how Monroe died.

Behind the Conspiracy

Marilyn Monroe was a huge celebrity at the time and is still immensely popular now. So many theories have been created trying to explain her mysterious death, so we’ll just cover the main ones. 

Talk of Monroe’s death being a murder began in the 1970s with the publication of Marilyn: A Biography. This book suggested that Monroe and Robert F. Kennedy had an affair, and she was killed to use as a point of pressure against the Kennedys. Multiple other sources agree that she was killed either by the Kennedys or to hold against the Kennedys. 

In the 80s, theorists started to take a darker and more intense path. One of the most popular books on Monroe, Goddess: The Secret Lives of Marilyn Monroe, expanded upon her supposed mental instability. Author Anthony Summers suggested that Monroe was unstable and addicted to her medications. So when her affair with John F. Kennedy and Robert F. Kennedy ended, she threatened to reveal their relationship. The Kennedys enabled her addiction to keep her quiet and she accidentally overdosed. She died on the way to the hospital, and they brought her back to her house to stage the death as a suicide. 

The 90s neglected the Kennedy theory and instead focused on the overdose itself. The most common idea is that Marilyn convinced her physician to lie to her psychiatrist about the medicine she was taking. She ended up taking two drugs that reacted to each other and caused her death. The doctors and Monroe’s housekeeper staged suicide to prevent suspicion from landing on them. 

Later theories that grew popular were based on personal sexual interests and have no facts or supporting evidence to back up the theory. 

A consistent part of all these theories is that Monroe’s stomach was empty and there was no residue from the Nembutal capsules she took. Many of Monroe’s friends also found it hard to believe it was a suicide because she had such big plans for the future. One friend even said they had made plans to see a movie the next day. 


Monroe’s death was reopened in the 1980s for reinvestigation. Thomas Noguchi, a medical examiner, explained that Nembutal doesn’t stain or leave residue. He also explained that since she was an addict, the drugs would absorb more rapidly than it would to a non-addict. 

There honestly isn’t more proof debunking this theory. The answer is up in the air.

What I Think

I had no opinion on this theory until I did all my research. I think it’s believable that she was murdered or “accidentally” overdosed. It also could have been a suicide. The lives of celebrities seem so simple and complex at the same time. Living in the limelight would have a toll on any normal human being. It’s understandable that she was instable and developed an addiction. It also makes sense that she was disposed of by the Kennedys. They were one of the most powerful families to exist at the time, and a strike against them from the most admired celebrity at the time would be a huge blow. Maybe they had a part in her death in order to maintain their clean reputations. I guess we’ll never know. 

Overall I give this theory a 5 out of 5. It seems crazy, but I feel that the theorists really went all out on this one. I honestly think it could have gone either way. So good job conspiracy theorists of the 20th century, you’ve convinced me. 

giphy by rebloggy

Hannah Kamman

Murray State '22

Hannah Kamman is an elementary education major at Murray State University. In her spare time, she enjoys watching movies, spending time outside and cuddling with her cat. She is a dance teacher and a tree hugger.
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