For four decades there have been rumours that Marilyn Monroe's death was not a simple suicide. Now a Los Angeles-based Australian writer and director, Philippe Mora, has uncovered an FBI document that throws up a chilling new scenario.
BOBBY KENNEDY'S affair with the screen idol Marilyn Monroe has been documented, but a secret FBI file suggests the late US attorney-general was aware of - and perhaps even a participant in - a plan "to induce" her suicide.
The detailed three-page report implicates the Hollywood actor Peter Lawford, Monroe's psychiatrist, staff and her publicist in the plot.
The allegations suggest the 36-year-old actress, who had a history of staging attention-seeking suicide attempts, was deliberately given the means to fake another suicide on August 4, 1962. But this time, it is suggested, she was allowed to die as she sought help.
The document, hidden among thousands of pages released under freedom-of-information laws last October, was received by the FBI on October 19, 1964 - two years after her death - and titled simply "ROBERT F KENNEDY".
It was compiled by an unnamed former special agent working for the then Democrat governor of California, Pat Brown, and forwarded to Washington by Curtis Lynum, then head of the San Francisco FBI. Despite a disclaimer that it could not be sourced or authenticated, it was considered important enough to immediately circulate to the FBI's five most senior officers, including director J. Edgar Hoover's right-hand man, Clyde Tolson.
The report was in effect buried for decades as a classified document, and even the released version contains censored sections. Never before mentioned despite thousands of articles, books and documentaries about her death, it details aspects of Kennedy's on-and-off affair with the movie star, including sex parties and a lesbian dalliance, as well as her emotional departure from 20th Century Fox and descent into depression.
Critically, it raises an alleged conspiracy, apparently overseen by Lawford, for Monroe to unwittingly commit suicide with the drug Seconal, a barbiturate used to treat insomnia and relieve anxiety. The document gives no precise reason why she would be killed but hints it may be linked to her threats to make public her affair with Kennedy, as other conspiracy theories have previously claimed. It states in part: "Peter Lawford, [censored words blacked out] knew from Marilyn's friends that she often made suicide attempts and that she was inclined to fake a suicide attempt in order to arouse sympathy.
"Lawford is reported as having made 'special arrangements' with Marilyn's psychiatrist, Dr Ralph Greenson, from Beverley Hills. The psychiatrist was treating Marilyn for emotional problems and getting her off the use of barbiturates. On her last visit to him he prescribed Seconal tablets and gave her a prescription for 60 of them, which was unusual in quantity especially since he saw her frequently. On the date of her death … her housekeeper put the bottle of pills on the night table. It is reported that the housekeeper and Marilyn's personal secretary and press agent, Pat Newcomb, were co-operating in the plan to induce suicide."