YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

'Lost' Report on Monroe's Death Issued

September 23, 1985|From Times Wire Services

A "lost" police report on the death of actress Marilyn Monroe was released today by Los Angeles police, who said they hoped that it would dispel speculation about whether or not she committed suicide.

"It was a very straight suicide," Police Chief Daryl F. Gates said.

"There were 45 Nembutols, I believe, barbiturates. There was nothing unusual about it. She was under a doctor's care and had been distressed. The evidence showed she was stressed, and she took her own life," Gates said.

He said the inch-thick file was released because of "numerous public requests for access to the reports related to her death."

"There was a sudden interest in it," Gates said. "I said, 'Oh my God . . . why are we holding this stuff for 23 years? Let's get rid of it.' "

Official Files Destroyed

The 1962 drug-overdose death of the actress was listed as a "probable suicide" by the coroner's office, but it has remained controversial, partially because the official files were destroyed in accordance with standard police policy in 1973, Lt. Dan Cooke said.

"In general terms, we're hoping it clarifies a lot of information previously released by a number of authors on a number of innuendoes, speculations and just plain lies," Cooke said.

An article in the October, 1975, issue of Oui magazine questioned the classification of Monroe's death and prompted the Police Department to review the case and prepare an internal report addressing each of those issues, Cooke said.

Norma Jean Baker, born out of wedlock, changed her name and became a star. She was described by Norman Mailer in his novel-biography, "Marilyn," as having a "sweet little rinky-dink of a voice and all the cleanliness of all the clean American backyards.

"She was our angel, the sweet angel of sex, and the sugar of sex came up from her like the resonance of sound in the clearest grain of a violin."

36 When She Died

Her death by a drug overdose at 36 shocked the world.

The review released today said the official files on the death had been destroyed. However, copies of most, if not all, of the relevant reports were found in the private archives of the late Thad Brown, deputy chief of the detective bureau, Cooke said.

Portions of the internal report were edited to maintain the confidentiality of some people interviewed about Monroe's death, Cooke said.

An earlier report by a team of investigators said Monroe had set a pattern of taking an overdose of sedatives and then calling for help years before her death on Aug. 4, 1962.

Pattern Repeated

"On these occasions, she had called for help and had been rescued," then-Coroner Theodore J. Curphey said. "From the information collected about the events of the evening of Aug. 4, it is our opinion that the same pattern was repeated except for the rescue."

Curphey said massive doses of Nembutal and chloral hydrate "gulped within a minute or two" killed the glamor queen, found face down in bed, a telephone grasped in her hand.

Los Angeles Times Articles