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Marilyn Monroe Mystery Persists : 23 Years After Her Death, Questions Continue to Generate Controversy

September 29, 1985|ROBERT WELKOS and TED ROHRLICH | Times Staff Writers

Ebbins told The Times that "Rudin called me from the house and told me they'd just broken in and found the body."

Rudin was interviewed briefly in 1962 by Detective Byron but said only that he telephoned housekeeper Murray at 9 p.m. and asked her if Monroe was all right. Told that she was, Rudin said he dismissed the possibility of anything further being wrong. Rudin, who was the Greenson's brother-in-law, has remained silent on the case ever since.

There was no formal coroner's inquest into Monroe's death in 1962. Because the death appeared to be a suicide, the main investigative agency handling the case was the Los Angeles County coroner's office, then run by Dr. Theodore J. Curphey.

Rather than conduct a public inquest, Curphey decided to appoint a three-member team of mental health professionals to probe into Monroe's background. Their report, which concluded that her death was a probable suicide, was issued in 11 days.

Psychologist Norman Farberow, who was a member of the team, said he was not aware in 1962 that Lawford had talked on the phone to the despondent actress shortly before her death, although Los Angeles newspapers carried front-page stories on Lawford's reported final conversation at the time.

"Nobody mentioned, at least to me, that she had made a call to Lawford," Farberow recalled. "So that his involvement was something that was not pursued and was not known at that time." Farberow also said he was never told of Rudin.

Still unresolved is whether Robert Kennedy was in Los Angeles at the time of Monroe's death.

Visited Farm in Gilroy

Kennedy had attended a meeting of the American Bar Assn. in San Francisco that weekend and then, according to official reports, went with his wife and children to the home of friends on a farm in Gilroy, Calif.

Carroll and his investigator, Alan Tomich, found no evidence in 1982 that Kennedy was in Los Angeles that day in 1962.

Carroll, however, did reveal to The Times that, in 1982, Los Angeles Superior Court Commissioner John Dickie told him that he (Dickie) conducted a secret investigation in 1962 of Monroe's death for then-Chief Deputy Dist. Atty. Manley J. Bowler. Carroll said Dickie apparently found that Kennedy had been at the Beverly Hilton the day of her death. Dickie's report, if it exists, has not been found. Dickie refused to be interviewed, and Bowler is dead.

Former Mayor Sam Yorty recalled being told by former Police Chief William Parker that Kennedy was in town that weekend.

"Chief Parker told me that he knew Bobby Kennedy was at the Hilton Hotel the night she died and he (Kennedy) was supposed to be in Fresno," Yorty recalled. "I just remember we talked about it. I don't think there is any Police Department file on that. I think the chief kept the file separately. As mayor, I sent for it later when the chief died, and they didn't have it."

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