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COLUMN ONE

New Chapter in the Mystery of Marilyn: Her Own Words?

August 05, 2005|Robert W. Welkos | Times Staff Writer

Her love for DiMaggio was undimmed. "I love him and always will," she says. "But Joe couldn't stay married to Marilyn Monroe, the famous movie star. Joe has an image in his stubborn Italian head of a traditional Italian wife. She would have to be faithful, do what he tells her, devote all of herself to him. Doctor, you know that's not me."

It was different with Miller. "Marrying him was my mistake, not his. He couldn't give me the attention, warmth and affection I need. It's not in his nature. Arthur never credited me with much intelligence. He couldn't share his intellectual life with me. As bed partners, we were so-so."

Of her one-night affair with Joan Crawford, she said: "Next time I saw Crawford, she wanted another round. I told her straight-out I didn't much enjoy doing it with a woman. After I turned her down, she became spiteful."

In the tapes, Monroe heaps praise on Kennedy, and there is no suggestion that the two were ever lovers. "This man is going to change our country," she says of JFK, adding, "He will transform America today like FDR did in the '30s."

As for the president's brother, Robert F. Kennedy, the U.S. attorney general at the time: "As you see, there is no room in my life for him. I guess I don't have the courage to face up to it and hurt him. I want someone else to tell him it's over. I tried to get the president to do it, but I couldn't reach him."

In the transcripts, Monroe says she needs Greenson's help in getting her housekeeper another job. "Doctor, I want you to help me get rid of Murray.... I can't flat out fire her. Next thing would be a book 'Secrets of Marilyn Monroe by Her Housekeeper.' She'd make a fortune spilling what she knows and she knows too damn much."

As he listened to Monroe's voice that day in 1962, Miner said, he became "very moved."

"You'd have to be without capacity for empathy or emotion" if you weren't moved, he said.

Miner, who collaborated with Dr. Seymour Pollack to create the USC Institute of Psychiatry, Law and Behavioral Science in 1963 and taught there over the years, said he would like to see a "re-autopsy" conducted to clear up medical questions that he noticed in the original.

"The autopsy clearly shows that the barbiturates -- of a massive amount -- that entered her body came in through the large intestine," he said. "How do we know that? We know that because there is no indication, in fact there is contraindication, that the capsules were swallowed."

He believes that had Monroe swallowed 30 or more capsules, "she would have absorbed enough of the barbiturates to kill her before it was all dissolved."

He also discounts the possibility that she was given a "hot shot" injection of the drugs since neither he nor Noguchi could find any sign of needle marks on her body. (Both the original autopsy report and the 1982 review came to the same conclusion.)

Miner had hoped to get Noguchi's support for another autopsy. Noguchi's attorney, Godfrey Isaac, said the former coroner was traveling in Asia and could not be reached for comment.

It is Miner's theory that the actress took or was given chloral hydrate to render her unconscious -- possibly in a soft drink -- and someone then dissolved Nembutal in water by breaking open 30 or more capsules and administered the lethal solution by enema.

He said that he and Noguchi noticed a discoloration of the large intestine in the original autopsy and that there is a possibility that if the body were exhumed, tissue samples could be taken to determine if she had been given an enema filled with enough drugs to be toxic.

Carroll said he had no objections to another autopsy and stressed that he had "no vested interest" in the outcome.

But he noted that in his review, he talked to an independent expert, Dr. Boyd G. Stephens, former chief medical examiner-coroner for the city and county of San Francisco, who said the amount of Nembutal in the liver was about twice as much as in the blood, suggesting that the person lived for "quite a period of time" after ingesting the drugs.

Carroll told The Times that if Monroe had an enema containing the drugs, it would have gotten into her system rapidly and "you wouldn't expect it to have that ratio in the liver."

The D.A.'s review concluded that "the cumulative evidence available to us fails to support any theory of criminal conduct relating to her death."

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