As 50 years have come and gone since Marilyn Monroe’s death, and more people are willing to share what they knew about the tragedy that tugged at the hearts of Americans. Marilyn Monroe, dead at the age of 36, was discovered on Sunday morning, Aug 5th, apparently from an overdose. Many people who were close to her were in shock. Those who knew her best, just couldn’t believe that she would take her own life. Besides, as we have all read since that day, many factors just negate that she did. Little things like; no glass by her bedside; the drugs in her system were too much to have been ingested; she was busy proofing photo’s of herself; she was expecting her new furniture from Mexico; she was back in good with the studio’s; and so much more.
Marilyn was always plagued with ups and downs. Today, her mood swings could probably be easily managed with meds. However, there are some who would argue that they are what made her who she was and that those fears that tormented her, made her a better actress. We don’t know about that, but one thing we do believe is that she did not commit suicide. Marilyn was more intelligent than most knew at the time; she had an entry into every social circle from mobsters to politicians; and she was so easy to talk to, too easy some would say. It is these reasons that could have landed Marilyn on someones ‘list’ and they would stop at nothing to silence her. Fear is a huge motivator, even if that fear is unfounded.
There have been numerous accounts of people who were there with her that weekend, who knew the truth. Some of these people are still alive today. We think that it’s because of just how much time has passed that some of these people are coming forward and sharing what they knew about the events of that fateful weekend.
Lawrence Schiller, famous photographer, is one such person. He had been working on the assignment of his dreams, capturing Hollywood’s sexiest star for Look magazine in 1960. The chemistry with Marilyn Monroe seemed promising, and their professional relationship deepened when he photographed her on the set of her final, never finished movie, Something’s Got to Give. Marilyn would work with Schiller up until the day before her death. He had even been at her house on that Saturday, talking about some of her photo’s (her famous nudes that Playboy would wait until January of 1964 before publishing out of respect.)
That morning, when Schiller pulled up to her house in Brentwood, he found Marilyn was in her front yard. Her face unmade and wearing slacks. Since he showed up unexpectedly, Marilyn was not as friendly as usual. He handed her a large envelope with a few prints and more foreign magazines with cover shots of her. As he was leaving for the weekend, he wanted to discuss the Playboy deal. She said that she would look things over and let him know. She told him that it was all about the nudity and was that all she was good for? She said she’d like to show that she could get publicity without using her ass or getting fired from a picture. She told him that she hadn’t made up her mind about letting Playboy have the photos. He left her that day with the confidence that they would speak again on Monday and that she would have made up her mind. But for Marilyn, Monday never came.
On early Sunday morning, Schiller got a call from Billy Woodfield breaking the news to him. Schiller was in shock. How could this be? Marilyn was moody yes, but suicidal? He rushed back to Hollywood and headed to Marilyn’s house in Brentwood. He arrived to see Eunice Murray, her housekeeper, leaving; and a man who he thought was Marilyn’s lawyer taking her dog from the house. Though the place was covered with police, no one was checking badges or credentials, so he did what came natural to him. Schiller took his camera out and started shooting. It was later that same day, returning to his studio, that he found an oversized envelope, hand delivered and pushed through the mail slot. It was the very same envelope that he had left with Marilyn on Saturday that contained the photo’s for her to either approve or not for Playboy. In it, in Marilyn’s own hand, she had written on the back of one photos “Send this to Playboy, they might like it.”
The world may never know exactly what did happen to Marilyn Monroe, but one thing is for sure. She was a woman who captured the nation when she was alive and over the last 50 years since her passing has captured the world. She is an icon that will live on long after we are gone that’s for sure. She lived a very public life filled with rumors amid bits of truth; many personal achievements amid failures; and many dangerous liaisons amid few true friends.