UFOs, Area 51, and Assassinations: Marilyn Monroe’s diary of secrets may have led to her death

Mysteries

1954: American film star Marilyn Monroe (1926-1962). (Photo by Baron/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

MYSTERY WIRE — The death of iconic actress Marilyn Monroe nearly 60 years ago still generates questions and controversies. Was it an accidental overdose, a suicide, or a murder designed to keep her quiet?

Nick Redfern, a longtime investigator and author, thinks Monroe may have been silenced to protect the biggest secret of all. In his new book, “Diary of Secrets” Redfern makes the argument that Monroe’s death was linked not only to JFK, but also UFOs.

The death of actress Marilyn Monroe in 1962 shocked the world. Questions linger about her rumored relationships with the Kennedy brothers, John and Robert.

Friends of Monroe say the Kennedy’s may have shared pillow talk secrets with Monroe, tidbits about a secret base in the desert and the astounding materials stashed out there. “And then you’ve got the most controversial angle of all, namely, that JFK revealed to Marilyn that the US government had got its hands on a crashed UFO, and these strange little bodies that nobody really knew what to do about,” Redfern said during a recent interview.

“What we know for sure is that it was right after the date of the documents that Marilyn was found dead. So the inference here is that because Marilyn had been recklessly given access to all these secrets, essentially, for certain people in government, she had to go.”

Nick Redfern, Author “Diary of Secrets”

Redfern also investigates the ties between now declassified CIA and FBI documents, some of which are directly about Monroe, others appear to be connected.

One document Redfern writes about is “A Study of Assassination” written by the CIA. “… the document is designed to tell agents, how to murder someone with drugs, by throwing them off a building, etc, etc. And it looks like something tragic, but innocent,” Redfern explained. “One of the most fascinating parts of this document is a reference finding, if you need to kill someone, get them in a vulnerable situation, maybe ply them with alcohol and drugs, and make it look like a very tragic, sad suicide. And it almost mirrors the final hours of Marilyn herself. It’s very, very similar. It’s like looking in a mirror. And you read that it really is difficult not to believe that the documents and Marilyn’s death were part and parcel of one.”

Others close to Monroe also died under mysterious circumstances according to Redfern. Journalist Dorothy Kilgallen died mysteriously on November 8, 1965 a little more than a year after writing a series of articles about the assassination of JFK.

Kilgallen was found dead in her Manhattan townhouse on a bed in a room she had never slept in, according to Redfern. “And of course, she was also tied into the JFK assassination,” Redfern said. “She was looking into the Warren Commission. She was the first person to do an interview with Jack Ruby, the guy who shot and killed Lee Harvey Oswald. So you know, you’ve got all these threads going from UFOs to Dorothy Kilgallen, who knew Marilyn. Kilgallen was connected to the JFK assassination. And of course to the JFK assassination. But JFK reportedly gave some of his stories about UFOs and aliens to Marilyn. So you’ve really got like a circular situation with multiple different sources all coming together. And in some cases, fatal situations.”

Kilgallen’s death was ruled to have been caused by a deadly combination of alcohol and barbiturates. Monroe’s death, according to the toxicology report, showed that the cause of death was acute barbiturate poisoning.

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George Knapp
Nick Redfern, you are a prolific writer, an investigator looking into topics near and dear to my heart, paranormal phenomena, UFOs, cover ups, conspiracies, but the one story that really got under your skin that you’ve been pursuing for, I guess, decades now is the death of Marilyn Monroe and the different fingers that stem from her death. What is it? How is it that that particular story grabbed you and took you down this rabbit hole?

Nick Redfern
Well, I think more than anything else, George, really, it’s the emotive side of it. You know, we’re not just talking about UFOs and aliens and sightings in the sky. You know, we’re talking about an American icon whose life was snuffed out. And I always feel, you know, in a situation like this, a sinister, mysterious death, it really should be dealt with. And I felt, you know, the onus was on somebody to really look into it as deep as possible to try and put the facts, right, versus the lies straight.

George Knapp
She dies in August 1962. I don’t know if you were even alive, then. So were you. Were you around when she died?

Nick Redfern 
No, no, I hadn’t been born.

George Knapp 
So I mean, she was an icon, obviously a big star back then she is just as big today, you see her image everywhere? Were you a fan? Did you become a fan of her films and work as a result of jumping into this investigation?

Nick Redfern 
That’s a good question. I mean, you know, she was someone who was a very skilled actress. You know she was always portrayed as this sort of ditzy blonde, you know, which is actually very different from the reality of the situation. And if you look at some of her movies, you know, I mean, like, for example, Some Like It Hot, you know, which is like a classic, hysterically funny movie, you know, and then, but then she could sort of like, turn on a dime and do something, you know, really dramatic. And so yeah, I had a good appreciation, you know, of her, of her ability, you know, to actually sort of reel in the audience. And the more I got into the story of her death, the more and more to me, none of it kind of really made sense. Unless, of course, you are willing to sort of stretch things to be absolute. You know, the situation where you just would not believe that this could happen, and under normal circumstances.

George Knapp
So you’ve been down some pretty dark alleyways in pursuit of the truth here, and we’ll get into some of what you have uncovered. But to start with, her death. An overdose, we’re not exactly sure if it’s suicide or an accidental overdose. But what about the existing body of information? Not controversial, that you found intriguing, and that you thought maybe didn’t make sense? What do we know about her death on the record that is suspicious?

Nick Redfern  
Well, that’s a good question, because she died on August the fourth, 1962. Hollywood. And the big question is, did she kill herself? Was it a suicide? Was it sort of a call for help? And, and she overdid it and not really intending to kill herself? Or was it possibly some sort of a hit, you know, a direct hit to take her out of circulation? All three situations are controversial. When it comes to the angle of the final hours of Marilyn’s life, there are a number of mysteries that surround this particular situation. What we know for sure, is that in the hours leading to her death, she made a number of phone calls. We know from testimony from some of her staff, that you know, she was taking drugs on that night. Now, the big question is, was it a suicide or was it almost like an allowed suicide? That’s one of the the key theories the idea that she wasn’t sort of forcibly killed, but she was placed into death deliberately in the days or weeks prior to her death, that she was being deliberately pushed into sort of a mode of depression and anxiety to the point where she just could not stand this sort of psychological warfare anymore, and decided to kill herself. However, there are rumors also, of a mysterious situation with one of the doors being deliberately left open on her home, as if somebody was going to be allowed inside the building. We know there were discrepancies with clothing and bedding moved around on the bed at night. And also, you know, things like this, where you put it all together, and you have these snippets, if you like, of a mystery, and certainly suspicions. So for me, you put it together, and it doesn’t just sort of come together as just a sad situation.

George Knapp  
One of the things that you uncovered is an astonishing document. Prepared by the CIA, that essentially outlines how to kill somebody, how to commit an assassination. Tell us about that document, how you acquired it, and what’s in?

Nick Redfern 
Well, yeah, it’s important to know, George that this is not some kind of questionable document. It’s actually a document that surfaced under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act. And it’s called “A Study of Assassination.” And as incredible as it might sound, it’s actually a document (inaudible) CIA personnel. I could kill someone without actually making it look like a murder. In other words, it’s bizarre, the document is designed to tell agents, how to murder someone with drugs, by throwing them off a building, etc, etc. And it looks like something tragic. But innocent. One of the most fascinating parts of this document is a reference finding, if you need to kill someone, get them in a vulnerable situation, maybe ply them with alcohol and drugs, and make it look like a very tragic, sad suicide. And it almost mirrors the final hours of Marilyn herself. It’s very, very similar. It’s like looking in a mirror. And you read that it really is difficult not to believe that the documents and Marilyn’s death were part and parcel of one.

George Knapp
So you know, a lot of people have looked into the death, there have been books written, there have been TV specials and documentaries and things of that sort. One of the controversial figures in this topic, is a private investigator, who reportedly has written all this down, the different leads that he followed. You have been chasing after that part of the story for a long time. Who was this guy? Is there a document that can be verified? And what did he conclude? You know, we’re talking about the CIA as a method for assassinating people. Why do you think somebody want to murder Marilyn Monroe to presumably shut her up?

Nick Redfern 
Well, yeah, that’s a good question that really kind of gets to the crux of the story. Now, what we know for sure, is that the the guy who really kicked all this off was, was a man named Milo Speriglio. Speriglio from the 80s through the 90s, he wrote three books on Merlin’s death. And he was someone who was, I would say, had an obsession. I don’t mean that necessarily in a bad way. But he was someone who was really driven to find out what happened to Marilyn’s death. Now, the reason why Speriglio made so many sort of efforts and successful efforts to try and find out the truth was because number one, he was a skilled writer. And number two, he was a private detective. So he was someone who could really get into, you know, some of these mysterious stories. And as I said, he had written three books. And like a lot of authors, like me, you know, people come forward to you, and share information. Hey, you know, I’ve read your book, and I wanted to tell you, ABC XYZ, and one of the most fascinating things is that Speriglio, in the early 1990s, was given access to a very controversial document, purports to be a genuine CIA document, and it basically documents conversation between two people. Howard Rothberg, who was an interior designer in New York, and the other one, Dorothy Kilgallen, who was a very famous and well respected journalist in the 50s and the 1960s. And the document is essentially a collection of wiretap conversations between Rothberg and Kilgallen. Who, by the way, were both friends with Marilyn. And they also had connections to other people in Hollywood. And interestingly, also people within the intelligence community. And the document talks about Kilgallen. And the two of them talking about information that they’ve been given, not just from Maryiln, but Marilyn’s friends. And reportedly, there were rumors flying around the CIA, that the Kennedy brothers, Robert and John F. Kennedy, as a means to kind of entice Marilyn into the bedroom, so to speak, they went down a very dangerous path, namely, the two candidates decided to get Marilyn in the bedroom. Why don’t we reveal to her some really interesting government secrets. And according to this document, the Kennedy’s told Marilyn about plans to invade Cuba, to assassinate Fidel Castro, even to work alongside the mafia if needed. And then you’ve got the most controversial angle of all, namely, that JFK revealed to Marilyn that the US government had got its hands on a crashed UFO, and these strange little bodies that nobody really knew what to do about this, there was a lot of fear and worry in the government. And the story had to be hidden. Unfortunately, of course, the candidates had blown the whistle while editing. And from there, what we know for sure, is that it was right after the date of the document that Marilyn was found dead. So the inference here is that because Marilyn has been recklessly given access to all these secrets, essentially, for certain people in government, she had to go.

George Knapp   
Since John Kennedy’s assassination. And since his brother’s assassination 1968, we’ve learned a great deal about the Kennedys and their proclivities back in those days, is there objective evidence to suggest that one or both of them did have an affair with Marilyn Monroe? In which case, it’s possible that pillow talk secrets might have been spilled?

Nick Redfern 
Oh, yeah, I mean, if you go to the FBI website, which is called the vault, vault.gov. You can now download all the FBI’s files on Marilyn. I’ve found about 200 pages now. And we know that prior to that a significant number of documents were either shredded, burned, or just taken away, we just don’t know. But what we do now for sure, if you go to that website and read the files that have been declassified, under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act, what you will find is a large body of data collected by J. Edgar Hoover, who was the director of the FBI at the time, and those documents throughout that file, talk about Robert Kennedy, having clandestine meetings with Marilyn, hotels, motels, parties, things like this. And less so certainly with JFK, but there is reason to believe that they’d had sort of liaisons on at least two occasions. But Robbie, you know, it sort of sees far more than, you know, what we’d expect from the President or the Attorney General.

George Knapp 
I remember that video of the film footage of Marilyn Monroe singing Happy Birthday, Mr. President, and John Kennedy certainly looked like they had some kind of a relationship going on in there. How do you size up the idea that JFK may have known something about a crashed saucer, alien bodies, and maybe even visited Area 51, a story that we have pursued by the way here too?

Nick Redfern   
Yeah. Well, you know, I mean, one of the intriguing things that I find about this document, you know, some people have said, well, it’s just too far out. The idea that not only would Marilyn be murdered, but she’ll be murdered for what she knew about aliens and Roswell and Area 51. However, if you read that document, it actually doesn’t read  like a regular document. That would be a hoax. I mean, for example, over the years, I’ve investigated a number of hoaxes. And one of the things I’ve found with a hoax, is that the people who create them, they typically, almost always overplay the story as a means so the reader knows exactly what’s going on. If you read that document, it actually doesn’t even mention the words, aliens or extraterrestrials. It talks about dead bodies. It doesn’t talk about flying saucers or UFOs. It talks about a spacecraft. Now, when you’ve got the issue of dead bodies and spacecraft, that’s actually leaving it in the mind of the reader in a very sort of gray situation, rather than a clear situation. Hoaxers don’t usually do that, they really, usually put the whole thing out there. And there can be no, you know, sort of denial of the story. I mean, one things I talk about in the book, is the fact that you can actually talk about it’s been sort of like an early Russian spaceflight before, pre Gagarin that nobody knew about, and maybe what the US recovered, the dead bodies, as I mentioned, the document, maybe they were dead cosmonauts and the craft that was found was a Soviet aircraft. So, now I’m not sure if that is the case. But the point is, the document is put together in a way where it isn’t over sensationalized and that’s something you very, hardly ever see in a hoax situation.

George Knapp
The question is, was Marilyn on the verge of spilling some secrets about UFOs, the Kennedys and cover ups things of that sort? You do have some indications that she was blabbing to some friends.

Nick Redfern
Oh, there’s no doubt about that. She had what she used to call her diary of secrets. Now, diary of secrets, it was actually encouraged by Joe DiMaggio, one of her husbands. He said to Marilyn, just out of the blue one day, you know, you’re doing all this work out in Hollywood, meeting all these people. You know, why don’t you put it together like a journal in a diary. You know, like a lot of people do, this is what I did today. I met this actress, I met that person, went to this party, that kind of thing. However, Marilyn, I mentioned this earlier, this kind of angle of the ditzy blonde, which actually was nothing like the real thing. And just as a little aside, Marilyn in 1955, applied to have a visa to take her to Russia, wanted to know what the Soviet Union was really like. That was when J Edgar Hoover opened a file on her, which isn’t surprising. However, more and more she developed this interesting world stage politics and so on. What she did was to change this diary from being, Dear diary, who I met today. And it became sort of a diary that detailed all the things that the Kennedy brothers told her and other people in politics as well. And we know for people who were friends that she had this diary, and it contains information about how she knew that Castro was going to be assassinated, that the mafia and the CIA were going to work hand-in-hand so to speak. And of course, a diary like that would be, you know, incredibly dangerous for the person who held it. What we know for sure, is that when she died, and her body was taken to the morgue, a number of Merlin’s possessions were taken to the morgue as well. They were held for two or three days. And a number of the staff said that they saw this thick diary of Marilyns in the morgue for a number of days, then maybe the day after, or the day after that nobody’s entirely sure. But a team of guys in suits come along, and the diary is taken away. And there are rumors that there could have been more diaries, you know, it would make sense over the over the case of like, four or five years, you know, she’s going to need more than one diary. And so the possibility is that yes, one we know for sure, vanished in the morgue or from the morgue. But there is this intriguing possibility there could be other diaries somewhere, sitting around in the darkness in somebody’s attic, you know, some old CIA guy, maybe he’s got one of the journals sitting away, as I said in the attic, you know just waiting to blow the whole thing wide open really.

George Knapp   
Well, that’s the holy grail. That’s your holy grail you’ve been chasing all these years, as you travel around working on different books and going to conferences and speaking, you continue to collect information about this, right?

Nick Redfern   
Well, yeah, I mean, my view has always been if you’re gonna investigate something, whether it’s UFOs, aliens, conspiracies, I feel, the best thing to do is to take a journalistic approach, no matter how controversial that story might be. And, you know, I mean, there’s multiple different ways to get data, I think the best way is to literally go knocking on the doors of the, that old guy, who may be, knows something, and if he doesn’t let you in, well you try and find a way in, you know, and you find a way to get them to talk. And what happens from there, you know, you’ve got piece one, piece two, and then the  jigsaw starts to get bigger and bigger, and better and better. But I always tell people, if you’re going to do something like this, you really have to have the guts and the ability to knock on that door, and make sure it stays open, that it doesn’t, you know, doesn’t have the door pushed on you. And that’s what you have to do. You just gotta keep pushing, pushing, and pushing again.

George Knapp  
Tell us about the book, and the title, how people can find it. And also, your decision to tell this from a first person. You know, I’ve read a lot of your books, most of them in fact, and I don’t remember it being a first person type of account. But it’s really a fascinating story of how you pursue this down various rabbit holes and dark alleys.

Nick Redfern 
Well, the book is called “Diary of Secrets” and the subtitle is “UFO conspiracies, and the mysterious death of Marilyn Monroe.” Now, if you know if you’re going to write a book like this, you can write it into this, from two perspectives. One being you just tell the story. However, the story itself, the investigation in itself, sort of dictated that I had to get out there and interview these elderly people who, sort of 50 years after some of them are still alive, kind of ready to talk, but also a little bit, kind of shy, if you like, or concerned, frightened even. But in saying that, you know, just the issue of road trips, I kind of felt that, well, the reason why I called it the Diary of Secrets was because it reflected Marilyn’s life and the last days and weeks and months of a year of her life. But in saying that, it’s also sort of not in my order as well, in the sense that the diary approach is also what I’m taking, you know, it’s kind of this ironic situation. Marilyn, you know, put all this information together in her diary. And to allow me to follow on I had to put my own diary together and put it all together and then present it kind of like a journal type situation I felt that was the best way to sell the reader could sort of follow me along whether it’s on the plane, you know, in the truck or the hired car from the airport, you know, to enough to find the old guy

George Knapp 
Well, there are certainly parts of this that have proven to be true. The story that Marilyn was given access to some secrets by the Kennedy brothers. Things that turned out to be real. The planned assassination of Castro, the working with the mob, the planned invasion of Cuba, those things were real. If they in fact told her about UFOs, crashed saucers, spacecraft, whatever, my gosh, that could be quite a revelation. If the CIA document, the wiretaps, turns out to be real, or if you can find one volume of her diary.

Nick Redfern   
Well, yeah, you’re right. When you talk about, you know, trying to validate all of this, finding the evidence, one of the most fascinating things that I found, again, using the Freedom of Information Act, I thought, well, you know, one of the guys or the main guy who’s been dealing with this and looking into it was Milo Speriglio, who died 2010. A journalist, private detective, you know, very skilled guy. And I thought to myself, I thought, well, if the CIA was really concerned about these documents, you would think they would open a file on him. So what did I do? Well, I filed a request with the CIA to see if there was anything on Speriglio. Lo and behold, I actually got about a 40 page file, all about the Speriglio. Now, much of this document was really interesting, because what it was, CIA going back to the early 1980s, I’d collected just about every American newspaper that Speriglio had ever mentioned, and I’m not exaggerating. And in every article, where somebody in the CIA clipped this newspaper article, photocopied it, put it in the Speriglio file. What I found, when the files reached me, every time in newspapers, it said diary of secrets or secret diary, somebody in the CIA had underlined it with black marker, where somebody had mentioned Castro, Bay of Pigs, things like that, all of that have been marked with the black marker. Now, the document itself, the Speriglio document, talks about the very same things. And these go back to the early 1980s that the CIA filed and the Speriglio file, the document didn’t surface until the 1990s. So there’s no way somebody could have sort of fabricated that Speriglio document. Knowing that it would parallel 10 years later these CIA documents.

George Knapp   
There are similarities to the JFK assassination theories, there are some spillover some of the characters who were involved in the Marilyn Monroe story and the JFK assassination also spill over into the UFO topic, one of them being Dorothy Kilgallen. Her death was also suspicious, and it has raised a lot of questions over the years, right?

Nick Redfern 
Yeah. Well, Dorothy Kilgallen, as I said earlier, a very respected journalist, did a lot of TV shows and fun shows as well. But primarily, she was an investigative journalist. And to the extent that I was able to get her FBI file, not a CIA file, which I got a CIA file, but it was just a small one. Mostly, it was still classified. But the FBI did de-classify to me their file on Kilgallen, which was about 250 pages covering the 1930s to the 60s. In 1955, May ’55, Marilyn went on vacation with her husband at the time, to the UK, and met with a number of sort of important figures within the UK government and the military. One of them. We know it’s a man named Lord Mountbatten, who was connected with Rothberg. And the story is that Kilgallen was approached by Lord Mountbatten, and basically said, I respect your research and your writing, and I’d like to share the story with you. That story that Mountbatten shared with Kilgallen was that the UK and the US were working on this highly classified deal program, because they thought the UK and the US reportedly recovered, crashed UFOs the strange little bodies and Kilgalen actually, when she got back home, she wrote a lengthy article talking about all of this and she never really forgot about that UFO angle. And when there was an intriguing UFO story, she would write it up. But like with Marilyn, for Kilgallen, for Dorothy Kilgallen,  It came to, sort of a young age, death at a young age. She was only in her 50s when she was found dead in her bed. Now, some people said well, anyone could die, dead in their bed. But what’s intriguing is the fact that she was found in one particular bed in her house. She had never ever slept in that particular bed at any time. It was sort of like you know, any visitor could have that bed, that kind of situation. So one of the theories is that somebody got in the house, gave her an overdose of drugs and then put her in the spare room not realizing that was actually not really her room. Now that itself is an intriguing aspect, you know, she’s going to murder herself. Why should she put herself into another bedroom to the one that she’d slept in previous decades of her life. And of course, she was also tied into the JFK assassination. She was looking into the Warren Commission. She was the first person to do an interview with Jack Ruby, the guy who shot and killed Lee Harvey Oswald. So you know, you’ve got all these threads going from UFOs to Dorothy Kilgallen, who knew Marilyn. Kilgallen was connected to the JFK assassination. And of course to the JFK assassination. But JFK reportedly gave some of his stories about UFOs and aliens to Marilyn. So you’ve really got like a circular situation with multiple different sources all coming together. And in some cases, fatal situations.

George Knapp
Another name that pops up, Guy Banister. I’m not going to give that part of it away. Guy Banister, former FBI agent, people who have looked into the JFK assassination will remember that name. The name came up, Ed Asner played Guy Banister in the Oliver Stone film. He investigated UFOs, or reported on UFOs for the FBI, and was right there in the thick of things for Oswald in New Orleans and all that stuff. But I’ll save that, people need to read the book. You take it in a lot of different directions. It’s a terrific read, Nick, I know that you’re going to continue working on it, right?

Nick Redfern 
Oh, yeah. Well, strangely enough, already had a few leads. And people who knew more information about some of the people in the book. And that’s actually one of the things that I hope, you know, will work with the book that as I said earlier, you know that if you write a book, people sort of want to speak to you if they know something. And so my view is just to keep pushing and keep looking for more and more data. And take this story just about as far as I’m able to.

George Knapp 
So if somebody sees this interview and wants to share information with you, where do they contact?

Nick Redfern 
Well, I have a blog called, World of Whatever. So just Google Nick Redfern, World of Whatever. You can reach me at Twitter, Nick Redfern UFO, click on Facebook, you’ll soon see me just sort of waving out of the internet.

George Knapp
Someday we’ll talk in person about JFK’s visit to the Nevada Test Site. Because he did come to the test site to take a tour, there was a missing hour, where he got on a helicopter and flew away. A lot of folks have speculated that he used that time to go to Area 51 to see the goodies. So it’s a cool angle that we can talk about in person sometime. But Nick, thanks very much. The book is great. I hope people check it out. And we’ll be in touch. Great.

Nick Redfern  
Thanks a lot. 

RELATED: Nick Redfern’s World of Whatever

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