Marilyn Monroe

"The beauty of the world has two edges, one of laughter,

one of anguish, cutting the heart asunder."

-- Virginia Woolf

Momo figured two could play the Kennedy’s game of cat and mouse. He continued to work with the CIA, this time to shadow Jack’s and Bobby’s every move. For their allegiance, the CIA would share in Momo’s gambling profits.

Official wiretaps evidenced that the Kennedy brothers had resolved to severe the embryonic cord with the mobsters whom patriarch Joe -- and they -- had relied on to get them where they were. Their first step had been to cut all social ties with anyone associated with the Outfit; even Frank Sinatra, Jack’s long-time friend, was no longer welcome at the White House.

Momo also heard Bobby on tape distinctly insisting to the FBI that "that dago Sam Giancana" be put away for life.

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Marilyn Monroe
(Magnum Photos)
Eager to strike back, Momo could not, unfortunately, use the powerhouse footage he had of Jack’s "indiscretions." The CIA vetoed this idea since the material had been obtained illegally and could backfire against their user. So, according to Chuck Giancana's oft-startling revelations in Double Cross, Momo found another way.

His object was still to destroy the Kennedy’s good-boy Roman Catholic image. (Bobby had just been named "Family Man of the Year" by a national magazine.) The trysts Momo had been having with movie star Marilyn Monroe had been cooling since he began seeing more and more of Phyllis McGuire. But, they had remained friends and he knew she was sharing her time with other men, including both the married Kennedy brothers. She had recently confessed to him that she had fallen in love with Bobby.

The book, Double Cross, theorizes that this confession sealed her doom.

Marilyn had grown up as Norma Jean Baker, passed like a rented automobile through a series of uncaring foster families. In looking for the love she had never experienced, she tried to find it the only way she knew, with her physical body. She kept telling herself man after man that he was the one who really loved her. Perhaps because Bobby was gentler, more sophisticated, better spoken than the other men she had known, men like Mooney terse with the rawness of the streets, Bobby may have come across to her as the golden cavalier whose affections were sincere.

Columnist Vernon Scott had written of Marilyn: "She is every man’s dream of the kind of woman he’d like to spend the rest of his life with on a deserted island." But, to Bobby -- like all the rest -- an occasional jaunt to that island was sufficient.

Through his CIA informants who had bugged Marilyn’s phone, Momo learned that Bobby was to be in California on August 4, 1962, and had arranged a rendezvous at Marilyn’s house for that evening. The plan that ensued was diabolical. Momo sent his two most-trusted hit men, "Needles" Gianola and "Mugsy" Tortorella, to case Marilyn’s house and, after Bobby departed, to make their move.  According to the theory put forth in the book, the executioners would kill the star and make her death look like suicide. Naturally, Momo figured, the Attorney General would be dragged into the case when police discovered the love letters from Bobby that Momo knew she kept; besides this, Marilyn’s housekeeper always answered the door when anyone visited and would be sure under police scrutiny to admit that Kennedy had been there moments before she died. Momo’s press friends were put on alert; they were ordered to make the most of the "tragic, unrequited love affair that sent poor Marilyn racing for the bottle of barbiturates".

August 4...waiting paid off. Bobby arrived at Marilyn’s Brentwood, mansion early evening, let in by the housekeeper. He left Marilyn around midnight. Waiting for her maid to retire, which was soon thereafter, the two killers stole into Marilyn’s bedroom. There, Chuck Giancana insists, they overcame her and inserted a Nembutal suppository into her anus. It was not the first time the device was used; it had eliminated other celebrities who had, when found dead, been written off as suicides. It was untraceable and the drug worked quickly, seeping its poison into the blood stream, appearing as if she had overdosed. Before they left the house, Gianola opened a bottle of pills, poured most of them into his pocket, and sprinkled a few beside her on the bed along with the empty bottle. The housekeeper discovered Marilyn’s corpse the following morning.

Momo envisioned the headlines: MARILYN MONROE FOUND DEAD; THE KENNEDYS IMPLICATED. But, he would be disappointed. When the news service splashed the news of the untimely death the following morning, the Kennedys pulled out all stops to censure investigation and keep newspaper reporters at bay. FBI agents, on Presidential instruction, removed anything accusatory from the Monroe home. When the coroner pronounced his hearing later in the day he expediently ruled, "Probable suicide". Oh...and the housekeeper said nothing.

1. Fondless Memories

2. Born in Hell

3. Killin' for Capone

4. Changing of the Guard

5. Moving Up

6. Eyeing the World

7. Kennedy Connection

8. Wayward Politics

9. Betrayal

10. Marilyn Monroe

11. Nov. 22, 1963

12. Downfall

13. To Die in Hell

14. Bibliography

15. The Author
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