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John Simkin

Marilyn Monroe and Robert Kennedy

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It is usually assumed that Robert Kennedy did have an affair with Marilyn Monroe. However, William Sullivan, who was Deputy Director of the FBI under Hoover claims that this was not the case. This is what he had to say about this and other matters it in his autobiography: The Bureau: My Thirty Years in Hoover's FBI (1979):

Although Hoover was desperately trying to catch Bobby Kennedy red-handed at anything, he never did. Kennedy was almost a Puritan. We used to watch him at parties, where he would order one glass of scotch and still be sipping from the same glass two hours later. The stories about Bobby Kennedy and Marilyn Monroe were just stories. The original story was invented by a so-called journalist, a right-wing zealot who had a history of spinning wild yarns. It spread like wildfire, of course, and J. Edgar Hoover was right there, gleefully fanning the flames.

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It is usually assumed that Robert Kennedy did have an affair with Marilyn Monroe. However, William Sullivan, who was Deputy Director of the FBI under Hoover claims that this was not the case. This is what he had to say about this and other matters it in his autobiography: The Bureau: My Thirty Years in Hoover's FBI (1979):

<span style='color:purple'>Although Hoover was desperately trying to catch Bobby Kennedy red-handed at anything, he never did. Kennedy was almost a Puritan. We used to watch him at parties, where he would order one glass of scotch and still be sipping from the same glass two hours later. The stories about Bobby Kennedy and Marilyn Monroe were just stories. The original story was invented by a so-called journalist, a right-wing zealot who had a history of spinning wild yarns. It spread like wildfire, of course, and J. Edgar Hoover was right there, gleefully fanning the flames.

</span>

John,

an interesting document find:

FBI File Links Kennedy to Monroe's Death

Key quote: Despite a disclaimer that it could not be sourced or authenticated, it was considered important enough to immediately circulate to the FBI's five most senior officers, including director J. Edgar Hoover's right-hand man, Clyde Tolson.

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My letter to the Editor, SMH:

I'm not quite sure why Philippe Moro would take the FBI file on RFK and Marilyn Monroe (How Bobby Betrayed Marilyn, SMH 17/03/07) at all seriously, but I would like to respond to some of the statements in the article:

Despite thousands of books, films, reports and stories in all media, these tragic events remain a source of unanswered questions for pop culture and for serious scholars.

I can assure Mr Moro that those unanswered questions are being answered. Part of the problem has not just been the lack of investigative journalism in these cases, but the media's dismissal of conspiracy as being at the lunatic fringe in its stead.

Newcomb was rewarded for her co-operation by being put on the federal payroll … of the Motion Pictures Activities Division of the US Information Service.

Pat Newcomb was highly qualified for that position. Why would she become involved in a plot to kill anyone - let alone someone like Monroe for the sake of a job she could easily have obtained on merit?

The whole eyepopping account ends: "During the period of time that Robert F. Kennedy was having his sex affair with Marilyn Monroe, on one occasion a sex party was conducted at which several other persons were present.

This is what former Hoover deputy, William Sullivan said in his autobiography, The Bureau: My Thirty Years in Hoover's FBI "Although Hoover was desperately trying to catch Bobby Kennedy red-handed at anything, he never did. Kennedy was almost a Puritan. We used to watch him at parties, where he would order one glass of scotch and still be sipping from the same glass two hours later. The stories about Bobby Kennedy and Marilyn Monroe were just stories. The original story was invented by a so-called journalist, a right-wing zealot who had a history of spinning wild yarns. It spread like wildfire, of course, and J. Edgar Hoover was right there, gleefully fanning the flames."

What does one make of all this? I have no dog in this fight. The FBI document is undoubtedly genuine. Its scandalous, terrible contents are released to the general public with no editorial comment from the FBI.

If Mr Moro was aware of how the FBI filed reports, he'd know that they do not "editorialise". They merely report what they see or are told.

In addition, eavesdropping or bugging was widely used by the FBI and cleared by Robert Kennedy, so it is reasonable to assume Monroe's phone was tapped.

It was cleared by Kennedy on a case by case basis, and was rarely approved. Her phone was allegedly tapped by a private investigator named Fred Otash. Otash was the source for this however, and his credibility is approximately zero.

Were the media and others just spoon-fed bits of this narrative in an attempt to discredit the Kennedys or did they come across evidence themselves that lends this account credibility?

That is precisely what Hoover did -- through Walter Winchell. As Monroe's file shows, it is full of clippings from Winchell's column. This information mostly came from Hoover. Winchell would then publish it, giving the FBI a source they could actually use in the file (rather than having to admit it was rumour, innuendo, or had been obtained through illegal means). Spoon feeding the media such tripe happens still, unfortunately.

Is it possible that the FBI concocted this account or parts of it internally in 1964 to discredit RFK?

It is more likely exactly what it claims to be: a rumour obtained from un-known source by an un-named formor FBI Special Agent. Hoover collected these rumours like others collect stamps. Mr Moro puts far too much weight on the level of classification and dissemination the document went through. No one ever got demoted, much less sacked in Hoover's Bureau for over-classifying anything.

If Mr Moro is truly interested in helping, he may want to investigate recent claims that three CIA agents have been possitively identified in film taken at the Ambassador Hotel at the time of RFK's assassination, or examine the recently discovered and incontestable deep government ties surrounding the "defection" of Lee Harvey Oswald, or how Oswald got into radar operation with a medical record showing a partial hearing loss through recurring Otitis Media, or even lend support to the Coalition on Political Assassination (COPA) and it's lobbying for congressional committees to investigate the non-compliance of certain agencies with the JFK Act.

Edited by Greg Parker

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