Officially, Marilyn Monroe died of suicide on August 5th, 1962. But in the last weeks of her life, the CIA, the FBI, the Mafia, labor union leader Jimmy Hoffa, and possibly 20th Century-Fox were all surveilling Marilyn Monroe’s house. At the 56th anniversary of her death, we take another look at the conspiracies surrounding it. Evidence was missing, no one can agree on a timeline, and Robert Kennedy himself lied about that night. Was Marilyn Monroe involved with the mafia, a communist spy, or an inconvenient mistress? Or was she a victim of mental illness who never got the help she needed?
With Molly Brandenburg & Carter Roy
About Conspiracy Theories
The truth is rarely the best story. And when it’s not the only story, the truth deserves another look. Every Wednesday, we tell the complicated stories behind the world’s most controversial events and possible cover-ups. Conspiracy? Maybe. Coincidence? Maybe. Complicated? Absolutely. Conspiracy Theories is part of the Parcast Network and is a Cutler Media Production. Ad-free archives of episodes six months or older are now available through Stitcher Premium.
Norma Jeane Mortenson adopted the name and persona of Marilyn Monroe when she began modelling as a teenager in Hollywood. She would become one of the most recognizable movie actresses of her time, but also have affairs with very famous and powerful men. When she was found dead of an apparent overdose, the coroner concluded it was suicide. Based on eyewitness testimony and autopsy analysis, it could have been murder. But if she was killed, who did it and why?
Diamonds are considered to be the rarest and most valuable gemstone. Is that really true? Or is making diamonds appear more valuable than they actually are and monopolizing the diamond trade the first step in consolidating power to form a New World Order?
Diamonds are considered one of the world’s most valuable gemstones. But what if their prices are high due to brilliant marketing and supply monopoly tactics, not because of their rarity? And if that’s the case, are diamonds just a run-of-the-mill gemstone?
The Freemasons are seen as a secretive and elusive fraternal organization. But with their secrecy comes questions and theories. Do their ubiquitous landmarks and symbols reflect a secret link to Devil Worshippers? Why do they only recruit powerful individuals? And do they use their charitable contributions to shield others from noticing their nefarious practices?
Officially established in the late 1300s, the Freemasons were initially an oversight committee for other stonemasons in Europe. Over the years, their requirements and mission changed. From Founding Fathers to various U.S. presidents, many of the country’s most famous and influential men belong to the secretive fraternal organization. Did these men join the Freemasons because of their power, or did they gain their power from being a Freemason?
We now know that sugar plays a large role in the risk of developing heart disease. But this wasn’t always the case. Did the government know that sugar was the culprit all along? Or did the sugar industry finance specious studies to blame heart disease on saturated fat?
In 1980, the federal government’s Dietary Guidelines recommended Americans restrict their saturated fat intake to reduce their risk of heart disease. Since then, America’s obesity rate - a risk factor for heart disease - has sky-rocketed. Did the government get it wrong about fat?
Who are the Men in Black? Are they are part of a shadow government designed to conceal alien activity on earth? Or are they part of the alien race, living among us on earth to learn our secrets. Or are they something else entirely?
The Men in Black are a secret organization that are believed to cover up UFO sightings and alien encounters. The government denies its existence, yet many citizens claimed to have encounter them. Are these people lonely souls looking for attention? Or is the government keeping a tight lid on one of the biggest conspiracies in U.S. history?
After World War II, the U.S. and Soviet Union raced to capture top German scientists in order to utilize the advanced technology the Nazis had used during the war. The U.S. called this Operation Paperclip. But was Operation Paperclip really organized by the U.S. government? Or was it organized by a larger, international group planning something more ominous?
Following WWII, a secret CIA mission was put in place to recruit Germany’s top scientific minds in an effort to help America’s space and defense program stay ahead of the Soviets during the Cold War. What is the legacy of these Nazis in America? Did the U.S. overlook war crimes for the sake of technological advancement?
Did the CIA create the crack epidemic by planting the drug in the inner cities? Was the War on Drugs actually a pretense to attack and weaken black communities? Why does the U.S. have the highest incarceration rate in the developed world? And are government-led conspiracies behind it all?
Over the past two decades, private prisons have increased exponentially to accommodate the rising incarceration rate. But many people wonder: Were the number of private prisons built as a response to the rising incarceration rate…or were they the cause of it?
The body of Chandra Levy was found over a year after her disappearance. After numerous missteps by investigators during the homicide investigation, it remains unsolved. Were the investigators covering for somebody? What could this D.C. intern have learned that would lead to her untimely demise?
Chandra Levy was a graduate student from the University of Southern California working at an internship in Washington D.C., when her life was tragically cut short in 2001. After details of Levy’s affair with California congressman Gary Condit surfaced, the press began asking questions about the mysterious details surrounding Levy’s disappearance and the flawed investigation that followed.
With more than 900 people dead, the Jonestown Massacre has sparked many theories over the past 40 years. Did the government have a hand in these deaths? Could the cult have been connected to the mysterious MK-Ultra program? And was Jim Jones murdered, or did he fake his own death?
At the command of Jim Jones, more than 900 followers of The Peoples Temple drank a beverage laced with cyanide in an act that Jones labeled “revolutionary suicide”. Jones himself was found dead from a shot to the head. But the details of this mass suicide doesn't quite line up. Was this truly a mass suicide, or was it a mass murder? And did Jim Jones fake his own death?
Kurt Cobain, the famed musician who influenced grunge music and voiced the emotions of thousands of people, was found dead at only 27 years old. Officially, he lost his battle with depression and drug addiction. But with several suspicious events surrounding his death, many have wondered for years if he was murdered… by his own wife.
Kurt Cobain’s fame as the lead singer and guitarist of Nirvana, and his tumultuous marriage to Courtney Love, thrust him into the spotlight. But Kurt felt misunderstood by the media, and his drug addiction brought trouble for the young musician. When he was found dead in his home on April 8, 1994, it looked like suicide. But do the mysterious circumstances surrounding his death point to murder?