Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Journalist Dorothy Kilgallen On Marilyn Monroe


“If the woman described as Marilyn’s ‘housekeeper’ was really a housekeeper, why was her bedroom such a mess?  It was a small house and should have been easy to keep tidy … why was Marilyn’s door locked that night, when she didn’t usually lock it?  If she were just trying to get to sleep, and took the overdose of pills accidentally, why was the light on?  Usually people sleep better in the dark … Why did the first doctor [arriving at the scene] have to call the second doctor before calling the police?  Any doctor, even a psychiatrist, knows a dead person when he sees one, especially when rigor mortis has set in and there are marks of lividity on the surface of the face and body.  Why the consultation?  Why the big time gap in such a small town?  Mrs. Murray gets worried at about 3 a.m., and it’s almost 6 a.m. before the police get to the scene.”
Marilyn died 2 days after Kilgallen broke the news in her column that Monroe was sexually involved with one of the Kennedys.  There is speculation that the Kilgallen piece caused foul play in the death of Monroe.  Coincidentally, the causes of death for both Monroe and Kilgallen were identical:  a lethal combination of alcohol and barbituates.

Marilyn Monroe and Dorothy Kilgallen

As with the death of Marilyn Monroe, Kilgallen felt that the official story of JFK’s assassination in Dallas didn’t hold water, and wrote of how key witnesses had been intimidated. 

Oswald’s killer, Jack Ruby, had been a fan of What’s My Line? and was keen to be interviewed by Kilgallen.  Hers was the only private interview Ruby had.  As she interviewed more key figures, and made a clandestine trip to New Orleans, Kilgallen would excitedly say she was on the trail of “something big,” but in a short time, the excitement shifted as she began to confide that she feared for her life.  Then, she was found dead.

So my DVR is whirring and capturing the last What’s My Line? episodes of Dorothy’s life.  Soon to come is the episode where a cryptic announcement was made over the loudspeakers in the studio right before the show went on the air, referring to a little known aspect of Kilgallen’s personal life. 

She was so shaken that she missed her cue to sit down with the rest of the panel at the appropriate time. 

And then there’s her final episode, where she was originally dressed in a ballgown with flowers in her hair but she changed into a simple dress right before the show because she was going to meet someone afterwards, yet her hair still is in high-fashion with flowers woven into the coif. 

Then, a few hours after the closing credits, she was found dead:  propped up in a bed she never used in clothes she never wore.

If you’d like to read more, the magazine MIDWEST TODAY has a good article about the Kilgallen mystery.