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Marilyn Monroe Death Documents Reveal Peter Lawford’s Anguish

September 24, 1985

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Police reports on the 1962 suicide of Marilyn Monroe show the late Peter Lawford, believed to have been the last person to talk to the actress, regretted not going to her home after they spoke by phone.

Police Chief Daryl Gates released an inch-thick file of investigative documents Monday in response to ″numerous public requests for access to the reports related to her death.″

The documents included telephone records, autopsy results and police interviews with people who talked to the 36-year-old Miss Monroe in her final days, including Lawford, who died Dec. 24.

Many of the pages were stamped ″Confidential,″ and some information was blacked out.

Lawford, who spoke with Miss Monroe just before she died Aug. 4, 1962, told detectives that he often talked to her when she was using drugs and her voice sounded about the same when he last talked to her.

″For some reason, however, he had a ‘gut feeling’ that something was wrong,″ the report said. ″He states he still blames himself for not going to her home himself.″

The actor told detectives reinvestigating the case after a 1975 magazine article about Miss Monroe’s death that most of what was written about her final days was ″pure fantasy,″ the document said.

The article titled ″Who Killed Marilyn Monroe?″ in the October 1975 issue of Oui magazine suggested that the actress was murdered and that police and the coroner’s office participated in a coverup.

Lawford told investigators the actress was depressed when they spoke.

″She sounded despondent over her loss of contract with 20th Century-Fox Studios and some other personal matters,″ the report quoted Lawford as saying. ″Lawford tried to convince her to forget about her problems and join him and his wife, Pat, for dinner that evening. She replied that she would consider joining them.″

When he called her a second time to find out why she had not arrived, Lawford said, ″Miss Monroe was still very despondent and her manner of speech was slurred,″ according to the documents.

″She stated she was tired and would not be coming. Her voice became less and less audible and Lawford began to yell at her in an attempt to revive her.″

The detectives said Lawford described it ″as a verbal slap in the face.″

″Then she stated, ’Say goodbye to Pat, say goodbye to Jack (President John F. Kennedy) and say goodbye to yourself, because you’re a nice guy,″ the report said. The phone then went dead.

Gates said the documents provided no new information or insight into the death, but he predicted that they would fuel more speculation.

″There are no surprises whatsoever; it was a very straight suicide,″ he said during a news conference. ″There were 45 Nembutals, I believe, barbiturates. There was nothing unusual about it. She was under a doctor’s care and had been distressed. The evidence showed she was stressed, and she took her own life.″

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