The DD Group: An Online Investigation into the Death of Marilyn Monroe

If you are interested in the circumstances surrounding Marilyn's death this is the book for you. It does not contain any photos but instead is an online discussion that goes through every detail of Marilyn's last day and the theories that have come forward over the years.

Author David Marshall
Publisher iUniverse
Cover Type Softcover
Dimensions 9.0 x 6.0 inches
Publish Date March 16, 2005
ISBN 0595345204
Signed by author
Number of Pages 522


This is NOT a review. Of course, I could really take advantage of the situation and tell you that this book is so essential that it is a MUST for any MM fan but then Iíd have to face you all every dayÖ So instead of a review, what Iíd like to do is to just fill you in on the book, why it was created and basically what sort of things you will find inside.

 When I joined Forever Marilyn in September 2002, it was a whole new world to me. This was the first online group I had belonged to and it was a thrill to find a whole group of people who shared my opinion of Marilyn Monroe. Then after about a month in the group, I brought up the topic of her death. And that set off a firestorm of messages with what seemed like every member sending in their opinions on what took place at the end of a small cul-de-sac in Brentwood all those years before. In fact, the topic of Marilynís passing generated such a huge volume of email that it soon became apparent to Crystal and Jill that a new and separate group should be created to focus entirely on the topic.

 That was the birth of ìFMís Death Discussion Groupî, or ìThe DD Groupî as it soon became known as. While the group had a membership of 90 to 100 members, there were about six individuals who posted on a daily basis and carried the conversation. This core group spent every day from October 2002 to October 2003 discussing the case, sharing research, uncovering new information and slowly working its way through the myriad of conflicting witness statements and author opinions.

 From the very beginning, the information coming into the group and the well-written and intelligent posts impressed me. Enough so that I began to save many of the messages and slowly built up a history in our Files Section of what topics had been covered and how our discussion progressed. By October 2003 as the discussion wound down, it dawned on me that we had covered so much ground and had put to rest so many falsehoods, that it was a shame that others who would be interested in the topic but had missed the initial discussion couldnít read about it. So I thought, why not-- why not create a book from all the files I had saved, all the information we had covered and tie it altogether with a sort of on-going narration? That was the genus of what became ìThe DD Groupî.

 When the group was initially formed it was apparent that if we were to succeed, the discussion would require some form of structure. Without some kind of framework to hold the discussion in place and keep it moving forward, I was afraid that we would be forever going off track and never accomplishing much of anything. The structure I arrived at was not only the tool that allowed us to keep moving forward but reflected the need for the group to begin with.

 The need for the group was due to the fact that nearly every book covering Marilynís life, (and especially when it came to the events of the summer of 9162), present not only conflicting accounts of what took place but completely contradictory statements of matters as simple as what and where Marilyn ate the night before her death. For example:

 Some books have it that Marilyn and Pat ate alone at La Scala on August 3, 1962. Others have it that Marilyn and Pat were joined by Peter Lawford. Still others have it that it was a private dinner with Marilyn and Robert Kennedy alone. Then the owner of La Scala is quoted in some accounts that he brought dinner from the restaurant directly to Marilynís home. Or take something as simple as breakfast that Saturday morning. If you compare the various books, Marilyn either had a single glass of grapefruit juice, ate an omelet prepared by Mrs. Murray, had hamburgers for lunch or ate absolutely nothing at all. I mean, if we can not decide what the woman had for breakfast, how can we possibly expect to figure out how she died?

 As to the cause of death itself, the same confusion comes up. Suicide? Accidental overdose? Suffocated with a pillow? Hot shot? Jimmy Hoffa? RFK? CIA? Medical error? Killed to bring about the downfall of JFK? Killed under instructions by the President? Or was it really true that sheíd been silenced because she had learned via pillow talk with JFK that there actually were space aliens being held at Area 51?

 The list of conflicting accounts covers every minute of that last day. Did Jeanne Carmen really call her that night? Did Jose Bolanos actually hear an altercation at her door while he waited on the phone? Or forget about who called her or who saw her last-- when was the death actually discovered? 10:00? Midnight? 3:30? The list of misinformation and contrasting reports just go on and on and on, leaving every person interested in the demise of one of the greatest figures of the 20th century more confused than when they were before they started reading.

 So the group began its discussion with the simple structure of comparing all of the written accounts of Marilynís last day one time segment at a time. Beginning at 8:00 Saturday morning, August 4, 1962 and ending at approximately 10:00 Sunday morning with the completion of the autopsy, the group would review each time period and then discuss what likely took place. Our criteria was not only logic but the veracity of the documentation, checking the sources listed in the books as well as studying any personal or political agendas of the various authors or witnesses. As for materials used, the group was able to utilize not only the well known biographies but obscure material from such authors as William Fowler, (who discusses his relationship with Robert Slatzer), medical and psychology textbooks, vintage magazine and newspaper accounts, Kennedy biographies, (both pro and anti-Kennedy), unseen police reports and handwritten notes taken by police investigators when interviewing such key figures as Eunice Murray. When it came time to write the book I found that we had a bibliography covering more than 75 books and documentaries. In addition to the events leading up to August 4, 1962, the book also covers the aftermath-- Marilynís funeral and the post-Marilyn lives of key figures such as Dr. Greenson, Mrs. Murray and Pat Newcomb.

 What ìThe DD Group: An Online Investigation into the Death of Marilyn Monroeî will hopefully provide the reader is enough material to not only feel that they are a part of the discussion as it happened but enough information to reach their own conclusions. By slowly dissecting all of the available material, by weeding through the conflicting accounts, by studying each witness statement carefully, I really do believe that the book is the closest we will ever come, (save an official investigation with sworn testimony), to understanding the events of August 4, 1962. Rather than ìtellî you what happened, (because really, just like all of the others who have written abut these events, I was not there), I allow the information to be discussed and sifted through. The closest I can describe the experience as being would be as if an official inquiry had taken place and the reader, just like the members of the group, are jurors. We sit back and listen to the presented testimony and come to our own conclusions.

 And just like a jury, while some members might believe one witness and others another, the group did not come to a united decision. But the book, just like the group, provides all of the information, works through every hour of that last day, (and many events of that last summer that led up to that final weekend), so that by the end the reader should be able to sit back and come to an educated, documented opinion of what brought about the death of a woman whose memory deserves no less.

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