Did Bobby Kennedy murder Marilyn Monroe with poison?

Shocking theory claims an ultra-secret LAPD file names JFK’s brother as the killer – and a Hollywood actor watched it all unfold

By Douglas Thompson For The Daily Mail

Published: 17:00 EDT, 2 July 2021

The claims are hard to believe… but the source is so solid and credible that you will find this amazing story hard to dismiss. A Los Angeles policeman says an ultra-secret Police Department file names JFK’s brother Bobby Kennedy as the killer of Marilyn Monroe — and actor Peter Lawford confessed to the cop that he watched the murder unfold… 

When Marilyn Monroe shrugged off her ermine wrap and handed it to actor Peter Lawford, live on television at Madison Square Garden, she created a moment of pure theatrical Viagra. The 35-year-old star was revealed at the microphone in a skin-tight, rhinestone encrusted gown that made her appear almost naked. It drew a gasp of shocked appreciation from the audience at an early birthday celebration for President John F. Kennedy, in May 1962. The custom-made, flesh-coloured design by Jean Louis had more than 2,500 hand-stitched crystals, and was so snug that Marilyn had to be sewn into it. She sang ‘Happy Birthday Mr President’ in a voice aching with eroticism. One journalist described it as ‘making love to the President in the direct view of 40 million Americans’.

During a party at the home of movie executive Arthur Krim, American actress Marilyn Monroe stands between Robert Kennedy (left) and John F. Kennedy in New York,

During a party at the home of movie executive Arthur Krim, American actress Marilyn Monroe stands between Robert Kennedy (left) and John F. Kennedy in New York,

JFK’s birthday surprise: Peter Lawford introduces Monroe — before her wrap fell away to reveal her skin-tight dress. One journalist described it as ‘making love to the President in the direct view of 40 million Americans’.+5

JFK’s birthday surprise: Peter Lawford introduces Monroe — before her wrap fell away to reveal her skin-tight dress. One journalist described it as ‘making love to the President in the direct view of 40 million Americans’. 

At the post-gala party, in a New York penthouse suite provided by a Hollywood studio boss, she danced five times with JFK’s brother Bobby, the U.S. Attorney-General. But she left with President Kennedy and went via a basement corridor and a private elevator to his suite at the next-door Carlyle Hotel. Next day, she returned to California. Lawford, who was married to the President’s sister Pat, telephoned Marilyn later that week from his home in the Kennedy compound, Hyannis Port. He had a brutal message: she was being cut off. She would never see the President again and she must never try to contact him. Less than three months later, she would be dead. An inquest ruled that she probably killed herself, but for nearly 60 years many people have suspected she was murdered. But now, fomer LA policeman Mike Rothmiller has decided to reveal what he claims is the extraordinary truth: that secret documents he found in LAPD archives show that Marilyn Monroe was assassinated to protect the Kennedy clan. More sensational still, it was Bobby Kennedy himself who gave Marilyn the poisoned drink that killed her — while Peter Lawford stood and watched it happen. When Rothmiller put the facts to Lawford, 20 years later, the actor broke down and confessed. But the story has been suppressed for 40 years, because the cover-up went far beyond the Kennedys.

The cop stayed silent for decades, fearing for his life as long as senior police officers from the era were still alive and able to threaten him and his family. Forty years on, he is still nervous about revealing what he knows, and he still takes precautions, still keeps his findings and documentation in safe places. But now, and with the blessing of his wife Nancy, he has decidied it is time the world knows what he has discovered. He says with confidence: ‘If I presented my evidence in any court of law, I’d get a conviction.’ Rothmiller’s source material is as sensational as his claims. It calls on secret L.A. police files as well as eye witness testimony from a Beverly Hills traffic policeman. The story, he believes, nearly cost him his own life. On a hot night in August 1982 — just weeks, he says, after Lawford told him what really happened — the former policeman was the target of a mob-style assassination bid. A gunman on a motorcycle pulled up alongside his unmarked car and opened fire with a semi-automatic pistol. Rothmiller was hit in the back and side, and suffered spinal damage which he barely survived. Four years earlier, aged 27, he was the youngest detective in the city’s Organised Crime Intelligence Division [OCID]. With six years’ experience on the force, he was assigned to desk duties in the department’s information trove nicknamed Fort Davis — a bomb-proof labyrinth of filing cabinets in a downtown building with no windows. Tens of thousands of files were held there: rumour, fact, supposition and gossip on everyone from crime bosses to politicians, actors to rock stars, newspaper reporters to television presenters. Much of the information was unrelated to any crimes — it was simply background on anyone who had ever crossed the path of the OCID. Their sole job was to collect potentially embarrassing intelligence that might later be used as leverage in criminal investigations.

Intrigued, Rothmiller began to browse the files of famous names. Discovering the filing system code, Rothmiller opened the ‘K’ cabinet and plucked out Jack Kennedy’s folder. This, he saw, was cross-referenced with Marilyn’s file as well as many others, including mob bosses. There were 40 or 50 linked cards, each referencing dozens of bulging files. Following the threads led him to singer and film star Frank Sinatra, and other members of the Rat Pack, such as Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jnr. Some were marked Cfs, for Confidential Files. Officially, these papers didn’t exist. Where the files are today, even Rothmiller does not know. OCID was merged with the L.A. police vice division in 1997, and Fort Davis was replaced. Rothmiller could not make photocopies. His method was to make notes where possible, and to write up his discoveries as soon as he could. In one confidential file, he found a copy of a document marked ‘Marilyn Monroe’s diary’. Its existence had long been rumoured. Marilyn made no secret of the fact she kept a diary, her ‘little red book’. But as far as showbiz historians knew, it was never found after her death. According to Rothmiller, the truth was different. The LAPD had a copy — and probably the original too. Rothmiller turned to the final entries. On August 3, 1962, the day before she died, Marilyn wrote: ‘Peter said Robert will come tomorrow. I don’t know if he will.’ Peter was Lawford, her go-between with the Kennedys. Robert was Bobby, JFK’s brother.

Fomer LA policeman Mike Rothmiller has decided to reveal what he claims is the extraordinary truth: that secret documents he found in LAPD archives show that Marilyn Monroe was assassinated to protect the Kennedy clan. (Pictured, John F Kennedy, Robert Kennedy, Teddy Kennedy in 1960)

Fomer LA policeman Mike Rothmiller has decided to reveal what he claims is the extraordinary truth: that secret documents he found in LAPD archives show that Marilyn Monroe was assassinated to protect the Kennedy clan. (Pictured, John F Kennedy, Robert Kennedy, Teddy Kennedy in 1960)

Police taking away the remains of American actress Marilyn Monroe found dead at home on August 5, 1962 in Los Angeles

Police taking away the remains of American actress Marilyn Monroe found dead at home on August 5, 1962 in Los Angeles

Leafing through the pages, Rothmiller saw Marilyn regarded Bobby Kennedy as something much more than a casual boyfriend. He was married with seven children, and was named America’s Father of the Year in 1962, but the star appeared to believe that he was prepared to leave his wife, Ethel, and marry her. ‘Bobby is gentle,’ she wrote. ‘He listens to me. He’s nicer than John… Bobby says he loves me and wants to marry me. I love him. John hasn’t called. Bobby called.’ A week before her death, Marilyn made an ominous entry in her diary: ‘Frank invited me to the lodge. He said it will be fun. He said never to mention Sam at the lodge. He’s Mafia.’ Frank was Sinatra, Sam was Giancana — head of the Chicago mob. The next entry was confused: ‘Frank, Peter and others were there. Frank said I can’t keep my fucking mouth shut. He told me to get out. I don’t know why he’s treating me this way. What happened to me? I was drunk. I don’t remember. Did I have sex?’ In the days after that, her diary entries were angry: ‘They are not calling back. Bob and John used me. I told Peter they’re ignoring me. I’m not going to stand for that. I’m going to tell everyone about us.’ And, after a phone call to actor and occasional lover Jose Bolanos: ‘I told Jose I’m going to tell the world about them. They used me. I’m not a whore. Jose said don’t tell anyone about this. It’s dangerous.’ Rothmiller scoured the archive for clues. He uncovered rumours that Marilyn had an abortion in mid-July 1962, on Bobby Kennedy’s orders. But the precise sequence of events that ended in her death was still unclear.

What the policeman did know was that Bobby Kennedy was far from the mild-tempered, bookish politician and doting father that he seemed to the world. Among the chorus girls and prostitutes regularly summoned to Lawford’s house for drunken orgies, the Attorney-General was known as a ‘groper’. He also had a short fuse and a violent streak. At college, he hit another student with a beer bottle, leaving him with a head wound that needed stitches. And after another fight, when one friend made a sarcastic remark about the Kennedy family, a fellow student recalled: ‘Bobby would have killed him if we hadn’t pulled him off. We had to pry Kennedy’s fingers off his neck.’ All these disjointed scraps might never have been knitted together, if one Saturday in 1982, on his day off, Rothmiller had not paid a chance visit to Hugh Hefner’s Playboy Mansion in Holmby Hills, L.A. A visit to the mansion was something of a busman’s holiday for Rothmiller; it was his job to gather intelligence on the lives of celebrities, sports figures, politicans, the wealthy and Mafia figures. He was taking his wife, Nancy and two of their friends on a tour because he wanted to impress them. They toured the house, the pool and grotto, the koi ponds and the private zoo. A security director invited them to see a Matisse canvas in the main house. Next to the painting was a cloakroom, with a TV set blaring. Rothmiller glanced inside and recognised Peter Lawford, slumped in front of the screen. He had so many things to ask Lawford; now fate had provided him with a chance encounter with the last known living person to see Marilyn and, as he knew from the OCID files, Robert Kennedy, that fatal evening.

The actor seemed very drunk, out of it, so seizing the opportunity, the detective slipped his business card into Lawford’s shirt pocket, with the words ‘Call me’ written on the back. Rothmiller already knew that Robert Kennedy had been in Los Angeles on the day Monroe died, a fact that had been denied for many years by the LAPD. He knew there had been a cover up by the LAPD. But of exactly what, and how? A week later, Lawford called, wary and paranoid. He seemed convinced that Rothmiller was with the CIA. They arranged to meet at a park off Sunset Boulevard the following Saturday. Rothmiller said he was investigating the death of Marilyn, and reassured the actor that he was not wearing a ‘wire’ or recording device. He wrote up the interview as soon as he could, from memory. At first, Lawford gave him the official version, the story he had been telling for 20 years — how the actress called him on the day she died, sounding woozy and low. She asked him to say goodbye to the President for her — ‘and say goodbye to yourself because you’re a nice guy’. Lawford claimed he called the emergency services. When they arrived at her home in Brentwood, west L.A., she was already dead. ‘That’s not what happened,’ Rothmiller retorted. And when Lawford blustered, he added that he knew the truth… because the LAPD had bugged his home. The bluff worked. Lawford opened up, revealing every detail of how she died — starting with the horrific events at Sinatra’s lodge party.

The lodge was part of a casino resort owned by Sinatra and the mob, on the border of Nevada and California, at Lake Tahoe. Marilyn flew there for the last weekend in July, on the singer’s private jet. Lawford was present but kept his distance, he said, following a row with Sinatra. He saw the singer plying Marilyn with alcohol and guessed what was going to happen. She was carried, semi-conscious, into a back room where she was raped by Giancana. Then she was pawed and abused by a group of men and women. Pictures were taken for potential blackmail material. Some featured her with prostitutes. When Marilyn woke up, Sinatra bawled her out in public, warning her to say nothing about her affairs with the Kennedys. Then she was left to sleep off her ordeal, and sent home the following day. But threats, sexual violence and blackmail would not silence Marilyn Monroe. They only made her more angry. She told anyone who would listen that she was going to tell the truth about the Kennedys. The day before she died, an interview appeared in Life magazine, in which she vowed she did not care if her career ended: ‘Fame will go by, and so long, I’ve had you, fame.’ According to Lawford, Bobby Kennedy decided to pay Marilyn a visit himself. On Saturday August 4, 1962 he flew to LA, where Lawford met him. He phoned the actress from Lawford’s beach house in Santa Monica and the two men drove to her home. When Kennedy ordered her to hand over her diary, Marilyn lost her temper and started waving a kitchen knife. Lawford placated her and steered Kennedy out of the house.

But they returned in the evening, when Marilyn seemed hazy – under the influence of drink or drugs, though not intoxicated. Once again, the scene quickly became heated. ‘What do I want?’ the actress yelled at Kennedy. ‘What do I want? I don’t want to be treated like a fucking whore and ignored!’ Kennedy, his blood rising, shook his fist in her face. She slapped it away. Seizing her wrists, he swore in her face. She struggled free and slapped him. While Kennedy searched the house for Marilyn’s diary, Lawford sat with her on the sofa in the living room, trying to calm her. The row simmered and erupted repeatedly, as the Attorney-General upended drawers in search of the red book and Marilyn screamed at him to leave. He kept threatening her, alternately warning her to ‘shut your mouth’ and promising to pay her off. Eventually, Kennedy went into the kitchen and fraught calm descended. Lawford left Marilyn’s side and went to plead with his friend to leave, before neighbours called the police.

Kennedy was stirring a glass of water with a spoon. He appeared to be pouring something into it. Lawford asked what he was doing. ‘Nothing!’ snapped Kennedy. Marilyn was weeping with her head in her hands when the two men went back into the living room. ‘Drink this, you’ll feel better,’ Kennedy told her. Assuming the water was dosed with a sedative, Lawford encouraged her to drink it. She took a sip, and remarked that it tasted unpleasant. Kennedy urged her to finish it. Marilyn drained the glass and lay back. Now that she was quiet, both men searched the whole house, but did not find the diary. When they went back to the living room, Marilyn had not moved. She was leaning back with her head tilted backward and appeared to be sleeping. Kennedy shook her shoulder until a groggy and obviously drugged Marilyn stirred. Her voice was a whisper, slurred and unintelligible. Kennedy said her name, but she seemed to pass out and didn’t respond. Lawford asked Kennedy, ‘What did you give her?’ Kennedy stared at her, then turned to Lawford but didn’t answer. Now she was showing no signs of life. Lawford shook her but her complexion was turning waxen. ‘She’s not breathing,’ he said. ‘What do we do?’ ‘Leave her,’ Kennedy said. They went to the door, and were confronted by two men. Lawford thought at first they were neighbours, then realised they were plain-clothes detectives or secret service agents.

For a moment, Lawford thought his career and Bobby Kennedy’s were over. But the politician nodded briefly to the men, who pushed past them into the house. ‘Who are they?’ Lawford demanded as they hurried back to the car. Kennedy didn’t reply. He got into the back of the Lincoln Continental and demanded to be taken to the airport. Lawford was in shock. He knew Marilyn was not merely ‘out of it’. She was dead. His brain spinning and tumbling with fear, he stopped thinking clearly. He had to drive Bobby Kennedy to the airport but found himself confused as to what direction to go. The bizarre experience of an L.A. traffic cop confirms this sequence of events and explains what happened next. Detective Lynn Franklin saw a Lincoln Continental doing 70mph, twice the legal limit, heading east on the city’s Olympic Boulevard, at 12.10am on Sunday August 5. When he pulled the car over, he recognised Lawford and asked: ‘Pete, what the hell do you think you’re doing?’ ‘I’m trying to get the Attorney-General to the airport,’ retorted the actor. Franklin shone his flashlight into the back of the car. He saw Kennedy: ‘He didn’t look happy,’ he remembered. The cop pointed out they were heading in the wrong direction. ‘I told you, stupid!’ yelled the man in the back. Detective Franklin — who was one of Beverley Hills Police Department’s most decorated officers — recounted this in his 1999 book The Beverly Hills Murder File. Rothmiller, of course, did not need Franklin’s evidence to know that Robert Kennedy had been in town that day, as it was all a matter of OCID record. What did intrigue him was that in the years after that incident, Franklin (who has since died) survived two attempts on his life.

For the rest of his life, Bobby Kennedy denied he had been in LA on the night Marilyn Monroe died. At 9am on Sunday August 5, he was not far away however — 310 miles, to be precise, at Sunday mass in a church near San Francisco with his wife and four of their children. Back at the house in Brentwood, an LAPD search team found the diary, and disposed of the glass that Kennedy gave Marilyn. Her naked body was posed for photographs, both with and without a telephone in her hand. The print that was released to the press showed her face down, holding the receiver, though post mortem results showed that her corpse lay on its back for some time immediately after death. The post mortem also showed that sedatives, nembutal and chloral hydrate, were found in her body. But Rothmiller believes that the drink Bobby Kennedy gave her contained a military grade lethal poison, probably supplied to Bobby by the CIA — a substance the toxicology available at the time was too primitive to trace. Peter Lawford died, an alcoholic wreck, in 1984. Rothmiller has never doubted the truth of his confession. ‘During my years of interviewing victims and interrogating suspects,’ he says, ‘I had only seen this type of response a few times. It was clear he had been carrying the burden of guilt for many years and, in all likelihood, this guilt had destroyed his career and, sadly, him as a human being. ‘But now he appeared comforted and serene, having released the horrible burden he’d been forced to carry.’ Adapted from Bombshell: The Night Bobby Kennedy Killed Marilyn Monroe by Mike Rothmiller and Douglas Thompson, published by Ad Lib on July 8 at £8.99. © Mike Rothmiller and Douglas Thompson 2021


Marilyn Monroe was poisoned by JFK’s bro Bobby who gave her drinks spiked with drugs, claims ex-LAPD cop

  • Mike Ridley
  • 0:03, 4 Jul 2021
  • Updated: 2:08, 4 Jul 2021

MARILYN Monroe was poisoned by US President John Kennedy’s BROTHER Bobby – who gave her drinks spiked with drugs, claims an ex-LAPD cop.

In a sensational new book, former detective Mike Rothmiller reveals evidence that Bobby Kennedy killed blonde bombshell Marilyn was hidden in the Los Angeles Police Department archives for six decades.

The blonde bombshell tragically passed away on August 5, 1962
The blonde bombshell tragically passed away on August 5, 1962Credit: Getty – Contributor
Robert Kennedy (left) huddles with his brother, Senator John F. Kennedy
Robert Kennedy (left) huddles with his brother, Senator John F. KennedyCredit: Getty – Contributor
Detective Sgt Mike Rothmiller, who alleged that Bobby Kennedy killed Marilyn Monroe
Detective Sgt Mike Rothmiller, who alleged that Bobby Kennedy killed Marilyn Monroe

For six years, Rothmiller served in the LA police force’s shadowy Organised Crime Intelligence Division and uncovered its darkest secrets.

In an exclusive first interview he tells the Sun Online how a chance encounter at Hugh Hefner’s Playboy Mansion led to confirmation that Robert Kennedy – who was US Attorney General, the country’s highest ranking law officer – POISONED Marilyn at her California home in August 1962.

It’s the astonishing story of how Kennedy allegedly killed Monroe – the world’s most famous actress – to silence her from revealing her sexual affairs with President Kennedy and his brother Robert.

Rothmiller’s revelations are told in ‘Bombshell: The Night Bobby Kennedy Killed Marilyn Monroe’ to be published on Thursday, July 8.

Talking to the Sun Online Detective Rothmiller alleges:

  • Despite decades of denials, Robert Kennedy DID visit Marilyn’s Los Angeles home to warn her to ‘shut up’ about her affairs with him and Jack Kennedy.
  • They had a fight and Bobby Kennedy searched the house to find her diary.
  • Kennedy then plied her with a drugged drink and she was dead by the time he left the house.
  • Officers from LAPD’s Intelligence division DID cover up the crime, making Marilyn’s murder look like suicide.
  • LA cops stole her diary, photo-copied its dynamite contents detailing her affairs with both Kennedys.
There have been several conspiracy theories that her death was a murder
There have been several conspiracy theories that her death was a murderCredit: The LIFE Picture Collection via
The US Senator, Bobby Kennedy, was gunned down
The US Senator, Bobby Kennedy, was gunned downCredit: CSU Archive
John was inaugurated on January 20, 1961, and was assassinated on November 22, 1963
John was inaugurated on January 20, 1961, and was assassinated on November 22, 1963Credit: The LIFE Picture Collection via

From his home in Arizona, Mike Rothmiller, told The Sun how he first discovered secret police dossiers on Marilyn Monroe’s death in the LAPD Intelligence archive in 1978.

In those files, Detective Rothmiller also uncovered copies of Monroe’s diary in which she wrote down her intimate thoughts and the times she had sex with the Kennedy brothers.

He says: “When I went into that unit I had no idea what was in there, nobody in the police department does except the guys who work there and the Chief of Police.

“Since 1932, detectives – who were not allowed to make any arrests – compiled hundreds of thousands of files.

“Those reports could be one paragraph or 1,000 pages.

“I was curious and started coming across famous names.

“I thought this was interesting. Why are they in files? Why was the President in a file in the Organised Crime unit?

“So I would go and find the reports and I would just start reading them.

“There were files on three Kennedys – the President, the Attorney General and their brother Edward.

“Those files were linked to others, just like a huge spider’s web.

Marilyn Monroe was an American actress, comedienne, singer, and model
Marilyn Monroe was an American actress, comedienne, singer, and modelCredit: Getty

“I found Marilyn Monroe’s name linked to them.

“If you see something about a President or any major entertainer you are going to pull that file and you are going to want to read it.”

Those files revealed how LAPD had Marilyn under surveillance – installing listening bugs at her house in Fifth Helena Drive, Brentwood, and tapping her telephone.

OCID also kept secret files on Marilyn’s friend and neighbour, British-born actor Peter Lawford, star of the original Oceans Eleven, who was the Kennedys’ brother-in-law.

Deaths of Marilyn Monroe, JFK and Bobby Kennedy

Marilyn Monroe died in 1962. The Hollywood legend was just 36-years-old.

There have been several conspiracy theories that her death was a murder, but it was officially ruled as a drug overdose after empty bottle of sleeping pills were found by her bed.

She dazzled the world as one of the biggest sex symbols of the 1950s and her legacy still lives on today.

US President John F. Kennedy was shot and killed in 1963 in an assassination which shocked the world.

Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas, as he travelled in a motorcade through Dealey Plaza.

Shortly after, Lee Harvey Oswald, a 24-year-old self-proclaimed Marxist, was arrested in a nearby cinema after police hunted a killer of one of their fellow officers.

He denied shooting anybody, claiming to reporters that he was a “patsy”.

Later Oswald was accused of shooting the President dead with his $21 mail-order rifle from a window of the sixth floor of a nearby school textbook warehouse.

He was later killed by Jack Ruby, who later died in jail, in 1967.

US Presidential hopeful Senator Robert ‘Bobby’ Kennedy was shot and killed by a lone gunman five years after his brother John was also assassinated.

He was gunned down in the kitchen of the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles in 1968.

Bobby was shot three times by Palestinian-born Sirhan Bishara Sirhan and died the following day after failing to regain consciousness.

Rothmiller remembers: “Over a period of a month I read the intelligence dossiers on Marilyn and on the Kennedys, especially surveillance reports of when Jack and Bobby were in town.

“Their reports showed Robert Kennedy and Peter Lawford were under surveillance by the LAPD the day Marilyn died.

“Like everybody else I thought Bobby Kennedy wasn’t in Los Angeles that day and yet the reports were showing that he was.

“And there were photographs attached to the reports in the main file of Lawford and RFK.

“It started to click what had really gone on. I was 90 per cent convinced that what was said officially about her death was not true.

“Working in intelligence, we had access to the Playboy Mansion and could take people there.

“It was better known than the White House and Hugh Hefner allowed us to do it.

Bobby was shot three times by Palestinian-born Sirhan Bishara Sirhan
Bobby was shot three times by Palestinian-born Sirhan Bishara SirhanCredit: Hulton Archive – Getty
JFK's time in office was dominated by America’s Cold War tensions with the Soviet Union
JFK’s time in office was dominated by America’s Cold War tensions with the Soviet UnionCredit: AP

“Over the years I took intelligence officers from various countries who wished to see women running around there in bikinis and naked, but it was always very, very quiet and the only bunnies that were around were actual rabbits that ran around the grounds.

“In 1982 I set up a tour for my buddy, his girlfriend and my wife.

“I walked into this little room and here’s this security guy watching TV. He looked familiar but I couldn’t place him.

“Then he looked at me. It was a very haggard and scruffy Peter Lawford.

“I’m not sure if it was alcohol or drugs or a combination but he was pretty well out of it.

“And he is just staring at this black and while TV in front of him and so I said ‘hello’ to him and he just kind of nodded and I put one of my business cards in to his shirt pocket.

“About three days later, I received a call in the office from a Mr Lawford.

“He’d obviously sobered up, found my card, saw it was Organised Crime Intelligence and thought ‘what the hell is this?’

“I think he called out of curiosity and maybe some fear too.

“During our conversation he asked me a few times if I was with the CIA. Why would he be thinking that or even asking that?

She became one of the world's most enduring iconic figures
She became one of the world’s most enduring iconic figuresCredit: Michael Ochs Archives – Getty

“I told him I wanted to talk to him as soon as possible about some things that happened in the past but I didn’t tell him what it was.

“I set up a meeting immediately in a park in Los Angeles.

“I went up there, waited for him, waited and waited and I thought he was going to be a no-show and then I saw him, slowly walking through the park looking around and I went out and met him.

“We took a seat on a bench. He was very cautious.

“I told him about the Playboy Mansion and again he wondered if I was with the CIA. I said ‘no, no, not the CIA’.

“I told him I wanted to hear his story about the night that Marilyn died.

“He just went with the scripted version that LAPD helped him with way back then, which everybody had heard.

“So I said, ‘I don’t believe that’. Then I started laying it out.

“I said ‘Peter, I have seen the surveillance photos of you and Robert that day. I know Marilyn’s house was bugged and that your phones were tapped’.

Marilyn is remembered for her winsome embodiment of the Hollywood sex symbol and her tragic personal and professional struggles
Marilyn is remembered for her winsome embodiment of the Hollywood sex symbol and her tragic personal and professional strugglesCredit: Alamy

“He started getting visibly nervous. So I said, ‘don’t tell me this line of bulls**t when I know differently because I have read the transcript of what you were talking about. I said, ‘I know Bobby was there’.

“I just started hammering him with details. We had been on the bench for about 30 minutes when finally he got p***ed off and he stood up.

“I thought he was going to leave.

“At that stage the only thing I could do was move it from an interview to a hostile interrogation, even though I couldn’t handcuff him or arrest him for anything. He wasn’t a prime suspect.

“I stood up face-to-face and just laid it out what could happen because he was talking to me.

“There were people who would not be happy with him talking to an Intelligence guy about this.

“And that set some wheels spinning in his head. What those wheels were I don’t know but it was very apparent that I’d got to him.

“He got very nervous and then he sat down almost like he was getting ready to cry.

“Finally, he just said, ‘what do you want to know?’

Her life and death are still the subjects of much controversy
Her life and death are still the subjects of much controversyCredit: Alamy

“At that stage I knew he had crossed over. Something I’d said broke his resistance.

“He started to open up about the heavy burden he’d been carrying for 20 years.

“I’m not a psychologist but carrying that burden for so long pushed him into drugs and alcohol. I think it ruined him.

“Had he ever disclosed it to anybody before then? Probably not.

“That’s why it was so difficult for him. Maybe there’s a priest somewhere he confessed to who kept it quiet but I don’t think so.

“Certainly he wouldn’t have discussed it with his friends or his wife or girlfriends because that’s not what people do when they are keeping huge secrets that could come back and harm them.

“I was taking him back to that dark place in his mind and now he couldn’t ignore it and he just let it out.

“When he was telling what happened, I was thinking ‘my god, what am I actually hearing here?'”

Sitting on the bench in Beverly Hills Park, Lawford explained that in the days leading up to Marilyn’s death, Jack and Bobby Kennedy refused to return her phone calls.

Marilyn threatened to go public about her affairs with the most powerful men in the world.

If she wasn’t brought under control, the Presidency was in danger.

On August 4, 1962, Bobby secretly travelled from San Francisco to southern California by private aircraft.

Lawford picked him up at the airport and twice drove him to Marilyn’s home.

On their second visit, that fateful Saturday evening, Marilyn, alone in the house, answered the door and almost immediately the situation became heated when she accused Bobby of treating her like a whore.

Kennedy slammed her to the floor, screaming profanities and grabbing her flailing arms by the wrists.

Lawford didn’t remember the exact words but recalled Kennedy screaming something to the effect of “You’d better shut your mouth.”

Marilyn struggled free of his grip and slapped him, enraging Kennedy to the point where Lawford believed Bobby was about to strike her.

Marilyn Monroe took Hollywood by storm
Marilyn Monroe took Hollywood by stormCredit: Getty – Contributor

Peter grabbed Kennedy from behind, pulled him away and helped Marilyn to her feet.

Hysterical, she sat on the sofa while Bobby stormed out of the room and began searching through cabinets and drawers in the other rooms – looking for Marilyn’s diary and any other items linking the sexy star to the Kennedys.

Later, Lawford found Bobby in the kitchen, putting something into a glass of water.

Kennedy told Marilyn: “Drink this, you’ll feel better.”

At first she refused but, with Lawford’s coaxing, she took a drink and immediately remarked on the unpleasant taste.

Lawford said Kennedy told her: “Finish it. Hurry up.’

Marilyn drank it while they searched the other rooms. When they returned to the living room, Marilyn hadn’t moved from the sofa.

She was leaning back with her head tilted backward. Her voice was a whisper, slurred and completely unintelligible.

She mumbled a couple more unintelligible words. She didn’t appear to be breathing and her complexion was waxen.

The star's legacy still lives on today
The star’s legacy still lives on todayCredit: Getty – Contributor

Mike Rothmiller believes the clear liquid Kennedy gave Marilyn contained a top-secret drug invented by the CIA.

Close to tears, Lawford told Rothmiller: “Bobby grabbed my arm and said, ‘Leave her’. He pulled me toward the front door.”

With Kennedy standing behind him, Lawford opened the door to be confronted by two men who he assumed they were detectives or CIA agents.

For a moment he thought his life and the world of the Kennedy Camelot was crashing to an end.

Kennedy grabbed Lawford’s arm and as they passed the men, Kennedy only glanced at them and continued. No words were spoken.

“But Marilyn!” Lawford protested. He looked back, saw the men enter Marilyn’s home and close the door.

Bobby ordered Lawford to take him to the airport, while the LAPD Intelligence men covered up Kennedy’s crime and made Marilyn’s death appear like suicide, which is what the world would later be told.

Lawford sat in silence as a tear ran down his cheek.

To console him, Rothmiller rubbed his shoulder and asked: “When you left Marilyn, did you believe she was dead?”

Rothmiller remembers: “He began to cry and nodded, yes. Then, in almost a whisper, he said, ‘They didn’t need to do this.’

“I believed Lawford. I saw his pain. ‘Did you know why there was a delay in calling the police after you left her?’

“He shrugged, shook his head and softly said, ‘I’m not sure’. He paused and added, ‘I heard it was to give him enough time to fly to San Francisco’.’’

The actress had an illustrious career and a string of men
The actress had an illustrious career and a string of menCredit: Michael Ochs Archives – Getty

“Was the delay to establish his alibi?’ He simply nodded. Yes.

“As Lawford ended his story, it was even more apparent that telling it had taken a heavy toll.

“He was emotionally and physically drained. His trembling hands wiped away the tears trickling down his cheeks.”

After they parted, Rothmiller returned to his car pulled out a legal jotter and wrote three pages of notes of their conversation, which he has held in a safe for nearly 40 years.

Peter Lawford, who was married to the Kennedy’s younger sister, Pat, died in 1984 – two years after confessing to Mike Rothmiller.

So why is the ex-LAPD cop telling this story now?

Rothmiller, who is now 70, says: “After I left the LAPD I went into private industry, which doesn’t like its senior executive attracting media interest. I am now retired.

“Also, if I’d told this story earlier, I don’t think anybody would have accepted it because the Kennedys were untouchable.

“Today we know much more about them and the things they got up to.

“It is a part of history that has to be known. The truth has to be out there and history needs to be corrected even just for Marilyn’s memory.”


IN the LAPD Intelligence archives, Mike Rothmiller found around 70 faded Xerox copies of pages from Marilyn Monroe’s diary, which Peter Lawford claimed Bobby Kennedy was desperate to find.

The diary contained entries for 1962, but not all of the pages were dated.

Some of those entries – including details of her sexual relations with President John F. Kennedy, as well as Robert Kennedy, and the information they told her during intimate moments – would have destroyed the President and the Attorney General.

Marilyn wrote: “The President and I made love last night for the first time. He is wonderful and kind. Today he sent me two dozen red roses and chocolates!”

Another entry read: “John called, he wants to see me again. He’ll have me picked up and taken to the hotel.”

She noted that President Kennedy suffered pain. At least once she mentioned helping him remove a back brace before they had sex.

Marilyn was disappointed that JFK engaged in minimum physical foreplay – if any – before they had sex, and it was over.

She wrote: “We just kiss and have sex. I wish it was more but it’s not… John just lies there, and I get on top of him to make love.”

Another, printed in capitals and underlined several times says: “JOHN IS A SELFISH LOVER!”

Robert Kennedy and Marilyn first had sex while Bobby was staying in Los Angeles with the Lawfords.

The entry reads: “Bobby and I made love at Peter’s. He wants to see me again. This is our secret.”

In another entry, Marilyn confided: “Bobby is gentle. He listens to me. He’s nicer than John. Bobby said he loves me and wants to marry me. I love him.”

But when the brothers refused to take her calls, Monroe jotted down: “They are not calling back. Bob and John used me.

“They used me… I told Peter they’re ignoring me… I’m not going to stand for that. I’m going to tell everyone about us.”

Ominously, the last thing Marilyn wrote in her diary was: “Peter said Robert will come tomorrow. I don’t know if he will.”

Ex-Detective Rothmiller suspects undercover cops from the Police Department’s Intelligence Unit found the diary at the time they staged the murder scene to look like a suicide.

He says: “There is no proof in the intelligence documents at all who got the diary, where it came from.

“If Kennedy did find her diary, he would have immediately destroyed it, and he would certainly never have provided a copy to Organised Crime Intelligence Department or anyone else.

“Captain James Hamilton, Commanding Officer of OCID, was one of the two officers who arrived as Bobby and Peter Lawford were leaving Marilyn’s house.

“I suspect he is the one that found it and made a Xerox photocopy of it, which is what is in the files.

“Knowing what Hamilton was doing I would not be surprised if he gave the diary to LAPD Chief, William H Parker.

“It may have ended up in the hands of Robert himself because Hamilton was a long-time friend of both brothers, before Jack Kennedy was even elected.”

  • Bombshell: The Night Bobby Kennedy Murdered Marilyn Monroe, by Mike Rothmiller and Douglas Thompson is published by AdLib on Thursday (July 8), price £8.99.

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