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The Gravedigging Beat


This month’s Vanity Fair features a windy trot through the remains of Marilyn Monroe’s estate, in the name of unraveling the “mystery of Marilyn’s death.” There are a few Kennedy love letters, one from T.S. Eliot (!?), and a whole lot of morbid fetishism, courtesy of writer Sam Kashner. (The curious can find a full web-only accounting here.) Of course, the media loves a dead blonde, but this is more unseemly than usual.

Monroe’s death is only a mystery the way JFK’s death is a mystery. When a corpse is found surrounded by sleeping pills, you don’t have to reach too far for the truth. Monroe was an orphan, and struggled all her life with what Arthur Miller described (in a far superior VF article) as “the bottomless loneliness that no parented person can really know”, so her suicide not as inexplicable as Kashner would have us believe. The real shock is how blind most writers have been to her real, human problems.

We're looking at you, Truman»