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Insider info LAPD detective claims 'JFK’s brother Bobby poisoned Marilyn Monroe'

Former cop’s explosive new book reveals how he was shot after digging into the truth about the bombshell’s tragic death

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Marilyn Monroe was found dead at the age of 36.

Marilyn Monroe was found dead at the age of 36.

Marilyn Monroe was found dead at the age of 36.

An LAPD cop who worked in a special intelligence section that collected information on celebrities and mobsters claims former US Attorney General Bobby Kennedy poisoned starlet Marilyn Monroe to protect the Kennedy family dynasty.

Mike Rothmiller has broken a 40-year silence to tell the Crime World podcast how he kept the secrets of her mysterious death to himself for years as he was afraid of repercussions while senior officers who worked for shady organised crime intelligence gathering units were still alive.

Rothmiller quit his role as a detective when he survived an assassination attempt during the period that he was investigating the details of Monroe’s death, but went on to enjoy a hugely successful career as a documentary producer and writer. He was once nominated for the Pulitzer Prize and is an acclaimed author and historian.

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Mike Rothmiller.

Mike Rothmiller.

Mike Rothmiller.

 

This week, in a special interview for the Crime World podcast, Rothmiller details what he alleges are the facts surrounding Monroe’s death in 1962 shortly after she famously sang ‘Happy Birthday, Mr President’ during a live television celebration for John F Kennedy at Madison Square Garden which ignited speculation that they were having an affair.

In fact, Rothmiller says, it was Bobby Kennedy, the President’s brother, that Monroe was more in love with, and he disputes an inquest ruling that she probably killed herself, stating in a new book that she was likely poisoned to shut her up.

Rothmiller was 10 years a cop and assigned to the ‘Organised Crime Intelligence Division’ of LAPD which he says housed filing cabinets full of files and documents on everyone from mafia bosses to politicians, actors and TV presenters when he stumbled upon the ‘Kennedy’ files.

OCID had started in the 1940s under the auspices of an anti-mafia squad but had soon begun gathering intelligence on everyone who mattered. He was one of 60 detectives who spent their time photographing Hollywood’s leading men, judges, and politicians as they conducted clandestine affairs, gay relationships or unwittingly put themselves in compromising positions.

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Marilyn was alleged to have been involved with both Jack and Bobby Kennedy (right)

Marilyn was alleged to have been involved with both Jack and Bobby Kennedy (right)

Marilyn was alleged to have been involved with both Jack and Bobby Kennedy (right)

 

“We were getting photos of them and other info about them. The intelligence was coming in, but it never left the office. It was all gathered for the Chief of Police. We worked in teams and in all the years I was in intelligence I never made one arrest which tells you what the objective was,” he says.

Rothmiller had access to the old files kept in the secret department known as Fort Davis — a building with no windows.

“Everybody has a curiosity when it comes to intelligence, so I start going through the files and start seeing famous names. That is how I found the ‘Kennedy’ file and saw that it was linked to one on Marilyn Monroe and Peter Lawford. I could see that around the time of her death Lawford and Monroe’s phones were bugged and I could see the name of the guy who did the wiretap. I got hold of him and talked to him and after a while we developed a bit of a relationship and he told me what he knew about the night before she died.

“At the time I knew just what everyone else in the public knew. I suppose just that she had died and there were some questions around her death. Bobby Kennedy had long insisted he was not in LA at the time. When I got into the files and started speaking with people and started to really dig, I could see that what we knew was not what happened.”

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Marilyn’s iconic image from the "Seven Year Itch".

Marilyn’s iconic image from the "Seven Year Itch".

Marilyn’s iconic image from the "Seven Year Itch".

 

Rothmiller discovered a copy of Monroe’s diary amongst other things held by LAPD despite claims that it had never been found. On a visit to the Playboy mansion, he happened to spot Lawford and pushed his card into his jacket asking the actor to call him some time. To his surprise Lawford did call and 20 years after her death he spilled out a confession to the cop which detailed the tragic end of Marilyn.

In the interview, Rohmiller details how Lawford, married into the Kennedy family, told him how Monroe had become increasingly volatile in the months before her death believing she had been used by the Kennedy brothers, John, and Bobby, both of whom she had been having an affair with. She had believed Bobby, a married father of eight, was going to leave his wife for her but when she realised he was not going to threatened to hold a press conference about her affairs.

According to Rothmiller, Lawford told him how days before her death Monroe had attended a party at Frank Sinatra’s mansion where she had been plied with drink and when unconscious was raped and photographed in compromising positions.

Despite this she refused to back down and insisted that she would publicise her affairs with the Kennedys, which was sure to cost John his Presidency and Bobby his role as Attorney General. On the night of her death, Lawford claimed, he was with Bobby Kennedy when they visited Marilyn’s home where a row broke out. When they returned, he said he saw Bobby Kennedy stirring a glass of water to give her and that she died shortly after drinking it. Lawford alleged that police then arrived to conceal the murder while he and Bobby were escorted out of town.

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Marilyn’s body is removed.

Marilyn’s body is removed.

Marilyn’s body is removed.

 

Using the Monroe diary, the transcripts from the wire taps and piecing together other evidence including a traffic stop, Rothmiller became convinced that the story was true but as he continued to poke the details of the night in question he was ambushed and shot.

“The night I was shot I had to go to a meeting with an informant in the desert 100 miles away. He told me about cops dealing drugs which was nothing new. I came home about midnight. I had been living in a quiet suburban area, and I noticed a motorcycle following me. I saw the hand and the gun, and I just jerked the car off the road. I saw the muzzle flash and knew I had to get out of the car. I did not realise it, but I had been hit, and my spinal cord was damaged. It was the start of a very frightening situation. I was later told that I was marked for assassination because I knew too much,” he says.

While the shooting was never solved, Rothmiller tells Crime World that he cannot rule out the idea that it was sanctioned by the US State and as a direct result of his investigations into Bobby Kennedy’s involvement in Monroe’s death.

The detective had kept notes on all he learned at Fort Davis and hid them away for decades. He went on to have a hugely successful career in the corporate arena, including as a director of Sony Electronics. Following his retirement and with the help of journalist Douglas Thompson he pieced together his evidence in a new book Bombshell. The Night Bobby Kennedy Killed Marilyn Monroe.

  • Mike Rothmiller is on this week’s Crime World, available on Spotify, Acast, iTunes and Soundcloud or wherever you get your podcasts.

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