Excerpts from "the first rough draft of history" as reported in The Washington Post on this date in the 20th century.
Upon her suicide in 1962, Marilyn Monroe was transformed from a troubled film star into a legendary icon whose name remains synonymous with breathless sexuality. An excerpt from The Post of Aug. 6, 1962:
Marilyn Monroe was found dead today in bed in her Brentwood home, apparently the victim of an overdose of sleeping capsules.
The thrice-married, 36-year-old actress was nude and was lying face down on the bed, covered by a sheet and blanket. A telephone receiver was in her lifeless hand.
A special "suicide team" will be enlisted to aid in determining if Miss Monroe's death was suicide or accidental, County Coroner Theodore J. Curphey disclosed following a 1-hour autopsy.
The team will consist of Dr. Robert Littman, psychiatrist, and Dr. Norman Farberow, psychologist, both members of the Coroner's medical staff.
An autopsy was performed by Dr. Thomas Noguchi, deputy medical examiner.
"From the information supplied to us we feel we can make a presumptive opinion that the death was due to an overdose of a drug," Dr. Curphey said.
He said further toxicological and microscopic studies of the blood and vital organs will be made to identify the drug. Results should be available with 48 hours, he said.
But the Coroner said it will be about a week before an investigation establishes whether Miss Monroe's death was an accident.
Drs. Littman and Farberow will make a "psychiatric approach to the case," Dr. Curphey said. This will involve delving into Miss Monroe's personal history.
"I am particularly interested in investigating cases that on the surface might appear to be suicide," he explained. "When our studies are completed I feel certain we will be able to make a final determination as to the type of this death."
Police said an empty bottle that had contained about 50 nembutal capsules was beside the bed. They said death could have been accidental.
"There is nothing to indicate Miss Monroe's death was due to suicide," said Detective Sergeant R.E. Byron. There were no notes, he added.
Alarm on the part of the star's housekeeper, Eunice Murray, led to discovery of her death in Miss Monroe's small, cottage-type home.
Noticing that the bedroom light was still shining in Miss Monroe's room at 3 a.m. and unable to arouse her, Mrs. Murray summoned Dr. Ralph Greenson, Miss Monroe's psychiatrist.
The bedroom door was locked, so when Greenson arrived he took a poker from the fireplace and shattered a window in the bedroom so he could climb in.
Dr. Greenson hurriedly called Dr. Hyman Engelberg, an internist, who pronounced Miss Monroe dead at 3:40 a.m.
Then began the procession of police, morgue attendants and newsmen.
The body that had given a new dimension to sex in Hollywood was covered by a pale blue blanket and strapped to a stretcher when it was removed from the home first to the Westwood Village mortuary and later to the County morgue.
There Marilyn Monroe became Coroner's Case No. 81128. She was placed in Crypt 33.
Baseball hero Joe DiMaggio, who was her second husband, flew in from San Francisco. Lines were etched in DiMaggio's face when he alighted from a United Airlines plane at 10:37 a.m.
DiMaggio's sister heard the news in a radio bulletin in San Francisco and notified the former New York Yankee star.