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Multiple Redactions Removed from Marilyn Monroe’s FBI Files

Marilyn Monroe is in the news as FBI files about her that could not be found earlier this year have been located and re-issued, according to a report from The Associated Press. The files contain the names of Monroe’s communist-leaning friends who caused concern amongst the government and even Monroe’s entourage.

The files were originally redacted and do not have any new information surrounding her death. The file has news clippings and letters that note the FBI was up to speed on possible theories of how the actress was killed. The files do not mention if action was taken to investigate those theories. Monroe’s death was ruled a probable suicide by Los Angeles authorities.

Monroe’s FBI files were obtained by the Associated Press using the Freedom of Information Act. The files note how much Monroe was being monitored by the FBI for her relation to communism in the years leading up to her death in August of 1962. Some of Monroe’s closest friends were worried about her relationship with Frederick Vanderbilt Field, who was disinherited by his family for his communist views.

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Monroe met Field on a trip to Mexico. Field was living there with his wife in self-imposed exile. Informants for the FBI said that an infatuation was born between the two and friends of Monroe became worried.

“This situation caused considerable dismay among Miss Monroe’s entourage and also among the (American Communist Group in Mexico),” the file states.

Earlier in 2012, The Associated Press asked for the removal of redactions from the FBI files for Monroe in order to publish stories related to the 50th anniversary of her death. The FBI said that her files were sent to a National Archives in Maryland, but that location said it never received the files. Months later, the FBI released an updated version of the Monroe files that eliminated multiple redactions.

Evidence of foul play was not discovered during a 1982 investigation by the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office after it reviewed all of the investigative records available to them. The office also said that the files from the FBI were ‘heavily censored.’

“On the basis of my own involvement in the case, beginning with the autopsy, I would call Monroe’s suicide `very probable,’” Dr. Thomas Noguchi wrote. Noguchi performed the autopsy on Monroe. “But I also believe that until the complete FBI files are made public and the notes and interviews of the suicide panel released, controversy will continue to swirl around her death.”

One of the entries in Monroe’s FBI file, from 1962, says, “Subject’s views are very positively and concisely leftist; however, if she is being actively used by the Communist Party, it is not general knowledge among those working with the movement in Los Angeles.”

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