It was Friday afternoon, August 3, 1962, around five thirty in New York, when I received a phone call from Marilyn. What a pleasant surprise! She asked me about the magazine story and our book project. I told her both were going well.
“There’s so much more I want to tell you for the book. When are you coming back?” she asked.
I told her that we had enough for the book—I just needed to ask her a few more questions about this and that, to fill in certain areas that we hadn’t really talked about.
She cut in to tell me excitedly that Jack Benny, on whose show she’d made her first television appearance, wanted her to put together a Las Vegas show with him. Frank Sinatra and Marlon Brando (she’d always wanted to work with him) had called with film offers, and a top producer had offered her a starring role in a Broadway play (something else she’d always dreamed of). Fox wanted her to begin shooting a film with Dean Martin in September.
She told me she was reading two wonderful books: Captain Newman and To Kill A Mockingbird.
“You’ve just got to get back here,” she said. Her voice sounded like she had just hit the jackpot. She never seemed happier.
I told her I’d try to leave by Monday or the middle of the week at the latest, and that I was very happy for her. I asked about her plans for the weekend, and she said she’d probably just relax, go out to dinner, and then maybe go over to the Lawfords for their regular Saturday night party. Then she said, “Love you—see you Monday or when you get out here.“
I said I loved her, too.
Fewer than twenty-four hours after Marilyn’s phone call, she was dead. The press told the world she had committed suicide. I will never believe Marilyn took her own life. She had too much to live for. She was excited about this book. She sounded so happy…It remains my belief, though I have no proof, that she was murdered.