The circumstances of Marilyn’s death were closely scrutinised by various Los Angeles County officials. Here are the details of her autopsy:
Primary Figures Involved:
– Chief Coroner of Los Angeles County: Theodore J. Curphey
– Deputy Medical Examiner: Thomas Noguchi
– Assistant to Noguchi: Eddy Day
– Suicide Prevention Center Representatives: Dr Robert Litman and Dr Norman Farberow
– Coroner’s Assistant: Lionel Grandison
– Morgue Identification Number: 81128
– Crypt Number: 33
Chronology of Reports and Statements:
– A preliminary report from the County Coroner Services was produced on a Sunday morning, catalogued under file number 81123 in the Los Angeles County morgue. The signatory was Thomas Noguchi.
– On August 13, 1962, R.J.Abernethy, the Head Toxicologist, signed off on the first annexe detailing the chemical analysis of Marilyn’s blood and liver. This report was filed under 81128-1.
– Chief Coroner Theodore J. Curphey, on August 10, 1962, made a preliminary estimation, suggesting that Marilyn’s death might have been due to an “overdose of barbiturates”.
– A week later, on August 17, Curphey leaned towards the explanation of “probable suicide”.
– By August 18, 1962, the report from the medical examiner proclaimed: “My conclusion is that Marilyn’s death has been caused by a self-administration of sedative drugs and that it is a ‘probable suicide’.”
– Curphey’s final statement on August 27, 1962, was that Monroe died from “an acute barbiturate poisoning, ingestion of overdose”. He reached this conclusion based on a clear chemical analysis.
The ultimate deduction by the head toxicologist, R.J.Abernethy, regarding the cause of Monroe’s death mirrored Curphey’s: “an acute barbiturate poisoning, ingestion of overdose”.
The unembalmed body was identified as a 36-year-old well-developed, well-nourished Caucasian female weighing 117 pounds and measuring 65½ inches in length. The scalp was covered with bleached blond hair. Fixed lividity was noted in various parts of the body. The breast showed no significant lesions. There were surgical scars, with a notable 5-inch suprapubic surgical scar. The conjunctivae were markedly congested, but no ecchymosis or petechiae were observed. No evidence of trauma was evident in various parts of the body.
The heart weighed 300 grams with no excess fluid in the pericardial cavity. The coronary arteries and other parts of the cardiovascular system were noted to be in normal condition. The respiratory system indicated that both lungs were moderately congested with some oedema. The surface of the posterior portion of the lungs showed severe congestion.
The mediastinum did not show any shifting or widening. The liver’s position was within normal limits. The organs were all in their expected positions and showed a normal relationship.
These findings provided crucial evidence in determining the cause and manner of Marilyn’s death.