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Some readers were critical of our story on Marilyn Monroe and the mystery surrounding her death (PEOPLE, Aug. 10), suggesting that MM should he allowed to rest in peace. Evidence of her complicated romantic entanglements with John and Robert Kennedy prompted others to vent their anger. “It’s time we open our eyes and see the Kennedys for what they are,” wrote one reader.


My heart is broken for Marilyn Monroe, a beautiful actress who was so blatantly used and abandoned.

LEANNE STOVER, Section, Ala.

What more will be unearthed about the virile Kennedy brothers as we continue to exhume the past? At least their father, Joseph, didn’t love ’em and leave ’em…dead.


Norwalk, Conn.

I have just two words for those who point the finger at the Kennedys for Marilyn’s death: Prove it.



She couldn’t act. She couldn’t sing. She enjoyed having sex with married men. So why is Marilyn Monroe worshiped?

COLLEEN ROWE, Huntington Beach, Calif.

I got to know Marilyn in 1960, when I was a young screenwriter and she was studying at the Actors’ Studio in New York City. Marilyn Monroe, the star, was a creature of the studios and the press. Norma Jean Baker, however, was a girl who suffered the slings of desertion, beginning with her mother, whom she talked about all the time. Joe DiMaggio and Arthur Miller tried to love her. But the screaming child inside this lovable but insecure human being shut them out when the dark shadow of her childhood terrified her into thinking they had stopped caring.

The thing Marilyn seemed to want more than anything in those last few years was to be able to sleep. Even drugs could not give her the rest she needed. She became tormented by the lack of understanding from her studio, her agent, her doctor and her lovers. It seemed they all wanted a piece of her and when done, dropped her without a proper farewell. It was, again, the same kind of desertion she had felt as a child.

It wasn’t the Kennedys, the Mafia, or the Communists who issued the final curtain. It was the lost child, Norma Jean Baker, who silenced Marilyn and finally permitted her to sleep. It would be fitting if we would allow her to do so in peace.

PETER COLE, Zephyr Cove, N.Y.

I hope readers do not get the impression from your sidebar, “One Death, Many Theories,” that I subscribe to the theory that Marilyn was killed by her psychiatrist, Dr. Ralph Greenson. It is only one of a litany of various theories I address in my book, Peter Lawford: The Man Who Kept the Secrets. By the way, nothing in Marilyn: The Last Take, the new book by Peter Brown and Patte Barham that was excerpted in PEOPLE, has changed my personal belief that Marilyn’s death was an accidental suicide.

JAMES SPADA, Los Angeles


Getting back to the farm may have been therapy for Maj. Rhonda Cornum after being sexually assaulted as a prisoner of war in the Persian Gulf. But rape will continue to be a real danger in war should women be allowed in combat. No amount of basic training could prepare women to let their bodies be used in such a manner in the service of our country.


Somers Point, N.J.


So Leona Helmsley can work out, watch TV and munch popcorn, at the expense of taxpayers, at Club Fed. Justice would be far better served if she had to open one of her hotels to homeless people and live with them for four years.


Thousand Oaks, Calif.

It is a mystery to me why Jim Bakker gets 18 years for fraud, Michael Milken gets 10 years for securities violations and Mike Tyson gets only six years for rape. When are we going to do something about our judicial system?

JOAN HUNT, Greensboro, N.C.


We’ve seen Bruce get divorced, remarry, become a father and form a new band. Only two things haven’t changed. He is still the Boss. And I can’t get my hands on any front-row seats for his concerts.

LIZ MORITIS, West Haven, Conn.


If your Billy-bashing reviewer, Lisa Shea, can’t understand the “hubbub” over Billy Ray Cyrus’s album Some Gave All, I suggest she give it another listen. Cyrus resonates much of the same vocal power and passion that made Elvis such a sensation.


Long Beach, Calif.