Did Marilyn Monroe's body really go missing for six hours after her death?

It has been rumored that Marilyn Monroe's body went missing for a number of hours after her death, but is this the truth or just a rumor?

Marilyn Monroe's body
(Image credit: Baron/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

It has been rumoured that Marilyn Monroe's body went missing for several hours following her death on August 4, 1962.

One of the mysteries that have followed the famed Hollywood actress is the alleged disappearance of her body following her untimely death at the age of 36. 

Marilyn's body was found by Eunice Murray, her housemaid who called her doctor and the two broke her door down to discover her nude and lying facedown, dead from an overdose. It is rumoured that in the time that it took between Marilyn's body being discovered and her body being prepared for autopsy, her body was missing for several hours - but is this true or just a rumour? 

Marilyn Monroe

(Image credit: Baron / Stringer / Getty Images)

How did Marilyn Monroe die?

Marilyn Monroe died on August 4, 1962. It was reported by the LAPD that she was found dead at her home in Brentwood, Los Angeles, from a drug overdose. Later, a toxicology report suggested that she died from acute barbiturate and chloral hydrate poisoning. 

It was suggested by some that this could have been an accident, but suicide was the most common theory when empty medicine bottles were found by her bed and the dosage in her body was several times over the lethal limit.

The LA Times reported in 1962, "An empty bottle found among several medicines beside her bed had contained 50 Nembutal capsules. The prescription was issued only two or three days ago and the capsules were to be taken in doses of one a night." 

Marilyn Monroe

(Image credit: Gene Lester / Contributor / Getty Images)

What happened to Marilyn Monroe's body after she died?

Following the discovery of her body, it reportedly took six hours for her corpse to arrive at the morgue - a journey that should have only taken 45 minutes. Some rumours claim that Marilyn's body was abused by necrophiliacs during this time, but this has never been publically investigated or proven.

It is also claimed that her body was tampered with in another way and mortician, Dr. Thomas Noguchi, claimed that materials from her stomach and intestines had been 'destroyed'. The Salt Lake Tribune investigated her death and claimed that some standard tests were never completed during her autopsy. This supports the rumor that her death was perhaps not an accidental overdose and the reports and her body were tampered with so that her death could be considered an accident.

Another mortician Allan Abbot, claimed in his book, Pardon My Hearse, which came out in 2015, that Marilyn was unrecognizable. "When we removed the sheet covering her, it was almost impossible to believe this was the body of Marilyn Monroe," the famous celebrity mortician said. "She looked like a very average, ageing woman who had not been taking very good care of herself."

"Obviously, the circumstances surrounding her death had greatly exacerbated her poor appearance and she was unrecognizable," he concluded. This could also support rumours about her body being abused, or could simply be down to the natural process of decay when a body is left face down for a number of hours.

Marilyn Monroe

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The LA Times supported this claim that Marilyn was unkempt when her body was found. "She was unkempt and in need of a manicure and pedicure, indicating listlessness and a lack of interest in maintaining her usually glamorous appearance, the authorities added," the article from 1962 read.

There is ultimately no hard evidence to suggest that Marilyn's body really did go missing or was tampered with in any way. There are just rumours and allegations that have been made and are unlikely to be proven more than 60 years after her death took place.


(Image credit: Getty)

When is Marilyn Monroe buried?

Marilyn Monroe's funeral took place on August 8, 1962, at the Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery. The funeral was attended by only her closest friends and was arranged by Joe DiMaggio, Marilyn's half-sister Berniece Baker Miracle, and Marilyn's business manager Inez Melson.

Marilyn's body was later laid to rest and entombed at Crypt No. 24 at the Corridor of Memories. According to Time, there was a bidding war for the ownership of the crypt above Marilyn and next to Marilyn, with some horrific rumours suggesting the man above her asked to be buried facing down. The plot next to Marilyn was eventually sold to Playboy owner Hugh Hefner who died in 2017.


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Marilyn and Hugh never worked together in their lifetime but Marilyn was both the cover and centrefold of the very first issue of Playboy after Hugh dug up nude photographs she took out of 'desperation' when she was a struggling actress. Marilyn was reportedly ashamed of these photographs and hoped they would never see the light of day.

Hugh bought the crypt in 1992 for $50,000 and told CBS Los Angeles, "I’m a sucker for blondes, and she is the ultimate blonde. It has a completion notion to it. I will be spending the rest of my eternity with Marilyn."

Other celebrities entombed in the Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery include; Dean Martin, Truman Capote, and Donna Reed. 

Laura Harman

Laura is the Entertainment Editor for woman&home who primarily covers television, film, and celebrity news. Laura loves drinking and eating and can often be found trying to get reservations at London's trendiest restaurants. When she's not wining and dining, Laura can also be found travelling, baking, and hiking with her dog.