JFK THE BIGAMIST... THE TRUTH AT LAST; Kennedy was already married when he got wed to Jackie...and shared Monroe with his brother.
Minutes later he was speechless.
Behind the rotten plasterboard was a secret hideaway.
Inside was a dust-covered box full of papers tied with red ribbons.
The house belonged to Lawrence X. Cusack, the personal and private lawyer to assassinated US President John F. Kennedy.
And what the plumber had stumbled upon were over 300 documents sealed away by Cusack before his own death.
Documents which today finally end the decades of rumours about JFK, his murdered brother Bobby - and the two men's relationship with tragic screen goddess Marilyn Monroe.
They reveal that:
JFK was a bigamist. He married Palm Beach socialite Durie Malcolm in 1939 - and was still married to her when he wed Jackie in 1953. In fact, although JFK and Durie were granted an annulment by the Catholic Church they never got a civil divorce, and JFK remained a bigamist to the day he died.
Monroe had affairs with Jack Kennedy AND his brother Bobby.
She was blackmailing the President, demanding a ONE-MILLION-DOLLAR trust fund or she would tell all about their affair - and JFK's friendship with Mafia boss Sam Giancana.
The day before Monroe was found dead from an alleged drug overdose aged 36 she had threatened to call a Press conference and tell the world about her affairs with both JFK and his brother.
The documents - which include dozens of letters between JFK, Bobby Kennedy, Monroe and Cusack - also confirm that JFK and Monroe were party guests of mobster Giancana and that FBI boss J. Edgar Hoover warned JFK that the revelation could ruin his political career.
One US legal expert said last night: "These documents are the missing pieces to the puzzle which proves that America's greatest-ever film star and our most-beloved President ever were involved in a lengthy secret romance that would have rocked the world on its ear.
"After years of speculation, the truth has finally been brought to light and all the countless questions about Marilyn and JFK are now answered."
The 300 documents were unearthed in 1994. They were in a box labelled "Campaign 1959-1960".
In addition to the signed breach of promise contract between Monroe and Kennedy, the box contained tear-stained letters from Monroe to JFK, begging him not to cut off all contact with her.
Also in the box were notes from JFK to Cusack about problems he was having with Monroe, Giancana and FBI chief J. Edgar Hoover.
In the notes, a desperate JFK reveals his fears that Hoover will blow the whistle on the fact that he was a bigamist when he married Jacqueline.
The trove of documents included a copy of JFK's first marriage certificate to Durie Malcolm.
FBI chief Hoover also knew that JFK was a bigamist.
Rumours of JFK's marriage in 1939 to Durie Malcolm first surfaced in 1962.
The Cusack documents establish that Cardinal Cushing obtained a Church annulment for him.
The Kennedys are probably the most important and powerful family in the Catholic Church anywhere in the world.
The annulment was done quietly so as to avoid any public scandal.
It meant that in the eyes of the Church JFK and Malcolm were no longer married.
But to avoid the publicity JFK never got a civil divorce.
The papers therefore prove that Kennedy was a bigamist when he married Jacqueline - and that he remained so until his death.
In one note to Cusack JFK expresses his fears over the fact that both his problems with Monroe and his divorce dilemma are still ongoing. He even makes references to the further complications of Monroe taking it upon herself to help JFK sort out his need for a civil divorce from Malcolm, writing:
"Larry, I think this needs to be resolved before meet on resolution of divorce/annulment problems. I am afraid this is a new problem not foreseen. MM has information on the divorce problems and Church plans. Jack"
Much of the material is hand-written notes by JFK to Cusack - some of it is on White House stationery.
The world was stunned when Marilyn was found dead at her home from an apparent drug overdose on August 4, 1962.
Just eight weeks before she had sung Happy Birthday to JFK at Madison Square Garden. The following year Kennedy was shot dead.
It has long been rumoured that Monroe's death may have been linked to her affairs with JFK and his brother Bobby.
Though Monroe's death was recorded as suicide from an overdose of barbiturates, it has always been thought that she may have been murdered by someone close to the Kennedys or an associate of Giancana in an attempt to frame JFK.
The documents reveal that JFK and Monroe began their affair in 1953 - five months after he married Jacqueline Kennedy.
At the time Monroe was in the process of ending her marriage to playwright Arthur Miller.
The love-letters from Monroe to JFK reveal the heartbreak the actress suffered at the hands of her married lover - a ruthless politician who was determined to save his reputation at all costs.
JFK was an extremely charismatic man and Monroe fell head over heels in love with him.
He convinced her that he would divorce Jackie and make her his wife.
But in reality, as far as Jack was concerned Marilyn Monroe was nothing more than a trophy.
She was the biggest screen star and most desired woman in the world.
Like his father before him, JFK was a womaniser, who thrived on getting the biggest notch in his belt that he could.
Once he'd accomplished that, he had no more use for Monroe. The one thing JFK hadn't bargained for, however, was that she wasn't going to be so easy to get rid of.
Thanks to an incredible lack of good judgement and discretion on JFK's part, Monroe had become privy to all kinds of explosive information that could have been Kennedy's undoing.
One letter from Monroe to JFK expresses the hope that Kennedy would continue his friendship with her despite her unhappiness over the promises he'd broken. She wrote:
"Dear Jack, I love your note and I promise to listen to the plan you have but this is hard to do. I am upset now and nervous about this. I will be your friend always. Will you be mine? Love, Marilyn"
Monroe was so desperate to maintain a relationship with JFK - any relationship - that she pleaded with him more than once not to turn his back on her.
At the end of one note she wrote: "I promise that I will keep your secrets and I hope that you will keep your promise. I also hope that we will still be friends even though I know it will be hard to be friends after all this."
Despite the fact that Kennedy cold-heartedly used her for sexual kicks, and then threw her out like yesterday's rubbish, what the insecure actress cared most about was her callous lover's well-being.
"I hope that we can remain friends and that you will be happy," she wrote in one note. "That is very important to me."
Kennedy and Monroe's affair ended in 1960 when negotiations for the million-dollar settlement began.
Called "The Gladys Baker Trust," the cash was to be deposited in a trust established by the Kennedy family for Monroe's mother. Files indicate the trust was to be funded by Joseph Kennedy Snr, John, Bobby and Ted Kennedy.
Signed by both JFK and Marilyn Monroe, as well as the trustee, Bobby Kennedy, the trust documents state: "Whereas the relationship between Marilyn Monroe and John F Kennedy has caused her to suffer damage which is impossible to measure, and whereas certain promises were made to MM by JFK, which cannot be fulfilled, and whereas JFK desires to compensate MM for such damages..." The contract states that "MM believes that she has suffered irreparable harm to her well-being and to her professional life and career and that such has been the cause of personal hardship and suffering which is impossible to measure..."
The financial agreement was witnessed and signed by Janet Day Desroisians, a secretary of JFK's - who was also a former mistress of his father Joseph.
Among the documents found in the Cusack home are numerous references made to secrets Monroe knew about Kennedy family dealings, and the Kennedys' concern that she would reveal all she knew to the world.
Frequent notes are made of JFK's and Bobby's efforts to obtain the "papers, notes and photographs," and to elicit her promise to keep quiet.
Though many of the documents are un-dated, a careful examination reveals the sequence of events that led JFK to retain Cusack as his attorney.
When it became clear that JFK was going to campaign for the Presidency in 1960, he was faced with a series of complicated personal problems that could have destroyed his chances of being elected if they were made public.
J. Edgar Hoover was well aware of the then Senator John F. Kennedy's affair with Monroe - and that JFK and Monroe had been guests at parties given by mobster Giancana.
Because he was also aware of JFK's first marriage, Hoover made it clear to John and Joseph Kennedy that if these secrets were to become public it would be the end of JFK's career. And JFK reveals in one letter to Cusack how he believed Hoover was anti-Kennedys and out to get them.
At one point, a paranoid Kennedy even considered the idea that Hoover and Monroe may have been working together in a plot to destroy him.
"Is M acting alone, is Hoover involved?" he wrote to Cusack.
In the end, the financial settlement between JFK and Monroe was never executed. Monroe died broke, having had to borrow $5,000 from her ex- husband, baseball player Joe DiMaggio, to make the down-payment on the last house she lived in.
Though Monroe was offered large sums of money by the Kennedys, she never accepted it.
While the records show that the million-dollar "Gladys Baker Trust" was funded by members of the Kennedy family, Gladys Baker's guardian insists she was unaware of such a trust - and that Monroe's mother never benefited from it.
And Monroe never complied with the conditions of the trust, which required her to turn over the compromising "papers, notes and photographs in her possession".
Those papers, notes and photographs have never been found.
If Marilyn Monroe - or Norma Jean Baker as she was born - had lived she would be 71 this year. Her image on everything from wallpaper to mugs makes her a star for generations.
Now, after the documents - which have been authenticated by former Kennedy staff, friends and handwriting experts - have finally been unearthed, one question remains unanswered is:
DID Marilyn Monroe commit suicide? Or was she murdered at the hands of someone who thought she knew too much?
American lawyer John Miner, who was the District Attorney in LA at the time of Monroe's death and was at the autopsy, wants her body exhumed.
He is among a growing number of people who believe she was murdered on the orders of the Kennedys or the Mafia.
Mr Miner is convinced Monroe died after someone administered a deadly drugs overdose to her.
Doctors never examined her body properly - and advances in forensic science could still pinpoint traces of the drugs which killed her."
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|Author:||O'Hanlon, Terry; Golden, Andrew|
|Publication:||Sunday Mirror (London, England)|
|Date:||Jul 27, 1997|
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