Friday the 13th, July 1962

Jerry Wald Marilyn Monroe 1951
Marilyn Monroe and Jerry Wald 1951

It was on Friday the 13th in 1962 that the wheels began to come off the bus for Marilyn Monroe. Two things happened that day that were highly upsetting to Marilyn. The first is that Jerry Wald died that day under mysterious circumstances. Hollywood is a small town and news traveled fast. When Marilyn learned that Wald had been found dead she found the news very disturbing. Wald had been an ally of Monroe’s ever since he cast her for the 1952 movie “Clash By Night.” That had been Marilyn’s “break-out” movie and the film where she really became known all across America. She was forever grateful to Wald for casting her in the film. He also had been instrumental to her in helping navigate the scandal of the nude calendar photo. Word of the calendar came out when she was filming the movie. She worried the scandal would ruin her career but it actually became the source of huge publicity not only for her but for the film. Wald’s death was a shock for many reasons. He was only 50 years old and it was known to Marilyn that he had been harassed for his involvement in the production of Robert Kennedy’s mob and Teamster bashing movie “The Enemy Within.” The mob angle in Monroe’s death has been completely distorted by books like “Double Cross,” written by relatives of Sam Giancana. Giaincana did play a role in the events leading to Marilyn’s death but it had nothing to do with a suppository and a couple of thugs named Needles and Mugsy. Giancana’s role played out during the much misunderstood weekend before her death at Cal-Neva. He was also the acting head of the Chicago “Outfit” which had ties to the top men at the talent agency that represented Marilyn in her later years, MCA. For years the Outfit had been using the Teamsters Union pension fund for cheap loans that they used to build Las Vegas casinos. James Hoffa, the head of the Teamsters, was the mobs “man” and Robert Kennedy was causing them problems.

Read about how MCA is one of the major missing pieces in the events that led to Marilyn Monroe’s death here.

On Friday, July 13, 1962 Justice Department lawyers entered the federal courthouse in downtown Los Angeles and filed suit against MCA, the Screen Actors Guild and the Writers Guild of America. Marilyn had known Bobby was going after the top men at MCA. He had even asked for her help in gathering information against MCA in the governments antitrust case against the company. She had no idea they would also be going after the Screen Actors Guild and that rumors would begin to surface that he was going after MCA at her request.

Something else happened on that Friday the 13th that could shed light on Marilyn’s state of mind about how things were deteriorating in her life. Because of conspiracy theorist Frank Capell we have published records of Marilyn’s visits to her psychiatrist Ralph Greenson. It was on Friday the 13th that Marilyn required two visits with Greenson. It was the first time she had to see him twice in one day, but not the last. That situation would be repeated several more times before her untimely death, just three weeks later.

It was just days before that things with her studio were beginning to show improvement. In the beginning of June she had been fired by 20th Century Fox and they were going to sue her. Now, they were going to withdraw the lawsuit and instead of the $100,000 that they were going to pay her for “Somethings Got To Give she would now be getting $500,000, plus another half million for her next picture. But even this turn of events wasn’t a sure thing. She learned from sources within the studio that they planned to make her sign a letter of apology with wording of her “barbiturate use” that she would never agree to. Her only real hope with the studio now came from her old nemesis Darryl Zanuck, the man who had once threatened to destroy her. He was in the process, along with Spyros Skouras of making a play to take over the studio. A week before her death that plan came to fruition but the first thing Zanuck did when taking over was suspend filming on all projects. Forces beyond her control were closing in on Marilyn and Friday the 13th, 1962 is a key date for understanding the events that led to Monroe’s death.


Jerry Wald death July 13, 1962
Jerry Wald died on Friday the 13th, 1962
On Friday, July 13, 1962 the Justice Department announces its lawsuit against MCA