Lawford is an undeserved villain in the Marilyn Monroe saga. It’s mostly because of his connection to the Kennedy family and the unfortunate fact that he was probably the last person to speak to her alive. He is often implicated in MM murder scenarios but always just as a bystander to the killing of Monroe by RFK or Dr Greenson. He’s also often painted as the organizer of the initial phase of the cover-up. All of these scenarios are unsupported by a critical examination of the night of Marilyn’s death. So it’s all the more unfair to his memory when the compilers of a book of Marilyn’s personal documents speculate that Marilyn may have been afraid of Lawford, and paint him as a homicidal homosexual intent on poisoning her (a gross misunderstanding of what Monroe had written). See Who’s Afraid of Peter Lawford for an reinterpretation of the book Fragments.
Peter Lawford's Claim to Fame
1) 1940’s and 50′ B-grade actor
2) Part of the Frank Sinatra’s Rat Pack
3) Married JFK’s sister
4) Plays a major role in Marilyn Monroe conspiracy theories
Peter Lawford and the Marilyn Mystery
If the truth is somewhere in the middle, then the Marilyn mystery is a pendulum that swings from one false extreme to another. Marilyn’s relationship with Peter Lawford is an example of this. Because Marilyn’s friendship with his wife had to be downplayed after her death, Peter is often presented as Marilyn’s good friend. Peter Lawford wasn’t a villain in Marilyn Monroe’s life but he wasn’t her close “pal” either. She knew Lawford from her earliest starlet days but he was only part of her life in the 60’s because he was married to Monroe’s close friend Patricia Kennedy and he was part of (another close friend) Sinatra’s entourage called the Rat Pack. Sinatra’s and Monroe’s “friendship” also gets downplayed after her death so that leaves Peter and Marilyn looking like bosom buddies.
They weren’t that close. That probably explains why his loyalty was greater to the Kennedys than it was to telling the truth about night of Aug 4, 1962.
In 1991 James Spada wrote a biography of Lawford called Peter Lawford: The Man Who Kept the Secrets. By then Lawford had said pretty much everything he had to say and the things he did say were of little value for determining exactly what happened the night Marilyn died. He’s go to the grave keeping the secrets. So why is there so much in conspiracy books and in online articles quoting Lawford about the night Marilyn died and her relationship to the Kennedys? It’s mainly because of four people. Two are ex-wives of Lawford in his later drug years when he was marrying chippies much too young for him. One of the marriages only lasted a few weeks. You can’t put much value in what they have to say. Another source for much of Lawford’s “insights” about Marilyn’s death come from a confirmed liar who wrote commercially successful biographies named C. David Heymann. Heymann wrote scandalous tabloid-like stuff that was entertaining to read but it completely obscured what actually happened and continues to distort history because so many people repeat what he had to say as fact. The forth source of bogus Lawford information is a private dick named Otash. Very few people have muddied the waters of the Monroe investigation like Otash. Heymann (like Slatzer) turned lying into an art form but Otash has turned Monroe’s death into a farce. Virtually nothing that came out of that mans mouth was the truth.
The fact is Lawford never said much about what happened to Marilyn. My theory is he kept his mouth shut for his kids. It is hard enough for children of the Kennedy sisters to fit into the family. With different last names they are forced to wedge the Kennedy name between their first and last names so everyone knows they are part of the family. Lawford’s kids have it extra tough because Peter was always an outcast and never fit in with the family. He religion was wrong, his mother was wacko, and heaven forbid, he didn’t join in on the Kennedy touch football games. And then there was the divorce. If Lawford had ever spilled the beans it’s likely his children would have paid a hefty price. On his deathbed, Peter Lawford came real close to divulging why he never talked. He maintained, right to the end, the Kennedys weren’t involved, but added he would never say anything even if they were. It was the next comment that was very curious. Why wouldn’t he ever talk about it? He said he wouldn’t want to embarrass his kids. That brings up an interesting question, what is it about Marilyn’s death that would embarrass the children of Peter and Pat Kennedy Lawford?