Peter Lawford’s role during the last night of Marilyn’s life has been strongly criticized for decades. Documentaries have painted him as a cold, unresponsive man who simply returned to his dinner party the night Marilyn contacted him. This is false. Upon hearing Marilyn’s last words, Lawford hung up and contacted Mickey Rudin, Marilyn’s attorney, asking him to attend Marilyn’s house and ensure she was safe. Instead Rudin contacted Eunice Murray who stated Marilyn “was fine,” and Rudin didn’t attend Marilyn’s house.
Do I believe Murray was part of a conspiracy to kill her employer? Certainly not. Although Marilyn had fired her some days previously the two were on good terms and even took a trip to Mexico together. Marilyn didn’t fire Murray due to personality conflict; rather, she was attempting to live more independently and in so doing, she wanted to live alone. When Murray checked on Marilyn the evening of Rudin’s phone call, she would have seen and heard her breathing since the chloral hydrate and nembutal tablets Marilyn took to commit suicide wouldn’t have killed her for several hours. There is nothing mysterious in Murray’s actions.
The Rat Pack, the famous four that consisted of Sammy Davis Jr, Peter Lawford, Frank Sinatra Joey Bishop and Dean Martin tried to portray street-wise toughs who grew up to be talented playboys. I have referenced and explained The Rat Pack in my blog Frank Sinatra and will not repeat it here).The exception was Peter Lawford. Lawford really was an aristocratic playboy. At the beginning of his acting career, with hot properties like Jimmy Stewart and Clark Gable conveniently enrolled in military service Lawford became a high-demand leading man by default. When he began working for MGM, his mother, Lady Lawford, insisted that the studio hire her as well, because her son was a “bummer” who needed his mother’s supervision. Lawford never forgave her, and the situation was referenced in “Ocean’s 11.”) Ocean’s 11 is the movie that was re-made in starring Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, George Clooney,Don Cheadle and Andy Garcia.
In 1959 Sinatra made Lawford part of the Rat Pack, along with Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr and Joey Bishop. Lawford brought the casino caper film project, “Ocean’s 11”, to Sinatra’s attention, and it would be the first time that all five members of the group would appear on the screen together.In 1954 Lawford married Patricia, the sister of then Senator John Kennedy. The Rat Pack actively campaigned for Kennedy’s Presidency, but it was a perceived snub from the Camelot Clan that began the break-up of the Rat Pack.
In her early career Marilyn and her friend Jeanne Carmen, a beautiful Pin-Up Queen, were two Rat Pack Groupies, not a distinguished association however a smart one since it exposed (pun) Marilyn to powerful and integral movie stars. Marilyn’s only film with a rat pack member was Something’s Got to Give with Dean Martin, when she was arguably an even bigger star than he.
Lawford certainly had no reason to kill Marilyn Monroe. They were good friends and had been for at least a decade. It was Lawford who introduced Marilyn to JFK some years earlier. In fact Marilyn first became involved with Jack Kennedy in the 1950s not the 1960s. They had an intermittent sexual relationship for 10 years until Marilyn became delusional about their future together and insisted he divorce the First Lady to marry her.
Lawford’s marriage to Patty Kennedy ended in 1966. He would marry three more times, each time to a woman less than half his age. What money and fame can do.