She was born in the back of a thirty four Ford
And raised in a foster home
Her guardian made sexual connection with her
Before she was even grown - T Bone Burnett
Jay Leno said that politics is just show business for ugly people, which makes me wonder what business he thinks he's in. But he's not half-wrong, though the truth must be uglier than he could imagine.
Sensational celebrity deaths are sometimes more than distractions, especially when the fame is all about sex and money, because that's so much of what power is about. Just ask George HW Bush. It may be impolitic to whisper about the underage callboys, but we're allowed to have a chuckle at his tapping Teri Hatcher's ass. ("Frisky for an 82-year-old, ain't he?" Nyuk, nyuk.)
Smith's money came from J. Howard Marshall, who came from Yale and American oil, so you can imagine how his bloodline would be anxious to hold onto it. He served as special counsel to Standard Oil during the early war years, when the company was still trading with Germany and in open collaboration with IG Farben. (About which Judge Charles Clark ruled that "Standard Oil can be considered an enemy national.") Marshall went on to take a large stake in Koch Industries, a major financier of far-right interests
I won't bother to speculate here about Smith's death, other than to note the legitimacy such speculation is popularly accorded, which is broadly denied theorizing about similarly suspicious deaths which befall Leno's ugly people. What interests me is that we ought to consider sometimes the fate of the rich and beautiful without worry we're getting suckered into a pop culture edition of Trivial Pursuits.
Smith was a Marilyn Monroe knock-off who traded up, and over-the-top, in her own commodity. And Monroe, more than most beauties, knew something about the entracement of power. And yet her death stands outside the standard corpus of conspiracy literature. Perhaps because her significance is devalued by her celebrity. But more likely, because in death, as in life, she poses a threat to the Camelot mythos.
I don't think we need to choose. And if it's true, then we should say both that the Kennedy assassinations were High Crimes of State and that Monroe's was an assisted suicide.
She died of barbiturate overdose - beside her naked body was found an empty bottle of Nebutal - and yet her stomach was empty. John Miner, a deputy DA who attended the autopsy, witnessed a small amount of liquid, but as Donald Wolfe notes in The Assassination of Marilyn Monroe, "we did not detect any sign that would indicate it contained any heavy drugs or sedatives." The examiner's report reads that "a smear made from the gastric contents and examined under the polarized microscope shows no refractile crystals," which is inconsistent with ingestion of a large amounts of barbiturates. Coroner Thomas Noguchi requested analysis of Monroe's kidneys, stomach, urine and intestines, which would have revealed how the barbiturates had entered her system. The laboratory samples disappeared. Miner remarks, "in the entire history of the LA County coroner's office there had never been a previous instance of organ samples vanishing."
A week before her death, Monroe spent a weekend at Lake Tahoe's Cal-Neva Lodge as a doped-up plush-toy of owners Frank Sinatra and Sam Giancana. Later, friend Ralph Roberts said Monroe described it as a "nightmare," and that she'd felt more like a prisoner than a guest. Photographer Billy Woodfield, who'd worked with both Monroe and Sinatra, told Wolfe that Sinatra gave him a roll of film from the weekend to develop: "In his darkroom the photographer was shocked to see that the photos were of an unconscious Marilyn Monroe being sexually abused in the presence of Sam Giancana and Sinatra. Marilyn had been drugged in order for the compromising photos to be taken." Woodfield advised Sinatra to burn them.
FBI electronic surveillance of Giancana corroborated the account. Agent Bill Roemer remembers a conversation, after Monroe's death, between Giancana and Johnny Rosselli:
The conversation was muted, but what I had gleaned was that Giancana had been at Cal-Neva...with Sinatra and Marilyn the week before she died. There, from what I had been able to put together, she was involved in an orgy. From the conversation I overheard, it appeared she may have had sex with Giancana. Rosselli said to Giancana, "You sure get your rocks off fucking the same broads as the brothers, don't you?"
The weekend over, Marilyn flew back to LA and entered her limousine barefoot, "out of it - a mess."
Suddenly, what's so far-fetched about "presidential models"? Or did you think this just happened in the movies?