THIEF! The Gutsy, True Story of an Ex-Con Artist

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THIEF! character, Vince Eli

Sunday, October 23, 2011

How Did Marilyn Monroe Really Die? Part II

This past August 15, 2011, I posted the first of three parts titled "How Did Marilyn Monroe Really Die?" I told interviewers Burl Barer and Howard Lapides on their True Crime Uncensored radio show, that Slick's best friend, Leroy, knew who the killers were because Leroy worked with one of them, a guy named Mugsy Tortorella.

I also told the two interviewers that Tortorella as one of the killers was given further credence based on the FBI files that were now in the public domain. However, when I later looked up the FBI website in order to quote from it, Monroe's killers names had mysteriously been blacked out. So I ordered the CD titled "FBI Files - Marilyn Monroe" The disc had even less info on it regarding Monroe's murderers.

During the writing of our book, Thief, Slick told me that stories floated around among mobsters for years about who actually killed Marilyn and Mugsy Tortorella's name always came up. Slick took all those stories with a grain of salt until his friend Leroy Smolen, now deceased, verified that Tortorella was indeed one of the murderers.

Slick revealed another story in Thief that further convinced him that Marilyn died from a mob hit. The excerpt from the book takes place around the early 1970s at Arlington Racetrack near Chicago when Slick bumps into an old mob guy named Mousie who says:

     "So, you two know one another, eh?" [meaning Slick and Mugsy Tortorella] Mousie was clearly impressed that I knew Mugsy.
     "Yeah, he worked with a couple of friends of mine," I answered. [the friends being Leroy Smolen]
     "Did those friends know that Mugsy thought Marilyn Monroe's ass was the best he's ever seen?"
     Now, any ordinary outsider would have said to himself, "Where did that remark come from?" But I knew how mob guys talked. Mousie was testing me, but he had to do it in a roundabout way. He couldn't come right out and ask, "Do you know Mugsy was the guy who killed Marilyn Monroe and put dope up her ass to make it look like she died from an overdose?" No. Mousie and I both would have been hit--him for talking and me for knowing too much. So, Mousie used this indirect way of finding out how much I knew. I'd heard about Marilyn being taken out by the mob through extremely reliable sources, but I never let on to anyone. Okay, there was only one way to play this if I  wanted to live a few more years.
     "Gee, I never heard that one." I managed to sound like maybe Mousie was making a joke and I didn't get the punch line.
     He glanced at me with those watery eyes that seemed to take in my every thought. Apparently he was satisfied I didn't know anything because he let the subject drop. I was itching to ask a ton of questions like, was the FBI in on it?...and were they afraid she was getting too close to JFK?...but I just nodded. The less you said to these Outfit guys the better.
I have one more source to check out, a book titled Assassination of Marilyn Monroe, before I make the final entry in this three part post on how Marilyn Monroe really died.

Check out these websites for more information: and a very interesting blog on the topic:

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