The FBI warned Bobby Kennedy a book was coming out revealing his affair with Marilyn Monroe and blaming him for her death

  • In 1964, the FBI sent then-Attorney General Robert "Bobby" Kennedy information about a forthcoming book purporting to reveal his affair with Marilyn Monroe.
  • The author, who often dabbled in "extremely questionable" allegations, according to the Bureau, published the 70-page book for $2 a copy.
  • This unexpected bit of history comes from the release of 2,800 previously classified JFK files.


In the summer of 1964, the FBI spent two weeks investigating a tip from author Frank Capell that he was publishing a 70-page book outlining Bobby Kennedy's alleged affair with Marilyn Monroe, accusing him and the Kennedy clan of being responsible for her death.

This unexpected bit of history comes from the release of over 2,800 previously classified documents about President John F. Kennedy's assassination in November 1963. President Donald Trump allowed the release of the so-called JFK files on Thursday.

It has long been rumored that Bobby Kennedy — who was married to Ethel Kennedy — had an affair with Monroe after JFK "passed her off to his brother," as People puts it.

"Did the trouble begin when Marilyn realized that her VIP had no intention of getting a divorce and marrying her?" Capell wrote in the "The Strange Death of Marilyn Monroe," labeling Bobby Kennedy "VIP." He added, "Since Marilyn could destroy him either by talking or with written evidence, did he decide to take drastic action?"

RELATED: A look back at Marilyn Monroe

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A look at Marilyn Monroe
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A look at Marilyn Monroe
NEW YORK, UNITED STATES - MAY 1962: Actress Marilyn Monroe singing Happy Birthday at the Democratic rally for President John F. Kennedy's birthday. (Photo by Yale Joel/Life Magazine/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)
Marilyn Monroe, David Wayne, on-set of the Film, "How to Marry a Millionaire", 1953. (Glasshouse Images/Alamy)
SOME LIKE IT HOT(1959) MARILYN MONROE, TONY CURTIS SLH 047P MOVIESTORE COLLECTIO LTD. (Photo via Alamy)
Marilyn Monroe, on-set of the Film, "There's No Business Like Show Business", 1954, TM and Copyright (c) 20th Century-Fox Film Corp. All Rights Reserved (Photo via Alamy)
Marilyn Monroe with Joe DiMaggio, 1953. (Photo via Alamy)
circa 1948: An early publicity shot of Marilyn Monroe (Norma Jean Mortenson or Norma Jean Baker, 1926 - 1962). (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
American actress Marilyn Monroe (1926 - 1962), circa 1950. (Photo by L. J. Willinger/Keystone Features/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
October 1951: American film actress Marilyn Monroe (1926 - 1962). (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)
PALM SPRINGS, CA - 1954: Actress Marilyn Monroe poses for a portrait laying on the grass in 1954 in Palm Springs, California. (Photo by Baron/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
1954: American film star Marilyn Monroe (1926-1962). (Photo by Baron/Getty Images)
American film star Marilyn Monroe (1926 - 1962) outside her home at Englefield Green. (Photo by Evening Standard/Getty Images)
circa 1958: American film star Marilyn Monroe (Norma Jean Mortenson or Norma Jean Baker, 1926 - 1962). (Photo by Keystone Features/Getty Images)
American actress Marilyn Monroe (1926 - 1962) out for a cycle ride, UK, 13th August 1956. (Photo by Harold Clements/Daily Express/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
A portrait taken on December 3, 1961 shows American actress Marilyn Monroe. AFP PHOTO (Photo credit should read ARCHIVE/AFP/Getty Images)
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Capell went on to accuse Kennedy of using "the Communist Conspiracy which is an expert in the scientific elimination of its enemies" to murder Monroe.

In official memos, the FBI calls the rumored affair and allegation that Kennedy was with Monroe when she died "utterly false." Kennedy was the attorney general at the time, and thus oversaw the Bureau, raising questions about why FBI agents might have been looking into potentially salacious material about their boss.

Monroe died on August 5, 1962 at her home in Los Angeles. The coroner concluded it was "probably suicide" from a barbiturate overdose.

"The above allegation concerning the Attorney General has been previously circulated and has been branded as false as the Attorney General was actually in San Francisco with his wife at the time Marilyn Monroe committed suicide," an FBI agent from New York wrote.

The New York office was instructed to "follow this matter very closely," and send two copies of Capell's book to FBI headquarters once they were published so Kennedy could be "kept advised."

On July 15, 1964, FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover sent Kennedy a copy of the book, writing that Capell "claims that you had a close relationship with Miss Monroe."

In March 1976, Sen. Frank Church requested "all FBI materials pertaining to communications between FBI Director Hoover and Attorney General Robert Kennedy with respect to the publication of a book about Marilyn Monroe by Frank Capell," suggesting he may have known such communications existed. In April, the FBI complied.

That's the last document in the entry named "Marilyn Monroe" in the JFK files.

RELATED: The Kennedy family through the years

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Joseph P. Kennedy and Kenned family
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Joseph P. Kennedy and Kenned family
JOSEPH P KENNEDY (1888-1969) US businessman, father of JFK, here in 1939 as US Ambassador to the UK.
Antique October 7, 1914 photograph, Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr. and bride Rose Elizabeth Fitzgerald Kennedy leaving the private chapel of the Archbishop of Boston, in Boston, Massachusetts, USA.
Joseph P. Kennedy Jr., USN
American businessman + political figure Joseph P. Kennedy Sr (1888 - 1969) - father of US President John F. Kennedy (JFK).
Seated at right, American socialite and philanthrophist Rose Kennedy (1890 - 1995) poses with her children, from left, Joseph P Kennedy Jr (1915 - 1944), John F Kennedy (1917 - 1963), Kathleen Kennedy (1920 - 1948), Rosemary Kennedy (1918 - 2005), and Eunice Kennedy, Brookline, Massachussetts, 1921. (Photo by Bachrach/Getty Images)
(GERMANY OUT) 29.05.1917 - 22.11.1963, Politiker; USA, Familienfoto; sitzend v.l.n.r.: Mrs., Sargent-Shriver, die Eltern Joseph P. und, Rose, Ehefrau Jacqueline und Bruder, Edward; stehend v.l.n.r.: Ethel, Stephen, Smith und Frau, John F., Frau Lawford,, Mr. Sargent-Shriver, Joan, Peter Lawford, - 09.11.1960 (Photo by ullstein bild via Getty Images)
Ambassador in London Joseph P. Kennedy. Grossbritannien. Photograph. 1938. (Photo by Imagno/Getty Images) Botschafter in London: Joseph P. Kennedy. Grossbritannien. Photographie. 1938.
Portrait of the Kennedy family in their living room, Brookline, Massachussetts, 1930s. Front row from left: Joseph P Kennedy Jr (1915 - 1944), Rose Kennedy (1890 - 1995), Robert Kennedy (1925 - 1968), Edward Kennedy, Joseph P Kennedy Sr (1888 - 1969), Patricia Kennedy (1926 - 2006), Jean Kennedy; back row from left: Eunice Kennedy, John F Kennedy (1917 - 1963), Kathleen Kennedy (1920 - 1948), and Rosemary Kennedy (1918 - 2005). (Photo by Bachrach/Getty Images)
Portrait of American businessman Joseph P Kennedy Sr (1888 - 1969) (seated, center) as he poses with his sons around him, clockwise from left, Edward Kennedy, John F Kennedy (1917 - 1963), Joseph P Kennedy Jr (1915 - 1944), and Robert Kennedy, Hyannis, Massachussetts, 1930s. (Photo by Bachrach/Getty Images)
UNITED KINGDOM - SEPTEMBER 12: Portrait of Joseph Patrick KENNEDY and his wife Rose Fitzgerald KENNEDY September 1937. Joseph P. KENNEDY was the newly appointed United States ambassador to Great Britain. (Photo by Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images)
A portrait of the Kennedy family in their living room, Bronxville, New York, 1938. From left are: Joseph P Kennedy Sr (1888 - 1969), Patricia Kennedy (1926 - 2006), John F Kennedy (1917 - 1963), Jean Kennedy, Eunice Kennedy, Robert Kennedy (1925 - 1968), Kathleen Kennedy (1920 - 1948), Edward Kennedy, Rosemary Kennedy (1918 - 2005), Joseph P. Kennedy Jr (1915 - 1944), and Rose Kennedy (1890 - 1995). (Photo by Bachrach/Getty Images)
Joseph P Kennedy, Chairman of the US Maritime Commission, as he recently appeared before a Congressional committee, Washington DC, December 3, 1937. (Photo by Harris & Ewing/Underwood Archives/Getty Images)
Patricia Kennedy (1924 - 2006, left), later Patricia Kennedy Lawford, and Kathleen Kennedy (1920 - 1948), later Kathleen Cavendish, Marchioness of Hartington, riding in Rotten Row, Hyde Park, London, 1938. They are the daughters of US ambassador Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr. and Rose Kennedy. (Photo by Horace Abrahams/Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
A portrait of the Kennedy family as they sit in the shade of some trees, Hyannis, Massachussetts, 1930s. Seated from left, Robert Kennedy (1925 - 1968), Edward Kennedy, Joseph P Kennedy Sr (1888 - 1969), Eunice Kennedy, Rosemary Kennedy (1918 - 2005), and Kathleen Kennedy (1920 - 1948); standing from left, Joseph P Kennedy Jr (1915 - 1944), John F Kennedy (1917 - 1963), Rose Kennedy (1890 - 1995), Jean Kennedy, and Patricia Kennedy (1926 - 2006). (Photo by Bachrach/Getty Images)
Joseph P Kennedy, who was sworn in today as American Ambassador to Great Britain, with his new aide, Harold Hinton, the former Washington Correspondent for the New York Times, Washington DC, February 18, 1938. (Photo by Harris & Ewing/Underwood Archives/Getty Images)
16th March 1938: Full-length image of Joseph P Kennedy (1888 - 1969, third from left) with (left to right) his daughter Kathleen, sons Teddy and Robert, wife Rose, and daughters Patricia (1924 - 2006) and Jean, London, England. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
19th March 1938: Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy, wife ofJoseph P Kennedy US Ambassador in Britain, and mother of John F Kennedy, with her daughter Kathleen Kennedy. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)
UNITED KINGDOM - MAY 05: May 5,1939. Joseph P. KENNEDY, United States Ambassador to England, holds a reception for the British king and queen. From left to right: Mrs. Rose Fitzgerald KENNEDY; the king of England George VI, his wife Queen Elizabeth, and Joseph Patrick KENNEDY. (Photo by Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images)
22nd March 1939: American ambassador to Great Britain, Joseph P Kennedy (1888 - 1969) and his wife, Rose Kennedy (1890 - 1995), arrive at Covent Garden Opera House, London. Rose wears a satin gown and a jeweled tiara. Joseph wears a white tie and tails. (Photo by New York Times Co./Getty Images)
7th March 1940: The American Ambassador in Britain, Joseph P Kennedy, greeting the press gathered at the airport as he returns from a trip to the US. (Photo by J. A. Hampton/Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)
Kathleen Kennedy (1920 - 1948), later Kathleen Cavendish, Marchioness of Hartington, whilst working for the American Red Cross in London, 1943. She is the daughter of US ambassador Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr. and Rose Kennedy. (Photo by Horace Abrahams/Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Kathleen Kennedy (1920 - 1948), later Kathleen Cavendish, Marchioness of Hartington, whilst working for the American Red Cross in London, 1943. She is the daughter of US ambassador Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr. and Rose Kennedy. (Photo by Horace Abrahams/Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Francis Joseph Cardinal Spellman officiates as Eunice Mary Kennedy, daughter of ex-Ambassador to England and Mrs. Joseph P. Kennedy and Robert Sargent Shriver Jr. kneel before main altar of St. Patrick's Cathedral during couple's wedding. It was first time since his elevation that Cardinal had married anyone.(Photo By: Fred Morgan/NY Daily News via Getty Images)
BOSTON - NOVEMBER 21: Cardinal Cushing, Monsignor Maguire, Rose F. Kennedy and Edward M. Kennedy at the funeral for Joseph P. Kennedy at the Holyhood Cemetery on November 20, 1969. (Photo by Philip Preston/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
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Church conducted a far-reaching investigation into US intelligence agencies after Watergate. The Monroe files he requested fell under the JFK Assassination Records Collection Act of 1992, and were released to the public on October 26, 2017.

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