The Mystery of Marilyn Monroe: The Unheard Tapes (Documentary Review)

The Mystery of Marilyn Monroe: The Unheard Tapes is a 2022 Netflix documentary on the death of iconic actress Marilyn Monroe back in 1962.

The Mystery of Marilyn Monroe: The Unheard Tapes (Documentary Review)
This documentary explores Marilyn Monroe's life and death and whether her relationships may have made her a person of interest to the CIA. Source: Netflix

The Mystery of Marilyn Monroe: The Unheard Tapes is a 2022 Netflix documentary on the death of iconic actress Marilyn Monroe back in 1962. Marilyn Monroe was, and probably still is the most famous woman in the world. She remains the most famous woman and actress of her generation and of the 20th Century. She was a stunningly beautiful actress renowned for her star-like performances on-screen. She was heavily famous and very involved with prominent figures in the then sports, entertainment, and government scenes. The unraveling of the mystery of her death is spearheaded by Anthony Summers, the author of ‘Goddess’.

Childhood Trauma

Marilyn Monroe didn’t have an easy childhood. She had been bounced from foster home to orphanage time and again, in her early years, after her mother was admitted to a mental health institution. Her childhood was very troubling, even sexually abusive and the trauma came to haunt her back in life. She was even quoted to have said that she would have really wanted to put on some makeup and a nice dress, go to a bar and pick up her father and then have him make love to her. She would then ask him “how does it feel to now have a daughter you have made love to?”


Marilyn kicked off her career with the help of her sugar daddy who was a wealthy Hollywood figure who connected her to the who’s who of Hollywood. She had always wanted to become an actress and adored the movies since childhood. At the time, girls who wanted to become actresses were often listed in casting directors’ black books as, at the time, sex was the currency to get one to fame. Marilyn had had a few of these affairs, opening the doors of fame for her in a big way.


Marilyn was a natural on-screen. She had an animal-like comfort in her own body. She was somewhat otherworldly and kind of naive and vulnerable in a way that was felt by those around her. She was very lovable and very generous and kind. She was a light in the world and once her star took off, she became the sex symbol of America at the time and the world as a whole. She was famous beyond words and people adored her just as much as she loved people.


Maybe due to her troubles during childhood, Marilyn Monroe got involved with really prominent men. She married very famous and well-respected men who, unfortunately, she would later go on to divorce after they would end up red in jealousy, and feeling like she was unfaithful. Often, she would be in this beautiful relationship that would then end up in a divorce, leaving her lonely and depressed. She is even quoted to have said that she felt like no one liked her and that she had no one. After a third divorce, she got heavily involved with the Kennedy brothers, John and Robert Kennedy in a kind of dual relationship with both of them.

Matters of National Security

Coincidentally, Marilyn Monroe was known to talk to and be friends with individuals who had been identified or rumored to be communists. It was the time of the cold war and countries like Cuba, under Fidel Castro, were seeking military assistance from Russia. The danger about this is that Marilyn was also involved romantically with both Robert and Jack Kennedy, the then-attorney general and president of the United States. There were even FBI investigations into her and her communications with the communists. Even more, the mob had hired a private investigator to tap Marilyn’s phones and bug her home, looking for dirt on the Kennedys; and they got it.

Broken Heart and Feeling Used

It came a time just months before her death when after being involved with the two Kennedy brothers, Marilyn was asked to stay away from them and not communicate with or reach out to them. The authorities and government agencies were worried that it would be known by the press and the country as a whole that the president and attorney general were discussing nuclear weapons and war with someone who was also known to communicate with communists. Marilyn was heavily heartbroken and ended up feeling used by the two brothers. She is even quoted to have said that she felt used and that she felt like “a piece of meat”; used and thrown away.

Sleeping Pills and Drug Abuse

By this time, Marilyn Monroe was an avid abuser of sleeping pills, alcohol, and other drugs. Her physical form had even changed and she was visibly not herself. She’d become heavily depressed and lonely and the issue with the Kennedy brothers was most likely the last straw. Those who knew her even said that in the months leading up to her death, it felt as if she had given up on life and “let go”.

Cover Up

Marilyn Monroe died on the 4th of August 1962. Her housekeeper found her dead lying on her bed with an unhooked phone in her hand and sleeping pills by the bed. She had apparently committed suicide or accidentally overdosed on sleeping pills. Her death was covered up as she had been visited by Robert Kennedy that same day. She’d first been fetched by an ambulance but died on the way to the hospital. She was then returned home and placed on the bed and after Bob Kennedy had left and was on a plane, authorities had been called in. The agencies there, especially the FBI, covered up her death but there’s no indication that she was killed. Her death was either a suicide, despite no suicide note being found, or an accidental overdose on sleeping pills.

Our Rating

The Mystery of Marilyn Monroe: The Unheard Tapes is a very eerie documentary. We rate it 8/10 for how well it breaks down the mystery of Marilyn Monroe’s death. It’s also very sad and haunting and a somewhat difficult watch. Marilyn Monroe was in her own way a goddess and seeing her life crumble as it did is so heartbreaking. It’s been 60 years now since the year of her death and she still feels so much in the very hearts of Hollywood, America, and the world. She was a global sweetheart and still is to this day. A light beyond wonder. A star like no other. A queen in her own right. A goddess.