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The Marilyn Tapes

updated 08/22/2005 at 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 08/22/2005 01:00AM

Marilyn Monroe did something extraordinary just days before she died on Aug. 5,1962, as retired L.A. prosecutor John Miner tells it: She recorded her private thoughts and gave the tape to her psychiatrist Ralph Greenson. She opened up about topics including her body ("My waist isn't bad"), her career and her affairs (Robert Kennedy? Yes. JFK? No comment). In Miner's view, Monroe, whose barbiturate overdose was ruled a "probable suicide," sounded reflective but not suicidal.

Miner, who claims that he heard the tapes as part of the probe into Monroe's death, says he transcribed what he recalled. He shared bits with a biographer in '84; now he hopes that excerpts that ran in the Los Angeles Times on Aug. 5 will correct the record: "This woman has been stigmatized as a suicide, reflecting on her instability. They made a nut out of her, and that's not right."

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