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Man claims Marilyn's diary had Castro plot

By JOAN GOULDING

LOS ANGELES -- A former coroner's aide who said he was coerced into signing Marilyn Monroe's death certificate claimed the blonde sex star's drug overdose death 'was murder' but admitted he had no evidence.

Lionel Grandison also said Thursday he saw the actress' 'red diary' and read information it contained about a plot to kill Fidel Castro.

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He told reporters at a news conference that he wanted to reveal 'the inside story of what really happened' involving Miss Monroe's death Aug. 5, 1962.

Grandison, who then was 22, said he did not want to sign the death certificate because police and toxicological reports were missing but then-Coroner Theodore Curphey indicated it would cost him his job if he refused.

He claimed investigators at Miss Monroe's house found an apparently phony suicide note, which was not mentioned in the official coroner's report.

Grandison left the coroner's office a month later, after using a credit card stolen from a corpse. He later pleaded guilty to the charge and served a six-month jail sentence.

He told reporters he was 'set up because of questions I was asking' about the Monroe investigation. Grandison now operates an advertising agency.

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A news release handed to reporters said Grandison knew that Miss Monroe's death 'was murder -- and not suicide,' but he conceded under questioning by reporters that he had no evidence.

He said he could only describe events he observed while performing his mostly clerical duties in the coroner's office.

He also claimed he read parts of Miss Monroe's diary that contained 'political information,' including references to John and Robert Kennedy and 'to underworld figures.'

'Specifically I saw where they were plotting against Fidel Castro,' he said.

Grandison said the diary mysteriously disappeared from a safe in the coroner's office.

Rewards totaling $160,000 have been offered for the so-called diary in the past month, and the district attorney's office is investigating the circumstances of her death.

Dr. Thomas Noguchi performed the autopsy and concluded that the actress committed suicide by a drug overdose. He later became coroner, but was demoted last spring and has refused to comment on the case.

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