Gianni Russo, who played Carlo Rizzi in The Godfather, has written a memoir about his life as an actor and, before that, his time working for the American-Italian crime boss Frank Costello.
In his book, Hollywood Godfather, Russo details his time in the mob, claiming to have delivered packages of cash throughout New York for Costello, and working his way up. He also claims to have had liaisons with Liza Minnelli and Zsa Zsa Gabor, as well as getting into scrapes with Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley.
However, it’s one claim in particular which has caught the attention of most readers, as Russo believes Marilyn Monroe did not die of a barbiturate overdose as is commonly reported, but was killed because of a hit put out by Bobby Kennedy.
Talking to the New York Post, Russo shared a photo of himself and the actor, which he says was taken just three days before her death.
He also claims when he was 16 years old and she was 33, he struck up and affair with Monroe, on and off for four years, when the mob asked him to keep an eye on her while she was in New York.
Speaking about the actor, Russo said: ‘Marilyn was the best lover, she just wanted to please you.’
As Russo puts it, Monroe had been associated with the mob while she was ‘courting favour’ with JFK, though rumours of her being linked with Bobby Kennedy have often been widespread.
According to the 75-year-old, because of her close relationship with the president and his brother, the mob ‘wanted to film the Kennedys in a threesome with Marilyn’.
This, he believes, was so they could use the footage to blackmail JFK into invading Cuba, and thereby returning the country’s casinos into the hands of organised crime.
JFK didn’t fall for the trap the mob had supposedly set for him. But when Monroe found out about it, she threatened to take the story to the media which, Russo believes, did not go down well with the younger Kennedy.
Speaking about Monroe’s death, Russo said:
It had to be Bobby. No one else would kill her. The mob would not have done it. They liked her.
Explaining how she ‘really’ died, Russo said:
A guy known as The Doctor — a killer for hire and an actual MD; he had done major hits for the mob — injected air into the vein near Marilyn’s pubic region. She died of an embolism, but it looked like drugs to the coroner.
According to official reports, Monroe died at her home in Los Angeles, with the county coroner’s office ruling the death as a probable suicide from a barbiturate overdose. No evidence of foul play was found.
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Charlie Cocksedge is a journalist at UNILAD. He graduated from the University of Manchester with an MA in Creative Writing, where he learnt how to write in the third person, before getting his NCTJ. His work has also appeared in such places as The Guardian, PN Review and the bin.