John F. Kennedy document hoax

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In 1997, documents purported to prove an affair between President John F. Kennedy and Marilyn Monroe, as well as other illicit relationships, were discovered to have been part of an elaborate hoax.[1] Lawrence X. Cusack, known as Lex, had forged the documents under the guise that they had belonged to his father, an attorney who represented Monroe's mother Gladys[2] as well as the Archdiocese of New York.[3] Investigative journalist Seymour Hersh was hired to attest to the authenticity of the documents, and before the scandal broke there were plans for an ABC-backed TV special or film.[4] Certain inconsistencies later raised doubts among ABC investigators, such as a typeface newer than the date of the letters, and a ZIP code included before ZIP codes had been instituted. Led by Peter Jennings, ABC confronted Cusack with these issues on air. Cusack was indicted on fraud charges[5] and was later sentenced to 10 years in prison.[6]

Later coverage[edit]

The story was featured on the February 11, 2011, episode of This American Life.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Randolph, Eleanor (September 26, 1997). "JFK-Monroe 'Affair' Papers Faked, ABC Reports". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 25 February 2011. 
  2. ^ Wald, Jonathan (March 9, 2004). "Forged Monroe-JFK letters sought". CNN. Retrieved 25 February 2011. 
  3. ^ a b "427: ORIGINAL RECIPE". 
  4. ^ "The Jfk-Marilyn Hoax". Newsweek. Retrieved 25 February 2011. 
  5. ^ Assassination Records Review Board (September 30, 1998). "Chapter 6, Part I: The Quest for Additional Information and Records in Federal Government Offices". Final Report of the Assassination Records Review Board (pdf). Washington, D.C.: United States Government Printing Office. p. 109. Retrieved May 15, 2013. 
  6. ^ Katsoulis, Melissa (2009). Literary hoaxes : an eye-opening history of famous frauds. New York: Skyhorse Pub. pp. 102–108. ISBN 978-1-60239-794-1.