On July 28 and 29, the penultimate weekend of Marilyn Monroe’s life, Frank Sinatra was performing at the Cal-Neva Lodge (see photo), located half in California and half in Nevada (the Nevada half—this was the gimmick—featured gambling). What happened that weekend is shrouded in mystery, but Monroe was by all accounts drunk and stoned throughout, and photographer Billy Woodfield, who often did work for Sinatra, claimed to the end of his life that Sinatra brought him pictures that were taken in Chalet 52, where Monroe was staying.
“Woodfield stated that when Sinatra returned from Cal-Neva, he brought Woodfield a roll of film to be developed,” Donald Wolfe wrote in The Last Days of Marilyn Monroe. “In his darkroom, the photographer was shocked to see that the photographs were of an unconscious Marilyn being sexually abused in the presence of mob boss Sam Giancana and Sinatra. Marilyn had been drugged…When Sinatra was given the negatives and prints, Woodfield suggested that Sinatra burn them, but the pictures were intended to insure Marilyn’s silence.” Find out more in The Empty Glass.