Located on a small unassuming cul-de-sac (barely enough room to turn your car around) at 12305 5th Helena Drive and just a few blocks from San Vincente Blvd in the Brentwood area of Los Angeles, this 4 bedroom, 3 bath, 2,624 square foot home was the only home Monroe owned of the 43 she occupied. 36-year old Monroe would die here six months after its purchase of the original $77,500 price tag and a monthly mortgage payment of only $320 per month for the remaining balance ($35,000) after her down payment. She lived there with her housekeeper, Eunice Murray and her white poodle, “Maf” (a gift from Frank Sinatra – named possibly as a reference to “Mafia”).
On the steps leading to the front door reads an inscription that says “Cursum Perficio” (Latin for “My Journey Ends.”) A book was published about Monroe’s final days at this home.
According to Zillow, this 1929, Spanish Hacienda-style home is offered below market value ($7,231,465) at $6,900,000. This includes a dishwasher, freezer, garbage disposal and a refrigerator. It has come available for sale every few years, so we might expect a sale in the near future. All nearby streets contain the name “Helena”, so locals call this area “The Helenas.” This home resides on a 23,200 square foot parcel, making it the largest plot in the area. Current and former celebrity neighbors include James Belushi, Ewan McGregor and Naomi Watts). In a 1962 Life magazine interview done at this home, Monroe spoke of the high pressure of being in show business. “One way basically to handle fame is with honesty (and I mean it), and the other way to handle it when something happens (as things have happened recently), and I’ve had other things happen to me suddenly. My goodness, the things they try to do to you, it’s hard to take – I handle with silence.”
Monroe died at this home on August 5,1962 of an apparent barbiturate overdose. Yet during a 1970’s remodel, owner Veronica Hamel (“Hill Street Blues”) found extensive phone wire-tapping and eaves-dropping devices in every room. This only gave more questions than answers for those who believed Monroe was being investigated over her alleged affairs with President John F. Kennedy and his brother, Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy. Theorists believed authorities thought she would spill secrets and say she wore a target on her back.
The last check that Marilyn Signed – the last day of her life. Signature by Marilyn, the rest written possibly by Eunice Murray. Made out to Pilgrim Furniture (12217 Wilshire Boulevard).