Lex Cusack

John F. Kennedy document hoax

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. 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 as well as the Archdiocese of New York. 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. 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 would later be sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Later coverage

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


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