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 Baker Eley as well as the Archdiocese of New York.
Investigative journalist Seymour Hersh, then finishing work on his book The Dark Side of Camelot, vouched for the authenticity of the documents. The original manuscript of the book included many statements that were sourced by the documents. Before the scandal broke, there were plans for an ABC-backed TV special or film. Certain inconsistencies later raised doubts among ABC investigators. Inconsistencies in the documents included a typeface newer than the dates of the letters, and a ZIP code included before ZIP codes had been instituted. Led by Peter Jennings, ABC employees confronted Cusack with these issues on a live television broadcast. Soon after the telecast ended, Cusack was indicted on fraud charges and was eventually sentenced to 10 years in prison.
The story was featured on the February 11, 2011, episode of This American Life.
- Randolph, Eleanor (September 26, 1997). "JFK-Monroe 'Affair' Papers Faked, ABC Reports". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 25 February 2011.
- Wald, Jonathan (March 9, 2004). "Forged Monroe-JFK letters sought". CNN. Retrieved 25 February 2011.
- "427: ORIGINAL RECIPE".
- "The Jfk-Marilyn Hoax". Newsweek. Retrieved 25 February 2011.
- 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.
- 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.