Allan Abbott: ‘Pardon My Hearse’

Allan Abbott, who served as a pallbearer at Marilyn’s funeral, has published a memoir, with the irreverent (and rather distasteful) title Pardon My Hearse, reports the Mirror.

“The funeral director who helped prepare Marilyn Monroe’s body for burial has spoken out for the first time, giving gruesome details about the state of the star’s body after she was found dead aged 36 in 1962.

Allan Abbott and Ron Hast ran one of the most popular funeral services in the 1960s for celebrities from Monroe to Natalie Wood, called Abbott & Hast.

Now Abbott has written a tell-all book about his work for the stars, and in it, claims Marilyn was almost unrecognisable when he saw her body shortly after she had died.

Abbott describes how they were called on by West Los Angeles Police Station on August 5, 1962, after Marilyn died from a suspected overdose, in her house at 1230 Fifth Helena Drive in Brentwood.

The police station reportedly received a call from Dr. Hyman Engelberg, who spoke to the desk and stated that Marilyn was dead.

Engelberg apparently said Dr. Ralph Greenson had informed him her death was from an overdose of Nembutal and stated it was suicide.

Westwood Village Memorial Cemetery removed the star’s body, and discovered it was in the early stages of rigor mortis, and she was later delivered to the mortuary.

When Abbott’s company was called, they sent an employee to assist in moving the body, and it was taken for a postmortem.

Abbott claims her body was searched thoroughly for hypodermic needle marks, and while some were found under her arms – an area which was often used by doctors – none others were found.

Abbott claimed Marilyn was unrecognisable to her on-screen persona, and described ‘purple blotches’ covering her face due to the position she died in, while saying her roots and nails needed doing.”

The Pallbearer’s Tale


Allan Abbott, one of the pallbearers at Marilyn’s funeral, has spoken to the Phoenix New Times.

“I asked Abbott what he recalled of Monroe’s one-time husband Joe DiMaggio, who arranged for the funeral. Abbott told me of how he had brought his wife to the chapel the day before the funeral, where he hoped to sneak her in after the viewing was supposed to end at 9 p.m.

But DiMaggio lingered long after the viewing was scheduled to be over.

‘We could see him in the chapel with his very small entourage, all guys,’ Abbott remembered. ‘He would stand and look at her for a long time, then he would walk out into the cemetery and start crying. Then he’d compose himself and walk back in and stand at the casket, and look at her again.'”