He was "unreliable and unruly," says John Buntin in his 2010 nonfiction work ), who met Otash several times before his death. I got what I could, and he died." Otash is a recurrent figure in Ellroy's work and the subject of his recent e-book , in which a fictionalized version of the detective looks back on his life from "Pervert Purgatory" and describes himself as a "rogue cop, private eye, shakedown artist. Here, the truth is far more entertaining than fiction." In an attempt to counter Ellroy's view (and perhaps anticipate an even more negative portrayal in a pilot about the private eye that Ellroy is developing for FX), Colleen and Westphal recently allowed this reporter access to several of the files and an unpublished book Otash wrote about Marilyn Monroe in which he claims he overheard Monroe having sex with JFK. We wired up her phone because it started looking stupid with a suction cup." Otash listened in on Marilyn having sex with Kennedy when he was watching Lawford's house in Malibu, allegedly while working for Howard Hughes, who was seeking general information with which to discredit the Democrats.
The actress even got him to move into her Holmby Hills home, where he befriended daughter Liza Minnelli and found a hidden stash of pills.Mike Wallace called him the "most amoral" man he had ever interviewed, and Robert Towne used him for inspiration when he wrote his Oscar-winning screenplay for 1974's , about a morally dubious private eye played by Jack Nicholson. "But he was one of them." Born in 1922, the 6-foot-2 Otash grew up in Methuen, Mass., but left home to serve in the Marines before joining the LAPD.After exiting the police force, he set up the Fred Otash Detective Bureau on North Laurel Avenue in Hollywood, where he worked as a freelancer and "fact verifier" for notorious L. celebrity tattle magazine 's outing of Liberace and a gay pajama party with Tab Hunter.It's stupid to sit here and deny that these things are true. Yes, I did hear a tape of Jack Kennedy f--ing Monroe.But I don't want to get into the moans and groans of their relationship.I dumped all that junk down the toilet and flushed it away." When Otash confronted Garland, she demanded to know why he had destroyed the stash.He told her: "Narcotics and alcohol are the best evidence he [Luft] could ever produce in court.On January 21, 1958, Rock Hudson's wife confronted him, demanding to know if he was gay and grilling the actor about a Rorschach test he had taken."You told me you saw thousands of butterflies and also snakes," she said "[A therapist] told me in my analysis that butterflies mean femininity and snakes represent that male penis."It was to find out what the Democrats were up to on behalf of Howard Hughes and Nixon.Monroe became a by-product." The files include notes that he left for Colleen, in which he says he was conducting surveillance of Marilyn Monroe on the day she died.