Table of Contents

Time of Death

If you watch police shows like CSI on TV you know that the first thing investigators always do when a body is found is to take the body's basal temperature. Time of death can be determined with some reasonable accuracy if you know the body temperature, cause of death, and the ambient room temperature. Since there were thermometers in my studio, ambient temperature was no problem.

What, then, was Marion's body temperature? No one will ever know. Incredible as it may seem, rescue squads in this area do not even carry thermometers! And, on top of that, no one at the hospital had the presence of mind to take her temperature when she was brought in, or after she was pronounced dead. Without that crucial information, time of death will never be more than a guess.

The prosecution made much of the fact that Marion's skin was described as cool to the touch by the EMT personnel. After this was reported in the media, an anesthesiologist from a local hospital called my attorney to say that this was completely meaningless in a drug overdose, because cool skin temperature was a normal symptom of a narcotic coma. Unfortunately, this call came after both sides had rested their cases and the jury had begun their deliberations.

Additionally, Marion had poor peripheral circulation, and was always cool to the touch, particularly her hands and feet. Other models who worked with her complained that when she put her hands on them her hands were always cold as ice. Because she felt cold at normal room temperatures, I always had to keep the studio warmer than normal to keep her comfortable, a fact commented on in one of our videos shown during the trial.