I wouldn’t normally do a travel blog, but I have to share the story of finding Marilyn Monroe’s half-siblings’ graves. I’m going to preface this by pointing out that Robert’s grave is on private property, and I do not recommend anyone going up there. This isn’t because I was warded off or trespassed; however, the family who owns the plot wants privacy, and that needs to be respected.
My friend Lisa Sexton and I made a trip in the hopes of finding Berniece (Baker) Miracle’s grave. When photos came up earlier this year, many people believed the death date looked photoshop. I’ve thought for years that Berniece has passed for a few reasons:
- Berniece had not talked to anyone in the MM community since 2014.
- Mona Rae’s last known communication (to someone I know) was 2015.
- There’s never been anything to suggest she was still alive, especially being her centennial passed with no fanfare in 2019.
However, without any proof, I couldn’t say for sure. Lisa and I knew we needed to see for ourselves if the headstone really had been Photoshopped, so we made our respective trips to Pineville, Kentucky.
Pineville Cemetery and Berniece Miracle
Our first stop was Pineville Cemetery. There are probably about 1-2,000 graves out there, so we knew we had our work cut out for us. Luckily, (or unluckily) we had two photos to guide us from FindaGrave:
Looking at these photos, I knew that Berniece and Paris’ stone needed to be near a tree due to the mud and lack of grass. However, finding a flat stone in a cemetery of that size is quite literally like looking for a needle in a haystack. However, Lisa and I noticed that Wilbourn and Rachel’s stone (Paris’ parents) was the same shade of pink. We hoped they were buried together because it would be much easier to find a large pink tombstone (I’m sure there is better lingo) near a tree than a flat stone.
I’m going to save our hunting process (there were a lot of trees on the perimeter) and cut to the chase: we found the gravesites and they are under the first tree on the right of the cemetery. We also saw Mona Rae’s future resting place. Because her memorial has been removed off FindAGrave, I’m not sharing it here, but anyone who visits can find it by going two rows back from Paris and Berneice’s headstone.
Berniece Miracle’s Homes
While we were there, Lisa and I decided to check out if there were any other Baker spots. We looked up census records and found addresses for the home Berniece and Robert would’ve grown up in and the first home she bought with Paris. Our first stop was the home she shared with Paris. This would’ve been the home Mona Rae grew up in and where Berniece wrote back and forth with a young Norma Jeane (edit: it appears this home was built in 1955, so it’s just the address that matches up).
Next, we decided to make our way to the childhood home of Berniece and Robert. This would’ve been the home where Robert passed away and where Norma Jeane first made contact with Berniece:
That home has been extensively remodeled. Taking an educated guess, I believe it retains the original foundation (you could see it in the back). The garage and room on the left with the large window would be recent(ish) additions.
After finding our spots, we knew we needed to find Robert and Jasper Baker. Although Marilyn never met either and didn’t have a blood connection to Jasper, we needed to pay our respects to her siblings’ father as well.
Robert Jackie Baker’s Grave
I am going to start this by reiterating: DO NOT VISIT ROBERT’S GRAVE.
After leaving Berniece’s grave, we set out to find the cemetery that houses these Bakers. I am going to cut a very long story short and tell you that it took us about 4 hours and their graves are on private property. We asked before going up to the graves and were granted access.
Feeling extremely accomplished and exhausted, Lisa and I headed home. It was a really nice experience finding the three of them, especially being I don’t know another Marilyn fan who has made the trek (that doesn’t mean they do not exist). All Lisa and I can do is hope they are resting in peace and realize how remembered all three of them are today in 2022.