Files that were just released reveal that the FBI investigated the possibility that Anna Nicole Smith plotted to kill her millionaire husband’s son, E. Pierce Marshall, as they battled in court for J. Howard Marshall’s fortune. Read more on this story below.
Anna Nicole Smith’s FBI records, obtained by The Associated Press, say they investigated Smith in 2000 and 2001 in a murder-for-hire plot targeting E. Pierce Marshall. At that time, Anna and E. Pierce Marshall were in an ugly legal battle over the late J. Howard Marshall’s fortune. E. Pierce Marshall wanted to keep the Playboy model and former stripper from getting her hands on his father’s money.
The FBI file for Anna Nicole Smith is actually whited out and shows no evidence in her involvement in a murder-for-hire plot.
It doesn’t say why authorities even believed there could be such a murder scheme but agents did interview Anna on July 3, 2000. When agents told Anna why she was being questioned, “Smith began crying and denied ever making such plans,” the report said.
Smith told agents that killing E. Pierce Marshall made no sense because her ex-husband’s money would still be tied up in a trust. Anna believed a former lover of hers was angry she broke off their relationship so made the story up.
“Smith adamantly denied ever contemplating such a crime,” an agent wrote, and prosecutors eventually agreed the case could not go forward. An April 26, 2001 letter to the FBI from Sally Meloch, an assistant U.S. attorney, said she reviewed the reports but “determined that there is insufficient evidence to establish that there was a murder-for-hire plot by Ms. Smith to kill Pierce Marshall.”
The attorney for Anna Nicole Smith’s estate, Kent Richland, was really by the allegations.
“I have not heard anything about that,” he said.
Anna Nicole Smith was just 26 years-old when she married the J. Howard Marshall, 89. Marshall was the owner of Great Northern Oil Co., who was estimated by Forbes to be worth $550 million in 1992. Smith and Marshall met while she was a topless dancer at a strip club in Texas.
J. Howard Marshall died of natural causes in 1995, just over a year after they married. Then his son, E. Pierce Marshall died in 2006 at age 67 of an infection. And of course Anna Nicole Smith died of an overdose at age 39.
The FBI files show a .357-caliber Smith and Wesson revolver was confiscated from Smith’s home, along with a 3 1/2-inch stainless steel knife and, for reasons that were not explained, a black and orange hat described as “Dr. Seuss.”
After the long battle between Anna and E. Pierce, the Supreme Court ruled unanimously in 2006 that Smith could pursue her late husband’s fortune, overturning an appellate decision, which continues to be fought in California. The estate should go to her daughter, Dannielynn, who is now 3.
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