DNA, more sophisticated electronic record-keeping, drug databases and other advances would give investigators more information than they were able to glean after Monroe's Aug. 5, 1962, death – 50 years ago this Sunday.
Whether any of the tools would lead to a different conclusion – that Monroe's death from acute barbiturate poisoning was a probable suicide – remains a historical "What If?"
"The good news is we're very advanced from 50 years ago," said Max Houck, a forensic consultant and co-author of "The Science of Crime Scenes." "The bad news is, we're still trying to put it in context," he said.
Monroe's death stunned the world and quickly ignited speculation that she died from a more nefarious plot than the official cause of death.