Fred Otash was a private investigator who became a notorious figure in Hollywood during the 1950s and 1960s. He was known for his ability to uncover secrets and scandals involving some of the biggest names in the entertainment industry. Otash’s clients included major studios, producers, and even law enforcement agencies. His methods were often unethical and involved wiretapping, blackmail, and extortion. Despite his questionable tactics, Otash’s work helped shape the public’s perception of Hollywood and the celebrities who inhabited it.
Born in 1922 in California, Otash initially worked as a police officer before transitioning to private investigation. He quickly became one of the most sought-after investigators in Hollywood, with clients including Columbia Pictures and Confidential magazine. Otash was known for his aggressive tactics and willingness to do whatever it took to get the information his clients wanted. He was also known for his love of publicity and often sought out the media to publicize his latest investigations.
One of Otash’s most notable cases involved the divorce of Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio in 1954. He was hired by DiMaggio to investigate rumors of infidelity on Monroe’s part. Otash’s investigation led to the discovery of Monroe’s affair with playwright Arthur Miller, which ultimately led to the dissolution of the Monroe-DiMaggio marriage. Otash’s role in the case helped establish his reputation as a Hollywood insider who knew all the industry’s secrets.
Otash’s methods were not always legal or ethical. He was known for wiretapping the phones of celebrities, using hidden cameras to capture compromising footage, and even blackmailing his targets. He was investigated several times by law enforcement agencies but was never convicted of any crimes. His work was eventually exposed by a 1975 article in New Times magazine, which accused Otash of being a “blackmailer, extortionist, wiretapper, and all-around sleazeball.”
Besides his involvement in the Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio story, Fred Otash exposed many other big secrets during his time as a private investigator in Hollywood. One notable case was his involvement in the investigation of the infamous Black Dahlia murder, which he claimed to have solved but never disclosed the identity of the killer. Otash was also hired by studio heads to gather information on their actors and employees, and he was known to have obtained confidential information on many high-profile individuals in the entertainment industry. Otash’s reputation for exposing secrets made him a feared figure in Hollywood, and he became known as the “private eye to the stars.
Despite the controversy surrounding his methods, Otash remained a prominent figure in Hollywood until his death in 1992. He was the subject of numerous books and articles, including the book “Dark City: The Real Los Angeles Noir” by Jim Heimann. Otash’s legacy remains controversial, with some regarding him as a ruthless opportunist while others see him as a necessary figure in the entertainment industry’s ecosystem.
In conclusion, Fred Otash was a private investigator who made a name for himself by exposing Hollywood’s secrets. His methods were often unethical, and he used wiretapping, blackmail, and extortion to obtain information for his clients. Otash’s legacy remains a controversial one, with some regarding him as a necessary figure in the entertainment industry’s ecosystem while others view him as a ruthless opportunist.