CHAIRMAN TUNHEIM: Welcome, Ms. Massegee.
MS. MASSEGEE: Thank you. First of all, I just wanted to thank you for the privilege of appearing before you. I just want to say thank you for the privilege of being here to appear before you. I know I am out-classed and out-numbered, and Mr. Marwell I apologize for my secretary's misspelling of your name when I sent you the letter.
I don't have the documents before me. I am not a researcher. I was a 17-year-old girl that was at Dealey Plaza that day taking pictures of the President when he was assassinated. I never wanted to become a public figure over this. I never intended to. Until my name was accidentally leaked to the press in 1972, I was not a public figure. It has caused me great grief. It has caused me a lot of concern in my life.
I have been called a liar as recently as today. I have been called a hoax. I am neither a liar nor am I a hoax. I am who I say I am. I was down there that day standing between 20 and 30 feet from the President when he was shot. I was taking a movie film which on the 25th of November was confiscated by a man who identified himself as an FBI agent.
Is Oliver Credible?
See the article "Beverly Oliver: Babushka Babe? Or Bamboozling the Buffs?" for an assessment of her testimony.
I have never until recently started trying to inquire about my film because I am extremely patriotic, did not see that there was any reason to because I had assumed all these years that it was locked up until the year 2029 as evidence, and I am still not sure that there is anything sinister about it, and that is why I am here. I would just like an explanation as to what happened to my film and where it is, and that is the only reason that I am here.
CHAIRMAN TUNHEIM: Questions?
DR. HALL: Could you just briefly indicate to us what measures or steps you have taken to secure your film?
MS. MASSEGEE: Well, I have not taken any other than questioning people, but there have been people like a Mr. Woods, and Gary Shaw, and different people who have made inquiries about my film in the past. Like I said, I have never until recently felt any need to until I began to be called a liar and a hoax and decided that I needed to stand up for myself and my own rights and, therefore, that is why I am here.
There have been documents making reference to my film that Ms. Walko has sent me in the recent past. One of the document that I remember that Gary Shaw and Mr. Woods wanted, requested, it said that it is not in their possession at this time. Another one was the film that was taken by Ms. Oliver has not been retained by this office. So there is multiple reference to my film, and I would just like to know where they are.
I am not here to cause trouble. I am not here to embarrass anybody. I just want to know, and I think I have a right to that.
MR. JOYCE: Do you have any documentary evidence that this film was taken by the FBI?
MS. MASSEGEE: No, because I was only 17 years old and I wasn't smart enough to ask for a receipt. This is a man representing my government. If he had asked me for my soul, I would have tried to give it to him. Also, there are ulterior motives, and I would go ahead and tell you that before someone else does. Laying next to the camera in my makeup kit was a Prince Albert can of marijuana, and I would have done anything to keep him from looking in my makeup kit. But also let me share this with you, I no longer use marijuana or anything else. I am a born again Christian and I am married to a preacher and have been for 23 years.
DR. GRAFF: Might I ask you if you would withdraw the word, out-classed?
MS. MASSEGEE: Thank you.
DR. GRAFF: Ms. Oliver, were these still photographs?
MS. MASSEGEE: No, they were a movie camera.
DR. GRAFF: It was a movie camera?
MS. MASSEGEE: Yes. It was an 8 millimeter.
DR. GRAFF: Eight millimeter movie camera.
MS. MASSEGEE: Yes, I have been accused of saying it was a Super 8, but I don't recall that, and to the House Select Committee investigator Jack Moriarty I, in 1977, March the 12th, I told him it was a movie camera, not a Super 8 movie camera. I just recently got my typed deposition. I was glad to see that.
MR. MARWELL: Had you gotten the film developed?
MS. MASSEGEE: No, I had not. It was an experimental camera that a friend of mine named Lawrence Taylor Roscoe, Jr., had given me, and I had to send the film -- and I don't recall why, but I had to send it to Rochester, it was a magazine, and that may be why. You know, you didn't roll it on, it was a magazine, and I just had not done it. I found some film, and this is what I brought with me because people are often curious about why I didn't do it, I have film that I have no earthly idea how old they are or how they are ever going to develop, and it is a movie film, and I brought it. I am going to get somebody to look at it, and see what I can do to get it developed, because it is old it probably won't be able to developed. It is just a flaw in my character.
But I would like to make one statement to you, and to anybody else who is interested, when all the pictures or all the pieces of this puzzle is put together, and I have faith enough in my government and in my country to believe that eventually it will be all out, all of it will be given to the researchers and the research community unredacted, unedited, undamaged in any manner, and whenever this is all put together and we really have the honest picture of what happened that day, no one more than Beverly Oliver hopes I have to stand up to America and apologize.
CHAIRMAN TUNHEIM: Thank you very much.