Wednesday, February 12, 1964
TESTIMONY OF MRS. MARGUERITE OSWALD RESUMED
The President's Commission met at 10 a.m. on February 12, 1964, at 200 Maryland Avenue NE., Washington, D.C.
Present were Chief Justice Earl Warren, Chairman; Representative Hale Boggs and Representative Gerald R. Ford, members.
Also present were J. Lee Rankin, general counsel; Wesley J. Liebeler, assistant counsel; and John F. Doyle, attorney for Mrs. Marguerite Oswald.
The CHAIRMAN. The Commission will be in order.
We will proceed to the hearing.
The CHAIRMAN. Mrs. Oswald, did you have anything you wanted to say to us this morning before we start the questioning?
Mrs. OSWALD. Yes, I meant to yesterday morning. I have two or 'three things that are worrying me.
Mr. Rankin, on Monday, when I testified that I had not been questioned officially, you told me that I had. And if I remember correctly, sir, you said that there was 28 pages of testimony, or was it 8 pages?
Mr. RANKIN..Twenty-eight, I think.
Mrs. OSWALD. Well, Mr. Doyle, as my attorney--I am very concerned about that, because I want to know--if it is my testimony--because the little while the testimony that I gave to the FBI when I entered the courthouse was approximately about 10 minutes. They immediately left to investigate. They did not talk to me again, sir.
And then the only other testimony that I gave on tape was the starting of Lee's defection at the Six Flags Inn, which I would say ran approximately 10 or 15 minutes. And that is the only time I have testified.
Now, if you have all this other testimony from me, I don't think it is fair, because I should know what I am supposed to have said. I need to know what I am supposed to have said.
The CHAIRMAN. Mrs. Oswald, whatever we have that we are told you have said, you and your attorney are entitled to see, and I will see that you can. We won't delay the proceeding this morning. But you may see it before you leave the building.
Mrs. OSWALD. Yes it is very important to know that. Thank you, Justice Warren.
The CHAIRMAN. All right.
Mr. RANKIN. Mr. Chairman, on that point, will it be satisfactory if we furnish a clean photostatic copy to Mr. Doyle?
The CHAIRMAN. Yes, that will be satisfactory. You may do that, yes.
Mrs. OSWALD. I certainly need to know what I am supposed to have said.
There is an FBI agent by the name of Mr. John Fain. I will ask you, Mr. Rankin, if you have his address, or do you know about Mr. John Fain?
Mr. RANKIN. I know of Mr. John Fain as one of the agents that had some interviews with your son.
Mrs. OSWALD. Now, Mr. John Fain is the agent that I called upon myself after Lee's defection. I read where the Secret Service were investigating the family background, and I mistook it for the FBI. So I called the FBI and he came to my home. And he is the agent who recommended me to talk to Jim Wright and Sam Rayburn as a friend, and to write the letters.
Now, the one point I am going to bring out is this. When Lee returned from Russia and was at Robert's home, Mr. Fain--in the meantime he had come over to Robert and talked to him several times, and to me, supposedly as a friend--he said he was not on the case. I do not know this. But he came to Robert's home and said to Lee--my daughter-in-law is a witness there "Lee, I am not on the case, but I would like you voluntarily to come to the office at your convenience and tell me your story, because I am interested in your case. Your mother was the one who contacted me. And I have been to see Robert. And I am quite interested in a young boy going to Russia. And you must have a story."
So Lee voluntarily went with Mr. Fain to the FBI office.
Then when Lee returned, his remark was "Well, he didn't believe me. He wanted me to take a lie detector test, which I refused."
Now, Mr. John Fain may have the story we are looking for, you see because Lee went and gave the story.
And I want to make sure you know where he is now.
I have information from Senator Mike Monroney that in March--I am ahead of my story.
The FBI agents now in Fort Worth have told me they do not know Mr. John Fain. I said I happen to know that is his name.
"Well, Mrs Oswald, I worked in this office 9 years, and there has never been such a person as Mr. John Fain."
So I have investigated. And Senator Mike Monroney gave this information. He did work in the Fort Worth office from March 1949 to October 1962, and then he retired in January 15, 1963. He is not a man to retire as far as age, as far as I am concerned. I don't think Mr. John Fain is that old.
The CHAIRMAN. We will check that out.
Mrs. OSWALD. I have his last address in Houston, if you don't have it.
All right. Fine.
Now, one thing about Lee being an agent I read.
The neighbors that were interviewed in Fort Worth, Tex., by the FBI--this is from newspaper accounts said that Lee always walked a few feet in
front of his wife when they went walking, and they wondered about that, because it was very strange that he should walk ahead. I am speculating maybe, but maybe there is a reason that Lee would walk ahead to protect his wife.
That is my reasoning--as an agent.
The letter that is missing--and Mr. Doyle can verify this--the first letter to Lee is missing, that Lee wrote to me, rather, from Russia. And this letter stated--and it seemed to me, Mr. Rankin, I have seen it in one of the magazines--as I have stated I have sold several of Lee's letters. And maybe in the rush the letter got lost or stolen, I don't know.
But his first letter, he told me not to send him any money.
"I repeat, do not send any money as it is not necessary for you to pay me back. You could send reading matter. I am lonesome to read. Also, send a can of Rise Shaving Cream, a Gillette Razor," and there was a book he wanted to read, I believe it was 1984.
Mr. RANKIN. What date was this you sent that?
Mrs. OSWALD. This is a letter Lee sent to me that is missing--the first letter that Lee sent to me. And why I sent the money--because I had used his income tax return, which was $33, because Lee was lost--and I was destitute, and I knew Lee would never prosecute his mother for using his money, because Lee would help me.
Mr. RANKIN. You mean that was a refund.
Mrs. OSWALD. A refund. And I got the refund and used it, sir. And I also used Lee's first check that came from the Marines. And I had no way of knowing where Lee was. And I used it. And so I offered to pay Lee back. And this letter has been printed. I have seen it. But I do not have it. So that is very important.
Mr. DOYLE. As you had mentioned, you and I went through the papers that you had brought with you from your home in Texas to Washington, and we did not find such a letter among those papers.
Mrs. OSWALD. That is right. I have those letters laminated, and I didn't give a list, and if it was taken I don't know what became of the letter.
Mr. RANKIN. Mr. Liebeler said he had seen references to the letter.
Mrs. OSWALD. References. And I am sure it was probably one of the letters I had sold, as I told you.
Yes, sir, you are correct there.
Now, there is another thing that we have skipped.
While in Dallas 2 weeks ago I had a press conference, and I called Jaggars-Chiles-Stovall Inc., 522 Browder, in Dallas.
Now, this is a printing shop, where Lee worked.
Now, this is another thing.
Mr. RANKIN. That was the photoengraving place that you talked about, wasn't it in your testimony?
Mrs. OSWALD. Photoengraving place. I talked to Mr. Stovall. Now, Lee was employed there, he informs me, from October 12th to April 6th, and I asked him about the young couple coming to the house, if he was the father of the girl, or if he knew of a couple who had a Russian--the girl had a Russian father, the grandfather, as I testified.
Mr. RANKIN. What did he say about that?
Mrs. OSWALD. No, sir, he said, no. And he didn't know about that. He said--this is the part--that Lee had worked at a place prior to his place. That is not so, and I can prove it. I was on an OB case for Mrs. Rosenthal. We will have to get a 1962 calendar. October 12th, or thereabouts, is when I was released from this OB case. And this was the Sunday that I asked to get off an hour or two, and went to Lee's house, and saw this couple.
Mr. RANKIN. October 12th was a Friday.
Mrs. OSWALD. Was a Friday. All right.
Now, so, let's see where I am.
This woman would not give me the information, of her last check to me. I tried and tried, and told her how important it was. It was a Friday. So then it would have to be, then, Mr. Rankin, the week before the Sunday of the week before then.
Mr. RANKIN. That would be October 7, 1962.
Mrs. OSWALD. I am still going to try to investigate this thoroughly, because it is very important.
He claimed that Lee worked another place first.
Now, do you know if Lee----
The CHAIRMAN. Let's don't--we will go into those things.
Mrs. OSWALD. But if you don't know, Chief Justice Warren, how will you go into it?
The CHAIRMAN. Please don't turn this into examining the Commission. We will go into those things very thoroughly. Just go ahead with your story.
Mrs. OSWALD. Well, this is a lie, and I want to know about this lie.
The CHAIRMAN. All right, you have told us.
Mrs. OSWALD. I have not finished, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. Well, you may go ahead and tell what you want. But don't question the Commission. That is the only thing I am asking you.
Mrs. OSWALD. Well, I don't know about questioning.
Mr. DOYLE. I think if you compose yourself, if you would, and just go ahead and give the Commission all the information you have.
Mrs. OSWALD. Well, that is what I think I am doing. If I am doing it a wrong way, you will have to understand. I am a layman. I am the mother of this accused boy. I understand that is what the Commission is for, to get all information possible to come to a conclusion.
And if I have found out that my date of employment is the date that Lee was employed in Dallas, and this man said he worked some place before, I think that is very important information.
The CHAIRMAN. We will check on that.
Go right ahead with your own story.
Mrs. OSWALD. Maybe I should apologize for taking up so much of the Commission's time, sir.
Mr. DOYLE. Go right ahead with the business, and when you give the Commission the facts, then the Commission will take on from there in their own judgment.
Mr. RANKIN. Mr. Doyle, while she is taking a moment, I will hand you a photostatic copy of this tape recording of an interview with Mrs. Marguerite Oswald--it purports to be that--recorded on November 25, 1963, an interview by J. M. Howard.
Mr. DOYLE. Thank you.
Mrs. OSWALD. Now, one thing we have not covered was Lee's discharge.
The CHAIRMAN. May I interrupt just a minute?
Is that the document we were talking about just a little while ago, a copy of which was to be given to Mrs. Oswald?
Mr. RANKIN. That is right, that is the one requested.
The CHAIRMAN. And the one you were speaking of----
Mr. RANKIN. As a 28-page document.
The CHAIRMAN. Yes---all right.
Now, you may continue, Mrs. Oswald.
Mrs. OSWALD. Thank you very much.
This is Lee's questionable, dishonorable discharge, where I come in.
The first envelope was addressed to Lee Harvey Oswald airmail. And Lee was in Russia, as we know. We have the proof. And you have all of the copies of this, I am sure.
The CHAIRMAN. Yes.
Mrs. OSWALD. And this you do not have. You have a copy now, but you do not have the story, Mr. Rankin.
It states that the discharge by reason of unfitness, recommendation for discharge, reason of unfitness.
Well, I wrote to the U.S. Marine Corps--now, where is the copy of my letter?
I talked to a commandant at the Marine Corps and read this to him. And he advised me how to write to the Marine Corps, the official of the Marine Corps. And that is a copy of the letter.
I asked--well, he will get me the letter, I am sure.
So then I will read the answer to my letter.
Is that satisfactory?
Mr. RANKIN. Yes. Mr. Liebeler is going to get the copy that he has. Now, can you tell the Commission when you first learned about this matter?
Mrs. OSWALD. It would be on the envelope, sir. The envelope is mailed, Glenview, April 29, Illinois. But, as you see, it had gone to a lot of addresses, because I had moved around quite a bit. So we would have to say I got it some time later than the original.
Mr. RANKIN. Now, does this involve the question of the undesirable discharge?
Mrs. OSWALD. Yes, sir; it does.
Mr. RANKIN. And did you ever write to Secretary Connally about that, later Governor Connally?
Mrs. OSWALD. No, sir, I never did write to him.
Mr. RANKIN. All right. Will you tell us what happened?
Mrs. OSWALD. I wrote a letter, and was told how to write the letter.
And this is the answer to the letter.
I won't read it all, because you have a copy. But I have a few points to make here.
Mr. RANKIN. Do you recall who told you that--the name of the man?
Mrs. OSWALD. It was the Marine Base in Fort Worth, Tex., one of the captains there.
Mr. RANKIN. Thank you.
Mrs. OSWALD. Told me who to write to.
Mr. RANKIN. You don't remember the name?
Mrs. OSWALD. No, sir; I do not.
Mr. RANKIN. All right.
Mrs. OSWALD. The letter to Commandant, Marine Air Reserve, 50 JTMGR, 26 April 1962, "to your son was prompted 'by his request for Soviet citizenship. An investigation concerning this matter has been conducted by military authorities and the case will be placed before a board of officers which will recommend that your son be retained in or separated from the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve. Your son, of course, has the right to appear in person or to present any facts or evidence which would assist the board in reaching its decision. The letter of 26 April 1960 informed him of his rights. In view of the fact that he has not been informed--that he has not informed this headquarters of his current address, and that he has left the United States without permission, it is considered that a letter sent to the last address on file at this headquarters is sufficient notification. A letter will be sent by certified mail informing your son of a convening date of the board. Should you be aware of any facts or information which would assist the board in evaluating your son's ease, it is suggested that you forward them to this headquarters. It is regretted that action of this nature must be taken in your son's ease. M.G. Letscher, First Lieutenant, United States Marine Corps, Administrative Office, Aviation Class 3, Reserve Section."
Now, my letter is important.
Now, this was addressed to me. This is what I want the Commission to know. This was addressed to Lee, the original. Then I wrote in behalf of my son, and this was addressed to me.
Then I received a letter addressed to Mr. Lee Harvey Oswald.
By now, I am corresponding with these people, and I ask for--I need my letter. And I ask for the reason for the dishonorable discharge, and said that I would act in behalf of my son, because I have pertinent information to that fact.
Mr. RANKIN. Mrs. Oswald, I will ask the reporter to mark this as the next number.
(The document referred to was marked Commission Exhibit No. 204, for identification.)
Mr. RANKIN. This is correspondence with regard to the dishonorable discharge. Mrs. Oswald, will you look at a photostatic copy of that correspondence?
Mrs. OSWALD. Yes, that is the letter I just read. That is the back of the envelope. And this letter.
Mr. RANKIN. That is a very poor copy.
Mrs. OSWALD. Is this the letter we taped?
Mr. LIEBELER. I don't believe so, no.
Mrs. OSWALD. I know we taped one, because we could not copy it.
Mr. RANKIN. Can you read it?
Mrs. OSWALD. Yes, "I desire to inform"----
Mr. RANKIN. That is your letter of April 10, 1960?
Mrs. OSWALD. Yes.
Mr. RANKIN. And who did you send it to?
Mr. LIEBELER. May I say this, Mr. Rankin: We did tape that, and I do have a transcription of it here.
Mrs. OSWALD. "I ask for a stay of action. and I will be willing to act in his behalf."
Mr. RANKIN. Mrs. Oswald, I will hand you what I am asking the reporter to mark as Exhibit 205.
I ask you if Exhibit 205 is a correct transcription of your letter.
Mrs. OSWALD. Yes.
(The document referred to was marked Commission Exhibit No. 205, for identification.)
Mrs. OSWALD. "I am writing you on behalf of my son. He is out of the country at present, and since I have no contact with him I wish to request a stay of action concerning his discharge. Also, I desire to be informed of the charges against him. Please state reasons for such discharge. After hearing from you, I will be willing to act in his behalf."
So then comes a registered return receipt. addressed only to Mr. Lee Harvey Oswald.
Mr. RANKIN. Now, will you examine the rest of Exhibit 204 and state whether that is the rest of the correspondence in regard to the matter that you know about?
Mrs. OSWALD. This is addressed to me this envelope is addressed to me, that is right, sir.
Mr. RANKIN. And those photostatic copies in Exhibit 204 are all copies of your papers that you furnished to us, so we could make them, is that right?
Mrs. OSWALD. Yes, sir, that is correct.
Mr. RANKIN. I offer in evidence Exhibits 204 and 205.
The CHAIRMAN. They may be admitted. with those numbers.
(The documents heretofore marked for identification as Commission Exhibits Nos. 204 and 205 were received in evidence.)
Mrs. OSWALD. I believe, Chief Justice Warren. I am giving information that this Commission did not have before. I do not think they had this return addressee which is important, because after corresponding with me, as Mrs. Marguerite Oswald, they sent the dishonorable discharge in Lee's name, addressee only, when they knew he was out of the country.
I would like to know why.
That is another reason why I think that Lee was probably an agent.
Mr. RANKIN. What do you mean by that. Mrs. Oswald? Could you explain that a little more?
Mrs. OSWALD. Yes. I do not think they wanted me to have the dishonorable discharge.
Again, they wanted me to be upset and tell people about it, but not have the proof of the dishonorable discharge.
Mr. RANKIN. Don't you think it is possible that they felt he was the one involved, and, therefore, they had to get the word directly to him for legal reasons?
Mrs. OSWALD. No, sir, because, legally--I am glad you brought up the point, Mr. Rankin.
Your copies state that anyone can act in your behalf. And I wrote, as I read the copy, that I would be willing to-act in my son's behalf, and I was making arrangements to get money and go there and act in his behalf because I had pertinent information. And they ignored my letter and sent this--yes, sir.
Mr. RANKIN. They may have felt you had not been given authority to act.
Mrs. OSWALD. Well, what they may feel and what they should do--I am saying I am an American citizen, and I have some rights. And when I want to act in behalf of my son, we don't know whether he is living or dead, then I should act in behalf, I should not get a return.
I am glad you are bringing these points up. My rights have been invaded and my son's.
I make that statement for the record.
Now, we shall go to Lee's childhood.
The CHAIRMAN. Yes.
Mrs. OSWALD. Now, Chief Justice Warren, I have pictures of my son that Mr. Jenner would like this Commission to have, because it shows Lee at age 15 and 16, and myself, which was supposed to be a life of psychiatric treatment. And I am more than happy--I volunteered to help my country in every way possible--to let the Commission have everything that I have. But you must understand that these are very valuable pictures, sir. I am having people wanting rights to a book, and these pictures are very, very valuable to me. And 1 would not want any of these pictures lost. Financially they are valuable, and to my story, sir. And they are the only pictures in existence.
I have sold a few pictures in order to live.
But the way I have done it--the photographer had this picture in particular--have come to my home and copied the pictures and gave it to me back in my hand. I cannot afford to have any of these pictures lost, sir. It is my story that some day I hope to write.
So I was told that if I continue with the life history of Lee as a child and show the pictures, then they would have to be admitted for the record.
Am I correct, sir?
The CHAIRMAN. That is our way of proceeding, yes.
Mrs. OSWALD. So now when I show the pictures, will you personally give me assurance that these pictures will in no way be used?
The CHAIRMAN. No, I cannot do that. The Commission cannot do it. If you have something that you consider your personal property, that you do not want to give to the Commission, you may withhold it.
Mrs. OSWALD. I did not say, sir, I did not want to give it to the Commission.
The CHAIRMAN. Just a minute. I do not believe they bear directly on the matter we are investigating. They might be helpful. They might not be helpful. But you may have the choice of determining whether you want to introduce them or not.
But if you do introduce them, the Commission cannot put any limitation upon the use that it might make of them.
Now, I don't mean by that that we are going to necessarily distribute them or anything of that kind. But the Commission cannot limit itself in the reception of its evidence. It must have the power to do with it whatever is necessary to develop the facts.
Mrs. OSWALD. Well, I give you that power. And I voluntarily would like for you to have everything I have, including pictures. But I just wanted assurance that these pictures would not be exploited in any way. For some reason or other--I am not putting it into words--but these are my personal pictures. And I want the Commission to have them. And it is pertinent to the story, I understand, Mr. Doyle, is that correct--because it shows Lee smiling, and his life and my life in New Orleans, which, I understand that the Commission is very interested in.
Am I not correct, Mr. Doyle?
Mr. DOYLE. Mrs. Oswald, as the situation has developed here, the introduction of the pictures into evidence, of course, must necessarily involve their physical copying, and the retention of the copies in the file. The Commission itself has stated that it can give you no assurance whatsoever concerning the use of these papers.
I would, myself, be of the view that the pictures introduced into the record here would be certainly used for the purposes of the investigation and the purposes of the Commission as established by the Executive order.
But they can give you no blanket--or have not chosen to give you any blanket assurance of the use of the pictures, and have given you completely the choice that if you have any concern about it whatsoever, that you retain the pictures yourself.
The choice they have given you is if you wish to have to present the pictures to the Commission in the course of your testimony, they will be glad to receive
them, they will--there will be copies made of them, the originals, of course, will remain in your custody. Their purposes will be their use will be the uses of the Commission. But the Commission gives you no assurance whatsoever of the use, and gives you the complete choice of either submitting them or not under those circumstances.
Mrs. OSWALD. Well, being a layman, I understand, I think, what you are telling me, in a way. But, on the other hand, being a layman, I feel actually I have no choice.
You have to understand I am not an attorney.
Mr. DOYLE. But you do have a choice, because you are not here under subpena. Your materials have not been subpenaed. The Commission has advised you openly here that you may submit them or not as you see fit to do. So there is no force, no legal force at all. This is absolutely up to you.
The only thing that has been expressed to you is that they can give you no assurance or guarantee as to what use the Commission will make of them, that they will make what use they believe in their judgment is required by the Executive order and the purposes of their investigation.
Mrs. OSWALD. I understand. And that is why I wanted the Commission to have all pictures that I have.
Now, may I request something? I don't think it is presumptuous of me. Maybe it is.
Could I sign for my rights for these pictures, and then let you have the pictures?
I am afraid that they may get lost.
The CHAIRMAN. I think, Mrs. Oswald. if you have any doubt as to whether a misuse will be made of your papers, or if they are as valuable, moneywise, to you as you think they are, then I would suggest to you that you retain them yourself. We, of course, would be interested to see them, and they might be helpful---I don't know, because I don't know what you have there, or what context the pictures will be in.
But as your lawyer has told you, you are not under subpena here, you appeared voluntarily because you requested to testify before us. Those documents are not under subpena. They belong to you. They are in your possession. I have not seen them. You are at liberty to use them in your testimony or not, as you please.
But if you do. the Commission cannot put any limitations on the use that it will make of them.
Mrs. OSWALD. Even though you have stated, Chief Justice Warren. just now, that you do not know if they are valuable to the Commission--and yet I have information from Mr. Jennet that they are valuable to the Commission, because they pertain to Lee's life at age 13 to age 16.
The CHAIRMAN. Yes, I say they might be. I don't know. I have never seen them.
But the choice is with you, Mrs. Oswald. You may do just as you please. If you wish to testify concerning them. and put them in the hands of the Commission, you may do so.
But the Commission cannot limit itself in the use of its testimony.
Mrs. OSWALD. I want the Commission to have this.
Moneywise, it is more important for the Commission to know this boy's life and my life but also I need to protect myself financially, because I am a widow, and do not have the money. And this will mean--these are valuable
I am not questioning the integrity of this Commission or the loyalty. What I am questioning is that possibly they may get lost or someone may somehow or other get ahold of these pictures and exploit them, and get money for them, which has happened to some other pictures already, sir, and then----
The CHAIRMAN. Not those that you have given to the Commission?
Mrs. OSWALD. No, sir--but with another----
The CHAIRMAN. Well, I think, Mrs. Oswald. it would serve no purpose for us to debate the matter. I have tried to tell you very frankly, and your lawyer has told you very frankly and correctly, that you have a free choice
to do just as you please. And we will abide by that choice that you may make.
Mrs. OSWALD. May I confer with my lawyer for about 10 minutes?
The CHAIRMAN. Yes. We will take a recess, and you may talk to him.
The CHAIRMAN. Come to order, please.
Mrs. OSWALD. Last night, Mr. Rankin, I read Lee working at one place after Tujaque. I do not know the name, sir. I think he worked there just a few days. He had the keys to the office. And, as I returned home from work one day, another young man was at the apartment, the door of the apartment, and said that Lee was discharged, and that Lee had the keys to the office, and Just then Lee walked up and gave this young man the keys.
Now, I do not know the name of the place. And I believe he just worked there, sir, a few days.
I read that afterwards.
If you will refresh me, I will give you any information I have. But it is hard for me to think of everything.
I believe we have cleared up the business today that we have missed.
I have decided--and maybe I am wrong, because to me money is only good as to its use. However, there have been so many things since the assassination that has not been in my favor, I believe that I am going to keep my personal pictures.
The CHAIRMAN. You may do so.
Mrs. OSWALD. If at any time in the future that you would like to have these pictures, I will be more than happy to have copies made and give them to the Commission.
There is another matter, Mr. Rankin, that is very important, that you asked me Governor Connally's letter.
Mr. RANKIN. Yes.
Mrs. OSWALD. I had read this at the press conference. A letter from Lee Harvey Oswald to John Connally, Secretary of the Navy. This is just written from the newspaper article.
"I have been in the Soviet Union with the full sanction of the U.S. Embassy in Moscow." He asked the Navy Department to take the necessary steps to repair the damage to me and my family. "I shall employ all means to right the gross mistakes or injustices to a bona fide U.S. citizen, an ex-serviceman."
Now, I do not consider this a threat, because I, myself, if I had a dishonorable discharge, and I was a good marine for 3 years, and I felt like it hurt my mother and my children, and my wife, I would make such a statement, because I am a very definite person, as you know by now. I have been testifying for 3 days. And-my son is of the same nature. He loved the Marines, and as far as he was concerned, he served his country 3 years. And it was a stigma to me and his children, and he wanted to right the wrong.
So I do not consider this a threat.
He went to Austin. There was an article in the paper--trying to get this rectified, and the young lady gave a very nice report of Lee, said he was very polite.
This is not a threat.
This is just how Lee was tried immediately in a few hours time, newspaper talk, and so on and so forth.
I would state this emphatically more maybe than Lee did, if I had a dishonorable discharge, sir.
Mr. RANKIN. Did you ever hear your son say anything against Governor Connally?
Mrs. OSWALD. No, sir.
But here is what I have written down. The day at Robert's house, when I came in from the country, I, myself, gave Lee the copy--we had many copies--you showed me the copy--I gave him the copy and told him--I had written him and told him about the dishonorable discharge, but I did not send any papers, because I didn't want the Russians to know.
But when I came, I had a scrapbook, and I gave him a copy, Mr. Rankin, of
the reason for dishonorable discharge. He says "Don't worry about it, mother. I can fix that. It is no problem."
So then the boy tried to fix it. And this is not a threat. My son is of this disposition, and he felt like he was a good marine. That I know. I would do the same. And I will read it now to Governor Connally: "I shall employ all means to right the gross mistake done to my family and my now dead son."
I expect to write to anybody officially to rectify this mistake.
I have shown this publicly at press conferences, and so I will employ all means to rectify this mistake--the mother of Lee Harvey Oswald. I intended to do that. That is my life work.
I have the name of the man I talked to.
Chief Justice Warren--I will start from Lee as baby, before I get to this.
Lee was born October 18, 1939, in New Orleans, La. His mother, Marguerite Claverie Oswald, his father's name was Robert Edward Lee, he was named after General Lee. The family's name is Harvey--his grandmother's name was Harvey. And so he was named Lee Harvey Oswald.
Lee was born 2 months after the death of his father, who died from a heart attack, coronary thrombosis. Lee was a very happy baby.
I stayed home with the children as long as I could, because I believe that a mother should be home with her children.
I don't want to get into my story, though.
Lee had a normal life as far as I, his mother, is concerned. He had a bicycle, he had everything that other children had.
Lee has wisdom without education. From a very small child--I have said this before, sir, and I have publicly stated this in 1959--Lee seemed to know the answers to things without schooling. That type. child, in a way, is bored with schooling, because he is a little advanced.
Lee used to climb on top of the roof with binoculars, looking at the stars. He was reading astrology. Lee knew about any and every animal there was. He studied animals. All of their feeding habits, sleeping habits. He could converse-and that is why he was at the Bronx Zoo when he was picked up for truancy--he loved animals.
Lee played Monopoly. Lee played chess. Lee had a stamp collection, and even wrote to other young men and exchanged stamps, sir.
And Lee read history books, books too deep for a child his age. At age 9 he was always instructed not to contact me at work unless it was an emergency, because my work came first--he called me at work and said, "Mother, Queen Elizabeth's baby has been born."
He broke the rule to let me. know that Queen Elizabeth's baby had been born. Nine years old. That was important to him. He liked things of that sort.
He loved comics, read comic books. He loved television programs. But most of all he loved the news on radio and television. If he was in the midst of a story, a film--he would turn it off for news. That was important.
And I have stated in 1959, which is in print, that Lee loved maps. Lee would study maps, sir. And he could tell you the distance from here and there. And he was home on leave, I was amazed. Something was said about an air-trip. Immediately he knew how many miles in the air that that plane took.
Lee read very, very important things. And any and everything he could do.
Yet he played Monopoly, played baseball.
He belonged to the "Y." He used to go swimming. He would come by work with his head wet, and I would say, "Hurry home, honey, you are going to catch cold."
And I considered that, sir, a very normal life.
I am probably forgetting some things.
So then Robert joined the Marines in 1956--am I correct--that Robert joined the Marines?
No, Robert joined the Marines in 1952. We are now in Fort Worth, Tex. until 1952.
So then I decided, since I was working, I did not want Lee to be alone. Up until this time, sir, he had a brother. So I sold my home at 7400 Ewing
Street, and went to New York City, not as a venture, but because my older son, John Edward Pic, lived in New York, and had lived in New York for years. He was in the Coast Guard, as a military man. He has now been in the service 14 years, and at that time it would have been approximately 8 or 9 years--I may be off because that is approximately. So he was stationed in New York. So I had no problem of selling my home and going there, thinking that John Edward would leave New York.
But the main thing was to be where I had family. And I moved to New York for that reason.
Mr. RANKIN. About what date was that?
Mrs. OSWALD. This was exactly August 1952, because I wanted to get there in time for Lee's schooling. And if I am not mistaken, Robert joined the Marines in July of 1952. And that was my reason for going.
I immediately enrolled Lee in a Lutheran school, because Lee was not confirmed--he was baptized in the Lutheran faith, but because of moving around--I had married Mr. Ekdahl in this period and so on, Lee was not confirmed.
I enrolled him in the Lutheran school which took him approximately an hour or longer by subway to get there. It was quite a distance. That is when we first arrived in New York.
I believe that Lee was in that school a very short time, 2 or 3 weeks, because at this time I was living in my daughter-in- law's home and son. And we were not welcome, sir. We were welcome for a few days. But then we were to get a place of our own--because her mother lived with her, and her mother had left to go visit a sister. So Lee and I could come to visit. But we were not going to live with John and his wife.
So we just stayed there a short time.
Mr. RANKIN. Was there any time that you recall that there was a threat of Lee Oswald against Mrs. Pic with a knife or anything like that?
Do you remember that?
Mrs. OSWALD. Yes, I do. I am glad you said that.
My daughter-in-law was very upset. The very first time we went there--I stated before, and I am glad I said that--that we were not welcome. And immediately it was asked what did we plan to do, as soon as we put our foot in the house.. And I had made it plain to John Edward that I was going to have a place of my own, that we were just coming there to get located.
My daughter-in-law resented the fact that her mother--this went on before I got there that her mother had to leave the house and go visit a sister so I could come, John Edward's mother. I had never met my daughter-in-law. She didn't like me, and she didn't like Lee.
So she what is the word to say--not picked on the child, but she showed her displeasure.
And she is a very--not, I would say so much an emotional person--but this girl is a-New Yorker who was brought up in this particular neighbor-hood, which I believe is a poor section of New York.
The mother had lived in this home all her life. And this girl cursed like a trooper. She is--you cannot express it, Mr. Rankin--but not of a character of a high caliber.
At this particular time she had never been out of this neighborhood, or out of New York. And Lee loved the little baby. And he played with the baby and wanted to hold the baby and everything, which she objected.
We were not wanted, sir, from the very beginning. So there was, I think now--it was not a kitchen knife it was a little pocket knife, a child's knife, that Lee had. So she hit Lee. So Lee had the knife-now, I remember this distinctly, because I remember how awful I thought Marjory was about this. Lee had the knife in his hand. He was whittling, because John Edward whittled ships and taught Lee to whittle ships. He puts them in the glass, you know. And he was whittling when this incident occurred. And that is what it occurred about, because there was scraps of the wood on the floor.
So when she attacked the child, he had the knife in hand. So she made the statement to my son that we had to leave, that Lee tried to use a knife on her.
Now, I say that is not true, gentlemen. You can be provoked into something. And because of the fact that he was whittling, and had the knife in his hand, they struggled.
He did not use the knife he had an opportunity to use the knife.
But it wasn't a kitchen knife or a big knife. It was a little knife.
So I will explain it that way, sir.
So immediately then I started to look for a place.
I did find a place, I think, off the Concourse. I do not remember the street.
Mr. RANKIN. Was that in the Bronx?
Mrs. OSWALD. Off the Concourse, in the Bronx. And it was a basement apartment.
I had shipped some of my furniture. It was in a storehouse at this time. So I got it out and put it in this basement.
Lee had his own single bed. It was a one one great big, big room. But we had the kitchen--regular New York type style the kitchen and the bedroom and everything together, but large enough--a big one-room apartment. And there was a single bed that Lee slept on, and I slept on the studio couch.
Then Lee went to school.
Mr. RANKIN. Was that Public School 117?
Mrs. OSWALD. I have that information here.
Went to school in the neighborhood, Public School 117, which is a junior high school in the Bronx. It states here he attended 15 of 47 days. This is the place we were living that Lee was picked up by the truant officer in the Bronx Zoo.
I was informed of this at work, and I had to appear before a board, which I did.
Lee went back to school.
Then he was picked up again in the Bronx Zoo. And I had to appear before a board committee again.
Then the third time that Lee was picked up, we were--I never did get a subpena, but we were told that he had to appear at Children's Court. But I never--how I got the notice to appear at Children's Court--I am at a loss, sir.
But I did not contact at this time a lawyer or anything. I did not know. I did not think it was anything serious, because the Texas laws are not like the New York laws. In New York, if you are out of school one day you go to Children's Court. In Texas the children stay out of school for months at a time.
Lee had never done this. So I appeared with my son in court. There was a Judge asked me if I want to be represented by court counsel. And I believe I said, yes, I believe I was represented by the court counsel at this particular time. And within a few minutes time because there were hundreds of people sitting, waiting with their truant children, and it was just like this--you didn't take the time we are taking here, a half hour, to discuss the case. It was done immediately.
My child was taken from me in the courtroom.
Mr. RANKIN. Had he been out of school quite a bit?
Mrs. OSWALD. No, sir. At this time, he had not been out of school quite a bit.
So then I was given a slip of paper--no, I am sorry. I was told where to go, where Lee was, which was another office.
They took Lee from me in the courtroom, two men, officers, presumably. Then I went into another office and here was Lee. Lee was wearing his brother's Marine ring, just an ornament ring. They gave me Lee's ring and the things he had in his pocket, and told me that Lee was going to be at this home, which I think the name was the Warwick Home for Boys. And gave me a slip of paper and told me when I could visit Lee.
And that was all I knew at this particular time.
The child was immediately taken, and I was told to visit the child.
Now, I believe it was--this home was in Brooklyn. I may have the name wrong. It was an old, old home in Brooklyn.
So I went to visit my son.
And I hope some day to rectify this, because I think conditions of this kind in our United States of America are deplorable. And I want that to go down in the record.
Mr. RANKIN. Did they tell you why he was taken to this home, your son?
Mrs. OSWALD. For truancy, yes, sir.
So I had to stand single file approximately a block and a half, sir, with Puerto Ricans and Negroes and everything, and people of my class, single file, until we got to the main part of this building, which had a wire, a very heavy wire, partition wire, a man sitting back of the desk, but a man in the front of the gate that let me in. I had packages of gum and some candy for my son. And I sat down there. And the gum wrappers were taken off the gum, and the candy wrappers were taken off.
And my pocketbook was emptied. Yes, sir, and I asked why. It was because the children in this home were such criminals, dope fiends, and had been in criminal offenses, that anybody entering this home had to be searched in case the parents were bringing cigarettes or narcotics or anything.
So that is why I was searched.
So I was escorted into a large room, where there were parents talking with their children.
And Lee came out. He started to cry. He said, "Mother, I want to get out of here. There are children in here who have killed people, and smoke. I want to get out."
So then I realized--I had not realized until I went there what kind of place we had my child in.
We don't have these kinds of places in Texas or New Orleans, sir.
Then I realized what a serious thing this was. And this is when I decided I needed an attorney.
But Lee, I think, was approximately in that home---I am not sure 5 or 6 weeks, which accounts for his truancy that the papers say that Lee was a truant, that he was out of school so long.
It is because he was in this home, sir. That accounts for a lot of the truancy.
Mr. RANKIN. Did you talk to him about his truancy, say anything to him about it, or ask him about it, how he happened to stay out of school?
Mrs. OSWALD. Yes, sir, I asked Lee. Well, this comes in another part.
Mr. RANKIN. All right.
Mrs. OSWALD. So I left my son that day, and I think I visited him a couple of times after that. I am not quite sure.
But in the meantime, I engaged an attorney. I do not know the name of the attorney, and I wish I did.
When I told the attorney about Lee--and I have stated this at a press conference he raised the roof, so as to say. He was indignant. I cannot quote his exact words. But what he said was that New York State picked up these boys and put them on a farm, and they pay these boys to work on this farm for the State of New York.
Now, I may not be saying this exactly. You may have the picture of the home.
But these boys work on the farm and are paid for it, I understand. That is all I can remember, sir, about this unpleasant thing, because I did not think it would ever come in my life, and after the time it happened I tried to put it out of my mind.
But now I am refreshed a little on that.
So Lee was in this home 5 or 6 weeks, I believe. You probably have the record.
So then we were asked to appear to court. I went into court with this attorney. And there, again, real fast we were in the courtroom and Lee was brought in, and Lee sat down by me. And I remember this distinctly, because Lee had ear trouble quite often. And I saw his ear running, and I said, "Lee, you are having an earache." And the judge heard me saying something to Lee.
He said, "What did you tell your boy, Mrs. Oswald?"
I said, "Judge, I asked him if he had an earache."
I didn't know they were going to give me the child then.
So the judge talked to Lee and asked Lee if he was going to be good, and
go back to school. Lee answered, "Yes, sir." And he said to me, "Mrs. Oswald, I understand that you and your daughter-in-law do not get along." I said, "That is correct." And he suggested that Lee would be much better off back in the open wide spaces that he was used to instead of in New York, where we had no family then, because the daughter-in-law and son were not friendly with us.
And this judge suggested that. And the judge gave me my son, right then and there, gentlemen.
I left the courtroom with my boy. He was given to me in my custody.
Now, that is all I know of the case. The particular case.
From there, we went into an office where there was a probation officer, Mr. John Carro. Mr. Carro talked with Lee and asked Lee if he was going to go back to school.
He reprimanded him a little bit--maybe not that, but gave him a little talk. And he said, "Lee, you are to report to me once a week for probation."
I am going to stress this.
I have been in this Commission 3 days. And you know I am very definite. So I was very definite with Mr. Carro. I did not mince my words. I said, "Mr. Carro, my son is not reporting to you once a week. This is not a criminal offense. He was picked up for truancy, he has assured the judge, promised the judge that he would be back to school. He has promised you he would be back to school. Let's give this boy a chance, and let's see if he will go to school."
"And then, Mr. Carro, if he doesn't go to school, then you can have him report to you."
Mr. Carro didn't take that graciously, which is true. When you don't agree with anyone over you, then you are in the minority, and you just as well make up your mind right then and there, that is it.
So from that time on Mr. Carro pestered me and Lee. Mr. Carro would call me at work, sir, and say that he had gone by the school, and that they were having trouble with Lee. And I went to the school and talked to the principal and she said, "Mrs. Oswald, what happened while the probation officer was here Lee moved the chair back, and it made a little noise."
And that is what Mr. Carro reported.
In plain words, gentlemen, Mr. Carro was indignant at my attitude, because he was an official.
Mr. RANKIN. What school was that?
Mrs. OSWALD. This was the first school, sir.
Then I moved. I am a little confused. Just a minute.
I took Lee out of the first school because the children knew that he had been in the home, and I thought he didn't stand a chance.
So I moved to help my child again.
And I personally went with Lee to the principal and told the principal--not in front of Lee had a talk with her--that Lee had been in this home, and that if she could help him in any way, and knew of any friends, children his age that lived in the neighborhood where we lived, I would appreciate it. And she did help. There was a young lady in this building that we lived, in the Bronx--now we are living near the Bronx Zoo.
Mr. RANKIN. Is this the new school?
Mrs. OSWALD. This is the new school. And we are living near the Bronx Zoo, which is 100 and something street.
Mr. RANKIN. And this is Public School 44?
Mrs. OSWALD. Yes, sir--Public School 44. So I talked to the principal and told her about the trouble and asked if she could not help us.
Mr. RANKIN. Now, the place that he was committed to was--do you recall that was Berkshire Farms?
Mrs. OSWALD. No, because he was not committed to a farm, as far as I knew, sir. All I knew was that he was in this home in Brooklyn. He was never committed to a farm, as far as I know, sir. He was in this home all this time. And this is where I am assuming, because I knew nothing about this--the psychiatric treatment took place, and naturally that is why they would have him in this home to observe him.
And, by the way, I was called one day to go to the home and a young lady
talked with me. And I sensed that she was questioning me for a reason, because I had been on my own all these years, and I am a business woman. So I remembered one distinct incident, She said, "Mrs. Oswald, how strong do you believe in education?"
And I said, "I believe strongly in education, but not to an extent that a mother should go out and work and deprive her children of a mother's home and love in order to make the extra money to give her children a college education," because I happen to know that a college education sometimes is not as important as wisdom. There are college graduates that do not know how to apply their ability. And so to me--I could never be home with my children. I had to work and leave my children--which was a very sore spot, let's say. I would have given the world if I could have been home and raised my children. And here are women, because of material things, and because they want to give their children a college education, deprive their children of this motherly love, that I myself was deprived of because of an unfortunate affair.
So to get education to that extent, no, sir, I do not approve of it, I think it is more important for children to come home and have someone in that home when they come home from school, and do without a college education. I am strongly for that, because of my experience.
Mr. RANKIN. Was Lee Oswald a good student?
Mrs. OSWALD. I have his records from all the schools in New Orleans, sir. But we are not through with New York--that will show he passed satisfactory grades.
Mr. RANKIN. How about New York? Was he a good student there?
Mrs. OSWALD. I think he was an average student. Yes.
Now, I personally brought Lee to the school and talked to some of the teachers. And they told me that Lee was a bright boy, but that he was bored with school--there was just something there. Lee was in a sense bored with school in this sense--that Lee was an overly bright boy, studious boy, and he should have been placed in a school that we have now, I understand, for special children of this sort.
Mr. RANKIN. But his grades were not too good during this period?
Mrs. OSWALD. They were passing grades, I would say. Now, that is what I know about the New York situation.
Now, it has come out, gentlemen, that he had had psychiatric treatment there. I did not know of any psychiatric treatment there. But now I am assuming naturally he did have it then. There is a report on it.
I wish to say this. I am just a practical nurse. I became a nurse because of my experiences, and I wanted to devote my life to humanity, which I have stated before. But I do know this. I work in hospitals, rest homes, private homes, and all of our hospitals, and all of our rest homes, and all of our institutions are understaffed.
Now, I think you will agree there. We are all understaffed. Every one I have ever been in. So I will say if Lee had psychiatric treatment in this home, there are hundreds and hundreds of children, he could not have had a complete psychiatric examination. We do not know. I do not know if he had a complete. But I will say that according to other institutions, that this institution was also understaffed.
I am going to make one remark to Mr. Jack Ruby. He has to have five psychiatrists. Now, here is one little psychiatric examination on a 13-year-old boy.
So, then we will go to Lee's schooling in New Orleans.
Mr. RANKIN. Before you leave New York, did you ever tell anybody that you took Lee Oswald to New York so he could have mental tests at the Jacobi Hospital?
Mrs. OSWALD. No, sir, never. My child was a normal child--and while in New York. I explained to you he had a dog with puppies. The school teachers talked well about him. He had a bicycle. There was nothing abnormal about Lee Oswald.
It has been stated also I was offered psychiatric treatment which is incorrect. This Mr. Carro I understand is a very big man. He may be supplying the files with all of this. But, sir, it is untrue.
Mr. RANKIN. Then you went to New Orleans after that?
Mrs. OSWALD. No. Then they assigned a big brother to Lee. This is important to the story.
So this man came out to the apartment on several occasions and saw the type person I was and my son was. And he did not see anything wrong with the child. Evidently not. Because he suggested that it might be a good ideal had told him the way Mr. Carro was doing. Mr. Carro was pestering me, sir, at work, with just little insignificant reports that I would call the school and the principal would assure me everything was all right.
So he thought that it would be better if I would take the child away. And didn't know I could do that. I didn't know exactly the charge.
So, I said, "Is it all right? They won't arrest us and bring us back?"
He said, "No, there is no extraditing"--that was his words.
So, I wrote Mr. Carro a letter explaining that I was taking--Lee and I were going to New Orleans, and Lee had cousins his age in New Orleans, and I thought the child would be better off amongst his own family. And the judge had recommended that if we could possibly leave New York that it would be better for Lee. And I wrote Mr. Carro the letter, sir. I did not flee New York. I had the decency to write him a letter. And the Big Brother is the one that recommended this.
Now, that is what I know of the New York.
Mr. RANKIN. Do you remember the name of the Big Brother?
Mrs. OSWALD. No, sir; I do not know the name of the Big Brother. But from the newspaper accounts, they know the name. The Big Brother stated how clean the apartment was, and how nice we were.
Mr. RANKIN. And then you went to New Orleans, did you?
Mrs. OSWALD. Yes, sir. Then we went to New Orleans. And we stayed at my sister's house, 757 French Street, and immediately Lee enrolled in--let's get back to this. This is in Fort Worth, Tex. Lee attended the Ridglea West School and graduated-- was promoted to junior high in 1952. In 1952 is when we went to New York. Now, we are in New Orleans.
Lee was immediately enrolled in Beauregard School in New Orleans, L.a. upon arriving in New Orleans. And here is his certificate of promotion to high school. And they have stated that his attendance was very good. He just missed 9 days, I think, out of the whole term, which is considered very good.
Mr. RANKIN. How was he as a student in New Orleans?
Mrs. OSWALD. C grades. He was promoted, or he wouldn't have C grades. So that is two certificates there.
Then I have another certificate. He went to--no, I would not have the certain, and then from the promotion he was promoted to the Warren Easton High School. And that is the school that Lee wrote the note am I correct?
Mr. RANKIN. Yes. It is already in evidence. He wrote and said you were going to San Diego, and it was not your note at all. He signed your name.
Mrs. OSWALD. That is right. And then, as you know, Robert was discharged from the Marines, and Robert did not want to live in New Orleans. So there again--so we could be a family--and this young boy, who was the youngest, could be with a brother. I moved back to Fort Worth, sir, because Robert was in Fort Worth so we could be a family again. However, I moved in July, and Lee joined the Marines in October. So we were just there a few months.
Lee attended Arlington High School there. And when we came back to Fort Worth, Tex. the school did not know what to do with Lee. Lee, I think, was approximately 2 weeks entering the school. He was too far advanced from the New Orleans and New York schools, and not advanced enough--let's see if I can explain this right--according to his age. He was too old to be in the junior, or vice versa. But I do know, and I have witnesses to this, that Lee could not immediately enter school. They had to have a conference, a beard conference, because of Lee's curriculum from school. They didn't know which school to place him in.
Mr. RANKIN. How did he get along with you? Did you get along well together?
Mrs. OSWALD. Yes. Lee was a very quiet and studious boy. None of my children gave me any trouble, thank God. We have no police record, sir, or
anything like that. And the children were always more or less home. And particularly Lee. Lee would go to the movies, and things like that. He was a normal boy. But when he was home, he was most happy. And I am of this disposition.
He could keep himself occupied--reading and when he watched a football game on television, he would have the score pad, and things of that sort. And so he was quite happy in his own way.
Now, here is something very important.
While in New Orleans, in order to go to Arlington Heights school, which is one of the ritziest schools in New Orleans, all the wealthy people go there, and we happened to live in the vicinity--Lee wanted a two-wheel bicycle, sir, and I bought him one. So when school opened, Lee went to school on a two-wheel bicycle. Can you picture this. A 16 1/2-year-old boy going to school on a bicycle, when all the other children had their own cars? Just picture this. My children never did want anything, and particularly Lee.
Mr. RANKIN. How did he get along with his brothers?
Mrs. OSWALD. Well, now, at this time he didn't know too much about his brothers. John Edward had been in the service since age 17, so it has been a number of years, other than leaves. And Robert had just finished his 3-year hitch. So you see the brothers have had nothing to do with Lee since age 13 actually--otherwise than visits. Because when Robert came back, then Lee
joined the Marines.
Now, this is the U.S. Marine Corps acceptance. And it says "I am very pleased to notify you that your son, Lee Harvey Oswald, has successfully passed the mental, moral,. and physical examinations," and so forth. My son was a marine. And I understand a very important marine.
He was in electronics. I have read--one of the marines that was with him said when he defected to Russia they had to change the system. He must have had a real responsible position, if Lee defected to Russia, and all the systems had to be changed. I don't know if this is correct. But this man made the statement, sir.
Mr. RANKIN. Did he have any courts-martial that you knew about while he was in the Marines?
Mrs. OSWALD. I did not know until what came out in the paper. And I have discussed that with several high officials, marines, and so on and so forth. A lot of men, they tell me, carry a gun. And if you did curse an officer, that is done sometimes, too--that is not anything criminal. I mean we all get provoked at some particular time. I am not taking up for the boy. I don't know what happened. But I know I myself would be guilty of that, if someone pushed me, that I may curse him. And I am sure it is done quite often. And I understand that Lee slashed his wrist. I find that from the paper.
Mr. RANKIN. Did you know anything about that? How that happened?
Mrs. OSWALD. No, sir---otherwise than what I know in the paper. I do not know, sir.
Mr. RANKIN. What about a man that was killed, that was one of his buddies in the Marines?
Did you ever know anything about that?
Mrs. OSWALD. No. This is the first time I have heard about that. I haven't even read that in the paper. I did not know about that. If I can help you in any way--his picture in the Marines--there are names of the men on the back. I do not know what they mean. But the names of the men are on the back of picture, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. When was it that he slashed his wrist--in the Marine Corps?
Mrs. OSWALD. I understand when he was in Moscow--is that correct? I do not know otherwise from what I read in the paper. These things, how could I know.
Representative FORD. May I see that picture?
Mr. RANKIN. In the Soviet Union?
Mrs. OSWALD. Yes. And that is why, too, it has been stated that he was possibly an agent, to show, when the Russians would not give him citizenship, he slashed his wrist, to show that he did not want to return back to the United States, and forced the Russians to keep him there. That has been stated.
Mr. RANKIN. Did you ever know that he shot himself while he was in the Marines?
Mrs. OSWALD. I read that in the paper.
Mr. RANKIN. He never told you that?
Mrs. OSWALD. No, sir. And I read in the paper that it could have been an accident.
Mr. RANKIN. Did you know anything about how good a shot he was? Did he ever tell you that?
Mrs. OSWALD. Lee came home with a trophy, but it is a Marine trophy--may I have that please, I need a number. It is not on this. We have another picture. But it had Lee Harvey Oswald. But it was given not to him, but to the platoon. And he was very, very proud of it. Lee was very proud of his Marine hitch, because every time he came on leave, that is all he talked about. That I know. And I am the only one that knows this.
Mr. RANKIN. Was that trophy with regard to marksmanship?
Mrs. OSWALD. Yes. Now, Marina would have that. I gave that to Lee and Marina when they returned from Russia, and the Marine book that Lee was so proud of, and the baby book that I had all these years. And I think it was in regard to marksmanship.
Now, I have Lee's--they are copying all of this, Mr. Doyle Lee's shooting record. I have that, sir. I have anything you want. It was left in his sea bag. And all of this was left in Lee's sea bag.
This is a picture of Lee with his marines, and it is a special, I think he was doing special work there. I am not familiar--I wasn't told that. But it is different than the other picture. Lee went to many, many a school, gentlemen. He went to the Marine Air Force Base in Biloxi, Mississippi, to schooling. He went to Jacksonville and some others. I remarked, "Your brothers were not sent from here to there like you were." Lee was in Japan, Lee was in Corregidor, Lee was in the Philippines, and Lee was in Formosa. That has not been publicly stated.
Mr. RANKIN. Do you know what schooling he had at these various places?
Mrs. OSWALD. No, sir. I would think that it was special schooling.
Mr. RANKIN. He never told you?
Mrs. OSWALD. No, sir. But the other brothers didn't have that type schooling. And I even remarked about it.
Mr. RANKIN. Did you ever hear your son say anything for or against President Kennedy?
Mrs. OSWALD. While Marina and Lee were in my home that month, and I had a television----
Mr. RANKIN. About what time was that?
Mrs. OSWALD. This was July, 1962--when they stayed the month with me. Yes, they were .delighted with President Kennedy, both.
Mr. RANKIN. What did they say about him?
Mrs. OSWALD. Nothing political--just "Like President Kennedy." He was telling Marina about President Kennedy. "I like President Kennedy"--"I like, too."
My son has never said anything to me politically about anyone. My son loved the Marines, and loved his work and has never, never said anything against--the only time I questioned my son was ask him why he decided to come home, and he said, "Not even Marina knows that."
That was the one question I wanted to know, because of the many things that they sent me from Russia, as I have previously stated. That was the only thing. So that satisfied me.
Mr. RANKIN. Did you know anything about his guns--what guns he had?
Mrs. OSWALD. Oh, this is very important, and I am glad you brought this up. This is the part in New Orleans that I forgot about.
While Lee was working for Tujague & Co. he started to have a bank account, and it was in a Homestead. I do not know the name, but it was on Canal Street, 900 or 100 block of Canal Street, because it was even with Exchange Place. And he started to save his money. The purpose of saving his money was to go on a tour with a young group. He was working for a steamship place as a mess engineer so he was going around to all of these seagoing trips.
And I saw the brochure. It was sponsored by very prominent people. There was nothing wrong with it. If he wanted to go, that was all right---could go on this. So he started to save his money to go. However, this was in January--you want the date?
Mr. RANKIN. Yes.
Mrs. OSWALD. Are we in 1955 in New Orleans? Yes. No, 1956 this would be. January, 1956--Lee took his money out of the Homestead, which was approximately $150, or something like that. And lee Harvey Oswald bought an electric football machine cost approximately $10. He bought a bow and arrow set--maybe about $6 or $7. And he bought a gun. Now, I don't know about guns. I was going to say BB gun, but I will not say it was a BB gun--but Robert Oswald will know--or a rifle. But it was not an expensive gun. He was just 16 1/2 years old. And I am of the opinion if he bought a real gun, I would have had to sign or something. I may be wrong. But anyhow it was a gun to go squirrel hunting or rabbit hunting. 1 will identify it like that. And then
we can go into it further.
And he paid $35 on a coat for me. And the very first job that--the very first pay that Lee got from this job from Tujague sir, he came home with a bird cage on a stand that had a planter. It had the ivy in the planter, it had the parakeet, and it had a complete set of food for the parakeet. His very first pay. And then he paid his room and board. I kept this bird cage the stand was collapsible all these years, in the back of my car, and put it up, no matter where I was on a case, and had the bird up until about 2 years ago---no, I had the bird, and gave it to Lee when they came back from Russia. What has become of it I do not know. I gave the bird and bird cage to lee and Marina when they came back from Russia. I am trying to give you the picture of this boy. Would you ask me some more questions, please? It is awful hard for me to remember everything.
Mr. RANKIN. Do you remember any other guns he had?
Mrs. OSWALD. No, sir. This is the only gun that 1 have known Lee to have.
Mr. RANKIN. Now, about Officer Tippit.
Mrs. OSWALD. Let me finish about Robert and his gun. This is important to you.
When we came to New Orleans, I worked at Washer Bros. in New Orleans--transferred from---Goldrings in New Orleans is Washer Bros. in Fort Worth, Tex. So I worked at Washer Bros. Lee came into the place 1 worked one day with the gun and wanted me to sign a paper so he could sell the gun. Well, I was indignant that he came where I was working with a gun. I said, "Lee, we will talk about it later." And several of the salesladies thought that I brushed him off real fast. Well, now, Robert bought that gun from Lee, and gave Lee $10 for the gun. It was 3 months we were living in New Orleans. So Robert gave Lee $10 for the gun. And Robert used to go hunting with it at his mother-in-law's house. I have stated they live in the country and they go rabbit and squirrel hunting. Robert would know about the gun, the type gun and everything. I do not know.
Mr. RANKIN. You have told us all you know about the gun?
Mrs. OSWALD. That is all I know about the gun. And Robert bought the gun from Lee, gave him $10.
Mr. RANKIN. You haven't told us whether you thought your son killed Officer Tippit.
Mrs. OSWALD. I strictly do not believe that Lee killed Officer Tippit.
Mr. RANKIN. Can you tell us why?
Mrs. OSWALD. Yes. I am sorry to have to elaborate so, but this, as you know, is very important.
Mr. Lane and myself are investigating, with hundreds of investigators. have over 1,500 letters. We haste reporters and people investigating for us, that are not satisfied with the whole case. And Mr. Lane has a lot of affidavits. I cannot say what Mr. Lane has. But he is doing a very good Job about this. And we have come to the conclusion that Lee is not guilty of Officer Tippit.
Now, I gave you a picture yesterday--you might have it there, I don't know, Mr. Ranking that could possibly be Marina and the child. We have found
out that the Book Depository Building--Mr. Lane has this information--it is owned by the city of Dallas--I should not go into that, I don't know. He has all of this information. Or it is a lease. It is government-owned some way or other. I should not say. Mr. Lane has all of this. We have been investigating night and day.
The CHAIRMAN. Well, we have the picture, Mrs. Oswald.
Mrs. OSWALD. All right. On the picture, then--and I have talked to Mr. Doyle about this--you might think I am crazy to say so. The first thing I saw in this picture this picture was sent to me by a woman with a letter telling me to look at the picture carefully. I did not read the letter, I did not want her opinion, or other people's opinion about this picture. We have a lot of comments about this picture. I immediately looked at the picture when I opened it. The first thing I saw was my son Lee and Marina and the child. Then when I called this woman long distance, I said, "You want to know what I saw in the picture?" and I told her. She says, "No, that is not what I see."
Representative FORD. Did you say your first reaction was that you saw Lee, Marina and the child?
Mrs. OSWALD. That was my first reaction. And, if I am correct--I don't say I am correct--but if I am correct, this would be the solution. Lee was escorted out of the building. Kennedy is shot now--I will have to show you the picture. He has passed the window where Lee's rifle is supposed to be. And he is shot in the neck. He has passed this particular part. He is shot in the neck. And then this man that I think is Lee and I wish I could swear "to it, but I am fully convinced--is being escorted out of the building and could be escorted--I am speculating, sir--I have no proof of this. I wish I did. Could be escorted out of the building by a policeman.
Mr. RANKIN. Is the picture you are looking at the one you referred to?
Mrs. OSWALD. Yes, sir, it is--Exhibit 203.
Mr. RANKIN. That is Exhibit 203?
Mrs. OSWALD. Now, this is who I think Lee is.
Mr. RANKIN. That is
Mrs. OSWALD. There is no face.
Mr. RANKIN. That is the man right in the doorway?
Mrs. OSWALD. Yes, sir. This is Lee's build and everything. The first thing I saw.
Now, they think this is Lee. No, sir, I do not.
Everybody thinks this is Lee.
Mr. RANKIN. When you say they think--it is the man leaning against the side of the doorway, is that right?
Mrs. OSWALD. Yes. That is the picture that everybody is convinced is Lee.
Mr. RANKIN. And you think it is the one next to him that doesn't show any face? It shows the arms over the head?
Mrs. OSWALD. He has his arms up in the air.
Now, that is what I saw immediately--against everybody else seeing it. And this woman and child could possibly be Marina.
Now, to explain this--whether I thought Lee shot Officer Tippit or not---Lee could be escorted out of this building with a gun in his back possibly. I am just speculating, sir. But there is a lot of speculation in this case all over the world. From foreign countries I have letters. And that is how he got out of the building. And this same officer could have been killed, because he was involved in this, and then he could have been killed, to be kept quiet. There is a possibility of this, gentlemen.
Mr. RANKIN. Mrs. Oswald, will you take this blue pencil and carefully mark on Exhibit 203?
Mrs. OSWALD. I don't mean to be telling this Commission what to do. And I cannot do it. But I would like to have this picture printed. And I am willing--I have some few dollars--I have been selling some pictures. I am willing to give a reward of $1,000 if this picture can be printed and these people come it would have to be Secret Service, FBI, and state their names.
I would like to have the people here let us find out who those people are.
Mr. RANKIN. Will you mark the letter "A" above the part that you have circled on Exhibit 203, that you say are Marina and the little girl?
Mrs. OSWALD. All right.
Mr. RANKIN. And "B" over what you circled as being your idea of Lee Oswald being there.
Mrs. OSWALD. Now, that is what I saw, and nobody else has seen this. They see the man next to him.
Would you want me to put the man next to it that they see as Lee? He has the same clothes on as Lee.
Mr. RANKIN. Well--you can testify the man that other people said was Lee Oswald, that you pointed to before on Exhibit 203, would be the one in between, would that be right?
Mrs. OSWALD. Yes. He has the same clothes as Lee.
Mr. RANKIN. Mr. Chairman, we offer in evidence Exhibit 203 as now marked with the identification.
(The document referred to was received, as indicated, as Commission Exhibit No. 203.)
Mr. RANKIN. Do you have any other reasons why you think that Officer Tippit was not killed by your son Lee Oswald?
Mrs. OSWALD. I do not.
But, gentlemen, Mr. Mark Lane has affidavits. And we are investigating this---if you will have his testimony. He has pertinent information to this. I intend, when I finish here I am going to be very quiet about what happened here, with no comments. But when I finish here, I am going on speaking tours. I am going to continue the investigation of the shooting. This is for you. But I intend to continue as long as this Commission is in session, to investigate, like we have been doing, we have come up with some very----
The CHAIRMAN. Some very what?
Mrs. OSWALD. Very important factors in this case.
The CHAIRMAN. Well, I thought that is what you were here to tell us about.
Mrs. OSWALD. I am not the investigator. Mr. Lane is the investigator. Mr. Lane is my son's attorney, representing my son. And he is investigating the death of President Kennedy and the consequent murder of my son.
And he is making tours. And we have these reporters. And we have people giving us their opinions. We have many, many letters from expert riflemen. And I have in my possession--they also write to me that have gone through this particular instance, and say it cannot possibly be done in that length of time and so on and so forth. We have a lot of expert opinions.
Mr. RANKIN. Are you willing to give those to the Commission?
Mrs. OSWALD. Yes, sir, we want to. This is what I say is our American way of life. This boy was shot down handcuffed, within a few hours time, without trial or jury or counsel, even. He did not have a right to defend himself. So Mr. Lane immediately started to defend this boy. And people have come to our rescue.
When I read Mr. Lane's brief, and I realized the truth of some of the statements he said, I contacted Mr. Lane, as you know, and we tried to come before the Commission.
So from now on, when I am through with this Commission, I am going to work with Mr. Lane in my own way--I am booked in New York on a tour next week. And I am going to talk only about the investigation.
We have help, sir. We have Mr. Laurence Ross, who is in New Zealand, who writes articles--very good. And Captain Wooster, is an expert rifleman of New Zealand. He does this all the time. He goes all over.
I am not saying it correctly.
But he is an expert. And he said that he himself could hardly do it. And he practices all the time. That is his--that is what he does for a living. He is an expert.
And we have many, many such letters. I have 1,500 letters, sir. Mr. Doyle has seen my letters and read a few.
We have attorneys writing us. We have ministers. We have all types of people that are not satisfied with this boy being charged with the assassination of President Kennedy. And, of course, not satisfied with the way he was shot
down without trial. And we are going to continue to investigate and fight this in our own way, when I leave the Commission, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. Do you have an agent for this tour, lecture tour you are making?
Mrs. OSWALD. No, sir; I do not. Mr. Lane has--well, I don't say booked me, because that would not be the word. But I am supposed to appear Monday at Town Hall in New York--no, Tuesday, the 18th. It is going to be a forum. There are three very prominent men going to be on the panel. And we are going to ask questions and talk. We will have our public support by bringing these matters before the public, because we are convinced--and there are millions of other people convinced, also--that this is not as plain as it seems to be, that there is more to it. And they are not satisfied.
We are going to continue to investigate, with the help of the public.
The CHAIRMAN. Are you to be compensated for these lectures?
Mrs. OSWALD. No. My trip is being paid to New York. And I am to live in a home with a family.
As far as that, I know nothing else about this.
The CHAIRMAN. Who does know the details of it?
Mrs. OSWALD. Well, now, Mr. Lane would know the details. And maybe you think I am being a very foolish woman. But here. When I read--because I have been very cautious--so let's say now I am not being cautious. But here is why. When I read Mr. Lane's brief---and I don't know, gentlemen, if you have read it--but I believe it would be pertinent to this Commission to get a copy. It is written in the Guardian--two or three briefs. And I was convinced this man had some pertinent ideas about it. And when I engaged Mr. Lane, he said, "Mrs. Oswald, I will tell you about myself."
I said, "I do not want to hear. As far as I am concerned, you could be a Communist. But to me a Communist is a human being. That is just his way of life."
We are Americans. We have Japanese people. That is their way of life. A Communist, as long as he is not hurting our Government, that is his right to be a Communist. That is his way of life.
I did not want to know anything about Mr. Lane, because I knew Mr. Lane wrote sensible things, that Mr. Lane was interested. And what he wrote made sense. And that is all I am interested in, sir.
If Mr. Lane is getting money, and I am appearing, that is just fine. I am not interested. If I can get before the public and through Mr. Lane doing it, I want to get before that public and state my American way of life and try to prove my son is innocent.
The main part of this is to try to prove Lee Harvey Oswald innocent.
The CHAIRMAN. Very well.
Mr. RANKIN. You said during your testimony that an agent showed you a picture at the Six Flags Inn. Do you remember that?
Mrs. OSWALD. Yes, and I am glad you brought that up, because I have notes on this, too. I have something important to say about that.
Mr. RANKIN. I will ask the reporter to mark this.
(The document referred to was marked Commission Exhibit No. 237 for identification.)
Mrs. OSWALD. Before I see a picture, see if it was in a square, cupped in a hand, I believe it would be better for me for identification. That is the way I saw it. It was cupped in his hand.
Mr. RANKIN. Mrs. Oswald, all I have is Exhibit 237. in the shape it is in. And I will hand it to you and ask you if you recall that as being the picture that was shown to you.
Mrs. OSWALD. No, sir. This is not the picture shown me. The picture that was Shown me was a full face and just shoulders. This is not the picture.
This picture was about this size, very glossy black and white, with a big face and shoulders. I have background here, a lot of white. But this took the whole picture the face and shoulders. And this door was just ajar. And this man had this picture and the two corners were cut.
Mr. RANKIN. About what size is the picture you are looking at?
Mrs. OSWALD. That is about three by four--approximately three by four, cupped in this man's hand, and the two comers were cut. The two top corners. And a
very glossy picture, black and white, with a big face and shoulders. This is the picture shown me, sir.
Now, at Six Flags Inn, about 3 days later, when I entered the room, on the table were a lot of newspapers. I walked into the room in the presence of my son, and all of the agents. As I stated before, Marina and I knew nothing of what went on. We did not know how Lee was shot or anything, because we did not sit down and watch television.
Mr. RANKIN. What son are you talking about?
Mrs. OSWALD. Robert. So this is approximately the Wednesday, the 25th--no---Sunday was the 24th. About the 26th--it was a few days after Lee was shot, a couple of days. So I walked into the room, and I picked this paper up and turned it over, and I exclaimed, "This is the picture of the man that the FBI agent showed me."
And one of the agents said, "Mrs. Oswald, that is the man that shot your son."
Believe me, gentlemen, I didn't even ask his name. And nothing more was said.
Now, that is very unusual.
Mr. RANKIN. Now, the picture that you are talking about that you picked up, was a picture in the newspaper?
Mrs. OSWALD. In the newspaper. The bottom part of the newspaper. I can see that like I can see the picture. I had never seen the picture before.
Mr. RANKIN. Did you later learn whose picture that was?
Mrs. OSWALD. Yes, when I returned to my home in Fort Worth, Tex., about a week later, Mr. Blair Justice, of the Star Telegram, brought me all the papers, that was the next time I saw the pictures and knew it was Mr. Ruby. And it was a bottom page, and it was this picture shown me. Now, this is what I want to know.
Mr. RANKIN. Tell us who was there when you said that, about the picture in the paper?
Mrs. OSWALD. Mr. Mike Howard, Mr. Garry Seals--well, all of the agents there. The room was full. And Robert Oswald was there. The room was full.
Mr. RANKIN. Was Marina there?
Mrs. OSWALD. Marina was in the bedroom. Marina and I stayed in the bedroom with the children. We could get snatches of the television and so on. The children had diarrhea and so on. We were busy.
As I picked the paper up and turned it over, it was on the back. This picture I saw, the same picture.
Mr. RANKIN. Do you know whether your son Lee Oswald knew Jack Ruby?
Mrs. OSWALD. No, sir, I have no way of knowing that. I just hope that he did, if I am right. If Lee is an agent, I hope he knew Jack Ruby.
Representative FORD. When you made that statement, after looking at the newspaper, did you say it loudly enough for people in the room to hear it?
Mrs. OSWALD. Yes, sir, because they answered me. They said, "That is the picture of the man that shot your son."
But nothing has been said since that. That is the part that I question all about this.
And then I am not asked to be subpenaed at Jack Ruby's trial or anything.
The FBI says yes, they showed me a picture, but that wasn't a picture of Jack Ruby, not even giving me a chance.
I don't understand. Something is not according to Hoyle. I keep telling you gentlemen.
Now, I can identify this picture, I believe, out of a hundred pictures.
It was a black and white glossy picture of a big face and shoulders. And why 1 express it--he had it cupped in his hand, and he poked his arm and his hand with my bifocals, and all I could see was the picture and the hand. I didn't even see Mr. Odum so much. That was that hand poked in front of me. I am positive of this. Yet I am not asked any more about the picture. They state, yes, they showed me a picture, but not this picture. I am positive, gentlemen.
Mr. RANKIN. I will ask you about a list of names and see if you know any of them, or if your son, Lee Oswald, knew any of them, to your knowledge.
Mrs. OSWALD. I will be happy to answer.
Mr. RANKIN. Karen Bennett, do you know that?
Mrs. OSWALD. Yes, I have inquired about this Karen Bennett.
Mr. RANKIN. Did you know her?
Mrs. OSWALD. I do not know whether I knew her or not. I have asked several people to investigate this for me.
Upon returning from the country on an OB case, I went to work for Royal Clothiers, in Fort Worth, Tex., as an outside sales lady. In OB you have to wait for the babies--and I needed to live. There was a young lady there by the name of Carol, I called her. It could be Karen. Looked very much like the young lady I saw on the television. That is the first time I connected the two. Her father was one of the biggest gangsters in Fort Worth, Tex. And he himself was killed by the gangland of Fort Worth, Tex.
Why I know that--the manager of this Royal Clothiers had remarked who Karen's father was, and I said to him, "I don't appreciate your broadcasting that. I think what her father did has nothing to do with the girl. She is working. Give her a chance to her own life."
I am always standing up and getting myself in trouble. I want you to know that. Maybe I am not liked. But if that makes not being liked, I will continue not being liked, sir.
So this is when I first started to work. However, I found out that the young lady also had another job at night, which is all right. She was working as a barmaid in a tavern on Hemphill Street, in Fort Worth, Tex., and she had two small children, and so if she worked at the Royal Clothiers during the day, it was necessary that she work at this saloon, or whatever you want to call it at night.
Mr. RANKIN. Was she married?
Mrs. OSWALD. No, she was not married. That maybe is what she had to do to support her children. And I understand, because I was left alone.
But--she and I became involved in this way. In the front of the store was a showcase with cheap jewelry. This is a credit place, rings, diamond rings, and bracelets. And Carol had the key to this case, and so did I. And there was some talk about a ring or something missing. I realized right then and there I could not put myself in a position of things being stolen, because here was a girl who they said her father was a gangster, and she was working in a bar. And my son was a known defector. So I quit that job.
Now, on television for the Ruby trial here comes the girl. I thought I recognized this girl. The name is Karen Bennett. And I called her. Carol, it could be Karen Bennett. I didn't have much to do with the girl. So I immediately told this story to Mr. Jack Langueth of the New York Times, and I told also to another Star Telegram reporter, Mr. John McConnoch, because I wanted them to investigate.
But I have not heard anything about it.
Mr. RANKIN. How about Bruce Carlin?
Mrs. OSWALD. No, sir.
Mr. RANKIN. You don't know whether your son knew him?
Mrs. OSWALD. No, sir. I would not know anybody that my son knew. That I am positive because he never did tell me any of this. But continue.
Mr. RANKIN. Robert Kermit Patterson, also known as Bobby Patterson?
Mrs. OSWALD. No, sir.
Mr. RANKIN. Donald C. Stuart?
Mrs. OSWALD. No, sir.
Mr. RANKIN. Charles Arndt?
Mrs. OSWALD. No, sir.
Mr. RANKIN. James A. Jackson?
Mrs. OSWALD. No, you know, a few of those names sound to me like they might be on the back of both of these pictures. I am not sure.
Mr. RANKIN. They are supposed to be associates or friends or people that Mr. Ruby knew and associated with closely.
Stanley or Katya Skotnicki?
Mrs. OSWALD. No, sir.
Mr. RANKIN. Larry Crafard, or Crawford?
Mrs. OSWALD. No, sir.
Mr. RANKIN. Do you remember that name?
Mrs. OSWALD. No, sir. I was trying to connect the name with a couple.
Mr. RANKIN. Do you know whether he ever spent any time in the Silver Spur?
Mrs. OSWALD. If Lee ever did?
Mr. RANKIN. Yes.
Mrs. OSWALD. I have had no knowledge of Lee for 1 year. None whatsoever.
Mr. RANKIN. And before that do you know whether he spent any time in the Silver Spur in Dallas?
Mrs. OSWALD. No, sir.
And before that, as to what I do know, that Lee did not drink and Lee did not smoke, and Lee wasn't the type not that he did not maybe go into saloons--but from what I know of him, he did not go into places like that of his own. If he was working he might have gone into these places.
Mr. RANKIN. These are the nightclubs Jack Ruby was associated with. You recognize that?
Mrs. OSWALD. No, I don't.
Mr. RANKIN. And the Vegas Club was another one. Do you know whether he spent time there?
Mrs. OSWALD. I would have no way of knowing.
Mr. RANKIN. And the Sovereign Club?
Mrs. OSWALD. I have no way of knowing. I am going to say, again, Mr. Lane would have ways of knowing about all these clubs and everything, because that is his part of our investigation. I would like to get back to Patrolman Tippit.
Mr. RANKIN. All right. I just want to try to cover this book about Lee Oswald's marksmanship. That has been marked Exhibit 238.
(The document referred to was marked Commission Exhibit No. 238, for identification.)
Mr. RANKIN. It is a book that you brought here.
Mrs. OSWALD. Yes, it was left in his sea bag, when he came home from the Marine Corps.
Mr. RANKIN. And that reads, "U.S. Marine Corps Score Book, Oswald, L. H."
Mrs. OSWALD. That is correct.
Mr. RANKIN That is your son's?
Mrs. OSWALD. That is correct. That is his platoon, 2060, that is the one he got the trophy with.
Mr. RANKIN. Were the various marks in that book in pencil that you see there in the book when you first found it?
Mrs. OSWALD. Yes, sir, I have not touched the book.
Mr. RANKIN. Is it in the same condition?
Mrs. OSWALD. That is the same condition that it was in his sea bag.
Mr. RANKIN. We offer in evidence Exhibit 238, and ask leave to substitute a copy.
The CHAIRMAN. It may be introduced.
(The document heretofore marked as Commission Exhibit No. 238 was received in evidence.)
Mr. RANKIN. Mr. Reporter, will you mark this 239?
(The document referred to was marked Commission Exhibit No. 239 for identification and received in evidence.)
Mr. RANKIN. Mrs. Oswald, I will ask you to glance through Exhibit 239 and state whether or not that appears to be photostatic copy of----
Mrs. OSWALD. Yes, that is the photostatic copy----
Mr. RANKIN. Of Exhibit 238?
Mrs. OSWALD. That is correct.
Mr. RANKIN. And you will see it has the same markings.
Mrs. OSWALD. Yes, sir, that is correct.
Mr. RANKIN. This is a copy we will substitute.
Now, do you want to tell about the shooting of Officer Tippit?
Mrs. OSWALD. Yes. I have many, many clippings--as I say, we have all these people working. And we have come to the conclusion, and have never seen where they had an autopsy on Patrolman Tippit or even his gun or anything. In other words, Patrolman Tippit's life has been quiet from the very beginning after the shooting. I have never seen anything about him in print. And we question
where all the money that has been given to Mrs. Tippit has come from. That is a tremendous amount of money--tremendous for donations.
The CHAIRMAN. You say you question the money?
Mrs. OSWALD. Yes, sir; the donations to Mrs. Tippit.
The CHAIRMAN. You mean you question whether she received them or not?
Mrs. OSWALD. No--where is the money coming from? As far as she knows, sir, they are donations. But where is the actual money coming from, because it is such a large amount? Like I question Marina's money. She has now $38,000. That is just what they have stated she has. What she has may be more. But that is. a lot of money for donations, a tremendous lot of money.
And Mrs. Tippit has, I think, almost half a million dollars. Is that correct? I am not quite sure. But, anyhow, it is a large amount of money. And with our investigation and things that are not according to Hoyle, we do question where the money is coming from.
The CHAIRMAN. Do you have any idea where it comes from, after your investigation?
Mrs. OSWALD. Well, Mr. Lane has. I do not have all the information. He has this information. And we are still investigating it, sir. And we will investigate if it takes another year or two. We are going to continue to arrive at the truth.
Mr. RANKIN. You referred to an article in the Time Magazine of February 14. 1964, volume 83, No. 7, when you said there were some things that were wrong in it--do you remember that?
Mrs. OSWALD. Yes, sir.
Mr. RANKIN. Did you write a letter about this assassination of President Kennedy to President Johnson at some time?
Mrs. OSWALD. No, sir; I never have.
Mr. RANKIN. Did you send a telegram?
Mrs. OSWALD. No, sir. The only telegram I sent to President Johnson was stating that I had sent a telegram to you and Chief Justice Warren, if you remember.
Mr. RANKIN. Did you get any response from the White House?
Mrs. OSWALD. No, sir; I did not get a response from the White House. And I am indignant at the response that I did get. What it did was to inform me. I was so graciously treated by Mr. Kennedy and his Administration, as I have stated and testified, that I am shocked that I am now to be told that I am not to worry the President. "In response to .your telegram to the President, I wish to inform you that any requests or any information dealing with the inquiry conducted by Chief Justice Warren should properly be directed to the Commission. I note in your telegram that you have directed your request to the Chief Justice and to Mr. Rankin, the Commission's General Counsel. Sincerely, Lee C. White, Assistant Special Counsel to the President."
Mr. RANKIN. That is the response that you received from the White House?
Mrs. OSWALD. From the telegram that I sent, when I sent a telegram to you and Chief Justice Warren--I sent him a telegram. I have it right here, sir. You don't know about the telegram.
Here is a copy of the telegram.
"President Lyndon B. Johnson. I have sent night letters to Chief Justice Earl Warren and J. Lee Rankin imploring both in the name of justice and our American way of life to let my son Lee Harvey Oswald be represented by counsel so that all witnesses including my son's widow will be cross-examined. Respectfully yours, Mrs. Marguerite Oswald."
And this is the response to that. And I don't think that is a gracious response at all. If I want to write the President or send him a telegram, I think I have as much right as anyone else to do so.
Mr. RANKIN. Did you comment on the fact of this response from the White House when you received it to anybody?
Mrs. OSWALD. Yes, sir. There was a reporter from Time Magazine that I commented to, because I was indignant, as I said. And' he said, "Well, if you or your next door neighbor or anybody walking in the street wanted to write the President, that is our American way of life." And I agreed with him.
Mr. RANKIN. Now, you are quoted in this article as saying "Why, I have got as much right as any citizen to write the President of the United States, to petition him, and let me tell you this, Mr. Johnson should also remember that 1 am not Just anyone, and that he is only President of the United States by the grace of my son's action." Is that a correct quote?
Mrs. OSWALD. No, that is not a correct quote. And that is why I was indignant yesterday when I read that. And there is more discrepancies.
I did tell him about receiving the letter, and I had just received it--that I was indignant they should write and as much intimate that I should not write the President.
I made a special appeal to the President.
Mr. RANKIN. Do you recall what you did say? Did you say anything like this?
Mrs. OSWALD. No, sir. There was nothing said to this reporter about President Johnson--because I believe my son is innocent. So if I say that, then I would be saying that my son is guilty. And that is why the President is now. the President. No, sir. I did not say that.
Mr. RANKIN. What reporter for Time Magazine was that that you were talking to?
Mrs. OSWALD. I can find out the name for you, or I can think about it. Let's see. I think the name is Sullivan. I did not want to think--but I think it is Sullivan. Do you have that information?
Mr. RANKIN. No.
Mrs. OSWALD. Well, I will get it for you, or maybe it will come to me.
Mr. RANKIN. All right.
Mrs. OSWALD. But 1 do know, because 1 was paid for the picture one of the pictures in that magazine.
Mr. RANKIN. We would appreciate your telling us as accurately as you can.
Mrs. OSWALD. I want to give you any and every information I can.
The CHAIRMAN. Did the man who interviewed you in this matter also pay for the picture--the same man?
Mrs. OSWALD. Yes sir--for the Time Magazine.
Mr. RANKIN. Did he pay you for any part of the story?
Mrs. OSWALD. No sir. No, I am wrong there, he did. He paid me for part of the story. That is not the story.
This isn't the story that was supposed to have come out. It was a much nicer and softer story. But we have found out that when we give these press notices, that they don't come out the way you give them. And they explain--like if I was to tell Mr. Sullivan, "I am disappointed in your story"--"Well, Mrs. Oswald, our editor edits to make room," and so on. That is what you get. I was disappointed in the story, because the story was that I felt so sorry for Marina, to think that she had to go through the rest of her life thinking in her mind that her husband was the killer of President Kennedy, and that she would have to tell her children that she had gone down in history, that their father was the killer of President Kennedy. And 1 went on with a long story. I said--they said "Marina had stringy hair, and she didn't have this or that." Let me tell you, I would rather have Marina with the stringy hair and less clothes, but thinking that her husband was innocent, like she thought the 3 days I was there rather than the picture now, where she smokes, she no longer nurses her baby, she left her baby in Texas to come to the Warren Commission, which is not the Marina I know.
"Marina, Mama, no, no, she never left her children." And well groomed. But she thinks now her husband shot President Kennedy. What an awful thing. 1 would much rather have no money and stringy hair and be the girl I was before, and believe my husband was innocent.
The CHAIRMAN. How much did Life pay you for your story?
Mrs. OSWALD. Is that pertinent?
The CHAIRMAN. Or Time, rather.
Mrs. OSWALD. Is that pertinent to the Commission, or is that my personal?
Mr. DOYLE. I don't think the Chief Justice--he has simply asked you a question. If you wish to answer the question that is fine. If you don't, if you tell the Chief Justice you don't wish to answer the question----
Mrs. OSWALD. Well, it doesn't have any bearing. I think the amount I got would be immaterial to the Commission. I don't know.
The CHAIRMAN. Well, I think it might be material under some circumstances. But if she doesn't wish to tell us, that is all right.
Mrs. OSWALD. It is not--just like the pictures. I want you to have the pictures. And you didn't seem to think they were important enough. I am asking if this is important to the Commission, because that is my personal life. It is no crime to sell the pictures. I have no job or income. If I want to sell a picture to a magazine or a newspaper, and protect myself financially, I am going to continue to do that.
Mr. DOYLE. The Commission has stated to you that it would be interested in knowing, that it feels it might be of some value to them. But if you do not wish to say anything about it, they would not press you. So again, it would be completely up to you.
Mrs. OSWALD. I think that would probably, like these pictures, be my personal----
Mr. RANKIN. Did you learn about the attempt of your son to shoot General Walker?
Mrs. OSWALD. I am delighted you asked me that question. I have these notes here, and didn't go through that.
The first time I knew about General Walker was through the paper.
Now, I became indignant. I do not remember the quotes. But why I became indignant was that I had Lee's handwriting in Russian. But no one came to me to find out about this note. That is the part, gentlemen, that is so peculiar about this whole thing.
I understand through reporters that the note was shown to Mrs. Ruth Paine, and wanted to know if the handwriting was Lee's handwriting. But no one has come to find out if I had any handwriting of Lee in Russian, which I have.
Mr. RANKIN. Did you think this was in Russian?
Mrs. OSWALD. Yes, I am under the impression that the note was in Russian. It stated in the paper.
Mr. RANKIN. When did you learn about the Walker incident?
Mrs. OSWALD. Through the newspaper. And it has been changed, the story, now. If I can remember. Now, I will get this for you. I have a friend that has one of the most complete scrapbooks in the United States, that helps in this investigation. And I can get all these articles, sir. And I will help in every way possible.
If I remember correctly, it was stated that Marina found this note in the room that says "I may be arrested, and if so get in touch with the Russian consul" and told her where to go to the jailhouse. I wish I knew the exact quote. So we are getting back to an agent now.
From what I remember in the beginning, he did not say in the note that he was going to kill General Walker--that he would be involved in something that might cause him to be arrested and so on. I remember this. That was in the very beginning, sir. It came out in Fort Worth, Tex. So he is going to be involved in something. That doesn't mean he is going to shoot General Walker.
Mr. RANKIN. When did you learn that he did try to shoot General Walker?
Mrs. OSWALD. As the story started to leak out from the paper, what we call leaks. I have to say this, because we are investigating this. I am not the main investigator. But I talk to people. They call, and I get letters from them. Every now and then Mr. Jim Martin, who is the business manager for Marina, would quote Marina--not Marina, but he would quote Marina about General Walker, quoted her about thinking in her mind that her husband had killed the President.
And I was firing back through the newspapers and saying Mr. Jim Martin was an American citizen, and I didn't appreciate him quoting my daughter-in-law about these things because they are of no advantage. How can they prove that Lee had killed General Walker because now maybe they would not have the bullets--and so on. It happened before.
Mr. RANKIN. You knew that he was not killed.
Mrs. OSWALD. What good would it be for Mr. Martin to make a statement like
this that Marina said, and publicize it, when they possibly could not now prove that Lee had anything to do with it, gun or bullets or anything. I could not see his purpose in doing this--which has hurt my daughter-in-law very much. I have many letters from people expressing their opinion that they did not appreciate her coming out with these remarks. But it is Mr. Jim Martin.
Marina is a foreign girl, and doesn't know what these people are doing to her, Mr. Rankin. I have publicly fought this over and over--if you have my quotes from the Fort Worth Star Telegram and so on, and probably the New York papers. I deeply feel sorry for Marina. Marina is a Russian girl. Maybe if her husband was picked up to be a murderer, maybe they would shoot him in Russia, I don't know.
But here we have an American way of life that Marina is not familiar with.
Mr. RANKIN. Don't you want her to tell the truth about it?
Mrs. OSWALD. I want Marina to tell the truth just like I want to tell the truth. But from my testimony here, I have found out that Marina has lied.
Mr. RANKIN. What have you found out about the Walker incident? Have you found anything about that was untrue that Marina said?
Mrs. OSWALD. That Marina said it?
Mr. RANKIN. Yes.
Mrs. OSWALD. I have not heard Marina say it. I have not heard Marina say it. I can answer this way. This comes from Mr. Jim Martin. There is many, many things about Mr. Jim Martin and Mr. Thorne that I don't think maybe it is right that I should say these things in front of the Commission, because they are rumors.
But a rumor, you will have to, in a case as big as this, and where there are so many people involved, you have to analyze these rumors. I will say this: understand from many, many a source that the Dallas Bar Association is going to have Mr. Jim Thorne before them. Now that is my understanding there.
Mr. RANKIN. So all you know about the Walker incident is what you have read in the papers.
Mrs. OSWALD. What I have read in the paper. And I certainly did not appreciate that. Mr. Jim Martin is a citizen, if Marina is not.
Mr. RANKIN. Now, did you ever ask your son, Lee Oswald, whether he was an agent of anybody?
Mrs. OSWALD. No sir, I have never asked Lee Oswald if he was an agent because I felt like he would not tell me.
Mr. RANKIN. But you have not asked him.
Mrs. OSWALD. No, I have not asked him.
Oh, one very important thing that I must tell you. On November 26---that was the night of November 26, and the day of November 26 was when I found out that Marina was going to live with someone else, and we had no contact. So I knew I wasn't wanted or involved. I was in the bedroom. And I left the Inn of the Six Flags, gentlemen, under strict security protection. I opened the door and had my coat and pocketbook, and I went out doors. And I was about 15 feet when they realized that I had left the Inn. Now, there was a man on the outside. stationed there night and day. But there was a little arbor. And this was in the bedroom. We had two entrances-one to the living room and one to the bedroom. I opened the bedroom door. I had my coat and bag and I was going to go home. I was going to take a bus and go home because didn't get to talk to my daughter-in-law--they had taken over.
And I was 15 or 20 feet when two agents came and took me by the arm and went back in. I didn't make a stink or anything about it. And that night I sat up all night, and the next morning I insisted upon going home. But the point that has to be made is was I under arrest or not--since these men came and took me by the arm and brought me back to the Inn of the Six Flags.
The CHAIRMAN. Were you all dressed to go home when they took hold of you that way?
Mrs. OSWALD. Yes, sir, when they took hold of me this way. And I didn't say anything. I just went back in. So then the doctor---I do not know his name, you have his name--the doctor came in to see the children, they had diarrhea. And the man whispered something to the doctor. And we closed the door. The doctor asked me for Lee's social security number. And I have
testified that I had gone home the night before to get all my papers, after much persuasion. I started to look through the papers for Lee's number. And I started to cry. He and I were in the room alone. I think this was purposely, because they said something to the doctor.
I said I am very upset and told the doctor what happened. And I said "You know, my heart is breaking. I cannot understand how they would do something like that, and not tell me about it."
So he talked with me, and he gave me two pills. When we opened the door he said to the agents "She is all right, she has a right to her feelings." So they must have thought that I was---something was wrong with me. They thought--because I took the attitude immediately--well, Robert said it--I said "Why didn't you let me know." "Well, just because the way you are acting now." I said "How am I acting. I am acting in a normal way. I have lost my son. Now you have made arrangements without consulting me to take my daughter and two grandchildren to live with strangers. This is a normal reaction. Am I going to say yes, take my daughter-in-law and grandchildren, I don't need my part of them."
This is a normal reaction.
Reverend Saunders, Louis Saunders, who is a minister at the grave, accidentally came at the very last minute. He had not preached a sermon in 8 years. He is head of the Council of Churches.
He heard we could not get a minister so he was able to come at the very last minute. And Rev. Granville Walker was sent to my home in Fort Worth, Tex., the next day after I arrived home, to help, to console me about this case. So he said "Mrs. Oswald, I understand that Marina has been offered a very fine home, and how do you feel about that. Are you not glad that your daughter-in- law is going to be taken care of and the children have an education."
I said "No, Reverend Saunders, I do not feel that way about it. Those are material things. How do we know if these children will live to derive any benefit from this education. I think that we should stick together as a family. Her Mama, like she wanted. The girl said she has no Mama. Everything was arranged for the Mama. She is talking about money and material things. I expressed my opinion at the Six Flags, that we start with $863--no contributions were coming in. And then if we cannot make it, then let the ones that are so concerned help us. And I remarked--I am working for a very wealthy woman.
Who knows, maybe she will give us $5,000. Let us stick together as a family. Reverend Saunders says "Mrs. Oswald, your philosophy of life is beautiful, and it is a Biblical way. But you know you have to be practical."
So the very next day, sir--and this is in "Christianity Today," to prove my point--Mr. Jim Cox, who writes for "Christianity Today" and is a Star Telegram reporter called me and said "Mrs. Oswald, Reverend Saunders called me and wanted me to get a story from you, because he thought you had such a wonderful philosophy of life."
I sat down, and Mr. Jimmy Cox stayed home from Church--I gave Mr. Jimmy Cox a story that is in Christianity Today, that only goes to ministers, and it is because of Reverend Saunders. So I do have people to testify about this particular thing. And I did act in a normal way. That is a normal reaction, to not want to give up my family.
Mr. RANKIN. Mrs. Oswald. I will give you Exhibits 206 through 227, both inclusive, and ask you if that is--if those are photostatic copies of your correspondence would you look at each one of them--with the State Department that you have referred to in your testimony?
Mrs. OSWALD. Yes, sir. Do you want the numbers as I go along?
Mr. RANKIN. No. You just look at them.
Mrs. OSWALD. That is correct.
Representative FORD. These are copies, Mr. Rankin, of her letters to the State Department and the responses?
Mrs. OSWALD. That is correct.
Mr. RANKIN. Yes, that is correct, is it not, Mrs. Oswald?
Mrs. OSWALD. Yes, that is correct.
Mr. RANKIN. And these copies were made under your supervision were they not.
Mrs. OSWALD. That is correct. And I voluntarily gave you every copy I have. That is correct. That is correct. That is correct.
Some of this seems to be scratched out here.
Mr. DOYLE. On Exhibit No. 221, there seems to be some X markings around. Will you put that aside, and we can compare that with the original.
Mrs. OSWALD. This is correct. That is correct. That is correct. I don't remember writing to Mrs. James. I remember calling her on the telephone.
This is my handwriting. I guess I did. Yes, that is my handwriting. That is correct. That is correct. That is correct. And this is correct, but should have a card with it.
Mr. DOYLE. You are referring to 227?
Mrs. OSWALD. Yes. And it should have with it a card, a postcard, from Lee.
Mr. DOYLE. Set 227 aside with 221.
Mr. RANKIN. Do you have a copy of 221?
Mrs. OSWALD. Yes.
Mr. RANKIN. Will you please check to see that is a correct copy.
Mr. Chairman, I think that we might gain time now if we would check these exhibits out with Mrs. Oswald, and be able to offer them at whatever time we reconvene. That is all we propose to do now.
The CHAIRMAN. All right.
Mrs. OSWALD. This is the card that should have gone with that.
Mr. RANKIN. Mrs. Oswald, were you able to find your copy of Exhibit 221, and compare it and see whether that which is marked on is on your copy?
Mrs. OSWALD. No sir, we have not found that yet.
"Yours 11th" is scratched out.
Mr. RANKIN. So that 221 is correct, but apparently there are some errors----
Mrs. OSWALD. There are more errors, too. Because it doesn't say "'Services Department of State."
Mr. DOYLE. 221 does not appear to be a photostat of the exhibit.
Mr. RANKIN. But it does have exactly the same material on it, doesn't it?
Mrs. OSWALD. It doesn't have this--"collect." I would not say it was an exact copy.
Mr. DOYLE. It appears to have substantially the information on it. It is not a photostat of it.
Mr. RANKIN. I might advise you, Mrs. Oswald, this is from the State Department's file, from which the telegram was made up that was sent to you.
Mr. DOYLE. It is not a photostat, but it does have substantially the information that is set forth in the telegram itself.
Mr. RANKIN. Now, you have examined all of the exhibits. 206 through 227, both inclusive, and found them, except for what you and your counsel said about exhibit 221, and the card that was with 227, to be correct.
Mrs. OSWALD. That is correct.
Mr. RANKIN. We offer in evidence Exhibits 206 through 227, both inclusive.
The CHAIRMAN. They may be admitted.
(Commission Exhibit Nos. 206 through 227, heretofore marked for identification, were received in evidence.)
Mrs. OSWALD. This is the card that goes with this letter, as an explanation.
(The card referred to was marked Exhibit No. 240 for identification.)
Mr. RANKIN. Exhibit 240 is the card you have just referred to that goes with Exhibit 227, is that right?
Mrs. OSWALD. Yes, sir.
Mr. RANKIN. We offer in evidence Exhibit 240, and ask that a copy be substituted.
The CHAIRMAN. That may be admitted.
(The card referred to was received in evidence as Commission Exhibit No. 240.)
Mr. RANKIN. Mrs. Oswald, would you examine exhibits 228 through 236, both inclusive? And tell us whether or not those appear to be photostatic copies of correspondence about the Albert Schweitzer College and application?
Mrs. OSWALD. Yes, that is right. That is right. This is correct. That is right. That is right. That is right. That is right. That is right. That is right. That is right. That is right. That is right.
Those are all right, sir.
Mr. RANKIN. You have Just finished comparing Exhibits 228 through 236 both inclusive, and found them to be correct photostatic copies of your files concerning the Albert Schweitzer matter?
Mrs. OSWALD. That is right.
Mr. RANKIN. We offer in evidence, Exhibits 228 through 236 both inclusive.
The CHAIRMAN. They may be admitted.
(The photostatic copies referred to were received in evidence as Commission Exhibit Nos. 228 through 236, inclusive.)
The CHAIRMAN. Have you introduced all the records you have now?
Mr. RANKIN. Just a few more, Mr. Chairman.
(The document referred to was marked 241 for identification.)
Mr. RANKIN. Mrs. Oswald, I hand you Exhibit 241 and ask you if that is one of the letters that you referred to in your testimony?
Mrs. OSWALD. That is right.
Mr. RANKIN. And it is one that you received?
Mrs. OSWALD. It is one that I received in a letter from Russia, from Lee. And you have the letter, telling me to go to the International Rescue Committee, and to show the papers to the Red Cross in Vernon. This is the letter inclosed in that letter.
Mr. RANKIN. We offer in evidence Exhibit 241, and ask leave to substitute a copy.
The CHAIRMAN. It may be admitted.
(The letter referred to was received in evidence as Commission Exhibit No. 241.)
(Documents marked 242 and 243 for identification.)
Mr. RANKIN. Exhibits 242 and 243 are the telegram and the letter you received back from your transmission to the White House that you have testified about this morning, is that right?
Mrs. OSWALD. That is right.
Mr. RANKIN. And you say you would like to have the originals back?
Mrs. OSWALD. Yes, sir.
Mr. RANKIN. We offer in evidence Exhibits 242 and 243 and ask leave to substitute copies.
The CHAIRMAN. It may be admitted on that condition.
(Commission Exhibits Nos. 242 and 243 were admitted in evidence.)
The CHAIRMAN. Are all the records identified now and admitted, Mr. Rankin?
Mr. RANKIN. Mr. Chairman. we have one further matter. and that is some correspondence that involves her son's communications with the Embassy, which correspondence was examined in the presence of Mr. Mark Lane when we were taking photostatic copies. And during that examination. Mrs. Oswald was able to identify the handwriting on part of them, and not able to identify it on another part. Is that right, Mrs. Oswald?
Mrs. OSWALD. That is right; yes, sir.
Mr. RANKIN. And we think we should probably, to cover that matter, ask her briefly to point those out.
The CHAIRMAN. Very well. Let's get that done before we adjourn, and then we will adjourn for lunch.
Mr. RANKIN. Mr. Reporter, I will ask you to mark these exhibits, which are the ones that I understand Mrs. Oswald was able to identify the handwriting on.
(Documents were marked Commission Exhibits Nos. 244 through 250 for identification.)
Mr. RANKIN. Mrs. Oswald, will you examine Exhibits 244 through 250, both inclusive, and tell us whether or not those are photostatic copies of communications of your son that you recognize the handwriting on of the originals?
Mrs. OSWALD. Yes, sir.
Mr. DOYLE. If you do not on any one of them, announce the number.
Mrs. OSWALD. This is one I would believe that I have stated--if he wrote it, he wrote it very careful. It is not scribbled like he usually does.
Mr. DOYLE. That is 246.
Mr. Rankin. Can you tell whether or not that is his signature on the second page of Exhibit 246?
Mrs. OSWALD. It is just a little different. That could be forged. Just a little difference. We write left handed, and we have a trend.
Mr. RANKIN. Is that one that you said before that you thought you could recognize?
Mrs. OSWALD. I don't know, sir. I have no way of knowing. How would I know?
Mr. RANKIN. Do you recognize the handwriting now?
Mrs. OSWALD. As I have stated before, when I am looking at it, it doesn't appear to be immediately as Lee's handwriting. But it could be something that he has recopied over and over to get such a perfect lettering. It is not scribbled like we usually scribble. Now, this was one also that I would say----
Mr. RANKIN. That is Exhibit 247.
Mrs. OSWALD. That is scribbled.
Mr. RANKIN. That is more scribbled. you say?
Mrs. OSWALD. It is not quite as his ordinary writing. It is a little more thoughtfully written.
Mr. RANKIN. You think it is his, though?
Mrs. OSWALD. I would say this is his.
Mr. RANKIN. Yes.
Mrs. OSWALD. Now, this is thoughtfully written, too, yet it is his.
Mr. Rankin. Exhibit 248.
Mrs. OSWALD. I am looking at this handwriting. because the rest of it is printed. I do not know too much about Lee's printing.
Mr. RANKIN. Can you tell about the handwriting?
Mrs. OSWALD. The signature looks like Lee's signature.
Mr. RANKIN. Yes.
Mrs. OSWALD. I will state again this looks like Lee's handwriting, but very thoughtfully written.
Mr. RANKIN. That is Exhibit 249. Is that right?
Mrs. OSWALD. That is right. And this is Lee's signature.
Mr. RANKIN. That is Exhibit 250 that you just referred to?
Mrs. OSWALD. Yes, sir. Now, I would say it is all Lee's handwriting, but very thoughtfully written.
Mr. RANKIN. Thank you. We offer in evidence Exhibits 244 through 250, both inclusive.
The CHAIRMAN. They may be admitted.
(The documents referred to were received in evidence as Commission Exhibits Non. 244 through 250, inclusive.)
(A group of documents was then marked 251 through 258 for identification.)
Mr. RANKIN. Mrs. Oswald, I will hand you Exhibits 251 through 257, both inclusive, and ask you to examine those, and state whether you recognize the handwriting.
Mrs. OSWALD. That doesn't look too much like Lee's handwriting. It could be a finer pen and more thoughtfully written. But I cannot identify this as Lee's handwriting.
Mr. RANKIN. Can you tell about the signature?
Mrs. OSWALD. The signature looks a little like Lee's signature.
Mr. DOYLE. You refer to 251, when you are discussing this?
Mrs. OSWALD. Yes, 251.
Now, this one I would say was not Lee's handwriting.
Mr. RANKIN. That is 252?
Mrs. OSWALD. 252.
I have never known Lee to sign Lee Harvey Oswald. He always signed Lee H. There again, that could be Lee's handwriting with a fine pen. But
very thoughtfully written. But I will say it is not Lee's. I don't think it is. I cannot be positive. But I do not think it is Lee's handwriting.
Mr. RANKIN. That is Exhibit 252 that you have been referring to?
Mrs. OSWALD. Exhibit 252.
Here is another of the same caliber. It is too perfect. The writing is too perfect.
Mr. RANKIN. What about the signature?
Mrs. OSWALD. The signature looks like Lee's signature.
Mr. DOYLE. That is 253..
Mrs. OSWALD. 253. Yes, sir. This is a little different signature, I would say, than his normal signature.
Mr. RANKIN. 254?
Mrs. OSWALD. 254, yes, sir.
Mr. RANKIN. You think that Exhibit 254 is your son's handwriting or not?
Mrs. OSWALD. I would have to say with reservations again. It would have to be rewritten very thoroughly. It is not scribbled enough.
Mr. RANKIN. You think that those letters, 251 through 254, are too carefully done for your son Lee?
Mrs. OSWALD. Yes, sir. And if he did do them, he would have to have four or five copies to do it so perfect.
This is a little more scribbled. This signature looks more like Lee's than the other did.
Mr. RANKIN. That is 255?
Mrs. OSWALD. Yes, sir.. 255. This looks like Lee's handwriting--a lot of misspelling, and his signature. 256.
Now his Russian handwriting I know only from return addresses. However, I do have two brown papers with Russian writing on, from gifts that were sent to me. But I don't know if Lee addressed them or not.
And this is Lee's handwriting with a very fine pen. Isn't this handwriting backwards for a left hand? It seems when I looked at "my," it should be going this way--because I write like Lee, left handed.
Mr. RANKIN. When you refer to this--or asked whether it was backwards, you were referring to Exhibit 257, were you?
Mrs. OSWALD. Yes. This "m" should be going this way--which it is really. But it is kind of hard to testify to. I would say this is Lee's handwriting with a very fine pen, with reservations.
Mr. RANKIN. Exhibit 257.
We offer in evidence Exhibits 251 through 257, both inclusive.
The CHAIRMAN. They may be admitted.
(The documents referred to were received in evidence as Commission Exhibits Nos. 251 through 257, inclusive.)
The CHAIRMAN. Mrs. Oswald, are you now ready--we are not going to ask you to do it right now, but we are going to recess at 2 o'clock. But are we now at the point where we can hear whatever you want to tell us about your life?
Mrs. OSWALD. I am sorry, but I would like to have lunch.
The CHAIRMAN.. I said that we were going to have lunch. But when we return--you have things up to that point of your story?
Mrs. OSWALD. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. Very well.
You have another question you want to ask before we recess for lunch?
Mr. RANKIN. I should like to offer for the limited purpose, Mr. Chairman, of the fact that we presented this picture to Mrs. Oswald and she said it was not the picture that was presented to her--for that limited purpose I should like to offer Exhibit 237.
The CHAIRMAN. It may be so admitted.
(The picture referred to was received in evidence as Commission Exhibit No. 237.)
Mr. DOYLE. Mr. Chief Justice, during the noon hour may I have the custody of this transcript of a tape recording of an interview with Mrs. Oswald,
the 28 pages which was tendered to us by Mr. Rankin this morning-- and I will return it.
Mr. RANKIN. That is for them to have.
The CHAIRMAN. That is to become your own.
Mr. DOYLE. To become the property of Mrs. Oswald.
The CHAIRMAN. The property of Mrs. Oswald, yes. That is what we gave it to you for. She requested that.
Mr. DOYLE. Thank you very much.
The CHAIRMAN. Very well, we will recess now until 2 o'clock.
(Whereupon, at 12:55 p.m., the President's Commission recessed.)