Thursday, October 24, 2019

Lee Harvey Oswald - October 1939 - November 1963

Lee Harvey Oswald - October 18,1939 - November 24,1963

Lee Harvey Oswald would have been 80 years old this week if he wasn't arrested as a suspect in the shooting of a Dallas policeman, falsely accused of killing the President and executed by Jack Ruby in the Dallas police basement.

His last birthday was celebrated at Mrs. Paine's Irving, Texas ranch house, where there was no indication at all that a month later such catastrophic events would overcome them all.

Around that time Mrs. Paine returned home to find Oswald playing in the front yard with the kids, and admonishing them not to fight among themselves as such violence was bad and never resolved anything. Mrs. Paine wrote a letter to her father saying what a good man and fine father Oswald was.

Oswald certainly had done more than I did when I was his age, or most 24 year olds, and seemed happy and content with his life, having a job, a beautiful wife and two daughters - things that some young men would give their right arm for. And we are to believe that he just threw it all away to kill the President for no apparent reason?

For me, the clincher is the fact that all of those who describe Oswald as the lone assassin - the person who planned and successfully killed the president of the United States all my himself - was a no-good, wife beating loser who couldn't hold a job, rather than the world's greatest Lone Wolf Assassin he was if he actually had done the deed.

And those who claim he did kill the President can't explain exactly how he did it or why.

While a close look at the whereabouts of Oswald on the day of the assassination preclude him from being on the Sixth Floor at the time of the shooting, and it is clear that he was what he said he was - set up and framed as the fall guy and Patsy for a crime someone else committed, we can study the man and develop a personality profile of the Patsy, and figure out how and who set him up for the crimes.

To do so I will take excerpts from the Britannica portrait of Oswald and add the items I think are significant in understanding the man.

Lee Harvey Oswald


Lee Harvey Oswald, (born October 18, 1939, New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.—died November 24, 1963, Dallas, Texas)

Accused assassin of U.S. President John F. Kennedy in Dallas on November 22, 1963. He himself was fatally shot two days later by Jack Ruby (1911–67) in the Dallas County Jail.

A special President’s Commission on the Assassination of President John F. Kennedy, better known as the Warren Commission because it was headed by Chief Justice Earl Warren, investigated from November 29, 1963, to September 24, 1964, and concluded that Oswald alone had fired the shots killing Kennedy and that there was no evidence that either Oswald or Ruby had been part of any conspiracy. In January 1979 a special U.S. House of Representatives Assassinations Committee, after a two-year investigation, reported that a second assassin may also have fired a shot and that there may have been a conspiracy. The evidence has remained highly debatable.

Oswald was born two months after his father’s death; his mother subsequently remarried for three years, but the family moved frequently between 1939 and 1956.

[BK Notes: A lot went on between these two dates. For one, he served in the Civil Air Patrol (CAP) in New Orleans with Capt. David Ferrie. He then moved with his  mother to New York City where they lived for awhile with his half-brother John Pic, who was then serving in the Coast Guard, but had also enlisted in the USMC Reserves, and was in the US Air Force stationed at Lackland AFB at the time of the assassination. In NYC Dr. R. Herzog gave Oswald a Minnesota Multi-phasic Personality Inventory Test – which indicated he had a Passive/Aggressive personality, which is what the US Navy was specifically looking for in recruits for special training – as assassins. 

Returning to Texas the Oswalds lived in Fort Worth, where Lee went to Arlington Height High School in the same neighborhood CIA officer David Atlee Phillips was born and raised. Oswald considered joining the football team, which also included Bobby and Billy Hale, twin sons of FBI Agent I.B. Hale. While Oswald was in the USSR, an FBI stakeout unit observed the Hale twins break into the Las Vegas apartment of mob moll Judy Campbell (Extner), who was having simultaneous affairs with President Kennedy and Chicago mob boss Sam Giancana, who John Rosselli included in the CIA-Mafia plots to kill Castro. And after Oswald returned to the USA from USSR, it was Mrs. Hale, who worked at the Texas Employment Commission, who obtained Oswald jobs – including Leslie Welding and Jaggers/Chiles/Stoval graphics arts firm.]

In October 1956 Oswald dropped out of high school and joined the U.S. Marines.

[BK: At this time Oswald also reportedly tried to be admitted to Antioch College in Yellow Springs Ohio, where Ruth H. Paine (and Max Holland) matriculated, a radical school, probably the only one in the country that would accept someone without a high school diploma.]

A competent sharpshooter but an indifferent marine, he began expressing pro-Soviet and politically radical views and, on a hardship plea, secured release from the corps on September 11, 1959. Nine days later he left for the Soviet Union, where he tried unsuccessfully to become a citizen.

[BK: There is some discrepency as to how Oswald actually got there – either by tramp steamer out of New Orleans, or on a Military Air Transport Flight, where he is reported to have worn a US Marine uniform and sat next to a women and her son who described him to a T.]

In Minsk, where he was assigned to work, he met and married (April 30, 1961) Marina Nikolayevna Prusakova.

[BK: In Minsk he also fell in love with a young Jewish women whose father was Oswald’s radi factory foreman, who had previously worked for an American company in Argentina, and advised Oswald to return home. From the USSR Oswald wrote three times to Leo Cherene at the International Rescue Committee – a CIA front organization, and to the US government, saying he could probably fly home free via Military Air Transport.]

Thirteen months later, in June 1962, he was able to return to the United States with his wife and three-month-old daughter, June Lee.

[BK: After becoming friends with oil geologist George deMohrenschildt and meeting many of deMohrneschildt’s friends, a party was arranged for Oswald to meet Michael Paine on February 22, when Ruth Paine met Marina and they became fast friends until the day of the assassination, and never met again. At the same party Oswald met and talked at length to a German oil geologist Volkmar Schmidt, who talked about the German military plot to kill Hitler, and suggested that General Walker should be killed, as Hitler should have been.]

In January 1963 Oswald bought a .38 revolver and, in March, a rifle and telescopic sight, through the mails.

[BK: He did this through the mails, using an alias – A.J. Hidel – that could be traced to him, despite the fact that he could have walked into any Texas department, sports, gun or pawn shop and purchased them with cash without having to even show an ID or tell them his name. And while the rifle and pistol were ordered months apart – they ostensibly arrived and were picked up on the same day, and there is no record of him picking them up despite the fact the pistol was ordered COD and he had to pay for it over the Post Office counter, though no one there remembers him doing so.]

On April 10 in Dallas he allegedly shot at but missed an ultra-rightist, Edwin A. Walker, a former army general.

Later that month he left his wife with a friend in Dallas and went to New Orleans,

[BK: Mrs. Paine drove Oswald to the bus station and took Marina and the daughter into her home in Irving, Texas, then after Oswald obtained an apartment in his hometown, she drove them and their possessions to New Orleans, including the rifle.]

where he set up a one-man branch of the Fair Play For Cuba Committee anti-Castro leaflets.
[BK: Most significantly Oswald was arrested in a public disturbance with three Cubans, including the leader of the DRE in New Orleans, Carlos Bringuier, requested to be interviewed by an FBI agent, and engaged in a radio debate with Bringuier and a CIA propaganda expert Ed Butler.]

In September he went to Mexico City,

[BK: while his wife Marina went back to Texas with Ruth Paine, who was on her way home from visiting Michael Paine’s mother – Ruth Forbes Paine Young – a close personal friend and traveling companion of Mary Bancroft – Allen Dulles' OSS paramour and assistant in the failed July 20, 1944 plot to kill Hitler. At the same time the CIA's Desmond Fitzgerald was briefing the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the Pentagon on the CIA's "detailed study" of the German Military plot to kill Hitler to be used against Castro.]

where, (in Mexico City) according to the Warren Commission, he tried vainly to get a visa for Cuba and to get Soviet permission to return to the U.S.S.R. In October he returned to Dallas and secured a job at the Texas School Book Depository.

[BK: The job at the TSBD, critical in the assassination scenario, was obtained for him by Mrs. Ruth Paine, without whom the assassination could not have taken place.]

At 12:30 PM on November 22, 1963, from a window on the sixth floor of the depository building, Oswald, using his mail-order rifle, allegedly fired three shots that killed President Kennedy and wounded Texas Gov. John B. Connally in an open-car motorcade in Dealey Plaza.

[BK: “allegedly” is teh key word here, as the testimony of those on the scene indicate Oswald was not on the sixth floor at the time of assassination. ]

Oswald took a bus and a taxi to his rooming house, departed, and about a mile away was stopped by Patrolman J.D. Tippit, who believed that Oswald resembled the suspect already being described over the police radio. Oswald killed Tippit with his mail-order revolver (1:15 PM). At about 1:45 PM Oswald was seized in the Texas Theatre by police officers responding to reports of a suspect. At 1:30 AM on November 23 he was formally arraigned for the murder of President Kennedy.

On the morning of November 24, while being transferred from a jail cell to an interrogation office, Oswald was shot by a distraught Dallas nightclub owner, Jack Ruby. Ruby was tried and found guilty of murder (March 14, 1964) and sentenced to death. In October 1966 a Texas appeals court reversed the conviction, but, before a new trial could be held, Ruby died of a blood clot, complicated by cancer (January 3, 1967).


"There's another thing that's got to be taken care of first,” Sam Spade says, “We've got to have a fall-guy. The police have got to have a victim - somebody they can stick those murders on. The way to handle them is to toss them a victim, somebody they can hang the works on. I get away with it because I never let myself forget that a day of reckoning is coming. I never forget that when the day of reckoning comes I want to be all set to march into headquarters pushing a victim in front of me, saying 'Here, you chumps, is your criminal!'”   

– Sam Spade – The Maltise Falcon – by Dashiell Hammett 

There are other aspects of Oswald's life that deserve further attention - particularly his work at Jagges/Chiles/Stoval in October 1962 - during the Cuban Missile Crisis, and his work time sheet there on the day he is said to have picked up the pistol and rifle at the Post Office. 

Another mysterious association is that with Myrtle and Julian Evans in New Orleans - as Oswald used J. Evans as a reference and Myrtle drove Oswald around the neighborhood looking for an apartment when they found the Magazine Street residence, that Adele Edisen and Col. Jose Rivera knew would be where Oswald was going to live ostensibly even before Oswald did. 

How Mrs. Paine moved the rifle around in her station wagon - to and from New Orleans, and kept it in her garage without knowing about it is a mystery, as well as the allegedly coincidental "coffee clatch" conversation she had with neighbors to learn of the job vacancy at the TSBD. 




Oswald was last seen on the Sixth Floor shortly before noon, walking south with his clipboard after instructing the floor laying crew to send him one of the two elevators they were racing to the first floor. Oswald’s clipboard was later found hanging on a nail against the south wall by the windows and he apparently took the elevator down to the first floor where he was seen shortly before noon by Bill Shelley standing by the first floor telephone, as if expecting a phone call.

Around 12:15 secretary Carolyn Arnold saw Oswald on the first floor – at the same time Arnold Rowland was outside on the curb across the street watching two men in the sixth floor window, one with a rifle who was standing in a port-arms position – a military drill position assumed under orders.

As Howard Roffman notes: “The Warren Commission stated in its Report that it knew of no Book Depository employee who claimed to have seen Oswald between 11:55 and 12:30 on the day of the assassination. This was false, as this FBI report from the Warren Report never mentions Mrs. Arnold and this FBI document was omitted from the Commission's published evidence.”

FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION  Date 11/26/63  Mrs. R. E. ARNOLD, Secretary, Texas School Book Depository, advised she was in her office on the second floor of the building on November 22, 1963, and left that office between 12:00 and 12:15 PM, to go downstairs and stand in front of the building to view the Presidential Motorcade. As she was standing in front of the building, she stated she thought she caught a fleeting glimpse of LEE HARVEY OSWALD standing in the hallway between the front door and the double doors leading to the warehouse, located on the first floor. She could not be sure that this was OSWALD, but said she felt it was and believed the time to be a few minutes before 12:15 PM.

Mrs. Arnold later told a number of reporters that she was more positive of seeing Oswald than the FBI report indicates.

At 12:15 p.m Arnold Rowland (a still living witness) was standing with his wife diagonally across the street from the TSBD, and timed to the chatter of a police radio that announced the motorcade was “at Cedar Springs Road off Turtle Creek.” At that time he saw a man on Sixth floor windows standing with a rifle at “Port Arms” position. 

If Oswald was on the first floor, who was the man with the rifle on the Sixth Floor at the precise time the motorcade was scheduled to come by? It was fifteen minutes late. This person in the sixth floor window was noticed by other spectators on the street, who noticed that he wasn’t looking towards the direction the motorcade would come, but rather was looking west towards the overpass and grassy knoll.

The motorcade was fifteen minutes late, and if Oswald was to be the assassin he was certainly out of position, but someone was on the sixth floor of the TSBD with a rifle. 

Oswald said that at the time of the assassination he was on the first floor in the Domino Room eating lunch, when two of the black guys he worked with walked through. Although they claimed not to have noticed Oswald, the two men acknowledged that before going up to the Fifth Floor they did walk through the Domino Room, so how did Oswald know they were there if he didn’t see him? Further corroboration that Oswald was in the Domino Room came a few weeks after the assassination when his jacket was discovered in the window sill, right where he said he ate lunch.

A minute before the motorcade arrived the Pilot car, driven by DPD Captain Lumpkin, also a U.S. Army Reserve officer, pulled to the curb and stopped at the corner of Houston and Elm where Lumpkin told one of the three traffic policeman n there that the motorcade was a mile and a few minutes behind him. By doing so he also told the Sixth Floor Sniper, sixty feet above him.

Only two witnesses on the street actually saw the Sixth Floor gunman – construction worker Howard Brennan and young Amos Eunis. Both describe a man in his early thirties with a white shirt (Oswald wore brown). Brennan told the police that he would recognize the man if he saw him again.

Eunis testified to the Warren Commission: “I seen a bald spot on this man's head, trying to look out the window. He had a bald spot on his head. I was looking at the bald spot.  I could see his hand, you know the rifle laying across in his hand. And I could see his hand sticking out on the trigger part. And after he got through, he just pulled it back in the window.”

A bald spot on the top of his head is as distinguishing as a tattoo - something the Sixth Floor Sniper did not share with Lee Harvey Oswald. 

Both men said that the shooter did not appear to be in any hurry and just stood back from the window as if surveying what he had just done.

 Of those who were outside on the curb watching the murder firsthand there was Ochus Campbell.

“Ochus V. (Virgil) Campbell, vice-president of the textbook firm, told a New York Herald Tribune reporter that, …. ‘Shortly after the shooting we raced back into the building . We had been outside watching the parade. We saw him (Oswald) in a small storage room on the ground floor. Then we  noticed he was gone….Of course Oswald and the others were on their lunch hour but he did not have permission to leave the building and we haven’t seen him since.”

So Campbell saw Oswald standing next to the storage room on the first floor by the steps, as can be seen in the schematic drawing of the first floor.

But according to the Warren Report Oswald was on the Sixth Floor ditching his rifle and racing down four flights of steps to get to the Second Floor lunchroom, where he was seen by DPD officer Marion Baker and TSBD Superintendent Roy Truly ninety seconds after the shooting.

But there were four other people on those steps, and none of them saw anyone run down.

Jack Doughterty said he was on the fifth floor landing when heard a shot, and then, after about five minutes, descended to the first floor in one of the elevators once the electricity was turned back on.

Victoria “Vicki” Elizabeth Adams and Sandra Styles left their fourth floor office within a minute of the last shot and descended the back steps without seeing anyone until they arrived on the first floor where they encountered William Shelley and Billy Lovelady. They didn’t pass Oswald or anybody on the steps.

Their supervisor was on the fourth floor landing and didn’t see Oswald or anyone run past her. 

So there were four people on the steps – Dougherty on the fifth floor landing, the supervisor on the fourth floor landing, and two secretaries, none of whom saw Oswald or anybody run past them, as they would have if Oswald descended those steps.

Then there’s the official rendition of Marion Baker and Roy Truly encountering Oswald in the Second Floor lunchroom ninety seconds after the shooting.

 Dallas police motorcycle policeman Marion Baker immediately pulled his bike aside in front of the TSBD – parked it and ran up the front steps where building superintendent Roy Truly met him and offered to direct Baker to the roof. Baker was an experienced hunter and suspected a shooter was located on the roof because he noticed a flock of pigeons flew away from there at the sound of the shots.

Truly led Baker to the back of the building where the service elevators were not working because the electricity had been shut off.

So they began to ascend the old wooden steps on the west wall of the building.

When Marion Baker got to the top of steps on the Second Floor landing he started to turn the corner a few feet behind Truly but suddenly stopped, later testifying under oath that as he turned the corner on the second floor, he “scanned the room” and out of the corner of his eye, he saw a man through the glass walking past the window of a door.

The Warren Report:  “On the second floor landing there is a small open area with a door at the east end. This door leads into a small vestibule, and another door leads from the vestibule into the second-floor lunchroom. The lunchroom door is usually open, but the first door is kept shut by a closing mechanism on the door. This vestibule door is solid except for a small glass window in the upper part of the door. As Baker reached the second floor, he was about 20 feet from the vestibule door. He intended to continue around to his left toward the stairway going up but through the window in the door he caught a fleeting glimpse of a man walking in the vestibule toward the lunchroom.”

Marion Baker: “As I came out to the second floor there, Mr. Truly was ahead of me, and as I come out I was kind of scanning, you know, the room, and I caught a glimpse of this man walking away from this —I happened to see him through this window in this door. I don’t know how come I saw him, but I had a glimpse of him coming down there.”

Howard Roffman was a University of Pennsylvania student when he read the Warren Commission testimony and exhibits and wrote one of the most important early books on the assassination, “Presumed Guilty.” As Roffman indicates, “One of the crucial aspects of Baker's story” (that proves Oswald’s innocence) is his position at the time he caught a ‘fleeting glimpse’ of a man in the vestibule (through the door window). Baker marked this position during his testimony as having been immediately adjacent to the stairs at the northwest corner of the building.”

Roffman: “It should be noted that the Report never mentions Baker's position at the time he (first) saw Oswald in the vestibule. Instead, it prints a floor plan of the second floor and notes Baker's position ‘when he observed Oswald in lunchroom.’ This location, as indicated in the Report, was immediately outside the vestibule door. The reader of the Report is left with the impression that Baker saw Oswald in the vestibule as well from this position. However, Baker testified explicitly that he first caught a glimpse of the man in the vestibule from the stairs and, upon running to the vestibule door, saw Oswald in the lunchroom. The Report's failure to point out Baker's position is significant.” 

When Baker saw Oswald though the one foot square window of the closed lunchroom door Oswald was walking from right to left, as he would have if he walked through the secretary’s office and the other open door, the same way he left.

Since the door had to be closed when Baker first saw Oswald though the window, Oswald couldn’t have entered through that door, or Truly – steps ahead of Baker, would have seen him.

The door had to be closed because basic physics require it. If the door was open even an inch or two, the square foot window would not have been visible for Baker to see through clearly.

The lunchroom door had to be closed for Baker to see Oswald through the window because science requires that if the door was open, even if only an inch or two, physics and pure geometry dictate the foot square window decrease in size as the door opens and closes, which makes it impossible for Baker, standing 20 feet away at the top of the stares, to see anything through the window. The door had to be closed for Baker to see Oswald through that window. Oswald didn’t go through that door because Truly would have seen him and the door had to be closed.

When the Warren Commission attorneys realized the significance of these facts, they recalled Roy Truly a second time, after he had already testified extensively, just to ask him one question, the clincher. At an office in the Post Office Annex just across Dealey Plaza from the TSBD, they placed Truly under oath again and created a legal affidavit in order to answer one peculiar question: did the door to the second floor lunchroom have an automatic closing device? I kid you not.

And the answer is yes, it does.

The following affidavit was executed by Roy Sansom Truly on August 3, 1964.

County of Dallas, ss:

I, Roy Sansom Truly, being duly sworn say:

1. I am the Superintendent of the Texas School Book Depository Building Dallas, Texas.
2. The door opening on the vestibule of the lunchroom on the second floor of the TexasSchool Book Depository Building is usually shut because of a closing mechanism on the door.

Signed this 3d day of August 1964, at Dallas Tex.

(S) Roy Sansom Truly,

The door was closed shut, and Oswald didn’t through that door a few seconds previous or Truly would have seen him.

In his Warren Commission testimony Truly admits as much.

Mr. BELIN. Okay. And where was this officer at that time?
Mr. TRULY. This officer was right behind me and coming up the stairway.
By the time I reached the second floor, the officer was a little further behind me than he was on the first floor, I assume - I know.
Mr. BELIN. Was he a few feet behind you then?
Mr. TRULY. He was a few feet. It is hard for me to tell. I ran right on around to my left, started to continue on up the stairway to the third floor, and on up.
Mr. BELIN. Now when you say you ran on to your left, did you look straight ahead to see whether there was anyone in that area, or were you intent on just going upstairs?
Mr. TRULY. If there had been anybody in that area, I would have seen him
“If there had been anybody in that area…..” – “I would have seen him.”

Those who try to implicate Oswald as the Sixth Floor sniper use stop watches to time themselves running the distance from the SE corner window, deposit the rifle, descend the steps four flights and run across the room and do so in less than the required ninety seconds. But it isn’t the fact that someone can cover that distance in the required time – what exonerates Oswald is the fact that if he had gone through that closed door, rather than the open one leading to the secretary’s office, Truly would have seen him, and didn’t.

It should also be noted that Roy Truly, who plays such a key role in the assassination events, was related by marriage to both Navy Secretary Fred Korth and Air Force Gen. Clare Chennault, who led the famous Flying Tigers squadron in the Pacific during World War II, and therefore is connected to those two men. 

So Oswald wasn’t on the Sixth Floor when the shots were fired, didn’t run down those stares, didn’t go through that door, and didn’t kill the President.


But Roy Truly’s role in this affair isn’t over yet. There’s two other items that need to be addressed. For one, as Truly, Baker and a secretary who saw Oswald leaving the Second Floor lunchroom with a coke all testified – Oswald’s demeanor was not that of a person who had just fired a rifle, blew a man’s brains out, ditched the rifle and ran down four flights of steps – out of breath, hyper-venelating, sweating and nervous, but rather he was cool, calm and collected.

Commissioner Boggs: “Were you suspicious of this man?”
Baker: “No, sir; I wasn’t.”
Boggs: “When you saw him, was he out of breath, did he appear to have been running, or what?”
Baker: “It didn’t appear that to me. He appeared normal, you know.”
Boggs: “Was he calm and collected?”
Baker: “Yes, sir; He never did say a word or nothing. In fact, he didn’t change his expression one bit.”
Mr. Belin: Did he flinch in anyway when you put the gun up . . .?
Mr. Baker: No, sir.
Sen. Cooper: He did not show any evidence of any emotion?
Mr. Baker: No, sir.


Mr. Belin: Did you see any expression on his face? Or weren't you paying attention?
Mr. Truly: He didn't seem to be excited or overly afraid or anything. He might have been a little startled, like I might have been if someone confronted me. But I cannot recall any change in expression of any kind on his face.
Counsel Belin: All right. How far was the officer’s gun from Lee Harvey Oswald when he asked the question?”
Truly: …it seemed to me like it was almost touching him.


Mrs. Robert Reid, Clerical Supervisor at the Book Depository was standing on the curb in front of the TSBD and commented to her employers that she believed the shots came from “our building.”  

Mrs. Reid: “The thought that went through my mind, my goodness I must get out of this line of shots, they may fire more. I ran into the building. I do not recall seeing anyone in the lobby. I ran up to our office…up the stairs…the front stairs…I went into the office. I kept walking and I looked up and Oswald was coming in the back door of the office. I met him by the time I passed my desk several feet… I had no thoughts of anything of him having any connection with it at all because he was very calm. He had gotten a coke and was holding it in his hands and I guess the reason it impressed me seeing him in there I thought it was a little strange that one of the warehouse boys would be up in the office at that time, not that he had done anything wrong.”
Counsel Belin: “Was there anything else you noticed about him? Anything about the expression on his face?”
Reid: “No; just calm.”
Commissioner Dulles: “Was he moving fast?”
Reid: “No; because he was moving at a very slow pace. I never did see him moving fast at any time.”

"I met Murder on the way
He had a mask like Castlereagh:
Very smooth he looked, yet grim;
Seven bloodhounds followed him.
All were fat; and well they might
Be in admirable plight,
For one by one, and two by two,
He tossed them human hearts to chew."

- The Masque of Anarchy. From: "Studies In Murder" by Edmund Lester Pearson.

Oswald's human heart was just the first of many hearts that were tossed to the bloodhounds following the murder of President Kennedy. 

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