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Lee Harvey Oswald

Lee Harvey Oswald

Overview
Lee Harvey Oswald was, according to four government investigations,These were investigations by: the Federal Bureau of Investigation
Federal Bureau of Investigation
The Federal Bureau of Investigation is an agency of the United States Department of Justice that serves as both a federal criminal investigative body and an internal intelligence agency . The FBI has investigative jurisdiction over violations of more than 200 categories of federal crime...

 (1963), the Warren Commission
Warren Commission
The President's Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy, known unofficially as the Warren Commission, was established on November 27, 1963, by Lyndon B. Johnson to investigate the assassination of United States President John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963...

 (1964), the House Select Committee on Assassinations (1979), and the Dallas Police Department.
the sniper who assassinated
Assassination of John F. Kennedy
John Fitzgerald Kennedy, the thirty-fifth President of the United States, was assassinated at 12:30 p.m. Central Standard Time on Friday, November 22, 1963, in Dealey Plaza, Dallas, Texas...

 John F. Kennedy
John F. Kennedy
John Fitzgerald "Jack" Kennedy , often referred to by his initials JFK, was the 35th President of the United States, serving from 1961 until his assassination in 1963....

, the 35th President of the United States, in Dallas, Texas
Texas
Texas is the second largest U.S. state by both area and population, and the largest state by area in the contiguous United States.The name, based on the Caddo word "Tejas" meaning "friends" or "allies", was applied by the Spanish to the Caddo themselves and to the region of their settlement in...

, on November 22, 1963.

A former U.S. Marine
United States Marine Corps
The United States Marine Corps is a branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for providing power projection from the sea, using the mobility of the United States Navy to deliver combined-arms task forces rapidly. It is one of seven uniformed services of the United States...

 who had briefly (October 1959 – June 1962) defected to the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

, Oswald was initially arrested for the shooting murder of police officer J. D. Tippit
J. D. Tippit
Tippit attended a Veterans Administration vocational training school at Bogata, Texas, from January 1950 until June 1952. He was then hired by the Dallas Police Department as a patrolman on July 28, 1952...

, on a Dallas street approximately 40 minutes after Kennedy was shot.
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Encyclopedia
Lee Harvey Oswald was, according to four government investigations,These were investigations by: the Federal Bureau of Investigation
Federal Bureau of Investigation
The Federal Bureau of Investigation is an agency of the United States Department of Justice that serves as both a federal criminal investigative body and an internal intelligence agency . The FBI has investigative jurisdiction over violations of more than 200 categories of federal crime...

 (1963), the Warren Commission
Warren Commission
The President's Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy, known unofficially as the Warren Commission, was established on November 27, 1963, by Lyndon B. Johnson to investigate the assassination of United States President John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963...

 (1964), the House Select Committee on Assassinations (1979), and the Dallas Police Department.
the sniper who assassinated
Assassination of John F. Kennedy
John Fitzgerald Kennedy, the thirty-fifth President of the United States, was assassinated at 12:30 p.m. Central Standard Time on Friday, November 22, 1963, in Dealey Plaza, Dallas, Texas...

 John F. Kennedy
John F. Kennedy
John Fitzgerald "Jack" Kennedy , often referred to by his initials JFK, was the 35th President of the United States, serving from 1961 until his assassination in 1963....

, the 35th President of the United States, in Dallas, Texas
Texas
Texas is the second largest U.S. state by both area and population, and the largest state by area in the contiguous United States.The name, based on the Caddo word "Tejas" meaning "friends" or "allies", was applied by the Spanish to the Caddo themselves and to the region of their settlement in...

, on November 22, 1963.

A former U.S. Marine
United States Marine Corps
The United States Marine Corps is a branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for providing power projection from the sea, using the mobility of the United States Navy to deliver combined-arms task forces rapidly. It is one of seven uniformed services of the United States...

 who had briefly (October 1959 – June 1962) defected to the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

, Oswald was initially arrested for the shooting murder of police officer J. D. Tippit
J. D. Tippit
Tippit attended a Veterans Administration vocational training school at Bogata, Texas, from January 1950 until June 1952. He was then hired by the Dallas Police Department as a patrolman on July 28, 1952...

, on a Dallas street approximately 40 minutes after Kennedy was shot. Suspected in the assassination of Kennedy as well, Oswald denied involvement in either of the killings. Two days later, while being transferred from police headquarters to the county jail, Oswald was shot and killed by nightclub owner Jack Ruby
Jack Ruby
Jacob Leon Rubenstein , who legally changed his name to Jack Leon Ruby in 1947, was convicted of the November 24, 1963 murder of Lee Harvey Oswald, the alleged assassin of President John F. Kennedy. Ruby, who was originally from Chicago, Illinois, was then a nightclub operator in Dallas, Texas...

 in full view of television cameras broadcasting live.

In 1964, the Warren Commission
Warren Commission
The President's Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy, known unofficially as the Warren Commission, was established on November 27, 1963, by Lyndon B. Johnson to investigate the assassination of United States President John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963...

 concluded that Oswald acted alone in assassinating Kennedy, firing three shots, a conclusion also reached by prior investigations carried out by the FBI and Dallas Police Department. In 1979, the House Select Committee on Assassinations concluded that Oswald fired the shots which killed Kennedy, but differed from previous investigations in concluding he 'probably' did not act alone. The evidence used
Dictabelt evidence relating to the assassination of John F. Kennedy
The Dictabelt evidence relating to the assassination of John F. Kennedy comes from a Dictabelt recording from a microphone stuck in the open position on a motorcycle police officer's radio when John F. Kennedy, 35th President of the United States was assassinated in Dallas, Texas on November 22, 1963...

 to form this conclusion has since been disputed.

Childhood


Oswald was born in New Orleans on October 18, 1939, to Robert Edward Lee Oswald, Sr. (New Orleans, Louisiana, March 4, 1896 – New Orleans, August 19, 1939) and Marguerite Frances Claverie (New Orleans, Louisiana, July 19, 1907 – Fort Worth, Texas, January 17, 1981). Oswald had two older siblings – brother Robert Edward Lee Oswald, Jr. and half-brother John Edward Pic.

Oswald's father died prior to Oswald's birth, and Marguerite raised her sons alone.
When Oswald was two, his mother placed her sons at the Bethlehem Children's Home orphanage in New Orleans for thirteen months, as she was unable to support them. On May 7, 1945, his mother married Edwin Albert Ekdahl (1895–1953) in Fort Worth, Texas; he engaged in numerous extra-marital affairs and filed for divorce in 1948.

As a child, Oswald was withdrawn and temperamental. In August 1952, while living with half-brother John Pic, at the time a U.S. Coast Guardsman stationed in New York City, Oswald and Marguerite were asked to leave after Oswald allegedly threatened Pic's wife with a knife and struck their mother, Marguerite.

Charges of truancy, in the Bronx (NYC), led to psychiatric assessment at a juvenile reformatory, the psychiatrist, Dr. Renatus Hartogs, describing Oswald's "vivid fantasy life, turning around the topics of omnipotence and power, through which he tries to compensate for his present shortcomings and frustrations." Finding a "personality pattern disturbance with schizoid features and passive-aggressive tendencies," Dr. Hartogs recommended continued treatment.
However, in January 1954, Oswald's mother Marguerite returned with him to New Orleans. At the time, there was a question pending before a New York judge as to whether Oswald should be removed from the care of his mother to finish his schooling,
although his behavior appeared to improve during his last months in New York.

In New Orleans, in October 1955, Oswald left the 10th grade after one month. He worked as an office clerk or messenger around New Orleans, rather than attend school. Planning for his enlistment, the family returned to Fort Worth in July 1956, and he re-enrolled in 10th grade for the September session, but quit in October to join the Marines (see below); he never received a high school diploma.
By the of age 17, he had resided at 22 different locations and attended 12 different schools.
The schools were:
  • 1st grade: Benbrook Common School (Fort Worth, TX), October 31, 1945
  • 1st grade (again): Covington Elementary School (Covington, LA), Sep. 1946–Jan. 1947
  • 1st grade (end): Clayton Public School (Ft Worth, TX), Jan.–May 1947
  • 2nd grade: Clayton Public School (Ft Worth, TX), Sept. 1947
  • 2nd grade (end): Clark Elementary School (Ft Worth, TX), March 1948
  • 3rd grade: Arlington Heights Elementary School (Ft Worth, TX), Sept. 1948
  • 4th grade: Ridglea West Elementary School (renamed Luella Merrett, Ft Worth), Sep. 1949
  • 5th grade: Ridglea West Elementary School (Ft Worth), Sep. 1950
  • 6th grade: Ridglea West Elementary School (Ft Worth), Sep. 1951
  • 7th grade: Trinity Evangelical Lutheran School (Bronx, NYC, NY), Aug. 1952
  • 7th grade: Public School 117 (Bronx, NYC, NY), Sep. 1952 (attended 17 of 64 days)
  • 7th grade (end): Public School 44 (Bronx, NYC, NY), March 23, 1953
Reformatory
Reformatory
Reformatory is a term that has had varied meanings within the penal system, depending on the jurisdiction and the era. It may refer to a youth detention center, or an adult correctional facility. The term is still in popular use for adult facilities throughout the United States, although most...

: Youth House (NYC, NY), April/May 1953.
  • 8th grade: Public School 44 (Bronx, NYC, NY), Sep. 14, 1953
  • 8th grade (end): Beauregard Junior High School (New Orleans), Jan. 13, 1954
  • 9th grade: Beauregard Junior High School (New Orleans), Sep. 1954–June 1955
  • 10th grade: Warren Easton High School (New Orleans), Sep.–Oct. 1955
(tried to enlist in U.S. Marines using affidavit claiming age 17)
(worked as clerk/messenger in New Orleans, rather than school)
  • 10th grade (again): Arlington Heights High School
    Arlington Heights High School
    Arlington Heights High School is a secondary school located in Fort Worth, Texas, U.S.A.. The school, which serves grades 9 through 12, is a part of the Fort Worth Independent School District...

     (Ft Worth, TX), Sep.–Oct. 1956



Though he had trouble spelling and writing coherently he read voraciously, and by age 15 claimed to be a Marxist, writing in his diary, "I was looking for a key to my environment, and then I discovered socialist literature. I had to dig for my books in the back dusty shelves of libraries." At 16 he wrote to the Socialist Party of America
Socialist Party of America
The Socialist Party of America was a multi-tendency democratic-socialist political party in the United States, formed in 1901 by a merger between the three-year-old Social Democratic Party of America and disaffected elements of the Socialist Labor Party which had split from the main organization...

 for information on their Young People's Socialist League
Young People's Socialist League
The Young People's Socialist League , founded in 1989, is the official youth arm of the Socialist Party USA. The group's membership consists of those democratic socialists under the age of 30, and its political activities tend to concentrate on increasing the voter turnout of young democratic...

, saying he had been studying socialist principles for "well over fifteen months."
However, Edward Voebel, "whom the Warren Commission had established was Oswald's closest friend during his teenage years in New Orleans...said that reports that Oswald was already 'studying Communism' were a 'lot of baloney.' " Voebel said that "Oswald commonly read 'paperback trash.'"

While a teenager Oswald attended Civil Air Patrol
Civil Air Patrol
Civil Air Patrol is a Congressionally chartered, federally supported, non-profit corporation that serves as the official civilian auxiliary of the United States Air Force . CAP is a volunteer organization with an aviation-minded membership that includes people from all backgrounds, lifestyles, and...

 meetings in New Orleans, in 1955. Other cadets recall him attending "three or four" times, or "10 or 12 times" over a one- or two-month period.

Marine Corps



Oswald enlisted in the United States Marine Corps on October 24, 1956, just after his seventeenth birthday. He idolized his older brother Robert and a photograph, after his arrest by Dallas police, shows Lee wearing his brother's Marines ring. One witness testified to the Warren Commission that Oswald's enlistment may also have been an escape from his overbearing mother.

Oswald's primary training was as a radar operator, a position requiring a security clearance. A May 1957 document states that he was "granted final clearance to handle classified matter up to and including CONFIDENTIAL after careful check of local records had disclosed no derogatory data." In the Aircraft Control and Warning Operator Course he finished seventh in a class of thirty. The course "...included instruction in aircraft surveillance and the use of radar." He was assigned first to Marine Corps Air Station El Toro
Marine Corps Air Station El Toro
Marine Corps Air Station El Toro was a United States Marine Corps Air Station located near Irvine, California.Before it was decommissioned in 1999, it was the home of Marine Corps aviation on the West Coast. Designated as a Master Jet Station, its four runways could handle the largest aircraft...

 in July 1957, then to Naval Air Facility Atsugi
Naval Air Facility Atsugi
is a naval air base located in the cities of Yamato and Ayase in Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan. It is the largest United States Navy air base in the Pacific Ocean and houses the squadrons of Carrier Air Wing 5, which deploys with the aircraft carrier...

 in Japan in September as part of Marine Air Control Squadron 1
Marine Air Control Squadron 1
Marine Air Control Squadron 1 is a United States Marine Corps aviation command and control squadron . The squadron provides aerial surveillance, air traffic control, ground-controlled intercept, and aviation data-link connectivity for the I Marine Expeditionary Force...

.

Like all Marines, Oswald was trained and tested in shooting, scoring 212 in December 1956 (slightly above the minimum for qualification as a sharpshooter
Weapons Qualification Badge
A Marksmanship Qualification Badge is a military badge of the United States Army and United States Marine Corps which is presented to service members upon successful completion of a weapons qualification course. They are issued in the three grades : Expert, Sharpshooter, and Marksman...

) but in May 1959 scoring only 191 (barely earning the lower designation of marksman
Weapons Qualification Badge
A Marksmanship Qualification Badge is a military badge of the United States Army and United States Marine Corps which is presented to service members upon successful completion of a weapons qualification course. They are issued in the three grades : Expert, Sharpshooter, and Marksman...

).

Oswald was court-martialed after accidentally shooting himself in the elbow with an unauthorized handgun, then court-martialed again for fighting with a sergeant he thought responsible for his punishment in the shooting matter. He was demoted from private first class
Private First Class
Private First Class is a military rank held by junior enlisted persons.- Singapore :The rank of Private First Class in the Singapore Armed Forces lies between the ranks of Private and Lance-Corporal . It is usually held by conscript soldiers midway through their national service term...

 to private
Private (rank)
A Private is a soldier of the lowest military rank .In modern military parlance, 'Private' is shortened to 'Pte' in the United Kingdom and other Commonwealth countries and to 'Pvt.' in the United States.Notably both Sir Fitzroy MacLean and Enoch Powell are examples of, rare, rapid career...

 and briefly imprisoned. He was later punished for a third incident: while on night-time sentry duty in the Philippines, he inexplicably fired his rifle into the jungle.

Slightly built, Oswald was nicknamed Ozzie Rabbit after the cartoon character, or sometimes Oswaldskovich because of his pro-Soviet sentiments. In December 1958 he transferred back to El Toro, where his unit's function "...was to serveil [sic] for aircraft, but basically to train both enlisted men and officers for later assignment overseas." An officer there said that Oswald was a "very competent" crew chief.

While in the Marines, Oswald made an effort to teach himself rudimentary Russian. Although an unusual accomplishment, in February 1959 he was invited to take a Marine proficiency exam in written and spoken Russian. His effort at the time was rated "poor".

Defection to the Soviet Union


In October 1959, just before turning 20, Oswald traveled to the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

, the trip planned well in advance. On September 11, 1959, he received a hardship discharge from active service, claiming his mother needed care, and was put on reserve.
Along with his self-taught Russian, he had saved $1,500 of his Marine Corps salary,Warren Commission Hearings, vol. 22, p. 705, CE 1385, Notes of interview of Lee Harvey Oswald conducted by Aline Mosby in Moscow in November 1959. Oswald: "When I was working in the middle of the night on guard duty, I would think how long it would be and how much money I would have to save. It would be like being out of prison. I saved about $1500." During Oswald's 2 years and 10 months of service in the Marine Corps he received $3,452.20, after all taxes, allotments and other deductions as well as his GED. Warren Commission Hearings, vol. 26, p. 709, CE 3099, Certified military pay records for Lee Harvey Oswald for the period October 24, 1956, to September 11, 1959.

obtained a passport, and submitted several fictional applications to foreign universities in order to obtain a student visa.
Oswald spent two days with his mother in Fort Worth
Fort Worth, Texas
Fort Worth is the 16th-largest city in the United States of America and the fifth-largest city in the state of Texas. Located in North Central Texas, just southeast of the Texas Panhandle, the city is a cultural gateway into the American West and covers nearly in Tarrant, Parker, Denton, and...

, then embarked by ship from New Orleans on September 20 to Le Havre
Le Havre
Le Havre is a city in the Seine-Maritime department of the Haute-Normandie region in France. It is situated in north-western France, on the right bank of the mouth of the river Seine on the English Channel. Le Havre is the most populous commune in the Haute-Normandie region, although the total...

, France, then immediately proceeded to England. Arriving in Southampton
Southampton
Southampton is the largest city in the county of Hampshire on the south coast of England, and is situated south-west of London and north-west of Portsmouth. Southampton is a major port and the closest city to the New Forest...

 on October 9, he told officials he had $700 and planned to remain in the United Kingdom for one week before proceeding to a school in Switzerland. But on the same day, he flew to Helsinki
Helsinki
Helsinki is the capital and largest city in Finland. It is in the region of Uusimaa, located in southern Finland, on the shore of the Gulf of Finland, an arm of the Baltic Sea. The population of the city of Helsinki is , making it by far the most populous municipality in Finland. Helsinki is...

, where he was issued a Soviet visa on October 14. Oswald left Helsinki by train on the following day, crossed the Soviet border at Vainikkala
Vainikkala
Vainikkala is a small village in Lappeenranta South Karelia, Eastern Finland. Vainikkala is known to most people as a border town between Finland and Russia. All passenger trains between Finland and Russia stop at Vainikkala border post. The distance between Lappeenranta and Vainikkala is about ....

, and arrived in Moscow on October 16.

Almost immediately, Oswald told his Intourist
Intourist
Intourist is a Russian travel agency, 66%-owned by Moscow-based holding company Sistema.Before privatisation in 1992, Intourist was renowned as the official state travel agency of the Soviet Union. It was founded in 1929 by Joseph Stalin and was staffed by NKVD and later KGB officials...

 guide of his desire to become a Soviet citizen, but was told on October 21 that his application had been refused. Oswald then inflicted a minor but bloody wound to his left wrist in his hotel room bathtub, after which the Soviets put him under psychiatric observation at a hospital.

On October 31, Oswald appeared at the United States embassy in Moscow, declaring a desire to renounce his U.S. citizenship. Oswald told the interviewing officer at the U.S. embassy, Richard Snyder, "...that he had been a radar operator in the Marine Corps and that he had voluntarily stated to unnamed Soviet officials that as a Soviet citizen he would make known to them such information concerning the Marine Corps and his specialty as he possessed. He intimated that he might know something of special interest." (Such statements led to Oswald's hardship/honorable military discharge being changed to undesirable
Section 8 (military)
The term Section 8 refers to a category of discharge from the United States military for reason of being mentally unfit for service. It also came to mean any serviceperson given such a discharge or behaving as if deserving such a discharge...

.) The Associated Press story of the defection of a U.S. Marine to the Soviet Union was reported on the front pages of some newspapers in 1959.


Though Oswald had wanted to attend Moscow University, he was sent to Minsk to work as a lathe operator at the Gorizont (Horizon) Electronics Factory, a facility producing radios, televisions, and military and space electronics. He also received a subsidized, fully furnished studio apartment in a prestigious building and an additional supplement to his factory pay—all in all, an idyllic existence by Soviet working-class standards, although he was under constant surveillance.

But Oswald grew bored in Minsk. He wrote in his diary in January 1961: "I am starting to reconsider my desire about staying. The work is drab, the money I get has nowhere to be spent. No nightclubs or bowling alleys, no places of recreation except the trade union dances. I have had enough." Shortly afterwards, Oswald (who had never formally renounced his U.S. citizenship) wrote to the U.S. Embassy in Moscow requesting return of his American passport, and proposing to return to the U.S. if any charges against him would be dropped.

In March 1961, Oswald met Marina Nikolayevna Prusakova
Marina Oswald Porter
Marina Oswald Porter, is the widow of Lee Harvey Oswald, the assassin of U.S. President John F. Kennedy.-Life with Oswald:...

, a 19-year-old pharmacology student; they married less than six weeks later in April.Though later reports described her uncle, with whom she was living, as a colonel in the KGB
KGB
The KGB was the commonly used acronym for the . It was the national security agency of the Soviet Union from 1954 until 1991, and was the premier internal security, intelligence, and secret police organization during that time.The State Security Agency of the Republic of Belarus currently uses the...

, he was actually a lumber industry expert in the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs
Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs
The Ministerstvo Vnutrennikh Del is the interior ministry of Russia. Its predecessor was founded in 1802 by Alexander I in Imperial Russia...

 (MVD) with a bureaucratic rank of Polkovnik. Priscilla Johnson McMillan, Marina and Lee, Harper & Row, 1977, pp. 64–65. ISBN 978-0060129538.
The Oswalds' first child, June, was born on February 15, 1962. On May 24, 1962, Oswald and Marina applied at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow for documents enabling her to immigrate to the U.S. and, on June 1, the U.S. Embassy gave Oswald a repatriation loan of $435.71. Oswald, Marina, and their infant daughter left for the United States, where they received no attention from the press, much to Oswald's disappointment.

Dallas


The Oswalds soon settled in the Dallas/Fort Worth
Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex
The Dallas–Fort Worth–Arlington Metropolitan Statistical Area, a title designated by the U.S. Census as of 2003, encompasses 12 counties within the U.S. state of Texas. The area is divided into two metropolitan divisions: Dallas–Plano–Irving and Fort Worth–Arlington. Residents of the area...

 area, where his mother and brother Robert lived, and Oswald began a memoir
Memoir
A memoir , is a literary genre, forming a subclass of autobiography – although the terms 'memoir' and 'autobiography' are almost interchangeable. Memoir is autobiographical writing, but not all autobiographical writing follows the criteria for memoir set out below...

 on Soviet life. Though he eventually gave up the project, his search for literary feedback put him in touch with anti-Communist Russian émigrés in the area. In testimony to the Warren Commission, Alexander Kleinlerer said that the Russian émigrés sympathized with Marina, while merely tolerating Oswald, whom they regarded as rude and arrogant.Warren Commission Hearings, vol. 11, p. 123, Affidavit of Alexander Kleinlerer: "Anna Meller, Mrs. Hall, George Bouhe, and the deMohrenschildts, and all that group had pity for Marina and her child. None of us cared for Oswald because of his political philosophy, his criticism of the United States, his apparent lack of interest in anyone but himself, and because of his treatment of Marina."

Although the Russian
Russians
The Russian people are an East Slavic ethnic group native to Russia, speaking the Russian language and primarily living in Russia and neighboring countries....

 émigrés eventually abandoned Marina when she made no sign of leaving Oswald, Oswald found an unlikely friend in 51-year-old Russian émigré George de Mohrenschildt
George de Mohrenschildt
George de Mohrenschildt was a petroleum geologist and professor who befriended Lee Harvey Oswald in the summer of 1962 and maintained that friendship until Oswald's death two days after the assassination of U.S. President John F. Kennedy. He had personal acquaintance with the Bush family,...

, a well-educated petroleum geologist with intelligence connections. (A native of Russia, de Mohrenschildt told the Warren Commission that Oswald had a "...remarkable fluency in Russian.") Marina, meanwhile, befriended Ruth Paine
Ruth Paine
Ruth Hyde Paine was a friend of Marina Oswald who was living with her at the time of the JFK assassination. Lee Harvey Oswald stored the 6.5 mm caliber Carcano rifle he allegedly used to assassinate US President John F. Kennedy in her garage, unbeknownst to her and her husband, Michael Paine.-...

, a Quaker who was trying to learn Russian, and her husband Michael who worked for Bell Helicopter. (Ruth Paine said that she first met the Oswalds at a party arranged by George de Mohrenschildt.)

In July 1962, Oswald was hired by Dallas' Leslie Welding Company; he disliked the work and quit after three months.
(Warren Commission
Warren Commission
The President's Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy, known unofficially as the Warren Commission, was established on November 27, 1963, by Lyndon B. Johnson to investigate the assassination of United States President John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963...

 exhibit CE 1891 states that Mrs. Virginia Hale of Fortune Road, employed in the Fort Worth office of the Texas Employment Commission, sent Oswald out on the job to the Leslie Welding Company.)
In October, he was hired by the graphic-arts firm of Jaggars-Chiles-Stovall as a photoprint trainee.The company has been cited as doing classified work for the US government, but this work was limited to typesetting for maps and carried out in a section to which Oswald had no access. (George de Mohrenschildt's wife and daughter said that it was George de Mohrenschildt who secured the job at Jaggars-Chiles-Stovall for Oswald.) Oswald's inefficiency and rudeness at his new job were such that fights threatened to break out,Warren Commission Hearings, Testimony of Dennis Hyman Ofstein: 'I would say he didn't get along with people and that several people had words with him at times about the way he barged around the plant, and one of the fellows back in the photosetter department almost got in a fight with him one day, and I believe it was Mr. Graef that stepped in and broke it up before it got started...' and he was seen reading a Russian publication, Krokodil
Krokodil
Krokodil was a satirical magazine published in the Soviet Union. It was founded in 1922. At that time, a large number of satirical magazines existed, such as Zanoza and Prozhektor...

.This magazine was largely a satire of the performance of the Soviet system, not of the West—by this time Oswald had long been disillusioned with the U.S.S.R., as noted. He was fired during the first week of April 1963.
He may have used equipment at the firm to forge identification documents.

Attempt on life of General Walker


Marina Oswald testified to the Warren Commission that Lee Harvey Oswald confessed to her on the night of April 10, 1963, that he shot at General Edwin Walker with his rifle, and buried the rifle that night. The Warren Commission concluded that on April 10, 1963, Oswald attempted to kill retired U.S. Major General Edwin Walker
Edwin Walker
Major General Edwin Anderson Walker was a United States Army officer known for his conservative political views and for being an attempted assassination target of Lee Harvey Oswald.-Early life and military career:...

, an outspoken anti-communist, segregationist, and member of the John Birch Society
John Birch Society
The John Birch Society is an American political advocacy group that supports anti-communism, limited government, a Constitutional Republic and personal freedom. It has been described as radical right-wing....

. In 1961, Walker had been relieved of his command of the 24th Division of the U.S. Army in West Germany for distributing right-wing literature to his troops. Walker's later actions in opposition to racial integration at the University of Mississippi
University of Mississippi
The University of Mississippi, also known as Ole Miss, is a public, coeducational research university located in Oxford, Mississippi. Founded in 1844, the school is composed of the main campus in Oxford, four branch campuses located in Booneville, Grenada, Tupelo, and Southaven as well as the...

 led to his arrest on insurrection, seditious conspiracy, and other charges. He was temporarily held in a mental institution on orders from President Kennedy's brother, Attorney General Robert Kennedy, but a grand jury refused to indict him. Oswald's wife, Marina told the Warren Commission that Oswald considered Walker the leader of a "fascist
Fascism
Fascism is a radical authoritarian nationalist political ideology. Fascists seek to rejuvenate their nation based on commitment to the national community as an organic entity, in which individuals are bound together in national identity by suprapersonal connections of ancestry, culture, and blood...

 organization."

In March 1963, Oswald purchased a 6.5 mm caliber Carcano
Carcano
Carcano is the frequently used name for a series of Italian bolt-action military rifles and carbines. Introduced in 1891, this rifle was chambered for the rimless 6.5x52mm Mannlicher-Carcano Cartuccia Modello 1895 cartridge. It was developed by the chief technician Salvatore Carcano at the Turin...

 rifle (commonly but improperly called Mannlicher-Carcano) by mail-order, using the alias A. Hidell, as well as a .38 Smith & Wesson Model 10 revolver by the same method.

The Warren Commission concluded that Oswald fired at Walker through a window, from less than 100 feet (30 m) away, as Walker sat at a desk in his home; the bullet struck the window-frame and Walker's only injury was bullet fragments to the forearm. Marina testified to the Warren Commission that Oswald told her that he had shot at Walker. (The United States House Select Committee on Assassinations
United States House Select Committee on Assassinations
The United States House of Representatives Select Committee on Assassinations ' was established in 1976 to investigate the assassinations of John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr. and the shooting of Governor George Wallace. The Committee investigated until 1978, and in 1979 issued its final...

 stated that the "evidence strongly suggested" that Oswald carried out the shooting.)

Before the Kennedy assassination, Dallas police had no suspects in the Walker shooting,
but Oswald's involvement was suspected within hours of his arrest following the assassination. (A note Oswald left for Marina on the night of the attempt, telling her what to do if he did not return, was not found until early December 1963.) The Walker bullet was too damaged to run conclusive ballistics studies on it, but neutron activation analysis
Neutron activation analysis
In chemistry, neutron activation analysis is a nuclear process used for determining the concentrations of elements in a vast amount of materials. NAA allows discrete sampling of elements as it disregards the chemical form of a sample, and focuses solely on its nucleus. The method is based on...

 later showed that it was "extremely likely" that it was made by the same manufacturer and for the same rifle make as the two bullets which later struck Kennedy.United States House Select Committee on Assassinations
United States House Select Committee on Assassinations
The United States House of Representatives Select Committee on Assassinations ' was established in 1976 to investigate the assassinations of John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr. and the shooting of Governor George Wallace. The Committee investigated until 1978, and in 1979 issued its final...

,

Testimony of Dr. Vincent P. Guinn:
Mr. WOLF. In your professional opinion, Dr. Guinn, is the fragment removed from General Walker's house a fragment from a WCC (Western Cartridge Company
Western Cartridge Company
The Western Cartridge Company manufactures small arms and ammunitions. Founded in 1898, it was the forerunner of the Olin Corporation, formed in 1944, of which Western is still a subsidiary, and is based in East Alton, Illinois, USA...

) Mannlicher-Carcano bullet?
Dr. GUINN. I would say that it is extremely likely that it is, because there are very few, very few other ammunitions that would be in this range. I don't know of any that are specifically this close as these numbers indicate, but somewhere near them there are a few others, but essentially this is in the range that is rather characteristic of WCC Mannlicher-Carcano bullet lead.


George De Mohrenschildt
George de Mohrenschildt
George de Mohrenschildt was a petroleum geologist and professor who befriended Lee Harvey Oswald in the summer of 1962 and maintained that friendship until Oswald's death two days after the assassination of U.S. President John F. Kennedy. He had personal acquaintance with the Bush family,...

, friend of the Oswalds when they were in Dallas, told the Warren Commission
Warren Commission
The President's Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy, known unofficially as the Warren Commission, was established on November 27, 1963, by Lyndon B. Johnson to investigate the assassination of United States President John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963...

 that he strongly suspected that Oswald took a 'pot shot' at General Walker, because the following weekend, on the night of Easter Sunday, April 14, 1963, George and Jeanne De Morhenschildt brought an Easter bunny to baby June Oswald, and when Marina was showing Jeanne their new apartment, Oswald's dug-up rifle appeared in a closet. Jeanne exclaimed to George that Lee had a rifle, and George joked to Lee, "Were you the one who took a pot-shot at General Walker?" At this point Lee and Marina both became stunned for an uncomfortable moment of silence, and then George broke the ice by laughing, and they all laughed. George De Mohrenschildt testified that this was the last time he ever saw Oswald, and that he had a strong feeling that Oswald was guilty of the shooting at General Walker.

New Orleans


Oswald returned to New Orleans on April 24, 1963. Marina's friend, Ruth Paine, drove her by car from Dallas to join Oswald in New Orleans the next month in May. On May 10, Oswald was hired by the Reily Coffee Company
Reily Foods Company
Reily Foods Company is the primary division of the independently held Wm. B. Reily & Company Inc., specializing in the processing, packaging and distribution of food and beverage products...

 whose owner (William Reily) was a backer of the Crusade to Free Cuba Committee
Crusade to Free Cuba Committee
The Crusade to Free Cuba Committee was founded in December 1961 by anti-Castro Cuban exile Sergio Arcacha Smith to raise funds and support for the CIA-backed Cuban Revolutionary Council, a group formerly known as the Cuban Democratic Revolutionary Front....

, an anti-Castro organization. Oswald worked as a machinery greaser at Reily, but he was fired in July "...because his work was not satisfactory and because he spent too much time loitering in Adrian Alba's garage next door, where he read rifle and hunting magazines."

On May 26, Oswald wrote to the New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

 headquarters of the pro-Castro Fair Play for Cuba Committee
Fair Play for Cuba Committee
The Fair Play for Cuba Committee was an activist group set up in New York in April 1960. The FPCC's purpose was to provide grassroots support for the Cuban Revolution against attacks by the United States government, once Fidel Castro began openly admitting his commitment to Marxism and began the...

, proposing to rent "...a small office at my own expense for the purpose of forming a FPCC branch here in New Orleans." Three days later, the FPCC responded to Oswald's letter advising against opening a New Orleans office "at least not ... at the very beginning." In a follow-up letter, Oswald replied, "Against your advice, I have decided to take an office from the very beginning."

As the sole member of the New Orleans chapter of the Fair Play for Cuba Committee
Fair Play for Cuba Committee
The Fair Play for Cuba Committee was an activist group set up in New York in April 1960. The FPCC's purpose was to provide grassroots support for the Cuban Revolution against attacks by the United States government, once Fidel Castro began openly admitting his commitment to Marxism and began the...

, Oswald ordered the following items from a local printer: 500 application forms, 300 membership cards, and 1,000 leaflets with the heading, "Hands Off Cuba." According to Lee Oswald's wife Marina, Lee told her to sign the name "A.J. Hidell" as chapter president on his membership card.

On August 5 and 6, according to anti-Castro militant Carlos Bringuier
Carlos Bringuier
Carlos Jose Bringuier is a Cuban exile in the United States of America who campaigned against Fidel Castro's government. Bringuier is principally known for his brief connection with Lee Harvey Oswald, the alleged assassin of President John F...

, Oswald visited him at a store he owned in New Orleans. Bringuier was the New Orleans delegate for the Student Revolutionary Directorate (DRE), an anti-Castro organization. Bringuier would later tell the Warren Commission that he believed Oswald's visits were an attempt by Oswald to infiltrate his group. On August 9, Oswald turned up in downtown New Orleans handing out pro-Castro leaflets. Bringuier confronted Oswald, claiming he was tipped off about Oswald's leafleting by a friend. A scuffle ensued and Oswald, Bringuier, and two of Bringuier's friends were arrested for disturbing the peace. Before leaving the police station, Oswald asked to speak with an FBI agent. Agent John Quigley arrived and spent over an hour talking to Oswald.

A week later, on August 16, Oswald again passed out Fair Play for Cuba leaflets with two hired helpers, this time in front of the International Trade Mart
International Trade Mart
The International Trade Mart is an organization promoting international trade and the Port of New Orleans.The World Trade Mart was chartered in 1945, first opened its doors in 1948, and in 1985, merged with International House to form the World Trade Center New Orleans, a private, non-profit...

. The incident was filmed by WDSU
WDSU
WDSU, virtual channel 6, is the NBC-affiliated television station for the New Orleans, Louisiana television market. It is owned by Hearst Television, which in turn is wholly owned by the Hearst Corporation. It broadcasts on UHF digital channel 43...

 – the local TV station. The next day, Oswald was interviewed by WDSU
WDSU
WDSU, virtual channel 6, is the NBC-affiliated television station for the New Orleans, Louisiana television market. It is owned by Hearst Television, which in turn is wholly owned by the Hearst Corporation. It broadcasts on UHF digital channel 43...

 radio commentator William Stuckey, who probed Oswald's background. A few days later, Oswald accepted Stuckey's invitation to take part in a radio debate with Carlos Bringuier
Carlos Bringuier
Carlos Jose Bringuier is a Cuban exile in the United States of America who campaigned against Fidel Castro's government. Bringuier is principally known for his brief connection with Lee Harvey Oswald, the alleged assassin of President John F...

 and Bringuier's associate Edward Butler, head of the right-wing Information Council of the Americas (INCA).

One of Oswald's Fair Play for Cuba leaflets had the address "544 Camp Street" hand-stamped on it, apparently by Oswald himself. The address was in the "Newman Building" which, from October 1961 to February 1962, housed the militant anti-Castro group, the Cuban Revolutionary Council
Cuban Revolutionary Council
The Cuban Revolutionary Council was a group formed, with CIA assistance, three weeks before the April 17, 1961 Bay of Pigs Invasion to "coordinate and direct" the activities of another group known as the Cuban Democratic Revolutionary Front. Both groups were composed of Cuban exiles dedicated to...

. Around the corner but located in the same building, with a different entrance, was the address 531 Lafayette Street—the address of "Guy Banister Associates", a private detective agency run by former FBI agent Guy Banister
Guy Banister
William Guy Banister was a career member of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and a private investigator. He gained notoriety from the allegations made by New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison, after Banister's death, that he had been involved in the assassination of John F. Kennedy...

. Banister's office was involved in anti-Castro and private investigative activities in the New Orleans area. In September 1960, the CIA had considered using Guy Banister Associates for the collection of foreign intelligence, but decided against it.

In the late-1970s, the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) investigated the possible relationship of Oswald to Banister's office. While the committee was unable to interview Guy Banister
Guy Banister
William Guy Banister was a career member of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and a private investigator. He gained notoriety from the allegations made by New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison, after Banister's death, that he had been involved in the assassination of John F. Kennedy...

 (who died in 1964), the committee did interview his brother Ross Banister. Ross "...told the committee that his brother had mentioned seeing Oswald hand out Fair Play for Cuba literature on one occasion. Ross theorized that Oswald had used the 544 Camp Street address on his literature to embarrass Guy."

Guy Banister's secretary, Delphine Roberts, told author Anthony Summers
Anthony Summers
Anthony Bruce Summers is the non-fiction author of seven best-selling investigative books. He is an Irish citizen, and has been working for some twenty years with Robbyn Swan, who is now his co-author and fifth wife...

 that she saw Oswald at Banister's office, and that he filled out one of Banister's "agent" application forms. She said, "Oswald came back a number of times. He seemed to be on familiar terms with Banister and with the office." The House Select Committee on Assassinations investigated Roberts' claims and said that "because of contradictions in Roberts' statements to the committee and lack of independent corroboration of many of her statements, the reliability of her statements could not be determined."
Oswald's mid-1963 New Orleans activities were later investigated by New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison
Jim Garrison
Earling Carothers "Jim" Garrison — who changed his first name to Jim in the early 1960s — was the District Attorney of Orleans Parish, Louisiana from 1962 to 1973. A member of the Democratic Party, he is best known for his investigations into the assassination of President John F. Kennedy...

, as part of his prosecution of Clay Shaw
Trial of Clay Shaw
On March 1, 1967, New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison arrested and charged New Orleans businessman Clay Shaw with conspiring to assassinate President Kennedy, with the help of Lee Harvey Oswald, David Ferrie, and others. On January 29, 1969, Shaw was brought to trial in Orleans Parish...

 in 1969. Garrison was particularly interested in an associate of Guy Banister—a man named David Ferrie
David Ferrie
David William Ferrie was a pilot who was alleged to have been involved in a conspiracy to assassinate President John F. Kennedy. New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison later claimed to have proven Ferrie's involvement and that he knew Lee Harvey Oswald. Ferrie denied such involvement.-Early...

 and his possible connection to Oswald, which Ferrie himself denied. Ferrie died before Garrison could complete his investigation.
Charged with conspiracy in the JFK assassination, Shaw was found not guilty.

In 1993, the PBS television program Frontline obtained a photograph, taken eight years before the assassination, showing Oswald and Ferrie at a Civil Air Patrol
Civil Air Patrol
Civil Air Patrol is a Congressionally chartered, federally supported, non-profit corporation that serves as the official civilian auxiliary of the United States Air Force . CAP is a volunteer organization with an aviation-minded membership that includes people from all backgrounds, lifestyles, and...

 cookout with other C.A.P. cadets.

Mexico


Marina's friend, Ruth Paine, transported Marina and her child by car from New Orleans to the Paine home in Irving, Texas
Irving, Texas
Irving is a city located in the U.S. state of Texas within Dallas County. According to the 2010 U.S. Census, the city population was 216,290. Irving is within the Dallas–Plano–Irving metropolitan division of the Dallas–Fort Worth–Arlington metropolitan area, designated...

, near Dallas, on September 23, 1963. Oswald stayed in New Orleans at least two more days to collect a $33 unemployment check. It is uncertain when he left New Orleans: he is next known to have boarded a bus in Houston
Houston, Texas
Houston is the fourth-largest city in the United States, and the largest city in the state of Texas. According to the 2010 U.S. Census, the city had a population of 2.1 million people within an area of . Houston is the seat of Harris County and the economic center of , which is the ...

—bound for the Mexican border, rather than Dallas, and telling other passengers he planned to travel to Cuba via Mexico. In Mexico City, he applied for a transit visa at the Cuban Embassy, claiming he wanted to visit Cuba on his way back to the Soviet Union. Cuban officials insisted Oswald would need Soviet approval, but he was unable to get prompt co-operation from that embassy.

After five days of shuttling between consulates, a heated argument with the Cuban consul, impassioned pleas to KGB agents, and at least some CIA scrutiny, Oswald was told by the Cuban consul that he was disinclined to approve the visa, saying "a person like [Oswald] in place of aiding the Cuban Revolution, was doing it harm." Nonetheless, on October 18, the Cuban embassy indeed approved the visa, but Oswald did not in fact embark for Cuba. (Eleven days before the assassination of Kennedy, Oswald wrote to the Soviet embassy in Washington, D.C., saying, "Had I been able to reach the Soviet Embassy in Havana
Havana
Havana is the capital city, province, major port, and leading commercial centre of Cuba. The city proper has a population of 2.1 million inhabitants, and it spans a total of — making it the largest city in the Caribbean region, and the most populous...

 as planned, the embassy there would have had time to complete our business.")

Return to Dallas



Instead, on October 3, 1963, Oswald left by bus for Dallas. According to the Warren Commission, on October 14, a neighbor told Ruth Paine that there was a job opening at the Texas School Book Depository
Texas School Book Depository
The Texas School Book Depository is the former name of a seven-floor building facing Dealey Plaza in Dallas, Texas . Located on the northwest corner of Elm and North Houston Streets, at the western end of downtown Dallas, its address is 411 Elm Street. The building is notable for its connection to...

, an opening reported by her son Wesley Buell Frazier, who had a job there. Mrs. Paine informed Oswald, who was interviewed at the Depository and was hired there on October 16. Oswald's supervisor Roy Truly, said that Oswald "did a good day's work" and was an above average employee. During the week, Oswald stayed in a Dallas rooming house (under the name O.H. Lee), but he spent his weekends with Marina at the Paine home in Irving
Irving, Texas
Irving is a city located in the U.S. state of Texas within Dallas County. According to the 2010 U.S. Census, the city population was 216,290. Irving is within the Dallas–Plano–Irving metropolitan division of the Dallas–Fort Worth–Arlington metropolitan area, designated...

. Oswald did not drive, but commuted to and from Dallas on Mondays and Fridays with Wesley Frazier. On October 20, the Oswalds' second daughter was born.

FBI agents twice visited the Paine home in early November, when Oswald was not present, looking for information on Marina, whom they suspected of being a Soviet agent. Oswald visited the Dallas FBI office about 7 to 10 days before the assassination, asking to see Special Agent James Hosty; told Hosty was unavailable, Oswald left a note that, according to the receptionist, read: "Let this be a warning. I will blow up the FBI and the Dallas Police Department if you don’t stop bothering my wife. Signed—Lee Harvey Oswald." The note allegedly contained some sort of threat, but accounts varied widely as to whether Oswald threatened to "blow up the FBI" or merely "report this to higher authorities". Hosty testified that the note said, "If you have anything you want to learn about me, come talk to me directly. If you don't cease bothering my wife, I will take the appropriate action and report this to the proper authorities." Agent Hosty reported he destroyed the note after Oswald was named the suspect in the JFK assassination, as he was ordered to do by his superiors.

In the days before Kennedy's arrival, several newspapers described the route of the presidential motorcade as passing the Book Depository. On November 21 (a Thursday) Oswald asked Frazier for an unusual mid-week lift back to Irving, saying he had to pick up some curtain rods. The next morning (Friday) he returned to Dallas with Frazier; he left behind $170 and his wedding ring, but took with him a long paper bag. Oswald's co-worker, Charles Givens, testified that he saw Oswald on the sixth floor of the Depository at 11:55 a.m.—35 minutes before the assassination.Warren Commission Hearings, Testimony of Charles Givens. An FBI report from November 26, 1963 said that Depository employee Carolyn Arnold, as she left the building to watch the motorcade, thought she caught a fleeting glimpse of Oswald standing in the first floor hallway of the building, a few minutes before 12:15 pm. In 1978, she told author Anthony Summers that the FBI report misquoted her, and that she "clearly" saw Oswald sitting in the second floor lunchroom at 12:15 pm or slightly after. In either case, no other Depository employee reported seeing Oswald on the first or second floors between 12 noon and 12:30 pm (e.g., Mrs. Pauline Sanders, who left the second floor lunchroom at "approximately 12:20 pm," did not see Oswald at all that day). The two employees with whom Oswald said he ate lunch on the first floor both denied it. However, another co-worker, Bonnie Ray Williams testified that he went to the sixth floor of the Depository to eat his lunch at about 12:05 p.m. and was there until at least 12:10 p.m. He said that during that time he did not see Oswald, or anyone else, on the sixth floor.

Shootings of Kennedy and Tippit



According to several government investigations, including the Warren Commission
Warren Commission
The President's Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy, known unofficially as the Warren Commission, was established on November 27, 1963, by Lyndon B. Johnson to investigate the assassination of United States President John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963...

, as Kennedy's motorcade passed through Dallas's Dealey Plaza about 12:30 p.m. on November 22, Oswald fired three rifle shots from the sixth-floor, southeast corner window of the Book Depository, killing the President and seriously wounding Texas Governor John Connally
John Connally
John Bowden Connally, Jr. , was an influential American politician, serving as the 39th governor of Texas, Secretary of the Navy under President John F. Kennedy, and as Secretary of the Treasury under President Richard M. Nixon. While he was Governor in 1963, Connally was a passenger in the car in...

. Bystander James Tague
James Tague
James "Jim" Thomas Tague was a witness to the assassination of U.S. President John F. Kennedy in Dallas, Texas on November 22, 1963. He received a minor wound on his right cheek during the assassination. He is the only person, in addition to Kennedy and Texas Governor John B...

 received a minor facial injury.
According to the investigations, immediately after firing, Oswald hid the rifle behind some boxes and descended using the rear stairwell. About ninety seconds after the shooting, in the second-floor lunchroom, he encountered police officer Marrion Baker accompanied by Oswald's supervisor Roy Truly; Baker let Oswald pass after Truly identified him as an employee. According to Baker, Oswald did not appear to be nervous or out of breath. Oswald descended using the front staircase, and left the Depository through the front entrance just before police sealed it off. Oswald's supervisor, Roy Truly, later pointed out to officers that Oswald was the only employee that he was certain was missing.

At about 12:40 p.m., Oswald boarded a city bus but (probably due to heavy traffic) he requested a transfer from the driver and got off two blocks later. He took a taxicab to his rooming house, at 1026 North Beckley Avenue, arriving at about 1:00 p.m. He entered through the front door and, according to his housekeeper Earlene Roberts, immediately went to his room, "walking pretty fast". Mrs. Roberts testified that Oswald left "a very few minutes" later, zipping up a jacket he was not wearing when he had entered earlier, and that she last saw Oswald standing at the northbound Beckley Avenue bus stop in front of the house.

Oswald was next witnessed near the corner of East 10th Street and North Patton Avenue, about nine-tenths of a mile (1.4 km) southeast of his rooming house—a distance that the Warren Commission said, "Oswald could have easily walked". According to the Warren Commission, it was here that Patrolman J. D. Tippit
J. D. Tippit
Tippit attended a Veterans Administration vocational training school at Bogata, Texas, from January 1950 until June 1952. He was then hired by the Dallas Police Department as a patrolman on July 28, 1952...

 pulled alongside Oswald and "apparently exchanged words with [him] through the right front or vent window." At approximately 1:11–1:14 p.m.,The first report of Tippit's shooting was transmitted over Police Channel 1 some time between 1:16 and 1:19 p.m., as indicated by verbal time stamps made periodically by the dispatcher. Specifically, the first report began 1 minute 41 seconds after the 1:16 time stamp. Before that, witness Domingo Benavides could be heard unsuccessfully trying to use Tippit's police radio microphone, beginning at 1:16. Dale K. Myers, With Malice: Lee Harvey Oswald and the Murder of Officer J.D. Tippit, 1998, p. 384. ISBN 0-9662709-7-5. Tippit exited his car and was immediately struck and killed by four shots.
Numerous witnesses heard the shots and saw a man flee the scene holding a revolver.By the evening of November 22, five of them (Helen Markham, Barbara Jeanette Davis, Virginia Davis, Ted Callaway, Sam Guinyard) had identified Lee Harvey Oswald in police lineups as the man they saw. A sixth (William Scoggins) did so the next day. Three others (Harold Russell, Pat Patterson, Warren Reynolds) subsequently identified Oswald from a photograph. Two witnesses (Domingo Benavides, William Arthur Smith) testified that Oswald resembled the man they had seen. One witness (L.J. Lewis) felt he was too distant from the gunman to make a positive identification. Warren Commission Hearings, CE 1968, Location of Eyewitnesses to the Movements of Lee Harvey Oswald in the Vicinity of the Tippit Killing. Four cartridge cases found at the scene were identified by expert witnesses before the Warren Commission and the House Select Committee as having been fired from the revolver later found in Oswald's possession, to the exclusion of all other weapons. The bullets taken from Tippit's body could not be positively identified however as coming from Oswald's revolver.

Capture



Shoe store manager Johnny Brewer testified that minutes later he saw Oswald "ducking into" the entrance alcove of his store. Suspicious of this activity, Brewer watched Oswald continue up the street and slip into the nearby Texas Theater without paying. He alerted the theater's ticket clerk, who telephoned police at about 1:40 pm.

As police arrived, the house lights were brought up and Brewer pointed out Oswald sitting near the rear of the theater. Oswald appeared to surrender (saying, "Well, it is all over now") then struck an officer; he was disarmed after a struggle. As he was led from the theater, Oswald shouted he was a victim of police brutality.

At about 2 p.m., Oswald arrived at the Police Department building, where he was questioned by Detective Jim Leavelle
Jim Leavelle
James R. Leavelle is the former Dallas, Texas homicide detective who was escorting Lee Harvey Oswald through the basement of Dallas Police headquarters when Oswald was shot by Jack Ruby....

 about the shooting of Officer Tippit. When Captain J. W. Fritz heard Oswald's name, he recognized it as that of the Book Depository employee who was reported missing and was already a suspect in the assassination. Oswald was booked for both murders, and by the end of the night he had been arraigned as well.
Soon after his capture Oswald encountered reporters in a hallway, declaring "I didn't shoot anyone" and "They're taking me in because of the fact I lived in the Soviet Union. I'm just a patsy!" Later, at an arranged press meeting, a reporter asked, "Did you kill the President?" and Oswald, who by that time had been advised of the charge of murdering Tippit, but not yet arraigned in Kennedy's death, answered "No, I have not been charged with that. In fact, nobody has said that to me yet. The first thing I heard about it was when the newspaper reporters in the hall asked me that question." As he was led from the room, "What did you do in the USSR?" was called out, and "How did you hurt your eye?"; Oswald answered, "A policeman hit me."

Police interrogation



Oswald was interrogated several times during his two days at Dallas Police Headquarters. He denied killing Kennedy and Tippit, denied owning a rifle, said two photographs of him holding a rifle and a pistol were fakes, denied telling his co-worker he wanted a ride to Irving to get curtain rods for his apartment, and denied carrying a long heavy package to work the morning of the assassination. The Warren Commission also noted that Oswald denied knowing an A. J. Hidell, and when shown a forged Selective Service
Selective Service System
The Selective Service System is a means by which the United States government maintains information on those potentially subject to military conscription. Most male U.S. citizens and male immigrant non-citizens between the ages of 18 and 25 are required by law to have registered within 30 days of...

 card bearing that name in his possession when arrested, refused to answer any questions concerning it, saying "...you have the card yourself and you know as much about it as I do." The Warren Commission noted that this "spurious" card bore the name of Alek James Hidell.

During his first interrogation on Friday, November 22, Oswald was asked to account for himself at the time the President was shot. According to FBI Special Agent James Hosty and Dallas Police Captain Will Fritz, Oswald said he ate lunch in the Depository's first-floor lunchroom, then went to the second-floor for a Coca-Cola, where he encountered a policeman. During his last interrogation on November 24, according to postal inspector Harry Holmes, Oswald was again asked where he was at the time of the shooting. Holmes (who attended the interrogation at the invitation of Captain Will Fritz) said that Oswald replied that he was working on an upper floor when the shooting occurred, then went downstairs where he encountered a policeman.

Oswald asked for legal representation several times while being interrogated, as well as in encounters with reporters. But when representatives of the Dallas Bar Association
Dallas Bar Association
The Dallas Bar Association or DBA is a professional organization providing resources for attorneys and the public in the city of Dallas, Texas. Founded in 1873, the DBA is a voluntary professional association of 10,000+ lawyers...

 met with him in his cell on Saturday, he declined their services, saying he wanted to be represented by John Abt
John Abt
John Jacob Abt was an American lawyer and politician. He spent most of his career as chief counsel to the Communist Party USA ....

, chief counsel to the Communist Party USA
Communist Party USA
The Communist Party USA is a Marxist political party in the United States, established in 1919. It has a long, complex history that is closely related to the histories of similar communist parties worldwide and the U.S. labor movement....

, or by lawyers associated with the American Civil Liberties Union
American Civil Liberties Union
The American Civil Liberties Union is a U.S. non-profit organization whose stated mission is "to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States." It works through litigation, legislation, and...

. Both Oswald and Ruth Paine tried to reach Abt by telephone several times Saturday and Sunday, but Abt was away for the weekend. Oswald also declined his brother Robert's offer on Saturday to obtain a local attorney.

Death


On Sunday, November 24, Oswald was being led through the basement of Dallas Police Headquarters preparatory to his transfer to the county jail when, at 11:21 a.m., Dallas nightclub operator Jack Ruby
Jack Ruby
Jacob Leon Rubenstein , who legally changed his name to Jack Leon Ruby in 1947, was convicted of the November 24, 1963 murder of Lee Harvey Oswald, the alleged assassin of President John F. Kennedy. Ruby, who was originally from Chicago, Illinois, was then a nightclub operator in Dallas, Texas...

 stepped from the crowd and shot Oswald in the abdomen.
Oswald died at 1:07 p.m. at Parkland Memorial Hospital
Parkland Memorial Hospital
Parkland Memorial Hospital is a hospital located at 5201 Harry Hines Boulevard, just west of Oak Lawn in Dallas, Texas . It is the main hospital of the Dallas County Hospital District and serves as Dallas County's public hospital.- History :The original hospital opened in 1894 in a wooden...

—the same hospital where Kennedy had died two days earlier.

A network television camera, there to cover the transfer, was broadcasting live at the time, and millions thereby witnessed the shooting as it happened.
The event was also captured in a well-known photograph (see right).
Ruby later said he had been distraught over Kennedy's death and that his motive for killing Oswald was "...saving Mrs. Kennedy the discomfiture of coming back to trial." Others have hypothesized that Ruby was part of a conspiracy.

After autopsy, Oswald was buried in Fort Worth's Rose Hill Memorial Burial Park. A marker inscribed simply Oswald replaces the stolen original tombstone, which gave Oswald's full name, and birth and death dates.

FBI agent James Hosty destroys Oswald's note


According to FBI Agent James Hosty, two days after the assassination, Dallas FBI Special Agent-in-Charge J. Gordon Shanklin ordered Hosty to destroy a note that Oswald had left with a receptionist at the Dallas FBI office about seven to ten days before the assassination. The note allegedly contained some sort of threat. In testimony before the Warren Commission, Shanklin denied ordering Hosty to destroy Oswald's note, and denied having any knowledge of the note. The FBI acknowledged that Hosty's and Shanklin's accounts contradicted each other, but said that it would not investigate the matter further.

Warren Commission


The Warren Commission
Warren Commission
The President's Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy, known unofficially as the Warren Commission, was established on November 27, 1963, by Lyndon B. Johnson to investigate the assassination of United States President John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963...

, created by President Lyndon B. Johnson
Lyndon B. Johnson
Lyndon Baines Johnson , often referred to as LBJ, was the 36th President of the United States after his service as the 37th Vice President of the United States...

 to investigate the assassination, concluded that Oswald acted alone in assassinating Kennedy (this view is known as the lone gunman theory
Lone gunman theory
The lone gunman theory is the nickname given to the controversial conclusion reached by the Warren Commission that U.S. President John F. Kennedy was assassinated by a single gunman named Lee Harvey Oswald who fired only three shots, one of which being the single bullet that wounded both Kennedy...

). The Commission could not ascribe any one motive or group of motives to Oswald's actions:
The proceedings of the commission were closed, though not secret, and about 3% of its files have yet to be released to the public, which has continued to provoke speculation among researchers."Two misconceptions about the Warren Commission hearing need to be clarified...hearings were closed to the public unless the witness appearing before the Commission requested an open hearing. No witness except one...requested an open hearing...Second, although the hearings (except one) were conducted in private, they were not secret. In a secret hearing, the witness is instructed not to disclose his testimony to any third party, and the hearing testimony is not published for public consumption. The witnesses who appeared before the Commission were free to repeat what they said to anyone they pleased, and all of their testimony was subsequently published in the first fifteen volumes put out by the Warren Commission." (Bugliosi, p. 332)

Ramsey Clark Panel


In 1968, the Ramsey Clark
Ramsey Clark
William Ramsey Clark is an American lawyer, activist and former public official. He worked for the U.S. Department of Justice, which included service as United States Attorney General from 1967 to 1969, under President Lyndon B. Johnson...

 Panel examined various photographs, X-ray films, documents, and other evidence, concluding that Kennedy was struck by two bullets fired from above and behind him, one of which traversed the base of the neck on the right side without striking bone, and the other of which entered the skull from behind and destroyed its right side.

House Select Committee


In 1979, after a review of the evidence and of prior investigations, the United States House Select Committee on Assassinations was preparing to issue a finding that Oswald had acted alone in killing Kennedy. However, late in the Committee's proceedings a Dictabelt
Dictabelt
The Dictabelt or Memobelt was a form of recording medium introduced by the American Dictaphone company in 1947. It used a type of "Write Once - Read Many" medium consisting of a thin, plastic belt 3.5" wide that was placed on a cylinder and spun like a tank tread. The needle would then move slowly...

 was introduced, purportedly recording sounds heard in Dealey Plaza before, during and after the shots were fired. After submitting the Dictabelt to acoustic analysis, the Committee revised its findings to assert a "high probability that two gunmen fired" at Kennedy and that Kennedy "was probably assassinated as the result of a conspiracy." Although the Committee was "unable to identify the other gunman or the extent of the conspiracy," it made a number of further findings regarding the likelihood or unlikelihood that particular groups, named in the findings, were involved.

The Dictabelt evidence has been questioned, some believing it is not a recording of the assassination at all. The staff director and chief counsel for the Committee, G. Robert Blakey
G. Robert Blakey
George Robert Blakey is an American attorney and law professor. He is best known for his work in connection with drafting the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act and for scholarship on that subject.-Education and family:Blakey graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 1957,...

, told ABC News in 2003 that at least 20 persons heard a shot from the grassy knoll, and that a conspiracy was established by both the witness testimony and acoustic evidence, but in 2004 he expressed less confidence. Officer H.B. McLain, from whose motorcycle radio the HSCA acoustic experts said the Dictabelt evidence came, has repeatedly stated that he was not yet in Dealey Plaza at the time of the assassination. McLain asked the Committee, "‘If it was my radio on my motorcycle, why did it not record the revving up at high speed plus my siren when we immediately took off for Parkland Hospital?’”

In 1982, a group of twelve scientists appointed by the National Academy of Sciences
United States National Academy of Sciences
The National Academy of Sciences is a corporation in the United States whose members serve pro bono as "advisers to the nation on science, engineering, and medicine." As a national academy, new members of the organization are elected annually by current members, based on their distinguished and...

 (NAS), led by Norman Ramsey, concluded that the acoustic evidence submitted to the HSCA was "seriously flawed." Subsequently, a 2001 article in Science and Justice, the journal of Britain's Forensic Science Society, said that the NAS investigation was itself flawed and concluded with a 96.3 percent certainty that there were at least two gunmen firing at President Kennedy and that at least one shot came from the grassy knoll. Commenting on the British study, G. Robert Blakey said: "This is an honest, careful scientific examination of everything we did, with all the appropriate statistical checks."

Other investigations and dissenting theories




Critics have not accepted the conclusions of the Warren Commission and have proposed a number of other theories, such as that Oswald conspired with others, or was not involved at all and was framed.
In October 1981, with Marina's support, Oswald's grave was opened to test a theory propounded by writer Michael Eddowes: that during Oswald's stay in the Soviet Union he was replaced with a Soviet double; that it was this double, not Oswald, who killed Kennedy and who is buried in Oswald's grave; and that the exhumed remains would therefore not exhibit a surgical scar Oswald was known to carry. However, dental records positively identified the exhumed corpse as Oswald's, and the scar was present.W. Tracy Parnell, The Exhumation of Lee Harvey Oswald. Contrary to reports, the skull of Oswald had been autopsied and this was also confirmed at the exhumation. W. Tracy Parnell, My Interview With Dr. Vincent J.M. Di Maio.

Fictional trials


Several films have fictionalized a trial of Oswald. In 1988, a 21-hour unscripted mock trial was "held" on television, argued by actual lawyers before an actual judge, with unscripted testimony from surviving witnesses to the events surrounding the assassination; the mock jury returned a verdict of guilty.

Backyard photos




The "backyard photos", taken by Marina Oswald probably around March 31, 1963 using a camera belonging to Oswald, show Oswald holding two Marxist newspapers—The Militant
The Militant
The Militant is an international Socialist newsweekly connected to the Socialist Workers Party and the Pathfinder Tendency. It is published in the United States and distributed in other countries such as Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, France, Sweden, Iceland, and New...

and The Worker
Daily Worker
The Daily Worker was a newspaper published in New York City by the Communist Party USA, a formerly Comintern-affiliated organization. Publication began in 1924. While it generally reflected the prevailing views of the party, some attempts were made to make it appear that the paper reflected a...

—and a rifle, and wearing a pistol in a holster. Shown the pictures after his arrest, Oswald insisted they were forgeries, but Marina testified in 1964 that she had taken the photographs at Oswald's request— testimony she reaffirmed repeatedly over the decades.
  • Testimony of Marina Oswald Porter, Trial of Clay Shaw
    Trial of Clay Shaw
    On March 1, 1967, New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison arrested and charged New Orleans businessman Clay Shaw with conspiring to assassinate President Kennedy, with the help of Lee Harvey Oswald, David Ferrie, and others. On January 29, 1969, Shaw was brought to trial in Orleans Parish...

    , Criminal District Court, Orleans Parish, Louisiana, February 21, 1969.
  • United States House Select Committee on Assassinations
    United States House Select Committee on Assassinations
    The United States House of Representatives Select Committee on Assassinations ' was established in 1976 to investigate the assassinations of John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr. and the shooting of Governor George Wallace. The Committee investigated until 1978, and in 1979 issued its final...

    , Deposition of Marina Oswald Porter (1977):
Q. I want to mark these two photographs. On the back of the first one, which I would ask be marked JFK committee exhibit No. 1, it says in the bottom right-hand corner copy from the National Archives, records group No. 272, under that it says CE-133B. I will ask that be marked JFK exhibit No. 1. (The above referred to photograph was marked JFK committee exhibit No. 1 for identification.)
Q. New, this second picture that I will ask to be marked says copy from the National Archives, record group No. 272, CE-133. I would ask that this be marked JFK committee exhibit No. 2. (The above referred to photograph was marked JFK committee exhibit No. 2 for identification.)
By Mr. KLEIN:
Q. I will show you those two photographs which are marked JFK exhibit No. 1 and exhibit No. 2, do you recognize those two photographs?
A. I sure do. I have seen them many times.
Q. What are they?
A. That is the pictures that I took.
  • United States House Select Committee on Assassinations
    United States House Select Committee on Assassinations
    The United States House of Representatives Select Committee on Assassinations ' was established in 1976 to investigate the assassinations of John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr. and the shooting of Governor George Wallace. The Committee investigated until 1978, and in 1979 issued its final...

    , Hearings, vol. 2 p. 239, Testimony of Marina Oswald Porter (1978):
Mr. McDONALD. Mrs. Porter, I have got two exhibits to show you, if the clerk would procure them from the representatives of the National Archives. We have two photographs to show you. They are Warren Commission Exhibits C-133-A and B, which have been given JFK Nos. F-378 and F-379. If the clerk would please hand them to you, and also if we could now have for display purposes JFK Exhibit F-179, which is a blowup of the two photographs placed in front of you. Mrs. Porter, do you recognize the photographs placed in front of you?
Mrs. PORTER. Yes, I do.
Mr. McDONALD. And how do you recognize them?
Mrs. PORTER. That is the photograph that I made of Lee on his persistent request of taking a picture of him dressed like that with rifle.
  • Marina Oswald Porter, interview with author Vincent Bugliosi and lawyer Jack Duffy, Dallas, Texas, November 30, 2000, reported in Bugliosi, Reclaiming History, p. 794.

These photos were labelled CE 133-A and CE 133-B. CE 133-A shows the rifle in Oswald's left hand and newsletters in front of his chest in the other, while the rifle is held with the right hand in CE 133-B. Oswald's mother testified that on the day after the assassination she and Marina destroyed another photograph with Oswald holding the rifle with both hands over his head, with "To my daughter June" written on it.

The HSCA obtained another first generation print (from CE 133-A) on April 1, 1977 from the widow of George de Mohrenschildt
George de Mohrenschildt
George de Mohrenschildt was a petroleum geologist and professor who befriended Lee Harvey Oswald in the summer of 1962 and maintained that friendship until Oswald's death two days after the assassination of U.S. President John F. Kennedy. He had personal acquaintance with the Bush family,...

. The words "Hunter of fascists — ha ha ha!" written in block Russian were on the back. Also in English were added in script: "To my friend George, Lee Oswald, 5/IV/63 [April 5, 1963]" Handwriting experts for the HSCA concluded the English inscription and signature were by Oswald. After two original photos, one negative and one first-generation copy had been found, the Senate Intelligence Committee located (in 1976) a third backyard photo (CE 133-C) showing Oswald with newspapers held away from his body in his right hand).

These photos, widely recognized as some of the most significant evidence against Oswald, have been subjected to rigorous analysis. Photographic experts consulted by the HSCA concluded they were genuine, answering twenty-one points raised by critics. Marina Oswald has always maintained she took the photos herself, and the 1963 de Mohrenschildt print bearing Oswald's signature clearly indicate they existed before the assassination. Nonetheless, some continue to contest their authenticity. After digitally analyzing the photograph of Oswald holding the rifle and paper, computer scientist Hany Farid
Hany Farid
Hany Farid is the William H. Neukom 1964 Distinguished Professor of Computational Science at Dartmouth College, and chair of Dartmouth's Neukom Institute for Computational Science. Farid specializes in image analysis, human perception, and has been called the "father" of digital image forensics by...

 concluded that the photo "almost certainly was not altered."

Further reading

  • Bugliosi, Vincent
    Vincent Bugliosi
    Vincent Bugliosi is an American attorney and author, best known for prosecuting Charles Manson and other defendants accused of the Tate-LaBianca murders. His most recent books are Reclaiming History: The Assassination of President John F. Kennedy , The Prosecution of George W...

    . Reclaiming History: The Assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Norton, 2007, 1632 p. ISBN 0393045250.
  • Ford, Gerald
    Gerald Ford
    Gerald Rudolph "Jerry" Ford, Jr. was the 38th President of the United States, serving from 1974 to 1977, and the 40th Vice President of the United States serving from 1973 to 1974...

    . Portrait of the Assassin, New York: Simon and Schuster, 1965, ISBN 0-684-82663-1.
  • Lambert, Patricia. False Witness: The Real Story of Jim Garrison's Investigation and Oliver Stone's Film JFK, New York: M. Evans & Company, 1998, ISBN 0-87131-920-9
  • Mailer, Norman
    Norman Mailer
    Norman Kingsley Mailer was an American novelist, journalist, essayist, poet, playwright, screenwriter, and film director.Along with Truman Capote, Joan Didion, Hunter S...

    . Oswald's Tale: An American Mystery, New York: Ballantine Books, (1995) ISBN 0-345-40437-8
  • McMillan, Priscilla Johnson. Marina and Lee, New York: Harper & Row, 1977.
  • Nechiporenko, Oleg M. Passport to Assassination: The Never-Before Told Story of Lee Harvey Oswald by the KGB Colonel Who Knew Him, New York: Carroll & Graf Publishers, 1993, ISBN 1-559-72210-X
  • Posner, Gerald
    Gerald Posner
    Gerald Posner is an investigative journalist and author of several books, including Case Closed: Lee Harvey Oswald and the Assassination of JFK which explores the John F...

    . Case Closed: Lee Harvey Oswald and the Assassination of JFK, Random House, 1993, hardcover, ISBN 0-679-41825-3
  • Summers, Anthony
    Anthony Summers
    Anthony Bruce Summers is the non-fiction author of seven best-selling investigative books. He is an Irish citizen, and has been working for some twenty years with Robbyn Swan, who is now his co-author and fifth wife...

    . Not in Your Lifetime, (New York: Marlowe & Company, 1998), ISBN 1-56924-739-0
  • Joesten, Joachim. Oswald: Assassin or Fall Guy, Marsani/Munsell, 1964, paperback.

External links