What happened to Lee Harvey Oswald

: The poor life of the unfortunate Lee H. Oswald

The poor life of the unfortunate Lee H. Oswald - page 1

Motives, assumptions, opinions

By Cyril Dunn and Joyce Egginton

Dallas, the beginning of December

The machinery of the world's most powerful government has set in motion to lift the veil of mystery that still surrounds the murder of President Kennedy.

There was a second man with me Lee Oswald in the Dallas warehouse? Why shot Jack Ruby a man who seemed doomed to death anyway? Is there a big plot behind all of this? Where did Oswald get the money for his October trip to Mexico, and what was he actually doing there?

These are the questions to which the special commission that President Johnson set up late last week must find an answer. It includes some of the most prominent men in American public life: the Chief Justice, along with two Congressmen and two Senators Earl Warren, the former High Commissioner in Germany, John McCloy, and the former chief of intelligence Allen Dulles. First and foremost, the seven committee members have to find out what moved Oswald when, on November 22nd, it appears, he put the President of the United States in the crosshairs of his telescopic sight and fired the shot that changed the course of the world.

Was Oswald's whole life designed for this moment? Somewhere in the story of his strangely erratic existence the key to understanding what he did must lie.

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Fairly intelligent, but dogged

Lee Harvey Oswald was born in New Orleans on October 18, 1939 - into a world of poverty, insecurity and bitterness. He never knew his father; his mother worked in all sorts of miserable jobs to support Lee and his brother Robert, but there was never any money in the house. The family soon moved to Fort Worth, Texas, where Lee went to school. His teachers considered him a reasonably intelligent but dogged, withdrawn boy who was troubled by his mother's hard life. He later blamed the capitalist system for their troubles. He dropped out of school in October 1956 and joined the Marine Corps in January 1957, "because we were poor and I didn't want to be a burden to my mother".

He didn't enjoy the military; one of his comrades described him as "lonely, solitary, full of hatred in the barras". He became a sniper, but not a particularly excellent one. Twice in his military service he stood before the court martial - once for failing to report possession of a firearm, the other time for rebellion against a non-commissioned officer. At that time he felt the growing urge to free himself not only "from the Barras", but from the United States in general. In his free time he learned Russian from a Berlitz textbook. By the time he was released from active service on September 11, 1959, he had understood the basics of the language. Almost without delay he made his way to Moscow, without saying a word to his mother or brother. He has had little contact with them since then.

Oswald arrived in Moscow on October 13, 1959. On October 30th, he went to the American embassy, ​​slammed his passport on the table, and announced that he would give up his US citizenship. He stated that he would never return to the United States, and on November 2, he made an affidavit that is still on the files of the State Department states, "I hereby affirm my loyalty to the Soviet Socialist Republic." However, the Soviet authorities were not inclined to welcome Lee Oswald with open arms. On November 14th, they denied his citizenship application and only allowed him to live in the Soviet Union as a foreigner. He found a job in a Moscow factory and after a while moved to Minsk. There he met the girl Marina who worked in a pharmaceutical company. He married Marina and earned his living in a Minsk factory.

Disappointment in Russia

He had since been told that he had been dishonorably discharged from the Marine Corps. This message touched him. Sixteen months later, in January 1962, he wrote to her John Connally, who had just given up the post of Secretary of the Navy a few weeks earlier and asked him to reverse the dishonorable dismissal. Oswald called it "a gross mistake, an injustice to a trustworthy citizen and a disused soldier of the United States". Connally, who subsequently became governor of Texas and has now been seriously injured in the assassination attempt on Kennedy, forwarded the letter to his successor, Korth; the latter decided not to take any action on the matter.

In February 1962, a few days before his wife was due to have their first child, Oswald wrote to the US Embassy in Moscow. He complained that the Soviet authorities were arbitrarily holding him and his wife back and asked for assistance in returning to the United States. The state Department decided that since Oswald was still a US citizen, the sum of $ 435.71 should be borrowed so that he could bring his family to America. He received a new passport, on which his little daughter, who was born on February 13, 1962, was also on June was entered. Marina Oswald, who remained a Soviet citizen, received a visa.

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The Oswalds arrived in New York in June 1962. They moved to Dallas, where Oswald found a job as an unskilled worker in a copier. At that time he was invited to a party with his wife. It was the first time he met Mrs. Ruth Paine together, a teacher from Pennsylvania, Quaker and lover of the Russian language. Much of what has become known about Lee Oswald since last week is based on her description.

Last Wednesday she reported on the Oswalds - very calmly and sensible despite the nerve-wracking events of the day; before. Above all, she was friends with Marina, she says. The two women visited each other; once they took Lee and the children out on a picnic.

"Lee often talked about how he went to Russia," said Mrs. Paine. "He was in came to the opinion that the economic system there was correct, so he wanted to become a Soviet citizen. This then proved impossible because the American embassy did not allow him to surrender his US citizenship. He seemed to be a dilettante, not very sure and well founded in his beliefs. "

In April of that year, Lee Oswald lost his job at the copier. "I visited; Marina and heard that Lee had gone to New Orleans to look for work. I suggested that she move in with me. She was expecting her second child, and without her husband, life would be difficult for her , especially since she spoke only little English. Since I live separated from my husband, I was happy to have her company. She stayed with me for two weeks, then we all drove to New Orleans, where I dropped her off at Lee's. She wrote to me at the end of August that Lee was out of work and they didn't have enough money for the maternity hospital. The baby was due to be born in October. I suggested that she go to Dallas, where she had a grant since she had lived there before I offered to stay with me for a month before the baby was born and two months afterwards. Lee was not referred to this invitation because I couldn't accommodate him. On September 23rd I got Marina leaves New Orleans with June. Lee was to come later. When we left him he looked a bit dark. "

In New Orleans, Oswald doesn't seem to have done very well. He wasn't always busy, his financial position was precarious. In May he had rented a small apartment in which he lived with his wife and child for the next few months. At that time he also gave himself up as a functionary of the Pro-Castro organization Fair Play For Cuba Committee out. The New York headquarters of this association has since denied having had anything to do with Oswald. However, the FBI has found detailed records of his work for the committee among the alleged Kennedy killer's papers. In a radio discussion, Oswald described himself as a Marxist; he was temporarily arrested in August for distributing pro-Castro propaganda material.

On June 24th he applied for a new passport. He must have denied his previous communist connections, because the next day he received the travel document - although a complete dossier must have been lying about him in Washington and although the FBI, CIA and Justice Department had heard him thoroughly after his return from Russia. The Mexican consul in New Orleans issued him a tourist visa for Mexico.

Oswald's landlady took offense at the fact that he had covered the balcony of her house with Cuban posters and demanded that he move out. He removed the posters, sent his wife and daughter June to Dallas with Mrs. Paine on September 23, and disappeared himself a few days later in the middle of the night. He owed the landlady the rent for two weeks.

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Mrs. Paine thought Lee would come to Dallas via Houston, where he was looking for a position. It has since become known that Lee Oswald traveled to Mexico between September 26th and October 3rd. There he visited the Soviet and Cuban consulates, where he requested visas for a trip to Russia via Cuba. The Soviets told him that he would have to be patient for several weeks; he is said to have left the Russian consulate angry because of it.

On October 4th, Lee Oswald reported to Mrs. Paine's house in the Dallas suburb of Irving. He said he had just come from Houston; he had not been able to find new work there. He'll take a room in a boarding house in Dallas.

Last week, Mrs. Paine said: "Lee was having a hard time finding a job. He had no training and couldn't even drive, so there wasn't much that was an option for him. He had no friends. He had closer human ties just with his family. He seemed like a normal father who took great care of his children; he was happy when the second baby came. "

Sometimes visited Michael Paine his wife Ruth, a couple of times he met Lee Oswald and talked to him. "He never talked about anything but politics," says Mr. Paine. He didn't like logical reasoning. He saw the church as part of the state apparatus. He believed that only the extermination of capitalism would put an end to human exploitation. He saw a revolution coming in the United States and accepted it that communism would win. He saw everything in the light of a Marxist view. He saw people as automatons deserving of contempt. His wife was apolitical. Lee thought she was stupid, which annoyed her. I had the impression that she was Can't stand living with him, but couldn't get away from him because of the language difficulties and the lack of money. "

By chance into the warehouse

On the weekend of October 12th and 13th, Mrs. Paine had a cup of coffee with a neighbor. "I told her that Lee couldn't find a job and that he was doing pretty dirty. He had just received his last unemployment benefit; the baby could come any day. The neighbor said she knew about a vacancy at the company, where her brother works - a schoolbook warehouse in Dallas. Lee wasn't there. So I called the warehouse on October 14th to secure the job. They told me to introduce himself in person. Lee did on October 15th and got the job. It was pure coincidence. Lee was ecstatic with joy. He called immediately after his appointment and said: Hurray! Guess what happened! "

Mrs. Paine and Mrs. Oswald knew that Lee was staying at a boarding house in Dallas for the week, but they did not know the address. But he had given Mrs. Paine a phone number so she could call him as soon as his wife went into labor. The baby was then born on October 20th, a Sunday. Lee was in Irving; So Mrs. Paine didn't have to call. Marina Oswald brought her second daughter Rachel in the same Parkland Hospital to the world, in which President Kennedy and her husband died less than a month later.

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On the evening of November 18th, a Monday, little June Oswald was playing on the telephone in the Paines' house. Following an inspiration, Ruth Paine suddenly said: "Let's call Daddy."

"I dialed the number he had given me for emergencies. A man answered. I asked for Lee Oswald. The man said he didn't know anyone by that name. I asked if there was a pension there, and he said yes. I hung up. Lee called the next day and scolded Marina for sending me a call. He said he lived under an assumed name. We should destroy the phone number. Marina came to me in great confusion and asked me to call it Scratching a number out of my notebook. I noticed that she was worried because he lived under an assumed name. "

During this time Oswald sent all of his mail to Mrs. Paine's address in Irving. Usually only magazines arrived, but once a letter came from the Soviet Union. "That was from a friend," said Mrs. Paine. She didn't want to go any further. After his angry phone call on Tuesday, November 19, Oswald did not call the next day, as he usually did every evening. "We thought that was a sign of his anger," said Mrs. Paine.

"Then he suddenly appeared in our house on Thursday evening, which he had never done in the middle of the week. He slept with the children and his wife in Marina's bedroom and got up shortly before seven in the morning. I wasn't awake yet When he left, Marina was already sitting in her bed and breastfeeding the baby. She told me afterwards that she hadn't seen Lee leave the house;

The nineteen year old Wesley Frazier, the younger brother of the neighbor who had brought Ruth Paine's attention to the warehouse job took Oswald into town in his car. Frazier noticed that Oswald was carrying a long, heavy package wrapped in brown paper and asked what was inside. Oswald: "Just a few blinds that I have to bring for repairs."

For all that has become known since then, this package contained the rifle with which President Kennedy was shot.

"An ideal subtenant"

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In the guesthouse where Lee Harvey Oswald had lived from October 14th, there is a sign: "Rooms available". But it is not Oswald's old room. The tiny room (weekly rent: $ 8) is not to be rented again for the time being.

Mrs. Johnson, the landlady, remembers Oswald when he asked about accommodation for the first time at the beginning of October - "a nice young man". She had nothing free and could only accommodate him a few days later. He signed up as O. H. Lee and refused to answer a question about his closest relatives. He did not state where he worked, nor did he give any indication that he was married.

"He was an ideal lodger," says Mrs. Johnson of him. He had little to do with the other people who lived in the pension. Only sometimes did he sit down with them in front of the television. But he spent most of the evenings in his room, painted pale blue. Sometimes it was heard that he had turned on his radio. Mrs. Johnson: "We have never had a lodger who cared about his own business as much as he did.

On Friday November 22nd - the day the President died - Mrs. Earline Roberts the only tenant who was in the guesthouse around lunchtime. She was sitting in front of the television in the living room and had just heard the news of the Kennedy assassination. It was about 1.15 a.m. Suddenly "Mr. Lee" rushed in. He was in shirt sleeves, racing through the living room of his room. Seconds later he came back with a jacket. It occurred to Mrs. Roberts that Lee had not stayed at the boarding house the night before. She was also surprised that he should now appear in the middle of the day. "I said to him: But you're in a hurry! But he didn't answer me. He never spoke to me. I thought he just didn't like me. "

The police later found a holster, some books on communism and Cuba, and a street map of Dallas in "Mr. Lee" 's room. Neither Mrs. Johnson nor Mrs. Roberts had ever seen these items before.

The same program that the lodger Roberts was watching on her television screen was also watched by Ruth Paine and Marina Oswald in the suburb of Irving. She was shocked by the news of the President's death. "We both cried," said Mrs. Paine. "Marina was very excited. Over and over again she said, How awful this is for Mrs. Kennedy and her children."

Six policemen were at the door within an hour. They said Lee Oswald had been arrested for ambushing a police officer and that they wanted to take Marina with him for questioning. Mrs. Paine: "When I translated this for her, she turned ashen. The police asked if we knew of any weapons in the house. Marina told them that two weeks earlier she had rummaged in the garage and found a rifle under a blanket led the policemen into the garage, the rifle gone.

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Police later revealed that the rifle that appeared to have killed President Kennedy was purchased on May 20 this year at a Chicago mail order company for $ 12.78. The order form read on A. Hidell; the address given was a PO box in Dallas. The handwriting is perfectly Oswald's.

Roy Truly, the director and HR manager of the Texas Schoolbook Depository still takes tranquilizers. It was he who had employed Oswald on October 15th. Oswald had given him his real name and stated on the employment form that he had no political connections. Oswald gave the Paine address in Irving as his place of residence and indicated to the personnel manager that he had just been honorably discharged from the Marine Corps. On Truly he appeared "well-mannered, calm; intelligent, like someone who takes care of his own business". In the warehouse, Oswald filled out order forms. He was paid $ 1.25 an hour and worked 40 hours a week. But he knew that he was only employed on a temporary basis for a few weeks. "He never talked about himself. He was a good and steady worker. He was as good as many of the helpers and better than most."

As the president's car passed the book warehouse, Roy Truly was standing on the sidewalk in front of the entrance. He heard the shots. A policeman who immediately realized where they came from grabbed Truly by the shoulder and ran upstairs with him. "We ran to a canteen on the second floor. Oswald was standing there in front of the door. The policeman asked me: Does the man work here? I said yes. We left Oswald, went up to the seventh floor and from there to the roof." A few minutes later, Roy Truly was counting his employees, noting that Oswald was absent and gave the police a description of the man.

Today Truly is reproaching himself; Why doesn't he have the policeman Oswald consult to let? Anyway, why did he have to Oswald the Give place? On the other hand: why had the FBI him not warned? Finally she knew Federal Criminal Police, that Oswald in that Warehouse worked, she also only had Ruth Paine fourteen Asked about him days in advance. "It could have happened anywhere," says Truly. "But it had to happen in Dallas, and in my warehouse ... "

A grave for "William Bobo"

What followed is history. Oswald, who sped past Mrs. Roberts at his boarding house and got his jacket; Oswald, the sergeant Tippit shot with his pistol; Oswald, the one in the cinema (the film was playing "War is Hell") was arrested; Oswald during hours of interrogation; Oswald in front of the reporters, tired, bruised, asserting his innocence, rebellious: "I want to change. I want the fundamental hygienic human rights - a shower."

Those were the last words the reporters heard from him. Among those who heard them was a stocky, beefy nightclub owner, Jack Ruby alias Rubinstein alias "Sparkling Ruby". It was he who became the murderer of Kennedy's murderer the next day.

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Lee Harvey Oswald died at 1:19 p.m. eight days ago on Sunday in operating room number II of the Memorial Parkland Hospital from Dallas, a few paces from where Kennedy had died.

The same Monday that John F. Kennedy in Arlington Cemetery Lee Oswald was buried in the Rose Hill Cemetery from Fort Worth. The American secret service arranged the funeral and guarded the handful of mourners: Oswald's wife, his mother, his daughters, his brother. The two gravedigger had been told that the grave was for one William Bobo. "God have mercy on his soul," prayed pastor Louis Saunders.

Lee Oswald took his secret with him to the grave. The question remains whether the crime of the century can ever be solved. The story of Lee Harvey Oswald's poor life throws little light on the motives for his act. She leaves the background of the murder in the dark.