Monday, February 10, 1964
TESTIMONY OF MRS. MARGUERITE OSWALD
The President's Commission met at 10 a.m. on February 10, 1964, at 200 Maryland Avenue NE., Washington, D.C.
Present were Chief Justice Earl Warren, Chairman: Senator Richard B. Russell, Representative Hale Boggs, Representative Gerald R. Ford, and Allen W. Dulles, members.
Also present were J. Lee Rankin, general counsel; Wesley J. Liebeler, assistant counsel; John F. Doyle, attorney for Mrs. Marguerite Oswald; and Leon Jaworski, special counsel to the attorney general of Texas.
The CHAIRMAN. The Commission will come to order.
Let the record show that Senator Russell and I are present, and we convened today for the purpose of taking the testimony of Mrs. Oswald.
Mrs. Oswald, would you rise and be sworn, please?
Do you solemnly swear that you will tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God, throughout this proceeding?
Mrs. OSWALD. I do--so help me God.
The CHAIRMAN. You may be seated.
Now, Mrs. Oswald, you are here represented by an attorney, are you?
Mrs. OSWALD. Yes, sir; Mr. Doyle is representing me.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Doyle is representing you. Mr. Doyle was appointed, was he not, at your request?
Mrs. OSWALD. Yes, I asked to be represented by counsel.
The CHAIRMAN. Yes. And the record may show that Mr. Doyle was appointed to represent her at the request of Mrs. Oswald by the president of the Bar Association of the District of Columbia, Mr. Pratt. That is correct, is it not, Mr. Doyle?
Mr. DOYLE. It is, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. Mrs. Oswald, you are appearing voluntarily before the Commission, are you not?
Mrs. OSWALD. Yes, voluntarily.
The CHAIRMAN. You requested to do so.
In order that you may have a full opportunity to testify in your own manner, and tell us everything that you know, and particularly because we do not know what you know, I am going to ask you if you would like first, in your own way, and in your own time, to tell us everything you have concerning this case.
You would like to do that, would you?
Mrs. OSWALD. Yes, Chief Justice Warren. I would like to very much. However, there are three things that I have asked that should be brought before the Council, three requests of mine. One has already been granted--that is the counsel, Mr. Doyle. And I do appreciate that fact.
I have stated publicly that I believe in the American way of life and justice for all men, which is our American way of life.
My son, Lee Harvey Oswald, was tried and convicted within a few hours time, without benefit of counsel. And so I am appealing to the Board that my son, Lee Harvey Oswald, be represented by counsel. I am being represented by counsel. My daughter-in-law Marina was represented by counsel. And I understand that all other witnesses will have the privilege of being represented by counsel.
However, the main object of the Commission is Lee Harvey Oswald, in the murder of President Kennedy. So I strongly believe that Lee should be represented by counsel.
Now, my reasons for wanting this done this way is, I will state, that Marina has testified. Marina has testified, according to the papers--and I am assuming that this is correct--that Lee wanted to live in Russia and Cuba, and that is why he went to Mexico.
I happen to know differently-because Marina has told me the first day I was with her, "Mama, I write to Russian consul. I want go back to Russia. I like America. But Lee no get work."
So you see, had a counsel been there in behalf of my son, when Marina said that--it doesn't have to be a court trial or a cross-examination. All I am asking is that this man sit quietly, and when he knows of different facts, then he could say, "Well, Mrs. Oswald, isn't it true that you wrote the Russian consul yourself, wanting to go back to Russia?"
And in this way, gentlemen, I believe you would have both sides and a true picture.
I cannot see how you can come to a true conclusion by taking individual testimony.
Now, I, myself, am here today to testify. I have been sworn in. But that doesn't mean that I can tell the whole story. I may forget something. And the counsel would know.
We have investigators all over the country, the reporters are interested, the public. I have over 1,500 letters, people expressing their opinion of the way this case is being handled. And, believe me, gentlemen, they are not satisfied. I can produce these documents for you.
They think, like I think, that the American way of life, both sides should be heard.
I don't think that seven men of this Commission can come to a true conclusion.
What it will be, it will be an analysis of what the FBI and the Secret Service and the Dallas police have mainly, speculation and opinion of other people.
Now, Mr. Lane has affidavits, I understand, from the same witnesses that have made statements to the Dallas police, which are contrary to those particular statements.
I implore you--I implore you, in the name of justice, to let my son, Lee Harvey Oswald, who is accused of assassinating the President, and I, the mother of this man, who is the accused's mother, be represented by counsel.
We have information pertinent to this case.
My daughter-in-law is the only one who has testified.
The things that came out in the paper--I know, 1 have documents. I am not asking you to believe me as a mother. I can prove the statements that I say.
And I believe in this way you will have a true picture, and a much better picture, because as you are going along you will be having both sides, and won't have to wait to analyze the situation in the end, as the testimony is being given by each individual, right then and there you will have the other party's testimony.
Now, there is another----
The CHAIRMAN. Before you leave that, Mrs. Oswald, may I say to you, first, that the Commission is not here to prosecute your dead son. It is not here and it was not established to prosecute anyone.
It is the purpose and the province of the Commission to obtain all the facts that it can obtain, and then make an impartial report--not as a prosecutor, but as an impartial Commission--on the manner in which the President came to his death.
We are trying to recognize the individual rights of all persons who are called before the Commission, to let them have their lawyers, and let their lawyers have an opportunity to examine them, as well as the Commission.
You may be sure that if Mr. Lane has any evidence of his own knowledge, or has any accumulation of affidavits from others, to the effect--to any effect, concerning this trial, that he will have an opportunity to come here, just as you are here, in order to present those to the Commission.
But so far as his being here at all times before the Commission to cross-examine or to be present when all witnesses are testifying--that is not in accordance with the procedures of the Commission.
But I assure you that if Mr. Lane has any evidence of any kind bearing upon the assassination of the President, he will be accorded the same opportunity that you have to come here and present them, and we will give him an opportunity in his own way to tell his story, and present his own evidence. And should he want counsel, he may have counsel, also.
Now, you may go to your second point.
Mr. OSWALD. No, I am not finished with my first, please.
I appreciate and I understand exactly what you have told me, Chief Justice Warren.
But there is one thing--and, of course, I will have to accept your decision, and will be most happy to have Mr. Lane present his testimony the way you have suggested.
However, I am not in agreement with you. One point I want to make clear.
We do not know the questions that you are asking of myself or Marina or the other witnesses. And I contend that you cannot ask them the pertinent questions because you don't know what I know, and what Mr. Lane knows. And so you will still have an analysis in the long run, a conclusion.
I am going to go back to Marina. As I say, Marina made her statements----
The CHAIRMAN. On that particular thing, may I say this: It is true that we don't know how to examine you at the present time because we don't know what you have to present to this Commission. But we are affording you the opportunity before we ask you any questions to tell your story, in your own way.
Then we should know what questions we want to ask of you.
Mrs. OSWALD. Yes, sir; I understand that thoroughly.
But I am a human being, going through a life story from childhood, and I may forget something that my counsel would know. And that applies to witnesses.
They may forget to testify something that my counsel has facts on. I will have to accept your verdict, but I don't do it graciously.
I want that for record.
The CHAIRMAN. Yes. Well, that is all right, Mrs. Oswald. You may state that for the record.
Mrs. OSWALD. I have documents, and I would like to ask, please I will not leave any documents out of my hand. I carry them with me wherever I go. Even Mr. Doyle has been told that the documents stay with me.
I have had documents stolen from me. I have had newspaper clippings stolen from me in my home, by the Secret Service.
I make the statement perfectly plain. And so the documents stay with me.
Now, these are originals. I want, and you will want, copies of every original I have, and I will be more than happy to let you have them. However, I want to be present when these copies are made and the original returned to me.
I will under no circumstances let anyone have my originals for an hour or two, and then return them to me if I am making myself plain.
I would like to request that, please.
The CHAIRMAN. We will accommodate you in that respect.
Mrs. OSWALD. Then I have one other stipulation or request.
When I tell my story, I will be including people in my story that possibly you don't know of. I request that I have the Privilege, through you, of course, to subpena these people that are in connection with the story that I tell, if you do not have the names already.
And I feel sure that I have some information that you don't know about, and there are some people involved.
I also request that after my testimony, that Marina Oswald will be subpenaed-not subpenaed but will then testify again, if you see fit. And I believe that I have contrary testimony to her testimony that would make it necessary for her to be recalled.
I ask that that be granted.
The CHAIRMAN. Well, Mrs. Oswald, of course you have no power of subpena, and we have no power to give you the power of subpena. But you may be sure that if your evidence produces anything that is critical to this investigation, that we will pursue it to the end, in order to determine the weight of the testimony for our final report. You may be sure of that.
Mrs. OSWALD. I appreciate that.
The CHAIRMAN. But as to how we do it, or when we do it, you will just have to leave that to the Commission.
Mrs. OSWALD. You will give me the assurance that these people I name, regardless of title I am liable to name some very important people----
The CHAIRMAN. No, we cannot give you any assurance, because we don't know----
Mrs. OSWALD. I see no reason, then, for my testimony.
The CHAIRMAN. Well, Mrs. Oswald--you cannot commit us to subpenaing anybody. We don't know. You are talking to us, and we are in the dark. You cannot commit this Commission to doing something that might be improper, it might not even be helpful in any way, shape, or form. The Commission will be reasonable in every respect. We have no desire to protect anyone. We have no desire to injure you or anyone else in this matter. And certainly you ought to have some confidence in a commission that is appointed by the President, and not try to tie our hands in a way that would be contrary to the manner in which commissions normally proceed.
Mrs. OSWALD. Now, Mr. Warren, you made a statement that you in no way--I cannot quote your words--intimidate me. But you did not include my son. My son is being accused of the murder of President Kennedy. And I think that my son should be considered in this. He is dead. But we can show cause that my son is not the assassin of President Kennedy. And so I would like my son--he is the main object of the Presidential Commission, is he not, sir?
The CHAIRMAN. No, no, he is not, Mrs. Oswald. The purpose of this Commission is to determine what the facts are in the assassination of President Kennedy.
It is not an accusation against your son. There was an accusation against your son in the Texas courts. That is an entirely different proceeding.
We are here to do justice and be fair to everyone concerned in this matter. And I assure you that that is our main and our only purpose in serving on this Commission. None of us cherish this responsibility.
Mrs. OSWALD. I am sure, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. And the only satisfaction we can derive from it is to be fair to all concerned.
And I assure you that is our objective in the matter.
Mrs. OSWALD. I do not mean to imply that this Commission will not be fair. I know about the men on the Commission. And they are all very fine men, including yourself, Chief Justice Warren. If I have implied that, I will--will now say I do not imply. But I do state a fact that I do not think that you can come to a true conclusion. I want that for record.
Now, I am going to produce--and this will be a fact--and this is on the basis----
The CHAIRMAN. Now, we have finished the three things that you are talking about, and we are going to your testimony?
Mrs. OSWALD. This is in connection with this, Chief Justice Warren. And I think it is very important to present a picture.
And then if you allow me these few minutes, I will be through.
Is that satisfactory, sir?
The CHAIRMAN. Yes, go right ahead.
Mrs. OSWALD. Now, I believe you mentioned that you would not have the power or give me the power to subpena them. But if I could produce the facts in my story, then I believe we should have these people called.
Now, here is an article in the Washington paper--and the date happens to be torn off, but I can get it-that Senator John G. Tower had made. And I have outlined here----
The CHAIRMAN. I wonder, Mrs. Oswald-before we get into any details of this kind, let's settle this situation as to whether the Commission will say to you now that it will subpena anyone you ask.
I must say to you that you cannot put that burden on the Commission. The Commission will have to exercise its own discretion as to who it subpenas and when.
Mr. DOYLE.. Mr. Chief Justice, may I say something? I was wondering if whether or not what Mrs. Oswald is addressing respectfully to the Commission is her confidence that if in the course of her own testimony and the actual facts that she is producing, she expresses confidence that if those facts recommend the subpena of additional witnesses, or the recall of others, she expresses her confidence that that would be done, if the facts she outlines so require.
The CHAIRMAN. She may be very sure of that, as I tried to tell her.
But the only thing--I would not want Mrs. Oswald to leave here and say, "I gave the Commission a list of witnesses and they did not call all of them."
Now, that is a matter that will have to be in the province of the Commission, and not in the province of a witness.
And I say that without any combative not in a combative spirit. Because, as your counsel states, I think we are not far apart on it, Mrs. Oswald.
Mrs. OSWALD. No. And I appreciate the fact----
The CHAIRMAN. But fairness will have to judge our actions. And we propose to be fair.
Mrs. OSWALD. Now, I guess I am a very stubborn person. I am a very aggressive person, as you know by now.
I would like this would be just 2 minutes, and it would bring a point, and then I would be through, if I may.
The CHAIRMAN. Very well.
Mrs. OSWALD. Senator Towner has dates here, and the main part of the article is that he had received a letter from the State Department.
Now, I would like-- I have information from the State Department, I have documents from the State Department which is contrary to the dates and contrary to Senator Tower's public statement.
And I would like to have the letter that he has from the State Department, and the name of the man that wrote it, because it is contrary to what I have.
He could have been, to use an American slang, shooting his mouth off, because he said if he went to Russia let him stay there, I would not help him--is what he said.
But then again he may have this very important letter from this man in the State Department, which is incorrect, from what I have.
Now, he claims-and if you would like to read that--and that is what I was trying to bring out.
The CHAIRMAN. I think you will have to leave that to the wisdom of the Commission and its sense of fair play, and what is necessary, all facts considered.
Mrs. OSWALD. Well, I have had my say, gentlemen, and I will most graciously continue.
However, I am not too happy that I will not have counsel for my son, because I believe my son would also be entitled to counsel.
The CHAIRMAN. Very well, you may continue.
Mrs. OSWALD. Now, I will start----
The CHAIRMAN. Mrs. Oswald, may I introduce Congressman Ford, also a member of the Commission.
Now, Mrs. Oswald--Mr. Lee Rankin will be in charge of the hearing from this point on. He is our General Counsel, as you know.
Mrs. OSWALD. Yes.
Mr. RANKIN. Mrs. Oswald, will you proceed to produce the papers and tell us about them, and then I will ask the Commission after we get them, to permit us to substitute copies, and in accordance with your request we will let you be present at the time we make the photostats.
The CHAIRMAN. You may start to tell your story in your own way.
Mrs. OSWALD. I have three different stories. I understand from Mr. Rankin's letter that my life is to be told from the very start, and so is Lee's life, from the very start. So which will I start first? I believe it would be easier for me and of more benefit to the counsel if I would continue with one life, the whole story, and then continue with the whichever way you would suggest I do it.
Mr. RANKIN. If you could start out and tell us within the period that Lee Oswald returned from the Soviet Union on, whatever you know about it, in your own way, and then we will go back to the other matters later.
Is that all right?
Mrs. OSWALD. Yes, sir--anything is just fine. I am willing to help in any way possible.
I wanted to state it clearly in the beginning.
I received a speedletter from the State Department stating that Lee would leave Moscow, and how he would leave and arrive in New York--on June 13, 1962. I was on a case in Crowell, Tex. I am a practical nurse. And I was taking care of a very elderly woman, whose daughter lived in Fort Worth, Tex.
So I was not able to leave and meet Lee.
Robert, his brother, met him, and Lee went to Robert's home.
Approximately about a week later--I could not stand it any more I called the daughter and had her come to take care of her mother, and took 3 days off, and went to Fort Worth to see Lee and Marina.
Marina is a beautiful girl. And I said to Lee, "Marina, she doesn't look Russian. She is beautiful."
He says, "Of course not. That is why I married her, because she looks like an American girl."
I asked her where he had met her, and he said he met her at a social function, a community function.
I said, "You know, Lee, I am getting ready--I was getting ready to write a book on your so-called defection.
"I had researched it and came to Washington in 1961, and, by the way, asked to see President Kennedy, because I had a lot of extenuating circumstances at the time because of the defection."
He said, "Mother, you are not going to write a book."
I said, "Lee, don't tell me what to do. I cannot write the book now, because, Honey, you are alive and back."
But, at the time, I had no way of knowing whether my son was living or dead, and I planned to write the book.
"But don't tell me what to do. It has nothing to do with you and Marina. It is my life, because of your defection."
He said, "Mother, I tell you you are not to write the book. They could kill her and her family."
That was in the presence of my son Robert Oswald and his wife.
Mr. RANKIN. Can you tell us about what date that was?
Mrs. OSWALD. Let's see. Lee arrived in New York on June 13, and--now, I have a letter stating, from Lee, that he is arriving in New York on June 13th.
However; he plans to go to Washington for a day or two. So I have no way of knowing, Mr. Rankin, whether he came straight from New York to my son's home, or if he stayed in New York and came to Washington a few days.
But I have the letter stating that.
But I have no way of knowing.
Mr. RANKIN. Was this conversation within about a week of the time that he came back?
Mrs. OSWALD. Yes, approximately. That is correct.
So I stayed in Fort Worth 2 or 3 days. I did not live at Robert's home. rented a motel. In fact, the lady of the mother I was taking care of paid my motel expenses while I was in Fort Worth. But I went there every day.
While I was there--Marina is a pharmacist. I have a medical book, and Lee was saying that he was losing his hair, and how he had become bald, because of the cold weather in Texas.
So I got the medical book, looking up baldness, and the treatment for baldness, and Marina came by and she read the prescriptions.
So I said, "Lee, she reads English," and he said, "Mother, that is Latin, of course, that is universal."
So because it was a medical conversation, Lee said he had an operation while in the Soviet Union on his throat.
I am sorry--but all of the confusion of myself being there and the daughter-in-law, the Russian girl--that was never gone into. That is all I know.
But that was also said in the presence of my son Robert--that he had an operation on his throat while in the Soviet Union.
Mr. RANKIN. Did he say when that was?
Mrs. OSWALD. No, sir; that was all that was said.
As I say, with all the confusion of Marina, we were so thrilled with Marina, with the children and all, there was quite a bit of confusion.
Now, I left, and I went back to Crowell on my job.
While I was in Robert's home, Lee immediately was out job-hunting. And I felt very bad about that, because they had come 10,000 miles by ship, by plane, and by train, which was an awfully hard trip with a young baby, and I thought he should at least have a week or two before he would look for work.
But I want you to know that immediately Lee was out looking for work.
And this is the time that Lee had gone to the public stenographer, made the statement that he was writing a book.
You probably have that information. It was highly publicized.
I, myself, gave him the $10 that he gave the public stenographer.
I bought Marina clothes, and brought clothes to her while at my daughter-in-law's house, bought diapers for the baby. And Marina had more clothes when she arrived in the States than I now have.
So what I am trying to state is as we go further into the story, it has been stated that my son neglected Marina, and that she didn't have any clothes. The Russian people have stated that all throughout Texas in the papers. And that is not true. I happen to know, because I, myself, bought Marina three dresses. And my daughter-in-law bought dresses, and my daughter-in-law's sister, which I would like to have as a witness, bought clothes for Marina. So there is this conflicting testimony.
Mr. RANKIN. What daughter-in-law was that?
Mrs. OSWALD. Robert's wife. And Robert's wife's sister, who is a schoolteacher, bought clothes for Marina.
Mr. RANKIN. Is she married?
Mrs. OSWALD. No. She is a schoolteacher. She is single.
So that story there is incorrect.
So then I went back to Crowell, Tex., and I was not satisfied in my mind because the way they lived. They only had a two- bedroom house. As you know, Robert has two children. And there was another couple with another child.
So Lee immediately began looking for work.
So I decided that I would quit this job and help the children all I could. So I did. I gave notice. And I came to Fort Worth, and I rented an apartment at the Rotary Apartments, which is on West 7th and Summit. And Lee and Marina then came to live with me.
Mr. RANKIN. How long did they stay at Robert's?
Mrs. OSWALD. They stayed at Robert's approximately 2 or 3 weeks, sir. So then they came to live with me.
While there, I said to Lee I am ahead of my story.
Lee and Marina had sent me wonderful gifts, and I have the gifts, from Russia. A box of tea, very fine tea, a Russian scarf, pure linen napkins, embroidered with my initial, a box of candy for Christmas that has a Russian Santa Claus on it.
I said to Lee, "Lee, I want to know one thing. Why is it you decided to return back to the United States when you had a job in Russia, and as far as I know you seemed to be pretty well off, because of the gifts that you have sent me. And you are married to a Russian girl, and she would be better off in her homeland than here. I want to know."
He said, "Mother, not even Marina knows why I have returned to the United States.
And that is all the information I ever got out of my son.
"Not even Marina knows why I have returned to the United States."
Mr. RANKIN. How did you get along when you were there together with Marina and your son?
Mrs. OSWALD. Well, that was a very happy month, Mr. Rankin. Marina was very happy. She had the best home, I believe, that she had ever had. And Lee I was taking Lee out to work every morning, looking for work, through the unemployment commission, and ads in the paper. And I was taking care of the baby and doing the cooking, and Marina was helping clean up. And she would wash the dishes. And Lee and Marina would go for long walks every afternoon, and I would take care of the baby. Marina would sing around the house, and watch the television and comment on different programs, programs that she had seen in Russia.
She knew--there was a picture with Gregory Peck. and she said. "Mama, I know Gregory Peck."
And she was singing Santa Lucia.
And here again in my stupidity, I said to Lee, "Lee, she knows English, she is singing Santa Lucia."
He said, "Mother, that is an international song."
Marina was very happy, and I was very happy to have the children.
And Lee desperately looked for work.
He was offered several good jobs from the State Employment Office of Texas. One in particular, I remember he said that he regretted not getting the job, but they told him because his wife was not an American citizen. that they would not be able to hire him.
He met obstacles all the way.
This one particular woman at the Texas employment agency took an interest in Lee and went out all the way to give Lee clues for jobs. And I, myself, took Lee job-hunting every day.
And it is through the employment office that he became employed 3 weeks later, after he was in my home, by the Leslie Manufacturing Co. in Fort Worth, which is a sheetmetal place.
Mr. RANKIN. Now, while Marina was living with you there, and your son, and the little baby--
Mrs. OSWALD. June.
Mr. RANKIN. Did you talk to Marina, and did she speak English to you?
Mrs. OSWALD. Yes, she spoke English, Mr. Rankin. Like she would say--and we used the dictionary when she didn't understand.
She would say--I would say, "Marina, you now nurse your baby."
"Yes, Mama. The time."
Or "No time."
With motions--"no time, Mama."
She spoke English.
Mr. RANKIN. What I would like to find out for the Commission, if we can, in regard to speaking English, did you think she was able to talk English fluently, or did you think she was in the process of learning it?
Mrs. OSWALD. She was in the process of learning. But she understood more than she could talk.
And I have a letter from Lee stating that Marina also speaks and understands French, that she had learned at grammar school.
Mr. RANKIN. Did you know French?
Mrs. OSWALD. No, sir.
Mr. RANKIN. So you could not tell?
Mrs. OSWALD. I could not tell. And I didn't think a thing of it.
And, of course, Marina and Lee spoke Russian all the time, even in front of me.
And you asked about this time it was a very happy time. They would sit at the table. They were playing a game, and I said to Lee, ''What is it you are doing?"
Because they were always talking in Russian.
"Mother, we are playing a game which is similar to American tic-tac-toe."
And they also taught each other. They had books. They are both children--very intelligent and studious. Lee was teaching Marina English, and Marina was teaching him some things that he wanted to know about Russia, in my home.
Mr. RANKIN. Now, you were saying that he got this job at the Leslie Manufacturing Co.
Mrs. OSWALD. Yes, sir.
And then his first pay--he kept his first pay. And then the second pay. he rented the home on Mercedes Street, which is the south side, and approximately 10 blocks from where I lived at the Rotary Apartment, and approximately 10 blocks from where he was to work.
Lee had no car, and Lee walked to and back from work, which helped to save money.
Now, you must understand that this couple had no money, and had nothing. I gave them some dishes, and some silverware, and just a few little things that I could help out with.
But Lee did have the first week's pay.
And then the second week's pay. And he rented this home which was $59.50 a month. It was a nice little one-bedroom furnished duplex, in a nice neighborhood, convenient to his work.
But then that leaves the boy broke.
I brought food into the house. I never like to talk about the other members of the family, because to me that is speculation. But I know that Robert brought food, also, in the house. And they were not in want. Marina nursed June.
Now, it has been stated in the paper that the Russian friends have gone into the home and they are talking about this home, and found that they were in desperate straits, that there was no food in the house, and no milk for the baby.
I say Marina nursed the baby.
They may have walked into this home, where maybe they didn't have at that particular time any milk in the box. Maybe Lee was going to bring groceries home. But I know they were not in destitute circumstances in that respect.
They had no money and didn't have anything. I brought groceries, and I brought a roll of scotch toweling. I had bought two packs and I gave them one.
And the next day when I went by, the scotch toweling was in the kitchen, on a coat hanger, with a nail.
And I think that is real nice, a young couple that doesn't have any money, that they can use their imagination, and put up the scotch toweling to use on a coat hanger. They are just starting married life in a new country. And they have no money. But here is the point. The Russian friends, who were established, and had cars and fine homes, could not see this Russian girl doing without. They are the ones that interfered. They are the ones that interfered, and were not happy the way this Russian girl- and within a short time, then, this Russian girl had a playpen, had a sewing machine, had a baby bed, and a Taylor Tot. And this all came out in the paper-that they supplied this to the girl, because she was in need of these things.
I say it is not necessary for a young couple to have a playpen for a baby. We have millions and millions of American couples in the United States that cannot afford playpens for the children. I, myself, have been in that position.
So I think those things were immaterial.
The point I am trying to bring out is that these Russian friends have interfered in their lives, and thought that, the Russian girl should have more than necessary.
And my son could not supply these things at that particular time. He was just starting to work.
This, to me, is very strong in my mind, that there are a lot of Russian friends that were made immediately, that have interfered and have publicly stated--a circle of friends, approximately eight or nine, that would not give their names in the paper, they were interviewed by Mr. Tinsley of the Star Telegram--that has downed Lee for every way possible.
So these are the Russian friends who are established with cars, and didn't think that the Russian girl was getting a good break in America.
Mr. RANKIN. Were there any differences between you and Lee Oswald or Marina while they were in your home? Did you have any quarrels?
Mrs. OSWALD. No, sir, no, sir, none at all.
Now, there was one thing. And I will point out the character of my son, and what I am saying about the playpen and so on.
Now, this was all done within, a few weeks time. They moved there-- they left my home in July, and they moved there in August, and then they moved to Dallas in October. So it was in this period of time that all these things were accumulated from Russian friends.
And no man likes other people giving--interfering in his way of living, and giving all these things to his wife that he himself cannot supply. This is a human trait, I would say.
Now, I want to bring this story up.
I could not afford to buy a bed for my grandchild, because I have worked prior to this for nothing. The job that I had quit I was making $25 a week, gentlemen-a 24-hour live-in job. The jobs prior to this I worked for $10 a week, 7 days a week, a live-in job.
Because of Lee's so-called defection, and my accident, the way I was treated, left destitute, without any medical or compensation, I decided to devote my life to humanity, and I became a practical nurse. And I have worked for $5 a week, living in the place.
So I had no money, I had $200 saved, when I came to Fort Worth, and that is what I rented the house with, and brought the food with.
So then that leaves me broke.
So I gave up a job in order to help this girl.
So to get back now to the home, Mr. Rankin--we had no quarrels. This month was beautiful. Marina was very happy.
I had the car and the television, and we went around.
As I say, they were free to go and come like they want. They would take long walks.
If you are not familiar with Fort Worth, Tex. from the Rotary Apartment to Leonard Brothers is approximately 3 miles, and they used to walk there, and they came home Marina came home with a Cancan petticoat and some
hose that Lee bought here with a few dollars that Robert and I had given him-he spent on his wife.
So that was a very happy time.
Now, when they lived in the home on Mercedes Street that he rented, I was employed as an OB, a nurse, in Fort Worth, Tex., at an OB's salary. And that salary, gentlemen, will astonish you. I worked, lived in, for $9 a day, 24 hours duty.
On an OB case I am very busy with the baby all day long because people are coming in and out, giving presents and so on. I have a 10 o'clock feeding for the baby. And it is approximately 11 o'clock before I am through and in bed. The baby is up again at 2 o'clock. It is approximately 3:30 before I am through again with the baby. The baby is up again at 5:30. And it is approximately--then my day starts. I am stressing the point that 1 worked for $9 a day during all that, a $9 a day job. So that is 7 days a week, $63.
Now, this is the first time I have had a nurse's salary, I want you to understand.
So with my first pay, I bought Marina clothes, I bought the baby clothes, and I brought food into this home. I went all out for Marina. I just love her, and was just thrilled to death with her. And I bought a highchair. I could not afford a bed, because I didn't have enough money to buy the bed. So that is why I bought the clothes and things of that sort. But I bought the baby a highchair.
Mr. RANKIN. How did Marina treat you then?
Mrs. OSWALD. Fine. But then Marina was not satisfied with the things that bought her.
As you see, the way I am properly dressed--I don't say I mean to be the height of fashion, but I have before becoming a nurse I was in the business world, and I have been a manager in the merchandise field. So I do know clothes.
And I bought her some shorts. And she wanted short shorts, like the Americans. She pictured America in her mind evidently.
And I bought her a little longer shorts.
And "I no like, Mama."
I said, "Marina, you are a married woman and it is proper for you to have a little longer shorts than the younger girls."
And I will stress this--that Marina was never too happy--"No, Mama, no nice, no, Mama, no this."
That was perfectly all right. I thought she didn't understand our ways. I didn't feel badly about it.
I am going to get back to the highchair, to give you a picture of my son.
I bought the highchair and brought it over there, and Lee was not at home. And Marina didn't know what a highchair was. And she told me in Russian. I said, "How do they feed babies in Russia?" By this time, June was 4 or 5 months old, just getting ready to sit up.
"We put baby on lap, Mama, and baby eat on lap."
And so a highchair to me, I think, was new to Marina.
So approximately 2 or 3 days later I go over there and Lee says to me, "Now, Mother, I want you to understand right here and now--I want you to stop giving all these gifts to me and my wife. I want to give Marina whatever is necessary, the best I can do. I want you to keep your money and take care of yourself, because today or tomorrow you take sick, and you spend all your money on us, I will have to take care of you." Which makes very good sense.
But he strongly put me in my place about buying things for his wife that he himself could not buy.
Mr. RANKIN. What did you say to that?
Mrs. OSWALD. I agreed with him. And I said--the shock of it--I realize what a mother-in-law I was in interfering. And, of course, that is part that we mothers-in-law do unconsciously. We try to help out our children, and
in a way we are interfering in their life. They would rather have their own way of doing things.
And I realize that I had interfered, and the boy wanted to take care of his wife. So no more was said about it.
I go into many homes, being a nurse, and I see this problem also, where the mothers and mothers-in-law bring things, and the men strongly object to it--they would rather do without, and have their wife do without, and they themselves be the master of the home.
So then. I realized I was being a foolish mother-in-law, and that he was perfectly right.
I should save my money and take care of myself. He had a wife and baby to take care of. If I didn't have any money, he might have to take care of me. So I agreed with that.
Mr. RANKIN. Did Marina say anything about that?
Mrs. OSWALD. Well, no, Marina didn't know--unless she understood the English part. I have no way of knowing, you see.
Mr. RANKIN. All right. Tell us what happened after that, then.
Mrs. OSWALD. Now, let me think just a minute.
This, gentlemen, is very emotional to me, because it is a humanitarian side that I am trying to bring out. Material things are involved to me that are of no consequence. And I am trying to paint out the fact that these Russian people seemed to think that the Russian girl should have material things.
And all through my story, I can prove things that have happened of this nature.
Yes--I will continue.
I was on the OB case for very wealthy people. I then became a nurse and by word of mouth I had worked in the finest homes in Fort Worth at this salary. I have worked for Ammon Carter, Jr., who is the owner of the Star Telegram. I have worked in his home. I have worked for Dr. Ross seven weeks in his home. I have worked for Mayor Vandergriff. I took care of his last baby in his home. And I can go on and on.
So I have been employed in over 200 homes at this salary. So I know the difference of working in very poor homes, people on welfare, that I worked in, and then working in the rich homes. So I have experience, gentlemen, is what I am trying to say.
So I mentioned to Mrs. Rosenthal that Lee and Marina didn't have a baby bed, and Lee didn't have work clothes. He had had his suits from the United States yet with him when he went to Russia. But he needed work clothes since he got this job.
She said, "Mrs. Oswald, what build is he?"
And I told her. And he was about the same build as her husband.
So she got out a lot of work clothes that her husband didn't want. However, she asked me $10 for 12 pairs of used pants. And I would not buy-give her $12. Here is a very wealthy woman, and she knows the story. And she knows that I have no money. And yet she expects me to pay for his used clothing. And so I have this principle about me. And I did not buy the used clothing, the clothing for Lee.
Now, Lee is having a birthday, which is October 18th. And this is approximately the 6th or 7th of October.
Now, this Sunday, October 12th, I went--this is very important, gentleman-I went to this home and I was there I asked to get off an hour or two to see the children, from this OB case at the Rosenthals. I went to see my, son and daughter-in-law, and they were nicely dressed. And while there, about 10 minutes, a young couple came into the home, approximately the same age as Marina and Lee, and they had a little boy who I would say was about 6 or 8 months older than June. The woman put the little boy in the playpen with June, and June went to touch him, and Marina got up and said, "Oh, no, hurt baby." She spoke in English. So I said, "Do you speak Russian?" to this couple. And they said, "No, we don't. We are Americans. But my father"--and I will have to say this--"or grandfather"-I do not know which--"is a Russian, from Siberia, and that is how we know Marina and Lee."
So the conversation was general. And in the general conversation--now,
this couple was from Dallas, visiting my family in Fort Worth. The conversation was general.
And she said, "Lee, my father has this place of business in Dallas, and will offer you a job in Dallas."
I said. "Lee, I didn't know that you wanted to give up your job and work in Dallas, because the Rosenthals that I am working for, her father owns the meatpacking house in Dallas, and she has told me that he employs hundreds of people, and if ever any time that you are in need, to go see her father, that she would be sure that he would give you a job."
So, gentlemen, this was on a Sunday.
I made coffee, and the house was in order. There was nothing packed.
Lee got paid on a Friday, from the Leslie Sheetmetal Works.
Monday Lee and Marina packed their belongings and went to Dallas.
The point I am bringing, is that Lee had no idea of quitting his job in Fort Worth, because he was not packed. This was on a Sunday. And this couple offered a job in Dallas. And their father, her grandfather, was a Russian, and Lee went to Dallas on a Monday, and worked for the Arts Graphic. I do not know--but you probably have that information. His very first job there.
Mr. RANKIN. Do you know whether he was discharged by the Leslie people?
Mrs. OSWALD. No, sir, he was not discharged by the Leslie people. He just didn't show up. He was paid on a Friday, and that Monday he did not show up for work, because he came to Dallas.
The point I am bringing out is this job was also offered to Lee from a Russian father. He had no idea of moving. There was nothing packed.
Now, I understand that my son Robert helped him to move. And the way I know this--I went there on a Tuesday. and the children had gone, because they had left on a Monday. So then I went to Robert's home, and Robert was at work. So I was all upset. They didn't tell me they were leaving.
I said to Veda, "Marina and Lee are no longer there, the house is vacant."
Mr. RANKIN. You spoke someone's name.
Mrs. OSWALD. Veda, V-e-d-a, Robert's wife is Veda. I said they had to move yesterday.
She said "Robert helped them to move. and they gave us the food in the refrigerator."
I said it came up all of a sudden, and I told the story about the couple being there.
Mr. RANKIN. Do you know the name of that couple?
Mrs. OSWALD. No, sir. And I have not been able to find out.
I have asked Mrs. Paine recently, and she said she does not remember. And the night I was in Mrs. Paine's home, I asked Marina and Mrs. Paine, and they did say a name. Marina would know the name of the couple. But I do not have that information.
Mr. RANKIN. And was he the owner of this business?
Mrs. OSWALD. The father was the owner of the business. And this was an American couple. And they did not speak Russian, either one. The father was a Russian, or the grandfather--that owned this place of business.
Mr. RANKIN. I think you said the grandfather before.
Mrs. OSWALD. I said either the father or the grandfather. I cannot be sure.
It was the girl's father or grandfather, and not the boy.
So I told my daughter-in-law about this. and she knew about it.
So now here is something that I would like to have my daughter-in-law as a witness.
It has been stated in the paper that my son was giving Marina black eyes and possibly had beat her. And this is by the Russian people.
Now, living in this home in Fort Worth, I had gone by several times I had a day off, and Marina was not at home.
I said to her, "Marina, Mama come to see you yesterday. You no home." She didn't answer.
I said, "Marina, Mama come see you. You no home, Marina."
"No. I go to lady's house to take English lessons."
Mr. RANKIN. Do you know who she was speaking of?
Mrs. OSWALD. I do not know for a fact. But my son Robert will know.
And that is why it is important to call him. That is what I am trying to say, Chief Justice Warren. These others will know this part of any story, give you the facts.
I am assuming it is Mr. Peter Gregory's wife that started these lessons. But Marina was taking English lessons.
Now, they lived at a corner house, and there is Carol Street, and opposite Carol Street is a parking lot for Montgomery Ward. They live approximately two blocks from Montgomery Ward. So I had gone by, as I am stating, several times. You have to understand--this is just 6 or 7 weeks that they are in this home.
Mr. RANKIN. You say "they." I am sorry to interrupt.
Mrs. OSWALD. Marina and Lee, in this home.
Then Marina was not home. I could not understand where so fast that they could have so many friends, that this Russian girl didn't speak English and know her way about, could be gone all day long. That worried me.
So I sat in the car on Montgomery Ward's parking lot, where I could see the house, because I wanted to see who Marina was going to come home with.
The door was open. I went in the house and no one was there.
By this time, I was wondering how she could be gone all the time, being a stranger in town.
I sat in the car all day long. She didn't show up.
Finally, I went home, had my supper, left my apartment, and on the way going back to the house Lee was leaving Montgomery Ward.
Now, they did not have a phone. I am just assuming-this is not a fact--that Lee went to a telephone trying to locate his wife, because I was coming from Montgomery Ward. He got in the car with me, and we had about a block to go. I entered the home with Lee, and I said, "Lee where is Marina?" Of course, I knew that she wasn't home, because I had stayed in the car all day.
He said, "Oh, I guess she is out with some friends."
"Would you like me to fix your supper?"
"No, she will probably be home in time to fix my supper?"
So I left. I am not going to interfere in their married life. But I did offer to fix him supper. And I went back to make sure Marina still wasn't home.
I walked in the home with my son.
So approximately 2 days later--not approximately, but 2 days later I went to the home and my son was reading, he read continuously--in the living room, and Marina was in the bedroom, I could not see Marina. And I said to Lee, "Tell Marina, I am here."
Marina made no appearance.
So I went into the bedroom, and she was nursing June with her head down. And I started to talk. And she still had her head down. And I came around to the front and I saw Marina with a black eye.
Now, gentlemen, I don't think any man should hit his wife, as is stated in the paper, or beat his wife. But I will say this. There may be times that a woman needs to have a black eye. I am not condoning the act. But I strongly am saying that this girl was not home. And this man was working. And I saw, myself, that this man came home and didn't have any food. This couple doesn't have a maid or anyone to give this working man food. And I think it was her duty to be home and have his supper ready.
That is a little thing, maybe. But to me it shows the character of what I am trying to bring out.
And so there may have been reasons that the children fought. And I also know that many, many couples fight, of our finest people, because I made it clear before that I have worked in these very fine homes, and have seen very fine people fight. I have seen a gentleman strike his wife in front of me. We know this happens. It is not a nice thing to do. But it happens in our finest homes. I am not condoning the act. But I am telling you that there probably was reasons, we will say. The woman has a black eye, and he is a louse he gave her a black eye, but we must consider why did he give her a black eye. We always must consider the second aspect of the case.
Mr. RANKIN. Did she take the baby with her when you looked----
Mrs. OSWALD. Yes, sir, she took-always the baby was with her.
Mr. RANKIN. Did you ask Marina how she got the black eye or anything about it?
Mrs. OSWALD. Yes, in the bedroom. I was shocked.
"Mama-Lee." Just like that. So I went in the living room and I said, "Lee, what do you mean by striking Marina?"
He said, "Mother, that is our affair."
And so that ended. I wasn't going to interfere any further.
Now, this has been publicly stated by the Russian friends, that he beat his wife. I don't know if he did beat his wife. I happened to see the black eye. I know that he hit her. and gave her a black eye. Marina said so, and my son has said so. But how many times does this happen, I don't know.
But I am trying to point out that I don't approve of it. But I am trying to point out that everything is not according to Hoyle, as we say in our American way of life.
Mr. RANKIN. Is there any other time that you recall that you saw that she had bruises or a black eye?
Mrs. OSWALD. No, sir; that is the only time.
And then the children moved to Dallas.
Now, this will end that part of the story.
I have accepted and I have the public papers, in 1959, when Lee went to Russia--I made a statement that as an individual I thought he had a right to make up his own mind in the decision to do what he wanted. I am of that nature, because, gentlemen,' today or tomorrow I may decide to go to Russia, I will go. We are taught that in America, that we have the right to do what we want as an individual. So I publicly stated in 1959 that Lee had a right, if he wanted to live in that country. And I think it was courage that he did so, instead of staying in America and talking about America, and living here and downing his country. It took courage to go and live where he wanted to live.
I was criticized highly for making that statement. And it is published in 1959--as far back as that.
So I will get back now to when the children left.
They did not tell me they had left.
So I accepted the fact that my son Lee did not want me to know that he was in Dallas.
Why I accepted the fact is because of Lee's so-called defection.
I have had it very hard, Mr. Rankin, and gentlemen--I have lost jobs, I was in a position, if I was in a home and television was on, and something political was on television, and the people commented, I felt it was necessary to keep quiet, because of it. Because of the defection I thought if I would express my views they might think I was a Communist like my son was supposed to be. And in many a home I have been in--after three or four days they would tell me my services were not needed.
I cannot say, sure it was because of Lee's defection. However, I feel sure that it is, because I am a respected person, and a very good nurse, as has been stated in the paper. And my jobs were gotten from word of mouth.
But you must understand that 1 deal with a lot of people. So naturally it is natural that some of them would feel resentful against me because of my son defecting to Russia and presumably being a Communist.
Mr. RANKIN. Did you ever find out where Marina was that day that you tried to locate her?
Mrs. OSWALD. No, sir, no sir, that ended that.
So I respected my son's wish, since he didn't want to tell me where he was in Dallas, that I would accept that fact.
Now, gentlemen, this may seem hard that I accept these things. But it is not. I am self-supporting. I have a life of my own. And if Lee decides that that is the way he wants it, I am not going to grieve and worry about it. I have to get my sleep in order to work. I have the ability of accepting things, the ability granted me by the grace of God, because of my difficulty in life. I have been a widow. I have had many, many obstacles, and I have had to face them. And my faith gets stronger. I do accept things.
As now, I accept the death of my son. I don't brood over that. I have that ability of doing that.
So I just accepted the fact--when Lee gets ready to let me know where he is, fine up until that time, it is his privilege to do what he want.
Now, that is the last contact I have had with Marina and Lee until the news broke in Dallas that Lee was picked up because of the assassination of President Kennedy.
Mr. RANKIN. Tell us about this period you were talking about, when he went to Dallas. Was that before or after the time he went to New Orleans?
Mrs. OSWALD. That was before the time, sir--he lived-from my apartment, the Rotary Apartments, when Lee got the job he lived on Mercedes Street from the end of July, I would say, or the beginning of September, until October, when he left to go to Dallas.
Mr. RANKIN. What year was that?
Mrs. OSWALD. That was in 1963.
Mr. RANKIN. You mean '62?
Mrs. OSWALD. I am sorry---1962. And that was the last I had seen of Marina and Lee.
Mr. RANKIN. Did you ever find where they were in Dallas?
Mrs. OSWALD. No, sir. I explained before that I made no attempt. I thought when they get ready to let me know, that is fine. Up until then, I had to do my own work and take care of myself. And I do respect other people's privileges. If that is the way they want it, fine.
When they get ready to let me know, I will welcome them. If not, I will go about my own business.
Mr. RANKIN. Had you learned they had gone to New Orleans?
Mrs. OSWALD. I had not learned of that until after the assassination. I knew nothing, I had no contact with them.
So, then, the next thing we should start then would be the Dallas--the assassination.
Mr. RANKIN. Whatever you know.
Mrs. OSWALD. Well, I was on a case in a rest home, and I had a 3 to 11 shift. I was dressed, ready to go to work. I was watching--I am a little ahead of my story.
I watched the television in the morning before I was dressed. And Richard Nixon was in Dallas, and he made a television appearance approximately 2 hours before President Kennedy was to arrive in Dallas. And, as a layman, I remember saying, "Well, the audacity of him, to make this statement against President Kennedy just an hour or two before his arrival in Dallas."
And then I had my lunch, and I dressed, with my nurse's uniform on, to go to work, for the 3 to 11 shift. And I have to leave home at 2:30. So I had a little time to watch the Presidential procession.
And while sitting on the sofa, the news came that the President was shot. And there was a witness on television, a man and a little girl on television. However, I could not continue to watch it. I had to report to work.
So I went in the car, and approximately seven blocks away I turned the radio on in the car. I heard that Lee Harvey Oswald was picked up as a suspect.
I immediately turned the car around and came back home, got on the telephone, called Acme Brick in Fort Worth, and asked where Robert was, because he had been traveling, and I must get in touch with Robert immediately, because his brother was picked up as a suspect in the assassination. So they had Robert call me.
Robert didn't know that Lee was picked up.
Mr. RANKIN. Was this the day of the assassination?
Mrs. OSWALD. Yes, sir, the day of the assassination, they picked Lee up.
Mr. RANKIN. And 3 to 11--that is in the afternoon?
Mrs. OSWALD. This was 2: 30, because I was on my way to work, and I had to be at work at 3 o'clock.
Mr. RANKIN. Three in the afternoon is when you had to be at work?
Mrs. OSWALD. Yes, sir, and it was 2:30 I heard the news and went back home.
I had Acme Brick call Robert to give him the news, and Robert called me, and he had not heard his brother was picked up.
Now, Robert is in Denton. So I called the Star Telegram, and asked that--if they could possibly have someone escort me to Dallas, because I realized I could not drive to Dallas. And they did. They sent two men to escort me to Dallas.
The name of one is Bob Shieffer, the other name I will have for you gentlemen.
Mr. RANKIN. Who are those? Are those reporters?
Mrs. OSWALD. Star Telegram reporters, sent by the Star Telegram editor to escort me to Dallas.
Now, upon arriving in Dallas, I did not ask-I did not want to talk to the police. I asked specifically to talk to FBI agents. My wish was granted, I was sent into a room. I have to backtrack my story.
The policemen do not know I am here "I want to talk to FBI agents."
Mr. RANKIN. What time of the day is this?
Mrs. OSWALD. This is approximately 3:30. So I am escorted into an office, and two Brown FBI agents, they are brothers, I understand, and there was another man that I do not know the name.
Mr. RANKIN. By that you mean their names were Brown?
Mrs. OSWALD. Their names were Brown. And I have the correct names, also. But we were in this room, and I told them who I was. And I said, "I want to talk with you gentlemen because I feel like my son is an agent of the government, and for the security of my country, I don't want this to get out."
But, first, I said to them, "I want to talk to FBI agents from Washington."
"Mrs. Oswald, we are from Washington, we work with Washington."
I said, "I understand you work with Washington. But I want officials from Washington," and I believed they would be in town because of protecting the President.
I said, "I do not want local FBI men. What I have to say I want to say to Washington men."
Of course they wanted the news. They said, "Well, we work through Washington."
I said, "I know you do. But I would like Washington men."
So I had no choice.
Mr. RANKIN. Did you tell them why you thought he was an agent?
Mrs. OSWALD. Yes, sir. I am coming to this.
So I said, "I have information that"--I told him who I was.
I said, "For the security of my country, I want this kept perfectly quiet until you investigate. I happen to know that the State Department furnished the money for my son to return back to the United States, and I don't know if that would be made public what that would involve, and so please will you investigate this and keep this quiet."
Of course that was news to them.
They left me sitting in the office.
And I also told them that Congressman Jim Wright knew about this.
"You can be sure we will question Jim Wright."
And I gave them the names of the four men I had talked with while in Washington.
Would you like those four names now?
Mr. RANKIN. Yes.
Mrs. OSWALD. One is Mr. Boster, who was special counsel in charge of Soviet affairs.
One was Mr. Stanfield. I should know the names.
Well, gentlemen, Mr. Doyle will see that I give you the names of these men. I had it in a little card and carried it all these years from my Washington trip and gave it to the FBI men to investigate.
So they left me.
Mr. RANKIN. When you say you understand that the State Department paid your son's way back from the Soviet Union----
Mrs. OSWALD. Yes, sir.
Mr. RANKIN. Did you ever learn that that was a loan?
Mrs. OSWALD. I have the document to state that they loaned Lee the money to come back.
Mr. RANKIN. But you didn't know that at the time?
Mrs. OSWALD. Yes, sir. But I stated--you see, I was worried about the security of my country. I didn't know if the public would find out--how they would take the news that the State Department loaned him the money, since now he is a Marxist and an accused assassin.
I was worried about my country. And I didn't want the public to know. I wanted the FBI, not the police, to know.
Mr. RANKIN. Did you know anything else that you told them about why you thought he was an agent?
Mrs. OSWALD. No, I didn't tell them anything. But they questioned me, started to question me.
One of them said, "You know a lot about your son. When was the last time you were in touch with him?"
That wasn't the Browns. That was the other man.
I said, "I have not seen my son in a year."
He said sarcastically, "Now, Mrs. Oswald, are we to believe you have not been in touch with your son in a year? You are a mother."
I said, "Believe what you want. But I have not been in touch with my son in a year. My son did not want me involved. He has kept me out of his activities. That is the truth, God's truth, that I have not seen my son in a year."
And the gentleman left, and I did not see them after that.
They sent the stenographer that was in the outer office to sit with me, and she started to question me.
I said, "Young lady, I am not going to be questioned. You may just as well make up your mind that I am just going to sit here. What I want, if you will relay--have these two Star Telegram men come in here, please. I would like to ask them something."
So they came in. And I said, "Bob, I have rights and I want to see Lee." Of course the men didn't answer.
But I sat in the office approximately 2 or 3 hours alone, gentlemen, with this woman who came in and out.
I said, "If you think you are going to question me or get information from me, you are not."
And I sat in the office 2 or 3 hours.
Every now and then I would walk up to the outer corridor and say to whoever was there, "Now, listen, I am getting tired of this. I want to see Lee."
Mr. RANKIN. What office was this?
Mrs. OSWALD. The courthouse in Dallas.
Mr. RANKIN. Whose office was it in? Do you know?
Mrs. OSWALD. No, I don't know. It was a private office that lead--for instance, it would be like in the corner, a glass- enclosed office. And then you could see the outer corridor where the stenographers and the police and everybody was.
Mr. RANKIN. You don't know whose office it was?
Mrs. OSWALD. No, sir, I do not. So I sat there approximately 3 hours. And I never did get to see Lee.
So at 5:30--then Robert came in. And he was questioned by the FBI.
Mr. RANKIN. Were you there when he was questioned?
Mrs. OSWALD. No, sir.
And I will state now emphatically that I have never been questioned by the FBI or the Secret Service never, gentlemen. If they can produce my voice or anything, they can produce it.
So then I was escorted into the office where Marina and Mrs. Paine was. And, of course, I started crying right away, and hugged Marina. And Marina gave me Rachel, whom I had never seen. I did not know I had a second grandchild, until this very moment. So I started to cry. Marina started to cry. And Mrs. Paine said, "Oh, Mrs. Oswald, I am so glad to meet you. Marina has often expressed the desire to contact you, especially when the baby was being born. But Lee didn't want her to."
And I said, "Mrs. Paine, you spoke English. Why didn't you contact me?"
She said Marina didn't know how to get in touch with me.
She said, "Well, because of the way they lived, he lived in Dallas, and came home to my home on weekends. I didn't feel like I wanted to interfere."
And she acted as--excuse me, gentlemen. but this is very, very emotional.
The CHAIRMAN. That is all right.
Mrs. OSWALD. She acted as interpreter for Marina. We are in the courthouse now, in the jailhouse.
So her testimony, gentlemen, the testimony that the Dallas police have, is the testimony of Mrs. Paine, that Marina assumed Lee had given her.
Could we state now maybe it is not the correct testimony that Marina gave--just one interpreter, and Marina's friend, is the testimony that the Dallas police has.
I have no way of knowing, and you have no way of knowing, gentlemen, whether it is the correct testimony.
So Mrs. Paine told me that she acted as interpreter.
And I said, "1 don't know what I am going to do. I want to stay in Dallas and be near Lee, so that I can help with this situation as much as possible."
She said, "Mrs. Oswald, you are welcome in my home if you care to sleep on the sofa."
I said, "Thank you very much, Mrs. Paine, I will accept your offer. I will sleep on the floor in order to be near Dallas."
So we left. We went to Mrs. Paine's home.
I am going to say again I did not see my son.
So--I had my nurse's uniform on for 3 days.
Mr. RANKIN. What day was this at Mrs. Paine's?
Mrs. OSWALD This was the night of Friday, November 22d. We arrived there approximately 6 o'clock. Upon entering the home, about 5 minutes after 1 was in the home, there was a knock on the door.
Now, this is a little vague. On the way leaving the courthouse we may have been in the company of the two Life representatives. They may have taken us to Mrs. Paine's home. I did not ask who was taking us to Mrs. Paine's home, because I was holding my grandbaby and talking to Marina, and sitting in the back of the car. And it didn't interest me at the time how I was getting to Mrs. Paine's home.
Why I am bringing this up was because after I was in her home, about 5 minutes, there was a knock on the door, and these two Life representatives entered the home.
The name of the men, one is Allan Grant, and the other is Tommy Thompson.
And I was not introduced.
Mr. RANKIN. Had you ever seen them before?
Mrs. OSWALD. No, I had never seen them before. As I say, they could have been the men driving the ear. But I want you to understand at the time I didn't notice that, because I was holding my new grandbaby, and comforting my daughter-in-law, and talking to Mrs. Paine in the back seat of the car.
So Mrs. Paine sat on the floor. And she said to the photographer--he had a camera in front of him--"Now, I hope you have good color film, because I want good pictures."
Mr. RANKIN. What time of the day was this?
Mrs. OSWALD. This was approximately 6:30. We had just arrived in Mrs. Paine's home I would say 6 and 7 o'clock, approximately, between that time. We are home 5 minutes when they knocked on the door.
Mrs. Paine immediately says, "Gentlemen, I hope you have colored film so we will have some good pictures."
I didn't know who they were.
But then I knew they were newsmen, because of her statement and the camera.
So Tommy Thompson started to interview Mrs. Paine. He said, "Mrs. Paine, tell me, are Marina and Lee separated, since Lee lives in Dallas?"
She said, "No, they are a happy family. Lee lives in Dallas because of necessity. He works in Dallas, and this is Irving, and he has no transportation, and he comes every weekend to see his family."
"Well," he said, "What type family man is he?"
She said, "A normal family man. He plays with his children. Last night he fed June. He watches television and just normal things."
She went on.
So he said, "Mrs. Paine, can you tell me how Lee got the money to"--I am sorry--"can you tell me how Lee was able to return back to the United States financially?"
She said, "Oh, yes, he saved the money to come back to the United States."
Now, while this little episode went on, I was fuming, gentlemen, because I didn't want this type of publicity. I thought it was uncalled for, immediately after the assassination, and the consequent arrest of my son.
But I was in Mrs. Paine's home.
Now I had an opportunity to be gracious. I spoke up and I said-I am ahead of myself.
She answered that he saved the money.
I spoke up and I said, "Now, Mrs. Paine, I am sorry. I am in your home. And I appreciate the fact that I am a guest in your home. But I will not have you making statements that are incorrect. Because I happen to know you have made an incorrect statement. To begin with, I do not approve of this publicity. And if we are going to have the life story with Life magazine"--by that time I knew what it was-"I would like to get paid. Here is my daughter-in-law with two small children, and I, myself, am penniless, and if we are going to give this information, I believe we should get paid for it."
Mr. RANKIN. Did you think Mrs. Paine was trying to get paid for it?
Mrs. OSWALD. Possibly. But I do know this. It was prearranged. That is the point that is important. That after a few hours time, the Life representatives were invited to her home, into her home, because she expected them, you see.
Mr. RANKIN You think she arranged it, then?
Mrs. OSWALD. Yes, sir, possibly with Marina's help.
I do not know. It was arranged--I am positive the way they entered the home. She invited them in, without even introducing me. And immediately said she hoped they had color film.
Mr. RANKIN. Were they talking to each other, Marina, and Mrs. Paine, while you were there?
Mrs. OSWALD. Yes, they talked in Russian. And that is a difficult part. I didn't know Russian.
Then, with that, the Life representative got up and said, "Mrs. Oswald, I will call my office and see what they think about an arrangement of your life story."
So he did call the office. He closed the door and called in private. And nothing was said--in the living room.
When I say nothing was said, it was between myself and the other representative. Mrs. Paine was talking to my daughter-in- law in Russian. I was talking to my daughter-in-law in English. It was a regular general conversation, as far as I knew.
He came out from the telephone conversation and said, no, that the company would not allow him to pay for the story. What they would do--they would pay our expenses while in Dallas, and our food and expenses, hotel accommodation.
So I told him that I would think about it.
Now, they continued to hang around. And they were taking pictures continuously, all the while this was going on-the photographer, Mr. Allen was continuously taking pictures. I was awfully tired and upset. I rolled my stockings down, and the picture is in Life Magazine. And he stopped that. So I got up and said, "I am not having this invasion of privacy. I realize that I am in Mrs. Paine's home. But you are taking my picture without my consent, and a picture that I certainly don't want made public." It is the worst--with me rolling my hose. I wanted to get comfortable.
He followed Marina around in the bedroom. She was undressing June. He took pictures of everything. And Mrs. Paine was in her glory--I will say this. Mrs. Paine was very happy all these pictures were taken. And I had to go behind Marina to see that the photographers were not taking her, and they
were taking me. And it was just a regular--the home was a living room and a hall and a bedroom and kitchen, and we were all going around in circles.
And the photographer was taking pictures, until finally I became indignant, and said, "I have had it. Now, find out what accommodations you can make for us, for my daughter-in-law and I so that we can be in Dallas to help Lee, and let me know in the morning."
So they left.
However, about an hour later there was a telephone call to Mrs. Paine from a Life representative. I know by her conversation who she was talking to.
Mr. RANKIN. Who was that?
Mrs. OSWALD. One of the men either Allen Grant or Tommy Thompson.
And after the conversation, I said to her, "Was that one of the Life representatives?
And she said, "Oh, yes, he just was a little upset about what happened." So I got no information there.
The CHAIRMAN. Would you like to take a short recess, Mrs. Oswald?
Mrs. OSWALD. Yes, I am getting thirsty.
The CHAIRMAN. Suppose we do. We will take one for about 10 minutes.
The CHAIRMAN. The Commission will be in order. Mrs. Oswald, you may continue with your statement.
Mrs. OSWALD. Yes, sir. Now, we are in Mrs. Paine's home yet.
The CHAIRMAN. Yes. This is on the day of the assassination?
Mrs. OSWALD. Yes, sir--the 22d, Friday, the 22d.
I am worried because Lee hasn't had an attorney. And I am talking about that, and Mrs. Paine said, "Oh, don't worry about that. I am a member of the Civil Liberties Union, and Lee will have an attorney, I can assure you."
I said to myself but when? Of course, I didn't want to push her, argue with her. But the point was if she was a member of the Union, why didn't she see Lee had an attorney then. So I wasn't too happy about that.
Now, gentlemen, this is some very important facts.
My daughter-in-law spoke to Mrs. Paine in Russian, "Mamma." she says. So she takes me into the bedroom and closes the door. She said, "Mamma, I show you." She opened the closet, and in the closet was a lot of books and papers. And she came out with a picture a picture of Lee, with a gun.
It said, "To my daughter June"-written in English.
I said, "Oh, Marina, police." I didn't think anything of the picture.
Now, you must understand that I don't know what is going on on television--I came from the jailhouse and everything, so I don't know all the circumstances, what evidence they had against my son by this time. I had no way of knowing. But I say to my daughter, "To my daughter. June." anybody can own a rifle, to go hunting. You yourself probably have a rifle. So I am not connecting this with the assassination--"To my daughter, June." Because I would immediately say, and I remember--I think my son is all agent all the time no one is going to be foolish enough if they mean to assassinate the President, or even murder someone to take a picture of themselves with that rifle, and leave that there for evidence.
So, I didn't think a thing about it. And it says "To my daughter, June." I said, "The police," meaning that if the police got that, they would use that against my son, which would be a natural way to think.
She says, "You take, Mamma."'
"Yes, Mamma, you take."
I said, "No, Marina. Put back in the book." So she put the picture back in the book. Which book it was, I do not know.
So the next day, when we are at the courthouse this is on Saturday-she--we were sitting down, waiting to see Lee. She puts her shoe down, she says, "Mamma, picture." She had the picture folded up in her shoe.
Now, I did not see that it was the picture. but I know that it was, because she told me it was, and I could see it was folded up. It wasn't open for me to see. I said, "Marina." Just like that. So Robert came along and he says,
"Robert" I said, "No, no Marina." I didn't want her to tell Robert about the picture. Right there, you know. That was about the picture.
Mr. RANKIN. Did you ever tell her to destroy the picture?
Mrs. OSWALD. No. Now, I have to go into this. I want to tell you about destroying the picture.
Now, that was in Mrs. Paine's home.
I want to start to remember--because when we leave Mrs. Paine's home, we go into another phase, where the picture comes in again. So I have to tell the--unless you want to ask me specific questions.
Mr. RANKIN. No, you go right ahead.
Mrs. OSWALD. Mrs. Paine, in front of me, gave Marina $10. Now, Mrs. Paine, when I said, after the representatives left--I said, "You know, I do want to get paid for the story, because I am destitute, and here is a girl with--her husband is going to be in jail, we will need money for attorneys, with two babies."
She said, "You don't have to worry about Marina. Marina will always have a home with me, because Marina helps."
Now, Mrs. Paine speaks Russian fluently. "She helps me with my Russian language. She babysits for me and helps me with the housework, and you never have to worry about Marina. She will always have a home with me."
Now, Mr. and Mrs. Paine are separated. Mr. Paine does not live here. So it is just the two women.
So, Mrs. Paine didn't graciously do anything for Marina, as the paper stated--that Lee never did pay Mrs. Paine for room or board. Mrs. Paine owes them money. That is almost the kind of work that I do, or the airline stewardesses do, serve food and everything. Marina was earning her keep, and really should have had a salary for it--what I am trying to say, gentlemen, Mrs. Paine had Marina there to help babysit with the children, with her children-if she wanted to go running around and everything.
So actually she wasn't doing my son or Marina the favor that she claims she was doing.
But the point I am trying to stress is that she did tell me Marina would never have to worry, because Marina would have a home with her.
At this particular moment, I cannot remember anything of importance in the house. Otherwise, about the picture I have stated. And Mrs. Paine with the Life representative, and her saying that Lee would have an attorney, and Mrs. Paine giving Marina a $10 bill.
Oh, Marina told me, "Mamma, I have this money." It was money in an envelope--in the bedroom, when she showed me the picture. I said, "How much money, Marina."
"About how much?" I asked her.
"About $100 and some."
Now, Mrs. Paine has stated to the Life representative that Lee and Marina were saving his pay in order to have a home for themselves for Christmas time, because they had never been in a home of their own at Christmas time in order to celebrate Christmas. So, the hundred and some odd dollars isn't a big sum, considering that Lee paid $8 a week room in Dallas--and it has been stated by the landlady that Lee ate lunchmeat or fruit. And Lee was very, very thin when I saw him. And Lee gave his salary to his wife in order to save to have this home for Christmas.
So, that is not a lot of money to have in the house I would not think so, because I believe Lee was earning about $50 a week. And let's say he could live for about $10 or $12. And he gave the rest of the money to his wife.
And so I reported this money to the Secret Service while we were in Six Flags--that Marina had the money. I wanted them to know. She showed me the money.
I cannot think now-I did think of the money after going back--but I cannot think of anything at this particular moment that would be of any benefit that happened in this house.
Mr. RANKIN. In regard to the photograph, I will show you some photographs. Maybe you can tell me whether they are the ones that you are referring to. Here is Commission's Exhibit 134.
Mrs. OSWALD. No, sir, that is not the picture.
Mr. RANKIN. And 133, consists of two different pictures.
Mrs. OSWALD. No, sir, that is not the picture. He was holding the rifle and it said, "To my daughter, June, with love." He was holding the rifle up.
Mr. RANKIN. By holding it up, you mean----
Mrs. OSWALD. Like this.
Mr. RANKIN. Crosswise, with both hands on the rifle?
Mrs. OSWALD. With both hands on the rifle.
Mr. RANKIN. Above his head?
Mrs. OSWALD. That is right.
Mr. RANKIN. Did you ever see these pictures, Exhibits 133 and 134?
Mrs. OSWALD. No, sir, I have never seen those pictures.
Mr. RANKIN. Now, you were going to tell us about some further discussion of the picture you did see?
Mrs. OSWALD. Yes--all right.
Now, so the next morning the two representatives of the Life Magazine, Mr. Allen Grant and Mr. Tommy Thompson come by at 9 o'clock with a woman, Russian interpreter, a doctor somebody. I have not been able to find this woman. I have called the universities, thinking that she was a language teacher, and I--maybe you have her name. But she is very, very important to our story. And I do want to locate her, if possible.
During the night, I had decided I was going to take up their offer, because I would be besieged by reporters and everything. So why not go with the Life representatives, and let them pay my room and board and my daughter-in-law's. They came by at 9 o'clock, without calling, with this Russian interpreter. Marina was getting dressed and getting the children dressed. He was taking pictures all the time.
Mr. RANKIN. They came by where?
Mrs. OSWALD. Mrs. Paine's home. And there was no hurry, though, to leave the home, because Mrs. Paine was most anxious for the Life representatives to talk to her and get these pictures and everything--whether Marina has any part in this I don't know, because they spoke Russian, and she didn't tell me about it. But I know Mrs. Paine did.
We left with the two Life representatives. They brought us to the Hotel Adolphus in Dallas. I immediately upon entering the hotel picked up the phone and called Captain Will Fritz, to see if Marina and I could see Lee at the jailhouse.
Mr. RANKIN. Who is he?
Mrs. OSWALD. He is one of the big men in Dallas on this case.
Mr. RANKIN. The Chief of Detectives, or something like that?
Mrs. OSWALD. Yes. And I called him from the hotel, and the man that answered the phone said he would relay my message to him, that I wanted to see if Marina and 1 could see Lee. I waited on the phone. He came back and said, "Yes, Mrs. Oswald, Captain Fritz said you may see Lee at 12 o'clock today."
We arrived at the Adolphus Hotel between 9:30 and 10:00.
Mr. RANKIN. This was what day?
Mrs. OSWALD. This was Saturday, November 23, the morning of Saturday, November 23.
While we Were there, an FBI agent, Mr. Hart Odum entered the room with another agent, and wanted Marina to accompany him to be questioned.
Mr. RANKIN. Were these FBI agents?
Mrs. OSWALD. Yes, sir; Mr. Hart Odum is an FBI agent. And I said, "No, we are going to see Lee." We were all eating breakfast when he came in. said, "No, we have been promised to see Lee. She is not going with you."
So he said, "Well, will you tell Mrs. Oswald, please"--to the interpreter, "I would like to question her and I would like her to come with me to be questioned."
I said, "It is no good. You don't need to tell the interpreter that, because my daughter-in-law is not going with you. We have been promised to see Lee. And besides Marina has testified, made her statement at the courthouse yesterday, and any further statements that Marina will make will be through counsel."
Mr. Odum said to the interpreter, "Mrs. Oswald"--to the interpreter--"will you tell Mrs. Oswald to decide what she would like to do and not listen to her mother-in-law."
I said, "It is no good to tell my daughter-in-law, because my daughter-in-law is not leaving here with you, Mr. Odum, without counsel."
And I had been telling Marina, "No, no."
She said, "I do, Mamma," she kept saying.
Just then my son, Robert, entered the room, and Mr. Odum said., "Robert, we would like to take Marina and question her."
He said, "No, I am sorry, we are going to try to get lawyers for both she and Lee."
So he left.
We went to the courthouse and we sat and sat, and while at the courthouse my son, Robert, was being interviewed by--I don't know whether it was Secret Service or FBI agents--in a glass enclosure. We were sitting--an office, a glass enclosed office. We were sitting on the bench right there.
Mr. RANKIN. Where was this?
Mrs. OSWALD. In the Dallas courthouse, on Saturday.
So we waited quite a while. One of the men came by and said "I am sorry that we are going to be delayed in letting you see Lee, but we have picked up another suspect."
I said, to Marina, "Oh, Marina, good, another man they think maybe shoot Kennedy."
Mr. RANKIN. Did you ask anything about who this suspect was?
Mrs. OSWALD. No, sir; I did not. He just give the information why we would be delayed. We sat out there quite a while. The police were very nice. They helped us about the baby. We went into another room for privacy, for Marina to nurse Rachel. It was 2 or 3 hours before we got to see Lee. We went upstairs and were allowed to see Lee. This was in the jail--the same place I had been from the very beginning, and we were taken upstairs. And by the way, they only issued a pass for Marina and myself, and not for Robert. And Robert was very put out, because he thought he was also going to see his brother. Whether Robert saw his brother or not, I do not know, Mr. Rankin.
Mr. RANKIN. About what time of day was this?
Mrs. OSWALD. Just a minute now. We arrived there at 12 o'clock. This would be about 4 or 4:30 in the afternoon, before we got to see Lee.
Mr. RANKIN. Was anyone else present when he saw you?
Mrs. OSWALD. No. Marina and I were escorted back of the door where they had an enclosure and telephones. So Marina got on the telephone and talked to Lee in Russian. That is my handicap. I don't know what was said. And Lee seemed very severely composed and assured. He was well--beaten up. He had black eyes, and his face was all bruised and everything. But he was very calm. He smiled with his wife, and talked with her, and then I got on the phone and I said, "Honey, you are so bruised up, your face. What are they doing?"
He said, "Mother, don't worry. I got that in a scuffle."
Now, my son would not tell me they had abused him. That was a boy's way to his mother--if he was abused, and it was shown in the paper his black eyes--he wouldn't tell how he got that. He said that was done in the scuffle. I talked and said, "Is there anything I can do to help you?"
He said, "No, Mother, everything is fine. I know my rights, and I will have an attorney. I have already requested to get in touch with Attorney Abt, I think is the name. Don't worry about a thing."
Mr. RANKIN. Did you say anything to him about another suspect?
Mrs. OSWALD. No, sir, I did not. That was my entire conversation to him.
Gentlemen, you must realize this. I had heard over the television my son say, "I did not do it. I did not do it."
And a million of the other people had heard him. I say this. As a mother--I heard my son say this. But also as a citizen, if I had heard another man say, I didn't do it, I will have to believe that man, because he hasn't been-hasn't had the opportunity to present his side of the case. So here is my son. When I saw him people had said, "Did you ask him if he did it?"
No, sir. I think by now you know my temperament, gentlemen. I would not insult my son and ask him if he shot at President Kennedy. Why? Because I myself heard him say, "I didn't do it, I didn't do it."
So, that was enough for me, I would not ask that question.
Mr. RANKIN. Who told you that there was--they had found another suspect?
Mrs. OSWALD. One of the officers. That, sir, I don't know. He just walked in real fast while we were sitting down and said they had picked up another suspect, and it was in the paper that they had picked up another suspect at that particular time, which would have been approximately 1 o'clock that day.
Mr. RANKIN. But you don't remember the officer's name?
Mrs. OSWALD. No, sir, that is all he said and he left. He was just relaying why we would be delayed. But it was also published. I do not have the paper or the information. But I do know from the reporters, when I told my story, that part to them-- they said that substantiates the newspaper story that they did pick up a suspect at that time.
Mr. RANKIN. About how long did you and Marina spend there with your son?
Mrs. OSWALD. I would say I spent about 3 or 4 minutes on the telephone, and then Marina came back to the telephone and talked with Lee. So we left. Marina started crying. Marina says, "Mamma, I tell Lee I love Lee and Lee says he love me very much. And Lee tell me to make sure I buy shoes for June."
Now, here is a man that is accused of the murder of a President. This is the next day, or let's say about 24 hours that he has been questioned. His composure is good. And he is thinking about his young daughter needing shoes.
Now, June was wearing shoes belonging to Mrs. Paine's little girl, Marina told me they were little red tennis shoes, and the top was worn. They were clean, and the canvas was showing by the toe part, like children wear out their toes.
I ask you this, gentlemen. If Marina had a hundred and some odd dollars in the house, why is it necessary that my son has to tell her at the jailhouse, remind her to buy shoes for his baby, for their child? Just a few dollars out of that hundred and some odd dollars would have bought shoes for this particular child.
Another way to look at this, as I stated previously--that the boy is concerned about shoes for his baby, and he is in this awful predicament. So he must feel innocent, or sure that everything is going to be all right, as he told me.
Mr. RANKIN. Now, in this telephone conversation, when you talked to your son, can you explain a little bit to the Commission how that is? Was your son on the other side of a wall or something?
Mrs. OSWALD. Yes, sir. My son was on the other side of the wall, and then back of the wall was a door with a peephole, where an officer was.
Now, we are going to come from the door, with the peephole and the officer, to my son. Then a glass partition and then glass partitions like telephone booths. But not really inclosed--just a little separation.
Mr. RANKIN. So you could not reach in there and take your son's hand?
Mrs. OSWALD. No, sir. We talked by telephone.
Mr. RANKIN. And he had a telephone on his side, and----
Mrs. OSWALD. And he had a telephone.
Mr. RANKIN. And you talked back and forth?
Mrs. OSWALD. Back and forth, that is right. That is the way we talked. And the boy was badly beat up. I have proof in the papers--his face, black eyes, all scratched up, his neck was scratched. He was badly beat up. But he assured me they were not mistreating him, that he got some of the bruises in the scuffle. As I say, the boy, if he was being mistreated, would not tell his mother that.
Mr. RANKIN. And whatever Marina said to him was in Russian, and you didn't understand it?
Mrs. OSWALD. No, sir, I did not understand. But I would say this, it seemed to be just an ordinary pleasant conversation. He was smiling. And she told me he said he loved her very much, she said she loved him, and told about buying the shoes for the baby. That is all she said. She did not tell me any other part of the conversation. And they talked quite a while. She talked with him twice. She talked with him the first time. I got on the phone. Then she talked to him again.
Mr. RANKIN. Did it sound like there was any dispute or argument?
Mrs. OSWALD. No. It was a pleasant conversation. But she did not volunteer to tell me what was said, and I did not ask her what was said.
Mr. RANKIN. What did you do after that?
Mrs. OSWALD. So then after that we went back to the Adolphus Hotel. And upon arriving at the hotel-I am a little ahead of my story.
The police and the detectives at the Dallas jail were most courteous to Marina and I. There were hundreds of reporters out in the corridor. And we were getting ready to leave, so they said that they would take us down the back way--incidentally, the same place where my son was shot. And they had arranged for two to go down and to get a car and to bring into this basement, and take us down the back elevator, and try to avoid the reporters. And there were approximately six or seven in the elevator. When we got down there, there were just a few reporters, and they went way out of their way to elude any reporters. We were at the Adolphus Hotel as I explained to you. And instead of from the jail going straight to the Adolphus Hotel, they drove around 20 or 25 minutes time in circles in order to lose anybody who might be following Marina and I.
So, as we got to the floor of the Adolphus Hotel, we knocked on the door where we were, and no one answered. We were with two men. Immediately around the corner comes Mr. Tommy Thompson, the Life representative.
Mr. RANKIN. What two men were you with?
Mrs. OSWALD. Two men from the Dallas courthouse.
Mr. RANKIN. From the police?
Mrs. OSWALD. Yes, from the police.
So Mr. Tommy Thompson came and they asked for his credentials. I had never even--as thorough as I am trying to be I am trying to tell you there are some things I don't know because of the confusion--I didn't ask for the credentials. I could have been with anybody. I just assumed they were Life representatives. I had not asked. But these Dallas detectives or police, in plain clothes, asked Mr. Tommy Thompson for his credentials, and then left us in his care again.
Immediately Mr. Tommy Thompson said, "Mrs. Oswald, what do you plan to do now?"
The interpreter was gone, and so was the other representative, Mr. Allen Grant.
I said, "Well, the arrangement was that we were going to stay here in the hotel for a few days, and you were going to pay expenses."
He said, "But you have not given us any facts."
They were not interested--and to me it seems very strange that they were not interested in my conversation at the jail with my son. They did not even ask if we saw Lee. Yet they knew we left the Adolphus Hotel in order to go see Lee. But they did not even ask if we saw Lee. And I have often wondered about that.
So when I told him that we expected to stay there, he said, "Well, Mrs. Oswald, the reporters will be coming in flocks, they know where you are. Just a minute."
He got on the telephone. Mr. Allen Grant--they had a Life the Life representatives had a room on the ninth floor where they had a lot of men working on this case, and we were on the 11th, I believe. So Mr. Allen Grant came down from the ninth floor with another man--I do not know his name because the baby's diapers had to be changed and things of this sort. He said, "Mrs. Oswald"-- they left. Tommy Thompson said, "Mrs. Oswald, what we are going to do is get you on the outskirts of town, so the reporters won't know where you are, and here is some money for your expenses in case you need anything."
Well, I took the bill, and I put it in my uniform pocket without looking at it.
That may sound strange to you gentlemen, but this is confusion. I knew it was money, and I just put it in my uniform pocket.
So Mr. Allen Grant escorted my daughter-in-law and I out of the hotel, the Adolphus Hotel, and took us to the Executive Inn, which is on the outskirts of Dallas. We sat in the car. He went in and came out, then, and said, "Mrs. Oswald, I have arranged for you all to stay here for 2 or 3 days. I have to be
back in San Francisco. Anything you want you have your cash that Mr. Tommy Thompson gave you. And he will be in touch with you."
Well, I didn't think too much of it. He escorted us with a porter up to our room.
We had two beautiful suites--two, not one completed rooms and baths, adjoining, at the Executive Inn. And that was the last time I had seen either representative. I was stranded with a Russian girl and two babies. I didn't realize in the beginning. But then it was time for food, and I had to order food. I told Marina to stay aside and that I would let the man in. She stayed in her room. I let this man in with the food, and then I became uneasy, that he might know who we were is what I was uneasy about, because I didn't realize the danger actually Marina and I were in.
I sensed we were alone. And there I was with a Russian girl. And I didn't want anybody to know who we were, because I knew my son had been picked up.
So this is where the picture comes in.
While there, Marina--there is an ashtray on the dressing table. And Marina comes with hits of paper, and puts them in the ashtray and strikes a match to it. And this is the picture of the gun that Marina tore up into bits of paper, and struck a match to it.
Now, that didn't burn completely, because it was heavy--not cardboard--what is the name for it--a photographic picture. So the match didn't take it completely.
Mr. RANKIN. Had you said anything to her about burning it before that?
Mrs. OSWALD. No, sir. The last time I had seen the picture was in Marina's shoe when she was trying to tell me that the picture was in her shoe. I state here now that Marina meant for me to have that picture, from the very beginning, in Mrs. Paine's home. She said--I testified before "Mamma, you keep picture."
And then she showed it to me in the courthouse. And when I refused it, then she decided to get rid of the picture.
She tore up the picture and struck a match to it. Then I took it and flushed it down the toilet.
Mr. RANKIN. And what time was this?
Mrs. OSWALD. This--now, just a minute, gentlemen, because this I know is very important to me and to you, too.
We had been in the jail. This was an evening. Well, this, then, would be approximately 5:30 or 6 in the evening.
Mr. RANKIN. What day?
Mrs. OSWALD. On Saturday, November 23. Now, I flushed the torn bits and the half-burned thing down the commode. And nothing was said. There was nothing said.
Mr. RANKIN. That was at the Executive Inn?
Mrs. OSWALD. At the Executive Inn.
Now, Mr. Hart Odum, the same FBI agent, that insisted upon my daughter-in-law going with him from the Adolphus Hotel, knocked on the door at the Executive Inn. I had had my robe and slippers on, and I pushed the curtain aside when he knocked. He said, "This is Mr. Odum."
So, I opened the door. This is very important. I would like to not talk about it. I would like to show you what I did. This is so important.
I opened the door just a little, because I had the robe off and I didn't want anybody to come in. The door is just ajar. I am going to take my shoes off, gentlemen, because I have this worked out. This is my height. He said, "Mrs. Oswald, we would like to see Marina."
I said, "Mr. Odum, I stated yesterday you are not going to see Marina. We are awful tired."
"Well, we just want to ask her one question."
"Mr. Odum, I am not calling my daughter. As a matter of fact, she is taking a bath."
He said, "Mrs. Oswald, I would like to ask you a question."
I said, "Yes, sir." The door is ajar. This is my height. I wear bifocals, which enlarges things. And in his hand--his hand is bigger than mine--in the
cup of his hand, like this, is a picture. And the two corners are torn off the picture. This is a very glossy black and white picture of a man's face and shoulder.
Now, Mr. Odum wasn't too tall. I need somebody else. Mr. Odum's hand with the picture-- what I am trying to say--he is facing this way--showing me. So my eyes are looking straight at the picture. And I have nothing else to see but this hand and the picture, because the door is ajar. And there is nothing on the picture but a face and shoulders. There is no background or anything. So I can identify this picture amongst millions of pictures, I am so sure of it. It was a glossy black and white picture. So I said, "No, sir, believe me. I have never seen this picture in my life."
With that, he went off.
There was another man with him.
About an hour later the telephone rang, and it was Mrs. Paine. She said, "Mrs. Oswald, Lee called and he was very upset because Marina was not with me, and he asked me to get a lawyer for him, a Mr. Abt. I would like to talk to Marina."
So I put Marina on the telephone, and Marina said about two or three words.
So when she got off the telephone, I said,--Now, Marina talks in Russian, gentlemen. I said, "Marina, Mrs. Paine told me that Lee called and you were not home at Mrs. Paine, and Lee tells Mrs. Paine to get a lawyer."
Marina didn't answer.
And I then sensed--well, now, why isn't she answering me? This is very peculiar.
And there was no more said about that conversation.
Mr. RANKIN. Did you ask her about this lawyer?
Mrs. OSWALD. Ask Marina?
Mr. RANKIN. Yes.
Mrs. OSWALD. No, sir. There was no more said about this conversation.
Mr. RANKIN. You didn't say anything about Mr. Abt to her then?
Mrs. OSWALD. No, sir. But here is the point to this whole thing.
The FBI agent would have to know where we were, and Mrs. Paine would have to know where we were, because of these two Life representatives, who, I am assuming, probably went back to Mrs. Paine's home in order to get more information. And she they would have told her where we were, because no one knew where we were. This girl and I had no protection or anything. We were sent out there with this Mr. Allen Grant, the representative. And no one knew who we were. And Mr. Hart Odum would have to know where we were through Mrs. Paine, which is a normal procedure, let's say. He might have gone to Mrs. Paine's home looking for Marina there, and Mrs. Paine might have told him we were at the Executive Inn. I will grant that.
But the point I am going to make is that the picture was tried to be shown to Marina before the telephone conversation.
Now, if there are any questions why I say that, I would be happy to answer.
Mr. RANKIN. Yes--why do you say that?
Mrs. OSWALD. Because they wanted Marina----
Mr. DULLES. Could we get what picture this is? Is that the picture held in the hand?
Mrs. OSWALD. Yes, sir--the picture that is held in the hand, that the FBI agent, Mr. Hart Odum showed me.
Mr. RANKIN. I understand you didn't recognize who the picture was at all.
Mrs. OSWALD. No. I told Mr. Hart Odum I had never seen the man before, "Believe me, sir," and he left.
So the picture was shown--was tried--had tried to be shown to my daughter-in-law, but they were not successful.
So then they received--Marina receives a telephone call.
Now, I am under the impression, since I know it was Mr. Jack Ruby's picture I saw--at the time I didn't.
Mr. RANKIN. How do you know that?
Mrs. OSWALD. Because I have seen his picture in the paper. Now I know it is Mr. Jack Ruby.
I am under the impression that Marina was threatened----
Mr. RANKIN. What was the date now?
Mrs. OSWALD. This is Saturday, November 23d. This is approximately 6:30 in the evening, that the FBI agent came. And the telephone call was later.
Now, I have no way of knowing whether Lee had permission to use the telephone. Remember, Lee is in jail.
Mr. RANKIN. About what time do you think the telephone call was?
Mrs. OSWALD. I would say it was about 7:30, 8 o'clock in the night.
Mr. RANKIN. That was still on Saturday night?
Mrs. OSWALD. Yes, sir, still on Saturday night at the Executive Inn. And that was after the picture was shown to me she received this telephone call, and became very silent.
And the next day my son was shot.
Now, it is now that I have done investigation of this case that I believe that the picture was meant for Marina to see, meant for Marina to see.
Mr. RANKIN. Why do you think that?
Mrs. OSWALD. Because now it has been proven that Jack Ruby killed my son. And I think there is a connection there. Because Marina did not tell me about her conversation. And you men hold the answer whether Lee used the telephone from the jailhouse. I don't know that.
Mr. RANKIN. You base that on just your own conclusion that you arrive at now, do you?
Mrs. OSWALD. Yes--because of the FBI agent, Mr. Hart Odum, insistence on taking my daughter-in-law--and he being the same agent that came and showed the picture. And Mr. Ruby being the man that shot Lee--yes, these are definite conclusions.
Mr. RANKIN. That is what you base it on?
Mrs. OSWALD. Yes, sir, that is what I base it on.
Mr. DULLES. Do I understand correctly that Marina did not see the picture at any time?
Mrs. OSWALD. That is correct, sir. But they tried awfully hard for Marina to see the picture.
Mr. RANKIN. And when they could not show it to her----
Mrs. OSWALD. They showed it to me yes, sir.
Mr. RANKIN. Have you ever seen that picture since?
Mrs. OSWALD. On a Wednesday--Lee was shot on a Sunday--neither Marina nor I knew how he was shot. They kept it from us. You have to visualize this.
We were at the Six Flags with approximately 18 to 20 FBI agents, Secret Service men running in and out, a woman with a Russian girl and two sick babies, and the girl and I do not know what is going on.
Mr. RANKIN. When you had gotten over to the Six Flags, you must have skipped something there you were in the Executive Inn before.
Mrs. OSWALD. Yes. I was going to make a point about letting you know why I didn't know.
Mr. RANKIN. All right.
Mrs. OSWALD. All right--let's go back to the Executive Inn.
So that night I was very upset and very worried. I realized that we were there alone. And we were not going to go in town, into Dallas. I wasn't going to take this Russian girl and the two babies. And the babies were all chapped. We had no diapers. We were not prepared for this. And it was hectic, gentlemen.
So all night long I am wondering how can I get in touch with Robert, what can I do.
And I was a little suspicious of Mrs. Paine. I was suspicious of Mrs. Paine from the time I entered her home.
Mr. RANKIN. Had you found out how much money the Life man gave you?
Mrs. OSWALD. No, not even yet.
Mr. RANKIN. All right.
Mrs. OSWALD. So I signed for the food. I called the operator and I asked the operator what name the room was registered under. She said, "Well, this is an unusual request. Don't you know what room--what name?"
I said, "Frankly, I don't. We are three couples. I don't know which name they used."
So she told me that the room was registered under Mrs. Allen Grant, which is the name of the Life representative. So I charged and signed. And they would have that for proof--Mrs. Alien Grant, on the food.
Mr. RANKIN. Why did you say three couples?
Mrs. OSWALD. I just said that to the operator, because I had to give her a reason why I didn't know which name the room was registered under.
So I just wanted to elaborate a little bit--let her know. I didn't want to give my name. Because I was by this time a little concerned about the situation.
During the night I thought--"We are in a position here, I am in a position with a Russian girl and two babies, and I just don't know what to do."
I had no contact with Robert. Robert was trying to get an attorney. And I didn't know if Robert knew where we were. And I did not want to call Mrs. Paine. I wanted to stay clear of Mrs. Paine.
So this is a very unusual coincidence.
Now, I have to go back a little bit. But, believe me, gentlemen, the story will get together for you to understand.
About 1 month prior to this, there was an ad in a Fort Worth paper that the public library was going to have language lessons, and one was Russian classes.
Well, I then, as I told you--I was employed for the 3 to 11 shift. And I was getting a day off. And this would have been a steady job because this woman was not that sick, just an invalid.
So I decided on my day off I wanted to do something. So I decided I would call up about it, and on my day off make Tuesday my day off and take up Russian in case because I had always hoped in my heart that Marina and Lee would contact me some day. After all, I am a mother first.
So I went to the library. And Mr. Peter Gregory was the instructor.
Now, you must remember--I did not know that he knew Marina and Lee. This is public notice for the Russian language.
So Mr. Peter Gregory is the instructor.
I went to the second class. My car broke down just one block from the library, and I had to have it towed, and I went to the class. And Mr. Peter Gregory was there, and several of the women waiting for his classes to start. I said I don't imagine I will learn anything, because my car has broken down and I am pretty upset. And Mr. Gregory said, "Where do you live, Mrs. Oswald?
Maybe I could help you and take you home." And the other couple said, "We would be happy".
And I said I live in Arlington Heights. And he happens to live about 10 blocks away.
Now, I have to go back.
The point I am going to make is this: Mr. Peter Gregory is the engineer who knew my son Robert, who was friends with Lee and Marina. Yet when I registered for a class, and the librarian had come back down before the class, and read off the names of the people that were going to take the Spanish lesson, isn't it peculiar that Mr. Gregory did not remember me as the mother of Lee didn't acknowledge me as the mother of Lee? I find that very peculiar.
Even the second lesson, there was no acknowledgment.
So I went home with Mr. Peter Gregory. And there was still no acknowledgment.
So we were talking about the Russian language, that it is very hard to learn. And I said, "I am sure I will never master it." And I thought I think I will tell him why I want to take lessons is because of my Russian daughter-in-law, and my son speaks Russian. But I didn't do it.
But I am going to point out again that Mr. Gregory did not acknowledge me.
I am going to give and take. Maybe he didn't connect me. But it would seem very odd--Mrs. Marguerite Oswald was the name that he didn't connect as Marina's mother-in-law and Lee's mother, when he was such a friend with them.
Mr. RANKIN. I am not clear as to what lessons you were taking.
Mrs. OSWALD. Russian lessons at the public library in Fort Worth, Tex., and Mr. Gregory was the teacher.
Mr. RANKIN. You said something about Spanish.
Mrs. OSWALD. Oh, did I? I am sorry. No, sir, the Russian language.
The CHAIRMAN. What days were these?
Mr. RANKIN. What days were these that you talked to Mr. Gregory?
Mrs. OSWALD. You mean the Russian language?
Mr. RANKIN. Yes.
Mrs. OSWALD. I do not have this information. But I can get it for you from the public library, because there was a public notice in the paper.
Mr. RANKIN. Can you tell us approximately?
Mrs. OSWALD. Yes, it was just right before the assassination. I had taken two lessons. Yes, I had taken two lessons, and then I didn't go for the third lesson, because this was on a Friday--the lessons were on a Tuesday. So I had taken two lessons, the two Tuesdays prior to the assassination.
Mr. RANKIN. I see.
So it would be around a little over 3 weeks before the assassination?
Mrs. OSWALD. Yes, sir. Two Tuesdays before, and then my next lesson would, have been the Tuesday after the Friday of the assassination.
Yes, sir, that is the time.
So then I thought of Mr. Gregory.
Now, believe me, gentlemen--and I will swear again, if you want me to--nothing was said about Mr. Gregory and Marina being friends. But I do have a guardian angel. And, as I go along, some of the things I know have been from this guardian angel.
This was just a coincidence.
I thought of calling Mr. Peter Gregory. I have no friends in Fort Worth. I never--I live a very lonely life. I am not lonely. But I live to myself. I am kept very busy. I had my work, 24 hour duty. So really I have no friends. And because of Lee's defection, I didn't make any new friends.
So I am racking my mind who can I call for help. And I think of Mr. Peter Gregory. So I call Mr. Peter Gregory at 6:30 in the morning, Sunday, the 24th--Sunday morning the 24th.
And I didn't want the hotel operator to know who I was. So I gave a fictitious name. He said, "I am sorry,"--I said, "I can't tell you who I am, Mr. Gregory."
I am ahead of my story.
Marina, when I said, "Marina, we need help, honey. I am going to call a Mr. Gregory."
And I told her about me taking Russian lessons.
"Oh, Mama, I know Mr. Gregory, Lee know Mr. Gregory, the man at the library that gives Russian lessons."
So I find that very much of a coincidence.
So I called Mr. Gregory. I said, "Mr. Gregory, I won't say who I am, but you know my son and you know my daughter-in- law, and I am in trouble, sir. I am over here."
He said, "I am sorry, but I won't talk 'to anybody I don't know."
Mr. RANKIN. What name did you give him?
Mrs. OSWALD. I didn't give him any name.
He said, "I am sorry, but I won't talk to anyone I don't know."
And I said again, "Well, you know my son real well."
He said, "Oh, you are Mrs. Oswald."
I said, "Yes sir, this is Mrs. Oswald. We are at the Executive Inn in Dallas, stranded. And do you know of anyone who would give my daughter-in-law and I a home, and put us up for the time that this is going on, so we can be near Lee at the courthouse? I need help. Mr. Gregory."
He said, "Mrs. Oswald, what is your room number? I will help you. Hold still. Help will be coming."
And so that was the end of my conversation with Mr. Gregory.
At 11:30 Sunday, November 23d, my son Robert and Mr. Gregory came to the Executive Inn, all excited. We had diapers strung all over the place. My uniform was washed. I had no clothes with me.
I went with the uniform.
"Hurry up, we have got to get you out of here."
I am not one to be told what to do, and you gentlemen know that by this time. I said, "What's your hurry? We have the diapers and all. I want to tell you what happened."
"Mother, Mother stop talking. We have to get you out of here."
Mr. Gregory said, "Mrs. Oswald, will you listen and get things together. We have to get you out of here."
I said, "That is all we have been doing since yesterday, running from one place to the other. Give us just a minute. We are coming, but we have to pack things."
I said, "I want you to know how we got here. I was shown a picture of a man last night. And Mrs. Paine called and said that Lee called."
I told him exactly.
So Mr. Gregory and Robert knew about the things I told you. I told him that while I am gathering up the things.
"Mrs. Oswald, we will talk later. We have to get you out of here."
I have found out since that my son was shot. But they did not tell us.
Mr. RANKIN. Did you have a television in this room?
Mrs. OSWALD. Yes, sir.
Now, here is another Godsend. We watched the television, Marina and I. She watched more than I did. We were very busy, Mr. Rankin. The babies had diarrhea and everything. I was very busy with the babies and the Russian girl. And just like at the end of the Six Flags, we were just getting snatches of it. But Marina wanted to know, "Mama, I want see Lee." She was hoping Lee would come on the picture, like he did. So this morning, Sunday morning, I said, "Oh, honey, let's turn the television off. The same thing over and over."
And I turned the television off. So Marina and I did not see what happened to my son.
We had the television off.
So we did not know.
But frantically Robert and Mr. Gregory kept insisting that we pack and run.
So when we get downstairs, here was Secret Service men all over.
Mr. RANKIN. Now, before you leave that, what did Robert say about the story about the picture, when you told him that? Did he say anything?
Mrs. OSWALD. No. He and Mr. Gregory both didn't want to listen to me. I told them, but they didn't want to hear my story. They wanted to get us out of here.
Mr. RANKIN. They didn't say anything about it?
Mrs. OSWALD. No, sir, not that I can recall. And I don't believe they did. They didn't want to hear what I had to say. They kept fussing at me and saying "Mother, stop talking. Hurry up, we have got to get you out of here."
I kept saying, "All we have been doing is run from one place to the other. The diapers are wet."
I was kind of having my way about this.
So when we get downstairs, there is Secret Service all around.
I am ahead of my story.
Robert went downstairs to pay the bill, and that is when I gave Robert the money, and it was a $50 bill that the Life representative had given to me. They gave me some money. I took it out----
Mr. RANKIN. That is the first time you looked at it?
Mrs. OSWALD. The first time I looked at it, sir. I charged the food, and I had no need for money. Wait a minute--I am wrong. Yes.
Representative FORD. Mrs. Oswald--didn't you say you had washed your uniform?
Mrs. OSWALD. Yes.
Representative FORD. When you washed your uniform, didn't you----
Mrs. OSWALD. Just a minute, if you let me explain. I just said I was wrong. The first time it was Puerto Rican that brought the dinner in. We needed baby lotion for the baby. And then I took the bill out and I saw it was a $50 bill, because he went to the drug store--I gave him the $50 bill, this Puerto
Rican, that brought the food in--the first food we had--to go to the drug store and pay for the necessities that Marina and I needed-- really it was for the baby, the lotion and everything. And he came back and the drug store was closed--it was on a Sunday. And so I did know about the $50 bill before this time.
And then when Robert came, I gave Robert the $50 bill and he went downstairs to pay the bill.
Now, the representatives had not paid the bill. Robert used the $50 to pay the bill. The bill was not paid. So we were really stranded. Those men left two women stranded.
Now, let me see if there is anything I have forgotten.
Mr. RANKIN. Where did you put the $50 after the Puerto Rican brought it back?
Mrs. OSWALD. In my uniform pocket, because that was all the clothes I had. I kept it in my pocket.
Mr. RANKIN. When you washed your uniform.
Mrs. OSWALD. I naturally took it out of my pocket to wash my uniform, because I stated I gave Robert the $50 bill to pay the hotel. But that was all the clothes I had. You have to visualize that all of this is really rush business. We are doing all this in a hurry.
So I didn't even put it in my pocketbook. And I would not be the type to put it in my pocketbook, because it is a $50 bill and all the money I have to get out of the hotel--I don't know if I am going to get help--so I want to keep it on my person, just like I keep my important papers right now on my person.
I took it out of my pocket to wash the uniform, I know. This can be proven by the bellhop who brought the food. And he went to the drug store, and the drug store was closed on Sunday. And we did not get the lotion. And I gave him the $50 bill to buy the things with.
Mr. RANKIN. And then after you paid the bill there----
Mrs. OSWALD. Robert paid the bill.
Mr. RANKIN. What happened next?
Mrs. OSWALD. Nothing was said about the bill. I didn't know then that the representatives had not paid the bill. Robert took the $50 and checked us out. Then the Secret Service----
Mr. DULLES. Could we have the time when you checked out?
Mrs. OSWALD. Yes--approximately 11:30 to 12 o'clock, on Sunday.
Mr. RANKIN. Can you tell us the amount of the bill?
Mrs. OSWALD. Yes. Since then I have called Robert and Robert said the amount of the bill was 40-some-odd dollars--about $48, I believe. That is what Robert told me. I have no way of knowing, otherwise than what Robert told me.
And I would think so. If I remember correctly the rooms were $17.50. I told you before that they put us in exclusive suites, and two. And the rooms were $17.50. And we had some meals. So that would make it about 40-some-odd dollars.
Mr. RANKIN. And then after Robert checked you out, what happened?
Mrs. OSWALD. Then Robert got in a car with Secret Service, and then Marina and I and Mr. Gregory were in another car, with two Secret Service agents in the front.
Mr. RANKIN. And did you go some place?
Mrs. OSWALD. Here comes me again. They wanted to take us--as soon as we got in the car Mr. Gregory says, "We are taking you to Robert's mother-in-law's house."
Now, they live out of Boyd, Tex, in the country. Boyd, Tex., is a little bit of country town. But they live in a little farm house. They are dairy people Robert's in-laws. And they wanted to take us there, which would have been approximately 45 miles from Dallas.
And I said, "No, you are not taking me out in the sticks, in the country. I want to be in Dallas where I can help Lee."
"Well, for security reasons, this is the best place. Nobody would ever find it."
I said, "Security reasons? You can give security for me in a hotel room in town. I am not going out in this little country town. I want to be in Dallas where I can help Lee."
And so I am not being well liked, because all the arrangements was made, that we were going to go to this little farm house. But I would not go.
I could not survive if I was 40 or 50 miles away and my son was picked up as a murderer. I had to be right there in Dallas.
Mr. RANKIN. Now, this was after----
Mrs. OSWALD. When they left the Executive Inn, when we got in the car.
Mr. RANKIN. And this was after your son was killed?
Mrs. OSWALD. Well, yes, but they didn't know this.
Mr. RANKIN. And Robert didn't know that?
Mrs. OSWALD. They kept it from us--I guess being women. Marina and I did not even know he was shot. I will go on to that story and tell you. No, sir, we did not know.
Mr. RANKIN. The Secret Service people didn't tell you either?
Mrs. OSWALD. No, sir; nothing was said. They wanted us for security reasons----
Mr. DULLES. If the time is 11:30----
Mr. RANKIN. They left at 12 or 12:30, I thought.
Mr. DULLES. You said 11:30 to 12.
Mrs. OSWALD. Approximately that time.
Mr. DULLES. It might not have taken place.
Mrs. OSWALD. I know Lee was shot. But at this time I am telling you I don't know this.
This has to go in sequence, sir. Lee was shot, or else we wouldn't have had all these Secret Service men around. But I know then after that Lee was shot. Not now--I do not know this.
Are there any questions? I am willing to answer anything you want to ask.
If you will bear with me, I can go into----
Mr. RANKIN. Did you later learn at what time of that Sunday he was shot?
Mrs. OSWALD. No, sir; I did not.
Mr. RANKIN. You never did?
Mrs. OSWALD. Not until about 3 days later. That is what I was telling you about Six Flags. I am trying to explain to you why I don't know these things is because we did not sit down and watch television and read papers. Marina and I--I had two sick babies there. There was a doctor coming in twice a day. I was a very busy woman. And the men were not telling us anything. They were not interested in us.
Mr. RANKIN. Now, after you told them that you wanted to stay in a hotel, you could be protected there, what happened?
Mrs. OSWALD. Then, of course, nothing was said that they were going to give me my way. But we needed clothes--Marina and the baby needed clothes. So then they decided that they should go to Irving, through my suggestion and so on, and pick up clothes for Marina and the baby, because we were short on diapers. So they are going to Irving.
We got to Irving. There is police cars all around. So that is why I feel sure my son was shot.
Mr. RANKIN. How far away is that from this Executive Inn?
Mrs. OSWALD. I would think--now, this is just hearsay. But I would think it is about 12 to 15 or 18 miles.
When we reached there, they brought us to the chief of police's home. And there were cars all around.
As soon as the car stopped, the Secret Service agent said, "Lee has been shot."
And I said, "How badly?"
He said, "In the shoulder."
They brought Marina into the house.
Mr. RANKIN. Did you ask him how he knew that?
Mrs. OSWALD. It came over--I thought he had the radio in the car, Secret Serviceman, and he had talked to someone. This was all set up, sir, and I can prove to you. They didn't want us to know. They are now telling us this, Marina and I.
He talked, and then he turned around and said, "Lee has been shot."
I said, "How badly?"
He said, "In the shoulder."
I cried, and said, "Marina, Lee has been shot."
So Marina went into the chief of police's at Irving home, to call Mrs. Paine, to get the diapers and things ready. They decided and told us, with me in the car and Marina, that it would not be a good thing for us to go to Mrs. Paine's home and get these things, that Marina should go in the chief of police's home and call and tell Mrs. Paine what she wanted.
And one or two of the agents would go and get the things for Marina.
So I am sitting in the car with the agent. Marina is in the home now--remember.
So something comes over the mike, and the Secret Service agent says, "Do not repeat. Do not repeat."
I said, "My son is gone isn't he?"
And he didn't answer.
I said, "Answer me. I want to know. If my son is gone, I want to meditate."
He said, "Yes, Mrs. Oswald, your son has just expired."
Mr. RANKIN. Now, which agent told you this?
Mrs. OSWALD. This is the agent that was also now sent to me to protect me in Fort Worth, Tex.--Mr. Mike Howard, who was the agent that rode in the car with President Johnson, who was the agent that was at Six Flags, that was in charge, who was the agent that was assigned to protect Baine Johnson at the dormitory. He is also the same agent that was sent to protect me in Fort Worth, Tex.
Mr. RANKIN. Now, who was the other agent that was with you that day? Was there another Secret Service agent with you?
Mrs. OSWALD. He went into the home he escorted Marina into the chief of police's home, and I do not know his name. And he is not the other agent that I want to know the name of.
Wait just a minute.
I don't know this man's name. But he is not the other agent that is involved.
Mr. RANKIN. Now, about what time on that Sunday did you learn of your son's death?
Mrs. OSWALD. Well, now, here is your time element. I said Robert and Mr. Gregory and the Secret Service were there approximately from 11:30. And I knew nothing about the shooting. And then we had to go to Irving and everything. Then they told us Lee was shot. So now we are bringing up to the time it all fits in--which was 1 o'clock or 1:30.
As a matter of fact, then when I got the news, I went into the home, and I said, "Marina, our boy is gone."
We both cried. And they were all watching the sequence on television. The television was turned to the back, where Marina and I could not see it. They sat us on the sofa, and his wife gave us coffee. And the back of the television was to us. And the men and all, a lot of men were looking at the television. It probably just happened, because the man said, "Do not repeat." And I insisted.
They gave us coffee.
And then it later came out in the paper that--a story about the chief of police, how it was set up for the women, that we should not know.
We were to go to his house. There was a story about that from this chief of police of Irving.
Mr. RANKIN. What paper is that?
Mrs. OSWALD. The Star Telegram paper.
All of my papers were taken out of my home by Secret Service men. While at Six Flags, they saved the papers for me. We would not let the maids take the papers. And I brought all of those papers from the Six Flags, from the very beginning, to my home in Fort Worth, Tex. And every piece of paper out of my home was taken. So I did not--believe me, gentlemen, this seems strange, but it was 2 weeks later before I saw the picture of the way my son was shot.
Mr. Blair Justice of the Star Telegram gave me the back issues of papers. And it wasn't until then that I actually knew the tragedy, how my son was shot. Because they took all the papers, all my clippings and everything. I was left stranded, without any papers. And until Mr. Blair Justice brought me these
back issues, some 2 weeks later, was the first time that I saw exactly the tragic way my son was shot.
Mr. RANKIN. Was there any discussion between you and Marina about this?
Mrs. OSWALD. About the shooting?
Mr. RANKIN. Yes.
Mrs. OSWALD. No. We didn't know. I was with Marina at the Executive Inn from the 22d until the shooting, the 24th--as I told you.
Then we left. And from the 24th to the 28th, at the Inn of the Six Flags, the agents and my son kept this from us. We did not know. We knew Lee was shot and dead. But we didn't know how. We didn't get to read a paper or watch television. We just had snatches of the television.
Mr. RANKIN. Well, when you both learned that he was shot on that Sunday afternoon, did you and Marina say anything to each other?
Mrs. OSWALD. Oh, yes. That is another story. Immediately I said, "I want to see Lee." And Marina said, "I want see Lee, too."
And the chief of police and Mr. Gregory said, "Well, it would be better to wait until he was at the funeral home and fixed up."
I said, "No, I want to see Lee now."
Marina said, "Me, too, me want to see Lee."
They led us to believe that now they have taught her to do like this. But Marina has always spoken like that. I have acted as an interpreter for her, as I stated before, for an FBI agent. And she understood me. And he was satisfied that he didn't need an interpreter.
So she said, "I want to see Lee, too."
They didn't want us to see Lee, from the ugliness of it evidently. But I insisted, and so did Marina. So they could not do anything about it with the two women. So they decided to pacify us.
We got in the car. On the way in the car they are trying to get us to change our minds. And he said, Mr. Mike Howard--he was driving the car--"Mrs. Oswald for security reasons it would be much better if you would wait until later on to see Lee because this is a big thing."
I said, "For security reasons I want you to know that I am an American citizen, and even though I am poor I have as much right as any other human being, and Mrs. Kennedy was escorted to the hospital to see her husband. And I insist upon being escorted, and enough security to take me to the hospital to see my son."
Gentlemen, I require the same privilege.
So Mr. Mike Howard said, "All right, we will take you to the hospital.
"I want you to know when we get there we will not be able to protect you. Our security measures end right there. The police will then have you under protection. We cannot protect you."
I said, "That is fine. If I am to die, I will die that way. But I am going to see my son."
Mr. Gregory says--and in the most awful tone of voice, I will always remember this--remember, gentlemen, my son has been accused, I have just lost a son.
He said, "Mrs. Oswald, you are being so selfish. You are endangering this girl's life, and the life of these two children."
I want to elaborate on this. He is not thinking about me. He is thinking about the Russian girl. I am going to bring this over and over--that these Russian people are always considering this Russian girl. He snapped at me.
I said, "Mr. Gregory, I am not talking for my daughter-in-law. She can do what she wants. I am saying I want to see my son."
And so they brought us to the hospital. And Marina said, "I too want to see Lee."
After Mr. Gregory said that--"I, too, want to see Lee."
So then they did leave us at the entrance of the hospital, the Secret Service men, and then the police took over. We were escorted by the police in the hospital.
Mr. RANKIN. About what time was that?
Mrs. OSWALD. Well, I would not think it would be more than between 2 and 3 o'clock.
Mr. RANKIN. Sunday afternoon?
Mrs. OSWALD. Sunday, November 24th.
Mr. RANKIN. And then what happened?
Mrs. OSWALD. Then Mr. Perry, the doctor, came down. We were escorted into a room. And he came in. He said, "Now, you know the Texas law is that we have to have an autopsy on a body."
I said, "Yes, I understand."
And Marina understood.
Marina is a registered pharmacist.
So Marina understands these things. And Marina understood.
And he said, "Now, I will do whatever you ladies wish. I understand that you wish to see the body. However, I will say this. It will not be pleasant. All the blood has drained from him, and it would be much better if you would see him after he was fixed up."
I said, "I am a nurse. I have seen death before. I want to see my son now."
Marina--as I am trying to say, she understands English--she said, "I want to see Lee, too." So she knew what the doctor was saying.
We were escorted upstairs into a room. They said it was a morgue, but it wasn't. Lee's body was on a hospital bed, I would say, or a table a table like you take into an operating room. And there were a lot of policemen standing around, guarding the body. And, of course, his face was showing. And Marina went first. She opened his eyelids. Now, to me I am a nurse, and I don't think I could have done that. This is a very, very strong girl, that she can open a dead man's eyelids. And she says, "He cry. He eye wet." To the doctor. And the doctor said, "Yes."
Well, I know that the fluid leaves, and you do have moisture. So I didn't even touch Lee. I just wanted to see that it was my son.
So on the way, leaving the body in the room--I am in the room----
Mr. RANKIN. You were satisfied it was your son?
Mrs. OSWALD. Yes, sir. That is why I wanted to see the body. I wanted to make sure it was my son.
So while leaving the room, I said to the police "I think some day you will hang your heads in shame."
I said, "I happen to know, and know some facts, that maybe this is the unsung hero of this episode. And I, as his mother, intend to provide this if I can."
And, with that, I left the room.
Then we were escorted into a room downstairs, and introduced to the chaplain. I have asked several reporters to give me the chaplain's name, because I wanted to have all this information for you. But you have to realize I just knew Thursday. And I have three times as many papers as I have here. So it has been a chore for me to do all of this. But that is easy to find out--the name of the chaplain at Parkland Hospital. So I asked to speak to the chaplain in private. So I spoke to the chaplain in private, and I told him that I thought my son was an agent, and that I wanted him to talk to Robert. Robert does not listen to me, never has, and I have had very, very little conversation with Robert, ever since Robert has joined the Marines, because of the way our life has intervened.
Mr. RANKIN. Did you tell the chaplain why you thought your son was an agent?
Mrs. OSWALD. No, sir, but this is what I told the chaplain. No--I am always thinking of my country, the security of my country before 1 would say anything like that.
And I told you why I told the FBI men, because of the money involved, and I didn't know how the public would take this, because they helped a Marxist.
So I didn't tell him. But I did say I wanted him to talk to Robert, because we financially were in very poor straits. And then I wanted my son buried in the Arlington Cemetery.
Now, gentlemen, I didn't know that President Kennedy was going to be buried in Arlington Cemetery. All I know is that my son is an agent, and that he deserves to be buried in Arlington Cemetery. So I talked to the chaplain about this. I went into quite detail about this. I asked him if he would talk to Robert, because when I talked to Robert about it, as soon as I started to say something he would say, "Oh, Mother, forget it."
So I asked the chaplain to talk to Robert about Lee being buried in the Arlington Cemetery.
Mr. RANKIN. Did he report to you about it?
Mrs. OSWALD. No, sir. But he did call Robert in. We were getting ready. The police were getting ready to escort us out of his office, and he said, "If you don't mind, I would like to talk to Robert Oswald just a minute."
So he brought Robert into the room he had taken me, and stayed in there a little while with Robert. So I feel sure that the chaplain relayed my message to him, because we were getting ready to leave, and he asked the police if he could talk to Robert.
Mr. RANKIN. The chaplain never told you anything more about it?
Mrs. OSWALD. No, sir, I have not seen the chaplain since.
Mr. RANKIN. Did Robert say anything about it?
Mrs. OSWALD. No, sir, Robert says nothing. I have tried to contact Robert for important matters, and Robert will not talk.
Lee was left handed. Lee wrote left handed and ate right handed. And I wanted to know if Lee shot left handed. Because on Lee's leaves, as I stated, they live out in the country, and Robert goes squirrel hunting, and all kinds of hunting. And on leaves from the Marines, Lee has gone out to this farmhouse, to Robert's family house, and he and his brother have gone squirrel hunting. And so Robert would know if Lee shot left handed, and he would not give me the information, gentlemen.
Mr. RANKIN. Is Robert left handed?
Mrs. OSWALD. Yes, Robert is left handed. I am left handed.
Mr. RANKIN. Is John Pic left handed?
Mrs. OSWALD. No, John is not.
Mr. RANKIN. But you are?
Mrs. OSWALD. Yes, sir. Now, I write left handed, but I do everything else with my right hand.
But Lee was more left handed than I am.
I write left handed, but I do everything else with my right hand. But Lee was left handed.
Mr. RANKIN. Was Lee Oswald's father left handed?
Mrs. OSWALD. That I do not remember, Mr. Rankin. No--I am the left handed one. I would say no.
Now, there is another story. And we have stories galore, believe me with documents and everything.
A gun will be involved in this story, that Lee had bought. But I don't want to confuse the committee. That is another part that we will have to go into, that I will have to lead up to. The only way I can do this and not forget things is to do the way I am doing it. And if you have any questions, if you feel the story I have told so far--I would like to know, myself, if I have forgotten anything.
It is awfully hard for me to remember everything. If you want to question me, I am more than happy, if I know the facts, to give them to you.
Mr. RANKIN. Well, you go ahead and tell us in your own way.
Mrs. OSWALD. May I have some fresh water, please?
Mr. RANKIN. You have never told us about the Walker matter. Did you know something about that?
Mrs. OSWALD. No, I didn't know about that.
The CHAIRMAN. You are going to let her finish this other, are you not?
Mr. RANKIN. Yes.
Mrs. OSWALD. I didn't know about that until it came out in the paper. But I have a story on that.
Mr. RANKIN. You want to finish this incident about the gun you are talking about?
Mrs. OSWALD. About Robert knowing about the gun--I have already said that. About Lee being left handed, and he and Robert going squirrel hunting.
Mr. RANKIN. You said there was another gun matter.
Mrs. OSWALD. That is a long, long story.
The CHAIRMAN. I think she has gotten to the point----
Mrs. OSWALD. I got to the point I finished this story, really, don't you think--about the gun?
The CHAIRMAN. I don't know.
Mrs. OSWALD. I think about Robert knowing Lee was left handed.
The CHAIRMAN. Has anything happened since that, that you care to call to our attention, things that you know about?
Mrs. OSWALD. On the particular story that I have said this morning--you mean of Lee?
This is where it gets confusing.
Representative FORD. Where did you go after the Parkland Hospital? What happened then?
Mrs. OSWALD. Oh, yes. This is interesting.
After the Parkland Hospital, then this Mike Howard said, "Well, what we will do, we have a place, and this is where we will take them."
And they took us to the Inn of the Six Flags, which is on the outskirts of Arlington, Tex. They took us there.
And I am assuming that it is a Secret Service hideout or something, because they had made no arrangements or anything. We just were welcomed right in the Inn. They knew where to go.
Mr. RANKIN. What happened there?
Mrs. OSWALD. Well, now, Mr. Rankin, that is so important--if we are going to recess, I am going to ask not to start that story, because that is a very long, important story to this Commission.
Mr. DULLES. How far is that from Dallas--the Six Flags Inn?
Mrs. OSWALD. Well, it is in between Dallas and Fort Worth, Tex. It is near Arlington, Tex.
The CHAIRMAN. We will recess now until 2 o'clock.
(Whereupon, at 12:55 p.m., the President's Commission recessed.)