With all that OIC business out of my system and behind me, I would like to turn my focus to some lingering questions that still puzzle me to this day…After 20 years of research, I would like to say, that I have it all figured out. But it never fails that something always pops up to make you question things, which in turn make you question something else, and so on and so on….This has to be the most intricate and studied murders if all time. There are so many apects of this case to focus on, and with your help, maybe we sort this out a bit. In each of my next several blog posts, I will be examining some questions that linger in my mind and I’m still not satisfied with. Here we go…
The first one I’d like to address is Marina Oswald. Was she really a Soviet agent meant to keep an eye on Oswald? The first thing that says yes to me, would be her relationship with another U.S. defector before Oswald. This is Robert Webster…
It just seems odd to me that in a nation of millions, that Marina would be romantically linked to two U.S. defectors. The odds of that happening are too astronomical to even calculate. Secondly, it had been reported by John Armstrong that he interviewed a lady that knew the Oswalds while in Russia. This lady claimed that Marina spoke good English and Oswald poor Russian. How convenient it would be to have others think you didnt understand English, with them thinking they could speak freely around you. Thirdly, it is often reported that she was teaching Ruth Paine Russian. It would be next to impossible to teach someone a foreign language unless you spoke and understood theirs. Marina was also caught in many lies, from the things she said, by claiming she had not understood the questions correctly. I.E. the backyard photos, her talk of the rifle, and their home life, I believe to be greatly exaggerated in some aspects. I believe either our government threatened her in some way for testimony, or the Soviets had agents here monitoring her and telling her what to say. Back then, she thought her husband was guilty, and now she thinks that he’s innocent..she was also involved over the years supporting different theories. Such as being involved in his exhumation and the Elrod story. Maybe threats against her and her children swayed her testimony and views over the years. What was behind her marriage less than 18 months later Kenneth Porter? Seems awfully quick for somebody to bury the man they loved, accused assassin if the President of the United States, to find somebody else, have a relationship with, and then marry somebody, all during a grieving time and amidst the whole Warren Commission investigation and taking care of two small children. She was constantly in the news and bombarded with interviews…seems kinda fishy to me….here she is with the lucky fella…
Oddly… she never spoke to Marguerite or Robert Oswald or let them be a part of her children’s lives. She is still alive today, as is Ruth Paine and Robert Oswald…,if only somebody could get them to open up and tell the truth once and for all….here is a link to a 1974 article in People magazine with Marina
http://www.people.com/people/archive/article/0,20197611,00.html Edit: link is broke so i copied the full interview at the end.
…the author commented on how well she spoke English, and here she is 20 years later..still seemingly struggling with English….
Odd to me that someone who has been in the country for 30 years at that point sounds like they just got off the boat….Food for thought…let me know vat chu tink ov dis Marina Oswald and her role in all this…Thanks for reading!
**All Images Courtesy of Google **
FacebookTwitterE-mail Ten years ago this month the Warren Commission was investigating the death of President John F. Kennedy, and the alleged assassin’s widow, Marina Oswald, was its star witness. Author Thomas Thompson, who first met Mrs. Oswald the night of the assassination, recently visited her again.
That night, that cold and frightening night in Dallas a decade ago, she seemed one of those pathetic people snatched up by the fates and slammed into a corner from which the walls closed in and sealed all exits. How could she possibly survive? Trancelike, she sat across from me, her dress cheap and shapeless, her face the color or of ash, her position impossibly cruel. She spoke no English. She had two hungry babies, one but weeks old, clamoring at her shoulder. She had coins totaling less than a dollar in her purse. And her husband—Lee Harvey Oswald, the confusing, demanding man who married her in Russia and brought her from Minsk to Texas—was on the third floor of the Dallas jail, accused of murdering the President of the-United States, condemned to the revulsion of history.
Our lives collided briefly over that maddening autumn weekend in 1963. A few hours after the assassination I found Marina Oswald in the suburb of Irving, staying with Mrs. Ruth Paine, a solicitous neighbor who had taken her in. My attempts to interview Marina were futile that Friday night, for she could not understand my questions. Beyond that, she was a woman in shock, she was limp, the enormity of the tragedy and her role as assassin’s wife just settling over her. During the night a Russian-speaking woman pediatrician was located, who next day tried to pull answers for my questions. The fragments I learned were tantalizing, but they came accompanied by crying infants and the interjections of Mrs. Marguerite Oswald, Lee’s mother, who was already putting price tags on her cooperation. The government men had questions too, and they came and took Marina away, promising that if she wished to continue the interview they would let her see me again. It would not happen this time.
On Monday I waited outside an old stone chapel at Fort Worth’s Rose Hill cemetery. Inside, private rites were being said for Lee Harvey Oswald, himself now dead from Jack Ruby’s bullet. When the chapel doors opened, one last awkward moment occurred. There were not enough pallbearers for the assassin, so some of us bystanders, reporters and the curious, lifted the coffin and bore him to the dusty clay earth of Texas. During the minister’s hurried prayer, I stood across from the open trench and watched the new widow and her mother-in-law, feeling both compassion and bitterness. Marguerite Oswald, the mother, shrieked at the clicking cameras, shrieked in a voice I can still hear, “Privacy at the grave! Privacy at the grave!” But Marine was quiet, tearless, her face wrapped like the old women of Europe and Asia who lose their husbands early and spend their remaining years in black and wrinkles. The coffin was opened for a last farewell and Marina slipped her ring on Lee’s finger, bending close to his face.
Over the years I read of Marina now and then. She received contributions totaling more than $60,000 from Americans sympathetic to her plight. She invested in a cosmetics business. She had her teeth capped. She bought clothes from Neiman-Marcus. She took a membership in a Dallas private club where she was often seen drinking vodkas neat and chain-smoking filter-tipped menthols. Lee Oswald had slapped her face if she smoked or put on makeup. She married a Dallas electronics worker named Kenneth Porter and bore him a son. They quarreled, their arguments reaching a justice of the peace court which instructed them to either stop fighting or separate. They stayed together. She sued the U.S. government for $500,000 as reparation for Lee Oswald’s personal effects, which were valuable as collectors’ oddities. She settled for $17,000. She gave but one or two terse interviews, usually shutting the door to reporters who found her, always pleading she wanted the world to forget her.
Not long ago Marina Oswald and I met again. She strode briskly into her lawyer’s office in downtown Dallas, and had I not anticipated her arrival I would not have recognized her. She is 32 now, rather pretty and slim. When complimented on her thinness she shrugged, “It’s always been this way, they called me ‘Toothpick’ in school in Russia.” Her hair was carefully bouffant, teased and sprayed in the manner of Texas housewives who spend much of their lives in curlers. She wore a black pants outfit, with peasant embroidery across her breasts.
“Is this all right?” she asked right away, pointing to her ensemble. “I mean, I would have gotten more dressed up. I have a coat suit with further trim down in the car, but I’m not really a formal person, and I figured you would want to see me as I really am.” Her English was perfect, the accent charming rather than bothersome. Often she would ask, “Is that right? Do you understand me?” But this was having it, for she has a surprising command over the language.
She looked at me for a moment and shook her head. “I’m sorry,” she said, “but I don’t remember you. But then I don’t remember much about that weekend. It’s like a fog erased those hours. Rachel was only 6 weeks old at the time, and I had to feed her and change her diapers, but I don’t remember doing that at all! I suppose humans have a tendency not to remember the things that hurt. Like in a divorce, you forget the pain and remember only the good times.”
Easily, she moved into the areas of her life. She praised her husband, Porter, for “standing by me.” “It was no easy thing, marrying me,” she said. “He took a lot of criticism from some of his friends and employers. Lee Oswald shattered my name forever, and I have to live with it. Kenneth has been wonderful, he has raised my daughters as if they were his own.” Last fall the Porters moved into their new country home on 17 acres near Dallas. “We did all of the work we could ourselves. Ken dug the ditches, put in the wiring ??? decorating. White walls, wallpaper in one room with birch trees. I would like to see another real birch tree before I die.”
Here she paused, and for a moment the look of the Russian widow passed across her face. Would she return to her native country? “Oh no, they might put me in jail or something. Once you have a taste of freedom you aren’t willing to risk it. I never even think about going back. There are moments when I yearn for it, but not the people, not the relatives I still have there. I miss Russian cookies, and picnics, and the bridge across the Neva River in Leningrad. Every time it’s foggy here I dream of Russia.” Her only souvenir of her life there is a small Russian jewelry box, a lonely memento on her makeup table.
A question arose concerning her financial condition. “Well, that $60,000 is gone, that’s for sure,” she said, with a little heat to her voice. “It’s 10 years—10 years of buying milk for babies, and dentist bills, and paying utility companies. I know people think I must be rich, that poor Kenneth is my gigolo husband who married me for my money. I laugh. I’m grateful to the American people for giving me a lift, but what am I supposed to do, issue an annual report like a company?”
I was dealing here with a woman both soft and abrasive, pepper in the custard. I remarked on it. She smiled in what might be appreciation. “For a long time I didn’t like myself,” she explained. “I went through my bitter period. I’d look at the women in the fashion magazines, the high-society women, and I’d say to myself, ‘Forget it, girl, you’ll never be anybody.’ I went through what might be called a wild period. That was right after Lee. People criticized me for taking out a private club membership. Well, after all, I was single, in need of friends, like anybody else. On Saturday night I wanted to hear the music. People called me a nymphomaniac when I went out with two different men.
That was one of the first English words I learned. Well, that didn’t bother me. They called me lesbian too, because I had a friendship with Ruth Paine, who isn’t that way at all. People are quick to apply names! I assure you I am normal and hardly interesting to anyone but my husband, children and friends.
“But not long ago I took stock. I accepted myself. In fact I think I like myself. If I don’t look like Elizabeth Taylor, then what the hell. I do my best. She doesn’t have to wash dishes or iron clothes like me, but it’s what I must do, and I do it. When I get bored or tired I drop everything and go off and entertain myself. My hobby is gardening, and I find happiness and peace in the soil.”
Marina began to talk about Watergate and women’s liberation and the fact that she has not yet become an American citizen, “because I haven’t had time to memorize all those questions about the Constitution.” But we were not discussing the cardinal matter, that event in history to which she is forever bound. I brought it up now and then, but she glided away, a tossing hand indicating that I should read the Warren Commission report “or one of those terrible books about the assassination, the kind which I have never read and will never read.”
Abruptly there was silence, as there often is between two people who do not know each other very well, and then she was asked. Clearly. To the point. “Do you believe Oswald killed the President of the United States?”
A moment of tantalizing suspense hung in the air, finally drifted away. Marina nodded. “I believe Lee was definitely involved,” she began in words carefully measured. “Of course, I didn’t see him shoot anybody. I didn’t see him pull any trigger. But I do not believe there was a conspiracy, as others have claimed. Maybe it is possible that there were two or three crazy people who all had plans to kill John Kennedy that day.” She stopped. Was that her full answer?
“Like any wife,” she went on, “I would like for my husband to be innocent. I loved him, after all. People said I married him just to get to America. I would have followed him to the moon, or to China. But I have had time now to reflect. He was not innocent. Lee definitely killed Officer Tippit, that’s for sure. And they found his prints on the rifle in the Book Depository building.” Marina seems almost convinced that her first husband killed John Kennedy, but retains a slender margin of doubt—as indeed does history. “There are too many puzzle pieces that don’t fit,” she said, bringing her hands together as if to meet, but they missed and continued on in empty air.
I wondered if Marina has been in contact with the other women whose lives were torn by Nov. 22,1963.
Marguerite Oswald, her former mother-in-law? “I haven’t seen or spoken to her since the day Lee was buried. She is…difficult. I understand her attempts to clear her son’s name, but she can be extreme.” The day before, I had visited Lee’s grave at Rose Hill. Marina wanted to know if the weeping willow tree she planted there was still growing. I told her that there was no willow, only a hardy magnolia. “I guess she took my tree away,” said Marina. “That’s too bad. I wanted the willow there—it is sad, it mourns.”
Mrs. Tippit, widow of the policeman killed by Oswald? “No, haven’t seen or spoken to her. Not a word.”
Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis? “Are you kidding? She wouldn’t spit on me. She’s a blue blood. She’s, you know, she’s ‘Don’t Touch Me.’ In my dreams I used to feel guilty and ask her for forgiveness. I used to wake up feeling crummy.” Do the dreams still occur? A vigorous negative shake. “I don’t have many dreams anymore. I sleep very well, thank you.”
It would be difficult to live in the Dallas area and not drive past the scene of the presidential assassination, for the Texas School Book Depository, empty and for sale under another name, stands on a principal route. When Marina passes that building, does she ever look up to the sixth floor window where it all began—and ended?
“When I must go by there,” she answered, “I lower my eyes. The memory is like a cat scratching my heart.”
She rose to go. She had promised one hour of talk, and almost three had gone by. “My poor husband is waiting downstairs and is going to be angry with me.” She said her goodbyes, but before she left she said one more thing. It was troubling, this last comment from Marina Oswald Porter.
“Sometimes in the dark of night I begin to think. And I wonder if Lee started all this violence. Each time somebody else died…that way…Bobby Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Wallace shot…it was a new dagger stuck in me. All this blood. All this dying. Did Lee bring this down on America?”