a piece from the standpoint of lee Harvey Oswald. this is a work in progress, check back.
| You think you know me, but in reality, no one really does. Who am I? My name is Lee Harvey Oswald. I know what you’re thinking, that’s the man who killed President John F. Kennedy; but, if you truly think that, then, Well, that is only a small part of the story for me, most of which the American people don’t know, nor do I know they ever really will know.
One of the things you may not know about me is that I was a U.S. Marine. I enlisted on October twenty-forth in nineteen fifty-six, went to boot camp at San Diego, California. I was actually underage when I joined, so I had to have a guardian sign for me. I knew my mother wouldn’t sign for me, as she was against the whole thing.
However, I had a conversation with my older brother Robert, and he said he would sign for me. We never agreed on anything throughout our lives, so it surprised me, although I never did find out why. As the enlistment process was getting completed, I made sure that my other brother John and mother were beneficiaries, in case something happened to me, especially with the way things were going on in the world at that time, I thought it best to do this. With in weeks after that I departed for Marine Corps boot camp. I was the happiest I had been in a while, because I hated being in the house with an oppressive mother.
I went in to the Marine Corps because I wanted to be a radar technician. It seemed that I had a natural proclivity for this kind of work and picked it up really easily, finishing seventh out of a class of thirty. After training, I was originally assigned to El Toro Marine corps air station, then I transferred over to Atsuki naval air station in Japan where I was assign to marine air control squadron one.
Japan was where I began to have trouble. Well I, like most new marines, was infatuated with having my own gun. Even though, I was told, by my platoon leader not to buy one, I did anyway, a nice twenty-two caliber hand gun. I had it shipped to me on base and kept it concealed in my room.
Like a kid with a new toy, I was so excited about the new gun that when I took my new gun to weapons range; I accidentally shot myself in the elbow with it, which apparently the unit commander took a dim view of it. They court martialed me about it. Oh but the trouble didn’t stop there, my hard headed, idiot of a sergeant, gave me his personal punishment for that, which wasn’t right of him but it was the way things were done back then, then I, letting my anger getting the better of me, began a fight with him. Not the brightest of moves, I might say, as it gave me my second court martial, which resulted in a loss of my stripe, some pay, and some time in the brig, as well.
After my time in the brig, I was put on guard duty and that’s when I ran into another issue. While I was out on post, I saw someone out in the bush, approaching my position. I tried to challenge him, as was my duty, but got no answer. I ended up shooting my weapon into the jungle towards him, however no trace of someone having actually been there was ever found. I was, again, punished for the one as well. I thought, falsely, that I was being punished for my incident involving the Sargent and didn’t like the idea of it at all. By now, I was beginning to feel that this military life wasn’t the best thing for me, like my mother said and began to try to think of a way to get out and go home.
The next day when I was sitting off by myself, I was approached by a dark suited man. He introduced himself to me, and told me that according to my Service Record Book and my testing scores I got upon entrance into the Marines, that I would be a good fit for another type of assignment for a different government agency. The conversation didn’t continue longer than about ten minuets before that man stood up, while shaking my hand he slipped a business card to me, informed me that he would be in touch, and walked away as quickly as he appeared. After he walked away I looked at the card, it was then that I realized that I had been recruited by the CIA for my excellent work as a technician.
Shortly after that, I was called into my platoon commander’s office where I was told I was to be assigned to a new group of controllers, and that I needed to report to them as soon as possible. I began to ask further questions about the assignment, but they either had no clue as to what was going on, or they just couldn’t or wouldn’t tell me, not sure which. Once the meeting ended I hurried back to my barracks and hurriedly packed my sea bag, and humped it over to the new command.
After reporting to the new unit, and getting settled in, I found my unit treated me different, I think it was mainly because of my record, which truthfully wasn’t all that good. I found out later that, the men in the outfit called me “Ozzie Rabbit” and gave me a hard time mainly because of my size, not because of my record. After a bit of time, I came to hate that nickname.
As I learned about my new duties, I found that I had a lot of free time on my hands; I chose to learn a new language, Russian. I quickly picked up the language, mainly because I had begun to learn of the socialist life style, when my parents moved us to New Orleans as a child, and I really got interested in it.
I found as time passed that the members of my unit didn’t like it, and that they had no problem in showing how much they disliked it. I just told them It was my job, and that I had to make them think I wanted to learn it. They had to think of me as some communist sympathizer, as I was told I had a mission beginning soon that it would be needed.
When I was recruited by the company, the conversation came up that I wanted to be closer to home for my mother, but I was never told anything more about that until, I want to say that it was nineteen fifty-eight, November, if memory serves me correctly, that I received a message telling me I would be transferred back stateside, back to El Toro, into more of a training environment, due to my extensive knowledge and skill with this system. Now, this message was out of the blue, and totally unexpected, so I’m not really sure whether or not my ‘friends’ at the company or my units commander had any pull in this, but I had no issue with it anyway, after all I was getting what I wanted.
As it was when I got my new orders, the change actually happened rather quickly, and in a matter of days, I found myself on a plane over the Pacific Ocean. Once the plane arrived at El Toro, I became very, very happy to be stateside. It had been a while since I was there last, and it felt good to be home again. I got settled in and began working quite regularly again. I kept mostly to myself, as I was instructed by my new handler. I kept up trying to learn Russian; I felt I was pretty good. I kept learning as much as I could, like I was told to do.
December rolled around in no time, Christmas began to appear. It’s my favorite time of year, so I truly enjoyed it. It was good to enjoy Christmas in a place that wasn’t as cold as I was used to. Over time, I started to get along with most of the guys in the unit, but once in a while I would still be the butt of some jokes, most of which I really didn’t like, but said nothing about it. Regardless to how friendly me and my unit got, I knew I had to keep some things out of the conversations.
As Christmas came and went, I found that tensions between me and my unit were all but vanished; I no longer was the butt of the jokes. Even work at the training center became a bit easier for me.
But then in February of nineteen fifty nine, I was surprised by my commanding officer. He told me, that due to my devotion for learning a whole language on my own, without any classes what so ever, I was invited to take the Russian language test, from what I understood was an honor to even being invited. It was impressed upon me, by several officers in my unit including my commanding officer, of how my success or failure relates back to this unit and to the commanding officer, so I knew I really had to pass it or else. So I did what most people would have done, I redoubled my efforts to learn Russian. I spent many nights and actually a couple of days studying for this test, which made the officers of my unit very happy to see me study so hard. However, It turned out that I didn’t do as well as I should have done on the test. I quickly found out that the commanding officer wasn’t all that pleased with me, by way of lots of low level assignments, and some of the dirtiest jobs I could be assigned to.
As months passed, life didn’t get much easier for me, the retribution continued. Nothing was out of bounds, kitchen duty, garbage duty, guard duty. I was beginning to feel that nothing ever gets forgotten, or forgiven. But all that changed on September eleventh of that same year, I received another communication, from my friends at the company that I would be granted a way out of the military due to hardship, and would be put on the active reserve, which was normal.
That was the best news that I could have had, I knew my mother needed me as her health had been declining for years. I was nineteen years old and once again, I was a free man, or would be very shortly. After a rather lengthy check out period, I was finally out, and on my own so I took a couple of weeks for myself to relax and enjoy myself, as I began to prepare myself for the mission I was told about earlier. I had about fifteen hundred dollars in my pocket from the Marine Corps, and I was prepared to do what I needed to do.
I went and spent two days with my mother in Fort Worth, Texas taking care of her. Then received a message to go to New Orleans and the to go to a specific place in Russia. I wasted no time in doing what I was instructed to do. However, without consulting anyone, I decided to stay in England for a bit of time, However the English authorities, I encountered, when I came into the country, made me nervous. When being questioned, I made up a cover story that said that I was on my way to school in Switzerland. And that I would be staying there about a week to see the sights before heading on.
Shortly after arriving there, it was made perfectly clear to me that I wasn’t supposed to do that and I had to go with what my orders said. I was put on a flight that night to Helsinki where I was issued a Soviet visa on the fourteenth of October, but it was only good for a week. *****
As soon as I arrived in Moscow, I was taken by Russian authorities for questioning, which wasn’t really unexpected, but they weren’t really nice about it all, especially after I told them I wanted to defect there and become a Russian citizen
They asked me repeatedly why I wanted to do this; I gave them my reasons, which they found incomprehensible. They didn’t understand why I wanted to do this. I couldn’t tell them that I was ordered to do this by the CIA.
On October twenty first, the day my visa was to expire they told me that they declined my application, completely, and also told me that I had to leave Russia by tonight or face Russian prison. I went back to where I was staying and was told by my handler that I had to stay, and that they couldn’t help me as this would tip them off as to why I was there, and who I was working with. I was given a few ideas, the easiest of which was to cut myself bad enough to require a doctor that would give me a temporary stay in this country.
Well, that part did work; I was able to stay in this country for another seven days, when on October twenty-eighth before being confronted again by Russian officials as to where I wanted to go. I said, as strongly as I could impress upon them my desire to stay there as a Soviet national. When they finally asked for any form of identification, I gave them my military discharge papers.
Apparently that wasn’t enough, I was then taken, by military escort, to a locked room, where I stayed for about two days having several in depth conversations with members of the Russian KGB, before being dropped off at the United States Embassy, where I stated in a firm as manner as I could muster, my desire to renounce my American citizenship.
As was their protocol, I was taken to another locked room for a meeting with somebody named Snyder, who pressed me again, and again I told him the same thing. He just about fell out of his chair laughing at me, that didn’t sit too well with me. In fact it made me a bit upset. So, All I had left was to tell him that I was a Radar operator in the marine corps, and that I gave the Russians very valuable information. They found it very interesting information. Suddenly the smile left the agents face, I now knew I had his complete and undivided attention.
It now seems funny to me that the Russian news announced the shooting down of Gary Powers U-2 spy plane. In essence what I gave the Russians was a miniscule bit of useless information. Basically to keep them off balance a bit, it seemed to work. But I thought it was sort of a cover for something else going on at the time, unfortunately, I was never in on that sort of stuff. Whether or not, giving the Russians the information was a good idea I don’t know, nor do I care, especially after that idiot at the U.S. Embassy, had my discharge changed to undesirable, from honorable. In other words, He screwed me. I found out later, that the American Newspapers called me a traitor, but that didn’t matter to me at all.
Well, end result was, that the Russians allowed me to stay. I told them thank you for letting me stay and expressed my desire to attend Moscow state university. They found that funny. Before they left one of them told me that he wanted to attend that university and was denied, and that I had no chance of that. I was unhappy about it, but hey, what could I do. I had to be nice I knew they were going to watch me closely, maybe even bug my apartment and phone.
About a day later they told me I would be moving to Minsk to work in an electronics factory as a lathe operator. It wasn’t bad work but it was work nonetheless. However, I quickly grew board with this work, but kept at it. I even stated dating a Russian woman, Ella German. Ella and I dated for about seven or eight months. We were intimate, and I had feelings for her. I actually felt so strongly about her that I asked her to marry me. Of course, she turned me down which really wasn’t a surprise to me, she told me it was partially because she didn’t love me, and partially because I was an American. I think the real reason she was with me was so that the Russian government could keep a better eye on me. But that is not to say that I didn’t care for her, needless to say that after the incident with Ella, I became disappointed with the Russian life style all together, and I felt so alone there. Being under constant surveillance meant I could have no contact with anybody from the United States, especially from the company. I could not give the Russians any evidence to support what they already suspect, that I was an American spy of the CIA. Nor could I have any friends at all, Most Russians would have nothing to do with me; I believe that was due to the brain washing and threats made by the Russian Government. After a few months in seclusion, I finally received a message, hidden in my apartment, telling me to write a letter to our Embassy requesting that my passport be returned, which I gladly did.
Then, out of the blue, the best thing that could have happened to me, I met Marina, a cute nineteen year old Russian girl. She told me she was a student in a local college, and that she was studying pharmacology. She stood about five foot six inches tall with dark hair and dark eyes. I really liked her from the start, she was extremely sweet, kind and everything I could have wanted in a woman.
We seemed to hit it off really well, because, within six weeks of meeting her I was married to her and shortly there after she bore me a child a young girl, we named her June, after my mother. And now, after thinking back, She definitely was the best thing I ever had in Russia.
From the time when June was born, I had noticed a step up in our surveillance by the Russian government. The people I passed in the streets were no longer being covert about their watching us. The mail that arrived at our apartment was previously opened, our apartment had signs of being gone through while we weren’t there.
After a week or so of putting up with the constant harassment by the Soviet government, I received a phone call from the American Embassy, that not only were they approving me to go back to America, but they would give me about four hundred or so dollars. Once we got back to America, we stepped off the plane and had noticed that there was no one there to meet us, nobody from the Government, nor any of the press. I know I wasn't all that happy about that, I kind of wanted to make a big spectacle of that, guess it wasn't to happen, besides I wasn't going to look a gift horse in the mouth because normally some one who defects to a communist country would be arrested as soon as he stepped onto American soil, for treason. The company arraigned that.
We had gotten a small apartment in Dallas/fort worth area, mainly to be near my mother and brother mainly out of necessity. I do suspect, that even though she wont say so. I think that my mom had something to do with it, as she knows the owner of the apartment complex. Although the apartment was a very small apartment both Marina and I were very pleased about the apartment, it still was better than my place I had in Russia.
I set out to try to obtain a job as the company needed me to look like a normal person before they gave me an assignment. I had obtained a couple of small jobs, nothing I really liked or wanted, mainly what I would call busy work. I want to say in July of nineteen sixty-two, I got a job with a welding company. It was a good company, but definitely not work for me. I did find another job at a graphic arts company, around October, but there was another purpose for me working there. I needed some new travel documents, ones that the company doesn't know about, ones that I could travel unnoticed by anybody, I stayed there for a short time, leaving them in about April of nineteen sixty-three, because, they discovered what I was doing and obviously have no patience for such things, which was alright by me, because I was always fighting with the workers in that company. I found most of them to be quite ignorant and useless; I didn't really care for them at all.
Having found no steady work, I thought about putting my experiences down in a book, I kept it to myself at first. But it wasn't going to stay that way, as a connection I had to the company told me that I shouldn't do that, and if I continued without their approval, "other options" would be used, and usually nobody, including marina, would have liked that to happen. So, erring upon safety, I discontinued writing this book, as they would never have approved of what I was putting in it anyway.
I did meet other Russian expatriates, or rather anti-communists, none really were what I would call friends, Except for George de Mohrenschildt, he was a geologist with a petroleum company. there was one person who took a liking to marina, a Ruth Paine, a Quaker interested in learning Russian. I don't think she was a Russian immigrant, I think she wanted to learn Russian, but I am not sure about her. It wasn't until later during one of our fights that I found out that the Russian immigrants didn't stay around, because she wouldn't leave me, And that the Russian immigrants left because they thought I was rude and arrogant.
I received a note from my contact within the company, with a key, that told me a post office box had been opened for me under the name of A. Hidell and that it would be needed for a task that they had for me to do, assisting the federal bureau of investigations. As before I don' t question what I am told. so I didn't.
It wasn't but a few months later, I want to say in April, I was told to move to New Orleans and that I would get a job at a specific company. I moved there, leaving Marina behind till I found a place to live and get settled in. Which didn't really take that long, about a month, and Marina was driven out to New Orleans by that friend of hers, Ruth Paine.
I don't think that Marina liked the apartment, but she would never say anything about it, its not her style. I wanted her to like it, but I know I couldn't make her.
As directed, I went to the address provided and made contact with the owner, a mister William Reilly, in hopes to acquire a job with his company, which, surprisingly I did get as a machine greaser. The job didn't last long because they said I wasn't doing my job satisfactorily, and that I was over at the garage next door.
The group of people that William was involved in was call the "crusade to free Cuba committee", actually held my interest, as I was told to involve myself with them. So I wrote a letter to their New York headquarters saying how much I was behind them, and that I wanted to open, at my own expense, an office in New Orleans.
After about a week I received a reply that said that they wouldn't recommend it at this time. The company didn't agree with their response, nor did I. So I opened it anyway, under the name of the "Fair Play for Cuba" committee. I ordered all the supplies I would need to open the office, I was told that my name couldn't be used on the board, so I had Marina sign my membership card as A.J.Hidell as the chapter president.
I had learned of a man, named Carlos Bringuer, who was the New Orleans delegate of Directorio Revolucionario Estudantil, an anti-Castro group. So I met with him in an attempt to infiltrate his organization, but he wasn't having anything to do with that. He was a very intelligent man, and I would have to get him riled to show me his colors and allow me access to his organization.
I thought about how to do it for a couple of days, before announcing to the company contact, that he would 'ring his bell' by handing out some pro-Castro fliers, building a bad taste in his mouth about me, but maybe not for another of my 'friends' who could get into his organization. Once the contact agree, reluctantly, to my plan I launched it. I had no way of knowing how this would turn out for me. I was arrested along with the three people from his committee.
I was released from jail, as It was expected but not before talking with an agent from the bureau, a certain agent John Quigley, which actually, I found out later, was a company plant. I wasn't really concerned much with that because he never took any notes in that interview, nor made any recordings of the conversation we had, so, in my opinion that meant that nothing could be used against me at all.
I was instructed to continue handing out my fair play for Cuba leaflets in town, but this time I am not going to do this alone again. I hired a couple of guys to help me hand them out. It cost me more than I really wanted to pay to get them, but I feel it was worth it. The day came, about a week later, I want to say it was August sixteenth, when I was ready to continue to hand them out, as they had to be readied all by hand again, the others were tossed out by the police when they arrested me again. I had no idea where to go to hand them out.The three men brainstormed again and came up with a place to hand them out, the International trade Mart. I knew a lot of foreigners frequented that place and, I felt that it would give me the best place to get this info into a lot of peoples hands.What I didn't know was that the whole thing was being filmed by WDSU, a local television station, and that I would be invited to be interviewed along with Carlos Bringuier about our issues from the following week. Being who I am, of course I accepted his challenge as I truly believed in my cause.
I had also misjudge the man I knew as Guy Banister, who was a former FBI agent, turned private investigator, who let me use some offices for my committee. I found out through several of my encounters with him that he had an anger issue, truth be told, I found that out first hand as he pistol whipped me for being a little late with the rent for my office one month.
Apparently he didn't like the idea that I was stamping my leaflets with the address of 544 Camp st,, instead of the 531 Lafayette st, which by the way is a different entrance off the same building. I didn't realize that he was going to be so upset at me about it, but I can't say that I didn't enjoy the problem he had with that. However that encounter did end without physical contact between him and me, although I was expecting it.
Towards the end on nineteen sixty-three I was ordered to go back to Dallas, of course I sent Marina on ahead of me. She refused to ride a bus, so she had her friend Ruth come and pick her up, of course I had to give her some money. Just before they left for Dallas, Ruth told me about a job at the school book depository. It sounded interesting and told her I would check it out, which of course I will do. So once the check arrived at the office, I collected my last unemployment check, it was about thirty-three dollars, and then headed for Dallas myself. I arrived in Dallas, after a short detour to Mexico city, for a few errands for the company, on October second, and about one-thirty in the afternoon, and was met by Marina and Ruth.
Ruth wouldn't allow me to stay with Marina, even though we were married, she didn't think it was a good thing to do. So instead of creating a fight, that inevitably I would loose, I chose to go to a boarding house, where I got a room under O.H. Lee, as I was advised to by a friend of the company. By mid-October, I think it was like the fifteenth or sixteenth of the month, I had the interview with Roy truly for a job at the one Ruth had told me about, and I got the job, which made Marina and Ruth happy. I was paid a dollar twenty-five and hour as an order filler.
I always thought it was weird that this job, not a very skilled one, or difficult one, came so easily to me. I may be reading into it too much but I'm not sure. The company seemed to be happy about me working there. Everybody seemed to be happy about this new job that is everyone but me. What was there to like about this job? it was menial labor, but I'm sure there was another reason for me being here, my superiors weren't about to divulge anything to me about it. Now a friend of Ruth's, a Wesley Frasier who worked at the book depository had to give me rides to and from work, due to me neither driving nor having a car myself. He was ok with it as long as I paid for some gas. I had no problem with that.
The Federal bureau of investigation made me angry by pestering Ruth with questions about me and Marina, which I found out through Marina, who really didn’t want to tell me about it. I eventualy got it out of her. I really didn’t like that Idea for a couple of reasons, one because whom I care about and love is none of the F.B.I.’s business, and two, if they don’t know about my connection to the company, this could get them to take a closer look into me and my past, than I would like. The more I thought about them asking questions, the more upset I got. It got so bad that I wasn’t sleeping well about it. After a couple of days, I had enough of this issue ,so I went to the field office to talk to the agent, whose name was Hostey, James Hostey, but I was told he wasn't there, a standard issue answer for the receptionist. So I left a note with the receptionist that said if he had any questions about me to come to me and ask, don't pester everyone I know about it.
After working at the book depository about a week, I had heard that President Kennedy was going to visit the area, and that his motorcade was going to pass right outside this building. "That was a little strange," I thought to myself as I had just gotten this job about a week ago, and that I work with the company as well.
After talking with my contact at the company, at our meeting spot, the Texas Theater, I was told to go and pick up a package at marinas place, then take it to work and leave it somewhere near there for someone to pick up. Seemed easy enough to me to accomplish, so I asked Wesley if he would drive me over the weekend, If I bought him some gas, without any hesitation he agreed. Which actually went well, without any hitches. He drove me there I retrieved the package and drove with him back. He asked questions about the package, but as instructed I told him that it was only curtain rods for my new apartment. After a while he stopped asking about the package I had, but Im not sure he ever really believed me about it. And Yes I knew it was a rifle, but with the company, you don't ask questions when they tell you to do something.