Jacobin Textline: 830-JACOBIN  //  Text anytime and we'll respond during a show!

Marina Testifies – Day Three

Mrs. Oswald’s third and final day of testimony established the opposite of reasonable doubt. The examination queried Mrs. Oswald’s satisfaction with her treatment by the Secret Service and FBI during her time in protective custody after the death of Mr. Oswald, during which she stayed at various hotels and finally with the Martin family – a non-Russian speaking household - that allowed Mrs. Oswald to acquire limited English.

Mrs. Oswald indicated that she had been treated well by her government escorts, had not been denied freedoms, nor had she been denied visitors.

Mrs. Oswald declined to entertain most callers, including radio, television, and newspaper reporters; Mrs. Marguerite Ekdahl (Mr. Oswald’s mother), and Ruth Paine, her former housemate.

Mrs. Oswald speculated that the rumors of being held against her will were started by Mrs. Ekdahl and/or Mrs. Paine due to Mrs. Oswald’s unwillingness to receive callers.

Mrs. Oswald was sorry for Mrs. Ekdahl’s loss of her son and expressed regret that she did not have a more congenial relationship with Mrs. Ekdahl, but she was ‘not quite a normal woman. Now, I know this for sure.’

Mrs. Oswald was displeased with the FBI, accusing the interviewing agents of subtle psychological manipulation to direct her responses during previous interviews. They did not threaten her directly, but made her understand that life ‘would be better’ for her in this country if she provided the correct answers. She said that while they were not impolite, they were simultaneously ‘gruff’.

[Editor’s Note: This article includes known facts that were not divulged by Mrs. Oswald or the Commission during testimony to present a cogent narrative. As mentioned, questioning was not chronological nor sequential.]

Mr. Oswald’s routine during the five weeks he worked at the Texas School Book Depository was consistent: he stayed at his room in the Oak Cliff area of Dallas during the week and with Mrs. Oswald at the Paine residence on the week ends.

He rode to and from Irving with the son of a neighbor, Wesley Frazier, who worked at the Depository also. It was young Mr. Frazier who told his mother about the job opening at the Depository; she in turn told Mrs. Paine, who telephoned the Depository about opportunity.

Mr. Oswald did not make the trip to Irving on two weekends; the first missed weekend was the birthday celebration of Mrs. Paine’s daughter. Mrs. Oswald warned against visiting because Mr. Paine would be present; he and Mr. Oswald had a contentious relationship.

The second time Mr. Oswald did not travel to Irving was the weekend before the assassination because he was quarrelling with Mrs. Oswald about the assumed name he was using to rent the room.

On Friday, October 18, 1963, Mr. Oswald travelled again to Irving for the weekend and attended a surprise birthday celebration hosted by Mrs. Oswald and attended by Mr. and Mrs. Paine: he was twenty-four years old. On Sunday, Mrs. Oswald was admitted to the hospital for the birth of their daughter, Rachel.

On Thursday, November 21, 1963, Mr. Oswald accompanied Mr. Frazier to the Paine residence after work. He told Mrs. Oswald that he came home a day early to make up for the time he missed the previous weekend. He played with the children and doted on Mrs. Oswald, making an extra effort to reconcile after their quarrel. Mrs. Oswald was not receptive and rebuffed his efforts. Consequently, Mr. Oswald retired early, about 9:00pm, but did not sleep. He was still awake at 11:30pm when Mrs. Oswald retired.

Mr. Oswald did not awaken before his alarm in the morning, per usual, but after rising, he left money on the dresser and told her to spend it on whatever she needed for herself or the children. He neither broke his fast nor fixed coffee before departing or work.

During the course of the day, Mrs. Oswald discovered that Mr. Oswald had left his wedding ring on the dresser, along with the cash.

On  Friday afternoon, when Mrs. Paine told Mrs. Oswald about the president being shot, she was upset, but did not suspect her husband. Later, when Mrs. Paine said the shots were fired from the same building where Mr. Oswald worked, Mrs. Oswald went to the garage and looked for Mr. Oswald’s rifle. She observed the blanket that usually contained the rifle and was relieved when it appeared to be undisturbed.

When police arrived after the arrest of Mr. Oswald on suspicion of murder of Officer Tippit, Mrs. Oswald watched the police search the garage and unroll the green blanket – to find the blanket empty!

Although Mrs. Paine consented to the search of her residence, the police took many items from the Paine household that afternoon, including passports and identity papers belonging to the Oswalds and Mr. Oswald’s wedding ring. Mrs. Oswald was not provided a receipt for items taken nor have they been returned.

While visiting Mr. Oswald at the police station on Nov. 23, Mrs. Oswald did not ask him whether he had fired at Mr. Kennedy or Mr. Tippit.

However, when asked directly by general counsel whether she believe Mr. Oswald killed the president, she answered in the affirmative.

Mrs. Oswald volunteered that she had written to the Dallas prosecutor requesting clemency for Mr. Ruby, the accepted murderer of Mr. Oswald.

This concluded Mrs. Oswald’s testimony.