Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index

Lee Harvey Oswald

Lee Harvey Oswald (October 18, 1939 - November 24, 1963), (alias Alek J. Hidell or O.H. Lee) a somewhat enigmatic figure, was the alleged assassin of U. S. President John F. Kennedy. He was born in New Orleans, Louisiana.

This photo, which shows Oswald with a rifle, handgun, and leftist newspapers was taken on March 31, 1963 by his wife, Marina. The Warren Commission tagged the photo as exhibit 133-A. Since Oswald's death, there have been questions on the photo's authenticity. The House Select Committee on Assassinations in the 1970s concluded that the photo was real, although some still refuse to accept this verdict.

Oswald was a former United States Marine who had served as an air flight controller. During his military career Oswald scored as a "sharpshooter" in December 1956, on two occasions achieving 48 and 49 out of 50, during rapid fire at a 200- yard distant target, but failed to attain a marksmanship badge. Skeptics doubt the likelihood of Oswald being able to fire shots so accurately and rapidly with the weapon and from the position he was said to use to kill Kennedy.

After his military career, Oswald lived in the USSR from 1959 - 1962 in Minsk, where he married a Soviet national, Marina (née Nichilayeva) Oswald. (After Oswald's death, Marina remarried and changed her name to Marina Oswald Porter.) A staunch Marxist, he at one time tried to renounce his American citizenship, but later changed his mind and returned to the USA, bringing Marina and their infant daughter.

In the summer of 1963, Oswald was the secretary of the New Orleans chapter of the Fair Play for Cuba Committee. On August 9, while Oswald distributed "Hands Off Cuba" and "The Crime Against Cuba" leaflets on the streets of New Orleans, he was harassed by anti-Castro Cuban exiles. Police arrested Oswald for disturbing the peace. The arrest caught the attention of William Stuckey, a local reporter who hosted a radio show on WDSU called "Latin Listening Post." Oswald was a guest on the radio program on August 17 and August 21.

In March 1963, Oswald (using the false name Alek J. Hidell) purchased a rifle and handgun that was later linked to the events of November 22, 1963.

6.5x52mm Mannlicher-Carcano M91/38 bolt-action rifle
Serial number C2766
Western Cartridge 160 grain ammunition
Side-mounted Ordinance Optics 4 x 18 scope

.38 Special Smith & Wesson Victory revolver 2.25" bbl
Serial number V510210
Converted from .38 S&W, shortened from 5" bbl

According to the controversial Warren Commission report on the John F. Kennedy assassination, Oswald shot Kennedy from a window on the sixth floor of the Texas Schoolbook Depository, where he was employed, as the President's motorcade passed through Dallas's Dealey Plaza at about 12:30 pm on November 22. Texas Governor John Connally was wounded at the same time. After leaving the scene, Oswald allegedly shot and killed Dallas police officer J. D. Tippit. Oswald was arrested at the Texas Theater in the Dallas neighborhood of Oak Cliff at about 1:50 pm, first as a suspect in the shooting of Tippit, and was then charged with assassinating Kennedy.

While in custody, Oswald denied the shooting, telling reporters "I didn't shoot anyone" and "I'm just a patsy".

Oswald was shot and killed by Texas nightclub owner Jack Ruby in Dallas, Texas, while being transferred to county jail, two days after the president's assassination, and before being brought to trial. Many alternative theories of the assassination contend that he acted on behalf of others, or even that Oswald was not the actual assassin.

The Warren Commission created by President Lyndon B. Johnson on November 29, 1963 to investigate the assassination, concluded that Oswald did assassinate Kennedy and that he acted alone. The proceedings of the commission were secret, and its files have yet to be released to the public, further fuelling speculation about the assassination. A later investigation by the House Select Committee on Assassinations, during the late 1970s, concluded that President Kennedy had been assassinated as a result of a conspiracy.

In October 1981, Oswald was subject to an exhumation undertaken by British writer Michael Eddowes (with Marina Oswald Porter's support). They sought to prove or disprove a thesis developed in a 1975 book, Khrushchev Killed Kennedy (The book was republished in 1976 in Britain as November 22: How They Killed Kennedy and in America a year later as The Oswald File.) The thesis of the trio of books was that when Oswald went to the Soviet Union, he was swapped with a Soviet clone. Eddowes's support for his thesis was a claim that the corpse buried in 1963 in the Shannon Rose Hill Memorial Park cemetery in Fort Worth, Texas did not have a scar that resulted from surgery conducted on Oswald years before. The final results of the exhumation found that the corpse they studied was Oswald's. The finding was based on dental records.

Psychology of Oswald

Before the age of 18, Oswald had lived in 22 different residences and attended 12 different schools. When Oswald was 14 years old, a psychologist diagnosed him as having "personality pattern disturbance".

See also: John F. Kennedy assassination

External Links