Saturday, September 26, 2009
Lee Oswald Was One Weird Dude, Part 1
As you delve into the assassination of JFK and you start going down the various rabbit trails you begin to wonder if you will ever be able to understand it all. It gets so confusing and complicated that anything seems possible. The cover-up is systemic in our government and whatever went on is deeply buried. When Howard Baker asks Richard Nixon what he knows about the Kennedy assassination and Nixon replies, “You don’t want to know…” you have the sense that something out of the ordinary occurred, more than just a loser with a cheap rifle killing the president. Maybe something really far out. Whatever the truth is we have inklings of it in the strange life of one man, Lee Harvey Oswald.
With Lee Oswald no matter how deep you dig there is always another layer. His strange life and circumstances do not begin when he’s in the marines and his health records state he contracted gonorrhea in the line of duty and, “Not of his own fault.” (Or he is treated for tonsillitis though his childhood medical records say they were removed at the age of five.) Surprising as that statement is he could also have been tossed out of the Marine Corps for this infraction but was not. Far stranger things than this had already occurred years earlier when he was going to junior high school.
School Days, New York, 1953-54
It doesn’t really begin till Lee and mother Marguerite move to New York in 1953 for reasons that are not altogether clear. They first moved in her son John Pic, from her first marriage. He was married at this time with one child. Family tensions ensued and eventually they moved to their own apartment. Young Lee was enrolled in PS #44 in the 7th grade. He quickly became truant and eventually this came to the attention of the authorities. Lee was processed through juvenile court and sent to Youth House for troubled boys. He served a short time there before returning home to his mother and thereafter, they returned to New Orleans sometime in the late summer of 1954.
Lots of strangeness abounds here with this New York period. In his school records, he is listed at being 5’-4” and a half feet tall. But three psychiatrists and one probation officer describe Lee as being a short, skinny, underdeveloped child for his age. One psychiatrist estimated Lee’s height to be around 4’-6” to 4’-8”. This child gave conflicting testimony in regards to himself and his family. All agreed he was not a well-adjusted youth with noticeable emotional problems. They also agree that he was telling them inaccurate information about his life and troubles.
But it doesn’t end here. Other school records have appeared showing a Lee Harvey Oswald enrolled at PS #117. This Lee has a very good attendance record. This conflict is unresolved. Why are there two records for the same boy with different outcomes? Perhaps the beginning of his life as a body double?
Also, Marguerite Oswald when interviewed by the probation officer gave conflicting accounts of her life as well. She got at least five things wrong, from the number years she had been married (a total of 13 years from three marriages but she said 9) to getting Lee’s birth date wrong. At the age of 44 it seemed as if she did not know her own life story. Also as this time she was working menial jobs but owned a house in Ft. Worth, Texas, which apparently was empty. She could have leased it out to pay for the apartment rent in New York but did not. She eventually sold it to a nearby neighbor.
New Orleans, 1954-55
Arriving back in New Orleans Lee is enrolled in Beauregard Junior High. And here, things get more peculiar. All documentation available has Lee Oswald enrolled at Beauregard in the fall of 1954. However, in his Warren Commission testimony Lee’s brother Robert when asked of this time says that Lee is enrolled at Stripling junior high school in Ft. Worth, Texas. This is never followed up on. In the transcript you can see the lawyer quickly changing the subject. However, years later researcher John Armstrong digs into this and finds an assistant principle, Frank Kudlaty, who when asks does remember Lee Oswald attending Stripling in the fall of 1954. How was he so sure? Because his boss told him to show up at the school Saturday morning—the day after the assassination—to hand over all school records on Lee Harvey Oswald to the FBI! Which he proceeds to do. Though years earlier, Kudlaty does recall something odd about the records. One, the file included no grade transcripts from the previous school, and two, no forwarding school for the Stripling transcripts to go. Apparently this Lee Oswald only spent six weeks there. It appears he had to blow in and blow out because he probably couldn’t get the grade transcripts from New York. The Lee Oswald in New Orleans attending Beauregard was already using them and was listed in attendance at the same time the other Lee was doing his six-week stint in Stripling Junior High school. Researcher Armstrong also found one gym teacher that remembered Lee and several students from Stripling as well. (One note: This Lee Oswald and mother lives across the street from the school. At the time of the assassination his mother would be living in this very same apartment across the street from Stripling.)
And, the FBI apparently knew this very early on as they swooped down on this Ft. Worth school within 20 hours of the President being shot. Something is obviously not right here and “powers that be” had to silence it quick. Of course the Stripling school records have passed into oblivion.
But wait…it gets even stranger! By the spring of 1955 Lee Oswald is still attending Beauregard. His attendance record is perfect with no absences. The Warren Commission insists that Lee had a part time job at Dolly Shoe, where his mother worked as a cashier. She talked her boss into hiring Lee as a stock boy. However, things don’t add up. The tax and employee payment records show that Lee Oswald was employed full time. He cannot do that going to school full time with no absences! School got out at 4:30 PM and the shoe store closed at 5:30 PM. There was not enough time to be considering part time employed. Also, the former owner, Maury Goodman and two employees remember seeing Lee working there during the weekdays. Goodman had to fill out forms with the Louisiana employment commission to allow a child under 18 years old to work there. It’s a strange gig, but the records and witnesses pile up on this one.
All of Lee’s records both school, work, and for taxes, as well as his mother’s state they lived at 126 Exchange Place at this time. However, Julian and Myrtle Evans told the Warren Commission that they were leasing an apartment to Marguerite Oswald at 1452 St. Mary St. from early 1954 till May of 1955. All kinds of evidence survives that the Oswald’s were living and using the 126 Exchange address from utility statements to letters Marguerite wrote. Oddly, Marguerite did list the St. Mary address for a job she had in 1954. But when Lee was injured in an accident at school, his homeroom teacher Myrna Darouse drove him home. The street she took him to was the one at 126 Exchange. Even Ed Voebel, Lee’s best friend at this time only visited him at the residence at Exchange Street. Interestingly, he never knew that Lee had a job at the time. Neither did the Evans couple. One way to resolve this conflict is to suggest that somebody was fabricating records in the archives. That works till you get to the witness testimony of seeing these characters at locations they are not supposed to be at. And this happens a lot.
Lee Oswald only lasted about 2 months at Dolly Shoe. He was fired for not doing his job. Not long afterwards his mother was fired as well for refusing to get herself bonded. She gave no clear reason for the refusal. Her employer wanted her bonded because of the money she was handling during the course of the day. Marguerite Oswald spent a great deal of her life working off the books, cash only jobs, such as home nursing. There is probably a lot of income she never reported on her tax returns. It appears she didn’t want to be bonded as it would reveal things about herself she didn’t want known. Most importantly, getting bonded creates a record. Would a bond application bring conflict with another Marguerite? It is also interesting that her tax returns from this time (1956-62) are still classified top secret.
Things get even hazier. Robert Oswald states in his book, Lee, that he visited the family in July of 1955 and Lee was working at Gerald Tujague, Inc., an export company. Robert also stated this at his WC testimony. He is supposed to be a full time employee here. The snag here, he is supposed to be a full time student at Warren Easton high school in September and October of that year. The Warren Commission absolves this problem by using hand-written employment records, written by the owner himself, showing Oswald being hired on November 10. However, this contradicts numerous witness testimony by people that new Oswald while he was there working full time in July of 1955 through the summer of 1956. That includes his brother and his aunt Lillian Murrant, Apparently, this Lee Oswald never went to school. Also, he is described as being a big kid, around 5’10” tall. A far cry from the little, scrawny, under five foot tall boy of just three month’s earlier at the Dolly Shoe store. Did Lee Oswald grow almost a foot in height in three months?
More inconsistencies abound. Even if the WC is correct in their timing of Oswald’s activities at this point, this export company has to apply for a permit to have an under-age employee. This paperwork has never been found. Also, under federal law all employees of export firms must validated by U.S. Customs. This includes an interview, the filling out of forms, and a photograph among other things. None of this documentation on Oswald is available. If this was not done this company is in trouble with state and federal law. But nothing comes of it.
Apparently, a lot of clean up went on with this phase of Oswald’s life. One employee recalls Gerald Tujague asking him to find all of Oswald’s payroll checks. He says there were dozens of them, implying more than a few months worth. These were handed over to the FBI when they arrived shortly after the assassination, never to be seen again like the school records from Stripling Junior High. Oddly, the FBI appeared at J. R. Michels, another export firm wanting records they didn’t even know they had. Researching, Nick Mazza found one check made out to Oswald and endorsed by him in 1/20/56 for the amount of $34.20. (The FBI produced a W-2 and W-4 forms for the WC that Mazza said he never found or gave them.) Of course he was, by all witness accounts working at Tujague at this time. Unlike the other places the FBI went to, the manager there made a copy of the check. The original went to the FBI agent never to be seen again. So here we have more evidence of contradictory events going on with Oswald and the FBI having prior knowledge of his actions.
Never been a fan of the Oswald-as-doppelganger theory but when you look at all of this contradictory documentation and witness testimony it seems as if that just might be the case. Of course you have the main problem of, what happens to the double after the assassination? He vanishes from the face of the earth. He becomes as big a phantom as the grassy knoll shooter. Also, if Oswald is being impersonated, starting out as a youth, then his mother has to be impersonated as well. What happens to her? So, two Lee’s and two Marguerite’s are at play here. That is hard to fathom.
Let it be noted that there is a declassified memo to J. Edgar Hoover dated June of 1960 informing him that somebody was impersonating a Lee Oswald. If the FBI knows who Oswald is that far back, that puts a whole new light on the situation. One wonders why Hoover was hell-bent to establish Oswald as the lone gunman within 24 hours of the assassination and how heavy handed he was towards the Warren commission that it reach a similar conclusion—which it did. We can see an inkling of why this came about with that memo. Not to mention all the pry knowledge they apparently had to descend upon Stripling or the various businesses Oswald worked for so rapidly after the assassination.
Conversely, intelligence agencies have used twins in operations--the good twin and the bad twin. Castro did with the De La Gardia brothers. The good twin is positioned to have witnesses while the bad twin does the dirty work. If he gets caught or things go awry, the good twin has an alibi. It has also been known that spy agencies cultivate some agents from childhood. Could Lee Oswald have been such a project?
As Richard Nixon once said, “You don’t want to know.”
COMING IN PART 2: Oswald in the Marines and all over the place.
Newman, John, Oswald and the CIA; Armstrong, John, Harvey and Lee; McKnight, Gerald, Breach of Trust; Warren Commission Report