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Title: Warren Commission (8 of 26): Hearings Vol. VIII (of 15)

Author: The President's Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy

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Language: English

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INVESTIGATION OF
THE ASSASSINATION OF PRESIDENT JOHN F. KENNEDY

HEARINGS
Before the President's Commission
on the Assassination
of President Kennedy

Pursuant To Executive Order 11130, an Executive order creating a Commission to ascertain, evaluate, and report upon the facts relating to the assassination of the late President John F. Kennedy and the subsequent violent death of the man charged with the assassination and S.J. Res. 137, 88th Congress, a concurrent resolution conferring upon the Commission the power to administer oaths and affirmations, examine witnesses, receive evidence, and issue subpenas

Volume
VIII

UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE

WASHINGTON, D.C.


U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE, WASHINGTON: 1964

For sale in complete sets by the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office Washington, D.C., 20402


iii

PRESIDENT'S COMMISSION
ON THE
ASSASSINATION OF PRESIDENT KENNEDY

Chief Justice Earl Warren, Chairman

Biographical information on the Commissioners and the staff can be found in the Commission's Report.

A Mr. Willens also acted as liaison between the Commission and the Department of Justice.


v

Preface

The testimony of the following witnesses is contained in volume VIII: Edward Voebel, William E. Wulf, Bennierita Smith, Frederick S. O'Sullivan, Mildred Sawyer, Anne Boudreaux, Viola Peterman, Myrtle Evans, Julian Evans, Philip Eugene Vinson, and Hiram Conway, who were associated with Lee Harvey Oswald in his youth; Lillian Murret, Marilyn Dorothea Murret, Charles Murret, John M. Murret, and Edward John Pic, Jr., who were related to Oswald; John Carro, Dr. Renatus Hartogs, and Evelyn Grace Strickman Siegel, who came into contact with Oswald while he was in New York during his youth; Nelson Delgado, Daniel Patrick Powers, John E. Donovan, Lt. Col. A. G. Folsom, Jr., Capt. George Donabedian, James Anthony Botelho, Donald Peter Camarata, Peter Francis Connor, Allen D. Graf, John Rene Heindel, David Christie Murray, Jr., Paul Edward Murphy, Henry J. Roussel, Jr., Mack Osborne, Richard Dennis Call, and Erwin Donald Lewis, who testified regarding Oswald's service in the Marine Corps; Martin Isaacs and Pauline Virginia Bates, who saw Oswald when he returned from Russia; and Max E. Clark, George A. Bouhe, Anna N. Meller, Elena A. Hall, John Raymond Hall, Mrs. Frank H. Ray (Valentina); and Mr. and Mrs. Igor Vladimir Voshinin, who became acquainted with Oswald and/or his wife after their return to Texas in 1962.


vii

Contents

  Page
Preface v
Testimony of—
Edward Voebel 1
William E. Wulf 15
Bennierita Smith 21
Frederick S. O'Sullivan 27
Mildred Sawyer 31
Anne Boudreaux 35
Viola Peterman 38
Myrtle Evans 45
Julian Evans 66
Philip Eugene Vinson 75
Hiram Conway 84
Lillian Murret 91
Marilyn Dorothea Murret 154
Charles Murret 180
John M. Murret 188
Edward John Pic, Jr 196
John Carro 202
Renatus Hartogs 214
Evelyn Grace Strickman Siegel 224
Nelson Delgado 228
Daniel Patrick Powers 266
John E. Donovan 289
Allison G. Folsom, Jr 303
George Donabedian 311
James Anthony Botelho 315
Donald Peter Camarata 316
Peter Francis Connor 317
Allen D. Graf 317
John Rene Heindel 318
David Christie Murray, Jr 319
Paul Edward Murphy 319
Henry J. Roussel, Jr 320
Mack Osborne 321
Richard Dennis Call 322
Erwin Donald Lewis 323
Martin Isaacs 324
Pauline Virginia Bates 330
Max E. Clark 343
George A. Bouhe 355
Anna N. Meller 379
Elena A. Hall 391
John Raymond Hall 406viii
Mrs. Frank H. Ray (Valentina) 415
Mrs. Igor Vladimir Voshinin 425
Igor Vladimir Voshinin 448

EXHIBITS INTRODUCED

  Page
Bates Exhibit No. 1 340
Carro Exhibit No. 1 213
Donabedian Exhibit No. 1 312
Folsom Exhibit No. 1 304
Hartogs Exhibit No. 1 220
Isaacs Exhibit No.:
1 328
2 328
3 328
Siegel Exhibit No.:
1 227
2 228

1

Hearings Before the President's Commission
on the
Assassination of President Kennedy


TESTIMONY OF EDWARD VOEBEL

The testimony of Edward Voebel was taken on April 7, 1964, at the Old Civil Courts Building, Royal and Conti Streets, New Orleans, La., by Mr. Albert E. Jenner, Jr., assistant counsel of the President's Commission.

Edward Voebel, 4916 Canal Street, New Orleans, La., after first being duly sworn, testified as follows:

Mr. Jenner. You are Edward Voebel?

Mr. Voebel. That's right.

Mr. Jenner. And you live at 4916 Canal Street in New Orleans?

Mr. Voebel. Yes, sir.

Mr. Jenner. Where is your place of business?

Mr. Voebel. At the same place.

Mr. Jenner. They are both at the same place, 4916 Canal Street?

Mr. Voebel. That's right.

Mr. Jenner. And that's here in New Orleans?

Mr. Voebel. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. And you are associated in business, I believe, with your mother and father, are you not?

Mr. Voebel. Mother, uncle, and grandmother.

Mr. Jenner. Your mother, your uncle, and your grandmother?

Mr. Voebel. That's right.

Mr. Jenner. And what is your business?

Mr. Voebel. Quality Florist Co.

Mr. Jenner. What is your age, Mr. Voebel?

Mr. Voebel. I am 23.

Mr. Jenner. You received a letter from Mr. Rankin, general counsel of the Warren Commission, did you not?

Mr. Voebel. Yes, sir.

Mr. Jenner. And enclosed with the letter were a copy of Senate Joint Resolution 137, authorizing the creation of the Commission to investigate the assassination of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy; is that right?

Mr. Voebel. Yes, sir.

Mr. Jenner. And Executive Order No. 11130, of President Lyndon B. Johnson appointing that Commission and fixing its powers and duties; is that right?

Mr. Voebel. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. And a copy of the rules and regulations under which we take testimony before the Commission and also by way of deposition, such as this one. You received that also?

Mr. Voebel. Yes, sir.

Mr. Jenner. I take it you gather from those documents that the Commission is enjoined to investigate all of the facts and circumstances surrounding and bearing upon the assassination of the late President John Fitzgerald Kennedy.

Mr. Voebel. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. I am Albert E. Jenner. Jr., member of the legal staff of the Commission, and I am here with my associate, Mr. Liebeler, taking depositions here2 in New Orleans, which is the birthplace of Lee Harvey Oswald, and making inquiries of those who in the ordinary course of their lives had some contact with this man, and also other aspects of the assassination. Now, it is our understanding that you did have some contact with him; is that right?

Mr. Voebel. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. I would like to ask you a few questions about that.

Mr. Voebel. Yes, sir.

Mr. Jenner. When did you first become acquainted with Lee Harvey Oswald, and under which circumstances? Just tell me generally how that came about.

Mr. Voebel. Well, it was at school.

Mr. Jenner. Is that Beauregard Junior High School?

Mr. Voebel. Yes, sir.

Mr. Jenner. Do you know what year that was?

Mr. Voebel. Let's see. I will have to figure that out. That was about 1954 or 1955.

Mr. Jenner. How did you become aware of him?

Mr. Voebel. Going to school there. Do you want me to tell you the whole story?

Mr. Jenner. Well, let's get in a few preliminary remarks first. I would like to have a little background in the record before we go into that.

Mr. Voebel. Yes, sir. I don't exactly remember when I first saw him, because I might have seen him going to school and back without knowing who it was, but I really became acquainted with him when he had this fight with this boy, and we took him back into the boy's restroom and tried to patch him up a bit.

Mr. Jenner. Were there individuals involved in this fight that you remember?

Mr. Voebel. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. Tell me the circumstances of that, please.

Mr. Voebel. Well, the day before, maybe a couple of days before, Lee had a fight with a couple of boys.

Mr. Jenner. Do you know their names?

Mr. Voebel. They were the Neumeyer boys, John and Mike.

Mr. Jenner. John and Mike?

Mr. Voebel. Yes, sir.

Mr. Jenner. They were classmates?

Mr. Voebel. Yes. Well, I think one of them was in the same grade as Lee. One was older than the other one. The younger one was maybe a grade or two below Lee, and Lee was in a fight with John, the older one.

Mr. Jenner. Let's see if I have that straight now. Lee was in a fight with the elder of two Neumeyer brothers; is that right?

Mr. Voebel. Right. He was in a fight with John Neumeyer. The fight, I think started on the school ground, and it sort of wandered down the street in the direction naturally in which I was going.

Mr. Jenner. Was it a protracted fight?

Mr. Voebel. Protracted?

Mr. Jenner. Yes; did it keep going on?

Mr. Voebel. Yes, it kept going on, across lawns and sidewalks, and people would run them off, and they would only run to the next place, and it continued that way from block to block, and as people would run them off of one block, they would go on to the next.

Mr. Jenner. That was fisticuffs; is that right?

Mr. Voebel. Right.

Mr. Jenner. Were they about the same age?

Mr. Voebel. Oswald and John?

Mr. Jenner. Yes.

Mr. Voebel. I don't know; I guess so.

Mr. Jenner. How about size?

Mr. Voebel. I think John was a little smaller, a little shorter than Lee.

Mr. Jenner. Do you know what caused the fight?

Mr. Voebel. No; I don't. I don't remember that.

Mr. Jenner. But you followed this fight from place to place, did you not?

Mr. Voebel. Yes.

3 Mr. Jenner. Why, were you curious?

Mr. Voebel. Yes; and well, it was also on my way home, going that way. The fight traveled my route home.

Mr. Jenner. All right, what happened as this fight progressed down the street?

Mr. Voebel. Well, I think Oswald was getting the best of John, and the little brother sticking by his brother, stepped in too, and then it was two against one, so with that Oswald just seemed to give one good punch to the little brother's jaw, and his mouth started bleeding.

Mr. Jenner. Whose mouth?

Mr. Voebel. Mike Neumeyer.

Mr. Jenner. The little boy?

Mr. Voebel. Yes, sir. Mike's mouth started bleeding, and when that happened, the whole sympathy of the crowd turned against Oswald for some reason, which I didn't understand, because it was two against one, and Oswald had a right to defend himself. In a way, I felt that this boy got what he deserved, and in fact, later on I found out that this boy that got his mouth cut had been in the habit of biting his lip. Oswald might have hit him on the shoulder or something, and the boy might have bit his lip, and it might have looked like Oswald hit him in the mouth, but anyway, somebody else came out and ran everybody off then, and the whole sympathy of the crowd was against Lee at that time because he had punched little Mike in the mouth and made his mouth bleed. I don't remember anything that happened after that, but I think I just went on home and everybody went their way, and then the next day or a couple of days later we were coming out of school in the evening, and Oswald, I think, was a little in front of me and I was a couple of paces behind him, and I was talking with some other people, and I didn't actually see what happened because it all happened so quick.

Some big guy, probably from a high school—he looked like a tremendous football player—punched Lee right square in the mouth, and without him really knowing or seeing really who did it. I don't know who he was, and he ran off. That's when we ran after Lee to see if we could help him.

Mr. Jenner. He just swung one lick and ran?

Mr. Voebel. Yes; that's what they call passing the post. He passed the post on him.

Mr. Jenner. Passed the post, what's that?

Mr. Voebel. That's when somebody walks up to you and punches you. That's what's called punching the post, and someone passed the post on Lee at that time.

Mr. Jenner. You think that might have happened because of the squabble he had with the two Neumeyer boys a day or two before?

Mr. Voebel. Yes; I think that was what brought it all about. I think this was sort of a revenge thing on the part of the Neumeyer boys, so that's when I felt sympathy toward Lee for something like this happening, and a couple of other boys and I—I don't remember who they were, but they brought him back in the restroom and tried to fix him up, and that's when our friendship, or semi-friendship, you might say, began. We weren't really buddy-buddy, but it was just a friendship, I would say.

Mr. Jenner. But you do remember that you attempted to help him when he was struck in the mouth on that occasion; is that right?

Mr. Voebel. Yes; I think he even lost a tooth from that. I think he was cut on the lip, and a tooth was knocked out.

Mr. Jenner. Well, you had a mild friendship with him from that point on, would you say?

Mr. Voebel. Right.

Mr. Jenner. Tell me about that. Did you get together occasionally and share interests, and what were his interests?

Mr. Voebel. I don't remember exactly what his interests were. I never even discussed that, that I know of. I was taking music uptown—I told the investigator that I was taking clarinet lessons at the time, but actually I was taking piano lessons, so that part was a mistake, but I did play both of them, but at that time I was taking piano lessons, and sometimes I would stop off4 at Lee's, and we would play darts and pool. Lee's the one who taught me to play pool. In fact, he invited me to come and play pool with him. He lived over the top of the pool hall.

Mr. Jenner. And did you accept his invitation?

Mr. Voebel. Yes; that's when we played darts.

Mr. Jenner. You played darts and you shot pool also; is that right?

Mr. Voebel. Yes, sir.

Mr. Jenner. Where was that?

Mr. Voebel. On Exchange Alley.

Mr. Jenner. Exchange Alley?

Mr. Voebel. Yes; or Exchange Place, whatever you call it.

Mr. Jenner. Did you find him adept in playing pool?

Mr. Voebel. You see, I had never played before and he showed me the fundamentals of the game, and after a couple of games I started beating him, and he would say, "Beginner's luck," so I don't think he was that good, because I am really not that good at playing pool. I mean, I don't think he was a great pool player.

Mr. Jenner. But he showed an interest in the game and some adaption to the game at the time he was teaching you; is that right?

Mr. Voebel. Yes; he liked it.

Mr. Jenner. He liked to play pool?

Mr. Voebel. Yes; he seemed to like it.

Mr. Jenner. Did you ever meet his mother?

Mr. Voebel. I think I met her one time, and for some reason I had a picture in my mind which was different from when I saw her in the paper after all of this happened. I didn't recognize her. She was a lot thinner, and her hair wasn't as gray, as I recall it, when I met her. Of course, this was about 8 years ago, but I can remember she had a black dress on, and she was sitting down smoking a cigarette; now, maybe she wasn't smoking, but this is a picture that comes to my mind as I recall that.

Mr. Jenner. Do you smoke?

Mr. Voebel. No.

Mr. Jenner. Did Lee smoke?

Mr. Voebel. No.

Mr. Jenner. Do you drink?

Mr. Voebel. Well, I don't, really.

Mr. Jenner. Do you drink occasionally?

Mr. Voebel. If it's in a party, or to be sociable I do, but I am not a drinker.

Mr. Jenner. How about Lee, was he a drinker?

Mr. Voebel. Well, you see, we were only at the age of about fourteen or fifteen, and smoking and drinking just wasn't of interest to a lot of people our age at that time. Kids did it, but I had no reason for drinking at the time, because I mean, I was just 14 years old, and I think the legal age here is 18, so that didn't actually enter my mind.

There was another thing why I sort of formed a friendship with Lee, and that was that most of the people that went to our school used to smoke, which I thought was a bum type nature, and Lee wasn't one of those, so he fitted in with my character, so to speak, a little bit more than the others.

Mr. Jenner. All right; those are the things I am interested in, what you think of Lee's habits and personality and so forth, from the time you knew him, and don't you worry about whether it's important or not. That's my problem.

Mr. Voebel. Right.

Mr. Jenner. I'm trying to get a picture of this boy as he became a man, and that includes what he was doing and thinking when he was 14 or 15 years old, and as far as you are concerned, during the time you were sociable with him and particularly what your reaction to him was. People change, of course.

Mr. Voebel. Right. Now, I want to make one thing clear. I liked Lee. I felt that we had a lot in common at that time. Now, if I met Lee Oswald, say a year ago, I am not saying that I would still like him, but the things I remember about Lee when we were going to school together caused me to have this sort of friendship for him, and I think in a way I understood him better than5 most of the other kids. He had the sort of personality that I could like. He was the type of boy that I could like, and if he had not changed at all, I probably still would have the same feeling for Lee Oswald, at least more so than for the Neumeyer brothers. Of course, as you say, people do change, and I don't know how I would have felt about Lee as we both grew older. I lost contact with Lee years ago.

Mr. Jenner. Would you describe the Neumeyer brothers as roustabouts?

Mr. Voebel. Yes; they were ruffians, real punk-type guys. At least, that was my impression of them.

Mr. Jenner. Well, that's what I want, your impression. Would you say there were other boys of the type of the Neumeyer brothers at Beauregard School while you were attending there?

Mr. Voebel. Oh, yes; I would say most of them seemed to be troublemakers. In fact, it was almost impossible to go to school at that time without brushing against somebody or getting involved in a fight sooner or later. You take me, I am not a fighter, but I had to fight at that school.

Mr. Jenner. You did?

Mr. Voebel. Yes; it was almost impossible to get along with the type of characters that were going to that school at that time.

Mr. Jenner. So this particular incident, when Lee had this fight, that in your opinion is no indication that the boy was a rabble rouser or inclined to get into fights; is that right? Your impression was just the opposite of that; isn't that true?

Mr. Voebel. Well, no; I will say this; I would back down from a fight a lot quicker that Lee would. Now, he wouldn't start any fights, but if you wanted to start one with him, he was going to make sure that he ended it, or you were going to really have one, because he wasn't going to take anything from anybody. I mean, people could call me names and I might just brush that off, but not Lee. You couldn't do that with Lee.

Mr. Jenner. Would you say he was unusually quick to take offense?

Mr. Voebel. Well, I didn't know him to be that way. He could have been, now, but I wouldn't go that strong with it. All I'm saying is that if you picked on Lee, you had a fight on your hands. He wouldn't go out of his way to avoid it.

Mr. Jenner. All I'm asking you is what your impression was, and I don't want you to speculate as to what might have been. Do you think he was a person to take offense at anything on the spur of the minute, so to speak?

Mr. Voebel. Well, like I said, he didn't take anything from anybody.

Mr. Jenner. Was this a coeducational school?

Mr. Voebel. Right.

Mr. Jenner. High school or junior high?

Mr. Voebel. Junior high school, but it just had been changed. It was a grammar school, and it had just been changed to a junior high, and when it changed to a junior high, it seemed to draw a lot of bad characters. As time went on, it might have slacked off; I don't know how it is now, but living right near there and seeing the kids come home now very often, I think they have gotten worse, because now they have got gang wars and things like that.

Mr. Jenner. You still live close to the school?

Mr. Voebel. Yes; and I know they have gang wars in this cemetery near there, and there was this guy that I believe was pushing narcotics, pushing dope. I tried working with the police department for a long time to get this guy out there. I believe he was pushing dope, but it was hard to pin him down. I worked almost 2 months with the narcotics people, but he was too slick for us. He just disappeared. He was there for about a year, and then he disappeared.

Mr. Jenner. Are you familiar with the Warren Easton School?

Mr. Voebel. Yes, sir.

Mr. Jenner. Did you go to Warren Easton?

Mr. Voebel. No; I went to Fortier.

Mr. Jenner. Warren Easton is a senior high school; right?

Mr. Jenner. Yes, sir.

Mr. Jenner. Is it somewhere close to Beauregard?

Mr. Voebel. Oh, about 6 or 8 blocks away, I would say.

6 Mr. Jenner. Is it normal for students going to Beauregard Junior High School to then enroll in Warren Easton?

Mr. Voebel. Yes; that's normally right.

Mr. Jenner. That's the regular progression?

Mr. Voebel. Right.

Mr. Jenner. Did you know that Lee attended Warren Easton?

Mr. Voebel. No; to tell the truth, I lost complete contact with him after I left Beauregard. I might have seen him once or twice during that summer.

Mr. Jenner. Were you a grade up on him, or were you in the same grade, or what?

Mr. Voebel. I don't remember. Let's see—no; I think we were in the same grade, I think we were.

Mr. Jenner. When you left Beauregard, where did you go to high school?

Mr. Voebel. I went to Fortier.

Mr. Jenner. Any reason?

Mr. Voebel. Well, Fortier has an ROTC system.

Mr. Jenner. That's why you went over there?

Mr. Voebel. To get in the ROTC; yes, sir.

Mr. Jenner. Are you a service man?

Mr. Voebel. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. In what branch?

Mr. Voebel. Army.

Mr. Jenner. Did some other boys pal around with you and Lee?

Mr. Voebel. Not that I can remember. You see, the only relationship we had after this fight I told you about, was when I would be downtown and stop in, and we would play pool or play darts, but I don't remember participating in any events with Lee at school. For example, I don't remember having played ball or anything with Lee, so probably our gym periods were different.

I used to go straight home after school, and I think he did too, so there was no buddying around on either of our parts at school. I had a lot of friends and many acquaintances, but I don't think Lee did.

Mr. Jenner. You don't think Lee did?

Mr. Voebel. No, sir.

Mr. Jenner. Do you have a recollection or conception of any ridicule accorded him when he first turned up at Beauregard?

Mr. Voebel. Yes; I think there was something. Always when someone comes in new, they are supposed to belong to something like a gang or clique, and if you didn't, then you had to prove yourself. It's just like the old story they tell about the Irish Channel, about how anybody new moving in there had to prove himself or fight the leader in the community before they accepted him.

Mr. Jenner. Tell me some more about the Irish Channel, and how that compares to the Beauregard situation when you were attending there.

Mr. Voebel. Well, it may be different now, but I know in my day when you went to Beauregard, if you didn't belong to a gang or something, you had to prove yourself. You had to fight somebody.

Now, the Irish Channel is a part of town around Magazine Street, oh, maybe the 3000 block, generally around Magazine and Louisiana Avenue, I think, in that section, and it was pretty well known that any time a stranger or someone new moved in the neighborhood, he had to face something like that. The whole neighborhood had gangs, and unless he joined one of them someone would have to fight something, and it was the same at Beauregard. Of course, it was all, you know, children and adolescent things.

Mr. Jenner. And it was your impression that Lee had that social force, whatever it was; is that right?

Mr. Voebel. Yes, sir; he met it head on.

Mr. Jenner. He was inclined to meet it head on and not back up?

Mr. Voebel. Right. He wouldn't take anything. I used to try to avoid it as much as possible, until you just couldn't avoid it any more. I think a few of the boys at the time got a wrong impression of me. They thought I was just a fat kid, and I wouldn't do anything, and I used to take a little pushing around, and another thing, they would always be in gangs. Now, if you got them alone, you could whip them, but they would hang around in bunches.

7 In fact, I had an incident like that happen to me over at that school where this boy marked me out. He said he didn't like the way I looked, so he just kept talking and trying to force me into an incident, and finally he got it. I beat the dickens out of him, and it was after school, almost the same way this happened to Lee.

Word got around at the school what I had done, and a whole gang of people met me after school one day, but I was lucky enough to talk myself out of it. Now, when they passed the post on Lee, he was inclined to fight back, but I had sense enough to know that you can't fight a whole gang, so I talked myself out of it. This gang came over to my house and piled out of automobiles and started joshing and using all kinds of vulgar language to try to get me to come out, and my uncle ran them off, and after that I didn't have any more trouble. You just had to prove yourself to gain the respect of those gangs.

Mr. Jenner. They didn't attack you any more?

Mr. Voebel. No.

Mr. Jenner. Would you say that the course of conduct of Lee Oswald was normal, having in mind the problems he was facing?

Mr. Voebel. Yes, except that he didn't make friends.

Mr. Jenner. He did not?

Mr. Voebel. No; he was not inclined to make friends.

Mr. Jenner. But you don't know why he was so disinclined?

Mr. Voebel. Well, let's just put it this way; he didn't make friends. It was just that people and things just didn't interest him generally. He was just living in his own world, let's say.

Mr. Jenner. But you did have some measure of common interest that you told me about?

Mr. Voebel. I guess you are trying to get at the gun. Is that what you have in mind?

Mr. Jenner. Well, I am not going to say what I'm trying to get at.

Mr. Voebel. Well, I know Lee seemed to have an interest in guns.

Mr. Jenner. And these were regular weapons, not toys?

Mr. Voebel. That's right, military weapons. My uncle started a collection while he was in the service, and he brought back a few foreign military weapons.

Mr. Jenner. Was that World War I?

Mr. Voebel. World War II.

Mr. Jenner. Your uncle?

Mr. Voebel. That's right, my uncle.

Mr. Jenner. And you also would say that you had an interest in guns; is that right?

Mr. Voebel. Yes, I was interested in guns. In fact, we had guns around the house all the time. We were always interested in them, my uncle and I, and I learned to shoot a pistol when I was about, oh, 7 years old, you see.

Mr. Jenner. Did Lee share your enthusiasm for collecting weapons?

Mr. Voebel. Oh, no; I don't think I even told Lee about how I felt about that. I don't think Lee was interested in weapons for the same reason I was. I mean, I like weapons because I like mechanics. I like anything you can take apart and especially weapons, and I've always liked reading about the history of different guns, and I have often thought about what could have happened in a situation had they had this weapon or that weapon, you know more modern weapons than the ones they did have. I don't think Lee was interested in the history of any weapons. For example, he wanted a pistol, but it just seemed like he wanted the pistol just to have one, not for any purposes of collecting them or anything.

I also like sport cars. You've heard of people who like mechanics and cars. I wanted them for a purpose, whereas Lee would be inclined to want something just to have it, I think.

Mr. Jenner. Did you have an interest in automobiles at that time?

Mr. Voebel. Yes, sir; I did.

Mr. Jenner. Did Lee?

Mr. Voebel. No.

Mr. Jenner. You couldn't interest him in that?

8 Mr. Voebel. No; I was interested in a lot of things. I had taken music, and I liked automobiles, and I collected weapons, just a lot of things, and Lee didn't share any of that with me, because his interests didn't seem to run that way.

Mr. Jenner. Was he interested in music?

Mr. Voebel. No; he wasn't.

Mr. Jenner. Do you know whether he knew how to operate an automobile?

Mr. Voebel. I never had seen him drive at all.

Mr. Jenner. Did you ever discuss the subject with him?

Mr. Voebel. Not that I can remember.

Mr. Jenner. What was your impression as to whether he could drive or couldn't drive an automobile?

Mr. Voebel. I don't think he could drive. The only thing I think he was interested in besides reading, that I could gather, was one day he went fishing and he caught a whole bunch of little fish in City Park. They were no bigger than that.

Mr. Jenner. Almost minnows?

Mr. Voebel. Right, and I think he liked to fish.

Mr. Jenner. Did he talk about fishing?

Mr. Voebel. Well, not as fishermen do, but I could tell that he enjoyed fishing, at least that day. I do know that he did go fishing, although I don't know how often, but I know he bought a whole rig and went fishing that day.

Mr. Jenner. What did you observe as to his financial circumstances?

Mr. Voebel. Financial circumstances?

Mr. Jenner. Yes; as to his home and his dress, and his means as to his finances.

Mr. Voebel. Poor.

Mr. Jenner. Poor?

Mr. Voebel. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. And you were reasonably well fixed; isn't that right?

Mr. Voebel. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. And you did notice by contrast that he was a poor boy?

Mr. Voebel. Right.

Mr. Jenner. That made no difference to you?

Mr. Voebel. Not a bit. That's another thing about me. It doesn't matter whether a friend of mine has money or not. Some of my best friends are very poor, and I also have rich friends, but that doesn't matter to me. It's just the individual person. I don't belong to any cliques. I don't fraternize with any type of group that bands together because of some class reason or anything like that. I like people because of maybe an interest that is similar to mine, someone that I have a more or less common understanding with on different subjects that I am interested in. I don't go for these people that belong to clubs or groups like that, because I don't have the time.

Mr. Jenner. Are you married?

Mr. Voebel. No.

Mr. Jenner. When did you get out of the service?

Mr. Voebel. Two years ago. I just served 6 months.

Mr. Jenner. That's a sort of special program?

Mr. Voebel. Yes; 6 months in the Reserves.

Mr. Jenner. Then you have to serve 2 weeks each year; is that right?

Mr. Voebel. Right. This year we are going to meet at the Brooklyn Army Terminal and also take in the World's Fair?

Mr. Jenner. Tell me more about your association with Oswald. You say you played darts with him and you would go to the poolroom beneath the apartment where he lived and shoot pool with him?

Mr. Voebel. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. Did you boys hang around the poolroom after you would shoot pool?

Mr. Voebel. No; nothing like that. We would go down and play two or three games, and then I had to go because it would be getting late in the day. You see, that would be after my music lesson, so after a couple of games I would leave and go on home. We didn't hang around at all. For one thing, I had so many things to do. I had my music lessons and my schoolwork, and with my folks9 in business, I had to help them out in the shop, so my time was pretty scarce at that time.

Mr. Jenner. Did Lee ever own a weapon?

Mr. Voebel. A real one?

Mr. Jenner. Yes.

Mr. Voebel. Not that I know of.

Mr. Jenner. Now, you emphasized that word "real." Is there something there that you want to tell me about?

Mr. Voebel. Well, he did own a plastic model of a .45.

Mr. Jenner. A plastic model?

Mr. Voebel. Yes; and he showed that to me. I guess you want to know now about his plan for this robbery. Actually I wasn't too much impressed with the whole idea at first, because I had heard so much talk about stealing and robbing and things like that, that it really didn't bother me until he did shock me one day when he came up with a whole plan and everything that he needed for a burglary, you see.

Mr. Jenner. Tell me about that.

Mr. Voebel. Well, we were over at Easton.

Mr. Jenner. Easton High School?

Mr. Voebel. Yes; we were over there for some program that they were putting on for junior-high people, acquainting them with the high school.

Mr. Jenner. Was that right at the time you were graduating from Beauregard?

Mr. Voebel. Right.

Mr. Jenner. And he was preparing to graduate at the same time from Beauregard; right?

Mr. Voebel. I think so.

Mr. Jenner. Wasn't there a period when he dropped out of Beauregard altogether?

Mr. Voebel. I don't remember.

Mr. Jenner. Or was that at Easton?

Mr. Voebel. I don't remember.

Mr. Jenner. You don't remember that?

Mr. Voebel. No.

Mr. Jenner. You don't remember him being out of school entirely for about a year?

Mr. Voebel. No; that might have been over at Easton. It could have been over there, but I don't remember that at all.

Mr. Jenner. All right, go on with your story.

Mr. Voebel. Well, this program we had, that was a band concert, and we were listening to the band and I think this was when he revealed the plan for stealing this pistol from a place on Rampart Street.

Mr. Jenner. Did he seek to enlist you in that plan?

Mr. Voebel. No; not really, he just told me about it. He had observed a pistol in this window, this show window, on Rampart Street, and his plan was to steal it.

Mr. Jenner. It wasn't one of these collector's items?

Mr. Voebel. No; I don't think so. I can't remember the pistol, to tell you the truth, but I don't think it was a collector's piece. It was just a weapon. It might have been a Smith & Wesson. I think it was an automatic, but I don't remember. I really didn't pay too much attention to it.

Mr. Jenner. You actually saw the pistol in the window?

Mr. Voebel. Yes. To get back to my story, it was maybe the following week that I was up at his house, and he came out with a glasscutter and a box with this plastic pistol in it, and I think he had a plan as to how he was going to try to get in there and get this pistol.

Mr. Jenner. You mean in the Rampart Street store?

Mr. Voebel. Yes. Now, I don't remember if he was planning to use this plastic pistol in the robbery or not, or just to take it and cut the glass and break it out, and get the pistol that way. I don't think he was really sure even then how he wanted to do it, but finally he told me his complete plans and how he was going to cut the glass out of the window and everything, and10 I didn't know what to tell him, so he said, "Why don't you come over and look at this pistol and tell me what kind it is, and what you think of my plan?" So I said all right, and so we walked over there to this store and we looked at this pistol in the window, and like I said, I don't remember what kind it was.

He said, "Well, what do you think?" and I didn't know what to tell him. I didn't know how to talk him out of it, so then I happened to notice this band around the window, a metal tape that they use for burglar alarms, and I got to working on that idea in the hope that I could talk him out of trying it, and I told him, I said, "Well, I don't think that's a good idea, because if you cut that window, it might crack that tape, and the burglar alarm will go off," and I don't think he believed me, but I told him, "Let's go in the store and look at it from the inside," and so I convinced him that it would be too dangerous to try it, that this was a burglar alarm that would go off, and so anyway, he finally gave up the idea. There had been some jewel robberies on Canal Street and the way they were doing it was cutting a hole in the window, such as Lee planned to do. I remember reading about that, but anyway, he finally changed his mind about trying to rob the store, and that was the end of that.

Mr. Jenner. What kind of glasscutter was this that he showed you?

Mr. Voebel. Oh, it was just a real cheap one.

Mr. Jenner. This was a plate glass window, though, you say?

Mr. Voebel. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. It never occurred to you that he couldn't cut a plate glass window with a glass cutter?

Mr. Voebel. Not at that time; no. I didn't know anything about the cutting of glass anyway. I just thought he could do it, you know.

Mr. Jenner. Did you hear any more about that event afterwards?

Mr. Voebel. No; I think it just played out. I don't think he really wanted to go through with it, to tell you the truth. I think he was really looking for a way out. It was just some fantastic thing he got in his mind, and actually it never did amount to anything. I mean, it seemed to me like he just wanted me to discourage him to the point where he could back out of the whole thing, and he never went through with it, and I never heard anymore about it after that. Now that I look back on it, I think maybe he was just thinking along the lines that if he went through with it, that he would look big among the guys, you know, but I am just speculating on that, of course.

Mr. Jenner. Did you ever have any discussions with Lee about politics?

Mr. Voebel. No.

Mr. Jenner. I mean the politics in the pure sense.

Mr. Voebel. No; we didn't discuss that. We were too young, I guess, to be interested too much in politics at that time. I have read things about Lee having developed ideas as to Marxism and communism way back when he was a child, but I believe that's a lot of baloney.

Mr. Jenner. You and he never discussed anything like that, then?

Mr. Voebel. No; I am sure he had no interest in those things at that time, at least that I know of. Of course, we took courses like political science and courses like that, and he might have done a lot of reading and studying along that line at that time, but I don't even know that. I know we never discussed anything like that.

Mr. Jenner. Now at this time, his two brothers, they were in the service, I believe; is that right?

Mr. Voebel. Well, I don't know. He never did say. I know he did have two brothers, but I didn't know what they were doing.

Mr. Jenner. They weren't around for any of this playing darts or playing pool, or anything else that you and Lee participated in, were they?

Mr. Voebel. No, I never saw them. I never met them.

Mr. Jenner. Did you form an opinion as to the relationship between Lee and his mother?

Mr. Voebel. Well, I know it wasn't the type of relationship that you usually see between a mother and her children. I'm just giving you my opinion on that, now. I know that they weren't very close, as far as Lee was concerned, but of11 course she was always around, and I think she tried to take good care of him, but it was hard with a person like Lee to know what he was thinking or doing all the time.

I think Lee loved his mother and was concerned about her, but there was something lacking there that you usually see between a mother and her children, as far as I am concerned, but with the type man Lee was, I guess a lot of that is understandable. You just couldn't get through to him. He just wasn't communicative. He just didn't talk too much about anything.

Mr. Jenner. Was he curt as to his mother, that you observed? I mean, did he cut her off short in any way?

Mr. Voebel. Well, I noticed the normal resentment going on in him at that time, but I was the same way, and I remember seeing that in other kids at that time. Your mother might be telling you things that are normally good for you, but I think every child resents discipline to a certain extent. I know I did at that time, but as to Lee and his mother, I don't think there was anything violent between them, if you know what I mean but at the same time he wasn't what you would call a mamma's boy.

Mr. Jenner. What do you mean by that expression, "mamma's boy"?

Mr. Voebel. Well, that's just an expression that was used at that time.

Mr. Jenner. Was it used with respect to Lee and his mother?

Mr. Voebel. No; never. He was no mamma's boy.

Mr. Jenner. Well, did you have the impression that his mother was often indulgent toward him?

Mr. Voebel. In one way; yes.

Mr. Jenner. In which way was that?

Mr. Voebel. Well, if he wanted something, no matter what it was, she would always seem willing to go out of her way to get it for him. Even if she couldn't afford it, she would try to get it for him. Of course, if there was something he wanted and she didn't think it was good for him, I don't know about that; I don't have any recollection of anything like that, but I know she did everything she could for Lee, and maybe he didn't always show his appreciation the way other kids would, but that's just the way he was.

Mr. Jenner. What sort of impression did you have of Lee's attitude as to his lot in life, in other words, whether he felt that since his father died so young, and he had, I mean Lee, had received a bad deal in life. What was his attitude about that, if any?

Mr. Voebel. Well, I think he was impressed with the fact that his father had died at a young age, and that he never got to know his father. I think that left a mark on him, but I don't think that's unusual in itself. I think there were times when you could see he felt bad because he didn't have a father, but he never actually talked about that. Lee didn't talk too much, even when we were at Beauregard together.

Mr. Jenner. Did Lee ever come over to your house?

Mr. Voebel. I don't think so; no; he never did. Now, I can't say for sure, but I don't think he did.

Mr. Jenner. Did you boys ever have any common athletic interest?

Mr. Voebel. Not that I know of.

Mr. Jenner. Were you active in sports?

Mr. Voebel. Just in intramurals.

Mr. Jenner. Did he play any intramurals?

Mr. Voebel. I don't know. I wasn't in the same gym class with him, so I can't say for certain on that. I don't know. He must have. I think everybody had to play some intramural sports.

Mr. Jenner. Did you have any impression as to whether he had a feeling that there were things that should have been accorded him by way of possession or attainment of worldly goods, of which he had been deprived because his father had predeceased him?

Mr. Voebel. Did he have a feeling of that at that time?

Mr. Jenner. Yes.

Mr. Voebel. You see, he was 14 years old, and I just don't think those thoughts would have occurred to him at such a young age, any more than it would have to me. We were just boys, and we were having a fairly good time, as all boys our12 age seemed to do. We would play darts and play pool, and do things like that which didn't cost a lot or anything.

Mr. Jenner. Well, I mean, did he say anything that would have given you that impression?

Mr. Voebel. In fact, I am afraid that some of these impressions that I am giving you may have been developed later, since this assassination occurred. I don't mean that I had all of these impressions back when we were in Beauregard together.

Mr. Jenner. I understand that, but the Commission is interested in the impression you had then of Lee and the impressions you have now as compared to then. We are trying to get the complete background of this man in order to possibly arrive at the motive for this entire tragedy.

Mr. Voebel. It's hard to get what I was thinking of then, and how I think now and separate the two; that's what I mean, because, of course, at that time nothing like this had happened, and I didn't have in mind trying to analyze Lee's personality or anything. You just don't go out looking for something like that unless you have a reason.

Mr. Jenner. You heard the rumor, or read about them at any rate, that Lee Oswald was studying communism when he was 14 years of age, did you not?

Mr. Voebel. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. Did you see any evidence of that when you were going around and associating with Lee Oswald?

Mr. Voebel. No; I didn't.

Mr. Jenner. Did you put any credence in that?

Mr. Voebel. No; none whatever. As far as I know, I was the only one that would enter his home, around that age, so I would be the only one to know, and I can say for certain that the only things Lee would be reading when I would be at his home would be comic books and the normal things that kids read.

Mr. Jenner. Were you a voracious reader in those days?

Mr. Voebel. No.

Mr. Jenner. What do you say as to Lee Oswald, if you know?

Mr. Voebel. I really can't say for sure, but he did impress me, in the time that I knew him and associated with him, that he wasn't a great reader. We liked to fool around more than we liked to go to school, I guess you would say.

Mr. Jenner. You would not consider that Lee was a good reader?

Mr. Voebel. No; I wouldn't. I know my studies always came hard to me, even music when I first started with it.

Mr. Jenner. Are you still interested in music?

Mr. Voebel. Yes; I still play music.

Mr. Jenner. Would you say, in looking back to your acquaintance with Lee, that he had a normal curiosity about things, the normal curiosity of a young man of 13, 14, 15, or 16 years old?

Mr. Voebel. I would say that he had a normal curiosity, if I understand then what you mean by that. It's just that he didn't seem to be able to mix with people; that's all.

Mr. Jenner. Do you think that's a basic personality characteristic that has remained in your mind all these years?

Mr. Voebel. Right. It seems to me like he did like things and wanted to do things, but he just couldn't get himself to get with people, you see, and you just can't do too much by yourself. To me, I think that maybe his whole downfall was maybe a lack of communication with people. Of course, I don't know the reason. I am not a psychologist. I can't tell you why, but somehow I have that feeling because I knew Lee, and I knew how he didn't like to mix with people.

Mr. Jenner. I gather from this discussion with you that, up until this horrible tragedy happened, you had at least a favorable impression of Lee, and even though your opinion of his personality and attitude and behavior might have changed since you learned of this tragedy and since his death, you at least, up until that time, had a good opinion of him; is that right?

Mr. Jenner. Right.

Mr. Jenner. You think he was a normal boy, at least in most respects, and he was not what we have referred to as a roustabout or a member of a gang at school, or anything like that?

13 Mr. Voebel. That's right.

Mr. Jenner. While you were going to Beauregard?

Mr. Voebel. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. But he did have trouble making friends at Beauregard; right?

Mr. Voebel. Well, to tell you the truth, Lee didn't go out and look for friends. He didn't seem to care about having friends. He had a few friends, but I think that was the way he wanted it. At least, that seems to be the way he was best able to cope with things, to just more or less be by himself and go and come as he wanted to.

Mr. Jenner. And you don't think Lee was an outstanding student in his studies at Beauregard? You think he was more or less average; is that right?

Mr. Voebel. Yes; he was just an average student.

Mr. Jenner. How was his attendance at school? Did he miss many days; do you know?

Mr. Voebel. No; I don't think he missed much schooling. I think his attendance was pretty good.

Mr. Jenner. Did you boys ever discuss the Marines?

Mr. Voebel. No; I was not much on the Marines.

Mr. Jenner. Well, my question was did you talk about this subject with Lee?

Mr. Voebel. No; we didn't discuss that.

Mr. Jenner. Did he ever talk about his brothers?

Mr. Voebel. No. I think that he mentioned he had one or two, but there was never any talk about them. I don't know anything about his brothers—I mean what they do, how they are, and what their life is. I have no impression of that whatsoever.

Mr. Jenner. Did you ever have the impression that he probably received his just dues in the world up to that point?

Mr. Voebel. I think I made a statement to that effect, but I can't really say for sure. Maybe it was later that I got that impression. That's hard to pinpoint right now, in looking back at all this.

Mr. Jenner. But did you have such an impression at that time?

Mr. Voebel. No; I had no impression like that at that time. Like I said, I wasn't looking for stuff like that.

Mr. Jenner. Well, sometimes you don't look for that sort of thing because you have a previous impression; isn't that true?

Mr. Voebel. Yes; that's true, but I don't think I had that impression at that time. I'll say this: most of the things about Lee I liked. I think I might have made a statement like that, about him being bitter toward the world and everything, but of course, that would have been my opinion since this happened. I wasn't talking then about when we were going to Beauregard, to the same school.

Mr. Jenner. Do you remember making a statement to the FBI that in your opinion Oswald was bitter since his father died when he was very young, and that he thought that he had had a raw deal out of life?

Mr. Voebel. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. Do you remember that statement?

Mr. Voebel. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. Do you still carry that opinion, and hold it?

Mr. Voebel. Like I say now, I think this opinion was formed later.

Mr. Jenner. And you don't think you had those impressions then?

Mr. Voebel. No; I didn't; not back in those days. I formed that later.

Mr. Jenner. What was that embitterment directed toward?

Mr. Voebel. Toward authority, I would say. He didn't like authority.

Mr. Jenner. You noticed that at that time, did you?

Mr. Voebel. I think so. He didn't seem to like to be told what to do, or made to do something.

Mr. Jenner. Is there a Civil Air Patrol unit here?

Mr. Voebel. Yes; I think they have two.

Mr. Jenner. Two?

Mr. Voebel. Yes, sir.

Mr. Jenner. Were there two here at that time?

Mr. Voebel. Yes.

14 Mr. Jenner. Did you and Lee have any interest in the Civil Air Patrol?

Mr. Voebel. Yes; I think I got him interested in it. We got to talking about it and I told him as much as I knew about it, and I think he attended maybe one or two meetings, and I think he even subsequently bought a uniform, and he attended at least one meeting that I remember, in that uniform, but after that he didn't show up again.

Mr. Jenner. He just attended two meetings of the CAP?

Mr. Voebel. Two or three meetings, I would say.

Mr. Jenner. And that's all he attended?

Mr. Voebel. Yes. He lost interest after that, I think.

Mr. Jenner. Who was the majordomo of the CAP unit that you attended?

Mr. Voebel. I think it was Captain Ferrie. I think he was there when Lee attended one of these meetings, but I'm not sure of that. Now that I think of it, I don't think Captain Ferrie was there at that time, but he might have been. That isn't too clear to me.

Mr. Jenner. Lee did buy a uniform to attend these CAP meetings and join the unit?

Mr. Voebel. Yes; he bought a uniform and everything, and he seemed to be very interested at the outset. He even got a paper route, I think it was, or something, to get enough money together to buy the uniform; he was that interested, and that's why I thought it strange when he didn't attend any more meetings.

Mr. Jenner. You thought that was strange?

Mr. Voebel. Yes. After all this happened, and, of course, this is my opinion now, I guess—not then, but I think now maybe he liked the uniform to wear more than he did like going to the school, with those classes that we had.

Mr. Jenner. You had classes at these meetings of the CAP unit?

Mr. Voebel. Oh, yes; we had classes, and maybe that was the thing that Lee didn't care for, because after those couple of meetings he just didn't show up any more.

Mr. Jenner. Did these classes at the CAP unit that you attended require some study?

Mr. Voebel. Yes; they did.

Mr. Jenner. Did Lee ever talk to you about himself and his history, of his earlier life?

Mr. Voebel. His "history"?

Mr. Jenner. Yes; his background—anything about his family before he ever met you?

Mr. Voebel. Well, he mentioned the fact about his father dying, but he didn't talk about much else; I mean about when he was younger, or anything like that. Maybe he might have mentioned about coming here from Texas, and things like that, you know, at different times, but I don't recall all of that now. I got the impression somewhere that he wasn't born here, and I got the impression that he was from Texas at that time, but, of course, that wasn't correct, as I learned after all this happened. But, I mean, we didn't sit around talking about things like that. We were more interested, I guess, in things at school and things that were going around, more up to date, I guess you would say.

Mr. Jenner. Did he talk to you at all about his life in Texas, or to anyone in your presence, that you recall?

Mr. Voebel. No. I mean, he might have mentioned it at different times, just as a passing remark, or something. You know how that is, but if he did it has just slipped my mind, because it wasn't anything that would impress me so that I would remember it.

Mr. Jenner. Did you attend these CAP meetings once a week or twice a week, or how often?

Mr. Voebel. Twice a week, and now that I think of it, Lee might have actually attended two or three meetings. It seems like he maybe attended two or three of them, but anyway he quit then, all of a sudden. He just quit coming, so I figured he had lost interest in the whole thing.

Mr. Jenner. Do you have any idea what made him quit attending those classes?

Mr. Voebel. Well, as I remember, we were having classes then on the15 weather, and that can be a drab subject, although it is essential, but maybe that's why he quit coming; I don't know.

Mr. Jenner. Was this CAP unit coeducational?

Mr. Voebel. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. Because sometimes that can stimulate your interest too, isn't that right?

Mr. Voebel. Well, to tell you the truth, no. I had no girl friend out there at that time. I had a girl at the school, but that was it.

Mr. Jenner. But there were girls out at this unit, attending these classes?

Mr. Voebel. Yes; but they were kept pretty well separated from us. They might have been in the classes, but the girls out there didn't interest me.

Mr. Jenner. Did they interest Lee?

Mr. Voebel. No; I don't think so. He wasn't very interested in girls.

Mr. Jenner. He was not?

Mr. Voebel. No. At least it didn't impress me that he was. He didn't show any inclination toward girls at all, that I could see.

Mr. Jenner. Did he have any sex deviation of any kind?

Mr. Voebel. None whatever.

Mr. Jenner. From your experience, he seemed to be perfectly normal in that respect?

Mr. Voebel. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. He might have been interested in girls, but he just wasn't pushing it at that time if he was, is that about it?

Mr. Voebel. I think he was more bashful about girls than anything else. I think that was probably it.

Mr. Jenner. Is there anything that you can think of from your acquaintance with Lee, from what you knew about him then, that you could tell us that would be helpful to the Commission, aside from what I have asked you?

Mr. Voebel. No; I can't think of anything else.

Mr. Jenner. Now, in taking these depositions, you have the privilege of reading and signing your deposition, or you can waive that privilege and let the reporter transcribe the deposition, and it will be sent on to Washington. However, if you want to read and sign it, it will be transcribed, and the U.S. attorney will contact you and let you know when you may come in and read and sign it. What is your preference in that regard?

Mr. Voebel. Well, I don't have to read it and sign it. I have just told you what I know about it.

Mr. Jenner. You prefer to waive that then?

Mr. Voebel. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. All right. Thank you for coming in.


TESTIMONY OF WILLIAM E. WULF

The testimony of William E. Wulf was taken on April 7–8, 1964, at the Old Civil Courts Building, Royal and Conti Streets, New Orleans, La., by Mr. Wesley J. Liebeler, assistant counsel of the President's Commission.

William B. Wulf, having been first duly sworn, was examined and testified as follows:

Mr. Liebeler. Mr. Wulf, my name is Wesley J. Liebeler. I am a member of the legal staff of the President's Commission investigating the assassination of President Kennedy. Staff members have been authorized to take the testimony of witnesses by the Commission pursuant to authority granted to the Commission by Executive Order No. 11130, dated November 29, 1963, and Joint Resolution of Congress No. 137.

I understand that Mr. Rankin wrote to you last week——

Mr. Wulf. Correct.

Mr. Liebeler. Advising you that I would be in touch with you——

Mr. Wulf. Right.

16 Mr. Liebeler. With respect to the taking of your testimony, and I understand that he enclosed with his letter copies of the Executive order and the joint resolution to which I have just referred, as well as a copy of the rules of procedure relating to the taking of testimony.

Mr. Wulf. Correct.

Mr. Liebeler. You did receive the letter, et cetera?

Mr. Wulf. Correct.

Mr. Liebeler. We want to inquire of you concerning possible knowledge that you have of Lee Harvey Oswald during the time that he lived in New Orleans during the period 1954–55. Before we get into the details of that, however, would you state your full name for the record.

Mr. Wulf. My name is William Eugene Wulf. No junior.

Mr. Liebeler. What is your address?

Mr. Wulf. 2107 Annunciation Street, this city.

Mr. Liebeler. Where and when were you born, Mr. Wulf?

Mr. Wulf. I was born in New Orleans, September 22, 1939.

Mr. Liebeler. Are you presently employed?

Mr. Wulf. No. I am a student at Louisiana State University at New Orleans.

Mr. Liebeler. What are you majoring in?

Mr. Wulf. History.

Mr. Liebeler. How long have you been attending LSU?

Mr. Wulf. Four and a half years. I am a senior at this time.

Mr. Liebeler. You obtained your primary education and secondary education here in New Orleans?

Mr. Wulf. That is correct.

Mr. Liebeler. Where did you obtain that education, what schools?

Mr. Wulf. My primary education was obtained, up until the seventh grade, at Redemptorist Grammar School. For high school I attended De La Salle High School in 1956, and in 1958 and 1959 I attended Cor Jesu High School in New Orleans and graduated there in 1959.

Mr. Liebeler. And then from there you went to LSU?

Mr. Wulf. LSU, right.

Mr. Liebeler. Have you been in the Army or any branch of the military service?

Mr. Wulf. No. I am exempted at this time.

Mr. Liebeler. The Commission has received information to the effect that you were the President of the New Orleans Amateur Astronomy Association——

Mr. Wulf. That is correct.

Mr. Liebeler. Sometime during the year 1955. Is that correct?

Mr. Wulf. That is correct.

Mr. Liebeler. What is the New Orleans Amateur Astronomy Association, or what was it at that time?

Mr. Wulf. It was at that time an organization of mainly high school students in the city, mainly at De La Salle at that time, interested in astronomy, who owned telescopes, did observation, etc.

Mr. Liebeler. Is the group still active?

Mr. Wulf. No. We are still listed as active in the membership rolls of the national association, but we are not active due to the fact that most of the members are out of town, either in the military or in college.

Mr. Liebeler. In connection with your activities in the New Orleans Amateur Astronomy Association, did there ever come a time when you were contacted by or met a person who you either now believe or know to be Lee Harvey Oswald?

Mr. Wulf. I believe it was. The one person who could have confirmed this in my behalf was Mr. McBride, P. E. McBride, who is in Florida at this time.

Mr. Liebeler. That is Palmer McBride?

Mr. Wulf. Right. But I had met Oswald through McBride. He contacted me on getting into the Astronomy Club at that time, and it was—I had originally believed it was 1953, but on recapitulating the time and all, probably it was September or August in 1955.

Mr. Liebeler. Do you remember how Oswald got in touch with you?

Mr. Wulf. Not exactly. It was either one of two ways. I believe he had17 talked to McBride or McBride had talked to him during the time they were working together at Pfisterer's Dental Laboratory, and I believe he got in touch with me on the telephone about getting into the group and I told him—he asked me could he come over to the house one time, and I believe he soon did. I don't remember the time that elapsed between what I believe was the phone call and then the actual visit.

Mr. Liebeler. This fellow that called you and then came over to your house did work at Pfisterer's Dental Laboratory? Is that correct?

Mr. Wulf. Most definitely; yes. That is what gave me reason to associate Oswald with this particular person.

Mr. Liebeler. This association was made by you at some time subsequent to the assassination. Is that correct?

Mr. Wulf. Yes; subsequent. I believe it was either the Saturday night following the assassination or Sunday morning before I got the call from the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Mr. Liebeler. You had read in the paper that Lee Oswald had been employed while living here in New Orleans by Pfisterer's Dental Laboratory, and then you associated Oswald——

Mr. Wulf. No; not actually. I had remembered he had lived in New Orleans, and then I tended to associate the name too and the picture, and then I subsequently found out—I confirmed it when I asked the FBI agent did this particular person at one time work for Pfisterer's, and he said he believed he did, and that to me confirmed it was the same person.

Mr. Liebeler. So you had already associated in your mind the name Lee Oswald with this fellow that called you, and also the pictures that you saw in the paper?

Mr. Wulf. Yes.

Mr. Liebeler. And then as a result of that association, you asked the FBI whether this man had been employed by Pfisterer's?

Mr. Wulf. That is correct. One other thing made me come to the association, other than—I must stipulate at this time that when I had met him he spoke of communism and communistic association that he would like to achieve, and this also aided in this conclusion that I came to.

Mr. Liebeler. Now how did it come to be, if you know, that the FBI interviewed you?

Mr. Wulf. I have no idea.

Mr. Liebeler. You did not contact the FBI?

Mr. Wulf. No; I did not, because I was not absolutely sure, and it was a Sunday, either a Saturday night or Sunday, and during the chaos on the situation, and I believe I was personally affected by it as everyone else was personally affected by it, and I really did not think that the little knowledge I had would be important. I was even surprised that I got your letter from the Commission.

Mr. Liebeler. The agent that interviewed you didn't indicate in any way as to how they had been led to you?

Mr. Wulf. In no way whatsoever. As far as I know, the only person that knew that I had met Oswald, and that it was Oswald, was Palmer McBride, so I concluded that he probably got in touch with the FBI on the subject, or someone got in touch with them, and then that is how they got this particular knowledge.

Mr. Liebeler. When did you first make McBride's acquaintance? Do you remember?

Mr. Wulf. Yes. I will have to clarify that. I can get the records from the Astronomy Club, but I believe it was 1954—that is a rough date—probably towards the end, probably—let's see—I am trying to associate it with the Astronomy Club dates—towards the end of the school year 1954–55, so that would probably be in—oh, March and April, around that.

Mr. Liebeler. Of 1955?

Mr. Wulf. Of 1955, yes. It is sketchy. I really cannot say for sure. I could probably get it from the Astronomy Club's records, but——

Mr. Liebeler. The occasion of your first meeting was that he came to join the Astronomy Association——

Mr. Wulf. That is correct.

18 Mr. Liebeler. With McBride. Did become closely acquainted with McBride and become a friend of his after that?

Mr. Wulf. Oh, yes. I still, up until about 9 months ago kept in contact with him, and I still know of his whereabouts, and when he comes to the city I still see him.

Mr. Liebeler. McBride at that time was working at Pfisterer's Dental Laboratory? Is that right?

Mr. Wulf. Yes, sir. I believe he was a delivery boy or a runner. I don't know the exact title of his position.

Mr. Liebeler. Have you ever spoken with McBride about Lee Oswald?

Mr. Wulf. Only at the time that—two occasions or possibly three—I think it was two occasions that I met Oswald, and I got some of Oswald's beliefs, and I told—McBride had always told me that he wanted to get into the military service as a career, especially rocket engineering and rocketry—like we all were nuts on rocketry at the time—and I told him, I said, "This boy Oswald, if you associated with him, could be construed as a security risk, and especially if you want to get into a job position where the information you know could be of a security nature or of a type that could be of a security risk nature."

Mr. Liebeler. You told that to McBride some time back in 1955? Is that correct?

Mr. Wulf. Yes.

Mr. Liebeler. What led you to make that statement to McBride?

Mr. Wulf. I made that statement to McBride after my second meeting with Oswald when we got into a discussion—I being a history major and always been interested in history, some way or another we got around to communism. I think Oswald brought it up, because he was reading some of my books in my library, and he started expounding the Communist doctrine and saying that he was highly interested in communism, that communism was the only way of life for the worker, et cetera, and then came out with the statement that he was looking for a Communist cell in town to join but he couldn't find any. He was a little dismayed at this, and he said that he couldn't find any that would show any interest in him as a Communist, and subsequently, after this conversation, my father came in and we were kind of arguing back and forth about the situation, and my father came in the room, heard what we were arguing on communism, and that this boy was loud-mouthed, boisterous, and my father asked him to leave the house and politely put him out of the house, and that is the last I have seen or spoken with Oswald.

Mr. Liebeler. Now you indicated that your argument was rather loud and boisterous?

Mr. Wulf. Yes.

Mr. Liebeler. Did Oswald generally impress you as a loud or boisterous person?

Mr. Wulf. Well, he impressed me as a boy who could get violent over communism, who, if you did not agree with his belief, he would argue with you violently over it. This, as you know, was the period right before he moved, I believe, to Dallas. I did hear that he had moved to Dallas. I got that from McBride. And he struck me as a very boisterous boy and very determined in his way about communism.

Mr. Liebeler. Did he strike you as boisterous in any other respect, or strongheaded about other things?

Mr. Wulf. Generally a strongheaded boy that knew his own mind, thought he knew his own mind, and would do his own will. He wanted his way, in other words.

Mr. Liebeler. Then there never was any question of physical——

Mr. Wulf. No.

Mr. Liebeler. Contact over this thing?

Mr. Wulf. No, no.

Mr. Liebeler. It was just a strongly presented argument?

Mr. Wulf. No. My father just took him by the arm, and when he started hollering about communism and all, and my father had gone through Communist affairs in Germany in the 1920's, and did not agree with him violently, and he asked him to leave the house.

19 Mr. Liebeler. Is your father a native of Germany?

Mr. Wulf. Hamburg.

Mr. Liebeler. And he had been involved in some political activities with or opposed to the Communists?

Mr. Wulf. Not that I know of. What I mean, he came back from Germany following the war, 1919–20, when it was all upheaval. The Democratic Party was fighting the Communist wing and all. He remembered that and he just—well, as most Germans, a lot of Germans, do, they just don't like Communists.

Mr. Liebeler. Can you remember anything about the details of your first meeting with Lee Oswald?

Mr. Wulf. Very little. If I remember correctly, the main thing was that he asked—we talked about astronomy, and I drew from that, from the conversation, that he knew very little about astronomy, and it struck me that he wanted to join the group, because I expressed to him at the time that anyone with a little knowledge of astronomy was hampered in the group and mostly everybody in the group knew astronomy and we were not very much interested in teaching some fledgling all this data we had already gone through over the years, and he would actually be hampered in belonging to the group, and I actually discouraged him from joining the group for that reason. That is all I can remember of the first contact, because it was kind of late, it was probably 2 or 3 o'clock in the morning.

Mr. Liebeler. This was at a meeting of the association?

Mr. Wulf. No; this was at my home. McBride had brought him to my house. It must have been 10 o'clock at night or 11 o'clock at night, something like that, and we got into a conversation on astronomy in general and just a general topical conversation as far as I can remember. It is somewhat hard to remember, you know, after all these years.

Mr. Liebeler. There wasn't any discussion of politics or economics at that time?

Mr. Wulf. Not at that time; no.

Mr. Liebeler. Now can you remember anything else about the second meeting with Lee Oswald that you haven't already told us?

Mr. Wulf. Not specifically. All I can repeat is that we discussed communism in general and that Oswald showed himself to be a self-made Communist. I don't think anybody got to him, if you want to put it that way. He just learned it on his own. At that time I knew very little about communism, and he was just—actually militant on the idea, and I can repeat he expressed his belief that he could be a good Communist, he could help the Communist Party out, if he could find the Communist Party to join it, and at that time he expressed that he couldn't and——

Mr. Liebeler. Did he indicate in any way that he had actually tried to find a Communist organization?

Mr. Wulf. Definitely. That is one thing that made me associate the name Oswald with this particular person, that he definitely was looking for a Communist Party to join and he was very disgusted because he couldn't——

Mr. Liebeler. Couldn't find one?

Mr. Wulf. Right.

Mr. Liebeler. Do you know whether Oswald ever discussed matters such as this with McBride?

Mr. Wulf. Now this would be hearsay. Yes; I believe he had. McBride and I had discussed Oswald a few times between the second visit when we threw him out of the house or asked him to leave and his subsequent leaving for Dallas. I continually tried to get McBride to stop associating with Oswald, and he did actually, as far as I know, except for, you know, working hours.

Mr. Liebeler. And McBride told you that Oswald had also discussed communism with him?

Mr. Wulf. Oh, yes, yes; that he discussed it constantly when they were on the job and, you know, delivering dentures, and in their social association. It might be of importance to point out that both boys struck me as lonely boys. McBride was working at that time, he had quit school and was working and going to a correspondence school, and I think they tended to associate because20 of that reason, because they were just plain lonely, not knowing too many people.

Mr. Liebeler. This was true, in your opinion, both of Oswald and McBride? Is that correct?

Mr. Wulf. On this particular point, yes; that they were both—well, for one thing, I think that would lead a boy to get the type of job that they held at the time. I think most of the boys who held that job were that type of boy who were fighting education, except for McBride—he wasn't fighting education, because he was fighting the need for more money. You know, a young boy like that, his family was quite large and not of very great income, and I think this made Oswald and McBride associate probably with each other, but I do know that he told me after this second visit that—we discussed Oswald, and I discussed Oswald specifically as a security risk. The reason why I was knowledgeable on this was that my father was in the Merchant Marine and on a Navy Reserve ship that did require some security clearance, and I was quite conscious of it, and also during the war, because we were German and I was quite conscious of security matters and all.

Mr. Liebeler. Do you know whether McBride ever expressed any interest in communism or ever expressed any interest in Communist organizations?

Mr. Wulf. Not really; no, no. As far as I know, definitely not. He was strong-willed, but never, as far as I know, ever expressed really any belief in communism.

Mr. Liebeler. (Exhibiting photograph to witness) I want to show you two pictures which have previously been marked "Pizzo Exhibits 453-A and 453-B."

Mr. Wulf. Right.

Mr. Liebeler. I ask you if you recognize any of the individuals in those pictures?

Mr. Wulf. Well, yes; Oswald marked "1" on the top picture, "Pizzo 453-B," and, of course, Oswald again marked with the "X" in green on "Pizzo 453-A."

Mr. Liebeler. You recognize that as Oswald?

Mr. Wulf. Yes. That is one of the things. I saw these films on TV and I subsequently saw them at the station. That is Oswald, as far as I can associate.

Mr. Liebeler. When you say "these films," you are inferring that these pictures that I have shown you are still photos taken out of——

Mr. Wulf. Yes. These are 16 mm. prints—I can tell by the grain—and they are either 16 mm. or 32 mm., probably 16 mm. prints, and these are the ones, as far as I know, that WDSU had. I don't believe that is what you want though. That is the only one I can associate on there. I do not associate the other man marked——

Mr. Liebeler. Do you identify this man as Oswald based on your observation of him at the times you have mentioned, and not from having seen his pictures at other places in the newspaper?

Mr. Wulf. No; I base that picture on—when I first saw those films originally, when it was originally shown on TV, I had a slight inkling that it was the same person, as far as I know. I mean, like I said, it was many years ago, it was—oh, 8 years ago, 8 or 9 years ago. He was younger, he was a little bit heavier then, in the face especially, but he seems to me to be the same person.

Mr. Liebeler. And that identification on your part is reinforced by the logical steps that——

Mr. Wulf. Right, the logical association. Yes; I admit this.

Mr. Liebeler. And that logical association is the association that we have already described throughout this record?

Mr. Wulf. Right, right; and also the time factor when he was in New Orleans, the association with Pfisterer's Laboratory, and that I know for a fact that in October of that year or early in the winter of that year that he did move to Dallas, because McBride told me that his mother and he had moved to Dallas. Also I knew a little bit about him. McBride had discussed with me a little of his family situation. I had asked him about it because of his attitudes and such.

Mr. Liebeler. How do you mean "his family situation"? You mean his mother?

21 Mr. Wulf. Yes; I asked McBride specifically how come this boy was like this, mixed up and all, and he said he lived with his mother—this is hearsay, of course, through McBride—that his mother didn't associate with him too much and the boy was pretty much on his own and a loner as such.

Mr. Liebeler. And this was a discussion that you had with McBride in 1955–56?

Mr. Wulf. Right, 1955.

Mr. Liebeler. Have you talked to McBride about this thing since the assassination?

Mr. Wulf. No, I have not. I have only corresponded with McBride once, and that was about a month ago. I sent him an amateur radiogram requesting the address of a mutual friend in New York, but I got no answer, and we were wondering where he is.

Mr. Liebeler. I can't think of any other questions at this point. If you can think of anything else that you know about that you would like to add or that you think would be helpful to the Commission, I would appreciate it if you would add it.

Mr. Wulf. Not that I know of. The only thing I can—I don't know how many people have told you of this period of his life—I amplify that at this time Oswald was definitely Communist-minded, he was violently for communism, and this is what struck me as so odd for a boy so young at the time. I believe we were both 16, and he was quite violent for communism. His beliefs seemed to be warped but strong, and one thing that did hit me, he seemed—I told this to McBride at the time—he seemed to me a boy that was looking for something to belong to. I don't think anybody was looking for him to belong to them, and it may have been a problem, but he was definitely looking for something to associate himself with. He had very little self-identification, and at the time he hit me as somebody who was looking for identification, and he just happened, I guess, to latch on to this particular area to become identified with. That is about all I know of him at that time, and following that period, after he moved from New Orleans and went to Dallas, I knew nothing of him until I saw what I thought was him at the time, but I was not sure, the films that you showed me.

Mr. Liebeler. I don't have any other questions at this point. I want to thank you very much for coming in and cooperating with us to the extent that you have. The Commission appreciates it very much.

Mr. Wulf. That is quite all right. I am glad we could help.


TESTIMONY OF MRS. BENNIERITA SMITH

The testimony of Mrs. Bennierita Smith was taken on April 7–8, 1964, at the Old Civil Courts Building, Royal and Conti Streets, New Orleans, La., by Mr. Wesley J. Liebeler, assistant counsel of the President's Commission.

Mrs. Bennierita Smith, having been first duly sworn, was examined and testified as follows:

Mr. Liebeler. Mrs. Smith, my name is Wesley J. Liebeler. I am a member of the legal staff of the President's Commission investigating the assassination of President Kennedy. Staff members have been authorized to take the testimony of witnesses by the Commission pursuant to the authority granted to the Commission by Executive Order No. 11130, dated November 29, 1963, and Joint Resolution of Congress No. 137.

I understand that Mr. Rankin wrote to you last week indicating that I would be in touch with you concerning your testimony.

Mrs. Smith. Yes; he did.

Mr. Liebeler. And that he enclosed with his letter a copy of the Executive order and of the resolution to which I have just referred, as well as a copy of the rules of procedure adopted by the Commission concerning the taking of22 testimony of witnesses. Did you receive Mr. Rankin's letter and those documents?

Mrs. Smith. Yes; I did.

Mr. Liebeler. One of the areas of inquiry of the Commission relates to the background and possible motive of Lee Harvey Oswald, the alleged assassin of the President. We understand that you knew Lee Oswald at some point while he was living here in New Orleans. Before we get into the details of that, however, I would like to have you state your name for the record, if you will.

Mrs. Smith. Bennierita Smith.

Mr. Liebeler. You are married? Is that correct?

Mrs. Smith. Yes, sir.

Mr. Liebeler. What was your name before you were married?

Mrs. Smith. Sparacio. My maiden name?

Mr. Liebeler. Yes.

Mrs. Smith. Sparacio, S-p-a-r-a-c-i-o.

Mr. Liebeler. Where do you live?

Mrs. Smith. 3522 Delambert in Chalmette.

Mr. Liebeler. Where and when were you born?

Mrs. Smith. I was born in New Orleans the 20th of January 1940.

Mr. Liebeler. Would you outline for us your educational background, please.

Mrs. Smith. Starting from kindergarten?

Mr. Liebeler. Yes.

Mrs. Smith. Well, I went to St. Dominic's. That is on Harrison Avenue in Lakeview. Then I went—it was either the third or fourth grade I transferred to Lakeview School, and then when I finished Lakeview School I went on to Beauregard, and from there to Warren Easton, and that is all the schooling I have had.

Mr. Liebeler. Did you graduate from Warren Easton High School?

Mrs. Smith. Yes, sir.

Mr. Liebeler. When did you graduate?

Mrs. Smith. 1958.

Mr. Liebeler. Am I correct in understanding that you attended Beauregard Junior High School at the same time that Lee Oswald did?

Mrs. Smith. Yes, sir.

Mr. Liebeler. Did you know Lee Oswald at the time you both attended Beauregard Junior High School?

Mrs. Smith. Well, I knew him from seeing him walk around school, and well, I guess I could remember him so much because he was always getting in fights with people, but as far as really knowing him well outside of school, you know, seeing him, I don't.

Mr. Liebeler. Well, now you mentioned that he was always getting in fights?

Mrs. Smith. Yes.

Mr. Liebeler. Will you tell us what you know about that?

Mrs. Smith. One fight really impressed me, I guess because there was this boy—he wasn't going to Beauregard, this boy he had the fight with, and he was a little guy. I think his name was Robin Riley. He hit Lee, and his tooth came through his lip.

Mr. Liebeler. Through the upper part of his lip?

Mrs. Smith. Oh, gee, I don't know whether it was a bottom——

Mr. Liebeler. But it actually tore the lip?

Mrs. Smith. Yes; it actually tore the lip, and I remember—what is that boy's name?—the blond fellow that was on television that knew him so well?

Mr. Liebeler. Are you thinking of Edward Voebel?

Mrs. Smith. That is him.

Mr. Liebeler. V-o-e-b-e-l?

Mrs. Smith. He took him back in school, and I guess they kind of patched his lip up, but he was—he more or less kept to himself, he didn't mix with the other kids in school other than Voebel. He is the only one I remember. And they had this little boy—I think it was Bobby Newman—he used to take around with, but I don't remember too much about him either. I can remember he was little, he was short.

Mr. Liebeler. Who was?

23 Mrs. Smith. Bobby Newman.

Mr. Liebeler. Bobby Newman?

Mrs. Smith. But he was, I guess, the studious type. Well, it seemed to me. He was always studying, you know, reading books, and that is as far as—I don't know what his grades were, but as far as him mixing with other people, he didn't. You know, like when you go to school, more or less everybody has their own group. Well, there wasn't anybody he hung around with, except, like I said, Edward Voebel.

Mr. Liebeler. How well do you know Mr. Voebel?

Mrs. Smith. Not well at all, I mean just from seeing him in school. I knew his parents had owned the Quality Florists on Canal Street. Well, I knew his sisters.

Mr. Liebeler. You knew Voebel's sister?

Mrs. Smith. Yes; he has got two, they are twins, Doris—and they call the other one Teddy. I don't know what her real name was.

Mr. Liebeler. Did you ever hear what this fight was all about, the one you described in which Oswald had his lip cut?

Mrs. Smith. No; I really didn't. I just saw people standing around and knew there was a fight, and, you know, went over to see.

Mr. Liebeler. Did you get the impression that Oswald started the fight or that the other guy started the fight?

Mrs. Smith. I really don't know. I didn't know what happened. Well, I know this boy was, I guess, a kind of a smart alec, this guy he had the fight with, this Robin Riley. Well, he was always hanging around school but he didn't go there, you know, he just——

Mr. Liebeler. Was this Riley boy older, do you know, or about the same age as the rest of the students?

Mrs. Smith. I think he was older, because he had a sister that went to Warren Easton with me and she was older, she was a grade ahead of me, and I am almost sure he was older than her.

Mr. Liebeler. This fellow didn't go to Beauregard Junior High School?

Mrs. Smith. No.

Mr. Liebeler. Do you know if he went to school somewhere else?

Mrs. Smith. No; I sure don't.

Mr. Liebeler. Is that the only fight that you can recall in which Oswald was involved?

Mrs. Smith. That is all.

Mr. Liebeler. Did you see the television program that was played over WDSU shortly after the assassination in which Voebel appeared?

Mrs. Smith. Yes; I did see that. Larry Lala and Bob Jones had come to my house. Well, I knew Larry. He knew I went to Beauregard, and he called me up and asked me if I had remembered Lee Oswald, and when I thought about him, you know, things started coming back. It had been such a long time. And he asked me if they could come over, that they were writing this story on him, and I told him to come over if he wanted but I didn't think I could really help him, because it wasn't anything I knew about him.

Mr. Liebeler. This person that called you was a newspaper reporter?

Mrs. Smith. Well, he works for WWL. He takes the news films for them. And when he came in the house, I thought he would come with a pad and pencil, and he walks in with cameras and lights. He picked up one of my girl friends, he brought her over, and this other girl I went to school with, she was at my house, she had spent the day with me. It just so happened she was there. And then they just asked us questions, but I told Larry about that fight. Well, he had remembered the same incident.

Mr. Liebeler. Did you appear in the television program?

Mrs. Smith. Yes, sir.

Mr. Liebeler. You did?

Mrs. Smith. Yes, sir; the three of us.

Mr. Liebeler. Three of you would be yourself—and what were the names of the other two girls?

Mrs. Smith. Anna Alexander Langlois and Peggy Murphy Zimmerman.

24 Mr. Liebeler. Now these two boys that you mentioned were classmates of yours at Beauregard Junior High School? Is that right?

Mrs. Smith. Larry and Bob?

Mr. Liebeler. Yes.

Mrs. Smith. No; Larry—I met Larry—gee, I don't even remember—I guess maybe at a school dance or something—and I went out with him, and he knew I went to Beauregard, you see. That is why he called me to see if I had remembered Lee, because I guess they were trying to get some—well, more or less a story together.

Mr. Liebeler. What about the other boy?

Mrs. Smith. Bob Jones?

Mr. Liebeler. Yes.

Mrs. Smith. Well, he broadcasts the news.

Mr. Liebeler. He works for the television station?

Mrs. Smith. And he just came. Well, he asked us questions and then we just answered him, but I didn't know him.

Mr. Liebeler. Do you remember what you told him at that time? You mentioned this fight to him?

Mrs. Smith. I mentioned that, and then he just asked us how well we knew him, and we told him we didn't really know him as far as—like we would know him from seeing him walk through the halls at school or in class, but as far as knowing him outside of school, well, we didn't.

Mr. Liebeler. Did you know where he lived?

Mrs. Smith. No; I didn't, not until, well, I read it in the paper.

Mr. Liebeler. Did your other two girl friends remember any more details about Lee Oswald than you did?

Mrs. Smith. No. Bob asked us how he dressed, and we told him, you know, that he always wore these sweater vests—they are more or less in style now, I guess, than they were when we were going to school—it was just like wearing your father's sweater or something, but, you know, maybe he was outstanding in that way. But that is all we told him. My girl friend told him about that, and—I am trying to remember.

Mr. Liebeler. Do you remember that Lee wore the sweater vests, or was that something that one of your girl friends remembered?

Mrs. Smith. Well, she mentioned it, and then, well, we did remember him dressing that way.

Mr. Liebeler. Which one of your girl friends was it mentioned this first?

Mrs. Smith. I think it was Peggy.

Mr. Liebeler. Peggy?

Mrs. Smith. Peggy Zimmerman.

Mr. Liebeler. Was there anything else that the three of you were able to recall about Lee Oswald, either at the time you were questioned by the television people or after that?

Mrs. Smith. No.

Mr. Liebeler. Was this the only fight, the one we talked about? Was this the only fight that any of you had ever remembered Lee Oswald being involved in?

Mrs. Smith. That is the only one I remembered. Somebody had said he was in a fight with Johnny Neumeyer.

Mr. Liebeler. Was that one of your girl friends who mentioned that?

Mrs. Smith. I am not sure if it was them or if it was Anna's brother who told her.

Mr. Liebeler. Do you remember whether Lee Oswald dated any girls at the time he went to Beauregard?

Mrs. Smith. Not that I know of, not in school.

Mr. Liebeler. It was your impression that Lee Oswald didn't have any close associates or close friends while he was at Beauregard, with the possible exception of Mr. Voebel? Is that right?

Mrs. Smith. That is right.

Mr. Liebeler. Now aside from your recollection about Lee's wearing a sweater vest, can you remember anything else about the way he dressed?

Mrs. Smith. He wore levis, I think.

25 Mr. Liebeler. Was that different from what the other students wore?

Mrs. Smith. Yes. Well, they more or less wore slacks, you know, pants or khakis.

Mr. Liebeler. Was Lee ever criticized or given a hard time because of the way he dressed or the way he——

Mrs. Smith. No; not that I remember.

Mr. Liebeler. Do you remember that Lee was ever bullied or pushed around by the other boys for any reason?

Mrs. Smith. No; not that I remember.

Mr. Liebeler. There isn't anything that stands out in your mind about Lee Oswald that really would set him apart from the other students, is there, or——

Mrs. Smith. Well, I can just remember him walking, like down the hall in school, and he would just walk like he was proud, you know, just show his back and—but there isn't anything other than that fight. I think that is what made me remember him the most.

Mr. Liebeler. Do you know whether people thought that he was peculiar or arrogant because of this way in which he carried himself and the way in which he walked?

Mrs. Smith. No. He never did mingle with anyone, you know. I guess they just more or less left him alone, unless if he ever started a fight with them or——

Mr. Liebeler. Did you ever hear of Lee starting a fight with anybody?

Mrs. Smith. No.

Mr. Liebeler. You don't know how this fight——

Mrs. Smith. I don't know how this fight started, I really don't. Like I say, I saw a group of people standing around, and when I went to see, they were fighting, but I really——

Mr. Liebeler. Have you talked to Voebel at all about this?

Mrs. Smith. No, sir; I haven't seen him—gee, I guess since I graduated from Beauregard.

Mr. Liebeler. Now where is Beauregard Junior High School located?

Mrs. Smith. On Canal Street, but I don't know the address. It is near the end of the streetcar line, near the cemeteries, across the street from St. Anthony's Church.

Mr. Liebeler. Is it near the downtown section of Canal Street, or is it out farther?

Mrs. Smith. No; well, it is further down.

Mr. Liebeler. Approximately how far would it be from where we are now?

Mrs. Smith. Oh, it is all the way down at the other end of Canal Street. I mean, you know how it is? The river is down here [indicating]. Well, it is on the other side of town.

Mr. Liebeler. Quite a way from here?

Mrs. Smith. Oh, yes, sir. I mean, you take the streetcar and you ride practically to the end of the line.

Mr. Liebeler. Before you got to Beauregard?

Mrs. Smith. It is about three blocks from the end of the line, the end of the streetcar line.

Mr. Liebeler. So it would be several miles from here, would it not?

Mrs. Smith. Yes, sir; I guess—let's see—it must be about the 4000 or 6000 block, something like that, of Canal Street.

Mr. Liebeler. In the 6000 block?

Mrs. Smith. I think so. I am not sure.

Mr. Liebeler. This is Beauregard we are talking about?

Mrs. Smith. Beauregard; yes.

Mr. Liebeler. Can you tell me the area the people that went to Beauregard Junior High School came from? Was it just the area surrounding the school, or did they come from all parts of New Orleans, or just how did they decide who was to go to that high school?

Mrs. Smith. Each high school has its own district, so that the people that lived in Lakeview went to Beauregard. If you lived in Gentilly, you couldn't go to Beauregard unless you got a permit from the school board.

26 Mr. Liebeler. What kind of neighborhood was it? What kind of a district was it that Beauregard drew its students from back in 1954, and 1955?

Mrs. Smith. Well, it's a nice neighborhood, it still is today.

Mr. Liebeler. Has it changed much since then?

Mrs. Smith. No; I don't think so.

Mr. Liebeler. Would you say that it draws from an upper-middle class or middle-class neighborhood?

Mrs. Smith. Middle-class neighborhood.

Mr. Liebeler. You don't have any idea where Lee Oswald lived during the time that he went to Beauregard, do you?

Mrs. Smith. No; sir.

Mr. Liebeler. Did you ever know that he lived in Exchange Alley?

Mrs. Smith. No, sir; not until I seen it in the paper.

Mr. Liebeler. Off the record a minute.

(Discussion off the record)

Mr. Liebeler. You said that after you graduated from Beauregard Junior High School you went to Warren Easton High School? Is that correct?

Mrs. Smith. Yes, sir.

Mr. Liebeler. Now does Warren Easton High School also draw from a particular district, or is that operated on a different principle than Beauregard?

Mrs. Smith. That draws from a district too.

Mr. Liebeler. And that district included the district encompassed by Beauregard Junior High School?

Mrs. Smith. Yes; and also, well, around Easton.

Mr. Liebeler. It includes other districts aside from the Beauregard Junior High School District, does it not?

Mrs. Smith. Well, all the kids that went to Beauregard automatically went to Easton, of course, unless they moved out of the district, but it drew kids that lived around Easton too. I mean the district widened, it got larger like from Beauregard to Easton, you know.

Mr. Liebeler. Did you know that Lee Oswald attended Warren Easton High School?

Mrs. Smith. I can remember seeing him there. My girl friends didn't, but I remembered seeing him, you know, walking down the hall or walking outside of school.

Mr. Liebeler. But nothing else?

Mrs. Smith. But as far as recalling anything about him at Warren Easton other than that, I don't.

Mr. Liebeler. There wasn't any event that he was involved in that stands out in your mind?

Mrs. Smith. No, sir.

Mr. Liebeler. Do you remember when you saw Lee Oswald at Warren Easton? Was it immediately after you started Warren Easton after graduating from Beauregard Junior High School?

Mrs. Smith. Yes; it was right after we had started at Warren Easton.

Mr. Liebeler. You yourself did graduate from Warren Easton, did you not?

Mrs. Smith. Yes, sir.

Mr. Liebeler. You actually attended Warren Easton for three years? Is that right?

Mrs. Smith. Yes, sir; I did.

Mr. Liebeler. Do you remember seeing Lee Oswald over a long period of time at Warren Easton, or was it just for a part?

Mrs. Smith. No; just—I may have just seen him once or twice at the beginning of the school year.

Mr. Liebeler. Did Warren Easton students come from pretty much the same kind of family background or the same kind of economic and social background as the people who went to Beauregard Junior High School?

Mrs. Smith. I think so, but there were a few kids—well, boys—that were——

Mr. Liebeler. Of a somewhat rougher nature, shall we say?

Mrs. Smith. Yes; I wouldn't want to say hoodlums, but they were, you know.

Mr. Liebeler. There were people from a different class or different group of society?

27 Mrs. Smith. There were rumors that some of them took dope. Of course, I don't know how true it is, but that is what they say.

Mr. Liebeler. You never had any knowledge of anything like that or heard any rumors about that at Beauregard, did you?

Mrs. Smith. No; I never have.

Mr. Liebeler. If you can think of anything else about Lee Oswald that I haven't asked you about, we would appreciate it very much if you would set it forth on the record now. Can you think of anything else that we haven't covered?

Mrs. Smith. There isn't anything else I can think of.

Mr. Liebeler. I have no other questions at this point. I do want to thank you for coming down and cooperating with us to the extent that you have, and, on behalf of the Commission I want to thank you very much.


TESTIMONY OF FREDERICK S. O'SULLIVAN

The testimony of Frederick S. O'Sullivan was taken on April 7–8, 1964, at the Old Civil Courts Building, Royal and Conti Streets, New Orleans, La., by Mr. Wesley J. Liebeler, assistant counsel of the President's Commission.

Frederick S. O'Sullivan, having been first duly sworn, was examined and testified as follows:

Mr. Liebeler. My name is Wesley J. Liebeler. I am a member of the legal staff of the President's Commission investigating the assassination of President Kennedy. Staff members have been authorized to take the testimony of witnesses by the Commission pursuant to authority granted to the Commission by Executive Order No. 11130, dated November 29, 1963, and Joint Resolution of Congress No. 137.

I understand that Mr. Rankin wrote to you last week telling you that I would be in touch with you concerning the taking of your testimony, and that he enclosed with his letter a copy of the Executive order and the joint resolution just referred to, as well as a copy of the rules of procedure of the Commission relating to the taking of testimony of witnesses. Did you receive the letter?

Mr. O'Sullivan. Yes, sir.

Mr. Liebeler. The documents I referred to were enclosed with it; were they not?

Mr. O'Sullivan. Yes, sir.

Mr. Liebeler. One of the things the Commission is interested in is the background of Lee Harvey Oswald, the alleged assassin, to the extent that knowledge of his background can assist the Commission in evaluating Mr. Oswald's possible motive, if it is true, as it was alleged, that he was the assassin. Before we get into the knowledge that you may have of Oswald, would you state your full name for the record.

Mr. O'Sullivan. Frederick Stephen Patrick O'Sullivan.

Mr. Liebeler. What is your address, Mr. O'Sullivan?

Mr. O'Sullivan. 413 Heritage Avenue, Gretna, La.

Mr. Liebeler. You are a member of the New Orleans Police Department, as I understand. Is that correct?

Mr. O'Sullivan. I am.

Mr. Liebeler. You are a detective on the vice squad?

Mr. O'Sullivan. Right.

Mr. Liebeler. How long have you been with the New Orleans Police Department?

Mr. O'Sullivan. Six years.

Mr. Liebeler. You were born here in New Orleans? Is that correct?

Mr. O'Sullivan. I was.

Mr. Liebeler. And how old are you now?

Mr. O'Sullivan. Twenty-six.

28 Mr. Liebeler. I understand that you knew Lee Oswald when he attended a junior high school here in New Orleans. Is that correct?

Mr. O'Sullivan. Yes; Beauregard Junior High.

Mr. Liebeler. Beauregard Junior High?

Mr. O'Sullivan. On Canal Street.

Mr. Liebeler. Your own education included attendance at Beauregard Junior High School?

Mr. O'Sullivan. It did.

Mr. Liebeler. How long did you go to Beauregard?

Mr. O'Sullivan. One year.

Mr. Liebeler. And where did you go prior to that time?

Mr. O'Sullivan. St. Dominic's.

Mr. Liebeler. St. Dominic's?

Mr. O'Sullivan. Elementary school.

Mr. Liebeler. Here in New Orleans?

Mr. O'Sullivan. In Lakeview in New Orleans.

Mr. Liebeler. After you left Beauregard, where did you go?

Mr. O'Sullivan. I went to Warren Easton Senior High School.

Mr. Liebeler. Is that here in New Orleans also?

Mr. O'Sullivan. Yes.

Mr. Liebeler. And did you graduate from Warren Easton High School?

Mr. O'Sullivan. I did.

Mr. Liebeler. Did you attend college at any place?

Mr. O'Sullivan. Yes; I am in college in Loyola right now through a police department scholarship.

Mr. Liebeler. Tell us everything that you can remember about Oswald when you knew him at Beauregard Junior High School, how you met him, what contacts you had with him, just the whole story.

Mr. O'Sullivan. All right. I was a cadet in Civil Air Patrol, and while I was in Beauregard we were having a recruiting drive to get more cadet members in the New Orleans squadron, and there were three fellows at the school that I talked to in particular about joining that. One was Joseph Thompson, one was Edward Voebel—I am not sure how that name is spelled—and Lee Harvey Oswald. My reason for asking Oswald to join was I noticed—we had a drill team, we were real proud of our drill team.

Mr. Liebeler. This was a marching team?

Mr. O'Sullivan. A marching unit; yes, sir, and Oswald carried himself always erect, always gave the impression that he could be marching, that he may be marching, eyes straight ahead, head straight, shoulders back, so he impressed me as the sort of a fellow that would really fit well on the drill team. He seemed like he could—well, he even gave the impression that he would make a pretty good leader if he ever got into the squadron, so with this recruiting drive I asked the three of them to come out to the airport. I explained what we did out there, marching and flying on the weekends and so forth to them at school. Joseph Thompson and Oswald and Voebel all three came out to the airport. Joe Thompson stayed in the squadron, and Oswald came to one or two meetings, possibly three, along with Voebel. However, Voebel then joined the Civil Air Patrol at Moisant Airport, and because he was a closer friend of Oswald, he evidently talked Oswald into coming out to the squadron he had joined.

Mr. Liebeler. At Moisant Field?

Mr. O'Sullivan. At Moisant Airport.

Mr. Liebeler. Right.

Mr. O'Sullivan. Yes. Incidentally, Oswald—I didn't know this until I read it in the paper—lived only a half a block from me for a short time. I lived in Lakeview at 800 French Street, I believe, and he lived either in the 800 or the 700 block of French Street.

Mr. Liebeler. That would have been in 1963 when he came here to New Orleans? Is that correct?

Mr. O'Sullivan. Oh, I didn't live there at that time. No, I moved from French Street around 1957.

29 Mr. Liebeler. Can you remember anything else about Oswald at the time he was in Beauregard Junior High School with you, about his friendships? Did he have many friends at that time, or do you recall?

Mr. O'Sullivan. No; I believe he and I, because of the spelling of our last names, were possibly in the same homeroom in the morning, but I really don't recall anything. I don't recall much about any of the students at Beauregard or at Warren Easton. I sort of—I was an athlete, and we stayed away from the rest of the students. They had a thing that they kept us away from the rest of the students pretty much.

Mr. Liebeler. You say you were an athlete at Beauregard?

Mr. O'Sullivan. Yes, sir.

Mr. Liebeler. What particular sport were you involved in?

Mr. O'Sullivan. Football and track, and the same at Warren Easton.

Mr. Liebeler. Did Oswald, as far as you know, ever have anything to do with sports activities?

Mr. O'Sullivan. No.

Mr. Liebeler. Do you remember whether Oswald and Voebel were close acquaintances at that time, or do you know?

Mr. O'Sullivan. Only in that Voebel left the New Orleans squadron and went out to Moisant and evidently—or I believe he talked Oswald into coming out there with him.

Mr. Liebeler. Now you don't know of your own knowledge whether or not Oswald ever did join the Civil Air Patrol, do you?

Mr. O'Sullivan. No; I don't know that he signed any papers or had uniforms or anything. I know that he came out to New Orleans Airport and attended some of the meetings, but whether he just—you see, a lot of time people would come out and sit in the classes to decide whether they wanted to join or not. We will allow this, hoping to get more cadets. I don't know that he ever signed any papers or joined. You can check with the Louisiana Wing Headquarters and they can give it to you.

Mr. Liebeler. You don't know whether Oswald ever did actually go out to Moisant Field to Civil Air Patrol meetings at that place?

Mr. O'Sullivan. No.

Mr. Liebeler. Did you have rifles as a part of your Civil Air Patrol program? Did you have rifle practice and drill with rifles?

Mr. O'Sullivan. We didn't drill with rifles, but we did belong to the NRA and we did fire rifles on the range, and also when we went to summer camp we would fire on the range.

Mr. Liebeler. NRA is the National Rifle Association? Is that correct?

Mr. O'Sullivan. Correct.

Mr. Liebeler. What kind of rifles did you fire when you went to summer camp?

Mr. O'Sullivan. Now I am getting summer camp mixed up with the National Guard. I believe we fired .22's in the CAP.

Mr. Liebeler. Did you ever observe Oswald engage in rifle practice of any kind in connection with CAP activities?

Mr. O'Sullivan. No, sir.

Mr. Liebeler. Do you know whether or not Oswald ever did engage in any rifle practice in connection with the CAP?

Mr. O'Sullivan. No, sir.

Mr. Liebeler. Do you know David Ferrie, F-e-r-r-i-e?

Mr. O'Sullivan. Yes, sir; I know him.

Mr. Liebeler. Do you know of any connection between Oswald and David Ferrie?

Mr. O'Sullivan. No; I have no personal knowledge of anything.

Mr. Liebeler. Ferrie was involved with the CAP squadron at New Orleans Airport at the time Voebel and Oswald came out to join it? Is that correct?

Mr. O'Sullivan. Ferrie was in charge of the squadron, and then there was a Captain Hinton. Now I was in the squadron for 6 years, so I am not sure who was in charge at what particular time. I am not sure. He could have been. He may have been, but I am not sure. I know that when he left the New Orleans squadron, Ferrie did have something to do with the Moisant30 squadron, so he may have. If he wasn't in charge when Oswald was out at New Orleans Airport, he may have been in charge when he went to Moisant Airport.

Mr. Liebeler. But you don't know of any time that Oswald associated with or knew Ferrie through the Civil Air Patrol?

Mr. O'Sullivan. No; I am not sure of any.

Mr. Liebeler. Now you said that you had no personal knowledge or no direct knowledge of any relationship between Oswald and Ferrie?

Mr. O'Sullivan. No.

Mr. Liebeler. Do you have any information that would lead you to believe that there was a relationship between these two men?

Mr. O'Sullivan. Only that when all of this broke with Oswald, I went through all of the old CAP files that were available, trying to get some information for the Secret Service, the people who had called me up at home, and——

Mr. Liebeler. Where were these files located?

Mr. O'Sullivan. These files are in the possession of one Robert Boylston.

Mr. Liebeler. Who was he?

Mr. O'Sullivan. He was also a member of the CAP at the time we all were, at New Orleans.

Mr. Liebeler. How did the records come to be in his possession?

Mr. O'Sullivan. He is a senior member now. He has maybe recently dropped out, but he was a senior member and these records were just turned over to him in the whole filing cabinet. They are all old records. I am trying to get the thing straight in my mind. Of course, I have been trying to get it straight in my mind, just what I know and what I have heard. It gets kind of confusing when you read so much. Sometimes you remember things that you don't really remember, you know.

Mr. Liebeler. Did you find anything in these files that related to Ferrie or Oswald?

Mr. O'Sullivan. Well, we found papers signed by Ferrie but nothing in relation to Oswald. His name wasn't mentioned in anything at all that we could find, so we assumed at that time that Oswald was in the Moisant squadron. I believe they even had in the paper the dates, and we checked those particular dates and it turned out that Ferrie was in a transition between the New Orleans squadron and the Moisant squadron in these dates, so he could have been involved either way with Oswald. I don't know if he was involved, he could have been.

Mr. Liebeler. But you found nothing in the files?

Mr. O'Sullivan. Nothing concrete.

Mr. Liebeler. That you investigated as to the relation between Oswald and Ferrie?

Mr. O'Sullivan. No.

Mr. Liebeler. Am I correct in understanding that there has been publicity here in the New Orleans area concerning a possible relationship between Oswald and Ferrie?

Mr. O'Sullivan. Yes, sir; I believe Captain Ferrie was arrested. I am sure he was arrested, and I believe it was in connection with this Oswald situation. He was booked at the first district station. I don't know just what he was charged with, I believe just 107, under investigation of whatever it was, I don't know.

Mr. Liebeler. Now you go ahead.

Mr. O'Sullivan. Lieutenant Dwyer, Paul Dwyer, from the New Orleans Police Department, intelligence division, I accompanied him out to New Orleans Airport where we found Dave Ferrie's airplane. We wanted to check it to see if it was flyable, to see possibly whether he had been flying it lately, with the thought that he may have transported Oswald to Dallas. This isn't my thought, this was brought up to me, and we found his plane, but his plane was not in flyable condition. It had flat tires, instruments missing, needed a paint job. We also checked to see if he had rented an aircraft from any of the companies out there, and one company in particular said that they wouldn't rent him an airplane.

Mr. Liebeler. Did they tell you why?

Mr. O'Sullivan. No.

31 Mr. Liebeler. You are a detective on the vice squad? Is that correct?

Mr. O'Sullivan. Yes, sir.

Mr. Liebeler. Are you assigned to a particular aspect of vice activities here in New Orleans?

Mr. O'Sullivan. No, sir; there are only nine of us to cover the whole city. Therefore, we handle any vice, gambling, prostitution, homosexuals, handbooks. Anything that comes under the vice laws, we handle.

Mr. Liebeler. You have never had any contact with Ferrie in connection with your activities on the vice squad? Is that correct?

Mr. O'Sullivan. No; Ferrie lives or he did live in Jefferson Parish. We have no authority in Jefferson Parish. [Deletion.]

Mr. Liebeler. Now see if you can recall or think back to your experiences in the Beauregard Junior High School, and tell us if you can remember anything else or if there is anything else that you want to add what you have already said about your knowledge of Oswald and his activities at the time he was at Beauregard Junior High School.

Mr. O'Sullivan. Well, I have put quite a bit of thought on this ever since it all happened, especially since I have gotten this correspondence relative to what I know about it, and as much as I would like to help you as much as I can, I just can't think of anything else. I don't want to say something I am not sure of. Well, actually, even if I thought of something, I would tell you and tell you I am not sure, but there is nothing else I can think of.

Mr. Liebeler. All right. I have no other questions at this time, and if there is nothing else that you want to add to the record, on behalf of the Commission, I want to thank you very much for your cooperation.

Mr. O'Sullivan. Yes, sir; thank you.


TESTIMONY OF MRS. MILDRED SAWYER

The testimony of Mrs. Mildred Sawyer was taken on April 7–8, 1964, at the Old Civil Courts Building, Royal and Conti Streets, New Orleans, La., by Mr. Wesley J. Liebeler, assistant counsel of the President's Commission.

Mrs. Mildred Sawyer, having been first duly sworn, was examined and testified as follows:

Mr. Liebeler. My name is Wesley J. Liebeler. I am a member of the legal staff of the President's Commission investigating the assassination of President Kennedy. The Commission staff members have been authorized to take the testimony of witnesses by the Commission pursuant to authority to the Commission by Executive Order No. 11130, dated November 29, 1963, and Joint Resolution of Congress No. 137.

I understand that Mr. Rankin wrote to you last week and told you that we would be in touch with you about the taking of your testimony.

Mrs. Sawyer. Yes.

Mr. Liebeler. And that he enclosed with that letter a copy of the Executive order and the congressional resolution to which I have just referred, and also a copy of the Commission's rules governing the taking of testimony of witnesses. Is that correct?

Mrs. Sawyer. That is correct. At the time that I spoke to your Mr. Gerrets last night, I hadn't gone through some mail that was in my place and had been picked up by my aunt when she came by and picked up the mail on that Saturday morning, and I hadn't even bothered going through it, because most of the time the mail I have is just bills or some advertisements, and it is very inconsequential, so, as a result, after hearing that I was supposed to have a letter, I became a little curious and looked, and I found that there was one.

Mr. Liebeler. Good. Technically, witnesses are entitled to 3 days' notice before being required to appear. I don't think you had quite 3 days' notice,32 but you can waive that if you want to. As long as you are here, I assume you will want to go ahead.

Mrs. Sawyer. Certainly. I will be very glad to, because I am afraid there is very little I know.

Mr. Liebeler. I don't think we will take very long, actually, but one of the things the Commission is trying to do is develop as much background knowledge about Lee Harvey Oswald as it possibly can, in the hope that it might give some insight into his possible motive, if in fact he did assassinate the President.

Mrs. Sawyer. I see.

Mr. Liebeler. Would you state your full name for the record?

Mrs. Sawyer. Mildred Sawyer.

Mr. Liebeler. Where do you live?

Mrs. Sawyer. I live in Lakeview; 6306 Louisville Street; part of the time with my father, and then I have a little place on Exchange Place where I kept my husband's books and things, where we always worked, more or less a little office, and when the weather was bad or when I felt too pressed with work, or if I am tired and don't feel like going to dad's, I stay there. My husband and I had the place arranged so, whenever we wanted to, we could stay there.

Mr. Liebeler. Your husband is deceased? Is that correct?

Mrs. Sawyer. Yes.

Mr. Liebeler. How long have you lived at the Exchange Place apartment?

Mrs. Sawyer. Oh, whenever the Monteleone Hotel took over the place where we were living, which belonged to Mr. Saussaye, on Royal Street, and he owned that building there, and the Monteleone Hotel—you remember when they tore it down and remodeled to make a parking garage there? We had to leave at that time, and then we were looking for some little place to store all our books and everything—my husband was an engineer and we had a lot of things that we worked on, and he was in and out of the city, so when he came in it was very convenient to have someplace like that where we could work sometimes, if we felt like it, way past midnight, and that would have disturbed my father, who was quite old—he is 91, in fact—so that is how we started looking around, and we found this little place and took it, and I have been going back and forth ever since.

Mr. Liebeler. That would have been in the 1950's sometime?

Mrs. Sawyer. I am trying to recall the year, but really I can't without looking at my receipts. It would be hard for me to remember that. My husband died 2 years ago in November, and we were there at least 3 years or 4 years, I think. I am not certain of the time. I mean it is kind of hard for me to reconstruct, to go back. Anyway, whatever it was, when we moved there these people, this Mrs. Oswald and her son, were living there in the apartment below the one that we took, and they remained there a short while, and they moved away after that and I never heard any more or anything until then, and I had forgotten all about the name of the people or anything until finally your men called.

Mr. Liebeler. You mean you were interviewed by someone from the FBI sometime back in November?

Mrs. Sawyer. Yes. There was an FBI man who called me sometime back, and that is when I realized that they were the same people.

Mr. Liebeler. Did you become acquainted with Mrs. Oswald to any extent during the time that you lived at this Exchange Place?

Mrs. Sawyer. Not really, because—well, she was old enough to be my mother, I might say, and our working all the time—and so was my husband—and then I was connected with the opera group here and I was out most of the time, and when we met it was usually on the stairway or in and out the door, once in awhile talking on the steps, perhaps. About the most we did was bid each other the time of day, and that is about all, and, of course, the little boy the same thing. And I say "little boy" because to me he was a child when I saw him. I can vaguely remember, or I have a mental picture of, a little boy with blond, curly hair and rather nice looking, and that is about all I can say, and once in a while if he happened to be going out or coming in at the time I was going, he would always open the door and hold the door for me, and he seemed quite polite.

33 Mr. Liebeler. He was about 14 years old?

Mrs. Sawyer. I would say he must have been about 14. I say he was a little boy because I am sure he was an early teenager. Of course, as I say, I have lost track of time then. I was wondering how old he actually is or was.

Mr. Liebeler. Is the address of this place 126 Exchange Place?

Mrs. Sawyer. Yes.

Mr. Liebeler. It is not in Exchange Alley?

Mrs. Sawyer. It is Exchange Place, and Exchange Place and Exchange Alley are one and the same thing. Years ago they used to be called Exchange Alley.

Mr. Liebeler. Do you know what Mrs. Oswald did for a living?

Mrs. Sawyer. Yes. That much I do know, because I believe she was working as a clerk in Kreeger's, but I am not positive. I have been trying to think since I had to come here, and she left there, and I believe she either went to Goldring's or Godchaux's—I don't remember which—because she met me on the street one day and asked if I was buying any clothes and would I not come by and buy from her so that she might get the commission or show me something I might be interested in. In fact, I never did go; I never did buy, though. I never did go to her for anything.

Mr. Liebeler. The only two people that lived in the apartment were Mrs. Oswald and this boy? Is that right?

Mrs. Sawyer. That is all.

Mr. Liebeler. Do you know how big an apartment it was?

Mrs. Sawyer. Well, I imagine it consisted of about the same size or same things as the one that we have; that is, a large living room, combination dining room or a little dining alcove, and a small bath, a small kitchen, and a rather large bedroom with large closet space, and I am sure—seeing it, well, I would say the stretch of the building going up the stairway, I would say that it was the same thing, or close to it anyway. I am sure it had the same dimensions.

Mr. Liebeler. Do you remember anything about Lee Oswald, the boy that lived there? I think you told the FBI that he would always get home before his mother and he was very quiet.

Mrs. Sawyer. Well, I say I am not certain that he always got home before his mother. I imagine he came home from school, because, as I say, occasionally I met him going up and down the stairway or at the door or something like that, but he was not a boisterous child and undoubtedly he was not an unruly child, because I am sure if he had been and she had scolded him we would have heard it unless it was very low voiced and——

Mr. Liebeler. And you never did hear any arguments between them or any scolding?

Mrs. Sawyer. No.

Mr. Liebeler. Did he seem to be polite?

Mrs. Sawyer. Yes; quite polite. I mean, in fact, that was one of the things that impressed me about him, because most kids these days, especially the teenagers, are usually so abrupt. They don't think very much of manners, but, in fact, if I happened to come in and he was out at the doorway, he held the door and closed it after me, or something like that, and I thought it was rather nice, but I never got into any conversations with him, because I make it a point that, outside of my own circle of friends, I don't really care to become friendly with other people, and I think neighbors especially.

Mr. Liebeler. Did you know whether he had any friends from school or anyplace come to visit him, people his own age? Did you see anyone come and go?

Mrs. Sawyer. I never did, but then, like I say, I am out from 8 o'clock in the morning until maybe 5:30, 6, or 7 in the evening, and sometimes I get a snack and go back to work again and work until maybe 9 o'clock or so.

Mr. Liebeler. What were you doing at that time? Were you working?

Mrs. Sawyer. Secretary.

Mr. Liebeler. Secretarial work?

Mrs. Sawyer. Yes.

Mr. Liebeler. Are you employed as a secretary now, too?

Mrs. Sawyer. I do secretarial work or general or anything like that that I am qualified to do. Well, anything along those lines.

34 Mr. Liebeler. Are you employed at the present time?

Mrs. Sawyer. Yes.

Mr. Liebeler. Do you remember the circumstances under which the Oswalds left the Exchange Place apartment? Did they tell you where they were going or anything?

Mrs. Sawyer. No; I didn't—I don't recall her saying anything about where she was going particularly. I know one day my husband told me that she was packing furniture or something and preparing to leave, and shortly after that evidently her things were picked up, because when I came back, well, they were gone.

Mr. Liebeler. As far as you can recall, there was nothing peculiar or particularly outstanding about this boy that would call notice to him to distinguish him from other boys his age?

Mrs. Sawyer. Really, no; I wouldn't say anything that I can think of, and, as I say, I never came in contact with him long enough or spoke to him, and they were just average people. She just seemed like a very average mother, and I rather imagined in my own mind that she worked and probably did all she could to take care of him as any mother would. About the only thing I remembered about him was the fact that he was rather a nice-looking little boy, and his blond, curly hair.

Mr. Liebeler. Do you know of any friends that Mrs. Oswald had during that time?

Mrs. Sawyer. No; I don't, and, of course, I could venture to say that she probably had friends at the stores where she worked.

Mr. Liebeler. But you didn't know any of them?

Mrs. Sawyer. I didn't know any of them, because I made no contacts.

Mr. Liebeler. I don't think I have any more questions, Mrs. Sawyer. If you can think of anything else that you want to add or anything that you think we ought to know, that we haven't asked you about, or if you can remember anything else about the Oswalds that we haven't covered——

Mrs. Sawyer. No; well, about the only thing I can tell you is that apparently she was a very kindly person, because the day that we moved into the place, when we had so many books and things to take up, and it was rather a struggle and stairs to climb, and I guess we might have been pretty tired—well, she came out of her doorway and brought coffee to both of us right there on the stairway, and that was the first contact we had with her that we had ever seen her, and——

Mr. Liebeler. She seemed to be friendly?

Mrs. Sawyer. She seemed to be a pleasant person, a friendly person, but I would say very average, I would think. She seemed to be well spoken, I would say average education, possibly not college or anything like that. I was really quite amazed at such a thing happening to this little boy, because, as I said, my picture of him, my mental picture I did remember seemed to be such a pleasant one that something like that came as pretty much of a shock that a child who seemed to be so nice would be involved in anything like that.

Mr. Liebeler. Did he ever talk about politics with you, or did you ever hear him talking about politics to anybody?

Mrs. Sawyer. No, no; because, as I said, I never met him any more than just saying good morning—and he did say that—or good evening or something like that, but I never engaged in any conversations with him at all. I considered him just a child, and I would hardly think at 14 years old he would have engaged in political talk, or else he would have been quite——

Mr. Liebeler. Precocious?

Mrs. Sawyer. True.

Mr. Liebeler. Well, if you don't have anything else that you can think of, I have no more questions. We want to thank you very much for coming over.

Mrs. Sawyer. Well, you are quite welcome.

Mr. Liebeler. And for waiting until we got to you, both for myself personally, and the Commission through me expresses its thanks for the cooperation that you have given us.

Mrs. Sawyer. Well, you are quite welcome. I am sorry that all I know is so vague and such a little bit.


35

TESTIMONY OF MRS. ANNE BOUDREAUX

The testimony of Mrs. Anne Boudreaux was taken on April 7, 1964, at the Old Civil Courts Building, Royal and Conti Streets, New Orleans, La., by Mr. Albert E. Jenner, Jr., assistant counsel of the President's Commission.

Mrs. Anne Boudreaux, 831 Pauline Street, New Orleans, La., after first being duly sworn, testified as follows:

Mr. Jenner. You are Mrs. Anne Boudreaux, is that right?

Mrs. Boudreaux. Yes, sir.

Mr. Jenner. And your husband's name is Edward?

Mrs. Boudreaux. That's right.

Mr. Jenner. Mrs. Boudreaux, you received a letter from the general counsel of the Commission, did you not?

Mrs. Boudreaux. Yes, I did.

Mr. Jenner. In which was enclosed a copy of Senate Joint Resolution 137, which authorized the creation of the Commission to investigate the assassination of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy, is that right?

Mrs. Boudreaux. Yes; I have the letter with me.

Mr. Jenner. And the order of Lyndon B. Johnson, the President of the United States, bringing the Commission into existence and fixing its powers and duties?

Mrs. Boudreaux. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. And a copy of our rules and regulations under which we take testimony before the Commission and also by way of deposition, such as this one?

Mrs. Boudreaux. Yes, sir.

Mr. Jenner. All right. I therefore take it you understand from those documents that the Commission was authorized and appointed to investigate all the facts and circumstances surrounding the assassination of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy on the 22d of November 1963?

Mrs. Boudreaux. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. I am Albert E. Jenner, Jr., member of the legal staff, of the Commission, and I would like to inquire of you a little bit to see if you can't give us some information that will help the Commission in its investigation.

Mrs. Boudreaux. Yes, sir.

Mr. Jenner. We are seeking to elicit from those who came into contact with Lee Harvey Oswald and his brothers and his mother and others, information that may be helpful to the Commission in its work, and the Commission very much appreciates your coming down here today, because these are always a little inconvenient, of course.

Mrs. Boudreaux. Yes, sir.

Mr. Jenner. All right. Now, Mrs. Boudreaux, you live at 831 Pauline Street, is that right?

Mrs. Boudreaux. Yes, sir.

Mr. Jenner. How long have you lived at 831 Pauline?

Mrs. Boudreaux. Since 1932—no, I beg your pardon, 1942; since June 15, 1942.

Mr. Jenner. 1942, rather than 1932?

Mrs. Boudreaux. Yes, that's right. I wasn't thinking right.

Mr. Jenner. By the way, are you a native of this part of the country?

Mrs. Boudreaux. Yes, I am.

Mr. Jenner. You were born here and reared here?

Mrs. Boudreaux. I was born in Louisiana, yes.

Mr. Jenner. And your husband?

Mrs. Boudreaux. My husband too.

Mr. Jenner. And you have a family?

Mrs. Boudreaux. Yes, I do.

Mr. Jenner. How many children?

Mrs. Boudreaux. I have five children.

Mr. Jenner. What are their ages, Mrs. Boudreaux?

Mrs. Boudreaux. 22, 17, two 16's, and one 11.

Mr. Jenner. Two 16's?

36 Mrs. Boudreaux. That's right.

Mr. Jenner. Now, who was the previous occupant of your home, if you know?

Mrs. Boudreaux. Mrs. Oswald.

Mr. Jenner. That's Mrs. Marguerite Oswald?

Mrs. Boudreaux. Yes, Marguerite Oswald.

Mr. Jenner. Did you become acquainted with her?

Mrs. Boudreaux. No, I did not.

Mr. Jenner. You did not?

Mrs. Boudreaux. No, sir.

Mr. Jenner. Do you know to where she moved when you took over that house?

Mrs. Boudreaux. No, I do not.

Mr. Jenner. That home is a single family dwelling, is it not?

Mrs. Boudreaux. It's a double house.

Mr. Jenner. A double house?

Mrs. Boudreaux. Yes, sir.

Mr. Jenner. Is that up and down, or side by side?

Mrs. Boudreaux. Two sides.

Mr. Jenner. Side by side with a common party wall, I suppose?

Mrs. Boudreaux. Yes, sir.

Mr. Jenner. Who occupies the other house?

Mrs. Boudreaux. On the other side?

Mr. Jenner. Yes.

Mrs. Boudreaux. It's a Mr. Russo.

Mr. Jenner. Mr. Russo?

Mrs. Boudreaux. Him and his wife, but they were living there when I moved in.

Mr. Jenner. When you moved in?

Mrs. Boudreaux. Yes, sir; they were there already.

Mr. Jenner. Did you learn of any particular circumstances which brought about or played a part in Mrs. Oswald's leaving those premises?

Mrs. Boudreaux. No; I didn't. I didn't hear anything like that.

Mr. Jenner. Did you become acquainted with someone who in turn had some experiences with Lee Oswald?

Mrs. Boudreaux. Yes, sir; like I told the detective that came to see me, that was Mrs. Roach; she's dead now.

Mr. Jenner. Mrs. Roach?

Mrs. Boudreaux. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. Where did she live?

Mrs. Boudreaux. She lived with them for about 2 weeks. She was their babysitter.

Mr. Jenner. Oh, babysitter for Mrs. Oswald?

Mrs. Boudreaux. Yes, sir; for the baby.

Mr. Jenner. She baby-sat for Lee Oswald then, is that right?

Mrs. Boudreaux. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. Did she live in that neighborhood?

Mrs. Boudreaux. Yes. She used to live on Lesseps Street.

Mr. Jenner. That is where with respect to your home; about how far away?

Mrs. Boudreaux. Well, about 6 blocks, I guess. It's right about a block from the Port of Embarkation.

Mr. Jenner. And she would come over and babysit for Lee, is that right?

Mrs. Boudreaux. Well, she stayed with Mrs. Oswald for 2 weeks.

Mr. Jenner. She actually moved into the home?

Mrs. Boudreaux. Yes, for 2 weeks she moved in.

Mr. Jenner. When was that?

Mrs. Boudreaux. Well, that was right before Mrs. Oswald moved out, and I moved in.

Mr. Jenner. Shortly before that?

Mrs. Boudreaux. Yes, it wasn't long before that. In fact, it was through her that I knew the house was going to be empty.

Mr. Jenner. Through Mrs. Roach?

Mrs. Boudreaux. Yes.

37 Mr. Jenner. You had been acquainted with her for some time?

Mrs. Boudreaux. Mrs. Roach?

Mr. Jenner. Yes.

Mrs. Boudreaux. Oh, yes. I had known Mrs. Roach since I was a little bitty girl. She was in the Oswald home either in the early part of June or the latter part of May 1942.

Mr. Jenner. She was?

Mrs. Boudreaux. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. Did you have some conversations with her at the time with respect to Lee's conduct?

Mrs. Boudreaux. Who, Mrs. Roach?

Mr. Jenner. Yes; with respect to Lee's conduct while she was babysitting?

Mrs. Boudreaux. Yes; she usually talked about things like that, you know, and she said the reason why she had to leave was because he was bad, and he wouldn't listen, and things like that.

Mr. Jenner. The reason why Mrs. Roach had to leave?

Mrs. Boudreaux. Yes, sir; she said she just couldn't take it any more.

Mr. Jenner. Lee then would have been about 2 years old, is that right?

Mrs. Boudreaux. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. A little more than that?

Mrs. Boudreaux. Yes. She said she just couldn't take it any longer.

Mr. Jenner. Tell me as best you can what Mrs. Roach recalled in that conversation with you.

Mrs. Boudreaux. Well, she said he wouldn't listen, and he was bad. She said he had a little toy gun, and he threw it at her and broke the chandelier in the bedroom, and things like that.

Mr. Jenner. Of course, at that age he wouldn't know whether it was a gun or not, or what a gun was, would he?

Mrs. Boudreaux. No, but you know, she said it was just a little toy gun, but he threw it at her when he got mad, and she had an awful time with him.

Mr. Jenner. She thought he exhibited fits of temper?

Mrs. Boudreaux. Yes. She said he was a, I mean, a bad child; that's what she said.

Mr. Jenner. Did she say anything about the other two boys.

Mrs. Boudreaux. No, she didn't. In fact, I didn't even know about the other boys until the man told me who he was. I didn't know she had other boys.

Mr. Jenner. That man who told you that, was he from the FBI or the Secret Service?

Mrs. Boudreaux. Yes; he came out three times to see me.

Mr. Jenner. When you moved into that home, what was the reputation in the neighborhood or community with respect to Mrs. Oswald?

Mrs. Boudreaux. Well, nobody ever talked about her. You know, neighbors sort of keep to themselves. I mean, that's a neighborhood that whoever moves in they keep to themselves. They don't make up to you too quickly, I mean.

Mr. Jenner. But as far as the general reputation is concerned, what was her reputation for truth and veracity, for example?

Mrs. Boudreaux. Well, they have never spoken about that, at least to me, I mean, the neighbors.

Mr. Jenner. You never heard anything bad about her?

Mrs. Boudreaux. No, I never did, and as far as her being a good mother to her children, well, I have never heard anything other than good. I have never heard anything spoken about her.

Mr. Jenner. When her son Lee was 2 years old, was she working at that time?

Mrs. Boudreaux. I think she was.

Mr. Jenner. Is that why she had to have a babysitter.

Mrs. Boudreaux. Yes; that's why she had had the babysitter. I mean, the lady that could tell you all about that, she's dead—Mrs. Roach. She's deceased. She could have told you a lot more about all that.

Mr. Jenner. What did you learn as to how long she had been living there?

Mrs. Boudreaux. Well, I don't know how long she had been living there when I moved in.

38 Mr. Jenner. Where is 831 Pauline Street with respect to 1012 Bartholomew?

Mrs. Boudreaux. That would be about 4 blocks, I would say, from where I live.

Mr. Jenner. From 1012 Bartholomew to where you live would be about 4 blocks?

Mrs. Boudreaux. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. Did you learn that she lived at one time at 1010 Bartholomew?

Mrs. Boudreaux. No; I didn't. I don't know where she lived after she left there.

Mr. Jenner. Were these rented homes, or could you purchase them?

Mrs. Boudreaux. The one where I was living?

Mr. Jenner. Yes.

Mrs. Boudreaux. They were rented, but now I own my home.

Mr. Jenner. But they were being rented at that time?

Mrs. Boudreaux. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. The former landlady, is she alive?

Mrs. Boudreaux. No; she's not.

Mrs. Jenner. She's dead?

Mrs. Boudreaux. Yes; she's dead.

Mr. Jenner. Until this tragic event occurred last fall, had you heard of any of the Oswalds from the time they moved away?

Mrs. Boudreaux. No; I didn't know until the FBI man told me—until he got to questioning me, that it was the boy who lived in that house. I didn't realize that until he told me. The only other contact I had—I don't know if it's important or not——

Mr. Jenner. Well, you let us decide what is important and what isn't. We want to get all the information we can possibly get as to the facts and circumstances surrounding this matter; so you go right ahead.

Mrs. Boudreaux. Well, I bought the boy's baby bed, and I gave Mrs. Roach the money to pay for it, and she left the bed in the house, and then they never came back for the money, I don't think.

Mr. Jenner. In advance of moving in, you purchased their baby bed?

Mrs. Boudreaux. Yes; I bought the bed, which I still have, and I raised all my children with it.

Mr. Jenner. Is that right?

Mrs. Boudreaux. Yes; I raised my five children with it, and I intend to give it to them even though this happened. Like I say, it wasn't concerning them at all.

Mr. Jenner. Now, these depositions will be written up by the court reporter, and you have the privilege, if you wish, of reading your deposition and signing it, but you can waive that if you want so as to avoid the inconvenience of coming down here again, but if you wish to read it and sign it, that's your privilege. If you decide to waive the reading and signing of the deposition, the court reporter will transcribe it, and it will be sent by the U.S. attorney to Washington to be read by the members of the Commission conducting this investigation.

Mrs. Boudreaux. I don't need to sign it. All I was saying was the truth, and that's all I can do.

Mr. Jenner. Then I take it you would just as soon waive the necessity of reading and signing the deposition?

Mrs. Boudreaux. Yes, sir.

Mr. Jenner. Very well; thank you very much for appearing here voluntarily and giving us your statement.


TESTIMONY OF MRS. VIOLA PETERMAN

The testimony of Mrs. Viola Peterman was taken on April 7, 1964, at the Old Civil Courts Building, Royal and Conti Streets, New Orleans, La., by Mr. Albert E. Jenner, Jr., assistant counsel of the President's Commission.

39

Mrs. Viola Peterman, 1012 Bartholomew Street, New Orleans, La., after first being duly sworn, testified as follows:

Mr. Jenner. This is Mrs. Mildred Peterman, is that right?

Mrs. Peterman. No; that's Milfred.

Mr. Jenner. Milfred?

Mrs. Peterman. Yes; that's M-i-l-f-r-e-d. That's my husband's name.

Mr. Jenner. It's Mrs. Milfred Peterman?

Mrs. Peterman. That's correct.

Mr. Jenner. What is your given name, Mrs. Peterman?

Mrs. Peterman. Viola.

Mr. Jenner. Is that V-i-o-l-a?

Mrs. Peterman. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. You received a letter recently from Mr. Rankin; is that correct?

Mrs. Peterman. Yes, sir.

Mr. Jenner. The general counsel of the Warren Commission?

Mrs. Peterman. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. There was enclosed with the letter three documents, weren't there?

Mrs. Peterman. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. One was the Senate joint resolution authorizing the creation of the Presidential Commission to investigate the assassination of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy; another was the Executive order of President Johnson appointing that Commission and fixing its powers and its duties, and the other was a copy of the rules and regulations under which we take depositions, such as this one, and have testimony before the Commission; is that right?

Mrs. Peterman. Yes, sir.

Mr. Jenner. Do you understand from those documents, Mrs. Peterman, that the Commission is directed by the President to investigate the facts and circumstances surrounding the assassination of President Kennedy?

Mrs. Peterman. Yes, sir.

Mr. Jenner. In that connection, we of the Commission's legal staff, in addition to presenting evidence before the Commission itself, are deposing various people around the country whose lives came into contact with Lee Harvey Oswald and with other individuals involved, or possibly involved, in the assassination, and we understand that you have some information that might be helpful to us; is that right, Mrs. Peterman?

Mrs. Peterman. Well, I can only tell you what I know.

Mr. Jenner. That's all we ask, Mrs. Peterman. First, let me ask, are you a native of this part of the country?

Mrs. Peterman. Yes; New Orleans, La.

Mr. Jenner. You were born here?

Mrs. Peterman. Yes, sir.

Mr. Jenner. And was your husband likewise born here?

Mrs. Peterman. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. And what is his business or occupation?

Mrs. Peterman. Well, he's retired now. He was taking care of the building and things over at LSU, but he retired last year.

Mr. Jenner. He retired last year?

Mrs. Peterman. Yes; since March last year.

Mr. Jenner. Now, I understand you were acquainted with Marguerite Oswald, mother of Lee Oswald; is that right?

Mrs. Peterman. Yes; she lived right next door to me, at 1010 Bartholomew. I live at 1012 Bartholomew, but, gee, that was 23 years ago that they lived there.

Mr. Jenner. She lived at 1010 Bartholomew, right next door to you?

Mrs. Peterman. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. How long have you lived at 1012 Bartholomew, Mrs. Peterman?

Mrs. Peterman. Well, let's see—I moved there in 1941; that's been 23 years ago that I moved there.

Mr. Jenner. Was she already living there when you moved there?

Mrs. Peterman. Yes; she was there, I would say, well, it couldn't have been more than a month before we moved there, because both of the houses was sold40 at the same time, but we bought ours after she did, because she was in there first.

Mr. Jenner. Were these relatively new houses?

Mrs. Peterman. No; they were old places.

Mr. Jenner. They had been lived in before?

Mrs. Peterman. Oh, yes.

Mr. Jenner. When you say you lived next door to each other, was that across the street from each other, or right next door, on the same side of the street?

Mrs. Peterman. Right next door. There were three single homes on two lots, you see.

Mr. Jenner. Three single-family dwellings on two lots?

Mrs. Peterman. Yes; on two city lots.

Mr. Jenner. Are they identical houses?

Mrs. Peterman. Well, they were when we bought them, but everybody fixed theirs up different, you see.

Mr. Jenner. Describe those houses for me.

Mrs. Peterman. What do you mean?

Mr. Jenner. Were they four-room, five-room, or six-room dwellings, and so forth—give me just a general idea of how they were composed, and how large.

Mrs. Peterman. Well, they had four rooms and a bath is all; just straight houses.

Mr. Jenner. Four rooms and a bath?

Mrs. Peterman. Yes, sir.

Mr. Jenner. Of what construction; wood?

Mrs. Peterman. Wood; yes.

Mr. Jenner. Did you have any children, Mrs. Peterman?

Mrs. Peterman. I had four children.

Mr. Jenner. What were their ages around that time?

Mrs. Peterman. When she moved there and we moved there; right around that time, you mean?

Mr. Jenner. Yes.

Mrs. Peterman. Well, let's see; my oldest girl was 21; my boy was 12; my next girl was 10; and the other one was 8.

Mr. Jenner. Your eldest child was a boy or girl?

Mrs. Peterman. A girl.

Mr. Jenner. And her present name?

Mrs. Peterman. She's a Herrmann now. She married Felix Herrmann.

Mr. Jenner. How do you spell that—Herrmann?

Mrs. Peterman. I think it's H-e-r-r-m-a-n-n.

Mr. Jenner. What's her first name?

Mrs. Peterman. Marian is her first name.

Mr. Jenner. Does she still live in New Orleans?

Mrs. Peterman. Well, she lives down in Chalmette.

Mr. Jenner. Is that near here?

Mrs. Peterman. That's down in St. Bernard; below, in St. Bernard.

Mr. Jenner. Is that a city?

Mrs. Peterman. What, Chalmette?

Mr. Jenner. Yes.

Mrs. Peterman. I wouldn't call it a city; it's a different part of St. Bernard.

Mr. Jenner. But it's in the vicinity of New Orleans?

Mrs. Peterman. Yes, sir.

Mr. Jenner. She's now what; 45?

Mrs. Peterman. No; she's going to be 46, I think; I am pretty sure she will be 46.

Mr. Jenner. Was she living at home at that time?

Mrs. Peterman. You mean when Marguerite was living next door to us?

Mr. Jenner. Yes.

Mrs. Peterman. Yes; she was.

Mr. Jenner. Your next was then 12 years old; is that right?

Mrs. Peterman. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. Was that a boy or girl?

Mrs. Peterman. Boy.

41 Mr. Jenner. His name?

Mrs. Peterman. Emile.

Mr. Jenner. Where does he live now?

Mrs. Peterman. He lives, I think it's 13 St. Claude Court.

Mr. Jenner. St. Claude Court?

Mrs. Peterman. Yes; that's right.

Mr. Jenner. Is that in New Orleans?

Mrs. Peterman. Yes, sir.

Mr. Jenner. Then your next was a 10-year-old; right?

Mrs. Peterman. Yes, sir.

Mr. Jenner. What was her name?

Mrs. Peterman. Myra; another girl.

Mr. Jenner. Myra?

Mrs. Peterman. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. Myra is now married; is that right?

Mrs. Peterman. Yes, sir.

Mr. Jenner. What's her married name?

Mrs. Peterman. Davis.

Mr. Jenner. What's the name of her husband?

Mrs. Peterman. Eddie.

Mr. Jenner. Edward?

Mrs. Peterman. No, Eddie; E-d-d-i-e is how they spell it.

Mr. Jenner. Does he work here?

Mrs. Peterman. Yes; at Public Service.

Mr. Jenner. Where do they live?

Mrs. Peterman. They live on Cedar Avenue—713 Cedar Avenue, in Metairie.

Mr. Jenner. Metairie?

Mrs. Peterman. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. Is that part of New Orleans?

Mrs. Peterman. Yes; that's in Jeff Parish, but it's part of New Orleans. It runs into it, I mean.

Mr. Jenner. All right; and then your youngest?

Mrs. Peterman. Let me explain about her.

Mr. Jenner. Go right ahead.

Mrs. Peterman. She wasn't really my own. She was my husband's sister's child. I didn't adopt her, but I raised her. The father and mother both died, and I raised her from 5 years old. She went by her own name.

Mr. Jenner. What was that?

Mrs. Peterman. Her name was—when she was single, Welbrock, but she married, and now it's Kushler.

Mr. Jenner. And that's the one that you said was 8 years old at the time?

Mrs. Peterman. Yes; at that time, yes.

Mr. Jenner. What was her first name?

Mrs. Peterman. Cecelia.

Mr. Jenner. And she's married, and her name is now Kushler?

Mrs. Peterman. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. And they reside where?

Mrs. Peterman. 3207 Rabbit Street, Gentilly.

Mr. Jenner. Rabbit Street in Gentilly?

Mrs. Peterman. Yes, sir.

Mr. Jenner. Is that a part of New Orleans?

Mrs. Peterman. Yes; it's the part out by the lake.

Mr. Jenner. Which lake?

Mrs. Peterman. Lake Pontchartrain.

Mr. Jenner. All right; now, Emile; how old is he now?

Mrs. Peterman. Emile?

Mr. Jenner. Yes.

Mrs. Peterman. He will be 34; no, 35. He will be 35 in September. He's 34 right now.

Mr. Jenner. He's 34 now?

Mrs. Peterman. Yes, sir.

Mr. Jenner. And Myra will be how old?

42 Mrs. Peterman. She made 32 in February.

Mr. Jenner. And Cecelia?

Mr. Peterman. She will be 30 this month—I mean, in May—May 15.

Mr. Jenner. So at that time, Emile, Myra and Cecelia were attending elementary school, is that right?

Mrs. Peterman. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. Did they all attend the same school?

Mrs. Peterman. They went to Washington, yes.

Mr. Jenner. Washington Elementary School?

Mrs. Peterman. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. Where is that?

Mrs. Peterman. St. Claude and Alvar.

Mr. Jenner. And your son Felix; had he graduated from both elementary school and high school at that time?

Mrs. Peterman. Who is that?

Mr. Jenner. Oh, I'm sorry; your daughter Marian. Did she graduate from high school?

Mrs. Peterman. No; she went through Washington, and then she went to high school 3 weeks or thereabouts.

Mr. Jenner. You became acquainted with Marguerite Oswald immediately when you moved into those houses, I assume; did you?

Mrs. Peterman. No, I wouldn't say that. She was a person that kept to herself, and I did the same. She must have lived there about 3 years, maybe a little less, but I didn't bother her and she didn't bother me. I had my hands full with my children, and she had three little ones herself, so she had her hands full. We would speak, but that was about all.

Mr. Jenner. But you did become acquainted with her?

Mrs. Peterman. Oh, yes; I would say that.

Mr. Jenner. You were aware that she had three children?

Mrs. Peterman. Three boys, yes. The oldest one was John Pic, because she married his father before she married Oswald. She told me that herself, but now whether she was divorced from him or whether he was dead, I don't know.

Mr. Jenner. All right. Now, one of her boys was John Pic, is that right?

Mrs. Peterman. Yes, P-I-C-K.

Mr. Jenner. Well, I think it's P-I-C, and her second boy was——

Mrs. Peterman. Robert.

Mr. Jenner. And the third?

Mrs. Peterman. Lee.

Mr. Jenner. Lee was the third one?

Mrs. Peterman. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. Now, at this particular time John and Robert were about within the age range of your three younger children; that's Emile, Myra and Cecelia; is that right?

Mrs. Peterman. Well, they were more around Cecelia's age.

Mr. Jenner. Around Cecelia's age?

Mrs. Peterman. Yes, sir.

Mr. Jenner. Lee, however, was considerably younger, was he not?

Mrs. Peterman. Yes. He must have been not quite 18 months when she moved there, maybe less; that's 23 years ago, you know, and it's hard to recall all of that, to be exact.

Mr. Jenner. That's all right. We want you to just give us the information as you recall it. Now, Robert was about what age at that time?

Mrs. Peterman. I really couldn't say, but I imagine about 4 or 5. I really don't know to be exact on that.

Mr. Jenner. And John?

Mrs. Peterman. He must have been at least 7 or 8, because he was going to school.

Mr. Jenner. So she had Lee, who was a baby infant, you might say, is that right?

Mrs. Peterman. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. And another child who was not yet of school age, and that would be Robert?

43 Mrs. Peterman. That's right.

Mr. Jenner. And John, her eldest. Was John attending Washington Elementary at that time?

Mrs. Peterman. I am almost sure he did, but I wouldn't swear to that; I am not positive.

Mr. Jenner. So as I get it, during the 3 years that they lived there, Robert eventually entered Washington Elementary School, is that right?

Mrs. Peterman. Well, I couldn't say that. In fact, I think she moved before that, because she didn't stay there long. I don't think it was 3 years.

Mr. Jenner. About 2 years maybe?

Mrs. Peterman. Maybe along in there; she moved before 3 years, I know.

Mr. Jenner. You say she was inclined to keep to herself most of the time?

Mrs. Peterman. Yes, she was.

Mr. Jenner. You didn't regard that as strange, did you?

Mrs. Peterman. No; I am a person like that myself. I don't bother much with the neighbors.

Mr. Jenner. I take it from what you have told me, Mrs. Peterman, that Marguerite Oswald was unmarried at the time, that she had just divorced her husband, or been divorced by him, is that right?

Mrs. Peterman. Well, the first one I don't know, but the second one was dead. He died and left her a widow. She told me that herself when she moved there. Now, her first husband, I didn't know whether he was dead, living, or what. She never mentioned him.

Mr. Jenner. When did you say you moved into that house?

Mrs. Peterman. In 1941.

Mr. Jenner. You moved there in 1941?

Mrs. Peterman. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. All right. Well, in any event she was unmarried at that time, is that right?

Mrs. Peterman. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. Do you know how she supported herself?

Mrs. Peterman. Well, at first I don't. I know she told me that she sold her house, where they came from, but how much that was or anything I don't know. She might have had insurance from him; I don't know. Then later she opened a little dry goods store.

Mr. Jenner. A dry goods store?

Mrs. Peterman. I won't say a dry goods store—more like a grocery store, I guess you would say—just a small place there in the front room. She sold bread, milk, candy, and things like that.

Mr. Jenner. Where was that?

Mrs. Peterman. In her front room.

Mr. Jenner. The front room of her house?

Mrs. Peterman. Yes; it was a little grocery store.

Mr. Jenner. Would the local city ordinances permit that?

Mrs. Peterman. I don't know about that, but she did operate it for a short time—not too long. Finally she gave that up, but as far as I know that was the only money she had coming in at that time.

Mr. Jenner. Give me your impression of Mrs. Oswald, would you please; what kind of person she was.

Mrs. Peterman. Well, like I said—I don't know how to explain it, but she was a person who was not overfriendly, and she wasn't no snob either. I can't say that, but I don't know. She was the kind of a person that—I don't know how to say it. I mean, I had no trouble with her, and she was a good mother to her children.

Mr. Jenner. She was?

Mrs. Peterman. That she was, and she would always keep, like I say, to herself. She didn't do much talking, that is, to me; but now whether she did to the other neighbors, I don't know.

Mr. Jenner. You didn't regard her conduct as strange?

Mrs. Peterman. No; nothing like that. Like I told you, I am the kind of person who keeps to myself too. I have been right now 23 years in that neighborhood, I—there are some people living around there right now that I couldn't44 tell you their name. I am always inside. I never go out, you know, but I have nothing to say against her in any kind of way.

Mr. Jenner. She seemed to be industrious and a good mother, is that right?

Mrs. Peterman. Yes, sir; she was good to her children, and she kept them all, you know, nice and clean, but I don't know anything about her business at all.

Mr. Jenner. What was your reaction to the two older boys, John and Robert?

Mrs. Peterman. Well, they were like all kids, I guess, you know, having a good time, but I will say that they were not running like the kids do today.

Mr. Jenner. What do you mean by that?

Mrs. Peterman. I mean children back in those days were not like children are today, and I know, because I have grandchildren now, and they are altogether different now. Even Lee, he was a good little child, and he didn't do things like the boys do today. That's why I just can't see how this all came about. I can't understand it. We didn't even know anything about it until the man found me, you know. We all thought maybe it was Lee, but we just, you know, couldn't believe it.

Mr. Jenner. Do you recall the names of any other children in the neighborhood who were about the ages of Robert and John?

Mrs. Peterman. No; I don't think so.

Mr. Jenner. Would your daughter Cecelia still have a recollection of those boys, do you think?

Mrs. Peterman. I doubt it, because she was only 8 then. She was small. My older ones might remember them.

Mr. Jenner. That would be Myra and Emile?

Mrs. Peterman. Yes; Myra and Emile.

Mr. Jenner. All right. Is there anything else that occurs to you that might be helpful to the Commission that I haven't asked you about, either because I don't know about it or I have neglected to ask you about it, or anything you might want to contribute?

Mrs. Peterman. No; if there was anything else, I would be glad to tell you about it. Like I say, he was such a little bitty fellow, and after she moved away we lost track of them.

Mr. Jenner. After they moved away from there, you never heard of them and you never saw them until this tragic event occurred, is that right?

Mrs. Peterman. Yes, sir.

Mr. Jenner. And even then you didn't believe it was them until, as you said, the man found you?

Mrs. Peterman. I really didn't. Lee was a good little child, and Marguerite took good care of him.

Mr. Jenner. All right. I very much appreciate your coming down with your husband to talk to us.

Now, these depositions that we are taking will be sent by the U.S. attorney back to Washington, and you have the privilege, if you wish, to read over your deposition and to sign it.

You don't have to do that unless you wish, but I would appreciate knowing what you prefer to do, because if you wish to read your deposition and to sign it, then we will have to have the reporter write it out promptly and have the U.S. attorney call you in and then you may come down and read your deposition and sign it.

Mrs. Peterman. Well, as far as I can; I have told the truth about everything, you know, as much as I remember. Like I said, about the ages of the children and all, I am not positive. This was so long ago.

Mr. Jenner. Well, I think you were pretty close.

Mrs. Peterman. After 23 years you can't remember like just yesterday, or the day before.

Mr. Jenner. Well, all right then, as far as you are concerned, you would just as soon waive the signing of the deposition, is that right? You don't want to read it over and sign it?

Mrs. Peterman. Yes, sir; I waive it.

Mr. Jenner. Very well, and thank you again for coming down, Mrs. Peterman.


45

TESTIMONY OF MRS. MYRTLE EVANS

The testimony of Mrs. Myrtle Evans was taken on April 7, 1964, at the Old Civil Courts Building, Royal and Conti Streets, New Orleans, La., by Mr. Albert E. Jenner, Jr., assistant counsel of the President's Commission.

Mrs. Myrtle Evans, 1910 Prytania Street, New Orleans, La., after first being duly sworn, testified as follows:

Mr. Jenner. You are Mrs. Myrtle Evans, is that right?

Mrs. Evans. Yes, sir.

Mr. Jenner. And your husband is Julian Evans, and he accompanied you here today, is that right?

Mrs. Evans. Yes, sir.

Mr. Jenner. He is waiting outside until you complete your deposition?

Mrs. Evans. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. Mrs. Evans, are you a native of New Orleans?

Mrs. Evans. Yes, sir.

Mr. Jenner. And your husband?

Mrs. Evans. Yes; he was born in New York, but he was raised in New Orleans.

Mr. Jenner. And you were born here?

Mrs. Evans. Yes; I was.

Mr. Jenner. And you have no family, is that right?

Mrs. Evans. That's right. Well, I have no immediate family. I have brothers and sisters, but I don't have any children.

Mr. Jenner. All right. Are you acquainted with a person named Marguerite Oswald?

Mrs. Evans. Yes; she was a very good friend of mine.

Mr. Jenner. When did you first become acquainted with her?

Mrs. Evans. In about 1930.

Mr. Jenner. About 1930?

Mrs. Evans. Something like that.

Mr. Jenner. She was then about 26 or 27 years old, is that right?

Mrs. Evans. Well, I guess that's about right.

Mr. Jenner. She is either 56 or 57 right now.

Mrs. Evans. Well, yes; she was about that then, I guess. I had met her between 1925 and 1930, about that time. I played cards with her.

Mr. Jenner. What kind of cards? Bridge?

Mrs. Evans. We played bridge, yes.

Mr. Jenner. How did you become acquainted with her?

Mrs. Evans. Well, through a friend, a mutual friend—hers and mine, and we used to play bridge together.

Mr. Jenner. Was she married then?

Mrs. Evans. She was separated from her first husband.

Mr. Jenner. Where did she live then, do you know?

Mrs. Evans. I think at that particular time she had a little apartment on North Carrollton. I never did visit her residence, so I don't know much about that. At that time she was living with her sister that lived right off of City Park, but it seems she had a basement apartment on North Carrollton. I don't think she was living there at that particular time. She did move in with her sister later, and from time to time she was with her, but at that particular time I don't think she was.

Mr. Jenner. What's her sister's name?

Mrs. Evans. Oh, I forget.

Mr. Jenner. Murret?

Mrs. Evans. Yes; Mrs. Murret.

Mr. Jenner. Lillian Murret?

Mrs. Evans. Yes; her first name is Lillian; yes, that's right.

Mr. Jenner. Did that acquaintance continue for some years?

Mrs. Evans. Well, I sort of quit playing cards, and I went and took an accounting course and went back to work, and I had not seen her for a while, and she remarried—to Oswald.

Mr. Jenner. You learned of that, did you?

46 Mrs. Evans. Yes; to Oswald.

Mr. Jenner. Did you see her from time to time in that interim?

Mrs. Evans. Well, I wasn't playing cards during that time or anything, but I might have run into her—I imagine I did, on the street, but I lost contact with her, sort of, and then—it was either just before Lee's birth or just after his birth; I can't remember; it has been so many years, but I met her on the corner of Canal and St. Charles. I think that was after Lee's birth. I think her husband had died, and I think she had just taken the baby to the doctor, or something. I think she told me they had wanted to have a little girl, but I can't remember all of that just the way it happened, you know. That's been such a long time ago, but I can remember meeting her; I just can't remember though if it was after her husband died, or if she was expecting a baby, or if she was the one that wanted a little girl. I can't remember if that was after the child was born. Most likely it was that she hoped they would have a little girl. Now, a lot of this was told to me after we became friends again, as to what happened.

I didn't attend her husband's funeral or anything, and I didn't start seeing a good deal of her again until—let's see; she finally went to work downtown, and I happened to run into her, or something like that. She was working for, I think, Pittsburgh Plate Glass Co., and I was a widow and she was a widow, and we again sort of regained our friendship.

Mr. Jenner. Your husband in the meantime had died?

Mrs. Evans. Yes; I am married now to Mr. Evans.

Mr. Jenner. Your first husband, was he also a native-born American?

Mrs. Evans. Oh, yes; now, I met Lee's aunt one day at a card party.

Mr. Jenner. That's Mrs. Murret?

Mrs. Evans. Yes, Lillian Murret, and I hadn't seen her in years. I am Catholic and she is Catholic, you see, and so they had this card party or some kind of an affair over at the Fontainebleau Motel, and a number of ladies were present, and it was for charity, and we played bingo and canasta and things, and she was selling aprons, and so she said, "Oh, Myrtle, did you hear about Lee; he gave up his American citizenship and went to Russia, behind the iron curtain," and I said "My God, no," and she said, "Yes."

Well, after that I didn't hear any more about it. I lost contact.

Mr. Jenner. When was this, 1959, 1960?

Mrs. Evans. Well, I would say 2 to 3 years ago, about 3 years ago, because I have been to those affairs, I think, twice since.

Mr. Jenner. Was that the first you knew or had become aware of the fact that Lee Harvey Oswald was living in Russia?

Mrs. Evans. Yes; now, it was undoubtedly in the newspapers and on TV, but I sometimes get to doing a million things, and I don't get a chance to read the newspaper. I just skip it. And if I don't get around to it, I skip the news on TV too, even the late news. So a lot of times I don't know what's going on, but she said, "Did you hear about Lee?" and I said, "No, what about Lee?" and she said, "You didn't see it in the paper? Lee has done gone and given up his United States citizenship," and I said, "Poor Marguerite; that's terrible; I feel so sorry for her."

Mr. Jenner. You knew Lee Harvey Oswald?

Mrs. Evans. Yes; I knew him very well. I knew his mother before he was born, and I knew him since he was a little tyke. Lillian took care of him for a while, you see. She had two boys, one by her first marriage, and it wasn't her fault that they got a divorce. He didn't want the child, and he wanted her to destroy the child.

Mr. Jenner. When you say she had two boys, you are talking about Marguerite Oswald, is that right?

Mrs. Evans. Yes; Marguerite had a terrificly sad life, and she was just a wonderful, gorgeous wife. She married this John Pic and had his boy, and he didn't want any children at all, and so she left him and went to live with her sister, and Oswald, I think, was a Virginia Life Insurance salesman. He collected insurance from the sister. They lived right off of City Park, and so one day Margie was strolling with Robert in front of City Park, and Oswald bumped into them, and he asked them how about him riding them home.

Mr. Jenner. What did she say to him?

47 Mrs. Evans. Well, she let him. You see, he had been collecting insurance at the house, and had spoken to Margie.

Mr. Jenner. At whose house?

Mrs. Evans. At the Murret house, and he had played with the baby. No, let's see, John was the baby at that time, and she was separated or divorced from her husband. I forget which now. But he supported John.

Mr. Jenner. You mean Mr. Pic supported John? You are talking about John Pic now?

Mrs. Evans. Yes; he continued to support him and he sent a baby crib, and he did everything like that, but he didn't want to live with her because of the child, so John never did see his father until he was, oh, about 18 years old, or something like that, so that's why those two boys were so close in age, you see, because she met Oswald, and he started taking her out. He asked her if she would go out to dinner with him, and she had been away from her husband for a year and a half or 2 years, and so she did, and then she married him, and she had this baby right away, which is Robert, and they bought a home out around Alvar somewhere. She never told me all this now; some of it I heard from other sources, like her sister and others, but she did tell me a lot of it, because we got to be real good friends.

She bought that home, and they had the two boys, and they were very happy, and then one day he was out mowing the lawn, and he had this terrific pain, and she was several months pregnant with Lee. She called the doctor right away, but before the doctor could get there, the man was dead. He had a blood clot, so he left her with two babies and one on the way.

Now, he left her with $10,000, I think, in insurance, so she sold her home, and by that time her two boys were old enough, so she put them in this home—Evangeline, I think it is, but I'm not sure about that, and she bought a home over on—what's the name of that street back off of St. Claude?

Mr. Jenner. Bartholomew?

Mrs. Evans. Yes; I guess that's it. Now, she put the boys in this home.

Mr. Jenner. The Bethlehem home?

Mrs. Evans. Yes, Bethlehem; that's it. That's when I became friendly with her again. She was living with her sister for a while, and Lee was with her, and the two older boys were at the home. She was paying her sister board. But now after her husband died, she went to work, and she had a woman taking care of the little boy.

Mr. Jenner. You mean Lee?

Mrs. Evans. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. Why did she live there, do you know?

Mrs. Evans. You mean on Bartholomew Street?

Mr. Jenner. Yes.

Mrs. Evans. Well, it was cheaper. She bought a cheaper home. She had lived on Alvar after she married Oswald. But after Oswald's death she moved to Bartholomew. Wait a minute—I might be getting those streets confused. No, I guess that's right. Anyway, when Oswald died he left her this $10,000 in insurance, and now I don't know whether the home was completely paid for or not, but she immediately put these boys in that home and went to work.

Mr. Jenner. Is it your information that she immediately went to work rather than try to live for a while without working?

Mrs. Evans. She might have lived for a month or two, or something, without working, because I wasn't in contact with her, you see, but she had got this couple to come and stay with Lee, and someone said——

Mr. Jenner. What couple was that?

Mrs. Evans. I don't know what couple it was—somebody; she had put an ad in the paper or something—some young couple. I don't know their names. She said people told her that when Lee was in the high chair, that he used to cry a lot, and they thought they were whipping little Lee, so she came home unexpectedly one night, and the child had welts on his legs, and she told them to get out and get out now.

So then from there she bought another house and sold that, and—now, this is48 what she told me; she told me that she bought this little double house, and she ran a sweet shop for a while in the front room there.

Mr. Jenner. She told you that she sold that house and bought a double?

Mrs. Evans. Yes, as I recall, she did.

Mr. Jenner. What's a "double"?

Mrs. Evans. That's really two houses, side by side; you have a door here and a door here, two entrances. They call them flats or duplexes some places, but we call them doubles.

Mr. Jenner. O.K. I just wanted to make sure the record is clear on that.

Mrs. Evans. She bought that little house, and they moved in there with her three children.

Mr. Jenner. Was that over at 831 Pauline Street?

Mrs. Evans. Well, that sounds like the address. I never went there myself. I don't even know where Pauline Street is, to tell you the truth. It's downtown some place. Then she left there, and Lee, I think, still was with the aunt, and the two boys were down at the other place—that home, and she got this job managing the hosiery store on Canal Street, and that's when I started seeing her again, and that was between 1939 and 1940, somewhere in there; around in there—the early 1940's, I would say.

Mr. Jenner. At that time she was living where now?

Mrs. Evans. She was living with her sister then, I think, and Lee was with her, and the two boys were boarding at the Bethlehem Home. She would go down on Sundays to see her two boys.

Mr. Jenner. How long did she remain with her sister?

Mrs. Evans. Well, I don't know how long she had been with her sister, but after she took this position, she finally went to Texas, and I don't know—I couldn't tell you how long, because I just started seeing her, well, we would see each other on Saturday afternoon or Sunday, something like that, you know, just go around a bit together.

Mr. Jenner. How old was Lee at about that time, about 3 or 2, or what?

Mrs. Evans. He was 3 or 4 years old then.

Mr. Jenner. He eventually was placed in the Bethlehem Home also, wasn't he?

Mrs. Evans. Well, she might have finally got him in, because her sister, as you know, had a big family of her own, and I think maybe she might have finally put him in there too.

You see, they only take them at these places after a certain age, generally about three, I think. They have to be trained and all, and that's why Lee was always with her before that, and all her love, I think, she dumped on Lee after her husband died.

You know, she felt awful sorry for Lee, because he never knew his father. He was born after his father died, and he was his baby, and she always sort of felt sorry for Lee for that reason, I think, and sort of leaned toward Lee. She felt sorry for Lee because he never knew his father, I think, just as any mother would.

Mr. Jenner. Now, we have information that from sometime in 1939 to 1941, she resided on Alvar Street in New Orleans; does that square with your recollection?

Mrs. Evans. Well, Alvar, that was where she had her home, wasn't it, on Alvar?

Mr. Jenner. Yes.

Mrs. Evans. I was told it was in that subdivision.

Mr. Jenner. And do you recall her selling that house?

Mrs. Evans. No; she told me she sold it, but I wasn't too friendly with her at the time, and I didn't know anything about that. I was working, and I didn't play cards then, you see.

She was a friend of a friend of mine actually, that I played cards with, and I wasn't too friendly with the girl at first, but only through cards, but at the time I was sorry for her when I first learned what her husband had done to her, but later on I lost contact with her all the way up till just about the time she went to Texas, or maybe it was about a year before she went to Texas. It's49 hard to recall those dates, to tell what year this happened and what year that happened.

Mr. Jenner. That would have been around 1945, or 1944, somewhere in there?

Mrs. Evans. Yes; along in there.

Mr. Jenner. Do you recall her living on Atlantic Avenue in Algiers, La.?

Mrs. Evans. Atlantic Avenue?

Mr. Jenner. Yes.

Mrs. Evans. No; I don't.

Mr. Jenner. But you do recall a period when her two older boys, John and Robert, were in the Bethlehem Orphans School?

Mrs. Evans. Oh, yes; I went there once with her, in fact.

Mr. Jenner. At that time she was with the Murrets, is that right, Mrs. Evans?

Mrs. Evans. That's right.

Mr. Jenner. Then she moved to Texas?

Mrs. Evans. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. With her children, of course?

Mrs. Evans. That's right.

Mr. Jenner. What occurred about that time?

Mrs. Evans. She married again.

Mr. Jenner. She married, and was that why she moved to Texas?

Mrs. Evans. That's why. She married a very, very fine man.

Mr. Jenner. Do you recall what his name was?

Mrs. Evans. You know it; I will give it to you—Ekdahl.

Mr. Jenner. Do you know how to spell that, Ekdahl?

Mrs. Evans. I don't remember, but I knew her during that period all right.

Mr. Jenner. Did you become acquainted with him, Mr. Ekdahl?

Mrs. Evans. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. What kind of man was he, Mrs. Evans?

Mrs. Evans. He was very high caliber, a very fine man, and he had a very fine position. The papers said she was dragged from pillar to post, but that wasn't true. It was his work that took them to places. That's why she went to New York, because of his position. He didn't drag her from pillar to post at all. I don't know what happened to them then, because I didn't see them again. He died, and that's when she moved back to New Orleans, and they stayed in my apartment building. Now, I visited her in Dallas, and I knew Eddie Ekdahl.

Mr. Jenner. Did you know Mr. Ekdahl before he married her?

Mrs. Evans. I did.

Mr. Jenner. That was his second marriage, isn't that right?

Mrs. Evans. Yes; so she said. He had been separated from his wife for many years, but had never gotten a divorce, I don't think, so then he did get a divorce and married Margie.

Mr. Jenner. Do you remember where he was from originally?

Mrs. Evans. Boston, I think.

Mr. Jenner. Is it your recollection that they moved to Dallas, Tex.?

Mrs. Evans. They did.

Mr. Jenner. Did you visit them in Dallas?

Mrs. Evans. I did.

Mr. Jenner. Was that address 4801 Victor?

Mrs. Evans. I don't remember that, because I went there with a friend of mine, to the Baker Hotel, I think it was. I used to go around with this friend of mine. She was with Mary Douglas Perfumes, and Margie was living there with her husband at the time, and the two children, when I visited her.

Mr. Jenner. Her husband and her two children?

Mrs. Evans. Well, her three children, I mean, were with her.

Mr. Jenner. Including Lee?

Mrs. Evans. Yes; I went and stayed a few days with her, but the address I don't remember. We didn't correspond during those years, but that could have been the address. It was a duplex, I know, and she lived downstairs, and she rented out the upstairs.

Mr. Jenner. At that time Lee was around 6 years old, is that right?

50 Mrs. Evans. Yes; just about at the kindergarten stage. Let's see—yes, she lived downstairs, and she rented out the upstairs.

Mr. Jenner. When you visited there, were the two boys, John and Robert, living at the home?

Mrs. Evans. Yes; they all lived together.

Mr. Jenner. And Lee, too?

Mrs. Evans. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. The nature of Mr. Ekdahl's work was such that he had to travel, you say?

Mrs. Evans. Oh, yes; he had to do a lot of traveling. I think he was a geologist; that's what my husband said he was. He was with some big company that he was top man with, and he was a good deal older than Margie, and a very fine, handsome, big man, but he had a blood clot, and that's how they got to be married as quick as they did, because of that. You see, he was at the Roosevelt Hotel, and he had nobody, and he had this blood clot and everything, and at that time he was taking Margie out, and he wasn't too well a man because of this blood clot and all, but he wanted to marry Margie, and so she married him, and they went from Dallas to, I think, San Antonio, and then I think they went to New York, and sometime after that, of course, Margie came down here, and she took an apartment with me.

Mr. Jenner. Before we get into that, Mrs. Evans, if you don't mind, let's go back a bit and see if I have this clear in my mind. You say you visited them once in Texas, is that right?

Mrs. Evans. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. Other than that visit, you had no contact with her, that is, visually, in person, while she was in Texas?

Mrs. Evans. No; I didn't. Now, after she was married to Ekdahl and went to Covington, she had her other two boys with her. This was in the summertime, of course. She had them in the boarding school over there, even after she married Ekdahl, this was. She kept Lee with her all the time she was married to Ekdahl, of course, so that they would all three be together on these business trips he had to take, and they would stay in the best hotels, of course, and they had the best of everything, but that didn't seem to work out too well, having Lee with them all the time like that.

Mr. Jenner. This was when she was married to Mr. Ekdahl, that she had the boys over at Covington?

Mrs. Evans. Yes. Her two older sons were in boarding school, and in the summer they would all be together over at this place in Covington.

Mr. Jenner. Was this in 1946?

Mrs. Evans. Well, I don't know just what year that would have been, but I would say it was around there. I don't remember the exact years for a lot of this stuff, but I can just tell you the way I remember it happening.

Mr. Jenner. That's all right. Just go on the way you have been. The pieces will all fit together eventually, and that's what the Commission wants before it brings this investigation to its conclusion.

Mrs. Evans. I have had so many people pass through my life, it would take something to remember all of those details.

Mr. Jenner. Did you see the boys during that period?

Mrs. Evans. Oh, yes; she would visit me for about 3 or 4 days, I remember one time, and Lee was about 7 years old then. He was a little fellow.

Mr. Jenner. What was your impression of Lee as of that time, Mrs. Evans?

Mrs. Evans. Well, I would say Lee was a spoiled little boy, because naturally his mother kept him, and I think Margie would have had a better life if she had put him in boarding school with the other two boys, because then she would have lived with Ekdahl. I understand they were separated and divorced before he died, but you know how a mother can throw her entire life on a child and spoil that child and let the child ruin her life for her, and Margie clung to Lee regardless, but in that respect she was a wonderful mother. You couldn't find a better woman. Of course, when she married Ekdahl, she didn't want him to support her children. She tried to support them herself.

Mr. Jenner. That was her own decision?

Mrs. Evans. Oh, yes; it was her decision. She wanted Ekdahl to take51 her and Lee, and she kept Lee with them all the time, and I think that's one of the things that contributed to their divorce. She was too close to Lee all the time, and I don't guess Ekdahl liked that too much.

Now, when Margie lived in Dallas, she kept her three boys with her, but after she married Ekdahl, she put the two boys in boarding school, and she still kept Lee with them. Of course, they had to leave Dallas on these trips that Mr. Ekdahl made in connection with his work, but Lee would be with them every time, and like I said, it hurt their marriage because they never could be alone. Lee was spoiled. He was just a spoiled boy. I'll put it this way: He was her baby, and she loved him to death, and she spoiled him to death. One of the older boys, or maybe both of them—I don't remember, but I think they both went into the Marines——

Mr. Jenner. Well, one of them went into the Coast Guard.

Mrs. Evans. Well, they went into the service, and both of her older boys were very, very fine boys. John Pic was a lovely boy, but of course he never did see his father. His father never did care to see the child, the way I understand it, and at 18 I think he quit supporting him, or something like that. Now, when Margie decided to come back to New Orleans, I think she came here from San Antonio or Fort Worth, one of those places, and she went to her sister's——

Mr. Jenner. Would you wait a minute now, ma'am? Was Marguerite working at that time, either in Texas, or did she go to work after she came back to New Orleans?

Mrs. Evans. Well, she might have tried her hand at real estate at one time, and of course she had worked in different department stores, and at the time I caught up with her and ran into her, I think she said she was working then for the Pittsburgh Plate Glass Co. She said she answered a blind ad in the paper, and she got this job, and she opened Jean's Hoisery Shop, and that's when we would meet and go to lunch on a Saturday afternoon, and we got to be friendly.

Mr. Jenner. And you were working at that time also?

Mrs. Evans. Yes, sir; I was in the government then. I am an accountant, and I was with the government. We would meet, like on Thursday evenings and have dinner, and shop around, and on Saturday afternoon, usually at those times, and we became pretty friendly again, but then of course she went back to Texas.

I used to travel with this friend of mine who was with Mary Douglas Perfumes, and she traveled out of California, and she was going to be in Dallas for a show—some kind of display show, I guess it was, and I went with her, and during that trip I guess I stayed about a week with Margie.

Mr. Jenner. What kind of housekeeper was Margie?

Mrs. Evans. A very good housekeeper, very tasty; she could take anything and make something out of it, and something beautiful. She had a lot of natural talent that way, and she was not lazy. She would work with things by the hour for her children, and she kept a very neat house, and she was always so lovely herself. That's why, when I saw her on TV, after all of this happened, she looked so old and haggard, and I said, "That couldn't be Margie," but of course it was, but if you had known Margie before all this happened, you would see what I mean. She was beautiful. She had beautiful wavy hair.

Mr. Jenner. What about Lee?

Mrs. Evans. Well, Lee was a smart boy. He was no dummy. He was a bit of a bookworm, I would say.

Mr. Jenner. Tell me more about that.

Mrs. Evans. Well, he had hair like his mother for example, but he was a loner. That's what the children all said, but of course, I didn't pay too much attention to that, but he didn't bring boys in the house, I mean, and he would always seem to prefer being by himself.

Mr. Jenner. He wouldn't bring boys into the house?

Mrs. Evans. No; he never did, that I know of. He would come home, and he would get his books and his music, and then when he wanted supper, or something to eat, he would scream like a bull. He would holler, "Maw, where's my supper?" Some of the time Margie would be downstairs talking to me or52 something, and when he would holler at her, she would jump up right away and go and get him something to eat. Her whole life was wrapped up in that boy, and she spoiled him to death. Lee was about 13 about that time, I think, along in there.

Mr. Jenner. Was this while he was living with his mother at one of your apartments?

Mrs. Evans. Yes, this was the last time I knew anything about Lee, when they lived at my apartment.

Mr. Jenner. Was this after or before she had gone to New York City?

Mrs. Evans. Oh, this was all after her trip to New York. She wasn't with Ekdahl any more when she came back here.

Mr. Jenner. I wonder if you would hold that for a minute now. I would like to have you give me your impression of Lee up to the time they returned from New York?

Mrs. Evans. Well, I couldn't give you too much about the child, because I didn't know him too much. He seemed just like a normal boy. I mean, he didn't seem to be any different than his brothers, as far as that goes, but the way he kept to himself just wasn't normal, I don't think. I guess that's why they called him a loner, because he was alone so much. He didn't seem to want to be with any other children. Now, when she was over in Covington in the summer months, she would be there the full 3 months, I think, and they seemed to be a very happy family. They would go swimming and eat watermelon, and they had a couple of dogs, I think, in the backyard, and they would just have a good time. I would say they were really a happy family in those days.

Mr. Jenner. They were a happy family?

Mrs. Evans. As far as I could see, they were very happy, very closely knit, very much in love with each other, and these boys knew that their mother was putting them through school, and giving them what they needed, as best she could. She was a very good provider for her children, and a very decent woman. I mean, she wasn't a loose woman at all. She was very decent, a very fine woman.

Mr. Jenner. Well, that squares with everything we have found. I don't think any mother could do more than she did for them, as far as we have been able to find out.

Mrs. Evans. That's right. Nobody could have done any more for their children than she did, I mean, with what she had to work with. She was never well off, I mean, financially. She always worked and saved and made do the best she could.

Mr. Jenner. When she moved to New York City, did you lose touch with Margie then?

Mrs. Evans. Yes; I lost complete touch with Margie.

Mr. Jenner. Did you hear from her while she was in New York?

Mrs. Evans. No; I don't think so. She might have written me a postal card or something, but I don't think so.

Mr. Jenner. Then the first time that you again began seeing her was when she came back to New Orleans, is that right?

Mrs. Evans. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. Did you hear from her or hear about her while she was living in Texas, before she went to New York?

Mrs. Evans. Oh, yes; like I said, I was over there in Dallas with her for a week, and I kept pretty well in touch with what she was doing. For a time she lived—what's the name of that little town?

Mr. Jenner. Do you mean Benbrook?

Mrs. Evans. It could have been that. Anyway, I heard from her again, that she was traveling a lot with her husband. She was still living with Ekdahl then. They were living in hotels and traveling, and Lee was right with them all the time.

Mr. Jenner. She kept Lee with her on all these trips with Mr. Ekdahl?

Mrs. Evans. As far as I know, she did, yes.

Mr. Jenner. As far as you know, did she have Lee with her all the time?

Mrs. Evans. I don't think that she ever parted with Lee for a minute. If53 she did, I don't know about it, but when she came back, the way she talked, I figured that Lee was with them the whole time, and they had lived in hotels and things like that while Mr. Ekdahl was traveling.

Mr. Jenner. Do you recall when her marriage to Ekdahl took place, Mrs. Evans?

Mrs. Evans. Well, it was when she went to Texas, just about at that time.

Mr. Jenner. Around 1945, would that have been, in maybe 1944?

Mrs. Evans. Along in there; yes. She married him, I think, in Dallas, Tex., or maybe it was Fort Worth. I can't recall that for sure.

Mr. Jenner. But he had been here in New Orleans, and that's when they struck up this acquaintanceship, here in New Orleans, is that right?

Mrs. Evans. That's right.

Mr. Jenner. She said that he had had a heart attack, is that right?

Mrs. Evans. Yes; she did.

Mr. Jenner. And he was courting her during this time?

Mrs. Evans. Yes, sir.

Mr. Jenner. His sister came down from Boston, is that right, to sort of see how he was getting along here, is that correct?

Mrs. Evans. That's right. I guess that's what prompted her to come down here, because he had had this trouble, and I guess she was concerned about him.

Mr. Jenner. And that courtship between him and Marguerite ripened into marriage then; is that right?

Mrs. Evans. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. Did Ekdahl's sister approve of Marguerite?

Mrs. Evans. Oh, yes; she wanted her to marry Ekdahl, and before she went back to Boston, Margie made her a promise that she would look after him.

Mr. Jenner. Then Margie moved to Texas with Mr. Ekdahl; is that right?

Mrs. Evans. Yes, sir.

Mr. Jenner. And you say you visited them over there, in Dallas; is that right?

Mrs. Evans. Yes, sir; I did.

Mr. Jenner. And you think you might have heard from her at different times when she was traveling with her husband?

Mrs. Evans. That's right—you know, postal cards and such.

Mr. Jenner. And then you didn't hear from her for a while; is that right?

Mrs. Evans. That's right.

Mr. Jenner. And then you said you heard from her again?

Mrs. Evans. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. Would you give me the circumstances of that now, please?

Mrs. Evans. Well, she called me, most likely. She was at her sister's. She was looking for an apartment.

Mr. Jenner. Excuse me, but when you say "her sister's," who do you mean?

Mrs. Evans. Lillian Murret. She had only that one sister here. She was a good many years older than Margie. Margie was the baby of the family. She took care of her father, that is, until his death, and she kept house for her father, too. I guess there is about 10 years difference between the two. That's why I guess they have not been too close. But anyway, she called me and asked about an apartment, and I told her I could give her an apartment, and that I would let her have it cheaper than I would somebody else that I didn't know. Now, they didn't have any furniture, but there were a few pieces left in the apartment, and her sister provided some things and I found a few things for her, so she made out with that.

Mr. Jenner. Do you remember what year that was?

Mrs. Evans. Well, I remodeled that apartment about 10 years ago, so I would say that that was around 1954, along in there, in the early spring, I think it was.

Mr. Jenner. In the early spring?

Mrs. Evans. Well, it might have been a little later. It could have been in May or June of 1954, but possibly a little earlier than that. I can't remember that well enough to be definite on the month.

Mr. Jenner. Where was this apartment?

54 Mrs. Evans. 1454 St. Mary Street, apartment 6, but now finally Margie decided that she couldn't afford that apartment, and moved, despite the fact that I was renting it to her for less than I would have anybody else, and I told her that.

She came in one day and told me, "Myrtle, I am going to give the apartment up." She told me that she had seen a house out around St. Bernard that would be cheaper. She said she had rode around and looked at the house, and she thought that she would take it.

Mr. Jenner. She had an automobile?

Mrs. Evans. No; she rode the bus out there.

Mr. Jenner. She had no complaints about your apartment, did she? She just had found a cheaper place to move to?

Mrs. Evans. Oh, she was perfectly happy in the apartment. She said she liked it, but that she just couldn't afford it.

Mr. Jenner. Who else was in the apartment besides Marguerite?

Mrs. Evans. Just her and Lee.

Mr. Jenner. You did see Lee after they returned from New York?

Mrs. Evans. Oh, yes; they lived at my house for, oh, I guess about 6 months.

Mr. Jenner. Including Lee?

Mrs. Evans. Oh, yes.

Mr. Jenner. She and Lee lived in your home for 6 months?

Mrs. Evans. In this apartment, yes.

Mr. Jenner. In the No. 6 apartment?

Mrs. Evans. Yes; you see, I had this great big house with about 27 rooms or more.

Mr. Jenner. It was just one big building; is that right?

Mrs. Evans. Yes; but it was converted into modern apartments, and they took one of them, you see—one of the smaller apartments. I had had one tenant prior to her, so she was the second tenant in this little apartment.

Mr. Jenner. And that was at 1454 St. Mary Street?

Mrs. Evans. Correct.

Mr. Jenner. So she and her son Lee occupied that apartment for approximately 6 months, is that right?

Mrs. Evans. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. And that was in 1954, you say?

Mrs. Evans. Yes; maybe not exactly that year, but along about there.

Mr. Jenner. Did you get to see both of them frequently?

Mrs. Evans. Practically every day.

Mr. Jenner. All right. Now, tell me about this period while they lived at your home. Just transport yourself back to 10 years ago. What did Lee Oswald look like?

Mrs. Evans. What did he look like?

Mr. Jenner. Yes; and what did he do? What impression did he make on you then, not what you heard, but what you remember now about him?

Mrs. Evans. Well, he was more spoiled.

Mr. Jenner. More than before?

Mrs. Evans. Yes; he had gotten older, and he wanted his way, and he was a teenager then, and like all teenagers, he was very difficult. Of course, I guess all teenagers are that way, because they are not yet grown and they are not a child either. The best of them are very trying, and it is hard to keep them in line. In that respect Lee wasn't any different than any other teenaged boy, I guess.

Mr. Jenner. Now, this was the period after which Lee returned from New York; is that right?

Mrs. Evans. Yes; after they came here from New York.

Mr. Jenner. With his mother?

Mrs. Evans. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. What did they say to you as to why they returned from New York and came to New Orleans?

Mrs. Evans. Well, I don't know that they said anything, but it seems to me now that they came right from Texas over to New Orleans then, not right from55 New York. I could be mistaken there, but I think they went back to Texas from New York.

Maybe they did come right from New York, but I can't remember that far back. I know that they had divorced, and although no one told me, I just put two and two together, and it was my opinion that Lee evidently was just so spoiled and demanded so much of his mother's attention that they didn't get along—I mean, her and Ekdahl, because of Lee. Now, that's my opinion. She never told me why.

Mr. Jenner. That's just your surmise?

Mrs. Evans. Yes, sir; I can't help feeling that if she had put Lee in a boarding school, she might have hung onto her meal ticket, and considering Mr. Ekdahl's condition and everything, if all that hadn't happened, she would have been sitting on top of the world. She wouldn't have had another worry in her life, as far as money goes, but instead her children came first, I mean, Lee. She just poured out all her love on him, it seemed like.

Mr. Jenner. Did she ever say anything to you about her experiences in New York City?

Mrs. Evans. No.

Mr. Jenner. She never said anything to you that would have given you an indication as to whether she had come from New York rather than Texas, or vice versa?

Mrs. Evans. No; not that I recall, but it is my distinct feeling that she stayed in New York awhile and then moved to Texas again, and then over to New Orleans—Fort Worth, I think, but I can't say that for sure.

Mr. Jenner. Did she say anything to you about any trouble that Lee had had in school in New York City?

Mrs. Evans. No; she never did. But I knew Ekdahl, and I knew he was a man that was set in his ways. He was older than Margie, and he wanted, evidently, a wife. He wanted her to be with him evidently, and if you've got a kid dragging behind, you know it makes a difference, but now whether that caused the break or not, I don't know. I couldn't tell you that.

Mr. Jenner. The point I am getting at is, she didn't say anything to you about any problem or difficulties she had had with Lee in New York City?

Mrs. Evans. None whatever.

Mr. Jenner. You were aware that she had been in New York City, of course?

Mrs. Evans. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. But she didn't say anything to you about it?

Mrs. Evans. No.

Mr. Jenner. Now, at that time Lee was about 15 years old; is that right?

Mrs. Evans. He was, somewhere around there—maybe 13 or 14. I don't know exactly.

Mr. Jenner. At any rate, you had a period here of several years between the time you saw him and he lived in your apartment with his mother, and the time you had previously seen him, so could you compare what he was like and how he acted when you saw him in 1954, as against when you had seen him before that?

Mrs. Evans. Well, like I said, he was more spoiled than he was when he was younger. He was just a little boy when I first saw him, and this time he was quite grown up, a teenager, like I said, so I would say he was a lot more difficult this time to understand or control than he was when he was younger.

The main thing that seems to stand out in his conduct was the way he demanded to be fed when he would come from school. Margie would be downstairs maybe, talking to me or something, and he would come to the head of the stairs and yell for her to come up and fix him something to eat. He would just stand up there and yell, "Maw, how about fixing me something to eat?" and she would jump up right away and go running upstairs to get something for him.

Now, he liked records. He didn't want to see any television, but he would lock himself up in his bedroom sometimes and play these records, and listen to the radio, and read. He was a hard one to try to figure out. But other than that, he was, I would say, just an average, spoiled teenage kid that wanted what he wanted. There are very few of them that aren't that way.

Mr. Jenner. Would you say he was more spoiled than the average teenager?

Mrs. Evans. Well, he was spoiled maybe more because he didn't have a father56 to pull him down a bit. When you are raising a child alone, it's a hard row—I mean, with just the mother, because, you know, they are getting bigger all the time, and a woman can't keep control over them like a man can.

Mr. Jenner. You mean physically?

Mrs. Evans. Yes; physically.

Mr. Jenner. Did she register him in school here in New Orleans when they came to live in your apartment?

Mrs. Evans. Well, I don't know who registered him. That I don't know.

Mr. Jenner. But he did go to school?

Mrs. Evans. Oh, yes; he went to school.

Mr. Jenner. Which school was that?

Mrs. Evans. That was Beauregard, and I might say that she used her sister's address so she could get him in that school. It's a good school, and she wanted him to go there, and also at that time I believe she was living with her sister, so that was in that school district. That's the way I understand it anyway. I think there has been some confusion about that address that was given at the school, but it is my understanding that that's why she used it. If she hadn't used her sister's address, he couldn't have gone to Beauregard probably, I mean, if she had moved to another district. So since she wanted him in Beauregard, that was the easiest way to do it.

Mr. Jenner. In order to get him in Beauregard, she used her sister's address, and that was the reason, as you understand it; is that right?

Mrs. Evans. Yes; that was a good school. I guess it still is, but she wanted him in there. Otherwise he would have had to go to another school.

Mr. Jenner. That's Beauregard Junior High School; is that right?

Mrs. Evans. Yes; and, like I said, a good school; a very fine school.

Mr. Jenner. Was Lee a good student, according to information you received in that regard, if you did receive any such information?

Mrs. Evans. Well, I never saw his report cards, but I think he was a pretty good student. I really couldn't tell you that.

Mr. Jenner. Did you notice during this period that you had this recent, close acquaintanceship with him, that he was still retiring, and that he was inclined to be by himself?

Mrs. Evans. Yes; he liked books, and he liked music, and he would come home from school, of course, a couple of hours before Margie, and he would have crossword puzzles and books and music, and he seemed to entertain himself very well.

Mr. Jenner. He didn't go out and play with the other children?

Mrs. Evans. No; he didn't.

Mr. Jenner. Now, they had this change in 1955 from 1454 to 1452 St. Mary. Was that in the same building?

Mrs. Evans. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. Was that a different apartment, then?

Mrs. Evans. I will tell you what happened there. There was this young couple that wanted that apartment, and I still hear from them. She sold them her furniture. They were the tenants after her, and she sold them some of the things in the apartment, because at that time she told me she was going to take this house way up on the other side of town, and she came back the next day and told me that she changed her mind and wanted her apartment back, but I told her that I had already rented her apartment to this young couple. I said, "Margie, what happened to the house you were going to get?" and she said, "I looked it over," and she said, "It's too far from a grocery store. I have no way of getting my groceries; too many blocks to walk, and it's too inconvenient."

I told her, "Well, I've already rented the apartment to this young couple," and she said, "I want to keep my apartment," and I said, "But, Margie, I have rented the apartment already, and you even sold them some furniture," and she said, "Well, they can have the furniture," but she said, "Just tell them you can't let them have the apartment; that I have got to keep it."

Well, that was how we sort of fell out, was over this deal. I told her, I said, "Margie, I just can't do that." To tell you the truth, the way Lee was acting up and all—he was very noisy, I didn't particularly want to do it. I knew, in the first place, that the girl simply couldn't afford it, and it would be just a matter of months until she would be behind in her rent and everything. I think she was57 already about a month in arrears on the rent, and I just figured it would be better if I didn't give her the apartment back, so I told her that I couldn't do it, because I had already rented it to this couple. I knew that, even if she could pay the rent for that month, it would be just a matter of time until she couldn't make it, and she would be struggling all the time and trying to make it, and it would maybe be more hard feelings if I let it go on that way, so I decided that it would be better to let it go the way it was going. It seemed to be the best way out of it. I thought we would be better friends maybe if they would go ahead and move now, rather than later, so I told her, I said, "Margie, if you want, you can move next door, and it will be a little cheaper," and so, they did move next door. Now, I had told her that I was going to fix up that little apartment she had occupied, just to sort of let her down easy—you know, have it painted, and so forth, so she went ahead and moved next door for a while.

Mr. Jenner. Was that 1452 St. Mary; this place next door?

Mrs. Evans. Yes; right next door. You see—I think I have skipped something. I told her that I wanted to get the apartment that she had been in fixed up, and that's how I talked her into taking the place next door, but then she started complaining and saying I was charging her too much rent for this place next door, and I wasn't getting the apartment fixed up that she had been in, and in the meantime Lee had gotten to the point where he was noisier and more determined with his mother, and it was getting a little unbearable.

Mr. Jenner. What do you mean, he was getting "more determined?" In what respects was he more determined?

Mrs. Evans. Well, he would yell, "Maw, come and fix my supper," and he had a loud voice, and I could hear him more and more up there, and it got to be quite disturbing, actually. It seemed to be a situation that was getting worse all the time; so I thought maybe it would be better if I didn't have them around; so, since the apartment wasn't fixed up anyway, and she wasn't very happy next door, she up and moved, and that's when she went to Exchange Alley.

Mr. Jenner. O.K. That was in April of 1955; is that right?

Mrs. Evans. Yes, and I never saw her after that.

Mr. Jenner. You never saw her again?

Mrs. Evans. No; I didn't.

Mr. Jenner. You didn't see her at Exchange Alley?

Mrs. Evans. No.

Mr. Jenner. She never came to visit you?

Mrs. Evans. No; she was angry about the apartment, because I made her give it up. I mean I wouldn't give it back to her after she moved away. I don't think she ever got over that.

Mr. Jenner. She didn't come to visit you any more at all?

Mrs. Evans. No; she didn't.

Mr. Jenner. She didn't get in touch with you at all?

Mrs. Evans. No.

Mr. Jenner. When was the next time you heard from or heard about, Margie or Lee?

Mrs. Evans. The next thing I heard, they had moved back to Texas. They had left town.

Mr. Jenner. Where did you hear that?

Mrs. Evans. Well, her sister, Lillian, I saw her in Holmes or—let's see, maybe it was at the Fontainbleau, at a card party we were having—yes; I think that was it; she asked me if I had seen Margie, and I said, "No; I haven't seen or heard from Margie," and that's when she told me that she had heard Margie had moved back to Texas. I didn't know that at all. I had heard from several people that they had seen Margie downtown. She worked at three or four different places—you know, hosiery, and so forth, and someone would run into me every once in a while that I knew, and would say they had seen Margie downtown at some store or other, but I didn't see her, and then the next thing I knew she was supposed to be back in Texas, and then I ran into Lillian again later and she told me—this was at the Fontainbleau. Now, I have that straight. She told me then about the trouble Lee was in.

Mr. Jenner. Where did you run into Lillian at that time?

Mrs. Evans. At a benefit card party.

58 Mr. Jenner. At the Fontainbleau?

Mrs. Evans. That's right.

Mr. Jenner. And what did Lillian tell you about Lee on that occasion?

Mrs. Evans. She told me that Lee was in Russia.

Mr. Jenner. That Lee had defected to Russia?

Mrs. Evans. That's right.

Mr. Jenner. Then, when was the next thing you heard about any of the Oswald family?

Mrs. Evans. Well, that was when Lee came to town, and they took an apartment up on Magazine Street. I can't remember that date now, but Lee got here a day or two before his wife came in.

Mr. Jenner. Would that have been in May of 1963?

Mrs. Evans. Well, I don't remember the date, but it seems like it was about the middle of May; maybe about May 16, or somewhere close to that.

Mr. Jenner. Was that when he took the apartment at 4905 Magazine Street?

Mrs. Evans. Yes. Was that May 16?

Mr. Jenner. No; I think it was a little earlier than that, according to our information.

Mrs. Evans. Well, whatever date that was, that was the next time I saw him. I don't know if it was April or May, or even March; I don't know what date it was, but I got the apartment for him, and he moved in on the day he rented it, or the next day, I think.

Mr. Jenner. He moved in on the 10th; would that be about right; the day after he rented the apartment?

Mrs. Evans. Well, if he rented it on the 9th, then that would be about right. He moved in the day after, I think it was.

Mr. Jenner. On the 9th of May?

Mrs. Evans. I guess so; yes. That's when I saw him, on the 9th of May, and then he moved in on the 10th.

Mr. Jenner. Tell me the circumstances that led to his renting that apartment, Mrs. Evans.

Mrs. Evans. Well, the doorbell rang, and my husband hadn't gone to work. He says he recognized him then, but I don't remember it that way, but anyway this young man was at the door, and he said he wanted an apartment, and did I have an apartment to rent, and I didn't have anything in this building, but I told him about another building I was fixing up, and I told him I might be able to find something for him, and he told me he had a wife and child over in Texas, and that he was going to bring them over here as soon as he could find an apartment, and that he had to find something right now. He said, "I want something right away."

When we were walking down the steps, I looked at him real hardlike, and I didn't recognize him, but something made me ask him, "I know you, don't I?" and he said, "Sure; I am Lee Oswald; I was just waiting to see when you were going to recognize me." I said, "Lee Oswald, what are you doing in this country? I thought you were in Russia. I thought you had given up your American citizenship and gone behind the Iron Curtain," and he said, "No," he said, "I went over there," he said, "but I didn't give up my citizenship." He said he had been back in the States for quite a while, and that he had brought his Russian wife back with him; so I told him I would help him look for a place; so I rang up this friend of mine, and I asked her, I said, "Vickie, do you happen to know where I can rent an apartment for a young couple with one little baby?" and she said, "Yes; Myrtle, I will take children. This is a little duplex," she said, and she said, "This is a nice little apartment, and I think they will like it," and I said, "How much?" and she said, "$65," and I said, "Well, he can't spend too much; he is just getting a new job."

Mr. Jenner. What's her name?

Mrs. Evans. Mrs. Maynard—Vickie Maynard.

Mr. Jenner. Do you know her husband's first name?

Mrs. Evans. Charles—Charlie Maynard. She only saw him for about 15 minutes; she has no bearing on this.

Mr. Jenner. Oh, I see.

Mrs. Evans. So she said, "Myrtle, bring him over, and I'll see you in about59 10 minutes," and I said, "We'll come up and see it," so we got in the car and went up and looked at it, but it wasn't too impressive. It was an upper, and they had no laundry facilities, or anything. They did have a little spare room that he could have made into a nursery for the baby, but Lee wasn't satisfied with it after we looked at it. He told me that he would rather get something on the first floor, and with laundry facilities, having the baby and all, so I said, "Well, come on, Lee; I don't know anybody that will take children," I said, "but we will just ride up and down the streets and see what we can find." So we rode in and out and all around Baronne and Napoleon and Louisiana Avenue, and Carondelet, you know, just weaving in and out the streets, and looking for any signs of apartments for rent, so we finally rode down Magazine Street, and I said, "You might as well get as close to your work as possible if you are going to get an apartment."

Mr. Jenner. Had you learned in the meantime that he had a job with the Reily Coffee Co.?

Mrs. Evans. Yes. He told me that he had just got a job with the Reily Coffee Co., and that he wanted his wife to come over here. In fact, he was going to phone her to come over that Saturday, I believe he said.

Mr. Jenner. Did he say what kind of job he had with Reily?

Mrs. Evans. No; he just told me he was going to work for the Reily Coffee Co., and that he had been staying at Lillian's, and that he was anxious for his wife to come to New Orleans, and he said a friend was going to drive her over here; so we were coming down Magazine Street, and all of a sudden he said, "Oh, there's a sign," and I said, "Good," so I pulled up around the corner, and we got out and read the sign, and then we went up and rang the doorbell, and they showed us two apartments, and this one apartment was very good for the money.

It was really the most for your money, I'd say, so I said, "Lee," I said, "this is a very nice apartment for the money; you can't afford too much," and I said, "This is the best you can do," and I said, "If I were you, I would take it," and it had a living room that was a tremendous room.

Mr. Jenner. Larger than this room?

Mrs. Evans. Well, no; not quite that wide, but really long, and they had a bedroom here, and a kitchen that went this way, in other words, and it had a front screened porch, and a yard, and the yard was long, and it had a Page fence.

Mr. Jenner. What kind of fence was that?

Mrs. Evans. A Page fence—an iron fence, like they use around New Orleans. You may call them storm fences, but down here they call them Page fences.

Mr. Jenner. Can you see through them?

Mrs. Evans. Oh, yes; it's just that a child couldn't get in the street. I mean they are good fences, but they are not solid. You can see through them—these sort of diagonals, I guess you would call them. Now, the people that ran the place that he rented it from were sort of caretakers. She lived on one side, and she ran the apartment on the other side that they rented.

Mr. Jenner. What was her name; the lady who lived next door?

Mrs. Evans. I don't know. I had her phone number and her name, and I was going to call her—I did call her once that I remember, but, nevertheless, I told Lee to give her the money for the gas and light, in other words, the deposit, so she could get the electricity turned on, because he wanted his wife to come for Saturday. I think this must have been about Wednesday or Thursday that we were there. He said it would be night before they got there, because this friend of his wife, who talked Russian, was going to bring her over to New Orleans, and bring the baby bed, bring everything, and that way, with the extra room and everything, that the lady could stay overnight, this friend of his wife, so we went on back and got in the car and rode on home, and I think I went out and got some luncheon meat and some things, and I think I ran to the grocery store, too, and got a pound of ham and some stuff, and we sat and ate lunch, and he drank a coke, I think, and we talked, and I asked him, I said, "Well, how does it feel to be back in New Orleans?" and he said, "I have wanted to move back to New Orleans." He said, "New Orleans is my home," and he60 said, "I felt like I just wanted to come back," and he said, "You know, I like the old high ceilings and the trees and the French Quarter, and everything in New Orleans," and he said, "You know, in Russia the buildings are brand new," and we talked a little about Russia—not too much, but he did tell me how men over in Russia can't rent an apartment if they are not married; that they have to live in rooms, so many men to a room; that you have to be married to have an apartment; and he said that they were all modern, and they are given to you by the Government, but that you can only have an apartment if you are married; so we talked some more about Russia, and about him giving up his citizenship and things.

Mr. Jenner. Tell me what he said about giving up his citizenship. I want to hear all about that.

Mrs. Evans. What he told me?

Mr. Jenner. Yes; what did he say about defecting to Russia; anything he said about that?

Mrs. Evans. He said he didn't give up his American citizenship; that that was ridiculous. He told me that he just wanted to see the country over there, and he had gotten work over there, and that he had fallen in love with this girl, and we talked about the difference in the housing here and over there, and he told me that they didn't pay any rent, and they had a modern apartment, I think, about on the fourth floor.

Mr. Jenner. Did he say it was only one room; that there was only one room to this apartment?

Mrs. Evans. Well, he said they had a living room, a bedroom, a dining room.

Mr. Jenner. Is that what he said?

Mrs. Evans. Yes; he said they had a nice place to live over there.

Mr. Jenner. He said that?

Mrs. Evans. Yes; he told me it was an apartment, but he said he had to live with other men in one room prior to the time he was married.

Mr. Jenner. When he said apartment, you assumed that he meant several rooms—a bedroom, kitchen, and so forth; isn't that right?

Mrs. Evans. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. But you don't know that, do you, Mrs. Evans?

Mrs. Evans. Oh, no; I don't know that. I have never been to Russia. All I know is what he told me.

Mr. Jenner. But do you remember him distinctly telling you that his apartment had all of these rooms?

Mrs. Evans. No; I don't remember that. He just said it was a modern apartment. I remember him saying that. It could have been just one room.

Mr. Jenner. It could have been one room?

Mrs. Evans. Well, like I say, I just don't know. He said it was a modern apartment, but other than that I don't know what else he said, I mean, whether he described it any more than that or not, or whether I even asked him any more about it.

Mr. Jenner. But he did use the word "apartment," is that right?

Mrs. Evans. Yes; he said they had an apartment; I remember that very plainly, and he said it was modern, but other than that I don't know.

Mr. Jenner. But he didn't describe the apartment, as far as you can recall?

Mrs. Evans. That's right; I don't remember him doing that.

Mr. Jenner. And he didn't deny at any time to you that he had attempted to defect, but that he had failed?

Mrs. Evans. No; he said he never did.

Mr. Jenner. Did he say he had not attempted to defect?

Mrs. Evans. Well, he said that he did not want to give up his American citizenship, and that he never intended to do so. He said, "I am an American," and he said, "I just went over there, just messing around."

Mr. Jenner. Did he express to you then or at any subsequent time his opinion of Russia and his reaction to the life he had in Russia?

Mrs. Evans. Well, he didn't seem to think they had treated him too bad. I guess he was just a young man in love with this Russian girl, but he did say now that he had decided not to come back to the States until he could bring her with him. He did say that, so from that conversation I gathered that he evidently61 wanted to come back, but he had married into a Russian family, and he had to get out the best way he could.

Now, this Russian woman, I don't know if she was Russian born or not, but the paper said that this woman was a teacher, and that she taught Russian.

Mr. Jenner. You mean Mrs. Paine? You are talking about Mrs. Paine now?

Mrs. Evans. Yes; I didn't even remember her name.

Mr. Jenner. You mean the lady that brought Marina over to New Orleans from Texas?

Mrs. Evans. Yes; the one that brought Marina and the baby to New Orleans.

Mr. Jenner. Well, we will get into that in a minute, Mrs. Evans; she's not a Russian woman, by the way. She's a girl from Columbus, Ohio, that was a Quaker.

Mrs. Evans. Is that right?

Mr. Jenner. Yes.

Mrs. Evans. Well, she did speak Russian, and she was the lady friend of Marina that was going to bring Marina and the baby to New Orleans.

Mr. Jenner. Well, that's right; she does speak Russian?

Mrs. Evans. He told me that his wife didn't speak American.

Mr. Jenner. Did he say why she didn't speak English?

Mrs. Evans. Why she didn't?

Mr. Jenner. Yes; did he give you any reason for that, why she wasn't learning the English language since she was living over here?

Mrs. Evans. No; he didn't say anything about that.

Mr. Jenner. What impression did you have of Lee as of that visit, Mrs. Evans, because you were with him for quite a while there on this apartment hunting tour? What did you think of Lee?

Mrs. Evans. Well, he was, I would say, sort of arrogant. He seemed to think of himself as being sort of apart from everybody else, and he carried himself so straight, and the way he had of avoiding people, and keeping within himself, and, you know, not talking too much—I noticed all that. I asked him how his mother was, and he said his mother was fine, and I asked him about his brothers, because his brothers were both in Texas, and I believe one of them has a child or two, or something like that, and he said as far as he knew they were all right. We were just sort of talking, you might say, on the surface. You know how you do, riding along, and all the time looking for something—like we were looking for apartment signs. We were getting out and looking, and getting back in, and just driving around looking and talking about things in general.

Mr. Jenner. Now, you used the expression "arrogant." What did you mean by that?

Mrs. Evans. Well, you know—I don't know, just the way he talked, and walked around, I guess. I don't know what gives you that feeling when you are around somebody like that. He was just different.

Mr. Jenner. Do you think he considered himself superior to anybody else, or to his fellow Americans, or anything like that?

Mrs. Evans. Well, I wouldn't say he acted like he was superior to anybody else. He acted normal in that respect, I guess, but he talked about Russia and he talked about the way they lived, and then he said, "It's good to be back in the United States," and he said he would have come back before he did if it had not been for this Russian girl that he married. He said he had been in Texas 8 months then, and I said, "Well, what made you come back to New Orleans?" and he said, "Well, you know, this is my home, and I wanted to see my family."

Mr. Jenner. The Oswald family?

Mrs. Evans. Yes. He said he wanted to see if he could locate any of his family, that he didn't know who any of them were any more.

Mr. Jenner. Did he say anything at all as to whether he was happy or unhappy in Russia?

Mrs. Evans. No; he didn't say anything about that, except he said he would have come back sooner if he hadn't married this girl, and he had to wait until he could bring her out of the country.

Mr. Jenner. Did he say anything about having been in the service?

Mrs. Evans. No; he didn't say anything about that, but I found that out.

62 Mr. Jenner. Did he say anything about what his ambitions were, what his objectives were in life now that he was back home?

Mrs. Evans. No.

Mr. Jenner. Did he have any luggage with him?

Mrs. Evans. Not when he came to my house. He said he had been staying at his aunt's.

Mr. Jenner. Did he talk about any of his old friends?

Mrs. Evans. No.

Mr. Jenner. When he was a teenager, did he ever smoke?

Mrs. Evans. No.

Mr. Jenner. Did you ever know him to smoke?

Mrs. Evans. No.

Mr. Jenner. Or drink?

Mrs. Evans. No.

Mr. Jenner. Would you say he was temperate with respect to smoking?

Mrs. Evans. No; he was very deep; a very deep boy, and he liked to dig into things, and he liked music and books.

Mr. Jenner. Would you say he was a voracious reader?

Mrs. Evans. Yes; he liked to read, and he liked to listen to the radio.

Mr. Jenner. What kind of music drew his attention, classics?

Mrs. Evans. Well, symphony—more of the highbrow stuff, I guess you would say. I don't really remember because this was so many years ago, and I didn't go up to their apartment that much, you know; she would come down to my apartment.

Mr. Jenner. Who would?

Mrs. Evans. His mother, but I know he liked to listen to his records a lot, and he had a lot of books all over the place, you know. His mother would come downstairs in the evening sometime, you know, and we would sit and talk, and sometimes even when she would just come in from work, she would have dinner with me, or something like that, and that's the way it was with Margie and me until we had this sort of falling out, I guess you would call it.

Then after they moved to Texas, like I said, I didn't hear from them for quite awhile, and then Lee came back and came to the house, and we did all of that apartment hunting until we found him one, and then after he had moved in, he called me one day and wanted to know if I could come up and meet Marina.

Mr. Jenner. How long was this after he had moved into the apartment, can you remember?

Mrs. Evans. Oh, I'd say about a week or so, and anyway I thought it would be nice to go up and meet Marina, and I told him we would try to come up, because I would like to meet his wife, and he said, "Just come anytime." He said she was anxious to meet me. Well, of course, I was busy, so I didn't go, so one night while we were sitting and looking at television here his face comes glaring up on the television screen, and he had been arrested for passing out some kind of handbills or something, and it told about this scuffling over this Cuban thing.

Mr. Jenner. Let me interrupt you there for a minute now. That's the first you ever heard, or the first knowledge you had, that Lee Oswald was mixed up in any way with this sort of activity, is that right?

Mrs. Evans. Oh, yes; I had no idea that he was mixed up in anything like this, and I was shocked when I saw his face come on the screen passing out these handbills in connection with this Cuban thing, so I told my husband, "Well, they said he went to Russia to give up his American citizenship; well, maybe he has." I said, "I am certainly not going up there now," so I didn't go, and I don't know whether this was before that or after that, but I called up the lady that had rented the apartment to them—I had asked her for her phone number at the time, and I told her at the time that I would try to send her some tenants, so she did give me the number, so I called one time to see how the Oswalds were getting along. Evidently this must have been after that. I don't remember. So anyway I called and said——

Mr. Jenner. Would that have been Mrs. Garner?

Mrs. Evans. Yes; that's right; Garner. I told her, I said, "This is Myrtle63 Evans, who helped Lee Oswald get that apartment; how are the Oswalds getting along," and she said, "You know, they are a queer kind of people," and she said, "I just told him, 'After all, how do you expect your wife and your child ever to speak the English language when all you ever talk to them is in Russian'?" She said, "I told him, 'This girl doesn't know a word of English, and I can't converse with her at all'," and she said, "I asked him why he didn't talk to her in English and let her learn some English so that she can talk to the people that live here in this country, instead of always in Russian."

Mr. Jenner. What did she say he said when she said that?

Mrs. Evans. Well, she said he didn't say anything. She said she tried to help them in different ways, but they didn't seem to want her to help them, and that the girl couldn't talk a word of English, so she couldn't understand her anyway. She said that Lee had for some reason always talked to her in Russian. She said she told him, "She will never learn to speak English if you keep talking to her in Russian." Now, that must have been prior to the time that I saw this deal on television, and then the next thing I knew about Lee, it was all over television, that he had killed the President, and the rest of it you know. I didn't even know he was back in Texas. I thought he was still living on Magazine Street and working at the Reily Coffee Co.

Mr. Jenner. You didn't know he was back in Texas?

Mrs. Evans. No; because I never did go back when I saw this flash about the Cuban situation on TV and Lee's picture all over the screen. I said "If he is Russian, I don't want to get dragged into it. Maybe they will think I had something to do with it."

Mr. Jenner. So you just stayed away, is that right?

Mrs. Evans. That's right; I didn't want to take a chance in getting involved in anything like that. However, I will say this, I would have loved to meet Marina. Maybe you can call it curiosity, or something, but I did want to meet her. She seems to be such a lovely person. I couldn't tell you where they lived in Texas. I never heard from them any more after that. I would have liked to tell his mother how sorry I felt for the loss of her son, and things like that, but I just don't know how to go about something like that now. I guess it's just one of those things, but I sure do feel sorry for her.

Mr. Jenner. Tell me this: In the time that you knew Lee, did he pretty much get his own way? Would you be able to say as to that?

Mrs. Evans. Well, I would say he did; definitely. She would try to give him everything he wanted—that she could, I mean, and do everything he wanted her to do. I've seen that happen many times in the time that I knew them and especially while they lived at my house. I mean, she couldn't give him a lot of material things. She just didn't have much, you know, but she would try to pacify him. That boy was so inclined to be within himself, that it was hard to figure him out. I guess no one will be able to tell what was really in his mind. They called him a "loner", and I guess that's about the best description you can give him. He was certainly a quiet type boy.

Mr. Jenner. What did you observe with respect to his relations with other children? Just how did he regard them?

Mrs. Evans. Well, to be truthful with you, I never really saw him with anyone except his mother practically.

Mr. Jenner. Do you recall when you had a discussion with Marguerite with respect to her leaving Lee with a couple?

Mrs. Evans. Oh, yes. Marguerite told me that she had this couple at her home looking after Lee. Lee wasn't 3 at that time, you see, and so he wasn't old enough to put in a nursery, but then the neighbors began telling her that they were cruel to her child when she wasn't home, and that the child was doing a lot of crying, and so she came home from work early one day, and she said her baby was screaming, and he had welts on his legs, and that this man had beat her baby, and so she put them out that night. Now, who they were or what their names where, I don't know, but she said that no one would take Lee, and she just didn't know what to do with him while she was working, so that's why she got this couple in the first place.

Mr. Jenner. Why wouldn't anybody take Lee?

64 Mrs. Evans. Well, I mean, she couldn't put him in a home.

Mr. Jenner. Because he was too young?

Mrs. Evans. Because he was too young, that's right. The older boys could be put in a home—in fact, of course, they were, but Lee was not yet 3 years old, and they have to be 3 before a home will take them.

She didn't want to go to the welfare, because once the welfare goes into a case and gets hold of a child, you have nothing but red tape and everything, and sometimes you have a hard job getting your child back, so she didn't want to fool with them, and yet she couldn't put him in the home, so she said there was nothing else for her to do but to try to get somebody to take care of him, which she did, and she was sorry she ever did that.

Mr. Jenner. You say Lee denied to you during your discussion with him that he had ever tried to give up his American citizenship?

Mrs. Evans. Yes; he said that he never intended to do that, but he just wanted to see the country, over in Russia, and see how they live and how the country looks, and so he went into Russia and got a job there and was working, and then he met this girl, and they got married, and he told me he would have been back sooner if he had figured out some way to get her out of the country. Actually he didn't seem to want to talk too much about it, and I didn't try to pump him too much, but I was just curious to see if he had had any change of mind, and what had really happened. I do feel that he was sympathetic with the Communist system of government, I mean, of the Russian system, but now I was only with him a few hours, and we just generally talked about his mother and his brothers, and his job, and looking for an apartment, and he didn't even tell me at the time that his wife was expecting another baby, and I was surprised when I heard that.

Mr. Jenner. What did he say about his brothers and his mother?

Mrs. Evans. Well, he said the boys where in Texas, and that his mother was fine, and that she was in Texas, and I think Robert, or one of them, had a couple of children. I think that was Robert that had a couple of children, and we just talked generally about things like that, you know.

Mr. Jenner. Did you get the impression that he was patriotic toward the United States, or what kind of an impression did you get in talking to Lee?

Mrs. Evans. Well, like I said, he seemed to be sympathetic toward Russia, but he told me that he was glad to be back in the United States, and that the only reason he was in Russia working at all was because he had married this Russian girl and wanted to get her out of the country, or he would have been back sooner.

Mr. Jenner. Did he say anything about his having served in the Marines, anything about how he felt about that service, or did you know he was in the Marines?

Mrs. Evans. Well, I sort of half way knew about it, maybe from his aunt; I don't know, but I don't even remember if Lee mentioned that fact in our discussion that day. I don't really remember that. I do know that he always wanted to go in the Marines.

Mr. Jenner. He always wanted to go into the Marines?

Mrs. Evans. Yes; he did.

Mr. Jenner. Tell me about that. How do you know that?

Mrs. Evans. Well, because when he was going to Beauregard, he wanted to be a marine.

Mr. Jenner. He expressed that to you?

Mrs. Evans. Yes; he always wanted to be a marine. He often said that.

Mr. Jenner. Do you recall a period of time when he wasn't in high school, but he still lived there?

Mrs. Evans. You mean in my apartment?

Mr. Jenner. Yes.

Mrs. Evans. No; because they moved from my house, and I lost contact with them.

Mr. Jenner. But while they were living in your apartment, did he actually express a desire to go into the Marines?

Mrs. Evans. Yes; he was always ambitious to be a marine, as far as I know.

65 Mr. Jenner. Did he ever express a desire to be like his brother, since it wound up that they were both in the Marines?

Mrs. Evans. Well, yes; I think he wanted to be like his brothers; they were both in the service, you know. I think John was a marine, but I can't remember what branch of the service Robert was in.

Mr. Jenner. Well, John was in the Coast Guard, I think.

Mrs. Evans. Well, the Coast Guard, and so Robert must have been in the marines.

Mr. Jenner. That's right.

Mrs. Evans. As long as I have known Lee though, he has wanted to be in the Marines. That's one of the things he said he always wanted to do.

Mr. Jenner. Did you learn anything as to the mother's attitude in that respect, about her boys going into the service, and particularly Lee?

Mrs. Evans. No; but Margie was satisfied that her children were going into the service, because she didn't have the money to send them to college, so they could graduate and all that, so it was natural that they would go in the service after they got out of high school.

Mr. Jenner. Did you ever meet Mrs. Paine?

Mrs. Evans. No; you mean the lady who brought Marina to New Orleans?

Mr. Jenner. Yes.

Mrs. Evans. No; because I never even met his wife. I never went there at all. He called me, like I said, and told me that his wife had come to New Orleans, and he said he would like for me to come up and visit them and meet her, and I said, "Lee, I am going to try to come," and I said, "You-all come to see us," and he said, "Come just any time." He said Marina was anxious to meet me, and to come up and visit them at any time.

Mr. Jenner. I have no further questions, but I would like to ask you this general question, Mrs. Evans:

Does anything occur to you that might be helpful to the Commission that I haven't asked you about, either because I neglected to do so or because I haven't learned about it? If you can think of anything, I will appreciate it if you will tell me at this time, any incident or occurrence that took place during the time that you knew the Oswalds.

Mrs. Evans. No; I can't think of anything else.

Mr. Jenner. Would you say his character, and I'm talking about Lee now, would you say it was strong or weak, or what? For example, did he give way quickly to anger, or on the contrary was he a man of self-control?

Mrs. Evans. Well, he could get angry with his mother. That was when he was in his teens, of course, the way he would holler at her when he wanted to eat, or something like that, and when he would holler, she would jump up and practically run to do whatever he wanted her to do. Of course, I don't know anything about his manhood, because I was only in his company about 3 or 4 hours then.

Mr. Jenner. Would you say he was a pleasant and inviting individual with whom you yourself would seek to be in his presence, or be with him, or just what sort of emotions did he display generally? That's what I'm getting at.

Mrs. Evans. Well, he didn't laugh too much, and he wasn't a light type of person. He was what I would call deep. He wasn't real friendly. To like him, you would have to know him. I mean, even as a child, you didn't warm to him, because he was very quiet and deep, and of course I didn't have too much contact with him. Most of my contact with with his mother.

Mr. Jenner. All right, Mrs. Evans, I appreciate very much your coming in and giving me this information, and I know it will be helpful to the Commission in its evaluation of all the evidence with regard to this matter.

Now, in the taking of this deposition, it is your privilege to read your deposition over and to sign it. It is also your privilege to waive that. In other words, you don't have to read and sign it unless you want to. You can waive that privilege, and the reporter will go ahead and transcribe your testimony, and it will be sent on to Washington, but if you prefer to read and sign it, the reporter will transcribe it, and you will be notified by the United States Attorney here when to come in and read and sign it.

66 As I have told you before, your testimony will not be disclosed other than by the Commission when and if the Commission deems it necessary.

What is your pleasure on that now, Mrs. Evans? Do you want to read and sign your deposition, or do you want to waive that?

Mrs. Evans. Oh, I will waive it. I have just told what I know about it, and that's all I can tell you.

Mr. Jenner. You wish to waive the reading and signing and trust to the reporter's ability and competence in transcribing your deposition, is that right?

Mrs. Evans. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. All right; thank you again, Mrs. Evans, for appearing here voluntarily, and giving us this information.


TESTIMONY OF JULIAN EVANS

The testimony of Julian Evans was taken on April 7, 1964, at the Old Civil Courts Building, Royal and Conti Streets, New Orleans, La., by Mr. Albert E. Jenner, Jr., assistant counsel of the President's Commission.

Julian Evans, 1910 Prytania Street, New Orleans, La., after first being duly sworn, testified as follows:

Mr. Jenner. You are Julian Evans, husband of Myrtle Evans, is that right?

Mr. Evans. Yes, sir.

Mr. Jenner. Mrs. Evans just left this room after giving her deposition, is that right?

Mr. Evans. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. And you live at 1910 Prytania Street, New Orleans, is that right?

Mr. Evans. That's right.

Mr. Jenner. Mr. Evans, you are a native-born American, is that correct, sir?

Mr. Evans. Correct.

Mr. Jenner. Where were you born?

Mr. Evans. New York.

Mr. Jenner. New York City?

Mr. Evans. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. How long have you lived in this area?

Mr. Evans. New Orleans?

Mr. Jenner. Yes.

Mr. Evans. Well, about 54 years.

Mr. Jenner. What is your business or occupation, Mr. Evans?

Mr. Evans. D. H. Holmes; salesman—major appliances.

Mr. Jenner. How long have you lived on Prytania, at that address?

Mr. Evans. Let's see—it's going on 15 years now.

Mr. Jenner. And you are Mrs. Evans' second husband, is that right, sir?

Mr. Evans. That's right.

Mr. Jenner. Were you married before?

Mr. Evans. No.

Mr. Jenner. During your lifetime you came to know the Oswald family, is that right?

Mr. Evans. Yes; the boy and his mother.

Mr. Jenner. Marguerite and Lee?

Mr. Evans. Yes; and there was another brother—two other brothers.

Mr. Jenner. John Pic and Robert Lee Oswald, is that right?

Mr. Evans. That's right. I met them for the first time when we were across the lake, around Covington, La.—the three boys and Marguerite, and Pic—no; I mean Ekdahl; that was before she married him.

Mr. Jenner. Mr. Ekdahl was over there with them?

Mr. Evans. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. Do you know where Mr. Ekdahl was from?

Mr. Evans. From Boston. That was the first time I ever saw any of the boys.

67 Mr. Jenner. They were then living over in Covington, and that was during the summer, is that right?

Mr. Evans. That's right.

Mr. Jenner. Do you know what that address was over there?

Mr. Evans. No; I don't remember that address. I think they rented a place over there.

Mr. Jenner. This was in 1946, is that right?

Mr. Evans. That's about right.

Mr. Jenner. Now, there are two addresses given for that place, 611 West 24th Street, Covington, La., and 311 Vermont Street, is that right?

Mr. Evans. Well, I don't know the address. We didn't go to the house.

Mr. Jenner. You went to a picnic, is that right?

Mr. Evans. Yes; we went to a picnic over there.

Mr. Jenner. And Mr. Ekdahl was there with Marguerite and the children, is that right?

Mr. Evans. Yes, he was there, and I talked to him. He was a lot older than she was, you know.

Mr. Jenner. Mr. Ekdahl was a lot older than Marguerite?

Mr. Evans. Yes; he was.

Mr. Jenner. What was your impression of Mr. Ekdahl at that time?

Mr. Evans. Very well; a fine gentleman, well educated. He seemed to know his business. He talked about rocks and ore and things like that, and I enjoyed talking to him. That's the only time I have ever seen him.

Mr. Jenner. I forgot, Mr. Evans, but you did receive a letter from Mr. Rankin, general counsel for the Commission, did you not?

Mr. Evans. Yes, sir.

Mr. Jenner. And enclosed with that letter was Senate Joint Resolution 137, authorizing the creation of the Commission to investigate the assassination of the late President John Fitzgerald Kennedy, is that right?

Mr. Evans. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. And Executive Order No. 11130 of Lyndon B. Johnson, appointing that Commission and fixing its powers and duties?

Mr. Evans. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. And a copy of the rules and regulations under which we take testimony before the Commission and also by way of deposition, such as in your case; is that right?

Mr. Evans. Yes, sir.

Mr. Jenner. You became aware, I take it, from these documents that you received that the Commission was empowered and directed to investigate the circumstances surrounding the assassination of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy; is that right?

Mr. Evans. That's right.

Mr. Jenner. I am Albert E. Jenner, Jr., and I represent the legal staff of the Commission, along with Mr. Liebeler, and our purpose for being here is to ask you questions concerning any contact you might have had with the Oswald family, and particularly Lee Oswald, during his lifetime, and we understand that both you and Mrs. Evans did have some contact with the Oswalds, is that right?

Mr. Evans. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. Now, you appeared voluntarily here today, is that right?

Mr. Evans. Right.

Mr. Jenner. Did you and Mrs. Evans stay over at Covington more than a day on this occasion that you began to tell me about?

Mr. Evans. No.

Mr. Jenner. You just visited over there on one occasion?

Mr. Evans. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. Did you visit at Covington on any other occasions?

Mr. Evans. No.

Mr. Jenner. And this was in 1946, so Lee would have been 6 or 7 years old, is that right?

Mr. Evans. I guess; he was pretty small.

Mr. Jenner. And the other two boys were also with her, you say?

68 Mr. Evans. Yes; they were all with her over there.

Mr. Jenner. Were they in school at the time, do you know?

Mr. Evans. I think they were in school. They were on vacation, I believe, because this was during the summer; I am pretty sure they were on vacation over there.

Mr. Jenner. The two boys, that is, John and Robert, they were in a school that was different from the school that Lee was attending, if he was attending school, is that right?

Mr. Evans. Well, I don't know if he was attending school or not, but I don't think they went to the same school. These other boys went to an out-of-town school, I think.

Mr. Jenner. That's what I was getting at. I was trying to have you say it voluntarily, rather than me say it. Do you understand that they were attending a military school over in Mississippi?

Mr. Evans. Those two boys; yes.

Mr. Jenner. The two older boys?

Mr. Evans. Yes; I'm pretty sure that that's right.

Mr. Jenner. And Lee was with his mother; he stayed with her?

Mr. Evans. Yes; with his mother and Mr. Ekdahl—you mean in Covington now?

Mr. Jenner. No; in Texas; this was just a summer vacation over in Covington, isn't that right?

Mr. Evans. Yes; that's right.

Mr. Jenner. What impression did you get as to the life and habits and personality of Mr. Ekdahl and Marguerite and Lee, that is, when they were not on vacation—when they were moving from place to place in the pursuit of Mr. Ekdahl's line of business, from city to city?

Mr. Evans. Well, I think Marguerite and Ekdahl got along pretty well, except for the kid. I mean, he wanted his own way about everything.

Mr. Jenner. You noticed that?

Mr. Evans. Oh, yes.

Mr. Jenner. That was quite apparent to you even though this was vacation time when you saw them over in Covington?

Mr. Evans. I don't understand that.

Mr. Jenner. I said, was this apparent to you even when they were on this picnic over in Covington that you told us about?

Mr. Evans. Yes; you could notice that. It seemed like all his life, Lee wanted his way, and that's what he wanted.

Mr. Jenner. Well, you are expressing that opinion from what you have heard and read, in addition to what you saw yourself, are you not?

Mr. Evans. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. But you did notice that yourself?

Mr. Evans. Oh, yes, I did; definitely I noticed it.

Mr. Jenner. Was that the first time that you had met either Marguerite or Ekdahl?

Mr. Evans. Yes; that's the first time. I may have met Marguerite before but not Ekdahl, and not the boys either, but Marguerite was working on Canal Street in some hosiery shop, and I might have seen her there. I know Myrtle knew her for quite a few years, so I probably had met her before. I just don't remember now.

Mr. Jenner. What kind of a person was she?

Mr. Evans. She was a very fine person, a nice looking woman—well educated, soft spoken, a very, very nice woman; wonderful.

Mr. Jenner. Did you get the impression that Mr. Ekdahl and she, apart from this vacation, traveled a lot?

Mr. Evans. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. Because of his work?

Mr. Evans. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. Living in hotels?

Mr. Evans. That's right; they lived in hotels and also they took Lee with them.

Mr. Jenner. They took Lee with them?

69 Mr. Evans. Yes; everywhere.

Mr. Jenner. In traveling on his job?

Mr. Evans. That's right. They were living in Texas for awhile, I believe, and then he did some traveling in Texas, New York, and other places, but they would always take the boy with them when they went.

Mr. Jenner. You and Mrs. Evans maintained somewhat of a friendship with Marguerite, did you not?

Mr. Evans. That's right. Of course, my wife knew her more years than I did. She knew her a long time before she was even married.

Mr. Jenner. That's right; our information shows that.

Mr. Evans. She knew her when she lived down on Alvar Street.

Mr. Jenner. That was before you had any contact with the Oswald family, is that right?

Mr. Evans. That's right.

Mr. Jenner. Has your wife given you any of the details regarding the background of the Oswald family?

Mr. Evans. Yes; over the years we have discussed it.

Mr. Jenner. Well, I wouldn't be interested right now in what your wife told you, because we have taken her deposition, but I just want to know what you know of the family and your impressions of them, and so forth.

Mr. Evans. Yes, sir.

Mr. Jenner. Were you married to Mrs. Evans when the Oswalds lived at 1454 St. Mary?

Mr. Evans. Yes, sir.

Mr. Jenner. You were?

Mr. Evans. Yes, sir.

Mr. Jenner. Tell me about that. How did that come about? How did you first come to know them.

Mr. Evans. Well, she came to town, and she wanted an apartment.

Mr. Jenner. From where did she come?

Mr. Evans. Well, she was living here with her sister, and they couldn't get along, or something.

Mr. Jenner. Lillian Murret, is that who you are talking about?

Mr. Evans. Yes; her sister; she lives downtown.

Mr. Jenner. Lillian Murret?

Mr. Evans. That's right.

Mr. Jenner. And she is Marguerite's sister?

Mr. Evans. Yes; I think her and the boys were living there, and they couldn't get along, or something, so they looked for an apartment, and she asked my wife if she knew about a place anywhere that she might rent, or if she had a place, and so then they moved into the apartment right next to us, and there was some disagreement about the apartment, or something, and my wife told her she could give her the apartment, but not for the same amount of money, or something like that—I don't know exactly how all that took place, but my wife can tell you that, but anyway she got mad and left, and they moved down in the French Quarter.

Mr. Jenner. Do you know where?

Mr. Evans. Well, it's some little short street down in the French Quarter, you know, right off of Canal. It's not such a good neighborhood, a lot of poolrooms and places like that.

Mr. Jenner. Would that be Exchange Alley?

Mr. Evans. Exchange Alley, yes; that's it. We took them on vacation one time on a week end across the lake with us.

Mr. Jenner. You did?

Mr. Evans. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. Tell me about that.

Mr. Evans. We took them over to my sister-in-law's place, across the lake.

Mr. Jenner. When you say across the lake, which lake is that?

Mr. Evans. Lake Pontchartrain.

Mr. Jenner. And where's your sister-in-law's place across the lake?

Mr. Evans. At Sun, La. They are in the sand and gravel business over there, and they have a private pond to fish in, you know, and they stock it themselves70 and they have some nice fish in there, and so Lee and the boys were down there fishing, but Lee didn't talk to the other kids or anything. He just seemed to want to be alone, and he just fished by himself, and the odd part of his behavior that we all thought was very strange was the way he would just let the fish die on the bank after he would catch them. Now, the other small boys would catch them and, and if there was enough for eating and everything, they would throw the others back, but not Lee. He would pull them in and just throw them down on the river—I mean on the bank by the pond and just let them lay there, and when he got through he just walked off and left them there. Something like that is hard to understand. He didn't catch them for eating, and he didn't want to throw them back in. He just left them on the bank and walked off after he got tired of fishing. We couldn't understand that at all. It showed how totally inconsiderate he was of everything. It was a good example of how he acted, and his general attitude.

Mr. Jenner. How old was he at that time?

Mr. Evans. He was just a young fellow.

Mr. Jenner. About 13, 14 or 15 years old, would you say?

Mr. Evans. Yes; somewhere around there. I believe he was going to Warren Easton at the time, or he went to Easton shortly after that.

Mr. Jenner. He first went to Beauregard Junior High School, is that right?

Mr. Evans. Yes; and then he went to Warren Easton when he was about 14, I think. He wouldn't talk much. If you talked to him, maybe he would answer you and maybe he wouldn't, but you had to speak to him first. That's the last time I saw him until he came back from Texas looking for a place to stay.

Mr. Jenner. When Lee was living in the apartment with his mother, what did you notice, or observe, with relationship to his mother? I mean, did he seem to respect her authority, or was he impervious and arrogant?

Mr. Evans. He was arrogant.

Mr. Jenner. Can you remember some incident that would illustrate that for us?

Mr. Evans. Well, his mother would be in our apartment talking to my wife, for example, and if he came home from school or somewhere, he would holler real loud, "Maw, how about something to eat?"

Mr. Jenner. He would be demanding, you mean?

Mr. Evans. Yes; real demanding, and loud. He wanted her to come right now, and he had absolutely no patience with her at all, it seemed.

Mr. Jenner. It was just not raising his voice to let his mother know he was home, or anything like that?

Mr. Evans. No; it was real demanding. He would know where she was when she was talking to my wife, and when he hollered at her, she would have to go right now.

Mr. Jenner. Did he ever get home early from school, or was it about the regular time?

Mr. Evans. Oh, about the regular time, I think. I don't think he ever stayed away from school. I think he went to school all right, but, I mean, he was arrogant, and nobody liked him. That was the thing.

Mr. Jenner. Did he ever associate with any of the children in the neighborhood?

Mr. Evans. No; he didn't. He didn't associate with anybody.

Mr. Jenner. Do you remember anything about his habits? Did he stay in the apartment, or go out, or what?

Mr. Evans. He stayed mostly in the apartment. Now, when he lived upstairs in the apartment, he would go out on the front porch and read. He always had a few books around, paper covered books.

Mr. Jenner. Paperbacks?

Mr. Evans. Yes; paperbacks. He had a lot of them.

Mr. Jenner. Did he go to the public library and get books?

Mr. Evans. Well, I don't know. I can't answer that, but he did a lot of reading, but, you know, it was mostly this cheap stuff, I think.

Mr. Jenner. Would you say he was a voracious reader?

71 Mr. Evans. Yes, he read; he read all the time. I mean, from what I noticed by him being around the apartment.

Mr. Jenner. Did you notice any other traits about him that you wondered about, or that you thought unusual or strange?

Mr. Evans. He seemed to be in deep thought a lot of times—always thinking. He was hard to get to.

Mr. Jenner. He was hard to get to?

Mr. Evans. Yes; that's right.

Mr. Jenner. Did you ever feel that you ever got to know Lee Oswald, Mr. Evans.

Mr. Evans. No; I can't say that I ever did. I don't think anybody did. I don't think anybody even came close to it, because the way he was nobody could figure him out. It was hard to get to him or to understand him. He didn't want you to get too close to him, for one thing. He never went out of his way to make friends, I mean, from what I knew of him.

Mr. Jenner. He sort of shied away from friends, or people who might have become friends, or who might have tried to be friendly with him?

Mr. Evans. Yes; that's it. You would try to be nice to him, but he wouldn't appreciate it, and he didn't mind showing you that he didn't appreciate it. My sister-in-law's children tried to be friendly with him when we had him across the lake to their house. They asked him to go swimming with them, and everything, but he just wanted to be by himself. Finally, the kids got so that they just didn't pay any attention to him. Kids are like that, you know. If he wanted to be that way, that was all right with them. They just went ahead and enjoyed themselves, and to heck with him. They didn't let him bother them at all with the way he acted.

Mr. Jenner. As I gather it, they tried to be friendly with him, but when he wouldn't reciprocate, then they said, in effect, "OK, we won't be friendly; see if we care"; is that right?

Mr. Evans. That's right.

Mr. Jenner. Now, when they lived at your apartment, the address was given there as 1454 and then later it was changed to 1452; what was that all about? Could you explain that?

Mr. Evans. Well, there was nothing to that. They just moved from upstairs to downstairs. We were remodeling the apartment upstairs, and so she moved downstairs, really next door, and when she found out that she wasn't going to be permitted by my wife to move back upstairs, that's when she got mad and left, but, really, Lee had become very noisy and loud, and we just decided that we would rather not have him back in that apartment for that reason—because he was actually disturbing everybody around there with his loudness. You could really tell when he was home.

Mr. Jenner. You could?

Mr. Evans. Oh, yes; in fact, Lee couldn't talk to his mother in a soft voice or a low voice; it was always a very loud, insolent voice, and it seemed like he got to raising his voice all the time, and he didn't seem to care who heard him or what he said. You knew he was home, all right.

Mr. Jenner. Did some friction arise between Mrs. Evans, the landlady, and Mrs. Oswald about that time?

Mr. Evans. Yes; it was about the apartment, and my wife told her that she just couldn't let her move back upstairs, and she didn't like that at all, and then she moved away.

Mr. Jenner. Would you say that Lee was a very impervious fellow?

Mr. Evans. Yes; I would say that. He had what I would call a foghorn voice, and he didn't seem to make any effort at all to control it. He would just blare out, and it did disturb others around the house. He had a good speaking voice, though; I will say that; very good.

Mr. Jenner. Now, after this incident in which Marguerite took over other quarters and moved out with her son, when next did you hear about or have any contact with either Marguerite or Lee Oswald?

Mr. Evans. When he came back there to look for an apartment.

Mr. Jenner. That would have been last spring?

Mr. Evans. Yes.

72 Mr. Jenner. Is that right?

Mr. Evans. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. May?

Mr. Evans. Around May.

Mr. Jenner. May of 1963?

Mr. Evans. Yes, sir; we were eating breakfast at the time, I think, and I was about to leave for work, because I was due at work pretty soon, but my wife talked to him and showed him around later, she told me, and she helped him get an apartment.

Mr. Jenner. Did you notice anything unusual about Lee when you first met him that day?

Mr. Evans. Well, when I shook hands with him, his hand was so soft; it was just like there was nothing there, no bones or anything.

Mr. Jenner. A fishy handshake, was it?

Mr. Evans. That's right; just soft, like no bones in his hand; that's the way he shook hands.

Mr. Jenner. You mean he didn't have a firm handclasp; is that right?

Mr. Evans. That's right. His hand was not solid, like the average person that you shake hands with. It was soft. I had understood that he had been fooling around with machinery, but he didn't have the hand of a mechanic.

Mr. Jenner. Had you heard anything about him before he came to your house that day?

Mr. Evans. You mean in connection with this Cuban thing?

Mr. Jenner. Yes; anything about that?

Mr. Evans. No; that came after that.

Mr. Jenner. All right; we'll get to that in a minute. When he got to your apartment, he rang the bell, and your wife let him in; is that right?

Mr. Evans. Yes; she answered the door?

Mr. Jenner. She answered the door?

Mr. Evans. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. Did he make an inquiry about an apartment, as to whether he could find one, or what?

Mr. Evans. Yes; he did, and she said to come on in, and he came in, and they sat down and we talked a few minutes before I had to leave.

Mr. Jenner. Did you and your wife recognize him then?

Mr. Evans. Oh, yes.

Mr. Jenner. Immediately?

Mr. Evans. He hadn't changed. He was talking a little more. I noticed that right away, and about his physical appearance, though, it was about the same, except that he was taller, but you could tell it was the same Lee Oswald.

Mr. Jenner. You recognized him right away; is that right?

Mr. Evans. Yes; I recognized him. We talked for a little bit, but I had to leave after we had had a couple of shots of coffee, because I had to get to work. I was on my way, in fact, when he came to the door; so I didn't get to see him for very long that morning. When I left, my wife was talking to him about the possibilities of getting him an apartment, and at that point I had to leave. I left then and went to the office. Later that day my wife told me that she had found him an apartment, and she also told me that he told her that he had found a job with the Reily Coffee Co.

Mr. Jenner. He had found a job with the Reily Coffee Co.?

Mr. Evans. That's what my wife told me he said, and she said he seemed to he very happy about it, because he was going to bring his wife over from Texas, and they were going to live here in an apartment, and my wife said he wanted to call her right away, as soon as they found the apartment, and that a friend was going to drive her over.

Mr. Jenner. Did your wife question him in your presence about his alleged attempt to defect to Russia, and whether or not he had renounced his American citizenship?

Mr. Evans. Well, yes; she did ask him about that, but he denied it. He said he was only a tourist in Russia, or something like that. He said he just wanted to see the country and how they lived, and that he did not intend to ever give up his American citizenship. The next thing we knew, we were watching television,73 and his picture came on there, as big as life, and it showed him passing out leaflets or something. I think it was on Canal Street—no; I think that was on Bolivar. Anyway, the signs read, "Free Cuba," or something like that.

Mr. Jenner. Could that have been "Fair Play for Cuba"?

Mr. Evans. That's right.

Mr. Jenner. What was your reaction when you saw this on the screen?

Mr. Evans. Well, we didn't know what to think; whether he was in this by himself, or whether he had accomplices, or what, and my wife had planned to go up and visit his wife up at their apartment up on Magazine, but after that came on the screen, and all, she decided not to go. She said she didn't know what he was getting himself involved in, but that she had better not go up there, and she didn't.

Mr. Jenner. Then neither you nor your wife visited them at their apartment on Magazine Street; is that right?

Mr. Evans. That's right.

Mr. Jenner. You did not?

Mr. Evans. No.

Mr. Jenner. And they never did visit you after that, either; is that right?

Mr. Evans. That's right. They didn't visit us, and we didn't visit them.

Mr. Jenner. Was there any discussion of President Kennedy at this breakfast that you had with your wife and Lee that morning he first showed up—at least, before you left for work?

Mr. Evans. No.

Mr. Jenner. Was anything like that mentioned at all as long as you were there, at least?

Mr. Evans. No. Like I said, I just finished a cup of coffee and left. I had to get to the office.

Mr. Jenner. Did you ever see Lee Oswald in any fits of temper, so to speak?

Mr. Evans. No; I didn't. I never did actually see anything like that, but I could hear him all right, the way he would shout at his mother and so forth. I mean, but I never did actually see him at times like that. He would be up in the apartment. From what I could hear, though, I could tell that he was very demanding of her.

Mr. Jenner. Very demanding of his mother?

Mr. Evans. Yes; he was.

Mr. Jenner. What other impressions did you have of this boy?

Mr. Evans. Well, I thought he was a psycho. I really did. He was so young to be acting the way he did. Of course, there is no doubt that his mother really spoiled him. She would do just about anything he wanted, if it was possible to be done, like giving him money or anything like that, and I understand that he was the cause of his mother's divorce from Ekdahl. Ekdahl said that Lee was more demanding of his mother than he was, and he was her husband.

Mr. Jenner. You had the impression that Lee came between her and Mr. Ekdahl?

Mr. Evans. Yes, sir.

Mr. Jenner. Give me your impression of Marguerite Oswald.

Mr. Evans. Marguerite?

Mr. Jenner. Yes.

Mr. Evans. I think she's a fine woman, myself, a fine woman; intelligent, very soft spoken—a beautiful woman, with black hair streaked with a little gray, but when you saw her on television since this thing happened, she really looked awful; nothing at all like she used to look. She has really aged. She looked like a charwoman, compared to what she used to look like. She used to be a fashion plate. She dressed beautifully, but when we saw her on television just recently, after all this happened, she looked awful. There's no other way to describe it, the change that has come over her. You wouldn't have recognized her if they hadn't told you who she was; she looked that different. Where her hair used to be black, now it's entirely gray, and she really looks old.

Mr. Jenner. Well, she's 57, I believe.

Mr. Evans. That's right; she's the same age as my wife, but she looks about 70 now. That's about all I can remember about her, and then I saw this thing74 on television when the President was assassinated, and when it showed her picture, we just couldn't believe it was Marguerite.

Mr. Jenner. Were you home when her picture came on television, along with this news of the President's assassination and Oswald's arrest?

Mr. Evans. No; I was at the store at the time. It was on television there.

Mr. Jenner. What did you do when you saw it?

Mr. Evans. I immediately called my wife, and I said, "Do you have the television on?" and she said, "No," and I said, "Well, put it on." I said, "They are holding Lee Oswald as the assassin," and she said, "No; that can't be!" and I said, "Turn on the television and see for yourself."

Mr. Jenner. Did you ever observe anything about Lee Oswald that would lead you to believe that he had any propensity toward acts of violence on the person of anybody else?

Mr. Evans. No; he was a good talker.

Mr. Jenner. He was a good talker?

Mr. Evans. Yes; he was. He had a good vocabulary; pretty good for his age, anyway; so I guess all that reading he did must have accounted for that. Also, he had a pretty good memory, for one thing, and his expressions were good, but he was very noisy and would talk in a loud voice all the time, especially when he wanted something from his mother or wanted her to do something for him. I used to think it was pretty awful the way he used to yell at her, but she didn't seem to mind. She would jump up the minute he yelled, and she did everything for him that she could. But he did have a booming voice. You don't see a voice in a kid like that, at 13 years old, very often. His voice was just about changing then, at that early age.

Mr. Jenner. Did he seem aggressive in that respect, at least with other children?

Mr. Evans. Yes; I would say so.

Mr. Jenner. What was your impression of this man in general when he came back to New Orleans in 1963 and you had occasion to see him?

Mr. Evans. In what way?

Mr. Jenner. Well, say, with respect to money; what was his financial status?

Mr. Evans. You mean this boy?

Mr. Jenner. Yes, Oswald; what was his status with relation to income or the amount of money he possessed, or anything like that? What did you learn about that?

Mr. Evans. Well I don't think he had any money.

Mr. Jenner. That was your impression; that he had no money, or any outside source of money?

Mr. Evans. Yes. He couldn't even afford a nice apartment for his wife and child. He had to get the cheapest apartment he could find, because we had friends that had other places that he could have gotten, but he couldn't afford anything better. He did not have money; that's what seemed to be so odd, to our way of thinking, when we heard those rumors and reports that he was getting money from other sources to do all of this stuff that he seemed to be getting into. We just figured if he was getting any other money, then he would be living in a better place and taking better care of his family, but he couldn't afford to pay for anything.

Mr. Jenner. Then you saw no evidence of him having any money?

Mr. Evans. No.

Mr. Jenner. Do you think it possible that he might have received any substantial quantities from any other source?

Mr. Evans. No; I don't. Even his clothing was bad, all worn, and he didn't have a coat on that I ever saw.

Mr. Jenner. No coat?

Mr. Evans. Just a sport shirt is all, when I saw him. I don't know of any other income he could have had. Of course, his mother might have been helping him. If it was possible, I know she would have helped him. I don't think his brothers helped him any.

Mr. Jenner. Does anything else occur to you that might be helpful to the Commission in its investigation; anything that I might not have asked you about,75 or that I just didn't know about, and that you think might be of assistance to us in this investigation?

Mr. Evans. No; not a thing.

Mr. Jenner. Now, this deposition will be transcribed by the reporter, and you have the privilege under the law of reading and signing your deposition. However, you don't have to do that. You can waive that right and let the reporter transcribe the deposition, and it will be forwarded direct to Washington, to the Commission. Now, what is your preference in that regard?

Mr. Evans. I will waive that.

Mr. Jenner. You will waive that privilege?

Mr. Evans. Yes; I can't think of anything else besides what I have already told you. I didn't actually know Lee too well, because he just wasn't the type of man you could get close to. He just sort of lived in his own world, I guess you would say, and he didn't want friends, or at least that was my impression, and I did have enough contact with him that I could arrive at my own opinion.

Mr. Jenner. All right, Mr. Evans. Thank you very much for coming in voluntarily and answering these questions.


TESTIMONY OF PHILIP EUGENE VINSON

The testimony of Philip Eugene Vinson was taken at 2 p.m., on April 1, 1964, in the office of the U.S. attorney, 301 Post Office Building, Bryan and Ervay Streets, Dallas, Tex., by Mr. Wesley J. Liebeler, assistant counsel of the President's Commission.

Mr. Liebeler. Would you rise and I will administer the oath. Do you solemnly swear that the testimony you are about to give will be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?

Mr. Vinson. I do.

Mr. Liebeler. My name is Wesley J. Liebeler. I am a member of the legal staff of the President's Commission To Investigate the Assassination of President Kennedy. I have been authorized to take the testimony of witnesses by the Commission pursuant to authority granted to it by Executive Order 11130, dated November 29, 1963, and Joint Resolution of Congress No. 137.

The Commission's rules require that a witness be given 3 days' notice prior to the time that he can be required to testify. I don't think you have been given 3 days' notice, but you are entitled to waive that notice if you want to.

I assume that as long as you are here, you are perfectly willing to waive it and go ahead.

Mr. Vinson. That's right.

Mr. Liebeler. I want to give you now a copy of the Executive order that I just mentioned, plus the Resolution of Congress No. 137, and the rules of procedure, which rules have been adopted to govern the taking of testimony from witnesses. You may keep those documents and refer to them as you wish.

The Commission understands that you were a classmate of Lee Harvey Oswald in the second grade?

Mr. Vinson. Yes.

Mr. Liebeler. While that may not seem to have too much relationship to the events of last November, one of the purposes of the Commission is to try to determine, assuming Oswald's guilt, his motive. In that area it might be that the kind of person he was when he was in the second grade or younger than that, throughout his youth, may have some relevance.

Mr. Liebeler. Before we get into the details of that, however, I would like you to state your full name.

Mr. Vinson. Philip Eugene Vinson.

Mr. Liebeler. Where do you live, Mr. Vinson?

Mr. Vinson. 4325 Baell Street, Fort Worth, Tex.

76 Mr. Liebeler. You are presently employed as a reporter for a Fort Worth newspaper, is that correct?

Mr. Vinson. That's right.

Mr. Liebeler. Which newspaper?

Mr. Vinson. The Fort Worth Star Telegram.

Mr. Liebeler. How long have you been employed by them?

Mr. Vinson. Since July 15, 1963.

Mr. Liebeler. What kind of work have you been doing for them?

Mr. Vinson. Reporter.

Mr. Liebeler. Do you have any particular specialty, or just a general reporter; what kind of work are you actually doing?

Mr. Vinson. We have a bureau in Arlington, Tex., which specializes in covering suburban news in the community between Dallas and Fort Worth, and we have two reporters assigned to this bureau, and I am one of the two reporters in this bureau at this time.

Mr. Liebeler. So you are actually presently located or based in Arlington; is that correct?

Mr. Vinson. That's right. We have an office in Arlington.

Mr. Liebeler. Have you been doing this same work ever since you went to work for the newspaper?

Mr. Vinson. No.

Mr. Liebeler. What other jobs have you had?

Mr. Vinson. When I started, I was given the routine work that most beginner reporters assume. You start out writing obituaries and just general assignments on the city side or working through the city editor, and I did that for about 6 weeks.

During this time I was doing this 4 days a week, while on Saturday they were training me to take over the police reporters job. And I worked 4 days out of the main office and 1 day from the police station for about 6 weeks.

And then around the first of September I became a full-time police reporter for the Evening Star Telegram, and I worked as a police reporter until about October the 1—excuse me, until about, I would say, around October 20, the latter part of October. I don't know the dates exactly, but I stayed as a police reporter for a little less than 2 months. Then the management decided that they were going to establish this bureau in Arlington, and I was chosen along with another reporter to come out to work in Arlington.

Mr. Liebeler. How old are you, Mr. Vinson?

Mr. Vinson. Twenty-three.

Mr. Liebeler. When were you born?

Mr. Vinson. July 6, 1940.

Mr. Liebeler. Where?

Mr. Vinson. Childress, Tex.

Mr. Liebeler. Where is that?

Mr. Vinson. It is just at the beginning of the Panhandle. It is about 120 miles west of Wichita Falls and about 150 miles southeast of Amarillo, just at the base of the Panhandle.

Mr. Liebeler. How long did you live there?

Mr. Vinson. I lived there until the summer of 1947, with one exception. We moved to Fort Worth in 1945, 1946, for a short time, about 3 months, and my father was working in Fort Worth, but my mother and I, there was this big housing shortage after the war and we couldn't find a place to live, so we moved back to Childress until my father was able to find us a place to live. That was in the summer of 1946, as I recall now, because I started to school in the first grade in Childress that fall.

Mr. Liebeler. Then you and your mother finally moved to Fort Worth?

Mr. Vinson. Yes; in the summer of 1947, we moved to Fort Worth, and that fall I started to school in Fort Worth, and that would have been the second grade.

Mr. Liebeler. You went to the first grade in Childress?

Mr. Vinson. Yes.

Mr. Liebeler. And you went to the second grade in what school?

Mr. Vinson. Lily B. Clayton Elementary School.

77 Mr. Liebeler. Where did you live in Fort Worth at that time?

Mr. Vinson. 661 Seventh Avenue.

Mr. Liebeler. Do you have any brothers or sisters?

Mr. Vinson. I have one brother.

Mr. Liebeler. Older or younger?

Mr. Vinson. Younger.

Mr. Liebeler. How old is he?

Mr. Vinson. Three.

Mr. Liebeler. While you were in attendance at the Lily B. Clayton School, did you know another student by the name of Lee Oswald?

Mr. Vinson. I did.

Mr. Liebeler. Can you remember when you first met him?

Mr. Vinson. No.

Mr. Liebeler. Why don't you tell us everything that you can in your own words about what you remember about Lee Oswald as you knew him in the second grade?

Mr. Vinson. Well, I have no idea when I first saw him or actually became acquainted with him. The best I remember, he was there when I got there, and it was my understanding that he had already been there before I got there.

In other words, all the other kids knew him from the previous year.

The thing that stands out most in my mind about him is that when we would go outside for unsupervised play, when we weren't engaged in games supervised by the teacher, where we were just turned loose and allowed to do what we wanted to, we would break down into little groups, and I remember the boys called them gangs.

We used to say, "Are you in so-and-so's gang", and there were several key people, all boys in the class, who seemed to, I don't know if they were organizers, or just somehow assumed the responsibility of being the leaders.

But there were, I couldn't say how many, maybe three or four boys who, you know, acted as leaders of these gangs, as we called them, and I recall fairly vividly that Lee Oswald was one of the leaders of one of these gangs. And we would do, one gang would start chasing the other gang. It was just a bunch of horseplay, horsing around.

Mr. Liebeler. How many kids were involved in this altogether?

Mr. Vinson. Well, the boys in our class.

Mr. Liebeler. The boys in your second grade?

Mr. Vinson. In our second grade class, and I venture to say there may be 15 or so.

Mr. Liebeler. Fifteen?

Mr. Vinson. Well, now, you mean in the class?

Mr. Liebeler. Yes.

Mr. Vinson. I imagine from the way classes generally run, they were—there were probably about 30 students in our room, in our class, and I can't remember whether the boys outnumbered the girls or not, but I would say maybe 15 or 16, or maybe a little less boys.

And maybe these so-called gangs would just include two or three people in addition to the leader. This has been so long ago that it is very vague, but I do remember this.

And I remember that Oswald was pretty stocky and well built, and it seemed that the other boys used to look up to his—let me start over. They seemed to look up to him because he was so well built and husky and everything and it seemed like all the rest of us were a bunch of little guys, but I remember we would make reference to Lee being big and strong and this sort of thing. And this could be because, from what I judge, he was a little bit older than most of the boys, almost a year. The age makes a little more difference at that period than later on.

And it seemed that this so-called gang that he was head of seemed to be the top one, and all the boys would look up to anybody that was a member of his little group.

And they seemed to look up to him and he was considered sort of a tough-guy type, although not as a bully.

Mr. Liebeler. He wasn't a bully?

78 Mr. Vinson. Not that I remember. I don't think he was at all because I remember several other boys who were, and I just don't recall that he had any tendencies like that.

Mr. Liebeler. Do you remember him getting into any fights with anybody?

Mr. Vinson. No; none other than just playful fights, just wrestling out on the schoolground. Really not out of anger.

Mr. Liebeler. He never had any occasion to fight with these other boys who you have described as bullies?

Mr. Vinson. Not that I recall.

Mr. Liebeler. Were you a member of Oswald's gang?

Mr. Vinson. No; I wasn't.

Mr. Liebeler. Do you remember the names of any of the fellows who were?

Mr. Vinson. No; I don't. Like I say, this was just a playlike sort of thing, you know, and I don't know that.

Mr. Liebeler. Can you remember anything else about Oswald and these out-of-school activities?

Mr. Vinson. I don't remember anything about him out of school.

Mr. Liebeler. I mean out of the classroom?

Mr. Vinson. Out of the classroom, no; I don't know. In the classroom, I don't think he was a discipline problem at that time, because the teacher we had was pretty much of a hot-headed lady. Or maybe I shouldn't say that. Maybe not hot headed, but she was a teacher and she had a big paddle and she kept that in the cloakroom, and I remember that certain boys repeatedly got the treatment, and I don't remember Oswald ever having this happen to him.

He might have been called down for talking or something. Of course just about everybody is for one time or another, but he seemed very—my recollection of him, he seemed fairly quiet. Just he didn't make a lot of noise. He didn't brag or shoot off his mouth a lot. He just seemed to be a quiet type of kid.

Mr. Liebeler. Do you think that his position as gangleader or one of the gangleaders was the result of just his physical size?

Mr. Vinson. Yes; I think that had a great deal to do with it. I think he was not tall. I was looking at our class picture, and there were several others that were taller and actually all around bigger than he was, but he was just sort of solidly built, just sort of stocky. And this is something that I don't really remember. I was talking to our teacher later on who, incidentally, said she did not remember him at all.

Mr. Liebeler. What is her name?

Mr. Vinson. Mrs. Florine Murphy, and she still teaches the second grade at that school, and she said she had talked to another boy in the class who had remembered him.

Mr. Liebeler. Did she tell you what his name was?

Mr. Vinson. Bill Barnes.

Mr. Liebeler. Do you know Barnes?

Mr. Vinson. I know who he is. I remember that he was in my room that year. We moved from that area uptown, and I only went to that school 1 year, and I remember his name, and I remember who he was, and I had occasion to see him several other times in Fort Worth.

He went to TCU over there, and I think he was a cheerleader or something, and I saw him at the TCU football games, and I just had run across him several times, but recently not to speak to him. I just saw him and remembered that he was in my room at grade school.

Mr. Liebeler. Have you discussed with him his recollection of Oswald?

Mr. Vinson. No; I didn't. I couldn't get hold of him.

Mr. Liebeler. Did you try?

Mr. Vinson. Yes; I think I didn't try hard enough. I think I just didn't get an answer at the house or something.

Mr. Liebeler. Did Mrs. Murphy tell you what conversation she had with Barnes about Oswald?

Mr. Vinson. Let me back up a minute. I believe she told me that she talked to Barnes' mother rather than Barnes himself, and Barnes' mother repeated something that Barnes had told her about remembering Oswald.

79 Mr. Liebeler. Well, for whatever it is worth, what did Mrs. Murphy tell you that Mrs. Barnes had told her, that Bill Barnes had told his mother about Oswald?

Mr. Vinson. Well, this really apparently has no bearing on the thing, but it just goes along with the whole business. Barnes said that he remembered Oswald, and he remembered that the boy used to always ask him why he was so big and strong and he replied in the manner of Popeye, "I eat me spinach".

That I do remember, although as far as Oswald speaking is concerned, I recall that I thought his dialect was a little unusual, and he would say things like "Give me dat," or "dis" for this, and I took somehow I took, or associated this with New England or New York or Brooklyn or something, and I think this sort of substantiated my opinion of him as a tough guy, because at that time all the gangster movies, all the gangsters were always from Brooklyn and talked with a Brooklyn or sort of dialect, and somehow I thought this made him tough.

But I later found out, of course, that he had lived in New Orleans and possibly this had something to do with it, or possibly there was a speech impediment. I don't know, but I do remember that was what—was one thing that I do recall about him was the way he spoke.

Mr. Liebeler. Apparently from what you have told us, he didn't have any particular difficulty getting along with the other boys?

Mr. Vinson. Not that I recall at all. Now, I don't know what he did after—outside of school. Like I say, to my knowledge, I knew a good many of the boys in the class, and to my knowledge, none of them ever played with him or went to his house for anything after school. They could have, but I don't know.

Mr. Liebeler. Did that seem strange to you at all, in view of the fact that Oswald was referred to as a leader on the school ground?

Mr. Vinson. It didn't at the time. However, it did later, it seemed strange now. I don't recall that I thought anything at all about it at the time.

Mr. Liebeler. But you knew of none of the boys who ever went to Oswald's house or associated with him outside of the classroom or outside of the playground, at that time?

Mr. Vinson. I knew of none, that is right.

Mr. Liebeler. Do you know where Oswald lived?

Mr. Vinson. I didn't, but I somehow had the notion perhaps I had seen him walking home, but I had an idea about where he lived, about where I thought he lived, however, I don't know. I never went to his house or I never knew anyone who did, or anything like that.

Mr. Liebeler. Did you know whether Oswald had any brothers or sisters?

Mr. Vinson. No.

Mr. Liebeler. Did you ever see Oswald after you left the second grade at Lily B. Clayton School and moved away to another section at Fort Worth?

Mr. Vinson. If I did, I don't recall. It is possible, because I do recall that I ran across several of the kids that I had gone to school with over there after I moved away, but I don't know whether he was one of them. I just don't remember.

Mr. Liebeler. What school did you go to? What school after you left Lily B. Clayton?

Mr. Vinson. G. E. Talldy Elementary School.

Mr. Liebeler. Did you go to high school from elementary school?

Mr. Vinson. No. I went to that school from the third grade to the sixth grade, and then to junior high for 3 years.

Mr. Liebeler. What junior High.

Mr. Vinson. Meadowbrook Junior High.

Mr. Liebeler. Is that in Fort Worth, also?

Mr. Vinson. Yes.

Mr. Liebeler. And from there you went to high school?

Mr. Vinson. Polytechnic High School.

Mr. Liebeler. Also in Fort Worth?

Mr. Vinson. Yes.

Mr. Liebeler. Have you gone to college?

80 Mr. Vinson. Yes.

Mr. Liebeler. Where?

Mr. Vinson. I went to two colleges. I went to Arlington State College.

Mr. Liebeler. For how long?

Mr. Vinson. Well, it is broken up into a couple of segments. I went there in the fall of 1958, and the spring of 1959. The fall of 1959 and the spring of 1960. Part of the summer of 1960. Half of the summer, one semester. I did not go to college at all in the fall of 1960.

Then in the spring of 1961 I went back to Arlington State College, and in the fall of 1961, I went to Arlington State College, and the spring of 1962 I transferred to North Texas University in Denton. I went there that semester, both semesters, all of 1962, and the spring of 1962. The spring of 1963—excuse me, and half of the summer of 1963.

Mr. Liebeler. Did you graduate from that school?

Mr. Vinson. Yes.

Mr. Liebeler. What did you major in?

Mr. Vinson. Journalism.

Mr. Liebeler. Have you ever met anybody since you moved away from Lily B. Clayton that knew Oswald either at Lily B. Clayton or anywhere else?

Mr. Vinson. I talked on the telephone to Richard Garrett. I wrote an article in the Star Telegram dealing with the fact that I had gone to school with Oswald in the second grade, and I couldn't pin it down and we really went off half-cocked without being certain when I wrote the story, when the story was published, although I did remember the name, and I had the class picture, and we compared it with some later class pictures, and we were all convinced it was the same person, although I could never find the teacher that—the day I was trying to do this and I couldn't get access to any records showing that he had gone there in the second grade.

But nevertheless, I went ahead and did the article, but I was trying to contact everyone I could who had known him, to see if they could help me, and I talked to Richard Garrett who is mentioned in the Life Magazine story. He had known of Oswald in the sixth grade, and he had seen Oswald again when Oswald came to Arlington Heights High School for a short time, and he told me just a few things.

I didn't talk to him long. I asked him, of course, if he recalled what elementary schools he had gone to, and he said that he didn't, although he knew that he had gone to some others in Fort Worth.

Mr. Liebeler. He, being Oswald?

Mr. Vinson. Yes.

Mr. Liebeler. Where did Garrett know of Oswald in the sixth grade?

Was that Lily B. Clayton?

Mr. Vinson. No. Oswald left Lily B. Clayton, according to Don Jackson who wrote this Life article. He did some real extensive research on it. I see you have a copy there.

Mr. Liebeler. You are referring to the article on Oswald which appears in the February 21, 1964, issue of Life Magazine, is that correct?

Mr. Vinson. Yes. On page 69, it quotes Garrett. It was the fifth and sixth grades. I was trying to find which school it was. I believe it was Ridglea West Elementary School.

Mr. Liebeler. Did Garrett tell you this or you just said this on the basis of the article?

Mr. Vinson. Yes, he told me this, too. Well, actually, I can't remember offhand, but I was just trying to refer to this to see if this is accurate, and I feel sure, I believe it was Ridglea West.

Mr. Liebeler. Would it be the George Clark Elementary School?

Mr. Vinson. No. That was another year.

Mr. Liebeler. I believe Oswald did originally go to that school?

Mr. Vinson. Yes. Ridglea West Elementary was Mrs. Clyde Livingston. And then it mentioned his fourth grade marks revealed a downward trend.

Mr. Liebeler. What else did you talk to Garrett about?

Mr. Vinson. Well, as far as the school is concerned, I don't remember offhand. I think it was Ridglea West. Garrett told me that he had known Oswald81 in the fifth and sixth grades, or I believe that is what he says in here. I believe he told me specifically the sixth, and then he said that he saw him again in high school when Oswald came to high school at Arlington Heights High School. And he said he approached him, that Oswald approached Garrett something to the effect that, asked him if he remembered him from grade school, and I believe Garrett said that he didn't at first, but after awhile, he finally thought back and remembered who he was. And he told me that Oswald mentioned something about communism to him somehow. He was trying to sell Garrett on the idea of communism.

Mr. Liebeler. That was while Oswald was in the Arlington High School?

Mr. Vinson. That was what Garrett said, and Garrett said he went to the principal about this, and he said that a few days later he did not see Oswald any more, and he didn't know if he had been withdrawn or expelled or what the situation was.

Mr. Liebeler. He never associated with Oswald to any particular degree at this point?

Mr. Vinson. Not at this point. He said he "shied away from him after he gave me this communism pitch."

Mr. Liebeler. Did Garrett tell you when this was? What grade in high school he was in?

Mr. Vinson. If he did, I don't recall. I think it was the sophomore year in high school, the 10th grade. It says in this article, but if this has got to come from my recollection, I would think it was the 10th grade.

Mr. Liebeler. Did Garrett tell you anything else?

Mr. Vinson. That is all. I just let him go because he couldn't help me much. Somebody else was already doing the story on him and what he remembered about him, and I was just trying to pin down what school Oswald went to in the second grade, at that time.

Mr. Liebeler. You said that you yourself wrote an article in the Fort Worth newspaper about your own acquaintanceship with Oswald in the second grade?

Mr. Vinson. Yes.

Mr. Liebeler. Do you have a copy of that with you?

Mr. Vinson. No; I don't. I thought about bringing one, but I don't know if that would be needed or not, since what I am telling you is in effect what I said in there. I don't think there is anything I haven't told you that is in there, with the exception, I think I mentioned something in there that it seemed to me that he didn't make very good grades.

Now this was just something I am not sure of, but that is just the way it seemed. And I mentioned something else that to the best of my memory he read fairly well when the students were called on to read aloud. I don't recall that he had any difficulty, because I remember several who did, and he was not among those that I recall as having trouble along those lines.

Mr. Liebeler. Other than Garrett, had you ever met anybody or talked to anybody who knew Oswald?

Mr. Vinson. No; I hadn't. Well, excuse me, yes, I have, too, on the telephone. I talked to Mrs. Livingston who is mentioned in this story. Some people from Life contacted me that saw the story I had in the Star Telegram, and asked me to help try to locate some of the people in Fort Worth for their story, and I made a few phone calls for them, and I did talk to Mrs. Livingston. But what I talked to her about was not about Oswald himself, but rather we were trying to locate a class picture, and we didn't talk about his personality or anything. It was just who had a picture that Life could borrow.

Mr. Liebeler. Did you find one?

Mr. Vinson. Yes. Don Jackson, the author of the story came down, and at that time she said she didn't know of any. However, Jackson came down and went and talked to her and he turned up with these two down at the bottom of the page. One which shows him on the playground, and the other which shows Mrs. Livingston with a dog that Oswald had given her.

Mr. Liebeler. You are referring to pages 68-B and 69, of the Life Magazine which we mentioned above?

Mr. Vinson. Right.

Mr. Liebeler. Do you recognize the scene in this picture on page 68-B?

82 Mr. Vinson. No; because that was not when I was in the second grade, or in the same school with him. I believe that was in the fourth grade. Maybe the third.

Mr. Liebeler. The scene is not familiar to you and does not appear to be near the Lily B. Clayton School?

Mr. Vinson. No; it doesn't.

Mr. Liebeler. Did you talk to Jackson personally in connection with this article?

Mr. Vinson. Yes.

Mr. Liebeler. You told him essentially what you have told us and what he has reported to you as having said on page 68-B? In the article, is that correct?

Mr. Vinson. Yes. Excuse me, could you ask me that again I am not sure I understand.

Mr. Liebeler. You told him essentially what you have told us and what he has reported you as having said on page 68-B, in the article, is that correct?

Mr. Vinson. What he reported to me as having said is taken from the story that I wrote in the Star Telegram.

Mr. Liebeler. You did not tell him this personally?

Mr. Vinson. I did tell him in effect in my own words, but rather than use what I told him, I don't know why, for some reason he just quoted from my story. He didn't attribute that statement to the story. However, I noticed——

Mr. Liebeler. But it is a direct quote of what you had said in your story in the Fort Worth Star?

Mr. Vinson. I believe the story is slightly changed toward the end of the paragraph. Let me look at it. Where it says according to our code, I believe the wording was, "According to the code of us 7- and 8-year olds being in Lee's gang was a high honor." I believe that is about the only big change.

Mr. Liebeler. Did you have any other conversations with Jackson about Oswald other than what we have discussed here about Oswald?

Mr. Vinson. Well, about what I knew of Oswald?

Mr. Liebeler. Yes.

Mr. Vinson. Well, one day he came by the office in Arlington and talked to me for about an hour, and I told him what I have told you about what I remembered about Oswald, and then I gave him the information that I had gathered about some other people who possibly had pictures. And this was something else I was getting around to. I did talk to some of the people named in this story, in Fort Worth, in an attempt to get some pictures, and he went to—went ahead and contacted them anyway after I had already talked to them. He was a little more persistent than I was, and it is his story and his job, and I was just doing it in my spare time, but I didn't get too far in locating any pictures, and he decided to go ahead and try a little harder with some of the people that I had already talked to. One of whom was Nick Ruggieri, who at that time, or at the time Oswald came to high school, was B-team football coach at Arlington Heights High School, and Oswald had come out for football. Now this is not what Ruggieri told me. This is what Jackson told me and what I have read in the story.

Mr. Liebeler. Did you talk to Ruggieri?

Mr. Vinson. Yes; I did.

Mr. Liebeler. Did you discuss this with him?

Mr. Vinson. Yes. And he told me he barely remembered the kid, something to that effect. He said he had come out for a few days and just didn't show up after awhile. There is something in the story I think, that gives that, and I think it quotes another coach who said he quoted Oswald as saying it was a free country, or something, that he didn't have to run sprints, if he didn't want to, or something to that effect.

Mr. Liebeler. When you talked to Ruggieri, he didn't mention anything about that, did he?

Mr. Vinson. No; he didn't. He just brushed it aside very hurriedly. He didn't remember much about it except he had come out for the B-team and he had disappeared after a few days.

Mr. Liebeler. On page 72, of the article, Ruggieri is quoted as saying, "I83 told the boy myself that if he wanted to play, he had to finish practice with a sprint, just like the others.

"He gave me the same answer. I told him to hand in his cleats."

The answer refers to a statement that Oswald is reported to have made to Ruggieri that he, Oswald, would not sprint with the other boys, saying that this was a free country and he didn't have to run if he didn't want to.

Did you ever discuss this subject with Ruggieri?

Mr. Vinson. No; I didn't. I don't know if he was just being evasive and didn't want to answer me, or what. But like I say, I didn't press him for any direct information about Oswald, but I just casually asked if he knew him.

I believe I didn't even ask him anything specifically about Oswald.

I called him and told him who I was and that Life Magazine asked me to try to locate some pictures for them of Oswald, and I asked him did he know of any existing that I might be able to make arrangements for Life to get ahold of, and I think he just volunteered that he didn't remember much about Oswald, and I didn't press it.

But apparently Jackson talked to him and he was a little more free to speak with Jackson than he was with me.

Mr. Liebeler. Has the FBI ever talked to you?

Mr. Vinson. No.

Mr. Liebeler. Secret Service?

Mr. Vinson. The only time the Secret Service talked to me was last night when he called and asked me to come over here.

Mr. Liebeler. Can you think of anything else that we haven't covered that you think would be helpful to the Commission's work as far as your knowledge of Oswald is concerned, or your discussions with others about Oswald?

Mr. Vinson. The only thing that I can think of offhand, this has probably been brought to your attention, I don't know—I feel sure it has—of the allegation by another magazine that this picture on the cover of Life is a composite picture and is not really the actual thing, that they somehow acquired the picture of somebody else holding the rifle and somehow got ahold of the picture of his head and glued it on. I didn't read this. This was in Newsweek. I didn't read it. I was told about it.

Mr. Liebeler. Yes; that matter has already come to the attention of the Commission.

Mr. Vinson. There was one other thing that I noticed also. Maybe I am wrong and I should possibly go back and reread this before I make any statements but I notice in the picture there is a scope on the rifle, and it was my understanding that the rifle came to him without a scope, and he didn't buy a scope until the fall of 1963, and it says in the magazine this picture was made in the spring of 1963, apparently shortly after he bought the rifle. I think it says he bought it in March.

Mr. Liebeler. Where did you learn that the rifle did not have a scope on it when he bought it?

Mr. Vinson. I think this just was something that came out in my discussion with some other reporters, or just in casual conversation just—somebody just made the observation.

Mr. Liebeler. Have you seen a newspaper report to the effect that a telescopic sight was mounted on the rifle for somebody by the name of Oswald by the Irving Sports Shop?

Mr. Vinson. No. The only one I know about was the place in Grand Prairie, unless I got my facts all crossed up. I was thinking the only scope I knew about was mounted, I thought was mounted at the range out in Grand Prairie. Is that correct? Was there one mounted there?

Mr. Liebeler. Not as far as anybody else knows.

Mr. Vinson. Maybe I am confused. I guess I am confused about it, but I think there was something in this article that mentioned him having the scope mounted on his rifle at a specific time, which I thought was in the fall of '63.

Mr. Liebeler. There may well be something to that effect, but that doesn't necessarily make it so.

Mr. Vinson. I know.

Mr. Liebeler. But you have no direct knowledge, you haven't talked to anybody84 that ever mounted a scope or claimed to have mounted a scope for Oswald?

Mr. Vinson. No. My connection with the whole thing has not amounted to anything. I came to Dallas the day of the assassination because my newspaper sent practically everybody over here. I was at the police station. I am not a photographer. However, I carry a camera, and I was sent to the Dallas Police Station to take pictures, because I was the only one in the vicinity with a camera at that time. And I stayed there until the photographer arrived, with my camera, and just sort of generally ran errands. I didn't do any actual reporting, but that was when it first came to my attention.

Well, let me rephrase that. When I heard the name Lee Oswald, when the reporter said that the best suspect they had in custody was Lee Oswald, immediately it rang a bell, and almost immediately I remembered when I had heard it, and I associated it with my second grade class, and I even mentioned it to some of the reporters over there that day, over here that day.

Mr. Liebeler. Unless there is anything else that you can remember about your contacts with Oswald or your conversations with others about him that you think would be helpful, I have no other questions at this point, I would like to thank you for coming over from Fort Worth on such short notice.

Mr. Vinson. I am happy to do it.

Mr. Liebeler. The Commission appreciates your cooperation.


TESTIMONY OF HIRAM CONWAY

The testimony of Hiram Conway was taken at 11:50 a.m., on April 1, 1964, in the office of the U.S. attorney, 301 Post Office Building, Bryan and Ervay Streets, Dallas, Tex., by Mr. Albert E. Jenner, Jr., assistant counsel of the President's Commission. Robert T. Davis, assistant attorney general of Texas, was present.

Mr. Jenner. Would you mind rising and being sworn. Do you in the testimony you are about to give swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?

Mr. Conway. I do.

Mr. Jenner. I am Albert E. Jenner, Jr. I am a member of the legal staff of the Warren Commission about which you have heard. The Warren Commission was authorized by a Senate joint resolution of the Congress of the United States to be created to investigate the circumstances leading to and surrounding the assassination of our late President John Fitzgerald Kennedy. Pursuant to that legislation President Lyndon B. Johnson by Executive Order 11130, November 1963, appointed the Commission to investigate the assassination of President Kennedy. The Chief Justice of the United States, the Honorable Earl Warren is the Chairman of that Commission and the Commission has come to be known as the Warren Commission.

The Commission is charged with sifting out the facts from fiction and to inquire into many, many details, one of which deals with a man whose name is Lee Harvey Oswald, during his lifetime. We understand you had some contact with a man by that name?

Mr. Conway. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. And we want to ask you a few questions about it.

Mr. Conway. I will be glad to answer them.

Mr. Jenner. All right. Mr. Conway, you are Hiram Conway and you are a native Texan, are you?

Mr. Conway. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. What is your age?

Mr. Conway. I'm 57, will be 58 next month.

Mr. Jenner. I will be 57 next June. You reside in Fort Worth, Tex.?

Mr. Conway. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. And your business, occupation, or profession is what?

Mr. Conway. Tool inspector for General Dynamics.

Mr. Jenner. The General Dynamics Corp.?

85 Mr. Conway. Yes, sir.

Mr. Jenner. Off the record.

(Discussion between Counsel Jenner and the witness Conway off the record.)

Mr. Jenner. Back on the record. How long have you held that position as tool inspector for GD?

Mr. Conway. I am sorry—will take me a moment to think.

Mr. Jenner. All right.

Mr. Conway. It was in 1945, August 25, when I went to work there—in 1945—August 23, 1945, and sometime in November, I believe the 16th, is when I went into tool inspection. That's approximate.

Mr. Jenner. Do you have any connection with Leslie Welding Co., at any time?

Mr. Conway. With what?

Mr. Jenner. With Leslie Welding Co.? [Spelling] L-e-s-l-i-e.

Mr. Conway. No, sir.

Mr. Jenner. Do you know a man by the name of Tommy Bargas?

Mr. Conway. I can't recall—I don't recall that name Tom Bargas—I don't recall the name.

Mr. Jenner. Did you ever become acquainted with or have any contact with a man known as Lee Harvey Oswald?

Mr. Conway. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. Would you tell us the circumstances and what occurred?

Mr. Conway. Well, he was a child when he moved into our neighborhood.

Mr. Jenner. In Fort Worth?

Mr. Conway. Yes; where I live at the present time, and he moved in two doors from me, 7408, I believe it was two houses.

Mr. Jenner. Ewing?

Mr. Conway. Ewing; yes, sir.

Mr. Jenner. And that is a single-family frame dwelling?

Mr. Conway. Yes, sir; two bedrooms and a single bath, kitchen and dining room together.

Mr. Jenner. All right.

Mr. Conway. I'm not absolutely sure when they moved in there.

Mr. Jenner. You say "they," who is that?

Mr. Conway. His mother and his older brother, who is a half brother.

Mr. Jenner. John Pic?

Mr. Conway. Yes; his oldest brother, and then Robert Oswald.

Mr. Jenner. So, there were three boys and a mother?

Mr. Conway. That's right.

Mr. Jenner. Was there a husband or father?

Mr. Conway. No; there was no man about the house. John was the oldest one on the place.

Mr. Jenner. And about how old was he at that time?

Mr. Conway. I believe he was around 8 or 9.

Mr. Jenner. Let's see, let's see—what year was that?

Mr. Conway. Oh, it must have been—I'm not quite sure, but I moved there in 1948, and I'm not sure—I moved there in September or October.

Mr. Jenner. October of 1948?

Mr. Conway. And I'm not sure whether they moved there before the end of the year or not, but it was just shortly after I moved there.

Mr. Jenner. He was born October 18, 1939, so in 1948, at the time you are talking about, he would be approximately 9 years old.

Mr. Conway. Approximately—yes, sir.

Mr. Jenner. You had children at that time?

Mr. Conway. I had one daughter.

Mr. Jenner. Age?

Mr. Conway. Well, at that time, I'm almost ashamed—I don't know exactly when my daughter was born—1933, I believe, so that would be 15.

Mr. Jenner. About 15 years old?

Mr. Conway. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. So your daughter would have had little or no contact with Lee who was then 9 years old?

86 Mr. Conway. No; very little. She was associated quite a bit with John. She and John were approximately the same age. I believe John might have been slightly older than her, maybe 1 or 2 years, I'm not quite sure.

Mr. Jenner. Your daughter is now married?

Mr. Conway. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. What is her married name?

Mr. Conway. Mrs. J. C. Bell (Spelling) B-e-l-l.

Mr. Jenner. Where does she live?

Mr. Conway. She lives on Santa Fe, I think, it's 2904.

Mr. Jenner. Do you recall her telephone number?

Mr. Conway. CI 4-2394, it would be—Circle. I'm almost sure that's right.

Mr. Jenner. Is Mrs. Conway living?

Mr. Conway. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. How long did the family live there?

Mr. Conway. How long did they live there?

Mr. Jenner. Yes.

Mr. Conway. I think almost 4 years—it was in the vicinity of 4 years. It might have been just a little over or a little under, but it was approximately 4 years.

Mr. Jenner. And did these boys come to your attention?

Mr. Conway. Oh, yes; John was a real nice kid and he was a friend of mine, you know, a young friend. I taught him to play chess.

Mr. Jenner. You did?

Mr. Conway. Yes; I did, and he made an excellent player, I understand. I think he's runner-up in the championship at Lackland Air Force Base.

Mr. Jenner. Is that so?

Mr. Conway. I think so—John is a fine fellow.

Mr. Jenner. And because of your relationship especially with John Pic, you came to know the other boys, too?

Mr. Conway. Yes, sir; fairly well.

Mr. Jenner. In and around the neighborhood?

Mr. Conway. Yes, sir.

Mr. Jenner. But having in mind Lee Oswald, at the age of 9, and by the time he left, he was 13, you had less contact with him?

Mr. Conway. I had very little contact with him, just to see him in the neighborhood was all.

Mr. Jenner. Did that contact in the neighborhood enable you to form a judgment as to his general disposition?

Mr. Conway. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. Would you describe that and tell us something—some incidents about it?

Mr. Conway. Well, he was quick to anger and he was, I would say, a vile nature—he was mean when he was angry, just ornery—he was vicious almost, you might say, is the best word I can describe it.

Mr. Jenner. Did it come to your particular attention as contrasted with his two brothers, Robert and John?

Mr. Conway. Yes; John was a very genuine character, a fine boy.

Mr. Jenner. What about Robert?

Mr. Conway. Robert was much more spunky than John, but Robert didn't very often get into much trouble.

Mr. Jenner. Nothing like Lee?

Mr. Conway. No; he didn't walk up and down the street looking for children to throw stones at, like Lee did. He was a bad kid.

Mr. Jenner. Did he get into kid fights and encounters with children in the neighborhood?

Mr. Conway. Yes; he would become angry with them but as far as actually seeing him fight—the children didn't fight with him much, they got out of his way. They would hide or move on and it would be pretty hard to catch him in a fight because it would be pretty hard for him to have caught one of them.

Mr. Jenner. Was this a persistent sort of thing over a period of 4 years or were they isolated incidences?

87 Mr. Conway. Naturally, it's hard to say, but I would see those things not too often, but you know that was just the picture it built in my mind. I didn't see him very often—I have seen him try to fight with his half brother and his brother and he would tear into them and they would hold him off to try to keep him out of trouble and he would try to kick their shins, just all sort of things like that—I don't—it's been a long time.

Mr. Jenner. Was he left alone a good deal?

Mr. Conway. Yes, sir; quite a lot.

Mr. Jenner. Describe that circumstance, will you please?

Mr. Conway. That would be hard for me to describe to you too accurately because no more than I know about it, but I do know he would get home—I would hear the boys, one of them say to the other one, "Where is Lee," and they would say, "He's in the house," or something like that and that's about all I would know. But I would see him in and out. He had a dog that he was very fond of, Lee did, and I would see him play with the dog around the place and I would have reason for accurate knowledge that there was no one there but him, but so far as just being absolutely sure—I'm not.

Mr. Jenner. Do you have a recollection now whether Mrs. Oswald, his mother, worked?

Mr. Conway. Yes, sir; she did work and I have heard my wife speak of where she worked, but I don't recall. She worked days and I usually worked nights—I usually worked nights.

Mr. Jenner. So you were around the neighborhood, was that true, of this 4-year period as a rule?

Mr. Conway. I believe it was. I'm not absolutely sure but I believe it was.

Mr. Jenner. At least off and on during the 4-year period you did work nights?

Mr. Conway. I'm almost sure that I did.

Mr. Jenner. So that you would get to see these boys in the daytime and after school at least?

Mr. Conway. It's funny, but I'm not so—not absolutely sure what year I started working nights. I know I worked nights before I moved to Fort Worth and I moved to Fort Worth from Grand Prairie in 1948, and that was the—was before the Oswalds came, and I know I worked nights before they moved into that neighborhood and I took a preference to the second shift, so I did work the second shift at all times when it was possible since that time. It's more than likely that I was on the second shift almost all times they were there.

Mr. Jenner. Did a time come when the family moved?

Mr. Conway. Yes; and I don't remember exactly what year it was but it must have been in 1951 or 1952.

Mr. Jenner. If they came in 1948, and they were there 4 years, that would be 1952.

Mr. Conway. Yes, sir.

Mr. Jenner. Now; had either of the older boys already left before the family moved?

Mr. Conway. Well——

Mr. Jenner. Take this boy who you took a particular interest in—John Pic.

Mr. Conway. John went into the Coast Guard at sometime and it seems to me that he joined the Coast Guard before they moved away, but I'm awful cloudy on that.

Mr. Jenner. Well, have you exhausted your recollection on that?

Mr. Conway. Well, I don't know—I remember talking to John—John, when he is in this part of the country, he comes to my house and I remember talking to him about it and he was quite enthusiastic about the Coast Guard, but that's after he had been in the service sometime. I believe he left before his mother did. He left and went into the Coast Guard before his mother moved away.

Mr. Jenner. You—could you refresh your recollection that he did leave before the mother and Lee left?

Mr. Conway. I believe I remember that.

Mr. Jenner. And he was in the Coast Guard and stationed in New York?

Mr. Conway. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. New York City, Staten Island, as a matter of fact?

88 Mr. Conway. Well, I didn't know. He married a girl in New York City and I believe—I believe my wife told me that Mrs. Oswald told her that she was going to New York on account of John being there. After John left, I didn't have much contact with them at all, because John was my contact with them.

Mr. Jenner. Do you recall whether Robert was still with the family when Mrs. Oswald picked up and left? Or had he also entered the service?

Mr. Conway. That, I don't recall.

Mr. Jenner. You would be very helpful to us, if you would give us the names of some children at or about his age, who are still around this vicinity, whom you think might recall him.

Mr. Conway. What year did you say he was born in?

Mr. Jenner. 1939, October 18.

Mr. Conway. 1939——

Mr. Jenner. If he were alive, he would be approaching 25 years of age—this would be his 24th year and he would be 25 years old next October.

Mr. Conway. Well, I have discussed it with the Masseys, they live across the street.

Mr. Jenner. Give me their full name and address and telephone number, if you will?

Mr. Conway. And they don't remember it. It is H. R. Massey. What I was fixing to say, I was trying to eliminate the neighborhood house by house. The Masseys don't remember—I don't believe Barbara Anne does, Barbara Anne would be their daughter and she is approximately his age, but I heard her say that she didn't remember him at all.

Mr. Jenner. Is Barbara Anne living with her folks?

Mr. Conway. No, sir; she's married now. I don't know what her last name is.

Mr. Jenner. Well, maybe I could find out from her mother, Mr. and Mrs. H. R. Massey.

Mr. Conway. [Spelling] M-a-s-s-e-y.

Mr. Jenner. And they live across the street from you?

Mr. Conway. That's right—they live at 7425 Ewing.

Mr. Jenner. Do I have your permission to talk with Mrs. Conway?

Mr. Conway. Oh, yes; I suggested that she come with me and save a trip.

Mr. Jenner. Yes, that would have been nice.

Mr. Conway. I don't know why she wouldn't but she knows what she wants to do.

Mr. Jenner. I probably would like to have her come down tomorrow, if she is free, tomorrow afternoon.

Mr. Conway. Well, my wife's brother passed away last week, and it has been a considerable shock to her and she is on tranquilizers and her memory isn't as good as it would be if she wasn't in such a strain.

Mr. Jenner. Well, you mention it to her when you get home and I'll call out home sometime tonight?

Mr. Conway. All right.

Mr. Jenner. And we will leave it up to her?

Mr. Conway. I'm sure she would be glad to do all she could.

Mr. Jenner. Can you think of any others?

Mr. Conway. The Turners, they just live—oh, Bill Bridges would be the age of John Pic. He was just another one of the kids in the neighborhood that I taught to play chess at the same time, but he was older and there was no other children in that range, and John is as old as my daughter.

Mr. Jenner. Well, I might talk with him on the telephone.

Mr. Conway. I don't know where he lives. He is with Halliburton, I believe, and when he is in town he comes by to see me, too.

Mr. Jenner. Is that Halliburton, Tex.?

Mr. Conway. No; that's Halliburton Oil Co. I don't know where the home office is.

Mr. Jenner. Have you seen him around Fort Worth?

Mr. Conway. Bill?

Mr. Jenner. Yes.

Mr. Conway. The last time I saw him he came to my house and brought his family and it's been quite a little while ago.

89 Mr. Jenner. His first name is William and his last name is what?

Mr. Conway. Bridges (spelling) B-r-i-d-g-e-s.

Mr. Jenner. Well, we will look in the telephone book and maybe we can find him that way.

Mr. Conway. He is with Halliburton, I remember the last time I talked to him.

Mr. Jenner. The older boys were attending high school and Lee was attending elementary school, what elementary school is that?

Mr. Conway. I'm sorry—I don't know.

Mr. Jenner. And the high school?

Mr. Conway. It would be Arlington Heights. These schools are changing so rapidly and increasing so until I just don't know.

Mr. Jenner. During this period of time, did you become acquainted with Marguerite Oswald, the mother of Lee Oswald?

Mr. Conway. Yes; I knew Mrs. Oswald. She was in my house a few times.

Mr. Jenner. I wish you would give me, if you can, your impression of Mrs. Oswald, particularly with respect to the—to her care of these boys and Lee Oswald during this 4-year period.

Mr. Conway. Well, I think she was—my impression was that she felt burdened with them and I think she showed a selfish attitude towards her children.

Mr. Jenner. Selfish?

Mr. Conway. Selfish—yes, sir.

Mr. Jenner. Would you elaborate on that, what do you mean by that?

Mr. Conway. Well, I don't have words for it except that it appeared to me that she didn't dress them as well as she might. She didn't care—they were embarrassed about their dress.

Mr. Jenner. They were?

Mr. Conway. Some of them were—John, especially and sometimes Robert, I think, but they were very stoical, they could take it, they were good kids about it, you know.

Mr. Jenner. Did John speak to you on that subject?

Mr. Conway. No, sir; John wouldn't ever say anything against his mother. My daughter told me that someone said something about—hearsay, you see, is about all I know about such things, but my daughter told me that she heard some of the kids mention to him that his mother should buy him better clothes or shoes or something and they didn't know why she didn't, or something like that and he shouldn't give her as much of the money he made when he was doing whatever work he did and he said, "She's my mother." He stood up for her and that's all he would say.

Mr. Jenner. I take it from this remark that you just made that the boys, at least John, certainly John, did some work after school?

Mr. Conway. John sold shoes, I think, he worked in a shoe store for a time. It seems to me at that time is when they were inaugurating this distributive education thing and I believe that's how he got his job.

Mr. Jenner. And did Robert work also?

Mr. Conway. I don't know.

Mr. Jenner. What about Lee?

Mr. Conway. I don't think so. Robert would have if he could have gotten a job.

Mr. Jenner. What was your impression of Lee on that score, was he industrious or not?

Mr. Conway. Yes; he was—you mean Robert?

Mr. Jenner. No; I mean Lee.

Was he industrious?

Mr. Conway. I don't rightly know, I have lost contact with them and he was too small.

Mr. Jenner. Do you have any impression as to whether this was an emotional child?

Mr. Conway. Yes; he would become very angry and his face would flush and he would just storm at other children.

Mr. Jenner. He was quick to anger?

90 Mr. Conway. Yes; quite quick.

Mr. Jenner. And did he seem to be a sensitive, an overly sensitive child?

Mr. Conway. I suppose so—I thought he was a very strange type of person and at the time I thought he was considerably above the average in intelligence around that age—being 9 or 10 or 11, I mean, to catch on and to notice and be able to learn to do little things.

Mr. Jenner. What is your middle initial, do you have one?

Mr. Conway. P. (Spelling) P-i-e-r-c-e.

Mr. Jenner. You probably wondered why I asked you about Leslie Welding Co. Do you know a man by the name of Hiram L. Conway with Leslie Welding in Fort Worth?

Mr. Conway. No, I don't. I knew there was a Hiram—that—there's more than one Hiram Conway, about three or four in Fort Worth, I understand. I never heard of Leslie Welding.

Mr. Jenner. Oswald worked for Leslie Welding at one time.

Mr. Conway. He did?

Mr. Jenner. We have an FBI report on an interview with Hiram L. Conway and that's why I started out with you on that.

Mr. Conway. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. From the time that the Oswalds left Fort Worth in 1952, from that time on, did you ever see Lee Oswald?

Mr. Conway. Never saw him again.

Mr. Jenner. Or John?

Mr. Conway. Oh, yes; I see John.

Mr. Jenner. He comes to visit you occasionally?

Mr. Conway. John never comes to Fort Worth without coming to see me.

Mr. Jenner. And Robert?

Mr. Conway. Robert never comes to see me.

Mr. Jenner. Robert lives in Fort Worth.

Mr. Conway. Well, I don't ever see him at all.

Mr. Jenner. He never comes back to pay you a visit?

Mr. Conway. No.

Mr. Jenner. And Marguerite, have you seen her since they left?

Mr. Conway. Since when——

Mr. Jenner. Since 1952?

Mr. Conway. My wife has talked with her since then. Just briefly.

Mr. Jenner. Since November 22d?

Mr. Conway. No, it was just shortly before that, it wasn't but just a few days before that. I wouldn't think it was over 5 or 6 weeks. She ran into her in a department store. No, I don't believe that I saw Mrs. Oswald at all, but I'm not sure. I've seen her so many times on television and she looks just like she always did except a little heavier and a little older, but I don't recall having seen her, but I remember my wife did and she mentioned it to me.

Mr. Jenner. Does anything occur to you that I haven't been stimulated to ask you that you think might be of assistance to the Commission in its work?

Mr. Conway. When you were talking on the phone, I was trying to think of anything, but I don't recall anything, even worth mentioning or even to go with what you have.

When I said that Lee appeared to be a child that learned rapidly, he had picked up chess from Bill Bridges and John—you see, I taught Bill and John to play chess and Robert picked it up from them and then Lee picked it up from them, and I think I remember hearing the boys say Lee would beat them once in a while and he would become angry when he would lose a game.

Mr. Jenner. You heard that, too?

Mr. Conway. Yes, I have heard he would become angry.

Mr. Jenner. Mr. Conway, you have the privilege of reading your deposition after Miss Oliver has written it up and to sign it or to waive that privilege.

Mr. Conway. Well, I don't care anything about reading it—I know what I have said.

Mr. Jenner. If there is nothing else, this will conclude your deposition. I certainly appreciate your coming in.


91

TESTIMONY OF MRS. LILLIAN MURRET

The testimony of Mrs. Lillian Murret was taken on April 6, 1964, at the Old Civil Courts Building, Royal and Conti Streets, New Orleans, La., by Mr. Albert E. Jenner, Jr., assistant counsel of the President's Commission.

Mrs. Lillian Murret, 757 French Street, New Orleans, La., after first being sworn by Mr. Albert E. Jenner, testified as follows:

Mr. Jenner. Mrs. Murret, you received, did you not, a letter from Mr. Rankin, general counsel of the President's Commission?

Mrs. Murret. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. Asking you voluntarily to appear here for the taking of your deposition.

Mrs. Murret. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. And there was enclosed with that letter, was there not, three documents.

Mrs. Murret. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. One was Senate Joint Resolution No. 137, which is the legislation authorizing the creation of the Presidential Commission to investigate the assassination of John Fitzgerald Kennedy, our President; another was the Executive order of President Johnson appointing the Commission and empowering it to proceed, the Executive Order being No. 11130, and a copy of the rules and regulations for the taking of testimony, adopted by the Commission itself. Did you receive those?

Mrs. Murret. Yes, sir.

Mr. Jenner. Now, if you can remember, Mrs. Murret—and don't feel offended by this—but ordinarily witnesses do nod or shake their heads and that doesn't get into the record, so if you will answer right out, then it will be in the record. Do you understand that?

Mrs. Murret. Yes, sir.

Mr. Jenner. Experienced court reporters like this gentleman do catch head nodding and head wagging, but technically they are not supposed to interpret the intent of the witness. Do you understand that, Mrs. Murret?

Mrs. Murret. I understand.

Mr. Jenner. All right. I assume that you gathered from these documents that the Commission was created and appointed to investigate all of the facts and circumstances surrounding the tragic event of November 22, 1963, did you not?

Mrs. Murret. Yes, sir.

Mr. Jenner. Mr. Liebeler and myself, we are attorneys on the legal staff of the Commission. It is our task to investigate the life of Lee Harvey Oswald from the time of his birth until his demise on the 24th of November, which was on a Sunday, 1963, which gives our Commission a pretty broad area of investigation, so to speak, and one of our purposes in particular is to take the depositions of people such as you who in any way touched the life of Lee Harvey Oswald or those with whom he was acquainted perhaps, either directly or collaterally. We understand from the FBI reports and otherwise, from FBI interviews with you, that you will be able to help us.

Mrs. Murret. Well, I will if I can.

Mr. Jenner. All right. Now, just sit back and relax. There's nothing going to happen to you. We just want to ask you what you know about Oswald, his mother, and others with whom he came in contact, to your knowledge.

Mrs. Murret. Do you just want me to tell you what I know about his life?

Mr. Jenner. Yes; as far as you know. I will just ask you questions, and I believe it will help us if you just answer them to the best of your knowledge. I wonder if we might get the lady a glass of water.

(Glass of water given to witness.)

Mrs. Murret, let me orient you for a moment. You are the sister of Lee Harvey Oswald's mother, are you not?

Mrs. Murret. Yes; I am.

Mr. Jenner. First, what was your maiden name, Mrs. Murret?

Mrs. Murret. Claverie.

92 Mr. Jenner. How do you spell that?

Mrs. Murret. C-L-A-V-E-R-I-E.

Mrs. Jenner. And your first name is Lillian?

Mrs. Murret. Yes, sir.

Mr. Jenner. Were you born in New Orleans yourself?

Mrs. Murret. New Orleans; yes, sir.

Mr. Jenner. And you have always lived in New Orleans; is that right?

Mrs. Murret. Yes, sir.

Mr. Jenner. Were your brothers and sisters born here?

Mrs. Murret. They were.

Mr. Jenner. In New Orleans?

Mrs. Murret. Yes, sir.

Mr. Jenner. So that you all are native-born Americans; is that right?

Mrs. Murret. Yes, sir; native to Louisiana—Cajuns.

Mr. Jenner. Cajun and American?

Mrs. Murret. That's right.

Mr. Jenner. Then all of the family are native-born Americans; is that right?

Mrs. Murret. Well, not my grandparents.

Mr. Jenner. Not your grandparents?

Mrs. Murret. No. On my father's side were from France, and my grandparents on my mother's side were from Germany.

Mr. Jenner. Now, Mrs. Murret, once in a while I may have to ask you a question which is a little personal, but please accept my word that it is in good faith and that it is pertinent to this investigation, and my first personal question is, would you tell us what your age is?

Mrs. Murret. What my age is?

Mr. Jenner. How old are you?

Mrs. Murret. I will be 64 in May, May 17.

Mr. Jenner. And how old is Marguerite?

Mrs. Murret. I think she should be 57.

Mr. Jenner. Marguerite, I should say, is the sister of Mrs. Murret.

Now, I would like to have you tell me something about her, how many times she was married, to whom, in chronological order.

Mrs. Murret. Well, I will tell you all I know about her. I have known her all her life, you know. She was first married to Edward John Pic.

Mr. Jenner. Edward John Pic?

Mrs. Murret. That's right.

Mr. Jenner. Is that P-I-C?

Mrs. Murret. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. I think we have that as John Edward Pic. Is there an explanation for that, do you think?

Mrs. Murret. Well, I think they just reversed the name around because the child is John Edward, but I think the father's name was Edward John, because I think they always called him Eddie. Now, I don't know which way it is.

Mr. Jenner. All right. Do you happen to recall when that marriage took place?

Mrs. Murret. Well, I wouldn't remember what year, you know, or anything like that, when the marriage took place. I know about how long they were married. I think they were married about 2 years, but I'm not really too accurate as to years.

Mr. Jenner. Well, as closely as you can come to it.

Mrs. Murret. I know what happened, but the dates I just don't recall exactly, because I had my own affairs to take care of, so I can't remember dates in her life, but anyway, she was married to Eddie for 2 years, we'll say——

Mr. Jenner. Let me interrupt you for a minute. Tell me something about that marriage. Who was he? Did the marriage, take place here? Were you present? What do you know about that marriage?

Mrs. Murret. I don't know too much about the marriage. I don't think it took place here. I just don't know anything about that. It might have taken place over on the Gulf Coast. I don't know if I am right on that or not. That has been so long ago, but Marguerite did know Eddie a very long time.

Mr. Jenner. She had known him for some time before she married him?

93 Mrs. Murret. Oh, yes.

Mr. Jenner. Had you known him for some time before she married him?

Mrs. Murret. Yes, sir.

Mr. Jenner. What was his business or occupation?

Mrs. Murret. Well, Eddie worked for Smith. I think they are stevedores.

Mr. Jenner. What did he do as a stevedore?

Mrs. Murret. Well, I don't know what type of work he did. I think it was clerical work. I think he is still with the same people.

Mr. Jenner. He is alive?

Mrs. Murret. Oh, yes. I think it's T. B. Smith, or something like that. I don't know what the initials stand for.

Mr. Jenner. T. as in Thomas?

Mrs. Murret. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. And B. as in Benny?

Mrs. Murret. Yes, sir.

Mr. Jenner. Smith?

Mrs. Murret. Smith, yes.

Mr. Jenner. And you think Edward John Pic is still employed by them?

Mrs. Murret. Yes; he is—some kind of clerical work, as far as I know. The reason I know he is is because Mr. Murret, who works on the river, saw him out there, but it was from a distance.

Mr. Jenner. Your husband works on the riverfront, does he?

Mrs. Murret. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. Were you married to your husband before or after Marguerite married Edward John Pic?

Mrs. Murret. I was already married.

Mr. Jenner. You were already married then?

Mrs. Murret. Yes, sir.

Mr. Jenner. And your husband does have an acquaintance with Edward John Pic, does he?

Mrs. Murret. Oh, no. He just maybe occasionally will see him from a distance, but he has never spoken with him. In fact, I don't think I would know Eddie Pic if I saw him on the street. That has been so long ago. I don't think I would recognize him myself. Eddie Pic was a very peculiar type of boy, you might say a person who did not talk unless you spoke to him, and they would come over to my home for dinner or something, and he would sit there all day long and he wouldn't say anything. Now, I don't know whether all of this is important. I don't guess some of it is.

Mr. Jenner. Don't you worry about whether you think it is important or not, Mrs. Murret. We will decide that once we get all this information assembled. You just tell me what you know about all of this, anything that comes to your mind that you think might be important to the Commission in this investigation.

Mrs. Murret. Well, at the beginning when she married Eddie, she said he wasn't fair. He told Marguerite that he was making more money than he was over there, and she had to go back to work. She worked for Mr. Sere. He was one of the lawyers in a law firm at that time, and Marguerite worked for him. It was the firm of Goldberg, Kammer and somebody else—lawyers.

Mr. Jenner. Was Sere a lawyer?

Mrs. Murret. Yes; they were all lawyers. They were three lawyers together. He was secretary there at first, but then he became a lawyer too.

Mr. Jenner. How do you spell his name?

Mrs. Murret. Mr. Sere?

Mr. Jenner. Yes.

Mrs. Murret. S-E-R-E.

Mr. Jenner. Is Mr. Sere still alive?

Mrs. Murret. He is not.

Mr. Jenner. He is dead?

Mrs. Murret. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. All right. Just go ahead now with what you know about Marguerite's first marriage.

Mrs. Murret. Well, the way I understood it, and this is only what she told94 me now, I know nothing, you know, other than that—but she said Eddie had lied to her about how much money he was making at this place, and that it was a very small salary that he made. He went out and rented a house in the City Park section, which was very high rent, and then it seems like he signed a lease and all that, and then after that Eddie must have told her in the meantime what he was making over at that place, and they couldn't possibly have stayed there and paid that rent on his salary, so she had to ask for her job back again, so they took her back again and then they paid for furniture that they got and so forth while she was working.

Mr. Jenner. How old was she then?

Mrs. Murret. Well, let's see—John must be about 31 years old now.

Mr. Jenner. You mean her son John?

Mrs. Murret. Yes. They were married, I think, about maybe 4 years before John was born. I don't know the dates or the times or anything, but you can figure that she is 57 now, and John is 31.

Mr. Jenner. Well, she would have been 26 when he was born, would that be about right?

Mrs. Murret. Twenty-six—I don't think she was that old; I don't know.

Mr. Jenner. Well, 31 from 57 is 26.

Mrs. Murret. Yes. Well, she could have been, but I didn't think she was that old. I thought maybe she might have been around 23 years old. Let's see—well, John wasn't born until 4 years after she was married, you see.

Mr. Jenner. Oh—well, that would be 26 less 4, so that would be 22 years.

Mrs. Murret. Yes; I think she was 22 about then, 22 or 23, somewhere in there. I didn't think she was 26 yet.

Mr. Jenner. So we can say that she was married when she was about 22 years old; is that right?

Mrs. Murret. Yes; I think that's about right.

Mr. Jenner. What was her formal education?

Mrs. Murret. She had a high school education.

Mr. Jenner. Here in New Orleans?

Mrs. Murret. Yes; McDonogh High School. She lived with Mr. Pic, say about 2 years, and then they moved into another location.

Mr. Jenner. They first were in this apartment in the City Park area?

Mrs. Murret. Well, that was during the time that she left Mr. Pic, previous to that.

Mr. Jenner. Let's start back. You said something about his having lied to her as to his income, did you not?

Mrs. Murret. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. Then I believe you said he rented an apartment in the City Park area; is that right?

Mrs. Murret. That's right.

Mr. Jenner. And she found when they went out there, or whatever occurred, that he was not able to pay the rent on the salary he was making; is that right?

Mrs. Murret. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. And so she went back to work.

Mrs. Murret. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. Now, she remained married to him and lived with him, didn't she?

Mrs. Murret. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. All right. They lived in the City Park area how long?

Mrs. Murret. I don't know how long they lived there. I really don't, but I was thinking of another time when she lived in the City Park area. That was when I was referring to.

Mr. Jenner. We can come to that later. Let's just keep this in sequence, if you don't mind, and we'll cover all of it.

Mrs. Murret. Yes, sir; so then, they rented a house in another section. I have forgotten which section that was.

Mr. Jenner. Here in New Orleans?

Mrs. Murret. Oh, yes; and it was during that time when she became pregnant.

Mr. Jenner. Was that when they had the house?

Mrs. Murret. Yes; while they were in this regular home, you know, that they95 rented. It was in the lower section. I forget what section it was, probably somewhere up in the Carrollton section.

Mr. Jenner. Carrollton?

Mrs. Murret. Yes, sir; so then during that time she became pregnant, and I remember she came over to my house and she told me that she was pregnant, and asked what she was to do, that Eddie refused to support her. She said that he refused to give her any money because of the fact that she was pregnant.

Mr. Jenner. He didn't want any children?

Mrs. Murret. He didn't want any children, that's right.

Mr. Jenner. This would have been when they were married approximately 3 years; would that be about right?

Mrs. Murret. About 3 years married, yes, sir; about that.

Mr. Jenner. Were you and Marguerite generally, fairly close?

Mrs. Murret. We were very close.

Mr. Jenner. Very close?

Mrs. Murret. Yes. When my mother died, she left six children, and we were all young. My brother was the eldest, and I came next, and Marguerite was about 3 or 4 years old at that time, I think.

Mr. Jenner. Maybe at this point we should get the names of all your brothers and sisters. Your father died when?

Mrs. Murret. My father?

Mr. Jenner. Yes.

Mrs. Murret. Well, he died about 33 years ago.

Mr. Jenner. Thirty-three years ago?

Mrs. Murret. About that; yes.

Mr. Jenner. That would be approximately 1932; is that about right?

Mrs. Murret. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. Leaving your mother and you children, is that right?

Mrs. Murret. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. Now, when did your mother die?

Mrs. Murret. My mother died about 1911.

Mr. Jenner. Oh, she preceded your father?

Mrs. Murret. Oh, yes.

Mr. Jenner. So when your father died, you children were then orphans; is that right?

Mrs. Murret. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. At that time, when your father died, you were around 34 years of age?

Mrs. Murret. I was married when my father died. I had three children when my father died. One child was a baby.

Mr. Jenner. Now, could I have the names of just your family, that is yourself, your sisters, and your brothers?

Mrs. Murret. I have two brothers.

Mr. Jenner. Two brothers?

Mrs. Murret. And we were four sisters.

Mr. Jenner. All right, now give me the brothers' names.

Mrs. Murret. Their names are Charles and John.

Mr. Jenner. Charles Claverie and John Claverie?

Mrs. Murret. That's right.

Mr. Jenner. Are they alive?

Mrs. Murret. No; they died while at a very young age. They died 5 months apart.

Mr. Jenner. Were they teenagers?

Mrs. Murret. No. One boy was around possibly 23 years old, and the other one was about around 18 years old. The elder one contracted tuberculosis. That was during World War I. He was in the Navy.

Mr. Jenner. Was that Charles or John?

Mrs. Murret. Charles, and then John died; he also had TB.

Mr. Jenner. And he died at age 18?

Mrs. Murret. Around that; yes.

Mr. Jenner. And you had four sisters, you say?

Mrs. Murret. Including myself.

96 Mr. Jenner. Yes; including yourself.

Mrs. Murret. That's right.

Mr. Jenner. All right. One sister was Marguerite.

Mrs. Murret. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. And yourself, Lillian.

Mrs. Murret. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. Who else?

Mrs. Murret. Aminthe.

Mr. Jenner. Is that A-M-I-N-T-H-E?

Mrs. Murret. Yes, sir.

Mr. Jenner. Is that pronounced Aminthe?

Mrs. Murret. Yes, sir; Aminthe.

Mr. Jenner. That sounds French, is it?

Mrs. Murret. Yes; it's French.

Mr. Jenner. All right, what's the other sister's name?

Mrs. Murret. Pearl. She died.

Mr. Jenner. Pearl is dead?

Mrs. Murret. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. Where is Aminthe living at the present time?

Mrs. Murret. Aminthe is living in Knoxville.

Mr. Jenner. Knoxville, Tenn.?

Mrs. Murret. Tennessee, yes.

Mr. Jenner. I take it Charles was the oldest?

Mrs. Murret. Yes; and I was next.

Mr. Jenner. You were next?

Mrs. Murret. Yes; John was next.

Mr. Jenner. John was next?

Mrs. Murret. Yes; and then Pearl and then Marguerite, and then Aminthe.

Mr. Jenner. Now, let me get those down by number. Number one was Charles, number two, that would be you, Lillian.

Mrs. Murret. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. John was third.

Mrs. Murret. John was third, that's right.

Mr. Jenner. Marguerite was fourth?

Mrs. Murret. Fourth, and Aminthe was fifth.

Mr. Jenner. How about Pearl?

Mrs. Murret. Oh, let's see—that's wrong. Aminthe was sixth.

Mr. Jenner. And Pearl was fifth?

Mrs. Murret. Yes; Pearl was fifth. No; that's still wrong. Aminthe was sixth. Marguerite was fifth, and Pearl was fourth.

Mr. Jenner. All right. Now, I've got it. I will recite it now just so that we will have it straight in the record. There was Charles, Lillian, then John, then Pearl, then Marguerite, and then Aminthe; is that right?

Mrs. Murret. Yes, sir.

Mr. Jenner. How old was Pearl when she died?

Mrs. Murret. She died recently. She was about 54.

Mr. Jenner. She was in her fifties?

Mrs. Murret. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. Did she die of natural causes?

Mrs. Murret. Yes, sir.

Mr. Jenner. I mean, she didn't have tuberculosis, or anything like that?

Mrs. Murret. No.

Mr. Jenner. What was the occupation of your father?

Mrs. Murret. My father was a motorman for New Orleans Public Service. He worked for them approximately around 40 years.

Mr. Jenner. When you say motorman, do you mean streetcar motorman?

Mrs. Murret. Yes. They had those handbrakes at that time, and he taken out the first mule car, I think—when they had mule cars, before they had the handbrakes on the cars.

Mr. Jenner. All right. Now, did any of you children have a formal education, beyond high school?

97 Mrs. Murret. No.

Mr. Jenner. Did you all attend and finish high school, other than John who died when he was 18?

Mrs. Murret. No.

Mr. Jenner. Well, did John finish high school?

Mrs. Murret. No.

Mr. Jenner. Did Charles?

Mrs. Murret. No. Charles went in the Navy during the wartime. He made about, oh, I don't know how many trips through Germany, and he was on this transport when the United States seized the "Frederick Digross," and he wrote a beautiful history of his trip, and I loaned it out to someone, and I never did get it back.

Mr. Jenner. How unfortunate.

Mrs. Murret. Yes; I never did get it back. It was really everything that happened on the trip coming and going from New York to Germany, you know, back and forth. He was a gunner.

Mr. Jenner. On the transport, or a battleship or destroyer or cruiser?

Mrs. Murret. On the transport.

Mr. Jenner. He was a gunner on a transport?

Mrs. Murret. Transport; yes, sir.

Mr. Jenner. Now, Marguerite is alive and you are alive and Aminthe is alive; is that right?

Mrs. Murret. That's right. Aminthe is alive too.

Mr. Jenner. Did you complete high school?

Mrs. Murret. I did not. I didn't even go to high school.

Mr. Jenner. You did not?

Mrs. Murret. No.

Mr. Jenner. Did you complete elementary school?

Mrs. Murret. Yes, sir; I did.

Mr. Jenner. What about Pearl?

Mrs. Murret. I don't think she went to high school. If she did, it was probably just a year or so. She was married at an early age.

Mr. Jenner. I think you said that Marguerite did complete high school, or did she?

Mrs. Murret. I can't remember if she completed high school or not, but she may have. I really don't remember that. If she said she did, then she did. I can't remember because, you see, we were six children, and my mother died, and my father's sisters lived here and we had some cousins who used to come over and help us, you know, and of course, I being the eldest, I was pretty busy with everything in those days. We were just trying to keep the family together more or less.

You see, my father wouldn't give any of the children up, and so forth, and so they used to come over and help us out and cook, and when I got old enough I took over, and when the others got old enough they would help out, and that went on and on. We did pretty well. We were a happy family. We were singing all the time, and I often say that we were much happier than the children are today, even though we were very poor. My father was a very good man. He didn't drink, and he was all for his family. He didn't make much salary, but we got along all right.

Mr. Jenner. The reason I am inquiring into these things is that all of this will assist the Commission in getting the background of the family and relatives of Lee Harvey Oswald. The reason I am saying that is I don't want you to think I am just being curious.

Mrs. Murret. No; I understand.

Mr. Jenner. I am trying to find out the family background so that we can ascertain to what extent all of you were involved with Lee Harvey Oswald. You understand?

Mrs. Murret. Yes. It's nothing I'm ashamed of. I'm glad I had the life I did, because I have something to look back to, because we were very happy. We didn't have anything and we just did the best we could, but we were all together and we worked together, and we made out all right.

98 Mr. Jenner. I understand. Now, was Marguerite happy, or would you say she was resentful to any extent about anything, or what was her attitude and demeanor, as you recall it? Just tell me about her personality.

Mrs. Murret. No; I don't think she was resentful in any way. She was a very pretty child, a very beautiful girl, and she doesn't look today at all like she used to, you know. You wouldn't recognize her.

Mr. Jenner. I think she's nice looking.

Mrs. Murret. Well, not like she was years ago. She was a very pretty girl, and I don't think that she was resentful of anybody.

Mr. Jenner. There seems to be some inability on her part to get along with people. That's really what I am driving at. What do you know about that?

Mrs. Murret. Well, I found that I didn't get along with her myself all the time, because our ideas were different on things, and of course she was a person who if you disagreed with her or if you expressed an opinion that she didn't agree with, then she would insist that you were wrong.

Mr. Jenner. How do you and Marguerite get along now?

Mrs. Murret. Well, we get along very well, if one or the other don't say nothing. You see, I am forgiving, but she is not.

Mr. Jenner. Tell me more about that. Tell me about when you were girls, and how you got along then.

Mrs. Murret. Well, when we were girls, we got along.

Mr. Jenner. Well, did you have to give in in order to get along with her, anything like that?

Mrs. Murret. I guess I was too busy taking care of five children to think about anything like that. I mean, I didn't realize anything like that. We did get along pretty well.

Mr. Jenner. Now, let's get to the period after your girlhood, when you had your own families. Let's start with during the time of her marriage to Edward John Pic. Did your relations remain fully cordial, or did you begin to find that there were times when you would have to yield, whether or not you were careful about what you said so as not to excite her or get in an argument with her, or anything like that?

Mrs. Murret. Well, I don't think I had to be careful with what I said. Maybe if I thought she wasn't right, I would tell her she wasn't right. I never did feel I had to be afraid to tell her anything, you know, just to keep peace or something like that. If I thought she was wrong, I would just tell her why she was wrong, why I thought she was wrong, because there were things where we just didn't think alike.

Mr. Jenner. You did not?

Mrs. Murret. No; we didn't think alike, and of course she thought I was wrong.

Mr. Jenner. She thought you were wrong?

Mrs. Murret. Yes; she did, so then I would, you know, forget about it, in other words, but it didn't seem like she could forget about anything. She would just, you know, fly off.

Mr. Jenner. You would forgive her, but she wouldn't, was that it?

Mrs. Murret. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. This propensity on her part not to forget, was that a source of irritation, and did that evidence itself in your avoiding controversy, and others in your family avoiding controversy, with her?

Mrs. Murret. Oh, no.

Mr. Jenner. All right. Now, coming to later years, was there any change? Did you avoid any difference of opinion with her, or anything that you can recall of that nature?

Mrs. Murret. Well, in later years, whatever dissensions we had or whatever it was that we would have a controversy over, she would just go off, and she wouldn't write or anything, and we wouldn't hear from her, and so forth, you know, until something turned up where she probably needed assistance or a place to stay, or she was coming to New Orleans and for us to put her up and everything. I never did hold anything in, you know what I mean, things like that.

99 Mr. Jenner. The remainder of your family, your other brothers and sisters, I think they remained in and about the New Orleans area; is that right?

Mrs. Murret. Well, they did for a while.

Mr. Jenner. Well, they all remained in and about New Orleans except for your sister Aminthe; isn't that right?

Mrs. Murret. Yes; she moved. She married and moved to Knoxville.

Mr. Jenner. But the rest of your family stayed here in the New Orleans area?

Mrs. Murret. Well, my brother stayed. They were very young, and of course long before I was married, they died, so there wasn't really anyone left, you know, except Marguerite and I. She lived with me when I first got married, she stayed with me then.

Mr. Jenner. Marguerite lived with you during your marriage?

Mrs. Murret. Yes; my father and my husband and myself, we all stayed together.

Mr. Jenner. You and your husband and your father and your sister Marguerite stayed together?

Mrs. Murret. Yes; we lived on Esplanade and Roman.

Mr. Jenner. What is the business or occupation of your husband?

Mrs. Murret. What is his occupation?

Mr. Jenner. Yes.

Mrs. Murret. He's a clerk for, well, he works for different companies, but mostly for Mr. Jackson. He works at different wharves, in other words.

Mr. Jenner. Different what?

Mrs. Murret. At different wharves on the riverfront. You see, he doesn't belong to a union so, therefore, he doesn't stay at one wharf. He transfers to where they have work, and sometimes if one don't have work, he will work for someone else.

Mr. Jenner. Tell me what else you know about John Pic.

Mrs. Murret. What else?

Mr. Jenner. Yes, about Edward John Pic.

Mrs. Murret. Well, about all I know about him is what she told me. She said John wasn't supporting her because, she told me, that she was pregnant and he refused to give her any money. It was a payday, I think, when she told me that, and I spoke to John, but John didn't give me any satisfaction whatever. He didn't say a thing, why or anything, what was the reason or anything.

Mr. Jenner. Did you discuss with him his refusal to support Marguerite?

Mrs. Murret. No; she left John.

Mr. Jenner. Did she leave him?

Mrs. Murret. Oh, yes. You see, she was that way, very quick. She would do things on the spur of the minute, where maybe somebody else would think it over before acting. I always think over things to give it a chance to cool off before I do something, but not Marguerite. When she left him she didn't get a divorce. She just separated. He got half of the furniture, and she got half of the furniture, I think.

Mr. Jenner. Before they were divorced?

Mrs. Murret. Before they were divorced; yes.

Mr. Jenner. Now if I may return a minute, you said she was very quick.

Mrs. Murret. Yes, sir.

Mr. Jenner. Would you elaborate on that a little?

Mrs. Murret. Yes; if I can.

Mr. Jenner. I am trying to find out as much as I can about her personality. Now, when you said she was quick, do I get an inference from that that she was hasty, or that she was impulsive, or that she would act without thinking things over?

Mrs. Murret. Yes; she would do that. She was quick in making up her mind about anything that happened. She made her decisions very fast without sleeping on them, not like me. I always try to sleep over a problem if I have to make a decision, because a lot of times I will have a different outlook on the thing the next day, but not Marguerite. She would just act right now regardless of the consequences once she made up her mind. That's what I100 mean. In other words, when she would find something that she just didn't like, that was it. She made quick decisions.

Mr. Jenner. Was this a personality trait that she had as a young girl as well as a mature lady?

Mrs. Murret. I don't remember anything like that before she was married, I mean, as we lived as sisters in the same home; no.

Mr. Jenner. It was after she left the home then, would you say, that she began to develop that trait, or that you began to detect this quick acting in her personality?

Mrs. Murret. Yes; I would say so.

Mr. Jenner. And you think she failed to think things over, that she didn't sleep on them, which was an illustration you gave a few minutes ago, but that she acted quickly when something happened or when she needed to reach a decision, is that it?

Mrs. Murret. Yes; that's right.

Mr. Jenner. She failed to sleep on something before she acted; is that right?

Mrs. Murret. Yes; she was too quick. I would have thought things over before I did them, but she wouldn't.

Mr. Jenner. In other words, she was impulsive? Would you call it that?

Mrs. Murret. You can call it that if you like.

Mr. Jenner. Well, I am just trying to shape this up into what you really knew about Marguerite and about her personality behavior. I don't mean to put words in your mouth now, and any time that I show a tendency to do that, it is inadvertent, and if that does happen I want you to say that that isn't quite the way you meant it.

Mrs. Murret. Yes, sir.

Mr. Jenner. I want you to put it in your own words. Do you understand?

Mrs. Murret. Yes, sir.

Mr. Jenner. Would you elaborate now a little more on this personality characteristic that we have discussed? I am interested in that.

Mrs. Murret. Well, she went to live in Carrollton, which is in the City Park section, in Carrollton.

Mr. Jenner. Would you spell that for me, please?

Mrs. Murret. C-a-r-r-o-l-l-t-o-n.

Mr. Jenner. Carrollton?

Mrs. Murret. Yes, sir.

Mr. Jenner. You will have to forgive my midwest accent, which differs from yours.

Mrs. Murret. Yes; my southern drawl.

Mr. Jenner. Well, I wouldn't call it a southern drawl. You have a distinct Louisiana accent. It's different. The Louisiana accent is not a lazy sort of thing. It has a reasonable sharpness of enunciation which you don't find, say, in Mississippi and some parts of Louisiana. I just came from Dallas, and they pronounce words with a drawl that's as long as your arm.

I happen to be a midwesterner myself, so my accent is hard, I mean, with a sharp enunciation.

Mrs. Murret. Well, during that time she was suing Eddie for a divorce.

Mr. Jenner. Now, was she working at that time?

Mrs. Murret. No; she was not working then.

Mr. Jenner. How was she being supported?

Mrs. Murret. Eddie was supporting her.

Mr. Jenner. Even though they were separated, he was supporting her?

Mrs. Murret. Well, I don't know now if he was supporting her by that time or not, but I know during the course of the divorce he had to pay Marguerite alimony, and he contributed a very fair amount, and he contributed a very good amount to John Edward, which he received until he was 18 years old.

Mr. Jenner. Well, that was pursuant to a decree of the court, I suppose.

Mrs. Murret. Yes; of course, during that time, when John was about 2 years old, she married Mr. Oswald.

Mr. Jenner. I will get to that in a minute.

Mrs. Murret. Yes.

101 Mr. Jenner. Did you have the feeling that this experience with Edward Pic embittered her?

Mrs. Murret. I really couldn't say. I don't think so, though. She seemed to be pretty happy with Mr. Oswald.

Mr. Jenner. Before we get to Oswald now, did she complain or did she show any reaction from the divorce or anything, or was she getting along all right on what he was giving her and what he was giving John?

Mrs. Murret. Well, she was getting along on what she was getting from him for herself and John, I think, and she would come over to our home. We lived on Dumaine Street at that time, but very near there, and I would give her all the help I could, and they would come over to dinner and things, but then I remember one time when John was sick, when he was a baby, he had this ear infection and she sent for Eddie. She said she was getting tired of staying up all night long, and for him to come over and stay a while, and he did.

Well, I think they had it out at that time. I don't know about that, but anyway, I think that was about the only time that Eddie saw John, was during the time that he had this ear trouble, when he was an infant. She wouldn't let John see Eddie. For myself, I thought that was cruel, because I don't believe in that.

Mr. Jenner. Now I am interested in that, Mrs. Murret. You say she refused to permit her former husband to see the child?

Mrs. Murret. Well, now I don't know whether he even asked to see the child or not. I don't know.

Mr. Jenner. Well, you did say without prompting from me that she wouldn't permit him to see the child, didn't you?

Mrs. Murret. That's right, she wouldn't.

Mr. Jenner. I draw the inference from that to mean that he might have desired to see the child, but she wouldn't permit him, but you don't know that?

Mrs. Murret. No; I don't know if he asked to see the child or not.

Mr. Jenner. But you do have a recollection that she would not let Eddie see the child; is that right?

Mrs. Murret. That's right. John never saw him after that, I don't think, not after he was a child.

Mr. Jenner. But you said she was opposed to him seeing the child; is that right?

Mrs. Murret. Oh, yes; I imagine she was.

Mr. Jenner. Did anything else occur in this marriage up to the time of Marguerite's marriage to Oswald, anything else that you would say was unusual insofar as personality is concerned?

Mrs. Murret. No; not that I can think of.

Mr. Jenner. You have mentioned a couple of aspects already.

Mrs. Murret. No; I don't know of anything else. That would be about all I know. When she became pregnant and they separated, you know, it was just probably a day after that, whatever it was, but then she sued for a divorce and went to live in Carrollton, and the divorce was granted, and she got the child, and he supported John for 18 years. He sent him a good amount. He never failed to make one payment, and of course she got alimony for herself.

Of course, living the way we did as children, we knew how to economize and live on a small amount of money, where people who have always had a lot wouldn't know how to do that.

Mr. Jenner. Of course I gather from what you have said—as a matter of fact, you said it, but had you said otherwise I would have been surprised, that your father was rearing six children, and he was a motorman on the streetcar lines here; is that right?

Mrs. Murret. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. And you were necessarily poor people.

Mrs. Murret. Yes; he made $90 a month. We paid $12 a month house rent, or $14 a month house rent—I forget which—and every day he would give us each $1 to do the marketing with, and we would have something left out of the $1, believe it or not.

My sister Pearl, when she would have anything left, she would go to the102 store and buy some material and sit down and make herself a dress by hand, with what she had left from the $1, because whatever was left out of the $1 he gave us, if we had anything left, it didn't matter. We could buy anything for ourselves and so forth, that we wanted.

Mr. Jenner. You mean he gave $1 to each of you each day?

Mrs. Murret. $1 to feed the family; yes sir. We ate beans and rice and spinach and vegetables and bananas and things like that, but we didn't have big household expenses, you see. We didn't have a gas stove. We had a furnace and things like that. There were no electric lights. In the very beginning there weren't, and all of those expenses, you see, were out.

I have no bitterness toward my life as a child. In fact, I like to talk about it, because we were always so happy. We went skating. We had skates, and when we were teenagers, we would go skating around Jackson Square and the French Quarter, and so forth, and my aunt would let us take up her rug any time we wanted to dance, and she had a piano and we would go over there and dance and play the piano, and I might say that Marguerite was able to do different things. She was very entertaining. She could sing very well, not you know, to be a professional singer, but she had a good voice, and then when we had a piano that my father bought for $5 she learned to play by ear on the piano, so we really had a lot of fun.

We cooked our beans and ate our beans, and drank our coffee and ate our bread, and the rest of the time we didn't have to do all that children have to do today.

I find children today are under a great strain. Their parents want their children to grow up long before their years. They don't let them just take things in stride any more like they used to. Now, they go to the Blue Room and places like that, and they apparently think that's the thing to do.

Mr. Jenner. What's the Blue Room?

Mrs. Murret. That's in the Roosevelt Hotel.

Mr. Jenner. Is it a place of entertainment?

Mrs. Murret. Yes; entertainment, and of course they have to go bowling and they have to be baton twirlers, and they have to go to dances and all kinds of school events, and it's constantly going and coming all the time, and they just don't ever seem to relax like they used to.

They have children in my block who never stop. They have poor people around there, but they never seem to relax. They don't know how to relax apparently. My own children, well, I'm glad they didn't live like that either.

Mr. Jenner. All right now, when John Edward Pic was approximately 2 years old, your sister, Marguerite, married Mr. Oswald; is that right?

Mrs. Murret. That's right. Now, there's something else that happened during that time. She told me this, and I don't know whether it's true or not, but I guess it's true because I have never found my sister to lie about anything.

Mr. Jenner. You never have?

Mrs. Murret. No.

Mr. Jenner. Have you ever found her to have hallucinations, that things didn't actually occur that she thought had occurred, or that she had a tendency to exaggerate or overstate something?

Mrs. Murret. I would say, when you put it that way—I would say if she expected a person to do what she was thinking and a person didn't do that, well, then that was the wrong thing.

Mr. Jenner. When that happened, did she get excited about it or angry, or show any emotional trait at all?

Mrs. Murret. No; I don't think so. Now, maybe she may have appeared excited. I don't know if she was excited or not. I just always felt that she was really too quick. She would fly off too quick, and if you didn't think the way she did about anything and you tried to explain to her, you would just be wrong. You just couldn't get along with her if something would come up like that. Of course, it could be you who was at fault, so I'm not saying that she was at fault every time or anything like that. Maybe she was right, but you just couldn't reason with her if she thought she was right, and I don't think anybody can be right all the time.

103 Mr. Jenner. Tell me some more about that. You said she was unable to get along with people. Now, I would like to know more about that, just as you recall it, any incident that might have happened or anything that you noticed about Marguerite in connection with any incidents like that.

Mrs. Murret. Well, I mean, if people don't do things right, maybe it's because they have been doing some wrong things which they had no control over or something, you see what I mean, but at other times things might occur where they weren't wrong, and if she didn't see eye to eye with you, then you couldn't reason with her about it. You couldn't explain things to her, I mean. If she thought differently, then you were just wrong.

Mr. Jenner. And she was sufficiently vociferous about it?

Mrs. Murret. She was very independent, in other words. She was very independent. She didn't think she needed anyone at any time, I don't think, because no matter how much anyone would try to help her or how much they would try to do for her, she never thought that anyone was actually helping her. So often I have helped her out, quite a lot of times, but sooner or later it seemed like she would just take one little word or something that she would think was wrong, and we would have these little differences.

Mr. Jenner. You mean she would fly off the handle, so to speak?

Mrs. Murret. Yes; she would fly off, and go and that was it, and when she would do that you wouldn't hear from her or anything, and all you could do was just let things ride until she would come to New Orleans again, or something like that, and then usually she would call or if accidentally I would meet her on the street or something, and I would go ahead and give her help again.

Mr. Jenner. It would occur that when she would fly off the handle sometimes you wouldn't see her for a while?

Mrs. Murret. Oh, yes.

Mr. Jenner. Is that about the pattern of what happened when these incidents would arise?

Mrs. Murret. Yes; I think so.

Mr. Jenner. Did you make efforts to get along with her, since you were the older sister and really head of the family?

Mrs. Murret. Yes; I did.

Mr. Jenner. Did you try to mollify her and tell her that she shouldn't act that way?

Mrs. Murret. Well, that was all in later years. That was after her marriage and after my marriage, naturally. She might not like something my children were doing and so forth, and I told her that I always believed my children, whatever they told me. She asked me if I did that, and I said yes; I did, and that I had reason to believe them. I had faith in them, and I felt they would always do the right thing.

Mr. Jenner. She questioned that?

Mrs. Murret. With me, yes; I mean, about the children.

Mr. Jenner. She questioned you to the extent that she thought it was unwise, or she didn't get it that you should have faith in your children?

Mrs. Murret. That's right. She told me at one time, and I can remember this incident that happened if you want me to tell it.

Mr. Jenner. Go ahead and tell me about it.

Mrs. Murret. The incident was just recently, I may say. My son John was just married October 5.

Mr. Jenner. Of what year?

Mrs. Murret. This year, 1963—this past year.

Mr. Jenner. Your son John?

Mrs. Murret. Yes; well, she was over at the house——

Mr. Jenner. Who are you talking about now?

Mrs. Murret. Marguerite

Mr. Jenner. All right, Marguerite was over at the house, and what happened?

Mrs. Murret. Before he married this girl that he did marry, there was a young lady that he would invite over to our home quite often, you see, so Marguerite was over at the house at that time.

Mr. Jenner. You are talking about your house?

Mrs. Murret. Yes; my house; and she was just visiting alone, and it was104 a rainy day, and John and this girl friend—we were all in the front room, so to pass the time, they were passing notes to one another, and so the next day she told me about that, and she said that they were passing notes about her, so I questioned John about it, and he laughed. He has a very good disposition, and he laughed and he said, "Well, of all things," and he said, "We were passing notes telling each other what our bad traits are." He said, "She would pass me a note telling me about a bad trait I had, and then I would pass a note back to her and tell her a bad trait that she had." They were getting a big bang out of that, but Marguerite was under the impression that they were talking about her, and so I told her, I said, "Well, I believe John," and she said, "Do you believe everything they tell you?" and I said, "Yes; I believe what they tell me." Now, this was just last fall that was.

Mr. Jenner. Was that just this last fall, in October?

Mrs. Murret. No. Now, John was married in October, but I hadn't seen—this was quite a while previous to that—maybe 2 years.

Mr. Jenner. Oh, this incident occurred then back in 1961, would you say?

Mrs. Murret. About the time Lee defected to Russia. Probably about that time, or after.

Mr. Jenner. Was it after 1959? That's when Oswald defected.

Mrs. Murret. Let's see. I can't remember when that was now.

Mr. Jenner. He was mustered out in September of 1959, and he went to Russia right after that.

Mrs. Murret. I just can't remember that.

Mr. Jenner. Now, would you tell me about the Oswald marriage?

Mrs. Murret. Well, I knew Lee Oswald. He was an insurance collector on my route.

Mr. Jenner. Lee Oswald was an insurance collector?

Mrs. Murret. For Metropolitan; yes, sir.

Mr. Jenner. He collected insurance premiums?

Mrs. Murret. For the Metropolitan Life Insurance Co.

Mr. Jenner. Was that weekly or monthly, or what?

Mrs. Murret. Weekly or monthly or yearly, sometimes semiannually, and so forth. He collected policy payments for them. He was a very good insurance man, I think.

Mr. Jenner. He was an energetic man?

Mrs. Murret. He was.

Mr. Jenner. When you first knew him, he was married; is that right?

Mrs. Murret. No; he was already divorced from his wife when he collected in my area.

Mr. Jenner. He was already divorced from his wife?

Mrs. Murret. Yes, sir.

Mr. Jenner. Had he had any children of that marriage?

Mrs. Murret. I don't think he did.

Mr. Jenner. What is your recollection as to how Lee Oswald and Marguerite became acquainted?

Mrs. Murret. Well, I guess he just liked Marguerite enough to marry her, and I believe Oswald was a Catholic—I'm not too sure of that—and Marguerite was a Lutheran, so he had to leave his church, naturally.

Mr. Jenner. He had to leave the church?

Mrs. Murret. Because he was divorced; yes. He was not recognized in the Catholic church. He couldn't receive the sacraments, in other words. He could go to mass.

Mr. Jenner. He happened to be Catholic?

Mrs. Murret. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. Are you Catholic?

Mrs. Murret. Yes; I am.

Mr. Jenner. All right. So am I, and I just wondered if you were. Go ahead.

Mrs. Murret. So they were married in a Lutheran Church, Lee Oswald and Marguerite. They were married at the Lutheran Church on Canal Street.

Mr. Jenner. I was going to ask you what your family was by way of religion. You are Catholic.

Mrs. Murret. Yes.

105 Mr. Jenner. Have you always been Catholic?

Mrs. Murret. Well, not always. I wasn't always a Catholic. My father was Catholic, and my mother was a Lutheran, and we were baptized in the Lutheran religion.

Mr. Jenner. You were baptized in the Lutheran religion?

Mrs. Murret. Yes; and my father, who was Catholic, he always saw that we went to Sunday school.

Mr. Jenner. He would see to it that you went to the Lutheran Sunday school, to the Lutheran church?

Mrs. Murret. Yes; he did. I always thought of my father as St. Joseph. I don't know why, but I guess it was because he was so close to us children. He would take us on Christmas eve night over to church, and he probably did a lot better than a lot of women do today with a family.

Mr. Jenner. Well, he was undoubtedly quite a tolerant man then.

Mrs. Murret. Oh, yes.

Mr. Jenner. Your mother had begun to rear her children as Lutherans, so he continued that?

Mrs. Murret. Yes; he did.

Mr. Jenner. He didn't attempt to induce any of you to become converted?

Mrs. Murret. No. John Pic—rather, Eddie Pic was a Lutheran too. About the marriage to Lee Oswald, she seemed to be happy. He had everything she wanted. They lived on Taft Place in the City Park section, and then after that they built a home on Alvar Street. That was a new section then. Right now it looks awful, but at that time it was a growing section, and this was a new house, a little single house right opposite a school, and it was a very nice place.

Mr. Jenner. What's the name of the school?

Mrs. Murret. William T. Frantz, they call it.

Mr. Jenner. How do you spell Frantz?

Mrs. Murret. F-R-A-N-T-Z, I think it is.

Mr. Jenner. There were two children born of that marriage; is that right?

Mrs. Murret. Yes, sir; two children, Robert, and then Lee was born after his father died.

Mr. Jenner. Well, his father died in August 1939, and Lee was born on October 18, 1939, about 2 months after; is that right?

Mrs. Murret. Yes. Lee Oswald wanted to adopt John Edward, but my sister wouldn't hear to an adoption by him, because she said he had a father, and she was receiving this allotment for him from him, and she didn't want to change his name.

Mr. Jenner. When she married Lee Oswald, I assume her alimony terminated, did it?

Mrs. Murret. I think so, but John still received his.

Mr. Jenner. The child support continued?

Mrs. Murret. Oh, yes; now, what came in between there is what I started to tell you, about John Pic. That was after she married Oswald. There was a colored girl working in the grocery store, and John was in there—he was about 2 or a little over 2 at the time, and this young woman was in the store——

Mr. Jenner. Let me interrupt you there a moment. When you say John, are you referring to John Pic?

Mrs. Murret. Yes; that was the Pic child, and this colored woman was working in the store—you see, Marguerite didn't have any children then, because she was just recently married or something, so this young woman said to John—he was just a baby, and she said, "You're a cute little boy. What's your name?" And he said, "My name is John Edward Pic," like a child will do, drawing it out so that everybody could hear it, and she asked this colored girl, "Whose child is this?" and the colored girl told her, "That's Mrs. Oswald's boy," so that's how that happened. I gather that she didn't know anything about the Pic child, and so forth, so anyway, this young woman went home and she told her mother that a very strange thing had happened in the grocery store, and she said there was a darling little child in there, and she asked him his name and he said he was John Edward Pic, and she said, "By any chance, do you think he would be related to Eddie?" And she had married Eddie, and Eddie didn't tell her that he had a child, or that he was married or anything, and then this marriage106 was annulled—an aunt of mine saw the annullment in the paper, because she used to read everything in the paper, you know, and she's the one who knew about it. My sister did tell me the story about that.

Mr. Jenner. That marriage was a happy marriage, was it?

Mrs. Murret. The Oswald marriage?

Mr. Jenner. Yes.

Mrs. Murret. I think so, as far as I know. I mean, I didn't get to go over there very often, but we would visit. I had a lot of children, and naturally I had to take care of them, and we never did have anything, and of course they had a car and everything, and at times they would drop by, but we didn't visit too often.

Mr. Jenner. They had a car and they had a home?

Mrs. Murret. What's that?

Mr. Jenner. They had an automobile, you say, and they also had their own home on Alvar Street?

Mrs. Murret. Well, they were buying the home on Alvar Street, and during that time was when Mr. Oswald was cutting the grass, I think, and he took a severe pain in his arm, and she gave him some aspirin, and in the meantime she called the doctor, and he said that was the right thing to do, to give him aspirin and to rub his arm, so then it seemed like he got worse, and while she was calling the doctor to come out, he just toppled over.

Of course, the house wasn't paid for, and it seems like they had insurance on their house that Lee never did take care of, or whatever it was, and I think if they had done that, I think they would have been safe in the house, but he neglected to do that, so they didn't have no insurance on the house, or whatever it was.

Then she lived in the house, I think, over 2 years while Lee was a baby, in this house, and then she sold it. I think she sold it, and she bought another smaller house somewhere in that area. I don't remember where, and then she sold that.

Mr. Jenner. Well, hold that for a minute. We will get to that later on. When Mr. Oswald had his heart attack and died in August of 1939, did your sister return to work?

Mrs. Murret. Not right away.

Mr. Jenner. Not right away?

Mrs. Murret. No; I think Lee was around 3 years old when she returned to work. I never did ask her, you know anything about the insurance, but he probably had a good amount of insurance on himself, being an insurance man himself, I imagine. I don't know about that.

Mr. Jenner. Well, was that your impression, anyhow, that she did return to work after a period of about 3 years?

Mrs. Murret. About 3 years; yes, sir.

Mr. Jenner. That would have been around 1942, approximately; is that right?

Mrs. Murret. I guess so. Now, I can't recollect what happened with Lee after that, when she went to work, or where she worked. I know I took care of Lee when he was that age.

Mr. Jenner. All right, I would like for you to tell me about that.

Mrs. Murret. When Lee was a very small child?

Mr. Jenner. Around that period when he was 3 years old, during that 3-year period, was that during the period you took care of him?

Mrs. Murret. Yes; that's when I took care of him. I offered to take care of Lee for her. It seemed like he was—I don't know how that came along, but it seems like there was someone else, I think, some lady and her husband—I couldn't tell you who they were or anything like that, but they were crazy about the child. She had told me about that and so forth, but then I met her in town one day and she was telling me how they felt about the child, but I told her, I said, "Well, I'll keep Lee for a while, you know, as long as I could." I offered to keep Lee at an age when he was a very beautiful child. Now, I wouldn't say he was smarter than any other child his age. He might have been smarter than some 3-year-olds and so forth, but he was really a cute child, very friendly, and so I kept him and I would take him to town, and when I107 would he would have on one of these little sailor suits, and he really looked cute, and he would holler, "Hi," to everybody, and people in town would stop me and say, "What an adorable child he is," and so forth, and he was always so friendly, and, of course, I did the best I could with him. The children at home liked him. John Edward and Robert are the same age as my fourth and fifth children, so—in other words, I had five children in 7 years, making them all around the same age, from 7 to 19 months apart, so, of course, everybody was of school age, grammar school. I had to get my own five children ready for school, and I didn't have any help on that and it kept me pretty busy, and that's why I guess it was that Lee started slipping out of the house in his nightclothes and going down the block and sitting down in somebody's kitchen. He could slip out like nobody's business. You could have everything locked in the house, and he would still get out. We lived in a basement house, and we had gates up and everything, but he would still get out.

Mr. Jenner. What do you mean by a basement house?

Mrs. Murret. Oh, that's one that's raised off the ground. The house has a few steps going up to the door, and it has a basement underneath, which a lot of people make into living quarters, underneath.

Mr. Jenner. All right. He was 3 years old when he was living with you at your house, and at that time she had gone back to work; is that right?

Mrs. Murret. She had gone back to work; yes, sir.

Mr. Jenner. What sort of work did she do?

Mrs. Murret. She was a saleswoman. I think she worked in quite a few of the stores in town.

Mr. Jenner. Here in New Orleans?

Mrs. Murret. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. I assume her earnings were small?

Mrs. Murret. What's that?

Mr. Jenner. I assume her earnings were small?

Mrs. Murret. Oh, yes; they don't pay too much.

Mr. Jenner. What did she do with John Edward and Robert at this time?

Mrs. Murret. Well, at that time John Edward and Robert were placed in a home across the river some place. I wouldn't know the name of the home. I visited with her one time, and she didn't like it too much, and so she took them because they weren't keeping their clothes clean and so forth. The children didn't look the way she wanted them to, and she put them in the Bethlehem home. That's a Lutheran home.

Mr. Jenner. Is the Bethlehem home for Lutheran orphans?

Mrs. Murret. No; it's not exactly an orphanage. It's for children who have one parent.

Mr. Jenner. I think we will take a recess now for lunch, and we can be back here at 2 o'clock.

(Whereupon the proceeding was recessed.)

TESTIMONY OF MRS. LILLIAN MURRET RESUMED

The proceeding reconvened at 2 p.m.

Mr. Jenner. As I understand it now, Mrs. Murret, Marguerite maintained the house for approximately 2 or 3 years and reared the boy there and did not work, and at the end of that period of time, she went to work, and she lodged Lee with you and your husband and your children; is that right?

Mrs. Murret. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. And that extended over a period of how long? How long did you have him?

Mrs. Murret. Oh, I think it was pretty near the time that she married Mr. Ekdahl. I think she married him about that time.

Mr. Jenner. That was 1948; is that right?

Mrs. Murret. It might have been. Now, it might have been a little before she married Ekdahl. I really can't remember that. I really didn't know Mr. Ekdahl. I met him one time. Now, I am trying to orient myself.

108 Mr. Jenner. That's all right; take your time. Do you recall about when that was?

Mrs. Murret. When she married Mr. Ekdahl?

Mr. Jenner. No; that you had the care of Lee in your home.

Mrs. Murret. That I had what?

Mr. Jenner. When Lee came to live with you temporarily; when was that?

Mrs. Murret. Oh, when he was about 3 years old.

Mr. Jenner. That would have been about 1942; is that right?

Mrs. Murret. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. And he stayed with you until about the time that Marguerite married Mr. Ekdahl; is that right?

Mrs. Murret. Around that time, or a little before. She might have taken him a little bit before, a few months before she married Ekdahl. I don't recall exactly how that was now.

Mr. Jenner. She married Ekdahl in 1948; so at that time Lee would have been 9 years old; isn't that right?

Mrs. Murret. Yes; that's right. Well, then I didn't have Lee that long; not from 3 years old. He wasn't with me all that time.

Mr. Jenner. How long do you think it was that you had Lee in your home on that occasion?

Mrs. Murret. Well, I might have had Lee about 2 years.

Mr. Jenner. Would that have been from 1942 to 1943, or 1944; somewhere in there?

Mrs. Murret. Yes sir.

Mr. Jenner. He was 3 years old when he came with you; is that right?

Mrs. Murret. What's that?

Mr. Jenner. He was 3 years old?

Mrs. Murret. About 3; yes.

Mr. Jenner. When he came with you?

Mrs. Murret. Yes, sir.

Mr. Jenner. How old was he when he left?

Mrs. Murret. Well, he was about 5 or pretty near that age, when he left me.

Mr. Jenner. Well, that keys in with this information I have. When he was about 5 years old, did he join his brothers out at the Bethlehem orphanage?

Mrs. Murret. He did. He was out there for a while.

Mr. Jenner. Did he come from your home to the orphanage?

Mrs. Murret. I really don't know that.

Mr. Jenner. I thought there might have been some incident as to why he was placed in the orphanage with his two brothers.

Mrs. Murret. Well, the incident could have been—I don't know if it was that or not, but maybe it was just that I couldn't take care of him any more, or something like that; I don't know.

Mr. Jenner. You don't have any clear recollection on that score?

Mrs. Murret. No; I don't.

Mr. Jenner. But you do have a sufficient recollection that he was about 5 years old?

Mrs. Murret. About; yes.

Mr. Jenner. When he left your home?

Mrs. Murret. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. And you do remember Lee being lodged at the Bethlehem orphanage home with his two brothers, do you?

Mrs. Murret. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. Did you visit the boys out there at any time?

Mrs. Murret. I visited out there with Marguerite.

Mr. Jenner. And that was on what; a weekend?

Mrs. Murret. I think it was. They had a party for the home out there, and the children themselves seemed to be very happy out there. It's an old place, but a very nice place, and it was run by a man and his wife. The children were included in everything, and the doors were kept open. In other words, the children were allowed to go out and play marbles on the outside, and they109 went to school, you know, to school in that neighborhood. I mean they weren't confined or shut in, and they seemed to have a good program of discipline. Even though they could go out and play in the immediate area, they would come in when the bell rang for supper, but I mean they were not closed in or kept locked up or anything. She also contributed to that home, I think. I don't think they would keep those boys there free.

Mr. Jenner. You're right. In the meantime she was working; is that right?

Mrs. Murret. What was that?

Mr. Jenner. She was working?

Mrs. Murret. She was working; yes.

Mr. Jenner. In some department store or something like that here in New Orleans?

Mrs. Murret. She at one time, but I don't know whether this was the time, but she worked at a hosiery shop on Canal Street. It might have been one of these Jean's—what they call Jean's Hosiery Shop over there on Canal Street. In fact, she was manager of that store at the time, as I recall, this hosiery store where she worked. I don't know what happened after she left that place. That was the time she married Ekdahl, in between there, and she left New Orleans and went to Texas.

Mr. Jenner. Do you know how long she had known Lee Oswald—that is, the father of Lee Harvey Oswald—before they were married?

Mrs. Murret. Well, John Edward was 2 years old when she married him, so I figured she must have known him about a year or more. Myself, I knew him, because he collected at my house, but I don't know whether she knew him at that time or not.

Mr. Jenner. Do you know whether she knew him before she and her husband, Edward John Pic, separated?

Mrs. Murret. I doubt it.

Mr. Jenner. Do you know whether she knew him during the period of the separation and before the divorce?

Mrs. Murret. That must have been it. She must have known him during that time.

Mr. Jenner. Give me your reaction to Mr. Oswald a little more, if you will. What kind of man was he?

Mrs. Murret. Well, he was a very outward man, a man that smiled a lot, I might say. He smiled a lot, and he seemed aggressive.

Mr. Jenner. Would you say he was energetic?

Mrs. Murret. Oh, yes; very much. He was a good worker for Metropolitan, one of their top salesmen.

Mr. Jenner. And he was an outgoing person, you say?

Mrs. Murret. He seemed to be.

Mr. Jenner. Would you call him an extrovert?

Mrs. Murret. Yes; of course, I don't know what happened at home. I can only tell you from what I noticed when I saw him, you know, but he seemed to be very aggressive and energetic, and they seemed to be getting along all right, so far as I could tell.

Mr. Jenner. During that period of time of her marriage to Lee Oswald, did you have much contact with your sister Marguerite?

Mrs. Murret. No; not very much. Like I said, I had five children myself, and we didn't have a car; so we stayed at home a lot. Mr. Murret is a man who don't care to visit relatives too much, and we didn't visit them. They came over when they would be out riding around; in other words, they might stop by or something like that, but we didn't do much visiting.

Mr. Jenner. Your husband's given name is Charles F.; is that right?

Mrs. Murret. Yes, sir; they call him "Dutz."

Mr. Jenner. That's his nickname?

Mrs. Murret. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. Is that D-u-t-z?

Mrs. Murret. Yes; and they put it in the telephone book that way, because he was in the fight game years ago. He managed some fighters, and they have a lot of contact with sportswriters, and they knew him by the name of "Dutz,"110 so that's why he went and put it in the telephone book, rather than Charles, so that they would know who he was, I guess.

Mr. Jenner. Does he still use that name?

Mrs. Murret. He does.

Mr. Jenner. Is your telephone listed in that name?

Mrs. Murret. Yes; that's what I said. It's still listed that way. His uncle gave him that nickname when he was a small child, and I always knew him by the name of "Dutz." I never call him anything else but that, but his family always called him Charles.

Mr. Jenner. What business is he in?

Mrs. Murret. What's that?

Mr. Jenner. What is your husband's business again?

Mrs. Murret. He works as a clerk.

Mr. Jenner. Is there anything else you can remember about Lee Oswald, the father of Lee Harvey Oswald?

Mrs. Murret. I don't remember anything else; no. I didn't know anything about him at all other than being an insurance clerk and coming around the house to collect insurance. He sort of maybe seemed to be a little forward maybe, I thought, but, like a lot of insurance men, maybe it helps on the debits, you know.

Mr. Jenner. He was aggressive in collecting the accounts; do you mean?

Mrs. Murret. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. But not forward in any other respect?

Mrs. Murret. No; not that I know of.

Mr. Jenner. I mean he was a gentleman?

Mrs. Murret. As far as I know.

Mr. Jenner. Do you know anything about his family?

Mrs. Murret. I know nothing about the Oswald family. I only met one brother who was the godfather of Lee—little Lee Oswald, you know—and I think his name was Harvey, maybe. I wouldn't be sure about that.

Mr. Jenner. Harvey?

Mrs. Murret. I believe that's what it was, but that's about all I know about the Oswald family. He's the only one I knew or ever saw.

Mr. Jenner. Do you know where Harvey Oswald is now?

Mrs. Murret. He's dead now. I just saw him one time, and that was after Lee was born. He came over to the house, and I think they were friendly with Marguerite and all, but all of a sudden there was no more friendship. I don't know why.

Mr. Jenner. Did this friendship terminate while the marriage still existed, or was it afterward?

Mrs. Murret. I think afterward. I don't know whether there was any friendship with the Oswald family during this marriage or not. I couldn't say. She never spoke about it, but I do know, after the death of the brother, they had some dissension about something. I don't know what, but that ended that friendship with the Oswalds.

Mr. Jenner. As far as you know or were advised, that was never repaired, was it?

Mrs. Murret. I don't think so.

Mr. Jenner. Your sister married Mr. Ekdahl?

Mrs. Murret. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. And your recollection of that event is what?

Mrs. Murret. What do you mean?

Mr. Jenner. What do you remember about that incident?

Mrs. Murret. Well, I don't know anything about the marriage at all, other than what you have told me about it. I only met Mr. Ekdahl one time, and they were about to be married about that time it seems like, and they say that Mr. Ekdahl was a sick man and had a bad heart, and he was a little older than she was, and she didn't seem very enthusiastic about marrying Mr. Ekdahl, and that's when his sister came down here and she liked Marguerite a lot, and she said, "Why don't you go ahead and marry him? He is lonesome," and so forth, so she just decided, I guess, to marry Ed.

Mr. Jenner. His name was Edward Ekdahl?

111 Mrs. Murret. Yes; his name was Edward Ekdahl.

Mr. Jenner. And it is your best recollection that you met him once before the marriage?

Mrs. Murret. That's all I saw him; yes, sir.

Mr. Jenner. Had your sister talked to you about him prior to the marriage?

Mrs. Murret. She spoke to me about him, I think. He was a high salaried man, that I know, and he did research work for Texas Electric, I think, and of course I don't think things worked out maybe too well for them, I mean, about his way of giving her money and so forth.

I guess she thought things would be different after their marriage. You see, he was sort of tight, I think, with his money. She would go to the grocery store, but he would hold the money, and of course she didn't like that part of it, I guess you know, so then she went around with Mr. Ekdahl in his travels for the company and she also took Lee with her wherever she had to go. And then Lee became of school age, and she had these other two boys in the Chamberlin-Hunt College in Mississippi.

Mr. Jenner. Is that a military school?

Mrs. Murret. Yes; and it's a high-priced military school, with beautiful uniforms and so forth, and she used her own money for these boys to go to military school. Mr. Ekdahl didn't take on that responsibility. He didn't take on any obligation like that at all, as far as I know. She said he didn't even take Lee as an obligation.

Now, whether this was all her idea or not, I don't know, because she is very independent about things. I don't know, but that's the way I understood it was, so then anyway, Lee traveled with her all over until he became of school age.

During the summertime she rented a place at Covington so that she could have her other two boys with her on vacation.

Mr. Jenner. Where is Covington?

Mrs. Murret. Covington is right out of New Orleans, not too far away, over the causeway. People more or less use it as a summer resort, and they rent homes there, just like at Biloxi and Gulfport, and so forth.

Mr. Jenner. Oh, it's off in that direction?

Mrs. Murret. Yes; so she rented a place over there, and she stayed there with the boys in the summer.

Mr. Jenner. Now, this was when she was married to Ekdahl; is that right?

Mrs. Murret. Yes, sir; she was married to Ekdahl then.

Mr. Jenner. Did they visit you once in a while?

Mrs. Murret. With Mr. Ekdahl?

Mr. Jenner. Yes.

Mrs. Murret. No; never. She was living in Texas at that time, but this was during the summer that she stayed at Covington.

Mr. Jenner. Where was Mr. Ekdahl during the summer when she was at Covington?

Mrs. Murret. Mr. Ekdahl was traveling for the company, but she couldn't travel with him because she had the boys during vacation time, and then Lee became of school age and he had to go to school. Now, at that time houses were hard to get, and even hotel rooms, I mean, when you were traveling and so forth, so she agreed to stay over in Covington and send Lee to school in Covington rather than go back to Texas. Now, whether she stayed with Lee when he went to school or not, I don't know.

The next I heard, well, she was back in Texas. Now, I don't know about that, how that came about, but she had this duplex. Now, if she had bought this duplex or not at one time herself, I don't know, but she had spoke something about buying a duplex.

Mr. Jenner. Here in New Orleans?

Mrs. Murret. No; in Texas, Fort Worth. So it seems like—this is what she told me; that's how I knew so much of her family life, from what she told me. So then, she told me that when they left Covington, they went back to Texas to this duplex, and now, she lived either in the upper or lower part of this duplex, but anyway, one morning she was outside in the yard and this lady who lived either in the upper or lower, whichever way it was, came out into the yard and my sister112 introduced herself as Mrs. Ekdahl, and this lady answered instead, "You are not the Mrs. Ekdahl that I know."

Well, you can put two and two together there. Now, I am only repeating what she told me, so then she got sort of scouting around, you know what I mean, and she found out different things around there, and she accused him of having someone in this house while she was over in Covington. So then she got after him and he denied everything about that, so then she said, "Well," and she just kept eyeing up the situation, you know, and one time she found something in his pockets. He had a train ticket to go on one of his trips, and she called the place and found out that he had gotten two tickets, so she told him that she would drive him to the train station, and he insisted that she not drive him, that he could go alone, but she said, well, no, she wanted to take him, and he said, no, that that would be too much trouble and silly. Well, anyway, I think she did drive him there, and when they got to the train station, I think she thought that whoever it was holding the other ticket had already picked it up, this other ticket, and was already on the train, so Mr. Ekdahl picked up his ticket and went on, and I guess she always thought he wasn't true to her after that, you see, so she said one night she followed Mr. Ekdahl——

Mr. Jenner. Who?

Mrs. Murret. She did in her car, or somebody's car, and John, and I don't know if it was one of John's friends or Robert's, but anyway they followed Mr. Ekdahl, and they saw him go into this house, and she waited a few minutes on the outside, and then she had one of the boys run up the steps, and he hollered, "Western Union," and when he hollered, "Western Union," this woman opened the door, and when she opened the door, pushed the door back, Mr. Ekdahl was sitting in the living room. When he left her, he was fully dressed, but his coat and tie and shirt was off, and he had his athletic shirt on. He had his coat and top shirt off and so forth, and he was sitting in there, so she questioned him about that, and he said he was there on business, which was absurd, because you know you don't disrobe yourself on business, so that's what started off the Ekdahl case, and then of course she wanted to get a divorce from him right away, you see, and that's why I say she's quick, you see, because I would not have gotten a divorce. I would have got a separation, because he was making a big salary, and so forth, but anyway, she wanted a divorce it seemed like, but it seemed like he had connections and he must have gone to get the divorce before she could get it, or whatever it was. She had gone to her pastor and told her pastor about it, and her pastor told her that if she would press this case against Ekdahl, that he would have a heart attack and that would make her a murderer, that she would be the cause of him dying, so he was in the hospital, I think, so she went to the hospital to see him, and I think they had a roarup there at the hospital. I don't know what that was all about because, you see, I don't know anything about all of that except what she told me. So then she got a divorce from Mr. Ekdahl, and she settled for not too very much and it wasn't very long before Mr. Ekdahl died, so that was the end of the Ekdahl affair.

Mr. Jenner. All right. Now, let me take you back to the beginning now for a few moments, if you will. We had Lee over at the Bethlehem orphanage after he left the house; is that right?

Mrs. Murret. Yes, sir.

Mr. Jenner. He was there when he was five years old, and he stayed there until she married Mr. Ekdahl; is that right?

Mrs. Murret. Well, he was in the home awhile first. I mean, he was at my house, I would say, between 1 and 2 years, and then I couldn't keep him any more. I guess there must have been some dissension or something.

Mr. Jenner. What kind of dissension?

Mrs. Murret. She got angry or something, and I might have told her to take her child, you know, or whatever it was, so she put him in with the other two boys in the home then.

Mr. Jenner. She was quick tempered, would you say?

Mrs. Murret. Well, that's what I mean; yes.

Mr. Jenner. She would flare up in a moment; is that right?

Mrs. Murret. Yes; you see, she was always right. She couldn't take anything113 from anybody, in other words, or you might say she was not reasonable, and especially in some things that are right, because you can keep doing and doing and doing, but then you get to the point where the other party never seems to be doing anything.

Mr. Jenner. She didn't seem to exhibit a full measure of appreciation that was warranted, is that what you mean?

Mrs. Murret. Well, I didn't keep the child for anything like that. I kept him for himself and for the love of God, and so forth, and we liked the child, but of course we had our own obligation with our own children, and this was her life. She made her own life.

Of course, I do say that maybe she made it, and then she didn't make it, because you see, it's just the way things happened. Now, whether she was the cause of these things happening or not, I don't know, but she seemed to be a victim of all these circumstances.

Mr. Jenner. But they kept repeating themselves, a number of them; isn't that right?

Mrs. Murret. Yes; they kept coming along; that's right.

Mr. Jenner. Now, she then married Mr. Ekdahl; is that right?

Mrs. Murret. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. And you had met him only once, I believe you said?

Mrs. Murret. Once; that's right.

Mr. Jenner. Were you at the wedding?

Mrs. Murret. Oh, no; I didn't go to the wedding. They were married in Texas.

Mr. Jenner. Were you advised that she was about to marry him?

Mrs. Murret. I don't think I knew that she was about to marry him; no, sir. I just received a picture of her and Ekdahl on their wedding trip, and she had written on it, "Happily married," and she sent a picture of the house that they lived in. It was a very nice place, and they seemed to be doing O.K., you know.

Mr. Jenner. Were they married here in New Orleans, or were they married in Texas?

Mrs. Murret. I imagine they were married in Texas. Mr. Ekdahl was a divorced man. I guess he was a divorced man. He had to be. I don't know, but I don't think he could get married without being divorced. He had a son.

Mr. Jenner. Yes; I know he did, and his people were Boston people, were they not?

Mrs. Murret. Yes. I know she met his sister. It was her, his sister, that sort of persuaded her that she ought to go ahead and marry him. She went up to see them, I think.

Mr. Jenner. In Boston?

Mrs. Murret. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. You think his sister influenced her a lot?

Mrs. Murret. Yes; I think so.

Mr. Jenner. But she was somewhat disappointed in Mr. Ekdahl insofar as his handling of the family funds was concerned; is that right?

Mrs. Murret. Well, I imagine she was.

Mr. Jenner. Well, I don't want you to imagine. What impression did you get from what she said to you?

Mrs. Murret. Well, she just said that she thought things would be different, that since he was a high-salaried man, she didn't think she would have the kind of life she was living, like pinching pennies, and having to ask him for everything that she wanted. I think she was under the impression that he would give her so much, or I don't know anything about the amounts, you know, but that's what I gathered from what she told me.

Mr. Jenner. All right. Now, I think you said that he did not assume responsibility for any of the three children; is that right?

Mrs. Murret. That's what she said.

Mr. Jenner. And she told you when she placed her two boys, John and Robert, in the military school, what was the name of that?

Mrs. Murret. Chamberlin-Hunt Academy.

Mr. Jenner. That she was assuming the responsibility of paying their way?

Mrs. Murret. Yes; she did. She always had a lot of character. That I can114 say about her, you know, for a woman alone. She would have never done anything she wasn't supposed to do, even though she was in dire circumstances, and so forth, but one thing would come on like that, and she would just act up very quickly, like I told you, if she didn't like something happening or something you did or said, something like that. Of course, there are always two sides to every story, and I don't know the other side. I only know one side.

Mr. Jenner. Would you say that Lee lived with you from about 1939 to 1941?

Mrs. Murret. Yes; I guess it was along in there. It's hard to remember those dates exactly, that's been so long ago.

Mr. Jenner. Did he live at any time at 1010 Bartholomew Street in New Orleans?

Mrs. Murret. Yes; they did. That's the house I was trying to recollect that she bought, I think, after she left this Alvar Street residence. She bought this house on Bartholomew.

Mr. Jenner. And she lived there about a year; is that right?

Mrs. Murret. I don't know how long she lived there.

Mr. Jenner. Do you recall her living at 2136 Broadway in New Orleans?

Mrs. Murret. What street?

Mr. Jenner. Broadway.

Mrs. Murret. No; I don't.

Mr. Jenner. 2136 Broadway?

Mrs. Murret. No.

Mr. Jenner. That was just a month, about the middle of August to about the 10th of September 1942.

Mrs. Murret. I know nothing of that.

Mr. Jenner. Do you recall their residing at 227 Atlantic Avenue in Algiers?

Mrs. Murret. No, I don't. That's possibly where the boys were over there. Is that an orphanage, or whatever it was?

Mr. Jenner. I don't know. Is there an orphanage over at Algiers?

Mrs. Murret. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. That's not the Bethlehem place, is it?

Mrs. Murret. No, I don't know what orphanage that was, but they were over there in Algiers, and then they were transferred from Algiers to Bethlehem down here in New Orleans.

Mr. Jenner. Where is Bethlehem located, this Bethlehem institution?

Mrs. Murret. It's way down off of St. Claude Street somewhere, way down on the other end of town. I don't think it's there any more. It could be. It was a very old place.

Mr. Jenner. I have said that she married Mr. Ekdahl in 1948. I am afraid I am wrong about that. I think that was 1945 that she married him, which squares more with your recollection.

Mrs. Murret. Yes, I think so, because that's what I thought. Lee was around 5, and you had him down as 8, and I couldn't recollect having him at 8 years old.

Mr. Jenner. You were right in your recollection. Now, what town in Texas was it that they moved to?

Mrs. Murret. I think it was Fort Worth.

Mr. Jenner. They moved to Fort Worth?

Mrs. Murret. Yes, I think so.

Mr. Jenner. Was that address 4801 Victor? Does that refresh your recollection on that?

Mrs. Murret. Well, she lived a couple of places, you know. Do you mean after she married Mr. Ekdahl and moved to Texas, to Fort Worth?

Mr. Jenner. Yes.

Mrs. Murret. I don't know the address at that time. I just don't recollect that address, because she lived in some other places too. I really don't know.

Mr. Jenner. Do you recall whether she ever lived in Dallas?

Mrs. Murret. I never knew she lived in Dallas.

Mr. Jenner. Is the town of Benbrook, Tex., familiar to you?

Mrs. Murret. No; you see, I hadn't heard from her. You see, she went from New York to Texas. That was about 2 years later, I think. I just don't know that. I remember her saying that she bought some property some place in Texas, and she couldn't keep it up, and she probably mortgaged it to this man on a115 rental basis, or something like that, and they had some trouble with that; I don't know. Don't you get tired listening to this merry-go-round?

Mr. Jenner. Mrs. Murret, lawyers don't get tired.

Mrs. Murret. It would be too bad if you did.

Mr. Jenner. We are under the impression that they moved to Dallas, Tex., first and lived on Victor Street, 4801 Victor Street, in 1945 up until 1946, and then they moved to Fort Worth.

Mrs. Murret. Oh.

Mr. Jenner. I am not attempting to give you information, now; I am just asking if you recall that, or if you ever knew that?

Mrs. Murret. Well, that could be; yes, sir; but I thought they had gone to Fort Worth myself. That's what I thought.

Mr. Jenner. You didn't hear much from her during that time, did you?

Mrs. Murret. No; during those years I didn't hear much from her. Maybe she would send a card or a picture or something like that, but we didn't correspond.

Mr. Jenner. You say she sent you a picture of the house where she was living with Mr. Ekdahl?

Mrs. Murret. Yes; and she sent me a picture of herself and the boys around Christmas time, and that's about all.

Mr. Jenner. Do you have any pictures of the family, album pictures or snapshots of Lee Harvey Oswald?

Mrs. Murret. Of Lee Harvey?

Mr. Jenner. Yes.

Mrs. Murret. No; I don't.

Mr. Jenner. Or Mr. Ekdahl.

Mrs. Murret. I have her picture with Mr. Ekdahl when they were married.

Mr. Jenner. I wonder if you would give that to your husband and let him bring that in the morning when he comes in?

Mrs. Murret. The snapshot?

Mr. Jenner. Yes; and will you look hard and see if you have any other pictures with your children taken when they were small with Lee, and that sort of thing? (The snapshot of Mr. and Mrs. Ekdahl was produced by Mrs. Murret and was marked and admitted in evidence on her affidavit as Lillian Murret Exhibit No. 1.)

Mrs. Murret. No; I don't have any of my children with Lee when he was living with us. I have Mr. and Mrs. Ekdahl. She sent that picture, where she wrote on it, "Happily married." Like I say, I can't recollect her living in Dallas, in that home in Dallas. I always thought it was Fort Worth.

Mr. Jenner. It appears now that at least during or sometime in 1946, she lived in Covington, La., at 600 West 24th Street, and at 311 Vermont Street in Covington. Now, your recollection of that is that this was in the summer of 1946; is that right?

Mrs. Murret. Yes, sir.

Mr. Jenner. And she brought her three boys together with her there; is that right?

Mrs. Murret. Yes, sir.

Mr. Jenner. At this time, her husband Ekdahl had not joined her, had he?

Mrs. Murret. Not that I know of. I assume he was out on his business, you know, while they were spending the summer over there. He came in periodically every 2 weeks, or every week, or whatever it was; I don't know.

Mr. Jenner. It was your impression that he was a research man for what company?

Mrs. Murret. A sick man?

Mr. Jenner. No; a research man.

Mrs. Murret. He did research for Texas Electric, and she told me his salary was over $1,000 a month.

Mr. Jenner. Which is a substantial amount of money; right?

Mrs. Murret. Oh, I imagine so, but sometimes you can get along on $250 better than $1,000.

Mr. Jenner. That's right. Now, let me delve into that a little bit. If it was $1,000 a month, she at that time regarded it as a very substantial income; is that right?

116 Mrs. Murret. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. And you people as well would regard that as a substantial income; is that right?

Mrs. Murret. We people?

Mr. Jenner. Yes, the Murret family.

Mrs. Murret. My family?

Mr. Jenner. Yes.

Mrs. Murret. Yes, sir; we would think we were millionaires if we had that much money, but still I think we always did a lot with our money. Our main reason was for our family. That's why my husband wanted to educate his children. That was his main reason, because he knew how tough it is in the outside world, so he wanted them at least to have that much. Of course, these are children who liked to go to school and who liked to study. You take this girl out there, she is studying all the time.

Mr. Jenner. You mean your daughter who is outside waiting for you now?

Mrs. Murret. Yes, sir; she is still studying, and Gene he is still studying. Like I said before, we all worked together to see that everybody got his chance. John was a top athlete in school, and then he went to St. Louis U.

Mr. Jenner. St. Louis?

Mrs. Murret. Yes; he was one of the few boys that ever got a scholarship to St. Louis U. for basketball, but he only went there for about a year, and they wanted him to play at Loyola, and they kept after him when he came here on a visit, so he left St. Louis and went to Loyola.

Mr. Jenner. Loyola of Chicago?

Mrs. Murret. No; Loyola of New Orleans.

Mr. Jenner. I see.

Mrs. Murret. St. Louis University, the coach there wouldn't let him play baseball, and baseball was his love. He was a very good basketball player too, but he loved to play ball. He even played with the St. Louis Cardinals on a farm team, but he saw he would never really get anywhere as an outfielder, so he quit.

Mr. Jenner. But he was good enough to play on one of the St. Louis Cardinals farm teams; is that right?

Mrs. Murret. Yes. He was a good athlete. He was good at ball, baseball and basketball, and in fact, he went to Murray, Ky. He was one of the boys selected from the South. They had a North and South game, and he was selected from the southern section. It was an all-star game of some kind. He just won a trip to Rome with the Swift Co.

Mr. Jenner. He works for the Swift Co. now?

Mrs. Murret. Yes. He and his wife are leaving this Saturday.

Mr. Jenner. How nice.

Mrs. Murret. He earned it. I mean, he didn't win it; he earned it.

Mr. Jenner. Now, you say that while Marguerite was in Covington with the three boys in the summer of 1946, that Mr. Ekdahl continued in his travels in connection with his business?

Mrs. Murret. I assume he did; that's what he said. I don't know.

Mr. Jenner. At least he wasn't there with her and the boys?

Mrs. Murret. No.

Mr. Jenner. That was your information, that she had her boys at Covington in the summer of 1946, during vacation, but that her husband Mr. Ekdahl was not in Covington that summer; is that right?

Mrs. Murret. I don't think he was. I can't say whether he was or not, because I don't know, but she said he wasn't. I assume he was on one of these trips he made in his business, and that's why she was over there with the boys, but I don't know any of that myself. I don't think I even knew she was in Covington until I met her 1 day in town.

Mr. Jenner. Here in New Orleans?

Mrs. Murret. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. And was that during that summer vacation period?

Mrs. Murret. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. And she told you then that they were in Covington?

Mrs. Murret. Yes, sir.

Mr. Jenner. Had she not tried to reach you in the meantime?

117 Mrs. Murret. No; she had not.

Mr. Jenner. Is Covington very far away?

Mrs. Murret. No.

Mr. Jenner. How far away is it?

Mrs. Murret. Oh, about 100-some-odd miles. It isn't very far away.

Mr. Jenner. Did she say anything to you at that time as to how she was getting along with her husband?

Mrs. Murret. Nothing. She just mentioned the boys being on vacation over there, and Lee becoming of school age, and she thought she would just stay there while he went to school.

Mr. Jenner. You mean the fall term, when she would put him in school in Covington, La.?

Mrs. Murret. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. And did she do that?

Mrs. Murret. I couldn't say whether he went to school there or not. The next I heard is when she left Ekdahl.

Mr. Jenner. When she left Ekdahl?

Mrs. Murret. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. Then to summarize her life with Ekdahl, she married him and she took the boys out, the two older boys, out of the orphanage and put them in military school in Mississippi; is that right?

Mrs. Murret. Yes, sir.

Mr. Jenner. At her own expense?

Mrs. Murret. So she said.

Mr. Jenner. Yes; so she said. That's what she told you?

Mrs. Murret. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. She kept Lee with her; is that right?

Mrs. Murret. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. Was he at that time around 5 years old?

Mrs. Murret. Yes, sir.

Mr. Jenner. Or maybe a little older?

Mrs. Murret. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. And she had accompanied her husband at least for a time in his travels; is that right?

Mrs. Murret. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. And she had the boy Lee with her and Mr. Ekdahl; is that right?

Mrs. Murret. Yes, sir.

Mr. Jenner. It is your impression that Ekdahl did not support Lee, but that she had to support him; is that right?

Mrs. Murret. I thought, at least she told me, that he did not support Lee either. I thought she told me that. I may be wrong on that.

Mr. Jenner. Was Ekdahl a man of formal education beyond grammar school?

Mrs. Murret. I don't know anything about Ekdahl.

Mr. Jenner. You don't know?

Mrs. Murret. No.

Mr. Jenner. But it was your impression that he was previously married and had a son; is that right?

Mrs. Murret. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. She met him here in New Orleans; is that right?

Mrs. Murret. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. You don't know under what circumstances, though, do you?

Mrs. Murret. I don't know; no, sir.

Mr. Jenner. She spoke to you nothing about the fact that he had a bad heart?

Mrs. Murret. Oh, she told me that. She said he had a bad heart; a very bad heart, I believe she said.

Mr. Jenner. And the man's sister had come down from Boston, and she approved of Marguerite, and she urged Mr. Ekdahl to marry her; is that right?

Mrs. Murret. That's right.

Mr. Jenner. And they did marry?

Mrs. Murret. Yes, sir.

Mr. Jenner. No children were born of that marriage?

Mrs. Murret. No; I don't think she was married to him very long.

118 Mr. Jenner. They were divorced in 1948, I believe; is that right?

Mrs. Murret. Well, I don't know about the date on that.

Mr. Jenner. But they weren't married very long, and that marriage was not, as far as you know, an entirely smooth one, was it?

Mrs. Murret. Well, I only know what she told me. She told me what went on.

Mr. Jenner. And you have already told us about that.

Mrs. Murret. Yes; that was the reason for the divorce.

Mr. Jenner. Had she sold her house that she had here in New Orleans at the time she married Ekdahl?

Mrs. Murret. Yes; I think she did. She sold the Alvar Street home and moved into the Bartholomew Street home, which was a small house. It was a very low-priced residence.

Mr. Jenner. At 1010 Bartholomew?

Mrs. Murret. Yes; that's right.

Mr. Jenner. And then she sold that at a profit; is that right?

Mrs. Murret. Well, that's what she said, and that was something else about her; she started sort of getting into the business of buying property and selling it and making money off of it and so forth, but things don't just work out the way you want them to sometimes, the way you would like them to work out.

Mr. Jenner. Did she also undertake to sell insurance at one time?

Mrs. Murret. She said she did. The last time she was here, she said she was selling insurance, but whether or not she did I don't know.

Mr. Jenner. You mean last fall; when she was here last fall?

Mrs. Murret. I guess it was in the fall that she was here; yes.

Mr. Jenner. That was before the assassination?

Mrs. Murret. Oh, yes.

Mr. Jenner. She said then that she was selling insurance?

Mrs. Murret. Yes. That was after we hadn't heard from them for a very long time. I didn't even know that Lee was in the service, and so forth, and then one day he called me up from the bus station here, but during that time we hadn't heard from them until he called me from the bus station here and said he was in town and wanted a place to stay. Now, my daughter's husband was going over to Texas to a coaching school, I think to coach at Beaumont High, so we asked him if he would call them when he got over there and maybe visit and find out how they were getting along, and he did telephone, but he wasn't able to go out to the house, but they told him that there had been an accident; that she had been working in a candy shop and a glass jar fell on her nose, and that she had sustained other injuries. So he told us about that, and I wrote to her, and I sent her money, and I made up a box of clothing of whatever I thought she might need and so forth, a lot of things, and sent them to her, and every week I would send what I could, $5, $10, or whatever it was.

Mr. Jenner. When was that, Mrs. Murret? Was that in 1962 or 1963?

Mrs. Murret. That was while he was in the Marines, still in the Marines, because she said at that time she was trying to get Lee out of the Marines, but his time was nearly up, and she was pleading a hardship case, to get Lee out so he could give her some support. Now, that was over the telephone, I think.

Mr. Jenner. That was a telephone conversation you had with her?

Mrs. Murret. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. Was this then in this spring; the late spring of 1959?

Mrs. Murret. Yes; I think so.

Mr. Jenner. Because he got out of the service in September of 1959.

Mrs. Murret. That's right, because after he defected here, she visited here. Now, when I talked to her over the telephone, and she told me what it was costing her financially and everything, that's when they let him out of the service, right after that, I think.

Mr. Jenner. Yes; in September of 1959.

Mrs. Murret. Yes, sir, and so then Lee came home, and she was living in this one room; so Lee stayed there 1 or 2 days, whatever it was, and then he said, "Well, this is not for me."

Mr. Jenner. Who said that?

119 Mrs. Murret. Lee said that. Lee had money that he had saved. He had saved over $1,000 or $1,400—I don't know the amount—but after he got home and stayed there 1 day, he said, "Well, this is not for me; I'm leaving."

Mr. Jenner. Lee said that?

Mrs. Murret. Yes; so he left. She thought he was coming to New Orleans; so she called me and she said that he had left by bus, and that she thought he was coming to New Orleans, and that he had worked as a runner when he was here for a while for Tujague's, and she thought he might be coming here for that reason, and that he may stop at my house, but not to tell him that she had called me, but Lee never did stop at the house. If he did, I didn't know it.

Mr. Jenner. Did he call you?

Mrs. Murret. No; he didn't call. I never heard from him, and I was waiting, and I have always felt that if he had only stopped at the house, you know, this might not have happened.

Mr. Jenner. What do you think would have happened if he had stopped by or called?

Mrs. Murret. I think we might have been able to help him get a job, or maybe we couldn't have done anything; I don't know.

Mr. Jenner. Well, you would have tried, anyhow.

Mrs. Murret. Yes; anyway, we didn't see Lee, and I had to go out that afternoon and I was under the impression, I thought maybe he did come, you know, pass by, and I asked some children in the block if they had seen somebody in the house and they said yes, that they saw someone with a small suitcase, but afterward I thought it was the Fuller brush man. I thought that afterward. So then I didn't know anything any more about Lee.

Mr. Jenner. Could we stop there a minute and go back over this? After the divorce from Ekdahl, did she continue to live in Texas?

Mrs. Murret. Yes, and that's another thing. We felt that if she could have gotten along with Ekdahl, that they would have all been together. Lee would have had someone to look up to as a father, and so forth, and things might have been different, but you can't go by what could have happened. I guess sometimes you make your own troubles.

Mr. Jenner. In any event, after Ekdahl left and they were divorced, then she remained in touch with you, but she didn't return here?

Mrs. Murret. No.

Mr. Jenner. And then, at that time, she would have had her son, Lee, and her son, John, and her son, Robert, with her; is that right?

Mrs. Murret. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. All living in in their home in Fort Worth?

Mrs. Murret. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. What, if anything, did Marguerite tell you about the way she brought Lee up; I mean with regard to whether he was to stay in the house after school, and things like that?

Mrs. Murret. Yes; she told me that she had trained Lee to stay in the house; to stay close to home when she wasn't there; and even to run home from school and remain in the house or near the house. She said she thought it would be safer to have him just do a few chores in the house, like taking the garbage cans out and things like that, than to have him outside playing when she wasn't there. She figured he wouldn't get in any trouble in the house. Maybe she thought she was making it safer for him by doing that, rather than being out with other children, but I don't know. I guess that's what happened. He just got in the habit of staying alone like that. That's probably the time that he got like that; he was with himself so much.

Mr. Jenner. I take it, however, you heard from your sister from time to time?

Mrs. Murret. What's that?

Mr. Jenner. You heard from your sister from time to time during all of this period, didn't you?

Mrs. Murret. Well, every now and then, but after she had left Ekdahl, I didn't hear from her too much. I don't know what went on. I think Robert worked at some supermarket, and so forth. He had to support the family, or120 whatever it was, and then I believe he graduated from high school, Robert did, and then I think he was in love with some little Italian girl who was a crippled girl, and she told me that the family liked Robert a lot and they were trying to get the two together to get married, but she wanted to break that up because the girl was crippled, but Robert said he loved the girl, but she was thinking that he was young and he just thought he loved the girl, and maybe if he did marry her he would find out that he didn't like her because of her being handicapped, and all that happened in there. I don't know all the details, but, anyway, Robert went in the Marines, and that ended that. He went in the Marines on his 17th birthday, as I recall.

Mr. Jenner. The same as Lee Harvey?

Mrs. Murret. Yes, sir; that must have been right after graduation. Robert was sort of a nice-looking boy, I think, but, anyway, she told me that these Italian people were trying to make a marriage between Robert and this handicapped girl. That's what she said. I don't know anything about that, really; so then Robert went in the marines, and she got a job in New York. They went to New York about that time, and she got a job with the same people that she had been working for here.

Mr. Jenner. Hosiery?

Mrs. Murret. Yes; it was the same people, but Lee didn't want to go to school over there; so he was a sort of a problem by not going to school, and one day when she was at work they came to the apartment and they got him and they took him off and put him in this place, and she had to get a lawyer, and the lawyer got him out of the place, and he told her that she had better get out of New York as fast as she could with this boy, and that's all I know about that story. And then it must have been on the way back—I didn't even know she had went to New York, but anyway, on the way back she must have come looking for a place to stay here in New Orleans, and she came to my house and we put her up for I don't know how long. It was during that time that Robert was getting out of the marines, because Robert met her at my house after she had been staying there a couple of weeks or a month, or whatever it was, and they all went back to Texas, and I didn't hear from them for a while.

Mr. Jenner. Let me interrupt you here a minute, Mrs. Murret. I will get back to that again in a moment. According to your story, when Ekdahl died, they remained in Texas until they went to New York; is that right?

Mrs. Murret. Well, I imagine that was after she separated and after Robert graduated from high school. I assume that was the time she went to New York. I don't know if I'm right on that or not.

Mr. Jenner. Does the late summer of 1952 refresh your recollection as to when she went to New York?

Mrs. Murret. 1952?

Mr. Jenner. Yes; 1952, when she went to New York.

Mrs. Murret. Well, she was living here—let's see——

Mr. Jenner. Well, she was living in Fort Worth before going to New York, I believe. Do you think that would have been in the summer of 1952?

Mrs. Murret. I can't recollect that. Maybe if you give me a lead, I might remember.

Mr. Jenner. Is the name of Ewing Street in Fort Worth, Tex., familiar to you?

Mrs. Murret. No; I don't know that one.

Mr. Jenner. Does Eighth Avenue refresh your recollection any as to an address where they lived in Fort Worth?

Mrs. Murret. I never heard from her at that address, unless that was the house that she bought, and she was having trouble with the party that bought it.

Mr. Jenner. You mean she was having trouble with the purchaser?

Mrs. Murret. Yes; he was supposed to pay rent to her. You see, she always wanted to do everything herself, and he wasn't paying her the rent, and I don't think they was paying the other, and they lost out on the deal.

Mr. Jenner. She reported that to you?

Mrs. Murret. Yes; she told me about that. Now, I don't know if that's the121 same place, the same house or not, but that was one house that she spoke about.

Mr. Jenner. Is the name Mrs. Beverly Richardson familiar to you?

Mrs. Murret. I never heard of her.

Mr. Jenner. Mrs. Llewellyn Merritt?

Mrs. Murret. I never heard of her.

Mr. Jenner. Patricia Aarons?

Mrs. Murret. I never heard of her.

Mr. Jenner. Herman Conway?

Mrs. Murret. No.

Mr. Jenner. Thomas W. Turner?

Mrs. Murret. I never heard of him.

Mr. Jenner. While Mr. Ekdahl was living with her, of course, he was supporting the family, but after he left, then that was left up to her; is that right?

Mrs. Murret. What?

Mr. Jenner. She had to support the family when Mr. Ekdahl left; is that right?

Mrs. Murret. That's right.

Mr. Jenner. She got some assistance from her sons, did she?

Mrs. Murret. Well, I think Robert was working at a supermarket, and she had to make him give her his salary, and I don't know whether John was in the Coast Guard at the time or not. I don't think he contributed anything—John, but I don't know.

Mr. Jenner. Was it your impression that about that time she was becoming increasingly despondent with life?

Mrs. Murret. I wouldn't say that. She seemed to be a person, or rather, she was a person who adjusted very easily to situations.

Mr. Jenner. She adjusted easily?

Mrs. Murret. She knew she had to do something about these things; that she had to get out and work, and so forth, to buy these boys things that they needed and to keep them going. Of course, I guess it was hard, naturally. It's hard for any woman, you know, to try to support three boys, and I don't think they ever appreciate what you do for them.

Mr. Jenner. What makes you say that?

Mrs. Murret. Well, she told me that the boys weren't helping out, I mean, John. Now, I don't know if John was married right about then or not, but I don't think he was helping out at home at all. If it had been my son, I know he would have stayed with me. He wouldn't have run out. Of course, maybe John had a family and maybe he couldn't help, I don't know.

Mr. Jenner. Did she talk to you about that, or seem despondent because her children didn't help her?

Mrs. Murret. Yes; she told me about it. Now, after Robert got married, she stayed with Robert for a while, but I think there was a little friction between her and his wife, or something. I don't know about that, except what she told me. Of course, there are always two sides to every story. I don't know. You can only repeat what one party tells you. In a way, I don't think those children showed the proper respect for their mother, and I don't think that's right regardless of the hard time she was having raising them, because I guess she was a little demanding on them at times, and I think children should have the proper respect for their parents. I know no matter what my children did, I would still love them. Mr. Murret is a good family man too, and there's nothing he wouldn't do for his children, and I have heard him tell them that no matter what happens don't you ever talk about anybody's mother, and things like that.

Mr. Jenner. Was it during this period before she moved to New York that she told you she had, as you put it, trained Lee to stay in the house?

Mrs. Murret. Well, I don't know exactly when you would say that was, but I think that's one reason why I know that Lee was so quiet; he was so much by himself, without playing with other children. She did tell me that she told Robert to come right home from school and things like that, because she thought it would be safer than being outside playing, but I don't know exactly when it was she was telling me that. I think that was while they were living122 over in Fort Worth, but anyway, she was having a hard time of it over there, and she either wrote me or called me—I don't remember which, but anyway, I told her that I would help her out, to send Lee down here for a while, and she sent Lee by train over here, and the train was about 2 hours late.

Mr. Jenner. Where did he come from at that time, from Texas?

Mrs. Murret. From Texas; yes, sir, and I asked him, I said, "Lee did you meet anyone on the train? Did you talk to anybody?" And he said, "No, I didn't talk to anybody. My mother told me not to talk to anybody." Of course, that's a good thing sometimes, not to talk to strangers, but I guess that was one of the reasons he was so much by himself. Anyway, he stayed with us for a while.

Mr. Jenner. For how long?

Mrs. Murret. About 2 weeks, 3 weeks, maybe more, until she got on her feet, and we took Lee out to ball games and bought him things, and we tried to make him happy, but it seemed like he just didn't want to get out of the house. I mean, he wouldn't go out and play. He would just rather stay in the house and read or something.

Mr. Jenner. He wouldn't want to go out and play with the other children?

Mrs. Murret. No, he wouldn't. We didn't have a television. Even though I had a husband, my sister always seemed to have more than I had. She was working, and somehow she had an automobile and a television and things that I didn't have. It was years after television had come out before we had one. We did have a radio, and Lee would take it in the back room and listen to the radio and read. He would read funnybooks and I would try to get him to go outside and play with the other children, but he wouldn't go out, so finally I just made him get out, so he did for a day or so, but then he came right back in and would go right back to reading and listening to the radio, and I practically pushed him out again, because I didn't think it was healthy for him to stay in the house all the time, just to stay in that room by himself, but finally I decided that that was what he wanted, that that was his way of life, what he wanted to do, and there wasn't much I could do about it.

We took him out after that, but he didn't seem to enjoy himself, so finally I told her to come and get him, that we didn't like for him to be there any more, because we had tried to do all we could for him. Now, maybe she thought we didn't like him, but that wasn't it. It was just that he wouldn't go out and play, and he wanted to be alone in that room all the time, and he wouldn't even talk to the other children, and he was obviously very unhappy, but anyway she came down and got him. In fact, he told her to come and get him.

Mr. Jenner. How do you know that?

Mrs. Murret. Because I saw the letter.

Mr. Jenner. He wrote a letter to her asking her to come and get him?

Mrs. Murret. Yes; I wasn't supposed to see the letter, but I did.

Mr. Jenner. You saw the letter before it was mailed?

Mrs. Murret. Yes, sir.

Mr. Jenner. And he expressed in that letter some discomfort in being at your home, did he?

Mrs. Murret. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. And he was under the impression that you didn't like him?

Mrs. Murret. I guess so, because he wrote and told her that nobody around there liked him, and here everyone was knocking themselves out for him.

Mr. Jenner. Where was your sister living at that time, in Fort Worth?

Mrs. Murret. I think so; yes.

Mr. Jenner. On the occasion that she came from New York and stopped off in New Orleans, did she stay with you for a few days?

Mrs. Murret. Well, she stayed with me until she found an apartment.

Mr. Jenner. That was in your home at 757 French Street?

Mrs. Murret. Yes, sir; and that address was changed to 809 French Street.

Mr. Jenner. How was that?

Mrs. Murret. Well, it was the same house, but they changed the numbering of that block, but it was the same residence. They changed it to the 700 block.

Mr. Jenner. And how long did she stay with you on that occasion?

123 Mrs. Murret. Well, that must have been 2 weeks, 3 weeks. She was looking for a place to stay, and Robert was coming out of the service, and so that's when she found this place over on Exchange Alley before Robert came in, and she met Robert at my house, and they went right over to the apartment at Exchange Alley that she had found, but Robert left. He wouldn't stay in New Orleans.

Mr. Jenner. How many days were you looking for an apartment for her?

Mrs. Murret. Oh, I would say about a week.

Mr. Jenner. Until she found this place on Exchange Alley?

Mrs. Murret. That's right.

Mr. Jenner. What was Lee doing during that time?

Mrs. Murret. He was going to school.

Mr. Jenner. When they came back from New York and stopped at your home and lived with you temporarily, did he go to school?

Mrs. Murret. Yes; he did. That's when she enrolled him at Beauregard Junior High.

Mr. Jenner. Would that have been in January 1954?

Mrs. Murret. I don't know.

Mr. Jenner. Well, they left New York City, I think, either on the fifth or the seventh of January 1954. Now, we have an address here in New Orleans of 1464 St. Mary Street.

Mrs. Murret. Oh, that was before the Exchange Place. She rented that from this lady who was a friend of hers.

Mr. Jenner. Was that Myrtle Evans?

Mrs. Murret. Yes; Myrtle Evans. She was a friend of hers.

Mr. Jenner. I believe she also lived for a time at 1910 Prytania, didn't she?

Mrs. Murret. I think that's right. I'm not sure about those different places, I mean, how she would move from one to the other, but she was at several places up in there before she went to Exchange Place.

Mr. Jenner. Well, we appear from our records to have them living on St. Mary Street in New Orleans in May or June of 1954, until about February 1955.

Mrs. Murret. Well, I don't know anything about that. I know Myrtle Evans was managing that apartment where she lived.

Mr. Jenner. Do you know how it was that she went to live at 126 Exchange Place in New Orleans?

Mrs. Murret. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. Was that 1954 or 1955?

Mrs. Murret. I don't know—whatever you have down there probably is the right year, but they lived at Myrtle's house first.

Mr. Jenner. Could it have been that Myrtle Evans lived, in the spring of 1954, at 1454 St. Mary Street?

Mrs. Murret. I don't know. Maybe that's right. I know this was a very old house where she lived. I was told that she had a family home—Myrtle—and that she had renovated it into a lot of apartments for tenants.

Mr. Jenner. How long did they stay at your house?

Mrs. Murret. At my house?

Mr. Jenner. Yes.

Mrs. Murret. Well, like I said, 2 weeks or 3 weeks at the most, somewhere in there.

Mr. Jenner. And you are pretty sure that they moved directly from your house into this place on Exchange Alley?

Mrs. Murret. Well, either there or to Myrtle's apartment. I don't know which, to be truthful with you.

Mr. Jenner. Now, tell me about Lee Harvey Oswald during the couple of weeks that he spent at your house. Did you notice any change in him from the time you had known him previously? He would now have been about 3 years older; isn't that right?

Mrs. Murret. Yes, sir; like I said, they had just come from New York, and she had told me about him not wanting to go to school, but she enrolled him over at Beauregard School, which wasn't too far from my home. It's a school124 on Canal Street, and it's just a few blocks after you get off of the bus from Lakeview, so she enrolled him there, and she gave him my address for the school, and I think, or I'm quite sure, that while he was there he was having trouble with some of the boys at the school.

Mr. Jenner. Now, will you tell me about that? Just tell me what you are referring to now with relation to that school.

Mrs. Murret. Well, I can only tell you what I was told. I don't know anything myself that happened, but I can tell you what he told me, or what he told her of what happened. He said they were calling him "Yankee," and so forth, names like that, and this one time he got into the bus and he sat in a seat in the Negro section, which he didn't know, because he had come from New York, and he didn't know that they sat in special seats, so he just got on the bus and sat down where he could. The bus stopped in front of the school, and you can hardly get a seat anyway, so he just ran to the bus and jumped on and got a seat, like I said, in the Negro section, and the boys jumped him at the end of the line. They jumped on him, and he took on all of them, and of course they beat him up, and so he came home, and that was the end of that. He didn't say anything to me about that.

Another time they were coming out of school at 3 o'clock, and there were boys in back of him and one of them called his name, and he said, "Lee," and when he turned around, this boy punched him in the mouth and ran, and it ran his tooth through the lip, so she had to go over to the school and take him to the dentist, and I paid for the dentist bill myself, and that's all I know about that, and he was not supposed to have started any of that at that time.

Now, at the Beauregard School at that time, they had a very low standard, and I had no children going there and never did. My children went to Jesuit High and Loyola University, but they did have a very bad bunch of boys going to Beauregard and they were always having fights and ganging up on other boys, and I guess Lee wouldn't take anything, so he got in several scrapes like that.

Mr. Jenner. These were things that Mrs. Oswald told you; is that right?

Mrs. Murret. Yes; most of it, except when he was in my home, and I observed the way he acted. He was a lonely boy most of the time, I think.

Mr. Jenner. Your children were all entered in school, were they?

Mrs. Murret. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. And did they study pretty hard?

Mrs. Murret. Oh, yes.

Mr. Jenner. Did you have the impression that Lee Harvey was doing well in school, or what was your feeling along that line?

Mrs. Murret. I think he was doing very poor work in school most of the time. Then he got to the point where he just didn't think he ought to have to go to school, and that seemed to be his whole attitude, and when I mentioned that to Marguerite, that seemed to be the beginning of our misunderstanding. She didn't think her child could do anything wrong, and I could see that he wasn't interested in going to school, because I have had children of my own going to school and they always done real well in their grades. They actually seemed to like school, but I can't say that Lee ever showed that he liked school.

Mr. Jenner. When he came with his mother from New York, did he ever discuss anything with you relative to his trip to New York?

Mrs. Murret. No; he never said anything, but my sister told me about the time they had to take him out of the apartment, when she was working, and put him in that place, and she had to get a lawyer to get him out.

Mr. Jenner. All right. Now, this boy was about 14 years of age at that time; is that right, after they returned from New York and stayed at your place?

Mrs. Murret. Yes; and then the next I heard was when he came here, and he didn't want to go to school because he thought he already knew all that they had to teach him, so she must have allowed him to go to work for Tujague's, because he had a job as a runner, going from building to building, delivering messages and things like that.

Mr. Jenner. That was in 1955, would that be about right?

Mrs. Murret. When he was here; yes.

125 Mr. Jenner. Did this boy come over to visit you occasionally when they were living in Exchange Alley?

Mrs. Murret. Yes; he did. Before he got the job with Tujague's, he liked seafood, you see, and he used to come over from school on a Friday afternoon to get his Friday dinner, because he knew I always cooked seafood on Friday, so he always came on Friday, and then he would come again on Saturday morning and I would give him money to rent a bike at City Park, and you know, he thought that was one of the greatest things he could do, and he was very happy riding a bike up in City Park. My children had a bike, but it seemed like he wanted to go up in the park rather than ride their bicycles, and sometimes I would have to get my children back or something, and I would have to give him more money so that he could keep his bike another hour.

Now, when he was going to Beauregard, Joyce, one of my daughters who lives in Beaumont——

Mr. Jenner. Beaumont, Tex.?

Mrs. Murret. Yes, sir; well, I don't think Joyce was married then. I can't think whether she was or not, but anyway, we went to the store and we bought Lee a lot of clothes that we thought he might need so he would look presentable to go to school, you know, whatever a boy needs, and when we gave them to him, he said, "Well, why are you all doing this for me?" And we said, "Well, Lee, for one thing, we love you, and another thing we want you to look nice when you go to school, like the other children." So that was that.

Mr. Jenner. Did he wear this clothing to school?

Mrs. Murret. Oh, yes; he wore the clothing that we bought him.

Mr. Jenner. Did he say anything else with regard to your purchasing this clothing for him?

Mrs. Murret. No; he never would discuss anything. He was very independent. Like one time I remember asking him a question about something, and he said, "I don't need anything from anybody," and that's when I told him, I said, "Now listen, Lee, don't you get so independent that you don't think you need anyone, because we all need somebody at one time or other," I said, "so don't you ever get that independent, that you should feel that you don't need anybody, because you do need somebody, sometime you will."

Mr. Jenner. Do you think that a little of this independence might have rubbed off from his mother, in the light of your experiences with your sister?

Mrs. Murret. Well, she was independent herself all right. She didn't think she needed anybody either, so I guess he sort of got that from her, but I know that there are times when we always need somebody, and if you don't have somebody to turn to, then you don't know what to do sometimes. I would hate to feel that I never needed anybody.

Mr. Jenner. Did Lee seem to have that propensity, that when you did things for him, that he didn't seem to want you doing anything for him?

Mrs. Murret. I don't think he seemed to be very appreciative for anything you did for him. Now, I will say this, at the time he was receiving something, like these clothes, he seemed to be very happy about it, but it didn't last any time, and he never would put it in words at least anyway. We were probably the only people that he knew as relatives. I don't think he knew anyone else in the family.

Mr. Jenner. In the Oswald family, do you mean?

Mrs. Murret. In the Oswald family or any other family. I mean, we were the only ones he knew, and I got to know him pretty well since I took care of him while she had the other two boys in this place, after she gave birth to Lee, but along with him I had these five children of my own to take care of, and I had a colored girl working for me. When John was born, I had a child that was just a few months older than John Edward, but I gave her my girl for weeks, and I was struggling along with my five, and a baby the same age as she had, you know. I tried to do all I could to help her.

Mr. Jenner. Would you recognize Lee's handwriting if you saw it?

Mrs. Murret. I don't say that I would. I may. I may have expressed it before, but I thought he had a very childish handwriting.

Mr. Jenner. Did you see his handwriting often?

126 Mrs. Murret. Only at the time when he was going to Beauregard School, with his homework.

Mr. Jenner. Without noting that you have Commission Exhibit No. 540 before you, do you recognize that handwriting?

Mrs. Murret. Wait till I get my glasses.

Mr. Jenner. All right; take your time.

Mrs. Murret. I couldn't say I recognized it. It looks a little like, something like his writing, I mean, the way he would write, but I couldn't say for sure—I couldn't swear that that was his writing.

Mr. Jenner. You couldn't swear that he wrote this?

Mrs. Murret. No.

Mr. Jenner. Does it look like what you recall his handwriting was?

Mrs. Murret. Well, if it's anything, it's even a little better than I knew him to write, I might say. I never thought he wrote very well for his age, and he was 14 then, you know. Of course, a lot of boys don't write good. Girls, you will find, are better at penmanship than boys. You ought to see my son's writing. He graduated from law school, and he don't write good either. Now, I think he was left handed.

Mr. Jenner. Now, you have caused me complications, Mrs. Murret. Commission Exhibit 540 has a series of pages which are numbered at the bottom, 148 through 157, both inclusive, purporting to be photostatic copies of a diary or the memoirs of Lee Harvey Oswald, written in his hand, and found by Irving, Tex., police and the city of Dallas police, or at least certainly by the city of Dallas police; in his room.

Mrs. Murret. Well, here's one that says that he was—you see, when he stopped in that Saturday, you know, we didn't know where he was going, but he said he was going to be stationed at Keesler Field——

Mr. Jenner. Is that Keesler Field at Biloxi?

Mrs. Murret. Yes. But someone else said that they thought that when he came to my house on that Saturday, when he stopped there, that he was coming from Atlanta, Ga., that day, but anyway, we took Lee to lunch that day and then dropped him off, if I remember right, by the customhouse up here by the river, and that's all I remember about that, and I never saw him any more after that until he turned up in Russia.

Mr. Jenner. After he defected to Russia?

Mrs. Murret. Yes, sir. I told him, I said, "Lee, if you are going to be stationed over there, you can come over weekends."

Mr. Jenner. Did he say he was going to be stationed there?

Mrs. Murret. At Keesler Field?

Mr. Jenner. Yes.

Mrs. Murret. Yes; he said he was going to be.

Mr. Jenner. And that is over at Biloxi, Miss.?

Mrs. Murret. Yes, sir; but he never did come over and see us, and he never did write. I asked him to write, but he didn't write, and I never heard any more from him. I didn't even know that he was back from Russia.

Mr. Jenner. And you didn't know that he had gone to Russia either; is that right?

Mrs. Murret. That's right; I didn't know he had gone over there at all. I didn't know he went until after he went.

Mr. Jenner. How did you learn he was in Russia? Did his mother tell you that he was in Russia?

Mrs. Murret. That he had defected, yes. That was about the time she had this accident, I remember, and then he got out of the Marines.

Mr. Jenner. Now, that was before he defected; right?

Mrs. Murret. Yes; that was before he went to Russia. He got out of the Marines and he came to see her, and he had all that money, but he didn't give her any of it, I don't think, but $10. I think he gave her $10, she told me, and then he left, supposedly to come to New Orleans, so she thought, so I didn't hear from her any more until she learned by him from letter that he was in Russia.

Mr. Jenner. So she told you that; is that right?

Mrs. Murret. She told me; yes, sir.

127 Mr. Jenner. Was the fact that he had defected prominently displayed in the New Orleans papers?

Mrs. Murret. Well, not here so much, but in Fort Worth and so forth, over there, they mentioned it; they made quite a to do about it.

Mr. Jenner. There was nothing in the New Orleans papers about it?

Mrs. Murret. I don't think. There might have been.

Mr. Jenner. Well, at least it didn't come to your attention?

Mrs. Murret. I don't think they had anything here about that at all, but they did have it a lot in the Fort Worth paper.

Mr. Jenner. Did she send any of those newspaper clippings to you?

Mrs. Murret. No; she came down here.

Mr. Jenner. To New Orleans?

Mrs. Murret. Yes, sir.

Mr. Jenner. And she told you all about it?

Mrs. Murret. She told me all about it, what she knew about it. She didn't know too much about it, she said, why he did it or anything like that, but she said that he had a right to go any place he wanted to go, I believe.

Mr. Jenner. Did she seem to think he was living in the pattern that she had brought him up in?

Mrs. Murret. What's that?

Mr. Jenner. Did she seem to think that he was living in the pattern that she had brought him up in, that is, to be independent?

Mrs. Murret. Well, it's hard to judge that. When you only have one person, or one child, maybe you do have a tendency to feel that way, but who knows what's in a person's mind. I think your mind is what really belongs to you, and I don't think anyone knows what's running through your mind. I really believe that, so I couldn't tell you how she felt about it, or how he felt about it, or what made him do the things he did. I can only tell you what I think, but that doesn't mean that I know, because I really don't. You just can't tell what's running through a person's mind. You may think you know their mind, but you don't, I don't think. I think he went over there because he wasn't satisfied with the life he was living, and maybe he wanted to see how it was over there, I guess; I don't know.

Mr. Jenner. Did you have any conversations with him about it?

Mrs. Murret. After he came back?

Mr. Jenner. Yes.

Mrs. Murret. No. Oh, I spoke about it, and he might say something once in awhile about how they lived or something, but he never did discuss it.

Mr. Jenner. Did you have any talks with your sister or with him when he was working as a delivery boy or messenger boy for Tujague's?

Mrs. Murret. No. I didn't know anything other than he was working there, and he was a runner, and that sort of thing, for them.

Mr. Jenner. Now, he had not yet graduated from high school; is that right?

Mrs. Murret. I don't believe he had graduated from high school yet; no, sir. He came out of this junior high, and like I said, I didn't even know he went to Easton. I remember one morning he came over to the house, and he said that he wanted to get on the ball team, but he didn't have any shoes and he didn't have a glove, so I said, "Well, Lee, we can fix you up," and I gave him a glove, but I don't think we had shoes to fit him. Joyce's husband sent him a pair of shoes from Beaumont, a pair of baseball shoes, and I told Lee, I said, "Lee, when you need anything, just ask me for it, and if there's a way to get it for you, we will get it." So then he got on the team, I think, but he got off as quick as he got on. I don't know why. He never discussed that with us as to why that was, and we never found out.

Mr. Jenner. He never discussed that with you?

Mrs. Murret. No; I don't think he got on the team though. He never did actually play on it, I don't think. For one thing, I don't think he was the type of boy who was too good an athlete.

Like a lot of boys, I guess they wanted him to be one of those that sit on the bench, and he didn't like to sit on the bench, so when they didn't let him play on the team and wanted him to sit on the bench, I guess he just left. I don't know that though.

128 Mr. Jenner. You think that's what happened to Lee, do you?

Mrs. Murret. I think that's what might have happened to him. I don't know though.

Mr. Jenner. Was he a competitive person?

Mrs. Murret. Was he what?

Mr. Jenner. Was he competitive?

Mrs. Murret. No; I don't think so. Like I said, at school his only remark about that was that he didn't think he had to go to school to learn these subjects, because he knew all of them. He said he wasn't learning anything, and it was just a waste of time.

I told him, I said, "Lee, that's not the idea. It's not a waste of time. You have got to go through school in order to graduate, because you need to graduate to get anywhere in this world." I told him, "You are going to have to go on to college and make something out of yourself, even if you think you know all the subjects." I think that's one of the things that Marguerite got a little put out with me about. She always wanted to let Lee have his way about everything.

Even after he came back from Russia, I talked to him about that, but he answered me the same way. He said he didn't see any use in going to school, that he knew all the subjects.

Mr. Jenner. Did your children discuss Lee in your presence?

Mrs. Murret. Did they discuss Lee?

Mr. Jenner. Yes. What did your children think of Lee?

Mrs. Murret. They loved Lee, I think. He was in my home, and he acted like any other boy would act, no different, as far as that goes. I didn't have television then, so he would eat dinner and then listen to the radio and go to bed, and get up the next morning and do the same things. Actually, the children didn't have much contact with him, because he wouldn't go out and play at all. They really loved him a lot, though. They have always loved him.

Mr. Jenner. Then eventually they went to Texas; is that right?

Mrs. Murret. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. Now, was that in the fall of 1956?

Mrs. Murret. I think so; yes.

Mr. Jenner. They left New Orleans and went to Texas in 1956; right?

Mrs. Murret. That's right. That's when he joined the Marines. I don't know what that date is, but I know he joined the Marines after they left.

Mr. Jenner. Your sister didn't tell you and Lee didn't tell you that they were about to move to Texas?

Mrs. Murret. Well, I think that's about the time that Robert came in, because the next thing she said was that Robert didn't want to stay here. He didn't want to make his home here, he said. He said New Orleans was not his home, but that his friends were in Texas, so I don't know if Robert left first, or if they all left together. In fact, I didn't know she was leaving until she rang up one day—she had a sewing machine that belonged to us, a portable sewing machine that we had loaned her, and she called one day and said she was already packed and ready to go to the train station, or whatever it was the way she was going, and all she said was, "We're leaving; come get your machine." We never did get the machine. When we went up there, the place was locked up, and we never did get it back.

Mr. Jenner. This was a portable electric sewing machine?

Mrs. Murret. Yes; she told us she was leaving right then, and to come and get it. She said she would leave it there in the house or something like that, or it's in the house or something, and that was it. Like I said, when we got over there the place was locked up and we didn't get the machine back. She had some furniture that belonged to her there, I think, so I don't know whether she took anything with her besides her clothing or not; but she left.

Mr. Jenner. And where was this she called you from, do you know?

Mrs. Murret. Well, they were over on Exchange Place at that time.

Mr. Jenner. Exchange?

Mrs. Murret. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. Did you go right over there to get the machine?

Mrs. Murret. No; I didn't. When we did go over the place was all locked up.

129 Mr. Jenner. So then that was the circumstance, as you knew it, after Robert got out of the service?

Mrs. Murret. Yes; and came to New Orleans. She thought he might live here and work and help support the family.

Mr. Jenner. But he didn't like New Orleans?

Mrs. Murret. That's right. He said all his friends were in Texas, and he wanted to move over there.

Mr. Jenner. He said he wanted to live in Texas where his friends were?

Mrs. Murret. Yes; that's what he said. He said Texas was his home, not New Orleans.

Mr. Jenner. And so they moved to Texas?

Mrs. Murret. Yes; and shortly after that—I forget when—but Robert married, and I didn't even know he was married.

Mr. Jenner. You didn't even know that?

Mrs. Murret. No.

Mr. Jenner. What kind of boy was Robert?

Mrs. Murret. I don't know too much about Robert. After they moved away, I didn't know too much about Robert, and I didn't know John too well either. There's one thing. Robert and John, they never recognized one another as brothers.

Mr. Jenner. Tell me about that.

Mrs. Murret. They were stepbrothers, but having lived together from real small children, you would think that they would love one another as brothers, you know. You would think being small children, they would accept each other as brothers and wouldn't think anything about being halfbrothers or stepbrothers.

Mr. Jenner. Except they had two different names, Pic and Oswald; right?

Mrs. Murret. Yes; that's right.

Mr. Jenner. Tell me this, Mrs. Murret: do you think that the fact that your sister Marguerite insisted on John Edward Pic retaining his Pic name despite the fact that her husband Oswald wanted to adopt him, contributed to that feeling between the two boys?

Mrs. Murret. Well, I don't think, because John was 2 years old when she married Oswald, and then Robert was born a few years after that, so I don't think that would bring that about, but that's what she told me, that Oswald wanted to adopt John, and she said, "No; John has a father, and his name is Pic, and let's leave it at Pic and let the father contribute to him."

Mr. Jenner. Well, perhaps I didn't frame my question right. You were under the impression that the boys were conscious of the difference in the name Pic as against Oswald, weren't you?

Mrs. Murret. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. And you do recall that each regarded the other as his brother; isn't that right?

Mrs. Murret. Well, I think Lee loved Robert a lot, but maybe he wasn't too fond of John. In a different way maybe he didn't love John as much as he did Robert. That's just what I think.

Mr. Jenner. How did John and Robert get along?

Mrs. Murret. I don't know. I was never in their presence too much at that age. I kept them when Mrs. Oswald gave birth to Lee, but they were little then, you know, and they seemed to be getting along all right. I had them for about a week, and I remember sitting outside and they were saying that it had better not be a girl. "Because we don't want any girls in this family."

Mr. Jenner. Oh well, that was boy talk, was it not?

Mrs. Murret. Oh, yes; but they did say, "It had better not be a girl."

Mr. Jenner. When did you first become aware that Lee had entered the Marines?

Mrs. Murret. Well, not until he came in that Saturday.

Mr. Jenner. When he wanted to be stationed at Keesler Field?

Mrs. Murret. That's right, that's what he said when he came through on a Saturday, but then I never heard any more from Lee at all.

Mr. Jenner. Now, you have already touched on some information regarding130 when he went to Russia. Marguerite communicated with you about the fact that he was in Russia; is that right?

Mrs. Murret. Well, like I said, my son-in-law contacted her because we hadn't heard from her in a very long time, so he looked in the telephone book over there and found her number.

Mr. Jenner. What is your son-in-law's name?

Mrs. Murret. Emile O'Brien. He called her and he told us that she said that she had this accident, like I told you before, so I called her, I think, or her brother—I can't remember which. Anyway, we sent her a box of clothes at Christmas time, anything that we could think of, and then I sent her money at different times during the week, as much as I could afford and so forth, and she said she was trying to get this hardship discharge for Lee so he could leave the Marines and come home.

It was pretty near time for him to get out, but when he came in, he only stayed there for 2 days at her house, or 1 day, or whatever it was, and he said, "Well, this is it; this is not for me," and he left, and that's when she called me and she said she thought he was coming to New Orleans and that he would be coming by bus, she thought, and that maybe he would be coming to my house, but for me not to tell him that she had called me, but I never saw Lee or anything.

Mr. Jenner. Did he contact you at all?

Mrs. Murret. No; I never saw Lee or never heard any more from him until the next thing I knew was when she told me she received this letter, I think, from Russia.

Mr. Jenner. She called you and told you about that?

Mrs. Murret. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. Now, during all this time that he was in the Marines, he didn't write you, did he?

Mrs. Murret. I never heard from him; no, sir.

Mr. Jenner. The only time he saw you was on that one Saturday?

Mrs. Murret. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. And when he was here on that Saturday, he told you he was going to be stationed at Keesler Field.

Mrs. Murret. That's right.

Mr. Jenner. Did he say anything about what his experiences had been in the Marines?

Mrs. Murret. He didn't say anything. It was a rush affair. He came up and rang the bell, and he was in uniform, and he said, "What do you think, the people on the bus thought I was a cadet, and here I am a big Marine." We took him out to lunch, and we left him off at the Custom House, like I said, and that was the end of that. But, maybe you might like to know this: before Lee went into the Marines, while he was in New Orleans and they were going to live on Exchange Alley, I think he tried to join the service then, a branch of the service. I don't know which branch or anything, but anyway, he must have gone to the induction station and they told him that he could sign up if his mother would sign. Now, he met her in town, I think, and he was all excited and he wanted to join the Marines or whatever it was he was going to join. I can't remember if it was the Marines, and he said, "If you will sign for me, I can go." And she said, "No; I am not going to sign for you," so he was very indignant about the whole thing, and he told her that she was stopping him from going in, so then that went around for a while, and then he came back and told her that if she would sign an affidavit, go to the lawyer's office and sign an affidavit, that he would be able to get in, so she went around to the lawyer's office with him, and I think it was in Mr. Sere's office—he has expired since then—and Mr. Sere told her, "Well, since you can't do anything with him, and if that's what he wants to do, well, go ahead and let him go." So the affidavit was signed for him to go in the service, so then the next step was that when he got over to the place—I don't know whether it was the auditorium or not that they sent him over with his suitcase—but the person who was in charge there wouldn't let him sign up, wouldn't let him go, and that was that.

Mr. Jenner. You mean they wouldn't take the affidavit? They wouldn't admit him on the affidavit?

131 Mrs. Murret. That's right, and so that upset him for a while, but he said very little about it. And then he met someone in this branch of the service who had taken a liking to him, and he used to go over there and converse with him about different things in the service and so forth. I don't know who he was or what they talked about or anything like that, though.

Mr. Jenner. Was Lee an industrious boy as a high school boy? He didn't seem to have worked much after school.

Mrs. Murret. Well, of course, he was a young kid. I don't know what he did at home. I know I never did have anything for him to do at my house.

Mr. Jenner. Did your boys work after school when they did go to school?

Mrs. Murret. My boys?

Mr. Jenner. Yes.

Mrs. Murret. My boys—let's see. They always went to school, and during vacation time, well they had paper routes and things like that.

Mr. Jenner. That's what I mean.

Mrs. Murret. One of my boys had a paper route, and he bought about $900 worth of bonds, because I figured that I didn't need his money to feed him, and by buying a bond every 2 weeks, he would have enough to go to school later on, and it really came in handy, and then he used to pass out public service bills. One of my boys had three jobs at one time. He used to go to Loyola, where he was studying sociology, and he was given a fellowship to work in Father Victor's office. He was a priest, and he helped the father write a book, so he was given a fellowship that last year, but he always worked his way, and Marilyn had went to school and she had worked her way through school too, and Joyce, we helped pay her way through, but she had to leave school for 1 year and go to work in order to get back again to school, but now Lee just didn't think he had to go to school. He said that he was smart enough and that he couldn't learn anything at school, that nobody could teach him anything. I think his mother thought he was very smart too, evidently, you know, because she always upheld his brightness, and he was bright, you know.

Mr. Jenner. Did he do a lot of reading when he stayed at your home?

Mrs. Murret. Well, he didn't do much reading at my house, but she said he stayed in the room up there where they lived and read all the time, and that he had this little radio that he had taken apart and fixed, and so forth, things like that, and he said he didn't have any friends because it was no use, because they didn't like to do the things he liked to do.

Mr. Jenner. Who didn't like to do the things he liked to do?

Mrs. Murret. Lee's friends wouldn't like to do the things Lee liked to do. Lee said that. Most of the boys had money, you know, and went out on the weekends with girls and so forth, but Lee couldn't afford those things, so he didn't mix, but he did like to visit the museums and walk around the front and go to the park and do things like that, and you very seldom can get a teenager to do that kind of thing these days not even then. They don't all like that type of life, you know, but that's what he liked.

Mr. Jenner. Was he inclined to want to be by himself?

Mrs. Murret. What's that?

Mr. Jenner. Was he inclined to want to be by himself?

Mrs. Murret. Well, he said that that was the reason why, because I asked him, "Why don't you go out with the boys from school?" and so forth, and he said, "Well, they don't like the same things I like." But I do remember when he was at my house he used to call some little girl all the time and talk to her quite a long time on the telephone, and I think he made friends with some boy at Beauregard School when he was in the Sea Scouts for a while. He had a uniform and everything. He didn't stay in there too long, I don't think.

Mr. Jenner. He wasn't in the Sea Scouts too long?

Mrs. Murret. No; he wasn't.

Mr. Jenner. Is there a Liberty Hotel here in New Orleans?

Mrs. Murret. There could be.

Mr. Jenner. Or the Hotel Liberty?

Mrs. Murret. There might be; I don't know.

Mr. Jenner. What kind of apartment was that that your sister Marguerite had on Exchange Alley?

132 Mrs. Murret. Well, that was a pretty nice apartment she had there.

Mr. Jenner. On Exchange Alley?

Mrs. Murret. Yes; that was a nice apartment that she had. A lot of people would be surprised, because with all those poolrooms and everything down below, it looks like a pretty rough section, but she had a real nice apartment. I know we read in the papers about, you know, condemning that section where the boy lived, and so forth, you know, and all that sort of stuff, but they would be surprised at how nice an apartment that was up there that they had. A lot of people like to live in the French Quarter just because it's the Vieux Carre, and because of that reason rents are pretty high.

Anyway, her rent was considered reasonable. She had her own bedroom, and she had a large living room, and breakfast room and bath. It was a very nice place, and she fixed it up real nice. Lee had the bedroom, and my sister used to sleep on the studio couch and she found the apartment really convenient, being right off of Canal Street and everything. If she wanted to go to the movie, it was just down the block, and if she wanted to go to any other stores, she was right in that area where she could go, so actually it was economical to live that close to Canal Street, so she actually saved money that way, she told me.

Of course, they had these poolrooms and so forth in that section, but I don't think that Lee ever went into those places, because he never was a boy that got into any trouble. For one thing, he never did go out. We all knew that he should have been going out, but he stayed in and read or something. The average teenager who was going to school at Beauregard would have probably been in there shooting pool and things like that, but he didn't do that. His morals were very good. His character seemed to be good, and he was very polite and refined. There was one thing he did: he walked very straight. He always did, and some people thought that was part of his attitude, that he was arrogant or something like that, but of course you can't please everybody.

Mr. Jenner. But he did have a good opinion of himself, did he not?

Mrs. Murret. Oh, yes; he did.

Mr. Jenner. Did you hear from him when he was in Russia?

Mrs. Murret. One time I heard—it was a postcard, and I think it was the last Christmas that he spent in Russia, and he wrote this postcard, and all he had on it was, "Merry Christmas," and he said on it, "Write to my mother," and he gave me the box number on the card. Now, I wanted to keep this card, but I had the children at the house at the time, and I laid the card on the side, and I didn't copy the address when I did write out a postcard to send to him, and in the meantime Gene——

Mr. Jenner. That's your son Gene?

Mrs. Murret. Yes; he was at the seminary, and they were saving foreign stamps in connection with something over at the seminary, so he took that card with him, and after I had written the card to Lee, the children tore it up, so I didn't have the address any more.

When I wrote to Lee—I didn't want to write anything in a letter, you know, so I just wrote it on an open card, but the children tore that up and I lost the address, so I couldn't write to him at that point.

Mr. Jenner. You did write a card, but your children tore it up?

Mrs. Murret. Well, my grandchildren; it was just a postcard, you know.

Mr. Jenner. So there wasn't any communication between you or any member of your family and Lee while he was in Russia, is that right?

Mrs. Murret. That's right. We just got that one card from Lee, and I never answered it because the card was destroyed before I could mail it.

Mr. Jenner. When next did you hear about Lee? I mean now, before you saw him, when next did you hear about him?

Mrs. Murret. Well, I just heard that he was over in Russia, that he had defected to that country, but they came to New Orleans after that, and then they went back to Texas.

Mr. Jenner. You mean Marguerite?

Mrs. Murret. Yes; they were over here after that.

Mr. Jenner. Did she live in New Orleans for a while then?

Mrs. Murret. No.

Mr. Jenner. She just came for a visit?

133 Mrs. Murret. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. Did she stay with you?

Mrs. Murret. She stayed with me; yes.

Mr. Jenner. And you had discussions during that time about his going to Russia?

Mrs. Murret. Well, not too much.

Mr. Jenner. What statements were made, if any? I mean, what was your impression?

Mrs. Murret. Well, she seemed kind of upset about it. I mean, she tried to get him to get back to the States, but she said he didn't talk to her over the telephone.

Mr. Jenner. You mean she tried to reach him by telephone?

Mrs. Murret. Yes, sir. The paper office over there in Fort Worth was the one who contacted Lee at the hotel over there, but he didn't talk. He hung up. I believe Robbie tried to get him back, and so forth, but that's all I know about it. So then we didn't hear any more from her after she left here. She said she was going to get lost.

Mr. Jenner. She said that to you?

Mrs. Murret. Yes. She said nobody was going to know where she was going.

Mr. Jenner. Why?

Mrs. Murret. I don't know why, so then I didn't hear from her any more until one day the telephone rang and I answered the phone, and Lee said, "Hello, Aunt Lillian," and I didn't recognize his voice, and not thinking about Lee, you know, and I have other nephews, and I said, "Who is this?" and he said, "This is Lee," and I said, "Lee?" and he said, "Yes."

I said, "When did you get out? When did you get back? What are you doing?" He said, "I have been back since about a year-and-a-half now," and I said, "Well, I'm glad you got back," and he said, "I'm married, and I got a baby." I think he said she was 14 months old, so anyway, he said, "Would you put me up for a while?" And he said, "I am down here trying to find a job; would you put me up for a while?" And I said, "Well, we will be glad to, Lee," but then I started thinking, because if he had a wife and child, I would have to make other arrangements maybe, and so I asked him, I said, "Lee, are you alone?" and he said, "Yes," and I said, "Well, come right on out."

Mr. Jenner. This was in May or April 1963; is that right?

Mrs. Murret. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. Just about a year ago?

Mrs. Murret. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. Do you remember whether it was May or April, which month it was.

Mrs. Murret. It was way after Easter, I know. It was possibly the week after Easter.

Mr. Jenner. All right. Now, he arrived at your home; is that right?

Mrs. Murret. Yes, he took the streetcar and bus, I suppose, to be coming to my house, and he came out to the house and he was very poorly dressed.

Mr. Jenner. How was he dressed?

Mrs. Murret. He just had on a sportshirt, and a very poorly pair of pants.

Mr. Jenner. Did he have a suit coat on?

Mrs. Murret. A suit coat?

Mr. Jenner. Yes.

Mrs. Murret. No, he didn't.

Mr. Jenner. Was your husband home?

Mrs. Murret. No.

Mr. Jenner. Was anybody other than you home?

Mrs. Murret. No.

Mr. Jenner. What luggage did he have when he arrived at your home?

Mrs. Murret. I don't think he came with anything over to the house. He could have one of these bags, I mean when he came to my home from the bus station.

Mr. Jenner. Now, this is particularly important to us. Let me take you back now to just a year ago, and tell me first of all, as to your recollection of whether he had any luggage with him when he arrived at your house.

134 Mrs. Murret. Well, I asked him over the telephone where he was, and he said he was at the bus station, and when I asked him to come out, he came right on out, and when he came into my house, I think he was only carrying just a little handbag, they call it.

Mr. Jenner. What color was it?

Mrs. Murret. Possibly it was brown.

Mr. Jenner. Brown?

Mrs. Murret. I think so.

Mr. Jenner. What kind of material was it?

Mrs. Murret. What the handbag was made of?

Mr. Jenner. Yes.

Mrs. Murret. I think it was just cloth.

Mr. Jenner. A cloth bag?

Mrs. Murret. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. Did he have it in just one hand?

Mrs. Murret. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. It was not a Marine duffelbag or anything like that?

Mrs. Murret. Oh, no.

Mr. Jenner. It wasn't too large, then?

Mrs. Murret. No; it was small.

Mr. Jenner. The witness indicates about 14 inches.

Mrs. Murret. It was just an ordinary bag, like athletes use to put their clothes in, something like that.

Mr. Jenner. And that's all he had on that occasion? You are sure of that?

Mrs. Murret. When he arrived at the house; yes, sir. But he had things over at the bus station.

Mr. Jenner. I see.

Mrs. Murret. He had a duffelbag and some boxes over there, I know.

Mr. Jenner. How do you know that?

Mrs. Murret. How do I know that?

Mr. Jenner. Yes.

Mrs. Murret. Because I asked Mr. Murret to go over to the bus station and pick up all that stuff and bring it back to the house, which he did, and they put it in the garage. He wanted to leave it there until he found an apartment.

Mr. Jenner. And did Mr. Murret go to the bus station with Lee?

Mrs. Murret. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. That evening?

Mrs. Murret. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. In your automobile?

Mrs. Murret. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. And he picked up the materials at the bus station and other packages; is that right?

Mrs. Murret. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. Were you home when they came back from the bus station?

Mrs. Murret. I might have been inside. I didn't go into the garage, if that's what you mean, but that's where they put the things, in the garage.

Mr. Jenner. Did you see anything in the garage eventually?

Mrs. Murret. Well, I saw a duffelbag out there, and I saw ordinary cardboard boxes with things in them, and I don't know what was in anything. It had U.S. Marine written over it.

Mr. Jenner. Over the duffelbag?

Mrs. Murret. Yes, sir.

Mr. Jenner. How many duffelbags were there?

Mrs. Murret. Quite a few, I think.

Mr. Jenner. More than two duffelbags?

Mrs. Murret. I could be wrong, but I think there were more.

Mr. Jenner. Would you say that there were at least two duffelbags, and that there could have been more than two?

Mrs. Murret. Yes. I think some of the boxes must have contained baby clothes and things like that, and in fact, I was wondering how in the world he got all of that stuff on the bus. I never did ask him, but he really had a load of stuff with him. It was all there at the bus station though.

135 Mr. Jenner. Did he have any long packages with him?

Mrs. Murret. I wouldn't know that. Do you mean any visible long packages?

Mr. Jenner. Yes.

Mrs. Murret. I didn't see any.

Mr. Jenner. These cardboard boxes, were they ordinary cardboard boxes that a person would pack things in?

Mrs. Murret. Yes; I guess there were clothes in those.

Mr. Jenner. Did he have any long flat package with him?

Mrs. Murret. I didn't see any.

Mr. Jenner. Did you ever see any package wrapped in unbroken or tan wrapping paper?

Mrs. Murret. I don't think. Like I said, I knew there were all kinds of things back in there, all bunched up, more or less. Everything was in such a little space back there, but it was all together, and my washing machine is out there, but I never one time pried into or disarranged any of that stuff or anything like that. I figured that wasn't any of my business.

Mr. Jenner. Did you see any package that stood up on end at all?

Mrs. Murret. I didn't see any like that; no.

Mr. Jenner. Anything that looked like, oh, say, a tent pole, long and hard?

Mrs. Murret. No; I didn't see anything that looked like that. There were just some boxes and duffelbags and bundles that I saw, and I do know one time he was back there when I was back there and he pulled out a Russian cap that they wear in Russia, and boots, you know, these leather Russian boots, but that's all I saw.

Mr. Jenner. Did the Russian cap have any insignia on it, or anything like that?

Mrs. Murret. Yes; the Russian cap had fur on it, like the Russians wear in cold weather.

Mr. Jenner. Did it have any insignia on it, or a Red star, or hammer and sickle or anything like that?

Mrs. Murret. No; not that I saw. What struck me as odd that was that Lee didn't seem to have anything to wear. I told him, "Lee, you don't look too presentable. I am going to buy you some clothes." My boys were all big, all over 6 feet, so nothing they had would fit Lee, so he said no, that he had a lot of things, but that they were all packed. He said that's all right, but all he had on at the time was a T-shirt and pants, and I think he had only about two T-shirts with him.

Mr. Jenner. You say he had no suit coat?

Mrs. Murret. No; and only one pair of shoes. I even offered to buy him a pair of shoes, but he said no, that he had some shoes packed away.

Mr. Jenner. Did he ever get them out?

Mrs. Murret. No, he didn't get them out. He said he just wanted to put up there for a few days, you see, because he was trying to find a job, he told me, and then he said he would send for Marina, his wife, and the child, and I asked him to tell us what she looks like, you know, to describe her, and he said, "Well, she's just like any other American housewife." He said, "She wears shorts," and so forth, just like any other American housewife, and he said he would have to have a newspaper so he could scan the want ads and try to find himself a job, and so every morning he would get up and go through the newspaper looking for a job, and he would go out every morning with his newspaper, and he wouldn't come back until the afternoon, until supper time. I had supper anywhere from 5:30 to 6 o'clock, and he was there on time every day for supper, and after supper he didn't leave the house. He would sit down about 6:30 or 7 o'clock, and look at some television programs, and then he would go right to bed, and he did that every day while he was at the house, and so then on the first Sunday he was there, he was talking—we were talking about relatives, and he said to me, "Do you know anything about the Oswalds?" and I said, no, I said that I didn't. I said, "I don't know any of them other than your father, and I saw your uncle one time." I said, "I don't know anything about the family; I don't know them," so he said, "Well, you know, I don't know any of my relatives." He said, "You are the only one I know."

Now, this was on a Sunday, and Lee had come to my house on a Monday.136 Now what he didn't tell me was that on Sunday he must have gone to the cemetery where his father was buried. That's right at the end of the Lakeview line, where I live. He went to the cemetery. I guess he went to ask the person in charge about the grave. Anyway, he found it, and while he was there he saw someone who knew the Oswalds. I didn't get whether she was related or not, but they got to talking about the family some way. I don't know what all they talked about, but anyway, Lee looked in the paper and finally he found this job—I don't know where it was, but it was up on Rampart Street, and they wanted someone to letter.

Mr. Jenner. To letter?

Mrs. Murret. To do lettering work, yes, and so he called this man and the man said to come on out, so he went on out there to see about this job.

First, while he was waiting for the appointment time, he sat down and tried to letter, and well, it was a little sad, because he couldn't letter as well as my next door neighbor's 6-year-old child, but I didn't say anything, so when he got back he said, "Well, I didn't get the job." He said, "They want someone who can letter, and I don't know how to do that."

So that's when he got into the subject of the Oswald family again, and he sat down and took the telephone book, and he called all the Oswalds in the telephone book until he came to the one person who was the right Oswald, and this was an elderly lady living in Metairie. She was the wife of one of the Oswalds, so he told her—he had a map; he always carried a map with him to find directions. If he wanted to go to a certain place, he would never ask you how to get there. He would always take this map and mark the route out himself.

So he went to see this lady, and she was the wife of one of the brothers in the Oswald family, and she told him that everybody was dead, I think, and she gave him a picture of his father, and she gave him some other pictures, and then she invited him back. He said she was a very nice lady, and was very, very happy, but I don't think he ever went back to see her.

So the next day, Monday, well, he went back to his job hunting again, and he continued that way until one morning he saw this job with the Riley Coffee Co., and he went down and applied and he got the job, and he came home waving the newspaper, and he grabbed me around the neck, and he even kissed me, and he said, "I got it; I got it!"

Mr. Jenner. He was quite happy that he had gotten work?

Mrs. Murret. Yes; I said, "Well, Lee, how much does it pay?" and he said, "Well, it don't pay very much." He said, "It don't pay very much, but I will get along on it."

I said, "Well, you know, Lee, you are really not qualified to do anything too much. If you don't like this job, why don't you try to go back to school at night time and see if you can't learn a trade or whatever you think you can prepare yourself to do." And he said, "No, I don't have to go back to school. I don't have to learn anything. I know everything." So that's the way it was. I couldn't tell him any more. I had told him what I thought he should do, but if he thought he was smart enough, then there was nothing else I could do.

Mr. Jenner. Did you get the impression when you were talking along these lines that he really believed he was that smart?

Mrs. Murret. He believed that he was smart; yes, sir.

Mr. Jenner. You don't think he was spoofing you?

Mrs. Murret. No; I think he really thought he was smart, and I don't think he envied anybody else. He thought he was very smart, and I don't think he envied anyone else, because he thought he knew it all, I guess. He didn't think he had to have a profession or anything else. We didn't even know when he left this job.

Mr. Jenner. Well, before we get to that, while he was living with you, did he read while he was home at night?

Mrs. Murret. Did he read?

Mr. Jenner. Yes.

Mrs. Murret. No.

Mr. Jenner. He didn't read any books?

Mrs. Murret. You see, he went out all day. He would get up and leave early137 in the morning. He wouldn't eat any breakfast. I would try to fix him an egg and bacon or something like that, but he didn't want anything to eat for breakfast and he wouldn't take a thing. We always eat a big breakfast in our family, but he wouldn't eat a thing. He would just get dressed and go out with his newspaper to look for a job, and come home in time for supper and then he would sit around a while and watch television and then go to bed, and he followed that same pattern all while he was with us, until he got this job with the Riley Coffee Co.

Mr. Jenner. Did he ever talk to you about Russia during that time, his life in Russia, and how he felt about it?

Mrs. Murret. No; the only thing he spoke about was the relatives. He said in Russia all the relatives knew one another and he said they all lived together, and he said if one comes in and he wants to stay overnight, that they will put him up in a corner, or help him out with clothes and so forth, but of course he worked in a factory while he was over there.

Mr. Jenner. Did he tell you that?

Mrs. Murret. Well, he did tell me he worked in a factory and he did work around the machinery, but that's all he told me about that, but then when he got this job with the Riley Coffee Co. and started to work there, he said, well, that was no different than any other factory in Russia. I said, "Well, what do you mean by that?" He said, "Well, the equipment was just as bad, the machines, and the work conditions were not any different from Russia," but that's all he would say about it. We didn't talk about it too much.

Mr. Jenner. Do you mean he inferred that the machinery at the Riley Coffee Co. was outdated as compared with the machinery in Russia?

Mrs. Murret. Yes; as compared with the machinery in Russia, and he said you had to work hard. He said they work you hard at the plant.

Mr. Jenner. Did he say anything about his reaction to Russia?

Mrs. Murret. No; he never spoke about Russia that way. He would only talk when you would ask him a question, that's all. He wouldn't ever tell you anything. When he first came in and stayed with us. I asked him a few things about Russia, but he wouldn't talk much about it. He never expressed an opinion about Russia at all. About all he would say was that they were just about like any other people. That's about all he would say.

Mr. Jenner. He didn't talk then about his views on the Russian government?

Mrs. Murret. No; not to me. There was no time really. The way things were, like I said, he would come home in time for supper and then watch a little television and go to bed, and he never spoke about anything.

Mr. Jenner. Did he ever discuss his life in the Marines with you?

Mrs. Murret. No; he never talked about that either. He did say that he was wanting to get out of Russia so that he could bring his wife and child over to this country, and he said the Immigration Department loaned him $365 and some odd cents, to use to get out of Russia, and he said he worked for the Dallas or Fort Worth, for some photographer in there, one of those places—I forget which—but he did say that he worked until he paid it all back, and I said, "If you made that much money on that job, why did they let you go?" And he said, "Well, they didn't want a third man on the job," or something like that.

Mr. Jenner. They didn't want a third man on the job?

Mrs. Murret. That's what he said, that they didn't want a third man on the job.

Mr. Jenner. And you say that was in Dallas that he worked for this photographer?

Mrs. Murret. I think it was Dallas that he said; yes. It was either Dallas or Fort Worth. I think it was Dallas. He said he liked the job all right, but he said they let him go because they didn't want a third man. Now, I don't know if that's a true story or not. So then he came here to look for a job, and he said when he found a job, that he would have Marina and the child to come over here. I think before that time Marina had called, but he hadn't found anything then, so when he called and told her he had this job, she must have been all packed and everything, because they got here so quick.

Mr. Jenner. Well, did you hear him talk to her over the telephone?

Mrs. Murret. Well, he spoke in Russian, in the Russian language.

138 Mr. Jenner. Did you say anything to him about that?

Mrs. Murret. Did I say anything about him speaking to her in Russian?

Mr. Jenner. Yes.

Mrs. Murret. No; I didn't, but I did wonder about it, here was a man speaking in Russian who was an American, and he had had his wife over in this country for a year and a half, he said, and I did wonder why he didn't try to teach her English, but anyway, he called her after he got the job, and he got right off the phone and said, "I am going out and look for an apartment." So sure enough he found an apartment the very first day, and he came back and he said, "I have found an apartment," and I think it was $65 a month, he said the rent was. Then he told me about a Mrs. Paine who he said had been very nice to Marina who was going to bring Marina on down with the baby, and he said, "I would like to get a very nice apartment with an extra room so if Mrs. Paine wants to stay a few days, we will have a place for her to stay." And I wondered about that too, renting an expensive apartment like he had in mind, but apartments were hard to find about that time, and I told him, "If you have a nice apartment, I think you had better keep it, because it's just temporary," and it was a nice apartment, or at least that's what he told me. He said, "Do you know how I got that apartment?" And I said, "No, I don't," and he said, "Well, I'll tell you. I rode around a while, and I decided to stop at Myrtle's house——"

Mr. Jenner. That's Myrtle Evans?

Mrs. Murret. Yes, sir.

Mr. Jenner. All right, go ahead.

Mrs. Murret. Well, he said he stopped at Myrtle's house and went up to the door, and she came to the door but she didn't recognize him, she didn't recognize Lee.

Mr. Jenner. He was telling you this; is that right?

Mrs. Murret. Yes; he told me how he did that, and he said he asked Myrtle did she have an apartment, that he was looking for an apartment for his wife and baby who were coming from Texas, and so Myrtle said, "Well, I'm sorry, but I only have an apartment on the second floor, and I don't think that would be good, you know, for your wife." Lee said to her, "Do you know who I am?" and she said, "No." And he said, "I am Lee Oswald." She said, "Well, don't tell me! Lee, I would never have recognized you." She said, "The last I heard of you from your aunt, she told me you were in Russia," because I did see Myrtle one day and she knew me. I never was what you would call a friend of Myrtle, but of course she knew who I was, because we got to know each other at a card party where I was working at Jesuit's, and she asked about Lee at that time, and I told her that Lee had defected to Russia. So she told Lee that the last time she had heard of him, he was in Russia, and he said, "Well, but I am back, and I am married to a Russian girl." So Myrtle says, "Well, come on, Lee," and I think she gave Lee some lunch, and then she decided to help him find an apartment.

She told him, "We are not going to a real estate office, because prices are high, and I know because I manage apartments myself, so we will just ride in and out the streets and see what we can find." So they got in her car and went riding up Magazine Street, and there was a sign on a house, apartment for rent, and so they went and knocked and inquired about the apartment, and the lady said how much it was, and it was very clean with a new stove and a new refrigerator, and it was newly wall papered and it had a floor furnace and a large living room and a bedroom and bath connecting the bedroom, and another small room and kitchen and a front porch, and a closed-in yard, and so Myrtle said to Lee, "Lee, this is great. You had better take this place." Well, Lee said, "Well, I don't know. The ceilings are high and Marina doesn't like high ceilings," but she said, "Well, I think you had better get this place, because it's all you can afford," so he said he would take it. But I don't think Marina ever liked high ceilings, but anyway, after he called Marina, then they came in on Saturday.

Mr. Jenner. Excuse me for interrupting, but before we get them coming in, did he ever say anything to you as to why he left Russia?

Mrs. Murret. Did he say why he left Russia?

139 Mr. Jenner. Yes.

Mrs. Murret. He never did say why; no, sir. I was always under the impression that he was just tired of being over there and wanted to come back. We were trying to find out how in the world he got out with a Russian wife, and I asked him that question, and he told me that Immigration had loaned him the money, and he said that Marina's uncle had helped them to get out, and that he was a retired army general.

Mr. Jenner. Did you have the impression that he was, oh, never quite satisfied with anything when he was in Russia, that when he was over there, he didn't like it?

Mrs. Murret. Well, he didn't say that to me.

Mr. Jenner. All right, now you say that Marina then came to New Orleans after he had called and said that he had found a job; is that right?

Mrs. Murret. Yes; she came with Mrs. Paine.

Mr. Jenner. Did Mrs. Paine drive her?

Mrs. Murret. Yes; they came in Mrs. Paine's car. In fact, I think he got that apartment possibly on a Thursday.

Mr. Jenner. At 4905 Magazine Street?

Mrs. Murret. Yes, sir; Thursday or Friday, or whatever it was.

Mr. Jenner. That was the ninth of September 1963; is that right?

Mrs. Murret. I guess that was the date.

Mr. Jenner. Did Lee move in on Monday?

Mrs. Murret. No; Lee moved in right away, on Saturday. In fact, he moved in on the 10th, I think, or the 9th. Anyway after he got it, he moved in himself the next day, and then Marina came in on the Saturday.

Mr. Jenner. Well, Saturday was the seventh, Sunday was the eighth, and Monday was the ninth.

Mrs. Murret. Of May?

Mr. Jenner. Oh, I am looking at September; I'm sorry. Now, let's see. The 9th of May was on a Thursday, and that's when he got the apartment, the 9th of May, and he moved in the next day; is that right?

Mrs. Murret. That's right, and he came back to my house on that Saturday morning.

Mr. Jenner. That's the 11th?

Mrs. Murret. Yes; and Marina and Mrs. Paine were coming in on Saturday, and they arrived there about 3 o'clock in the afternoon, around that time, and then he took all the things he had out in the garage over to the apartment.

Mr. Jenner. Were you present when he did that?

Mrs. Murret. I went to see the apartment.

Mr. Jenner. But were you present when he took the things out of your garage?

Mrs. Murret. You mean in the garage?

Mr. Jenner. Yes.

Mrs. Murret. No; I wasn't.

Mr. Jenner. You didn't get any better look at all the things that he had in the garage than you had that first day when your husband brought that stuff from the bus station and it was put in the corner of the garage?

Mrs. Murret. No; I didn't. I was busy on the inside of the house when he took all that stuff over to the apartment, because we were all anxious to see—not all, but Marilyn and myself, wanted to see the apartment, so inasmuch as we had to bring the things up there, he loaded the car.

Mr. Jenner. Your car?

Mrs. Murret. Yes; our car. Mr. Murret drove the car up there.

Mr. Jenner. Did you see them put the things in the car?

Mrs. Murret. No; but they did put everything in the car.

Mr. Jenner. Did you see them do that?

Mrs. Murret. No; but Mr. Murret helped. I knew he was doing that. He had to do that. I didn't do it. I just wanted to go over there that first day and see the apartment, so I was trying to finish up inside, and I just noticed that he was loading the car, and that's something else, the reason why Mr. Murret is considered just such a gentleman. No woman in his presence ever picks up a package or anything like that.

140 Mr. Jenner. A woman never picks up a package in the presence of your husband?

Mrs. Murret. That's right, he always does it. So anyway, we brought Lee up to the apartment, and he was so happy about the place. He thought it was a most beautiful place, and we thought it was nice too, but after they got everything out of the car, we just left.

Mr. Jenner. Did you see them taking things out of the car and bringing them into the apartment?

Mrs. Murret. Yes; but we didn't help them.

Mr. Jenner. Was your husband helping to unload the car?

Mrs. Murret. Oh, yes; he was taking the things out himself.

Mr. Jenner. You saw him doing that?

Mrs. Murret. Oh, yes; they had a lot of locker space in that apartment, and Lee was putting everything in this one big locker, I think.

Mr. Jenner. Did your husband have any luggage?

Mrs. Murret. Luggage?

Mr. Jenner. Yes.

Mrs. Murret. Yes; I think he had some suitcases.

Mr. Jenner. He had some suitcases?

Mrs. Murret. Yes; they looked like Marina's suitcase, for one, because he didn't come into my house with any suitcase. Like I said, he just had that little bag with him. In fact, he only had maybe two pairs of socks and two T-shirts, and two pairs of pants, and nothing else.

Mr. Jenner. But you did see a suitcase or more than one suitcase in the garage; is that right?

Mrs. Murret. I think I did. I think he did have a suitcase in the garage, and maybe two; yes, sir. I seem to remember those.

Mr. Jenner. Do you have a ready recollection of that?

Mrs. Murret. Yes; I do. I think, if I remember right, that I saw two suitcases there, and that they were very nice suitcases.

Mr. Jenner. Of ordinary size, would you say?

Mrs. Murret. I think they were of ordinary size; yes, sir.

Mr. Jenner. Regular suitcases with the handle in the center?

Mrs. Murret. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. Would you say they were straight sided and oblong rather than square?

Mrs. Murret. Yes; just ordinary regular clothing suitcases.

Mr. Jenner. About 28 inches long?

Mrs. Murret. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. But you didn't see any long package?

Mrs. Murret. No; I didn't.

Mr. Jenner. By long, I mean something in the neighborhood of 45 inches long, or something like that.

Mrs. Murret. No; I didn't see anything like that. The only reason I noticed these suitcases was because my washing machine was in the garage, and I had to go out there to wash, to do my washing, and those suitcases were standing up, sitting right next to one another, and there were boxes, a bunch of stuff.

Mr. Jenner. There were two suitcases, as far as you know?

Mrs. Murret. As far as I know; yes.

Mr. Jenner. Could there have been three?

Mrs. Murret. There could have been. There could have been four; I don't know.

Mr. Jenner. But your immediate recollection is that there were two?

Mrs. Murret. Yes; that's right. There were at least two suitcases.

Mr. Jenner. But you didn't notice any wrapped package, any brown butcher paper, or regular delicatessen store paper?

Mrs. Murret. No; I didn't see anything like that. Like I said, though, when they put his things in the car, I was inside the house.

Mr. Jenner. Did your boy do any hunting?

Mrs. Murret. My boys?

Mr. Jenner. Yes.

141 Mrs. Murret. Well, the boy that's in the seminary, he did a little duck-hunting occasionally, but that's about all.

Mr. Jenner. Did your boys ever have shotguns or rifles around your house?

Mrs. Murret. Oh, they had a small rifle in my locker.

Mr. Jenner. Do you know what that rifle looked like?

Mrs. Murret. Yes; just an ordinary rifle. It wasn't an expensive rifle. It could have been just a plain shotgun, I guess. In fact, I think, if I can remember back, I think Gene, when he was duck hunting once, almost shot his hand off.

Mr. Jenner. But you don't remember seeing any package, any oblong package, out in the garage among those things that Lee had brought in there?

Mrs. Murret. No; I didn't.

Mr. Jenner. Would you have any conception of what a rifle would look like when it is disassembled, what the barrel separated from the stock looked like, and so forth?

Mrs. Murret. No; I'm afraid I don't know anything about rifles.

Mr. Jenner. All right. Now, we are on the 11th of September, and Marina and Mrs. Paine have arrived at your home. Now, will you tell me about that?

Mrs. Murret. Well, they arrived that afternoon. We brought Lee to the apartment that morning, and Lee stayed at the apartment and came back later during the day, and I said to Lee, "Well, suppose we go out and buy some eggs and have your refrigerator stocked," and he had said "Oh, don't worry about that; I will get all of that. I will have all of that in." In other words, you couldn't help him, so then he came over to the house, and I planned on having a lunch for Marina and Mrs. Paine, and they came on in with the baby, so there was Mrs. Paine with her two children, Mr. Murret, and I guess Marilyn was in the back getting ready to go out.

Mr. Jenner. Marilyn is your daughter?

Mrs. Murret. Marilyn is my daughter; yes.

Mr. Jenner. She is a young lady who was here this morning with you?

Mrs. Murret. Yes, she was getting ready to go out. She had an appointment with someone, so they came in and when I saw the baby, I forgot who else was there. I said, "Well, she's darling," you know, and the baby began to cry and it cried and cried, and Marina took it to the kitchen and took care of her, and I think John was there.

Mr. Jenner. You mean your son John?

Mrs. Murret. Yes; I think he was there.

Mr. Jenner. Had Lee arrived in the meantime?

Mrs. Murret. Lee had arrived; oh, yes, he was there. So finally Lee said, "Well, let's go over to the apartment," and so they all got ready to leave, and Mr. Murret said he would lead the way because they didn't know the way. He said, "I will lead the way to this place," so that's the way they went over there. Mr. Murret, my husband, took Lee with him, I think that's right, and Mrs. Paine drove the others over in her car.

Mr. Jenner. From the time that Mrs. Paine drove off from your home, did you see Mrs. Paine any more?

Mrs. Murret. No, sir; I never saw Mrs. Paine any more.

Mr. Jenner. How soon after that did you see Lee and Marina and the baby?

Mrs. Murret. Well, you see, I don't drive myself, and I wanted them to come over, but they didn't have a car and they didn't want my husband to go and get them, so it was 2 weeks before I saw them again. But one Saturday morning about 2 weeks after they moved over there, Lee came over with Marina and the baby, which is a very long way they had to come by streetcar and bus, and it must have taken them a long time, because they were living up on Magazine Street, and that's a pretty long way out to my house. From Canal Street up to the 4900 block of Magazine Street, that's 49 blocks, and then from my house to Canal it must be 50 blocks.

Mr. Jenner. You mean it was 99 blocks distance from your house to their house?

Mrs. Murret. That's right.

Mr. Jenner. All right, go ahead.

Mrs. Murret. Well, they made this trip by streetcar and bus, and we didn't142 even know they were coming, and they had the baby stroller and everything that belonged to the baby with them.

Mr. Jenner. This is Lee and Marina, now?

Mrs. Murret. Yes, sir.

Mr. Jenner. That was 2 weeks later that they came out to your house?

Mrs. Murret. Yes; and the baby. I was trying to make friends with the baby and the baby was crying. It looked like the poor child never saw anyone before in her life.

Mr. Jenner. You had this feeling, did you?

Mrs. Murret. Yes, sir.

Mr. Jenner. You have reared some fine children, and you have grandchildren?

Mrs. Murret. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. I take it you have a knack with babies and children?

Mrs. Murret. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. And you seemed to have trouble with Lee's baby, with this baby?

Mrs. Murret. Yes; naturally she had never seen me before, and she didn't speak the English language. Marina made her understand things in Russian, and so I took the baby outside with me to make friends with the baby and she kept crying, and Marina kept telling her to look at me, and after a while she made friends, you know, and so then Lee decided that they would go out.

I had a baby bed in the house which I have for all my children, and my daughter still uses the baby bed, so anyway, Marina and Lee wanted to go to the lakeside which isn't too far from my home.

Mr. Jenner. What is the lakeside?

Mrs. Murret. Pontchartrain Lake. I guess that would be about 12 blocks from where I live.

Mr. Jenner. About a mile-and-a-half?

Mrs. Murret. About that. They decided to go crabbing, and so they got a net and some crab bait, and the baby meantime went to sleep, so Lee left the baby with me in the crib, and they went out to the lake.

Mr. Jenner. How did they get out there?

Mrs. Murret. Marilyn drove them.

Mr. Jenner. Your daughter Marilyn?

Mrs. Murret. Yes; she drove them out to the lake.

Mr. Jenner. Did Lee know how to drive a car?

Mrs. Murret. I don't think he did. I never saw him drive a car.

Mr. Jenner. You have never seen Lee behind the wheel of a car, operating an automobile?

Mrs. Murret. Never.

Mr. Jenner. Did you ever hear that he did know how to drive an automobile, though?

Mrs. Murret. No; I don't think he did, because when they went to New York, when he went with his mother, she drove, she always drove. I never knew him to drive.

Mr. Jenner. So anyway, Marilyn took them out to Pontchartrain Beach, and they went crabbing; is that right?

Mrs. Murret. That's right; and they didn't get any crabs, so on the way back Marina was fussing at Lee in Russian, and Marilyn must have said, "Well, what is she saying?" you know, so Lee said, "Oh, she's just like a woman; she's no different. They are no different whether they come from Russia or France or some place in Louisiana. They are all alike. They don't appreciate what you do for them." Marina was telling him that it was so stupid for them to be taking these crab nets, spending $1, I guess it was, for everything, when he could have gone to the French Market and bought a dozen crabs for $1.25 or $1.50. She didn't see any sense in spending money and going out and not catching any crabs when you could go and buy them at the French Market. She missed the point where the boy liked to do that for pleasure. She thought it was a bum idea. She told Lee it would be better to just go and buy some crabs and not go through all that trouble, but anyway they came back home, and they stayed until about 10 o'clock. They ate supper, and so forth, and the baby got a little friendlier. They played ball with the baby, and she came143 around a little bit, and I think Mr. Murret drove them home, and that was it.

When they left, we told them that at anytime when they wanted to come over again to let us know, and Mr. Murret would be glad to come and get them, but Lee said, "No, we don't mind coming on the bus," but then I don't think they came around for a while after that. In the meantime he must have lost his job at the Reily Coffee Co.

Mr. Jenner. How did you learn that?

Mrs. Murret. Well, he told me.

Mr. Jenner. How did he come to tell you that?

Mrs. Murret. He called me and again he said they just didn't need another person on the job, that they had too many. That seemed to be the only excuse he gave for losing a job.

Mr. Jenner. That was what he told you?

Mrs. Murret. Why he had lost his position?

Mr. Jenner. Yes.

Mrs. Murret. Yes. That's why he said he lost it in Texas. He asked me if he could use my telephone number, because he would be out looking for a job, and if anybody would call, then he could call every afternoon to find out if anyone called, and I could give him the message, so he had his name in at the Louisiana Employment Service.

Mr. Jenner. The Louisiana Employment Service?

Mrs. Murret. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. Is that State?

Mrs. Murret. State employment, yes.

Mr. Jenner. All right; go ahead.

Mrs. Murret. During that time he was getting State employment from Texas, from that job, when he first got here, because he got one of those checks when he was at my house, and then he was collecting State employment while he was off of this job here, when he got out of work, so he was probably collecting both checks at the same time. I don't think he ever found a job even though he supposedly was trying, after that one, I mean. He said he was looking for a darkroom.

Mr. Jenner. A what?

Mrs. Murret. A photographer's job, or something like that, so he went down to a place in Metairie, but he had to drive a truck for that job, and he told me he couldn't take the job because he didn't know how to drive.

Mr. Jenner. He did tell you that?

Mrs. Murret. Yes, sir.

Mr. Jenner. When was that?

Mrs. Murret. That was when he was out looking for a job.

Mr. Jenner. He told you he couldn't drive then?

Mrs. Murret. Yes; he said he couldn't take that job because he would have to drive a truck.

Mr. Jenner. That would have been in the summer of 1963 now; is that right?

Mrs. Murret. Oh, yes; while he was here. I don't think he ever found any other job after that here.

Mr. Jenner. Do you know how long he stayed on this job at the coffee plant?

Mrs. Murret. No; I don't. There's something else. Before he got this job at the coffee plant, I think he had Mr. Murret loan him $30, or maybe $40, to pay part of his house rent, but after he got that job at the coffee plant, he paid that back to Mr. Murret. I told him, "If you need anything, Lee, ask for it," because sometimes I felt guilty. I thought maybe when people like that need something, we should go ahead and get it for them, but then I told myself, "Well, no, since he is the type of person who is so independent," so I just stood back and waited to see if he could bring himself to come to me for something, because it was apparent that they needed a lot of things, him and Marina, but he never did, except for that loan he made from my husband to pay part of the house rent and the time he asked if we could put him up for a week while he looked for a job, but otherwise it seemed like he didn't want anybody to do anything for him. I did ask him several times if there was anything we could do for them, or get for them, and he would said, "No; we have everything," and then one time I offered him a spread, and he said, "No; we have everything," and144 the funny thing was that when they came that Saturday, he said to me, he said, "Marina says we will take that spread now; we don't have a spread," so Marina must have bawled him out for not taking the spread in the first place. I mean, she must have thought he ought to have accepted it. So they went home with the spread after all.

Mr. Jenner. This was when they first came?

Mrs. Murret. Yes. So then he would call in to find out if anybody had called from the employment agency. He had his names in at a private agency, besides the State employment, and he did get several calls and I gave him the message. One time I remember the man left his name, but I wouldn't remember that now.

Mr. Jenner. Might your husband remember that?

Mrs. Murret. No. My husband was never around when all this was going on. My husband couldn't tell you anything, so then I went away. I went to Texas for 2 weeks. I left on July 1 and I returned on July 14.

Mr. Jenner. To visit your son?

Mrs. Murret. No; my daughter, in Beaumont—Joyce. That was on July 1.

Mr. Jenner. Had Lee lost his job by that time?

Mrs. Murret. He must have. I didn't know it, but he must have in between that time.

Mr. Jenner. While you were away, he lost his job?

Mrs. Murret. It could have been in between that time; yes.

Mr. Jenner. Did he say anything to you about losing his job, that you recall?

Mrs. Murret. No; it was a long time after that that he said anything to me about that.

Mr. Jenner. He didn't say anything to you for quite a while?

Mrs. Murret. No; he didn't say anything to me about losing his job for a long time, so then Joyce came back. She had two adopted children.

Mr. Jenner. Joyce is your daughter, who lived in Beaumont?

Mrs. Murret. Yes. You see, Joyce can't have any children, so she adopted two children. One is 4 and one is 5, but she got them when they were a month old, and they really are adorable. Now, Joyce, hadn't seen Lee before, you see, or anything, and so then Lee and Marina came over one day while Joyce was at the house with the children. They had come at about 9 o'clock that morning, and stayed till 9 or 10 o'clock that night. I was exhausted trying to entertain Marina, you know, and not knowing how to speak Russian, or make any signs that she would understand, and so forth, but she liked the dinner, and she wanted to know how to cook some of the things that I had, and Lee wrote the recipes down on paper for her, and I asked them how she could tell to pick out cans when she went to the store if she couldn't read English, and Lee said she could tell by the pictures on the cans what she wants, but I don't think Lee liked too much variety in food, just certain things.

Mr. Jenner. Did you say anything to her at any time, or to Lee, about the fact that she wasn't speaking more English than she evidenced?

Mrs. Murret. Yes; I asked Lee about that. I said, "Lee, how does Marina like America?" and he said to me, "Well, you can ask Marina yourself," so I said to Marina, "How do you like America?" and she said, "Oh, I like America!" She said, "I like it; I like it!" Now, we always did think it strange that Lee didn't seem to care whether Marina learned to speak English or not. He was always talking to her in Russian, and we didn't know what was going on, you see. I asked him, "Why don't you teach Marina more English?" but he didn't pick it up, so then—in August, I think it was, I was operated on for my ear, and during that time Joyce was home. They had been at the house before the operation. They knew I was going to be operated on, and he came up there to see me, which I thought was very nice.

Mr. Jenner. You mean Lee?

Mrs. Murret. Yes. I was at that time at the eye, ear, nose, and throat hospital, and he said, "How are you feeling?" and I said, "All right." He stayed just a couple of minutes really, and he seemed to be nervous—like, you know—and I thanked him for coming, and then he went off, so that night Joyce came back to the hospital again. That was a Thursday, I think, and I got out on a Saturday—that following Saturday, so Mr. Murret was not there for my operation. He wanted to stay, but he was supposed to go to a retreat145 at Manresa, and he missed last year, because he couldn't get off from work, so I said, "Well, don't miss it this year, because this isn't serious, and there are no after effects." I said, "Go on to the retreat, and it will be all right," so he went, and John, my son, was in town, and he came up, and of course Joyce couldn't do too much, because she had two children of her own to take care of, but anyway I had the operation, and Joyce was to come up and get me on Saturday at about 11 o'clock, so then Lee called, and this was before Joyce left home to come up to the hospital, and he told Joyce that he was over at the Parish jail, or something, the one on Rampart over there, and he told her he wanted her to bring some money up and get him out, and she said, "Mother, I don't want to." She said she had been there twice with the money in her hand, and each time she came back out again. She told me, "I don't know what to do." I said, "Well, Joyce, I don't know what he's in there for; do you know?" and she told me that she had talked to this officer up there, and she asked him, "What's that kid in there for, before I bail him out?" She was going to give the money to this officer to get Lee out, but the man told her not to be foolish and give her money up like that, because she might not get it back. She said he told her, "Don't give up your cash because you may never get it back." He said, "Have somebody parole him." So Joyce didn't know what to do. She had been out of New Orleans a long time, so she didn't know what to do. This officer showed her the sign that they said Lee was carrying, and on it it had, "Viva El Castro," so when Joyce saw that, she said, "Oh, my God," she said, "I am not about to get him out of here if he's like that," so she didn't know what to do, but she didn't give up her money. She said, "Here he was supposed to be out looking for a job, and he was doing things like that, walking up and down Canal Street all day long with signs and everything."

This officer told her that he had told Lee, "If you want to carry these 'Fair Play for Cuba' signs around, you are going to have to rent yourself a hall, and have your meetings in the hall," and he said, "But you can't carry signs like that in the business district."

The officer said that what he was doing wasn't so bad, but Joyce thought it was terrible, you see, so Joyce came on out to the hospital. She didn't get him out of jail. She didn't give up her money. So when we got back home, it wasn't long until he called on the phone again, and the first thing he did was get kind of rude with Joyce. He wanted to know how come she hadn't gotten him out yet, and didn't she have the money, and she said, "No, I don't have any money." She said that she had just gotten her mother out of the hospital and used up the money, and she told him, "I don't have any money to get you out of there."

Also, Joyce had found out that he had been in there since Friday. You see, Joyce was under the impression that he had just gotten in jail, so Joyce asked him, "How long have you been in here?" and he said, "I don't know how long I have been in here," and Joyce said, "I know; you have been in here all night," and he said, "Well, just come and get me out," and Joyce said, "Well, I don't know; I'll have to think this thing over," and then she said, "I don't have any money," and then he said, "Well, I'll tell you what you do." He said, "I want you to go out to the apartment and see Marina, because Marina has $70.00 and you tell Marina to get that money and come and get me out," and Joyce said, "Well, I have to get mother into bed, and I have no one to keep my two children while I run up there," and he said, "Well, ask one of the neighbors to mind the children," so in the meantime Joyce told me what he had said, and I told her, "Well, I don't know. I don't like to exactly ask for favors from the neighbors like that," so she said she didn't know what to do, so we talked about it awhile, and then we decided to call this man that we knew, and we called him, and he told us what had happened, that Lee had had a fight with some Cubans, and everything, and we were still wondering what to do about Lee being in jail and everything when, a little while after that, he called back and said that everything was all right, that Lee was out.

Now, we didn't see Lee though. I guess he went on home. Then Mr. Murret came back from Manresa on Sunday evening, or Sunday night I believe it was, and when we told him about it, he was horrified, you know. He went right out146 to their apartment to talk to Lee, and he asked Lee in a fatherly way, what was he doing, you know, who he was connected with, and so forth, and whether he was with any Commie group, and Lee said no, he wasn't, and Mr. Murret told him, he said, "You be sure you show up at that courthouse for the trial," and Lee said, "Don't worry, I'll show up," and he told Lee, he said, "You ought to get out and find yourself a job." "You have a wife and child and one coming," and so forth, and then we didn't see Lee any more until Labor Day, I believe it was.

Lee called up that morning, and he said he and Marina wanted to come over that day and spend the day, and I said, not right away, but suppose they come over around 3 or 4 o'clock in the afternoon, because I think I was busy that morning, or something, so they did. They came on the bus, and Mr. Murret happened to be passing by, and he picked them up and brought them to the house, and I asked them if they had had dinner, and they said yes, but I don't think they had. I told them I would go up to the store and get some rolls, and we could have some coffee and rolls, so I did, and I made coffee, and we sat down and ate the rolls, and to tell you the truth, I don't think they had eaten anything, because they ate up all the rolls.

I made hamburgers too that night, and they each ate two hamburgers. John was there too. After they finished eating, it was time to take them home, and John brought them home.

Mr. Jenner. In his car?

Mrs. Murret. Yes. I might say too that Mr. Murret talked to Lee quite a bit about him not trying to teach Marina how to speak the English language. He said, "Lee, we love Marina very much, but we feel very bad that we can't converse with Marina, because you speak to her all the time in Russian, and we don't know what is going on and she doesn't know what is going on with us. Don't you think you should teach her the English language?" and Lee said, "No." Then he said, "I'll tell you right now, I will never teach it to her," and then he said, "I don't care if she wants to learn, but she is not going to learn from me." He said, "I am not going to teach her, because I don't want to lose my Russian," but he said he didn't object to her learning the English language, but at the same time he kept on talking in Russian to her.

I asked him, "Why do you want to keep up your Russian, Lee; do you intend to go back to Russia?" but something happened right then—somebody did something or other, and he never did answer that question, so that was all of that. So we brought them home. John brought them home in his car, but before he took them home, he drove them out and showed them the church that he was going to be married in, and he also took them up on Palmer Avenue and showed them the home where he was going to have the reception with his girl friend, at her house. It's a large home on Palmer Avenue, so he took them and showed them all of that, and then he took them home, and we didn't see them any more.

Mr. Jenner. Is that the last time you saw either one of them?

Mrs. Murret. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. Did you have any contact with them by letter, telephone, postcard, or otherwise?

Mrs. Murret. No, nothing. Then the next day or the day following that, two men came to the house from the FBI.

Mr. Jenner. That was Labor Day, was it?

Mrs. Murret. No. Labor Day was the last day I saw them. This was a few days after Labor Day, I think.

Mr. Jenner. After Labor Day?

Mrs. Murret. Yes. They came to the house and knocked at the door, and I went to the door, and they didn't tell me who they were at first, but they approached me, and asked me, "Does a young couple live here?" and I said, "No; no young couple lives here, nor did any young couple ever live here," and then they asked me, "Do you know Lee Oswald?" and I said, "Yes, I do; he's my nephew," and he said, "Well, do you know where he lives?" and I said, "Well, yes, he lives in the 4900 block of Magazine Street. I don't know the number, but it's in the 4900 block," and then they told me who they were.

Mr. Jenner. That's when they told you they were FBI agents?

Mrs. Murret. Yes. Then the next day they came back, and they told me147 that a lady, a neighbor, or whoever they heard it from, said that a lady with a station wagon was there. I said, "Well, probably that's the same lady who brought Marina here from Texas, and took them back to Texas."

Mr. Jenner. This was the 20th of September, is that right?

Mrs. Murret. Yes, I think so, and that's the last I knew of them. I never heard anything else about them, but now, I skipped over something—in between that time he called one time, and he said Mrs. Paine was going up to see her relatives, I think, and that she was going to pass through New Orleans and visit with them, but he didn't say that they were leaving with her and going back to Texas, or anything like that. He just said Mrs. Paine was going to come through here and visit with them. He also said that Mrs. Paine knew a Tulane professor.

Mr. Jenner. A Tulane professor?

Mrs. Murret. Yes, sir; a Tulane professor. He could have been a language professor, I imagine, because I remember him saying that he had a daughter that was attending the university in Moscow, and they either went to his home or they came over to Lee's house. That I didn't get straight, and he showed slides, and so forth, on Russia, the way I understand it.

Mr. Jenner. Who showed the slides?

Mrs. Murret. The professor, but I think Mrs. Paine was the one who knew the professor and all that.

Mr. Jenner. You say his daughter is in school in Moscow?

Mrs. Murret. He is supposed to have a daughter in the university over there, yes, sir; or he did have. That was my understanding.

Mr. Jenner. In Moscow?

Mrs. Murret. I think he said Moscow, but that's the last I heard from Lee Oswald and Marina.

Mr. Jenner. All right. Now, tell me one thing you left out?

Mrs. Murret. What's that?

Mr. Jenner. The trip over to Mobile.

Mrs. Murret. Oh. Well, that came in—I don't remember the date.

Mr. Jenner. Was it sometime in July or August of 1963, somewhere around there?

Mrs. Murret. Well, Lee wasn't working about that time, and my son Gene was over in Mobile, and he hadn't seen Lee for a long time, and he had asked if we could bring Lee over so he could see him. Gene had graduated from Loyola and had went into the Service. He was in there for about 3 years, and when they were activated, they went into Germany and everything, and when he came back he entered law school and went to law school.

Mr. Jenner. At Loyola?

Mrs. Murret. Yes, for 3 years, and then he decided to become a Jesuit.

Mr. Jenner. A Jesuit priest?

Mrs. Murret. Yes. So he was over at Mobile by then, and naturally when I wrote to him I told him about Lee, and he said he would like very much to see Lee, and that he would like for Lee to come up there and bring Marina up and visit him, so we arranged to take Marina and Lee up to Mobile. We left on a Saturday around noon, and I believe Joyce was with us, and also her two children.

Mr. Jenner. How long were you gone on that trip?

Mrs. Murret. Well, we came back that Sunday afternoon, or, we left there about 2 o'clock, I think it was.

Mr. Jenner. Had there been any discussion in advance about Lee giving a lecture or anything to the boys there at that school?

Mrs. Murret. Not that I know of.

Mr. Jenner. What's the name of that school, Mrs. Murret?

Mrs. Murret. What school is that?

Mr. Jenner. At Mobile?

Mrs. Murret. Where Gene was?

Mr. Jenner. Yes.

Mrs. Murret. The Jesuit House of Study.

Mr. Jenner. The Jesuit House of Study at Mobile, Ala.?

Mrs. Murret. Yes, Mobile. So Gene asked us to bring Lee and Marina over,148 and, you see, they allow a speaker over there at that school so many times a year, and he said maybe Lee could speak on his experiences in Russia.

Mr. Jenner. Then there was a discussion in advance of Lee's going over there about his speaking, is that right?

Mrs. Murret. Only that he might speak about his experiences in Russia is all. There wasn't anything else arranged that I know of, I don't think.

Mr. Jenner. Was this in a conversation between you and your son?

Mrs. Murret. No, by letter that was.

Mr. Jenner. By letter?

Mrs. Murret. Yes. We never would get to see Gene, you see, unless we would go over there. He wasn't supposed to call us on the phone or anything like that. But they do allow you to visit every so often.

Mr. Jenner. Is he allowed to call you by telephone if it's important and he gets permission?

Mrs. Murret. No, he's not supposed to use the phone to call home.

Mr. Jenner. But he may write you?

Mrs. Murret. Yes, and then we visit so many times a year—I mean, we go up there, but that's all. Now, we call him, like on holidays and things like that. We are allowed to do that.

Mr. Jenner. But he can't call you?

Mrs. Murret. No, he can't call us.

Mr. Jenner. Why is that?

Mrs. Murret. Well, they just don't like it.

Mr. Jenner. Do they like you to call up there? In other words, do they mind if you call him?

Mrs. Murret. I don't think they like it, but, like I said, on holidays or something we can do it.

Mr. Jenner. Was that one of the rules of the school authorities over there?

Mrs. Murret. I guess so, because otherwise Gene would call us.

Mr. Jenner. All right. Now, tell me about your trip over there. Just what happened?

Mrs. Murret. Well, when I saw Lee coming out of the house to get in the car, it was a hot day, and he had this flannel shirt on, and I said, "Oh, Lee, let me give you another shirt that won't be so uncomfortable," but he wouldn't accept another shirt. He kept the flannel shirt on, and that's the way he went over there. He didn't want me to get him another shirt. He just wouldn't accept favors from anybody. He was so independent. Well, anyway, we got over there, and that night we were going to meet.

Mr. Jenner. That's you and your husband?

Mrs. Murret. And Joyce.

Mr. Jenner. Joyce, your daughter?

Mrs. Murret. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. And her two children?

Mrs. Murret. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. And Lee and Marina, and their child June?

Mrs. Murret. Yes, and Ron and Jill.

Mr. Jenner. And Ron and Jill?

Mrs. Murret. Yes, they are Joyce's children, and Mr. Murret paid all the expenses, including the motel rooms and the meals, and so forth. Now, when Lee and Marina came out from freshening up, they looked real nice. I was really surprised, especially at Marina. She had got herself all dressed up, and she looked like a different person, and he was very attentive too to Marina.

Mr. Jenner. Always?

Mrs. Murret. Always. Now, what he did at home—how he acted around her there, I don't know, but when he was in my presence he was very attentive to her and very well mannered. He would, I mean, open the car door for her, and so forth—very attentive. He would pull the chair out for her and things like that. He was very well mannered. I have to say that for him.

Mr. Jenner. What was her attitude toward him?

Mrs. Murret. Well, she seemed the same way. They seemed to get along very nicely together, I thought, when they were here in New Orleans. They would take a ride out the French Market and buy some crabs and some shrimp and come149 home and boil and cook them. They got a big bang out of doing things like that.

Now, Marina was pregnant about that time, and we asked them if we could do anything for her in the way of getting some sort of treatment before the birth of the baby, but Marina didn't want any treatment. She said she didn't need any, and it seemed like Lee must have had her at Charity Hospital, I think at least one time, because he said they told him that when she was ready to have the child, to just come right on in.

Mr. Jenner. Was there any discussion of a rifle at any time in your presence?

Mrs. Murret. No.

Mr. Jenner. No discussion about anything like that by anybody?

Mrs. Murret. No.

Mr. Jenner. Did you ever see a rifle around in the garage where this stuff was stored?

Mrs. Murret. No; I never did.

Mr. Jenner. Did you ever see a package out there that looked like it might contain a rifle?

Mrs. Murret. No; I never did see one around there.

Mr. Jenner. You never saw anything that looked like a rifle or shotgun at all among his belongings that he had put in the garage in the corner?

Mrs. Murret. No; but I didn't really pay too much attention to all that stuff. The only thing I remember him ever taking out of there was these boots and this hat.

Mr. Jenner. Did you attend this lecture that Lee gave over in Mobile?

Mrs. Murret. Oh, no; women couldn't attend.

Mr. Jenner. Was that on a Saturday night?

Mrs. Murret. It was on a Saturday night; yes, sir, because we came back the next afternoon.

Mr. Jenner. It was just for the boys from the House of Study, is that your understanding?

Mrs. Murret. That's right. No women were allowed, and during that time they had one of the boys there that spoke Russian, and he never got a chance to talk with the other boys in Russian, of course, so Gene told him that Marina was outside that night, so he came out, and he spoke with Marina in Russian, and so he and Marina had a very nice conversation about different things, and we walked up to the chapel, and he showed Marina the chapel, and so forth, and I don't know what he was saying to her, because they were both talking in Russian. So I don't know what all they were talking about. So then after they talked for a while, he left. Now, after the talk Lee gave at the meeting, I asked Gene, "Well, how was it?" and he said, "Well, it was all right."

Previous to that time, I had said to Lee—I knew that Lee was going to talk about being in Russia, so I said to Lee, "Maybe you had better map out some thoughts for your talk, just what you might be going to say, so you won't be too nervous," and he said, "Oh, don't worry about me; I give talks all the time."

Mr. Jenner. He said he gave talks all the time?

Mrs. Murret. That's what he said. He said, "I'm used to that." He said, "I give talks all the time." I asked Marina later on one day if she would like to attend mass the next morning with me, and she said yes, she would, and she asked Lee about it, so they were talking it over in Russian, so I don't know what they were saying.

Mr. Jenner. Did she go with you to mass the next morning?

Mrs. Murret. Yes; she did.

Mr. Jenner. Did she say she liked it, or what did she say?

Mrs. Murret. Yes; she said, "I like your church very much."

Mr. Jenner. Marina said that?

Mrs. Murret. Yes; I said, "Marina, I'm sorry you don't live near me; we could go to church together," and I said to her, "I wish you would become a Catholic."

Mr. Jenner. Marina could converse to some extent in English, could she not? She could communicate with you to some extent, couldn't she?

Mrs. Murret. Yes; I could make her understand most things, you know, about what I was talking about. Now, another thing, Lee didn't want the baby to be baptized.

150 Mr. Jenner. Who didn't?

Mrs. Murret. Lee. He told me that the baby was baptized, but in the orthodox religion, and he wanted the baby to be baptized in the Lutheran religion. Marina wanted the baby to be baptized in the Orthodox Church, and she went ahead and did it, and I think that's something he probably resented—not the baptism itself but the church.

Mr. Jenner. Had this occurred before they came to New Orleans? Had the baby been baptized before that?

Mrs. Murret. Yes; I think it was in Dallas or Fort Worth. I don't know which.

Mr. Jenner. Did any other incident arise that you can think of between Marina and Lee that might help the Commission in its investigation?

Mrs. Murret. Well, his attitude was pretty bad about certain things, like the time he asked her to pass him the catsup. He just said, "Give me that" and she said, "Don't ask it in that manner," and he said, "Well, I'm the Commander around here," but of course I don't think he really meant that the way it sounded.

Mr. Jenner. You think that was just a passing remark, just a figure of speech?

Mrs. Murret. Yes; with no meaning. In fact, I didn't think anything about it.

Mr. Jenner. Do you think that Lee was arrogant?

Mrs. Murret. No; I didn't think that. I think with a lot of people, it depends on whether they like you or they don't like you, I mean, in the way they act toward you, and with Lee, most people would dislike him because of the fact that he was not a mixer and he did seem to be arrogant, I guess you would call it, but he wasn't. I think it all depends on whether you like a person like that. Me, I don't like a man who yap, yap, yaps all the time. Lee was a person who didn't feel that he ought to say anything unless it was important. Some people thought he had an arrogance about him, I suppose, from the way he carried himself, the way he walked, but he just walked very straight all the time. That was his natural walk. Some people passed remarks about Lee's mouth, the way it looked, but that's the way his mouth was, and he couldn't help that, and after you knew him for a while, you didn't pay any attention to that.

Mr. Jenner. What was there about his mouth that you noticed particularly?

Mrs. Murret. Well, it sort of set back a little bit—a little different from most people, but it really wasn't that bad. It just looked like he was holding his mouth that way, but he really wasn't. That just the way it was, but a lot of people didn't like him for it. Like that time he ran into this place on Magazine and asked the man there to let him look at television, and the man right away refused to let him, refused to let him turn on the television. He said who did he think he was, and things like that, and he thought Lee was a little smart aleck or something, I guess, but I took it the other way, that here's a kid that doesn't have a television set in his house, and he doesn't have anything to do, and he's alone, and he has come to me thinking I will be nice enough to turn on the television for him, and so I would do it. But I guess all people don't think alike about things like that. A lot of people take that sort of thing the wrong way, I think.

Mr. Jenner. Now, Mrs. Murret, there are some records from Beauregard School indicating—either Beauregard or Easton, showing that his address was 809 French Street. Now, that was your old address, before they changed the numbering on your street, is that right?

Mrs. Murret. Yes; that's right.

Mr. Jenner. I wonder if you would tell me how that came about, Mrs. Murret?

Mrs. Murret. Well, it came about—they only had one house in the 700 block, from Canal Boulevard——

Mr. Jenner. No; I don't mean that. I mean, how did it come about that Lee gave your home address as his address?

Mrs. Murret. Oh, well, they changed all the numbers in that block. We had been in the 800 block, but they changed it to the 700 block.

Mr. Jenner. I understand that, Mrs. Murret, but tell me, if you will, how it came about that Lee registered at either Beauregard School or Warren Easton as living at your address, at 809 French Street, which was your address?

151 Mrs. Murret. Well, that was brought about when he first came back from New York with his mother, and they stayed at my house for 2 weeks, and that was when they registered him at Beauregard, because she didn't have a place yet, and she gave them my address. In fact, if she hadn't given them my address and given some other address in another district, he would have had to go to another school, and she wanted him to go to Beauregard School. It had a good reputation as a good school, and she said she would like to have him enrolled there.

Mr. Jenner. Tell me, how did Lee act when he came in from New York with his mother and lived at your home for those 2 weeks? What was his conduct generally, as you recall it?

Mrs. Murret. Well, he didn't act any different than any other child, I don't think. He was in school all day long, and he came home in the afternoon, and just sort of hung around inside, and he would eat supper and go to bed, and the same thing the next day. He didn't talk much. He never really did talk unless you said something to him.

Mr. Jenner. The same old pattern, would you say?

Mrs. Murret. Yes; but there are a lot of people that don't like to talk. It's just that some people are inclined to talk a lot, and others just aren't. You run across that every day.

Mr. Jenner. I agree with you on that. Do you recall an occasion or a situation in which Lee was a member of, or at least attended some activity of the Civil Air Patrol?

Mrs. Murret. I don't know anything about that other than my sister Marguerite told me that he was a friend of this boy at Beauregard, and that through him he had joined the Civil Air Patrol, and he had to have a uniform and so forth, but that's about all I know about it. They were living on Exchange Alley, or Exchange—whatever that is, at the time.

Mr. Jenner. Exchange Place?

Mrs. Murret. Yes; I think that's it, Exchange Place.

Mr. Jenner. Do you remember your son John giving Lee a white shirt and tie on one occasion?

Mrs. Murret. Yes; Lee was getting ready to go on this job, and John was in the back getting dressed to go to work, I think, and he didn't think Lee looked presentable. John is such a big boy, and he said it in such a nice way—he can do it, you know, but he asked Lee, he said, "Lee, here's a shirt; take it; it doesn't fit me. You put it on, and here's a nice tie to go with it." He said "Come on, kid, you want to look good when you go for that job, you know," and so he gave the white shirt and the tie to Lee to go after the job, and Lee took them, and when his picture was taken for that "Fair Play for Cuba" business, he had that same shirt and tie on.

Mr. Jenner. He had the same shirt and tie on that your son John had given him when he had his picture taken on that occasion?

Mrs. Murret. Yes; the same white shirt and the tie. They belonged to John, and he had given them to Lee to go after a job. Now, John felt sorry for Lee in a way, and he was trying to help him. John was good that way around anybody who he felt sorry for, like one time he said, "Come on, Lee, let's go for a ride, and I'll let you drive the car," and I think he sat next to Lee and let Lee steer the car, or something, but I don't know anything about that. I don't think Lee ever did know how to drive a car. Maybe he did, but as far as I know, he didn't know how to drive.

Mr. Jenner. I believe you said during the course of this discussion that you thought Lee was left handed. What led you to say that?

Mrs. Murret. Well, as a child, when he was a small child, I knew he ate with his left hand, and I always thought that he did things with his left hand. Now, whether he used both hands or not, I don't know, but he did use his left hand as a child. I remember that.

Mr. Jenner. In fact, children are often ambidextrous, aren't they?

Mrs. Murret. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. They eat with either hand, don't they?

Mrs. Murret. Yes; they do. I have known of cases where children have started out eating with their left hands, and they switch over as they grow older152 to their right hands, but then there are some children who never use their right hand, I don't think.

Mr. Jenner. This was an impression you had of him as a very small boy though, is that right?

Mrs. Murret. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. Did you ever see Lee write left handed?

Mrs. Murret. When?

Mr. Jenner. After he reached, say, high school age?

Mrs. Murret. No; I didn't.

Mr. Jenner. You never noticed it one way or the other?

Mrs. Murret. No; I didn't.

Mr. Jenner. When he was living with you during those 2 weeks, when they came back from New York, did you ever see him use his left hand?

Mrs. Murret. I never noticed really.

Mr. Jenner. Your boys are all right handed, is that right?

Mrs. Murret. Oh, yes.

Mr. Jenner. I remember you told me earlier today that Lee wanted to go out and play ball, and perhaps get on some team, is that right?

Mrs. Murret. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. And you gave him, you said, a glove that belonged to one of your boys, is that right?

Mrs. Murret. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. Well, wasn't that glove for a right-handed player, if it belonged to one of your boys, and they were all right handed?

Mrs. Murret. Yes; that's right.

Mr. Jenner. It was one of your boy's gloves, wasn't it?

Mrs. Murret. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. Did you listen to the debate over the radio between Lee and the Cuban boy?

Mrs. Murret. Well, he called.

Mr. Jenner. Who, Lee?

Mrs. Murret. Yes; Lee called and said he was going to talk on the radio, so—we were getting supper ready, because it was supposed to come on about then, but we forgot about it until after it started, but then we turned it on and did hear some of it.

Mr. Jenner. You heard some of it?

Mrs. Murret. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. Was there any discussion at any time about Lee's political views?

Mrs. Murret. Not in my home.

Mr. Jenner. And not with you?

Mrs. Murret. No; and I don't think with any other member of my family.

Mrs. Jenner. Did you ever observe Lee, as far as his manual dexterity was concerned, his coordination?

Mrs. Murret. No; I never paid too much attention to that. I know he wasn't prepared to do anything in life.

Mr. Jenner. Was your son John attempting to teach him to drive an automobile? Did your son talk to you about that?

Mrs. Murret. No; he didn't say anything about that. I don't know what John had in mind. Anyway, they went riding, but they weren't gone too long, and then they came back.

Mr. Jenner. Would it have been as long as a couple of hours?

Mrs. Murret. No; not a couple of hours; just a spin around.

Mr. Jenner. Did John report that Lee could or could not drive? Did he say anything either way as to that?

Mrs. Murret. You mean on that day?

Mr. Jenner. Yes.

Mrs. Murret. Well, we always felt that Lee didn't know how to drive.

Mr. Jenner. As far as you know, he couldn't drive?

Mrs. Murret. No.

Mr. Jenner. Let's see if I have your family right now, if you will bear with me. You have a daughter, Mrs. Emile, and her given name is Joyce, and her153 husband's name is O'Brien, and they live at 1615 Fairway, Beaumont, Tex., is that right?

Mrs. Murret. Right.

Mr. Jenner. You have a son, Dr. Charles W. Murret, a dentist, who has an office at 1207 West Bernard, Chalmette, La.; you have a son Gene, and that's spelled E-u-g-e-n-e, who is studying for the priesthood, and who lives at 3959 Loyola Avenue, Mobile, Ala., is that right?

Mrs. Murret. Right.

Mr. Jenner. Now, he has a designation of S.J. What is that?

Mrs. Murret. Society of Jesus.

Mr. Jenner. And he's the boy who attended law school, is that right?

Mrs. Murret. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. And a fine student?

Mrs. Murret. He certainly was.

Mr. Jenner. And he is unmarried?

Mrs. Murret. Well, you can't be married and be a Jesuit.

Mr. Jenner. And your son John lives at 6622 Louis XIV, is that right?

Mrs. Murret. Right.

Mr. Jenner. In New Orleans?

Mrs. Murret. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. And then your daughter Marilyn, she lives with you, is that right?

Mrs. Murret. Right.

Mr. Jenner. She's unmarried?

Mrs. Murret. Unmarried. She says you have to want to get married to get married.

Mr. Jenner. She doesn't want to get married?

Mrs. Murret. That's right. She says that's not for her. Now, Charles didn't see Lee at all.

Mr. Jenner. Charles is your dentist son?

Mrs. Murret. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. But your daughter Marilyn did, and John did, and you have told us about Gene and your daughter Joyce—they did, is that right?

Mrs. Murret. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. And of course your husband?

Mrs. Murret. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. Were you ever in their apartment on Magazine Street, Mrs. Murret?

Mrs. Murret. Just that morning when we went there.

Mr. Jenner. That's the morning that they arrived, Mrs. Paine and Marina—arrived from Irving, Tex.?

Mrs. Murret. Right. We took them home that night, and I was there then.

Mr. Jenner. Did Lee ever speak of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy or Mrs. Jacqueline Kennedy?

Mrs. Murret. He said one time that he thought Mrs. Jacqueline Kennedy was a very fine person, and that he admired her for going around with her husband, and so forth, but he never spoke about that again, or never said anything about it. In fact, I think he said he liked him.

Mr. Jenner. Liked President Kennedy?

Mrs. Murret. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. What about Lee Oswald's habits? Was he a drinking man, for example?

Mrs. Murret. I never knew of Lee to drink or smoke. In fact, when I read about, you know, after the assassination, about finding cigarettes there in that room, I was surprised, because I have never known of Lee to smoke. Now, Marina said he didn't want her to smoke. She said she had learned to smoke in Russia when other Americans had given her cigarettes, but that Lee didn't want her to smoke at all. We see nothing wrong in smoking, except that Lee just didn't want her to smoke. I see now where Dr. Ochsner doesn't want anybody to smoke. My boys don't smoke.

Mr. Jenner. As far as you know, did Lee ever live in a rooming house around here?

154 Mrs. Murret. No.

Mr. Jenner. Did he have any communistic literature or Russian literature that you know of?

Mrs. Murret. I didn't see any. All he showed me was pictures of Marina and the baby when he first came, and some of Marina's family, but that's about all.

Mr. Jenner. Did you ever hear Lee discuss anybody by name, like Jack Ruby, or Rubenstein?

Mrs. Murret. No; I never did.

Mr. Jenner. No one else ever discussed him in your presence?

Mrs. Murret. No. Lee only spoke when he was spoken to.

Mr. Jenner. Mrs. Murret, is there anything that occurs to you at the end of this long day, and I know you are tired, that I haven't brought out, either because I don't know about it or haven't thought of it, anything that you think might be of some assistance to the Commission in its work of investigating all the facts and circumstances involving the assassination of President Kennedy?

Mrs. Murret. No; I wish I could think of something else, but I don't think I can. I can only say this. Lee appeared to be very kind to Marina, and I thought it was very nice of him to come up to the hospital to see me; and about my sister Marguerite, I could only tell you what she has already told in her life story, I guess, but I will say that I have never found her to tell an untruth. She's a woman with a lot of character and good morals, and I'm sure that what she was doing for her boys, she thought was the best at the time. Now, whether it was or not is something else, I guess.

Mr. Jenner. What was your impression of the morality of Lee Oswald during his lifetime?

Mrs. Murret. His morality, as far as I know, was very good. That's what baffles me, being the type of boy he was, I just couldn't see how he could do anything like that, but it's hard to judge a person that way.

Mr. Jenner. During the years that you knew him, did he ever have fits of temper, that you thought were unusual?

Mrs. Murret. Well, he visited with me often, and he did a lot of things that I wondered about at the time, but there were times when I think he was just like any other person. It was just that he was always so quiet, and he was hard to get close to. He just wouldn't talk unless you would talk to him first, and, like I say, he was kind to Marina. Of course now, I don't know what went on in their home, but he always treated her like a gentleman at our house.

Mr. Jenner. But you had no impression of him as being a violent person?

Mrs. Murret. No; not at all.

Mr. Jenner. All right, Mrs. Murret. I very much appreciate your help. This has been a long and a hard day, and I know that you are tired. There is just one other thing now, Mrs. Murret. You have the privilege of reading your deposition and signing it, if you wish, but you also may waive that, in which case the reporter will go ahead and transcribe the deposition, and it will be sent on to Washington. If you elect to read the deposition, then we would want to know that now, so that the U.S. attorney can call you and tell you when it is ready to be read and signed by you. Do you have any preference, one way or the other?

Mrs. Murret. Well, I don't think so. I will just waive it.

Mr. Jenner. You want to waive the reading and signing of the deposition then?

Mrs. Murret. Yes, sir.

Mr. Jenner. All right; thank you, Mrs. Murret.


TESTIMONY OF MARILYN DOROTHEA MURRET

The testimony of Marilyn Dorothea Murret was taken on April 6, 1964, at the Old Civil Courts Building, Royal and Conti Streets, New Orleans, La., by Mr. Wesley J. Liebeler, assistant counsel of the President's Commission.

155

Marilyn Dorothea Murret, a witness, having been duly sworn by Mr. Wesley J. Liebeler to testify the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help her God, testified as follows:

Mr. Liebeler. My name is Wesley J. Liebeler. I am a member of the legal staff of the President's Commission investigating the assassination of President Kennedy. The Commission has authorized staff members to take the testimony of witnesses pursuant to authority granted to it by Executive Order 11130, dated November 29, 1963, and Joint Resolution of Congress number 137.

I understand Mr. Rankin wrote you last week and told you that I would be in touch with you concerning the taking of your testimony, and I understand that he enclosed with his letter a copy of the Executive order to which I have just referred, as well as the copy of the Joint Resolution of Congress, and the rules of procedure adopted by the Commission governing the taking of testimony of witnesses, is that correct?

Miss Murret. Yes, sir.

Mr. Liebeler. You are technically entitled to 3-days' notice of this hearing under the Commission's rules. As I understand it, the Secret Service contacted you on Friday of last week. This may not actually be 3-days' notice, but you have the right to waive that notice. I presume that you are willing to do so, since you are here and willing to testify?

Miss Murret. Yes, sir.

Mr. Liebeler. The general nature of the Commission's inquiry is to ascertain, evaluate, and report upon the facts relating to the assassination of President Kennedy and to the subsequent death of Lee Harvey Oswald. We want to inquire of you as to any knowledge that you may have of the background of Lee Harvey Oswald, and as to any knowledge that you may have of his activities while he was here in New Orleans during the spring and summer of 1963.

Miss Murret. Yes, sir.

Mr. Liebeler. Before we get into the details of your knowledge on those questions, would you please state your full name for the record?

Miss Murret. Marilyn Dorothea Murret.

Mr. Liebeler. Where do you live?

Miss Murret. 757 French.

Mr. Liebeler. Where were you born, Miss Murret?

Miss Murret. New Orleans.

Mr. Liebeler. Have you lived all of your life here in New Orleans?

Miss Murret. Well, except for the time I traveled and I lived 2 years in St. Louis.

Mr. Liebeler. Well, would you give us a brief run-down of your educational background?

Miss Murret. Well, from elementary on?

Mr. Liebeler. Yes.

Miss Murret. I went to John Dibert Elementary School, and John McDonogh High School.

Mr. Liebeler. Those are both located here in the city of New Orleans?

Miss Murret. Yes, sir; and Loyola University, and L.S.U. at Baton Rouge, and Tulane, and a summer at Duke, and University of California, the Sorbonne, and University of Madrid, and St. Louis University——

Mr. Liebeler. What degrees do you hold from these schools which you have mentioned?

Miss Murret. I just have a B.A., and the others were educational courses—instead of going to one school, I just went to various ones.

Mr. Liebeler. What school gave you your B.A.?

Miss Murret. Tulane.

Mr. Liebeler. Tulane University?

Miss Murret. Yes.

Mr. Liebeler. I understand that you are a teacher. Is that correct?

Miss Murret. Yes.

Mr. Liebeler. Are you presently teaching?

Miss Murret. Yes.

Mr. Liebeler. Where?

156 Miss Murret. Fortier?

Mr. Liebeler. Where is that?

Miss Murret. Fortier.

Mr. Liebeler. Have you taught at the Junior University of New Orleans?

Miss Murret. Yes; unfortunately.

Mr. Liebeler. When did teach there?

Miss Murret. September through December, but he didn't pay us—he paid the first check, but he is out of business at the moment, and he didn't pay the last two. But he recently paid me for the November check, and he still owes me for December.

Mr. Liebeler. This is the person who is running the Junior University of New Orleans?

Miss Murret. Yes; it is closed down now, but he still has the one across the river. He had two, one on this side, and——

Mr. Liebeler. Two so-called universities?

Miss Murret. Yes, sir. But the one on it St. Charles is closed, and the one across the river is still operating.

Mr. Liebeler. And you taught at the one——

Miss Murret. Across the river. We didn't get paid so we——

Mr. Liebeler. If I understand, the one you taught at is still operating, but they haven't paid you your salary, so you quit and started teaching at Fortier?

Miss Murret. Yes.

Mr. Liebeler. Who are your parents?

Miss Murret. Mr. and Mrs. Charles Murret.

Mr. Liebeler. Your father is also known as Dutz Murret?

Miss Murret. Yes.

Mr. Liebeler. What is your father's occupation?

Miss Murret. Well, steamship clerk—I don't know whether it comes under the jurisdiction of, whether it is under the Mississippi Shipping, or how they operate, actually.

Mr. Liebeler. You don't know the name of the company for which he works?

Miss Murret. I don't know if it is just—the way it is, if there is no business on one wharf, they call him on another. I just don't know how that works.

Mr. Liebeler. And your mother's name is——

Miss Murret. Lillian Murret, maiden name Claverie.

Mr. Liebeler. Your mother is the sister of Marguerite Claverie, is she not——

Miss Murret. Yes.

Mr. Liebeler. Who is the mother of Lee Harvey Oswald.

Miss Murret. Yes.

Mr. Liebeler. Are you familiar with your mother's family? Does she have other brothers and sisters?

Miss Murret. They are all—most of them are dead. Her brothers all died when they were quite young, I believe during World War I, and when her mother died, she was about 33 years old. Her father died when I was very young, and I don't remember him at all.

Mr. Liebeler. Your mother's father died when you were a young girl?

Miss Murret. That is right, and her mother died when she was 33.

Mr. Liebeler. You mean when——

Miss Murret. When her mother was 33.

Mr. Liebeler. When her mother was 33?

Miss Murret. Yes; I think the eldest child is—I just don't have any idea.

Mr. Liebeler. How many brothers and sisters did your mother have?

Miss Murret. Three sisters, I think, and two brothers.

Mr. Liebeler. And one of these sisters would have been Mrs. Oswald; is that correct?

Miss Murret. Yes.

Mr. Liebeler. So altogether in the family there would have been four girls and two boys?

Miss Murret. Yes.

Mr. Liebeler. Your mother's three sisters and the two——

Miss Murret. Yes.

157 Mr. Liebeler. All of these three sisters, except for Mrs. Oswald, and both of the two brothers are deceased, is that correct?

Miss Murret. One other sister is still living, and the rest are all dead.

Mr. Liebeler. What is the other sister's name?

Miss Murret. Mancy.

Mr. Liebeler. Is that her last name?

Miss Murret. That is her first name, and I can hardly remember the last name.

Mr. Liebeler. You don't know her last name?

Miss Murret. I do, but I can't remember it. It will come to me in a moment. She lives in Frankfort. She goes from one daughter to the other daughter because her husband is dead.

Mr. Liebeler. So she lives in——

Miss Murret. From Kentucky and Tennessee, from Kentucky to Tennessee she goes.

Mr. Liebeler. So she lives in Frankfort, Ky., and at times she goes over to Tennessee and lives with her children? How many children does she have?

Miss Murret. Three—no, four. That is Winfry, is her name.

Mr. Liebeler. What is the name of the other of your mother's sisters?

Miss Murret. It was Marguerite, Mancy, my mother, and Pearl was the other one.

Mr. Liebeler. Pearl, who is deceased?

Miss Murret. Yes.

Mr. Liebeler. Has she children living?

Miss Murret. Yes; two.

Mr. Liebeler. What is Pearl's last name?

Miss Murret. Whittaker. But he is dead also, the husband.

Mr. Liebeler. Were her children boys or girls?

Miss Murret. Two boys.

Mr. Liebeler. Do you know where they live now?

Miss Murret. Emile Whittaker lives in Jefferson Parish somewhere, but I don't remember the street, and Jack Whittaker, I don't know where he lives.

Mr. Liebeler. What was the second one?

Miss Murret. That one was Jack—she had two boys.

Mr. Liebeler. Where does Jack live? Do you know, offhand?

Miss Murret. No.

Mr. Liebeler. The first boy's name was Emile?

Miss Murret. Yes.

Mr. Liebeler. Going back now to Mancy Winfry, you said she had four children?

Miss Murret. Yes.

Mr. Liebeler. Are they boys and girls?

Miss Murret. Three girls and one boy.

Mr. Liebeler. Do you know their names and where they are living?

Miss Murret. Andrew Winfry is the boy, and he goes to school, but I am not sure whether it is in Tennessee or Kentucky.

Mr. Liebeler. You would think in Tennessee somewhere?

Miss Murret. Yes; or maybe the university—might be Kentucky. I don't know.

Mr. Liebeler. Do you know the names of the three girls and where they live?

Miss Murret. Anne is one, and I think that she lives in Frankfort, and Nanny, but I don't know if that is her real name, and that probably is just a nickname, and then Jackie.

Mr. Liebeler. And Jackie?

Miss Murret. Yes.

Mr. Liebeler. Where do Nanny and Jackie live? Do you know?

Miss Murret. Either in Tennessee or Kentucky. Anne lives—I don't know, either in Tennessee or Kentucky also. But, anyway, two of the daughters live in the same State, and one in the other.

Mr. Liebeler. How many brothers and sisters do you have?

Miss Murret. Three brothers and one sister.

Mr. Liebeler. Three brothers and one sister?

158 Miss Murret. Yes.

Mr. Liebeler. What are your brothers' names?

Miss Murret. Charles, Eugene, John; and my sister is Joyce.

Mr. Liebeler. Is your sister Joyce older than you?

Miss Murret. Yes.

Mr. Liebeler. She is older?

Miss Murret. Yes.

Mr. Liebeler. As I understand it, Charles Murret is a dentist here in the city of New Orleans? Is that correct?

Miss Murret. Yes.

Mr. Liebeler. Eugene Murret is studying at the Catholic seminary?

Miss Murret. Yes.

Mr. Liebeler. The seminary is in Mobile, Ala.?

Miss Murret. Yes.

Mr. Liebeler. John Murret does what?

Miss Murret. He works for the Squibbs Pharmaceutical Co.

Mr. Liebeler. Here in New Orleans?

Miss Murret. New Orleans.

Mr. Liebeler. Is Joyce married?

Miss Murret. Yes.

Mr. Liebeler. What is her last name?

Miss Murret. O'Brien.

Mr. Liebeler. And she lives in New Orleans?

Miss Murret. No; in Beaumont, Tex.

Mr. Liebeler. Now we will have the two brothers of your mother, and their names were what?

Miss Murret. One was John.

Mr. Liebeler. John?

Miss Murret. Yes.

Mr. Liebeler. And the other?

Miss Murret. I think Charles. I didn't know them.

Mr. Liebeler. Do they have children living of which you know?

Miss Murret. No; they died when they were very young—1918 and 1919, during World War I.

Mr. Liebeler. They do not have any children surviving them?

Miss Murret. No; there were none.

Mr. Liebeler. As I understand it, your mother's sister, Marguerite, has three sons?

Miss Murret. Right.

Mr. Liebeler. Lee Harvey Oswald, Robert Oswald, and John Pic?

Miss Murret. Yes.

Mr. Liebeler. What contact have you had personally with Marguerite Oswald over the years?

Miss Murret. Well, when I was younger, she and mother were always on the outs. I remember her then, and then she would move away and come back and occasionally she would stay with us. The last time she moved back to New Orleans was when she lived on—she would stay 1 or 2 days or so——

Mr. Liebeler. And this last time was when?

Miss Murret. She had been away, and then I hadn't see her, but when she was on Exchange Alley, I think she visited one day. But when they were on Exchange, living on Exchange Alley, of course, I used to see her occasionally. I mean when she would come over and visit, but then she moved to Texas, and I hadn't seen her for ages.

Mr. Liebeler. So then you haven't seen her since she lived here in New Orleans on Exchange Alley, is that correct?

Miss Murret. Yes, sir.

Mr. Liebeler. Do you remember approximately when it was that she lived on Exchange Alley?

Miss Murret. I don't really remember.

Mr. Liebeler. Do you remember the address where she lived on Exchange Alley?

159 Miss Murret. No, sir.

Mr. Liebeler. Do you have any recollection of where Mrs. Oswald had been prior to the time that she moved back to New Orleans and lived on Exchange Alley?

Miss Murret. I think they were in Texas, but I don't think we heard from them when she was somewhere else.

Mr. Liebeler. Did you have any occasion to meet Lee Harvey Oswald when you saw Marguerite, during the time that she lived on Exchange Alley?

Miss Murret. Well, then he was going to Beauregard, so I would see him occasionally.

Mr. Liebeler. Was that Beauregard Junior High School?

Miss Murret. Yes.

Mr. Liebeler. Can you remember generally on what occasions you would meet Lee Harvey Oswald?

Miss Murret. He came over to the house several times to eat, but I don't think he was over very much.

Mr. Liebeler. About how old was he then? Do you remember?

Miss Murret. I don't know—at that time I guess he would be getting out of high school—well, then, you would be getting out of high school when you were about 16, so he might have been around—I don't really know, because I think he was 17 when he got in the service, and it wasn't long after that, so he might have been about 15.

Mr. Liebeler. Fifteen?

Miss Murret. Yes.

Mr. Liebeler. I did not ask you when you were born, and will you tell us?

Miss Murret. July 14, 1928.

Mr. Liebeler. Did you form any impression of Lee Oswald during the time that you saw him, when his mother lived on Exchange Alley?

Miss Murret. He was just like anybody else, I guess, but he was very reserved. He was always very reserved, and he liked to be by himself. His reason for that was always that he didn't have the same interests with the other children. I mean, he liked to read, and he loved nature, and he would just go and sit out in the park and meditate, I guess. I don't know.

Mr. Liebeler. Did you talk to him about these things, or how did you learn that he had this liking for nature and would sit in the park?

Miss Murret. I remember it at that time, because he had gotten into a fight with children at Beauregard; however, this is what my mother told me, and I don't remember this, and, anyway, it seems that he was from the North, and so they ridiculed him at the school. I don't know if it was because of the way he was dressed or not, but I actually didn't see anything wrong with his appearance, and so, he was riding in the streetcar one day, I believe, and he sat next to some Negroes. Well, when he got out of the streetcar, or bus, or whatever it was, these boys ganged up on him, and hit him in the mouth, and loosened his front teeth, I believe. But this I only know from my mother.

Well, it was after that, and then another time, and I don't know if they were teasing him and they said, "Oh, Lee—" and when he turned around, they hit him. It was just actually that—even though he was in fights, I think that it wasn't always his fault because I don't think he was an agitator in any way, because he really minded his own business. That much I know, but the incidents I only know from what my mother said. So, at that time I think he made the statement also, that it wasn't his fault, that he was minding his own business and "I don't have the same interests as the other students." They didn't like him because of his accent, and because he sat next to the Negroes, which was one incident. But he was extremely quiet.

Mr. Liebeler. Was it in connection with the discussion of these various difficulties that he had, that you learned that he used to just go to the park and sit in the park and observe nature, and was fond of it, interested in that sort of thing?

Miss Murret. I don't think he told me that—my mother must have told me that, because this came up when they told me this, when that boy, or that is, when some of the students from Beauregard were on TV and said that he was always in fights, and it was then that my mother said, actually, I mean, that160 she didn't think it was his fault, because she remembered those particular incidents.

Mr. Liebeler. And you and your mother have had discussions about this after the assassination?

Miss Murret. Right.

Mr. Liebeler. And the occasion for that discussion was that some of his former——

Miss Murret. He might have told me that he didn't have anything in common with the other students—I don't remember this. This was a long time ago, and she always had said that, but I may have said that before also. I just don't remember. I know it was this time when she told me that that was the reason for not associating with the other students, and that they made fun of him.

Mr. Liebeler. And this discussion came up when these former students from Beauregard came on the program, or on the air at this TV station and said that Lee Harvey Oswald had always been involved in fights when he was a young man, and the purport of that was that he was belligerent and difficult to get along with, and this is something that you might expect from a fellow like that, but your mother did not have that opinion?

Miss Murret. And from what I know—it is a long time ago—but he was very quiet, and I know he didn't have many friends, I don't think, but he was not the belligerent type. He just minded his own business, and, of course, if he committed this act, I guess it was a perverted mind—I don't know—but he had a certain manner about him that other children never had. I mean he was very refined, he really was, and extremely well mannered. I mean he was not an agitator to where you would say that any trouble started with him—I don't know. I mean from what I know, he never was.

Mr. Liebeler. Do you remember that Lee gave this impression back during the days that you knew him? Do you have any firsthand knowledge of that difference between him and the other boys as far as refinement and being well mannered?

Miss Murret. As far as manners, yes. Definitely. And I mean with some people that would irritate them—that would irritate many people, I suppose. I don't know, but that I do remember. And, as I said, he was very quiet, so he never talked, and it was very seldom, but he always had this manner, except that when he was a very young child he was very—he was darling, and very outgoing, and a very pretty child. He was adorable, and I mean if you walked in the street with him, everybody would stop because he lived with us until he was two, or a little over two, but if my mother took him to Canal Street, everybody stopped to admire him. He was a very pretty child, and very happy, very cute.

But, at Beauregard, I don't think there was anything different about him and the others, other than he was not—well, other than, as I was saying, he would have this very erect carriage at that time also, and, well, his manner was just different from those people, or from most of those students, I should say.

Mr. Liebeler. Can you think of any other ways in which Lee differed from his associates or fellow students at that time?

Miss Murret. No; at that time I don't think because—well, I think he wanted to play ball, or other things, but he didn't have the money—it could have been other things. I just don't know. I mean he wanted to play ball, and he didn't have the money to buy the equipment, and this is a long time ago, I am telling you, and I can't remember whether my brothers or somebody gave him some equipment, and he was very appreciative, very thankful, you know. And I mean I guess he couldn't do what the other children did, because he couldn't afford it. I mean he was interested in sports at that time, and he did like others, but I mean he was more reserved than the average person; but he wasn't—I guess he was interested in some of the same things like that, but I mean he wasn't a giddy child, is what I mean.

Mr. Liebeler. You mentioned this television program in which these former fellow students of his at Beauregard indicated that he had been involved in fights when he was at Beauregard. Do you remember what station that program was on?

161 Miss Murret. WDSU, I think, and the characters came on over and photographed my house and went all over the neighborhood, asking the neighbors what type of people we were, and what type of person my mother was. And, of course, my mother is a real good woman, so everybody had something nice to say. But it could just have been the other way around. It was absurd, and they pulled everything out, all that the people had said, and they quoted it. It was very, you know——

Mr. Liebeler. Do you remember the name of any of the students?

Miss Murret. Voebel, Ed Voebel, and he wears glasses, and I think he said that he was friendly with Lee at the time.

Mr. Liebeler. Can you think of any others?

Miss Murret. Any other people?

Mr. Liebeler. Yes; that were on the television program?

Miss Murret. Well, other groups of students, some girls, and a group of girls said that he was belligerent, you know, or that they didn't like the way he dressed, and all this nonsense. But he was the only one who spoke in any detail, and I think he was the only one who was very friendly and got him to join the Civil Air Patrol, in which he was very interested.

Mr. Liebeler. Was this just a news program, or was it a feature program run by a particular reporter or commentator?

Miss Murret. A reporter.

Mr. Liebeler. I beg your pardon?

Miss Murret. Probably just a reporter had called these people in.

Mr. Liebeler. But you don't remember the names of any of the men at WDSU that might be familiar with this that were on the program when these people were interviewed by someone, presumably?

Miss Murret. My mother knows the names of the men, or the man, I believe, because he wrote this letter and wanted some detailed information.

Mr. Liebeler. The reporter talked to you personally?

Miss Murret. The first time my father talked, and they get you off guard, of course, and I don't know what he told them. They asked him if he had stayed at my house, and my father at that time stated that he had, and that was all he said, and after that they came in and they wanted to take pictures and everything else. I asked them to leave, which they did, but for days after they were always coming around, and, of course, we had no comments. The one from WDSU got very irate, so he went up and down the block and interviewed the entire neighborhood, and it was about a half an hour show, around 7 o'clock or so, and had all the comments by the neighbors.

Mr. Liebeler. Did any of the neighbors remember Lee Oswald?

Miss Murret. The girl next door probably did because he had stayed there a few days when he came in.

Mr. Liebeler. He stayed at your house a few days? This was in 1963?

Miss Murret. Yes.

Mr. Liebeler. You mentioned that Lee had stayed with you when he was a young boy until the time that he was about 2 years old. You were about 11 or 12 years old at that time?

Miss Murret. Just about.

Mr. Liebeler. Do you have any recollection of Lee as a young child other than what you have already indicated to us that he was a very pretty child, and that he was adorable——

Miss Murret. He was adorable, and his personality, he was just—well, he was very bright, you know, very observant, and he was just a darling child.

Mr. Liebeler. And he gave no indication of any behavior problems?

Miss Murret. No; he was darling.

Mr. Liebeler. There wasn't anything apparently wrong with him at all?

Miss Murret. And very pleasant, you know, not the type of child who if he didn't get his way would start screaming—never any of that. He was just a very pleasant child.

Mr. Liebeler. What were the circumstances that led to Lee's living with you at that time? Do you know?

Miss Murret. Well, I think the mother had to work and we kept him.

Mr. Liebeler. His father had died shortly, or, actually before he was born?

162 Miss Murret. Yes.

Mr. Liebeler. Do you remember where Lee's mother worked during that time?

Miss Murret. I don't know—she worked for several department stores, and in a hosiery shop that she was managing, and I don't know if it was Jean's Hosiery Shop.

Mr. Liebeler. So it was hosiery shops or department stores?

Miss Murret. Yes.

Mr. Liebeler. Well, then Lee left your house. Where did he go after that? Do you know?

Miss Murret. I think that is when he went to Texas. I am not sure if that is when she married Ekdahl, or if she married Ekdahl later.

Mr. Liebeler. Or what?

Miss Murret. Well, she married Ekdahl when he was very young.

Mr. Liebeler. When Lee was very young?

Miss Murret. Yes.

Mr. Liebeler. Do you recall whether or not Lee was ever in an orphanage, an orphan home here in New Orleans?

Miss Murret. I know the other two boys were, and we were trying to figure out whether he was.

Mr. Liebeler. And you are not sure whether he ever was or not?

Miss Murret. No; I am not.

Mr. Liebeler. But up until the time that Lee left you and went back either to his mother or to Texas, or wherever he went, your recollection is perfectly clear that Lee was a normal, happy, bright young boy? Is that correct?

Miss Murret. Yes.

Mr. Liebeler. You mentioned this man Ekdahl, and can you tell us the background on that, and you were probably around 13, 12 or 13 years old, or perhaps even a little older, when Mrs. Oswald married Mr. Ekdahl; is that correct?

Miss Murret. Yes.

Mr. Liebeler. Do you remember ever having met Mr. Ekdahl?

Miss Murret. I met him once.

Mr. Liebeler. Do you know the correct spelling of his name?

Miss Murret. No.

Mr. Liebeler. What were the circumstances surrounding the meeting with Mr. Ekdahl?

Miss Murret. My circumstances?

Mr. Liebeler. No; the circumstances?

Miss Murret. He just stopped over there one day, and I think he and my aunt had John Edward and Robert with him, and they were going to military school.

Mr. Liebeler. Was this after they were married?

Miss Murret. It might have been before—I don't know whether she got married here, or she met him in Texas. I don't really know that. I do know that I saw him on one occasion, and at the time she had the two boys—he had the two boys with him, John and Robert, because, if I remember, they were in uniform. I met him on the one occasion, and if I can remember, they had the two boys with them, and they were both in uniform.

Mr. Liebeler. Did you ever hear of the circumstances under which Mrs. Oswald married Ekdahl, or met him? What do you know about this relationship?

Miss Murret. Just nothing other than what my mother has said, that actually she didn't want to get married because he was an older man, and I think he was sick, or something, and it was his sister who said, "Well, why don't you marry him?" So, they got married. I think she was quite hesitant about it, actually.

Mr. Liebeler. Before Mrs. Oswald married Lee Harvey Oswald's father, she was married to a man named Pic, is that correct?

Miss Murret. Yes.

Mr. Liebeler. Have you ever met him?

Miss Murret. No.

Mr. Liebeler. Do you know anything about that marriage?

Miss Murret. Well, that again, only from what my mother has said, that163 he did not want any children, and father and she found that very difficult to believe, so they thought that maybe it was just Marguerite saying that. And she loved him, and then when she got pregnant, or, she got pregnant once and lost the baby, and he had threatened to leave if she got pregnant.

So, after she lost the baby, he wanted her to go back to him, which she did. But when she got pregnant with John, he didn't—he said that he would leave before that, if she got pregnant, or something, so, anyway, he talked to my mother and my mother found out definitely that that was true. And he definitely did not want any children.

So when she got pregnant with John, she left because he didn't want her to have the baby, or he didn't want her to ever to get pregnant, so she left, or he left. He left her, or she left him—it might be the other way, but, anyway, he didn't want any children, and he had always threatened that if she got pregnant, he would leave. But I think that when she got pregnant with John, she was probably carrying him, so she left, or maybe he said he was leaving—I just don't know. Anyway, that was mostly what my mother said, she couldn't conceive of any man being like that, but it was definitely true, because either she had talked to him or——

Mr. Liebeler. Either your mother talked to Pic, or, in any event, your mother learned that apparently it was true that Mr. Pic didn't want to have any children?

Miss Murret. Yes.

Mr. Liebeler. Do you know whether Mrs. Oswald, that is, Marguerite, met Mr. Oswald before she was divorced from Pic or separated from Pic, or afterwards?

Miss Murret. Mr. Oswald?

Mr. Liebeler. Yes?

Miss Murret. It was a long time after that they were married.

Mr. Liebeler. Did you ever meet or know Lee Harvey Oswald's father?

Miss Murret. I saw him.

Mr. Liebeler. Do you have any recollection of him, what he was like?

Miss Murret. No; just as a person, you know, and I saw a picture later, and I could visualize him perfectly. I was very young then.

Mr. Liebeler. Do you have any other recollections of Lee Oswald as a young man that you can recall that you think would be helpful at this time, specifically after he left your home at the age of two? Was the next time you saw him when he moved back and moved over into Exchange Alley?

Miss Murret. Yes.

Mr. Liebeler. Did he seem to be the kind of person then that you would have expected him to be, based on your recollection of him as a 2-year old? Or did he seem different? Just tell us what impression did you have when you met him again?

Miss Murret. I don't think I really compared him to the time when he was a child, but he was a little different, as I said, from other children in that he was more reserved than the average teenager.

Mr. Liebeler. Did you think that he was a sensitive person?

Miss Murret. No. What I actually thought was that he, I mean he just had certain interests and I mean because he had been reared like that, and probably—I think is what my mother said, and I don't know, but my aunt had no alternative—I mean they probably did the wrong thing by having him stay by himself, but, in other words, under the circumstances they thought that that would be better than getting into trouble with other people, and maybe it just worked the other way around. But she trained him to be by himself, because she had to work, and so she thought it would be better to have him stay home and listen to the radio and television and read, rather than to get in with other boys and do things they shouldn't do, with no intention of—I am saying if he did this—of warping his mind. But it just happened to turn out that way, but she thought she was doing the right thing, and he would never talk to any strangers, or anything. He was just reared like that.

Mr. Liebeler. The last time you saw Marguerite, I think you testified this was during the time that she lived here in New Orleans on Exchange Alley, before she went to Texas?

164 Miss Murret. Yes.

Mr. Liebeler. Did you form an impression of her?

Miss Murret. Who? Marguerite?

Mr. Liebeler. Yes.

Miss Murret. When she came back you mean?

Mr. Liebeler. Yes; at any time, just what your general impression and feeling about Marguerite Oswald was?

Miss Murret. I think she is a woman of very good character, but she had a very curt tongue, and she doesn't forget very easily. I mean if you have an argument with her, I don't think she forgets it immediately. But she also, I guess, and it is probably her reason for that, and I mean, if she worked, she had to work in these department stores, and she was not a gossipy type of woman, and I don't know but I worked a few summers in a department store, and I know that for these sales how they—I mean they will slit one another's throats.

Mr. Liebeler. The sales clerks?

Miss Murret. Yes. I think that the employees were arguing—she didn't engage in petty gossip as other employees and probably got in arguments over that, you know, and she was a little quick-tongued.

Mr. Liebeler. But other than that you have no——

Miss Murret. Other than that she was nice in her own way, you know.

Mr. Liebeler. There was a time in the spring of 1963 when Lee Oswald came to New Orleans, isn't that correct?

Miss Murret. Yes.

Mr. Liebeler. Tell us what you know about that?

Miss Murret. When he came in the last time, you mean?

Mr. Liebeler. Yes. That was the next time that you saw Lee Oswald after he and his mother left the Exchange Alley address and went to Texas, isn't that correct?

Miss Murret. Yes.

Mr. Liebeler. Tell us what happened in connection with his coming to New Orleans?

Miss Murret. He telephoned my mother, I think from the bus station. Of course, we didn't even know that he was back, and so he asked if he could stay there a while until he got a job, and he told my mother that he was married, and that he had a baby.

So, my mother asked him if he was alone, because if he had a family she wouldn't have been able to accommodate him. But he was by himself, so she said O.K. He stayed there a while until he found a place on Magazine Street. And then the wife and this lady from Texas came down, and they moved into the place on Magazine Street.

Mr. Liebeler. Do you live with your mother?

Miss Murret. Yes.

Mr. Liebeler. Were you at home during the time that Oswald lived there during that period?

Miss Murret. Yes.

Mr. Liebeler. How long was he there?

Miss Murret. I am not sure whether it was a week or a little over a week.

Mr. Liebeler. Did you have any conversations with him during that time?

Miss Murret. During the day he was usually looking for a job, and I was working. And in the evening maybe we would talk a little, but nothing in particular. I was usually working on lesson plans, and he went to work about 8:30 or 9 o'clock, and the only discussions that I really had was on religion.

Mr. Liebeler. Was that during this week?

Miss Murret. I beg your pardon?

Mr. Liebeler. Was that at the time?

Miss Murret. Yes.

Mr. Liebeler. What did he say about that, and what did you say?

Miss Murret. He just listened.

Mr. Liebeler. What did you say?

Miss Murret. And then he just said or I assumed that he was an atheist because a brother of mine is in the seminary, you know——

165 Mr. Liebeler. Anyway, he knew of your brother in the seminary?

Miss Murret. Actually, he was more concerned about that, I guess, and so I just said this, this religious discussion. I just set this off because he was not interested at all, and so he just listened and he said that he had his own philosophy, and that he was an atheist. But he didn't argue, or anything, and he just let me rave on for about an hour.

Mr. Liebeler. You are a Catholic, is that correct?

Miss Murret. Yes.

Mr. Liebeler. A practicing Catholic?

Miss Murret. Yes.

Mr. Liebeler. And you expressed that to Oswald?

Miss Murret. Yes.

Mr. Liebeler. As best as you can recall, all he did was listen and then he indicated that he had his own way?

Miss Murret. Which he didn't express.

Mr. Liebeler. But he did tell you that he was an atheist?

Miss Murret. Yes.

Mr. Liebeler. He didn't go into any further details than that?

Miss Murret. Yes.

Mr. Liebeler. Did you get any feeling about him when you had this discussion with him? I mean, did it seem kind of strange to you that someone would just sit and let you go on at such length on a subject like that, and then not really respond to it?

Miss Murret. That was typical of Lee.

Mr. Liebeler. Typical of Lee?

Miss Murret. Yes.

Mr. Liebeler. He didn't express any disgust or short temperedness with you over your——

Miss Murret. No. Oh, no.

Mr. Liebeler. Do you remember any other discussions or confrontations that you might have had?

Miss Murret. That was the only time that I had had any chance to talk with him, and that was the first day that he came—I believe it was. After that, on Saturdays, or that particular Saturday he was out all day looking around for a job. And then on that Sunday he wanted to know where his father was buried, and he wanted to locate some of his relatives, because he had said that when Marina's family had asked him about his family, he didn't know anything at all, he didn't know what descent he was, and he said he realized, or he missed not being close to his relatives, because he didn't know any of them other than us.

Mr. Liebeler. Did he ask you about this or——

Miss Murret. My mother.

Mr. Liebeler. And you were there at the time?

Miss Murret. Yes.

Mr. Liebeler. What did your mother tell him?

Miss Murret. My mother checked the telephone directory, and I think most of the Oswalds were dead. Harvey Oswald, who was his godfather, I believe, is dead. He did find one relative and he went to see her.

Mr. Liebeler. What was her name?

Miss Murret. I don't know, but that might have been his wife. My mother would know.

Mr. Liebeler. Whose wife? Harvey Oswald's?

Miss Murret. They were very old. That was his father's brother, but they are all dead. But it might be one of the wives who is still living, and he went out there to see her, and she gave him a picture of his father. And then he went to visit the grave.

Mr. Liebeler. Of his father?

Miss Murret. Yes.

Mr. Liebeler. Did he talk to you about that at all?

Miss Murret. No.

Mr. Liebeler. What happened to the picture? Do you know?

166 Miss Murret. I think he might have told my mother about it, and I think he might have told me, but I was there that Sunday and he caught the bus and went to the other house, and this old lady gave him the picture of his father. And he just showed it, and that was all.

Mr. Liebeler. Was it a large picture or——

Miss Murret. Yes.

Mr. Liebeler. And did he take it with him when he left, when he moved over to the apartment on Magazine Street?

Miss Murret. Yes. I guess so——

Mr. Liebeler. You haven't seen it around the house since?

Miss Murret. No.

Mr. Liebeler. You mentioned something about when he caught the bus and went to the other aunt?

Miss Murret. You say to the aunt?

Mr. Liebeler. To this aunt who gave him the picture?

Miss Murret. Well, I mean he left and I know he caught the bus.

Mr. Liebeler. Did he seem concerned about his ability to find a job?

Miss Murret. He wanted to find a job so Marina could come down here. I know he was looking—I mean he seemed like he really wanted to find one. And when he found it, he seemed to be very happy about it.

Mr. Liebeler. Did he tell you——

Miss Murret. I mean the one at the Reily Coffee Co.

Mr. Liebeler. Did he tell you why he came to New Orleans to look for a job?

Miss Murret. He had said that Marina wanted to be near the sea, and she thought she would like New Orleans. He didn't tell me that; he told my mother.

Mr. Liebeler. You knew at this time that he had been to the Soviet Union, did you not?

Miss Murret. Yes.

Mr. Liebeler. Did you talk to him about his experiences in Russia?

Miss Murret. I asked him how he liked it, and he showed me a few photographs, my mother and I, of where he lived. And that is when he said about the family, that people were very family conscious——

Mr. Liebeler. In Russia?

Miss Murret. Yes; I don't know—I think he was citing one experience where he was traveling, or something, and there were some people who had less than he had, and invited him in, which they would probably do here, but just never had occasion to, and they had very little, but what they had they shared with him. That is when he said that he was very embarrassed because when they asked him what descent he was, he said he didn't know, didn't know nothing at all about his family, and that is why he was determined to locate his various relatives here.

Mr. Liebeler. Did you ask him why he went to Russia in the first place?

Miss Murret. No; I was away when he left, and I didn't even know he left actually, and my mother didn't tell me anything, to worry me, and I saw his brother, John. And my sister had written me a letter just before that and said that Marguerite had not heard from Lee, and that she had sent some money and the envelope was returned. I didn't know where he had gone, and I guess they just assumed that I knew. My mother didn't want to worry me probably, because all the scandal was brewing in all the papers, and everything. I went to visit John, and his wife told me at that time——

Mr. Liebeler. Where was John living at that time?

Miss Murret. In Japan.

Mr. Liebeler. You were in Japan at that time?

Miss Murret. Yes.

Mr. Liebeler. What were you doing in Japan?

Miss Murret. I taught school over there.

Mr. Liebeler. In an English speaking school?

Miss Murret. Yes.

Mr. Liebeler. Did John tell you that Lee had gone to Russia?

Miss Murret. He didn't tell me—his wife told me. So I didn't bring the subject167 up at all with John. I mean we weren't invading anybody's privacy at all, and if he wanted to say something, he would say. And I know that she said that they were very upset because this put him over the barrel, and he has a family, and he was very embarrassed.

Mr. Liebeler. John was?

Miss Murret. Of course, and they had three children, and I mean it was in Stars and Stripes.

Mr. Liebeler. John was in the Air Force at that time?

Miss Murret. Yes.

Mr. Liebeler. You didn't bring the subject up of Lee at all as to why he went?

Miss Murret. No, sir.

Mr. Liebeler. Did he indicate anything about his experiences in Russia other than what you have already told us?

Miss Murret. The only thing he said was—I just didn't know any of this would happen, and I didn't know he would be leaving and I thought that he would say what he wanted to say, because I don't believe in bombarding somebody with questions, I really don't, and what they want to say, they say, and what they don't want to say, they don't say. So, anyway, he said that he had better quarters than the average person because he was an American, and they wanted to create a good impression on him. Other than about the family and showing me a few photographs, that is all he said. And he said that he had met Marina at this dance, and he worked in the factory.

Mr. Liebeler. Did he tell you what kind of factory?

Miss Murret. No; he didn't.

Mr. Liebeler. Did he tell you what he did?

Miss Murret. No.

Mr. Liebeler. Did he tell you how much he was paid?

Miss Murret. No; maybe he did, but I wouldn't know what it was, anyway.

Mr. Liebeler. Did he tell you about any travels that he had in the Soviet Union?

Miss Murret. Well, just that he said, and I don't know where he was going or where he was when he said it, that these people let him spend the night there and that they had less than he had. So if that was on the outskirts, or where it was, I don't really know.

Mr. Liebeler. Do you speak Russian?

Miss Murret. No.

Mr. Liebeler. Do you speak any foreign language?

Miss Murret. I studied French and Spanish, but was hopeless.

Mr. Liebeler. Did he tell you about any school that he might have gone to when he was in Russia, any training that he might have gotten?

Miss Murret. No sir; he didn't say anything at all about any kind of training. When he first came out, I couldn't understand how he had gotten out, in the first place.

Mr. Liebeler. How he had gotten out of Russia to come back, you mean?

Miss Murret. With a Russian wife, and he did say her father was—was he a Russian officer? Anyway——

Mr. Liebeler. Did he say her father——

Miss Murret. He was, or she might have said that in her broken English, so I couldn't conceive of how they had gotten out of Russia, and how he had access to Russia, I mean to work there, et cetera, and then just to be allowed to leave, with a Russian wife, and her father being in the Army. And I think that she had an uncle—I don't know—but I think it was in the papers, or in some magazine recently that he is with the Intelligence Service in Russia.

Mr. Liebeler. Her uncle?

Miss Murret. Yes; he, supposedly, was the one who helped him to get out. So, that I couldn't figure out.

Mr. Liebeler. Did you ask him about it? Did you ask Lee about that?

Miss Murret. Yes; and he said he'd had a tough time. That is about the only thing I did ask him, and he said he'd had a very difficult time getting out, and he had to wait for a particular length of time until everything went through, and he knew that since, or if he had not had a wife, he could have gotten out sooner, but he had to wait on her papers, and by that time they'd had168 a baby, but, anyway, I wasn't satisfied, but by that time I couldn't understand how they got out. But, I said, well, if they let them out, they went through the Embassy obviously, and if they were doing things he was not supposed to do, they would be trailing him.

Mr. Liebeler. You thought this?

Miss Murret. Well, any time anybody comes out of Russia, you think it, naturally.

Mr. Liebeler. But you didn't say anything to Lee about it?

Miss Murret. No; definitely not. I had just asked him if it was difficult to get out, and so then I said, well, if he were up to anything, you know, they would obviously be trailing him, so we could just forget about that because he might really have realized that he made a mistake, and he was coming back over here. I mean, you don't try to antagonize him—I mean you try to help him, and figure, thinking that if he realizes that he made a mistake and he wanted to come back here, you would do everything you could to help him.

Mr. Liebeler. Did he indicate that he had been given trouble about getting out of Russia by the Russians or by the Americans? Or did he distinguish between them because he thought he had been harrassed by the two authorities?

Miss Murret. I don't think he really said, but I don't remember that he—I think, or I thought he meant the Russians, because the Americans gave him the money, evidently they were willing to give it to him anytime.

Mr. Liebeler. Where did you learn about the fact that the Americans had given him the money? Did he tell you that?

Miss Murret. He told my mother that.

Mr. Liebeler. Can you remember any more about it than just that he had received money from the United States? Did he tell you any more details, or did your mother repeat them to you?

Miss Murret. Well, and then I read something about it.

Mr. Liebeler. After the assassination?

Miss Murret. Yes; I think it was in Life, that he had renounced his citizenship, but that the American Embassy said that he didn't, and that that was why he got back here; or that if he had renounced it, he couldn't have gotten back, so he was an alien. I don't know.

Mr. Liebeler. Did you know about this at all, or have any conversation with Lee about it before the assassination?

Miss Murret. About what?

Mr. Liebeler. About this time that he renounced his citizenship and these difficulties?

Miss Murret. Well, they had articles in the papers that my mother showed me after I came home, Fort Worth papers, that he threw the passport on the desk. But I didn't ask him about that at all.

Mr. Liebeler. And he didn't tell you anything about it?

Miss Murret. No.

Mr. Liebeler. Did it seem extraordinary to you that he had been able to obtain money from the State Department or whomever he obtained it from to return to the United States?

Miss Murret. Extraordinary in the fact that I didn't know how he could get out with a Russian wife and baby, whose uncle was in the military, and an uncle—I don't know what he was at the time—but I thought he was affiliated with the military, but I have read something since then that the father was with the intelligence service. But then I didn't really think too much that—well, your first reaction, but then you don't think too much about that after because he had to go through the Embassy. So you figure that it was one of two things, he either really realized that he wanted to live here again, or they let him out for a purpose. And if they did, then they would certainly be trailing him.

Mr. Liebeler. Did it occur to you that he might be an agent of the Soviet Union?

Miss Murret. At first; yes.

Mr. Liebeler. You mean when you first——

Miss Murret. The first reaction.

Mr. Liebeler. You mean when you first——

Miss Murret. Well, the fact that he got out.

169 Mr. Liebeler. But when you say "at first," you don't mean at first, after the assassination? You mean at first, after you saw him?

Miss Murret. After he came out.

Mr. Liebeler. And you didn't really think about that too much until he came here in 1963, or had you considered it prior to that time?

Miss Murret. We didn't know he was out.

Mr. Liebeler. Until he came here?

Miss Murret. Right.

Mr. Liebeler. You didn't know he was back from Russia at all?

Miss Murret. He just telephoned mother and my mother said, "I didn't even know you were back." And he said, "I have been back for—I don't know—probably a year."

Mr. Liebeler. Did you have any discussions with your mother or anybody else in your family about the possibility that Oswald might be a Russian agent?

Miss Murret. As I said, I dispelled that immediately because I thought, well, if he was, they would certainly be trailing him. So, I mean you can't go around with suspicion like that, or, I mean certainly the American Embassy should know what is going on. So, if that were the case, well, they would be on his trail. And, if not, well, he was definitely sincere. I mean, you don't try to antagonize or constantly throw up past mistakes, in case he, you know——

Mr. Liebeler. So you considered the question briefly and dismissed it for the reasons you state?

Miss Murret. Yes; but just the first reaction would be, how did he get out?

Mr. Liebeler. And, as you have stated, the reason for your thinking of the question in the first place was because of the apparent ease with which he was able to leave the Soviet Union with a Russian wife?

Miss Murret. Yes.

Mr. Liebeler. Did it cause you any concern to associate with him or have anything to do with him at all after you considered the question that he might have been a Russian agent? I mean, you said that you dismissed it because you assumed if he was, he was being trailed, or the authorities would be in touch with him, but did it concern you that they might associate you with Oswald, or identify you in any way?

Miss Murret. No.

Mr. Liebeler. It did not?

Miss Murret. No, sir.

Mr. Liebeler. After the first week that Lee was at your home, he rented an apartment and moved out? Is that correct?

Miss Murret. Yes.

Mr. Liebeler. Were you there when he left your house?

Miss Murret. No.

Mr. Liebeler. Did he tell you he found an apartment?

Miss Murret. He told me about it.

Mr. Liebeler. Did he or did he not tell you personally?

Miss Murret. I don't remember whether I was there or not. Yes; I think I might have been. Yes; I was, because I think he came home and said that it was a lovely place, but he didn't know whether Marina would like it, because it had high ceilings, and she didn't like high ceilings. But he liked it.

Mr. Liebeler. Did Marina come out to your house at this time?

Miss Murret. Well, when they came in, the lady from Texas brought her——

Mr. Liebeler. In a station wagon?

Miss Murret. Yes.

Mr. Liebeler. Do you know her name?

Miss Murret. I know now; yes. It was Paine.

Mr. Liebeler. Did you know her at that time?

Miss Murret. No; he introduced me, I think, or she introduced herself—I don't remember—because I was getting ready to go out and that was when I was in and out, getting dressed. But he also had referred to her just as Marina's friend in Texas, and I told her it was very nice to meet her.

Mr. Liebeler. They actually came there to your house before Lee moved out, or after he moved out?

Miss Murret. He had moved out, I think, he himself, and then he came to170 my house, and then from there they were going to go, so they wouldn't get lost—so they could find the directions, or something. I don't know.

Mr. Liebeler. So Marina and Mrs. Paine came to your house and they went from there, went to the apartment on Magazine then?

Miss Murret. They stayed there a very short while and Marina was petrified——

Mr. Liebeler. What was she petrified about?

Miss Murret. Well, on meeting us for the first time, and the language barrier, and the baby was cross and crying because of all the people there, I guess, and probably tired. I think Marina was nervous or probably thinking that we would think that it was a bad or a spoiled child. So they left very shortly after, and I don't think Marina ever came in the back. Mrs. Paine came in the back to get a root beer, and I can't remember if that is when she introduced herself, or I was in the front when they introduced them, or not. I met Marina when she came into the living room. I don't remember whether he introduced me to Mrs. Paine formally, or whether she introduced herself.

Mr. Liebeler. Was Lee there at that time?

Miss Murret. Yes; he had moved out——

Mr. Liebeler. But he had come out, that is, come back to your house to meet Marina and Mrs. Paine?

Miss Murret. Yes.

Mr. Liebeler. Did you talk to Marina?

Miss Murret. She doesn't speak English. On that day we hardly said anything.

Mr. Liebeler. It was indicated to you that she could not speak English; is that correct?

Miss Murret. Yes.

Mr. Liebeler. Did you ever try to talk to Marina in English?

Miss Murret. Yes.

Mr. Liebeler. How did it go?

Miss Murret. It was exasperating.

Mr. Liebeler. Did she understand any English?

Miss Murret. I think she understood more than she could speak, but still there is a lot she doesn't understand.

Mr. Liebeler. Did you have the feeling that she was not very proficient in the English language?

Miss Murret. Yes.

Mr. Liebeler. Were you able to communicate anything in any way with her at all in English?

Miss Murret. Just petty things, you know, like if she would eat something, how to make that, and "no like," or through mannerisms and small words to say a few things. She also commented, you know, when they would eat over there a few times—on the food, but other than that, she——

Mr. Liebeler. Did you form any impression of Mrs. Paine?

Miss Murret. Mrs. Paine? I don't know—my mother had said that Lee had been invited to this professor's house, or something, to show slides, a professor out at Tulane, a professor of languages.

Mr. Liebeler. What is his name? Is it Riseman?

Miss Murret. That was when he was living on Magazine, and I think they telephoned my mother to find out if anybody had called the house for an application, or different things, and I think he said he was going that night, that they were suppose to show slides. Now, this man had one daughter, I think, who was in Russia, and he was a friend of Mrs. Paine's.

Mr. Liebeler. Would the name Kloepfer sound like the——

Miss Murret. No.

Mr. Liebeler. How about Riseman?

Miss Murret. No; I don't know the language professor's name.

Mr. Liebeler. You think your mother would remember?

Miss Murret. I don't think so, because I think it was the other Secret Service man who tried to get her to remember and she couldn't.

Mr. Liebeler. And this professor, he was a professor of what?

171 Miss Murret. Languages.

Mr. Liebeler. What language? Russian?

Miss Murret. I don't know if it was only Russian, or what, or some other language. He just teaches, you know——

Mr. Liebeler. And you don't have any idea where he lived?

Miss Murret. Who? The professor? No. So then it was just that he had a daughter in Russia, and I was just wondering why she got to know him.

Mr. Liebeler. Oswald?

Miss Murret. I often wonder how it was that she spoke Russian.

Mr. Liebeler. Who? Mrs. Paine?

Miss Murret. Yes; and then it came out in the paper, or it was in Time magazine, or something, that she was a Quaker, so I discarded all those ideas also, claiming where she was, I guess, just purely interested in the language, and you would see people who spoke that language.

Mr. Liebeler. Were you suspicious of Mrs. Paine? Were you suspicious of Mrs. Paine in any way?

Miss Murret. At first, because she sought all of the Russian speaking people, and she spoke Russian herself.

Mr. Liebeler. Did you indicate that the Secret Service had discussed this with you about the professor?

Miss Murret. No; my mother told me.

Mr. Liebeler. Your mother told this to the Secret Service man?

Miss Murret. Yes.

Mr. Liebeler. Were you there when she talked to the Secret Service man?

Miss Murret. Yes.

Mr. Liebeler. Do you remember anything else about this professor that we could use to find out who he was, or who he is?

Miss Murret. No; I don't. But it probably would be easy enough to find, if he has a daughter who is a student over there, and I don't think that that would be too difficult to find.

Mr. Liebeler. After he and Marina had moved into the apartment on Magazine Street, did you ever go to the apartment?

Miss Murret. I just drove him over there once or—I think we drove him home once or twice.

Mr. Liebeler. Were you ever inside of the apartment?

Miss Murret. Once I went in the back part.

Mr. Liebeler. What kind of place was it?

Miss Murret. Well, they had a back part of the house, and I never did know whether it was a double, or what, or just the back part was arranged to make an apartment. But he had called one Sunday afternoon and said that Marina wanted to come over there. So I think we picked them up in the afternoon and brought them, but usually if they came, they took the bus, and we always took them home.

Mr. Liebeler. How many times did you see the Oswalds after that?

Miss Murret. On Magazine?

Mr. Liebeler. That you recall? Yes?

Miss Murret. I think they came over one day, one Saturday, and then a half a day on Sunday, or this might have been the same day—I don't know—and Labor Day, because I was not here from the beginning of July until September.

Mr. Liebeler. Am I correct in understanding then that the last time you saw Oswald was on Labor Day, 1963, which would have been early in September?

Miss Murret. Yes.

Mr. Liebeler. Is that the time that you went crabbing with him?

Miss Murret. No.

Mr. Liebeler. What was the occasion that you met him on Labor Day? What did you do?

Miss Murret. They called up, or Lee called up and said that Marina wanted to come over, that she was tired of sitting at home. But my mother had said, because the last time that they were there and they were there all day, with the language barrier, my mother was exhausted, so she told him to come in the afternoon. And this they did, about 3 or 4 they came over in the bus.

172 Mr. Liebeler. Did they come over on the bus?

Miss Murret. Yes; and then we took them back.

Mr. Liebeler. When did you go crabbing with him? You did, did you not?

Miss Murret. I think it was on a Saturday.

Mr. Liebeler. So this would have been before July, is that correct?

Miss Murret. Yes.

Mr. Liebeler. Because you have indicated that you were not in New Orleans during July or August of 1963?

Miss Murret. Yes.

Mr. Liebeler. Who also went on this crabbing expedition?

Miss Murret. Just Marina and I and he. I think the baby stayed at my house.

Mr. Liebeler. Tell us what you can recall about that?

Miss Murret. We went to the lake, and Lee was doing all the crabbing, of course, and we didn't have any crabs, so I just sat there with Marina. And then we walked over to the coke machine and got a coke, and I got some cigarettes, and I remember she said that she didn't smoke, and that Lee didn't want her to smoke. So we came on back and Marina told him something in Russian, and he started to laugh. And he said, "Do you know what she said?" I said "No." He said, or he was saying that women are all alike, because she was telling him that here you spend or you only could afford, I think he had two nets, and that was all that he had money for, and the meat, so she was telling him, "You spend the money for the nets and the meat, and you are spending all of your time catching nothing, when we could have gone down to the French Market and got them for the same price." He said, "They are all alike, you know, Russians, American, typical woman." I just sat there with her.

Mr. Liebeler. Did he ever catch any crabs that day?

Miss Murret. No, sir.

Mr. Liebeler. Do you remember anything else that was said or that happened on that day that was worthy of any note?

Miss Murret. She didn't say anything and he was walking up and down——

Mr. Liebeler. Lee was?

Miss Murret. And I was sitting on the steps with them, and it was only an hour and a half.

Mr. Liebeler. So you were not able to talk to Marina?

Miss Murret. I said a little bit, but nothing—I mean, you couldn't really talk, and you would just exhaust yourself with petty things, you know, word for word.

Mr. Liebeler. How did this crabbing expedition come to pass in the first place? Did Lee call you and ask you to take him, or——

Miss Murret. No; I think that they were over there and he just said, I don't know, maybe just that they were going to the lake. I don't remember. And then they asked me, stopped and asked me if I wanted to——

Mr. Liebeler. But when this started out, Lee and Marina were over at your house on French? And Marina and Lee left from there and went on this expedition?

Miss Murret. Yes.

Mr. Liebeler. Did you form an impression as to how Marina and Lee got along with each other?

Miss Murret. Well, as I am saying, at first, I had no idea, when he first came out, but then after I met them together, and then since the assassination, of course, you know, how most of my thoughts are running back because that happened, but after that time, I am saying that some statements came out that he was very strict with her—I don't know. You don't know in anybody else's house, I guess, but from all indications they were perfectly happy. He was very devoted to Marina. He seemed to love his child very much. And as I say, I am saying that he was very well-mannered, he really was. And I mean if any other girl sat down, he pulled the chair out, and the car door was opened to let her in and out, and he does that for everybody. And, I don't know, she just seemed to be perfectly happy, and that is when I really thought that my imagination had just run away with me in the beginning, and that probably173 I—and he seemed to—I don't know, but they just seemed to be very family conscious and devoted. In fact, they were a real cute couple.

Mr. Liebeler. There wasn't anything about that that struck you as peculiar or out of the ordinary?

Miss Murret. No.

Mr. Liebeler. You never heard of them having any marital difficulties of any kind while they were here?

Miss Murret. Only what I read.

Mr. Liebeler. Only what you read in the paper after the assassination?

Miss Murret. Yes.

Mr. Liebeler. When Marina mentioned to you that Lee didn't want her to smoke, did you detect any resentment on Marina's part over that?

Miss Murret. No; not at all. It was just that a lot of husbands don't want their wives to smoke, for that matter. I mean you can't—I couldn't really type her either, with the language barrier, but I mean she seemed to be very nice to older people. She also, when they did eat there, she immediately went to do the dishes, you know. You know, "Don't, Marina, I won't let you do anything like that," and when my mother was around, she always saw that she had a seat. And, I mean, she didn't seem to feel any resentment at all, although she said that she had smoked before that.

Mr. Liebeler. Did she indicate that she was satisfied with the apartment or——

Miss Murret. She didn't like it.

Mr. Liebeler. She didn't like the apartment?

Miss Murret. She said she, "No like. No like."

Mr. Liebeler. Did you understand——

Miss Murret. Well, she didn't like the high ceilings, and Lee had said that he didn't think she would, if they had a high ceiling place. In fact, when they went, she didn't like it. She said that she liked low ceilings.

Mr. Liebeler. And you said that you were in the apartment on one occasion, is that correct?

Miss Murret. Yes.

Mr. Liebeler. Was it an appealing place, or was it decently furnished?

Miss Murret. My mother and I had gone there, and I thought it was very nice for the money, actually.

Mr. Liebeler. Do you know how much he was paying for it?

Miss Murret. Sixty-five.

Mr. Liebeler. What kind of neighborhood was it in?

Miss Murret. On Magazine—I don't know about Magazine, but I don't think Magazine is too good. But the apartment was all newly furnished. They had a new icebox, I believe, and the other furniture was all refinished, and the walls newly painted.

Mr. Liebeler. You mentioned before that you had discussed religion with Lee; and had you ever discussed politics with him at all?

Miss Murret. He never mentioned anything of any political significance at all, never.

Mr. Liebeler. Never said anything about President Kennedy?

Miss Murret. No, sir.

Mr. Liebeler. Or Governor Connally?

Miss Murret. No; but I can't remember whether it was—if that was before or if it was on that program, where he said something complimentary about Kennedy, but he never mentioned anyone else.

Mr. Liebeler. What program are you referring to?

Miss Murret. That might have been when they showed when he was interviewed after the Fair Play for Cuba, because it was after the assassination that they reran that.

Mr. Liebeler. That was a television program?

Miss Murret. Yes; television.

Mr. Liebeler. And you say that you saw it after the assassination?

Miss Murret. Yes.

Mr. Liebeler. And you don't recall, but you think the man said something complimentary about Kennedy on that?

174 Miss Murret. Yes.

Mr. Liebeler. And other than that you never heard him speak of President Kennedy?

Miss Murret. No.

Mr. Liebeler. Did he ever talk about Civil Rights, and particularly the Negro?

Miss Murret. No.

Mr. Liebeler. You mentioned when he was younger that he made it a point, or at least, he did sit down on the streetcar right next to some Negroes, and he got in trouble with his friends over that?

Miss Murret. Yes.

Mr. Liebeler. Do you have any idea what motivated that, or whether it was just a rebellious kind of thing?

Miss Murret. I don't think he knew any better. He didn't know the cars were segregated, I don't think. I don't know. I just remember my mother telling me whether or not he knew, or whether he did it, you know, defiantly—I don't know.

Mr. Liebeler. You mentioned you were not in New Orleans during July and August of 1963, and where were you?

Miss Murret. I went to Mexico and all through Central America and Panama.

Mr. Liebeler. Did you travel by yourself?

Miss Murret. Yes.

Mr. Liebeler. How did you travel?

Miss Murret. By bus and station wagon.

Mr. Liebeler. Your own station wagon?

Miss Murret. No; public transportation.

Mr. Liebeler. Did you know that Oswald went to Mexico in September?

Miss Murret. No.

Mr. Liebeler. Did you read about that in the newspapers after the assassination?

Miss Murret. Yes.

Mr. Liebeler. But prior to that time you didn't know that he either planned to go to Mexico or he was going to Mexico, or had gone to Mexico, or was even thinking about going to Mexico?

Miss Murret. No.

Mr. Liebeler. Did you meet anybody on this trip to Mexico that had any connection with, as far as you know, Lee Oswald, either at that time or subsequently?

Miss Murret. On this trip, no.

Mr. Liebeler. What was the nature of the trip? Was it just basically a tourist operation?

Miss Murret. Yes.

Mr. Liebeler. Basically a tourist operation, you say?

Miss Murret. Yes.

Mr. Liebeler. When you returned from Mexico to New Orleans, you learned, did you not, that Oswald had managed to get himself in jail during the summer?

Miss Murret. Yes.

Mr. Liebeler. How did you learn that?

Miss Murret. My family.

Mr. Liebeler. Your family told you?

Miss Murret. Yes.

Mr. Liebeler. What did they tell you?

Miss Murret. Well, just, in other words, he had the Fair Play for Cuba pamphlets, and they took him to jail. And my sister had to go and get him out. And, of course, she didn't know what he was in there for, and so my mother was in the hospital at the time and my mother was not supposed to have that operation until the fall, you know, but then they decided to have it then. So, anyway, she was in the hospital for that, and I think she said that Lee came up to see her—but I don't know if it was after, the next day, or before she was operated on—came to see her at the hospital—and then that must have been the date when he left and was distributing the pamphlets.

So he called up and he told Joyce that he was in jail, and to come and get175 him out. She didn't know what to do because she had her two children there, and my mother was in the hospital, and nobody to take care of the children. So she said, "Call me back, or something" or she said that she didn't have the money on her, and that my mother wasn't there. Well, I don't know how that works, but anyway, she went down to the police station and went back home again and went up to see my mother and asked my mother what to do. So, anyway, she went back to the station, and she said, "Before I get him out of there, I want you to tell me what he is in there for." So the policeman told her, he said, not to get excited because, "I've handled these cases before, and it is not as bad as it seems," and all that. And she didn't know whether to get him out or not, since he was involved in that. And I don't know if they went back to the hospital or what, but they called this friend and he had him paroled.

Mr. Liebeler. Who was the friend? Do you know?

Miss Murret. Of course, he didn't know—that was Emile Bruneau, who is a very prominent man. He didn't know Lee at all, and that was just a personal favor. He is very active in the city, I mean, and this was just a personal favor.

Mr. Liebeler. Did you have any conversations with Lee about this episode when you saw him on Labor Day?

Miss Murret. I didn't ask ask him anything else.

Mr. Liebeler. Did you ever see Lee drive an automobile?

Miss Murret. As far as I know, he didn't drive, and my brother took him one day out through the park to attempt to teach him for about an hour. But he had to turn down several jobs because he didn't drive. And whether he is able to drive after one lesson like that, I don't know.

Mr. Liebeler. As far as you know, did your brother ever let Lee take his car and go by himself.

Miss Murret. No.

Mr. Liebeler. This was your brother John?

Miss Murret. Yes.

Mr. Liebeler. Did he ever tell you how well Oswald did?

Miss Murret. Well, it was a hydramatic and he could just steer it, and that was about all, and with subsequent lessons he would have been able to drive. But I doubt, and I don't think there was any traffic—I think it was in the park.

Mr. Liebeler. Did you see Mrs. Paine again when she came to pick up Marina and take her back to Texas?

Miss Murret. I only saw her once, and that was for about 10 or 15 minutes.

Mr. Liebeler. And that was in May 1963?

Miss Murret. Yes.

Mr. Liebeler. Did you know Lee had lost his job with the Reily Coffee Co. sometime during the summer?

Miss Murret. I guess he did—I don't know if that was after I came back or before, when he lost it. I don't know when he lost it. When did he lose it?

Mr. Liebeler. He lost it in July, sometime, while you were gone.

Miss Murret. Well, 2 weeks at my sister's about July 1, and from there, 13 days, because the 14th is my birthday, I left.

Mr. Liebeler. You learned that he had lost it when you got back to New Orleans? When you got back to New Orleans, you knew that he had lost the job and was unemployed?

Miss Murret. Yes.

Mr. Liebeler. Was he looking around for another job? Do you know?

Miss Murret. I don't know. I only saw them once after that, and that was Labor Day. I didn't ask him anything.

Mr. Liebeler. You mentioned this trip that you had been on, and you mentioned that you were in Japan?

Miss Murret. Yes.

Mr. Liebeler. How long were you out of the United States, and where did you go, and what did you do?

Miss Murret. Three and a half years, and I started out on my way and went to Hong Kong, the Philippines, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore,176 which was not a part of Malaysia at the time, Malaya, and straight on around, just following the bottom—I went all through, Beirut, the Holy Land, Egypt, Cyprus, and all through Europe and back.

Mr. Liebeler. Did you work during the time you were gone on this trip?

Miss Murret. I worked in Australia and New Zealand and Japan.

Mr. Liebeler. As a teacher?

Miss Murret. As a teacher; yes.

Mr. Liebeler. Did you teach in Australian schools or——

Miss Murret. Yes.

Mr. Liebeler. Did you have any trouble with the teacher certification problems, or don't they have that problem in those places?

Miss Murret. Well, it depends what your field is. I was teaching science, which is the same—they have a teacher's college which is 2 years, and, if anything, you would have more than they have.

Mr. Liebeler. You are a science teacher?

Miss Murret. Yes.

Mr. Liebeler. Where were you when you heard about the assassination?

Miss Murret. At Juno.

Mr. Liebeler. In school?

Miss Murret. Yes.

Mr. Liebeler. When did you hear that Lee had been arrested in connection with it?

Miss Murret. After I came home one evening, because when I heard it, I was eating lunch, and a little boy in my class came over and told me that he had been shot. So they all had their radios on, and I ran over back to the class, and I listened to it. And I remember the first part, where they said that there was a lady and a man, and they said that they had somebody else, 30 years old, and I didn't even hear at that time anything of having Lee at all, until I got back home. I think that was because I had left school about 3:30, or maybe a little earlier, and up until that time I don't think they had had something about Lee because it was only a lady and a man, and some other man that they thought was a foreigner.

Mr. Liebeler. Were you surprised when you heard that Lee had been arrested in connection with the assassination?

Miss Murret. Slightly!

Mr. Liebeler. In fact, you were very surprised?

Miss Murret. Of course.

Mr. Liebeler. Did you believe that he could have done it?

Miss Murret. No, no.

Mr. Liebeler. And you didn't believe he could have done it, based on your knowledge of him and your association with him?

Miss Murret. No.

Mr. Liebeler. And you didn't think that he was motivated to do a thing like that, or capable of it, either one?

Miss Murret. No.

Mr. Liebeler. And you have been thinking about it, I am sure, since this assassination, and searching your mind for any possible motive that Oswald might have had for doing this, assuming that he did do it, have you not?

Miss Murret. Yes.

Mr. Liebeler. Have you come up with anything?

Miss Murret. Well, so many theories have been expounded, if he did, and I don't really know why, but I don't think, as some people said, because he was jealous of Kennedy and all that Kennedy stood for. I don't think it would have been that. I don't know what he would gain by killing the President when somebody else could take over the Government just as effectively—I mean with our governmental system. So, if he did it, it would—I don't know, unless it was to discredit America in the eyes of the world.

Mr. Liebeler. And you can't think of anything, that is, any personal motive that he might have had?

Miss Murret. No. You mean envy, or something, or desire to——

Mr. Liebeler. For self-aggrandizement to draw attention to himself?

Miss Murret. No; and most people have that opinion. I don't think so.

177 Mr. Liebeler. He never struck you as being that way?

Miss Murret. No.

Mr. Liebeler. He struck you as being just the ordinary, normal human being?

Miss Murret. He struck me as being perfectly content with being the way he was.

Mr. Liebeler. Did he tell you what kind of job he had with the coffee company?

Miss Murret. No.

Mr. Liebeler. Did you know?

Miss Murret. No; I don't know if it was a mechanical one or——

Mr. Liebeler. Did he seem to be satisfied with his job?

Miss Murret. He said it was all right.

Mr. Liebeler. Did he impress you as having strong feelings about things or not?

Miss Murret. He didn't talk that much when he was over here, he really didn't. I mean once, when I asked him several things about Russia, he said nothing other than what I told you, in very general terms. I asked him how he liked his job, and he said it was all right, that it wasn't any different from any other factory. Most people seem to think that he had a desire to do something that would show that he was somebody. But he didn't strike me as being that way. I think he really thought he was somebody.

Mr. Liebeler. Did he strike you as being a person of integrity?

Miss Murret. Perfectly content—I mean he thought he was extremely intelligent.

Mr. Liebeler. Did you think he was?

Miss Murret. I thought that he was very articulate, but I mean I never discussed anything with him in any great length to know whether or not he knew what he was talking about.

Mr. Liebeler. How did you form the impression that he was very articulate? You had the impression that he didn't talk very much?

Miss Murret. No; but I mean his accent was very good. I mean he pronounced every syllable and the word endings were always pronounced, and he didn't talk very—he was just very quiet. If he didn't want to answer something, he didn't answer. You could be with somebody like that a year, and you would get no answers—if he didn't care to give them.

Mr. Liebeler. Did you ever feel particularly close to him, or that you had any peculiar or any real rapport with the man at all?

Miss Murret. Well, I regarded him because he was my cousin, I guess. I mean I wanted to see him settled and happy, naturally; and if I could have helped him in any way, just as my mother, we all would have. I mean he didn't have too easy a life. I liked Lee. He didn't strike me as being violent or definitely not one who could commit such an act.

Mr. Liebeler. Do you think that Lee would be liked by most people?

Miss Murret. No.

Mr. Liebeler. Why not?

Miss Murret. Because he wasn't friendly. He would be liked by a certain type of person and hated by other types.

Mr. Liebeler. Well, that is the thing I am trying to bring out, and it is a difficult thing to come at, and I wish you would tell me what you think about this, how this strikes you, because it is difficult to frame a question with regard to it. We all know that sometimes people respond differently to different human beings, since each person is different and may have an entirely different response to the same thing many times. According to some of the information we have Lee was not liked by all kinds of people, and as you indicated, you did like him, but you didn't think Lee would be liked by people generally. I wish you would just tell us really what you think about this, and why.

Miss Murret. Well, because of his manner—I think people thought that he thought he was somebody, you know, and they wanted to knock him down a peg. And his entire presentation, I mean his walk—he was very erect—he minded his own business, and I don't think he liked petty gossip and things like that, and, of course, those people are varied in mind, and it would take a perverted mind, if he did this (assassination). Anyway, just like the way in the Army; they said that the ones who came up through the ranks used to lead the college178 graduates, and so forth, a dog's life, because they had a certain manner about them, you know, where they just automatically thought they knew more just because they had a degree. Lee didn't have a degree or anything like that, but I think he was much more intelligent than the grades obviously indicated, although, as I said, I never really discussed anything with him. My theory of it was that he was intelligent, and so that type of person is usually disliked by this other group. And I don't know if that—that is as clear as mud, I guess, or actually he stayed with a certain class because his finances only allowed him to be with that particular group, probably, and he didn't like them.

Mr. Liebeler. And you thought that was very much of a problem?

Miss Murret. Right; and even though he didn't have any money, he was a different type child, you know. I mean, like I am saying, he was not a rough type of child, or anything like that, since certainly on Exchange Alley he had a lot of opportunity to deviate from the right path, you know. But he never went into any of those barrooms or pool halls, or anything like that, you know. I guess, the other ones, he just didn't have the money to keep up with, but his mother reared him to be like that. And I guess he could live within himself, because he trained himself like that. I mean he never played with the other kids, and when he came home from school he read, and whether he was always reading this stuff, I don't know, but, anyway, he read everything.

Mr. Liebeler. Did you ever have any knowledge or had you heard that he was reading anything on Marxism or communism?

Miss Murret. I don't know anything about that unless—anyhow, he was trained, and he would read encyclopedias like somebody else would read a novel, and that is how he was trained.

Mr. Liebeler. And you think now, with the information that you have, both from reading newspapers and also coupled with the knowledge of Lee Oswald, do you think Lee Oswald actually did kill the President?

Miss Murret. All the evidence points to him, but he just never struck me as capable of that particular act. I never thought he would be—I never thought he was that maladjusted to want to prove to the world that he could commit such an act for any personal gratification, unless, as I am saying, somebody else was with him. But then, I don't think he was—well, he was such a quiet type, that probably nobody else could ever get through to him.

Mr. Liebeler. Did this impression that you have of Lee change any when you heard he had been involved in this street fracas in connection with the Fair Play for Cuba pamphlets that he was giving out, leaflets, and had some difficulty out in the street?

Miss Murret. Well, then, after that, I said, this kid—well, I just thought he was probably harmless, and just then I said, well, he is just doing this because why would he go marching, exposed all over Canal Street, and he voluntarily goes to be interviewed. So, I mean, that type, I probably thought he was harmless. And he was just shooting his mouth off. I mean, he didn't deny anything——

Mr. Liebeler. And that didn't seem inconsistent with the proposition that he was a loner, and it doesn't, really, but it didn't seem inconsistent to you?

Miss Murret. I don't understand what you mean.

Mr. Liebeler. You said the fellow was pretty quiet?

Miss Murret. Yes.

Mr. Liebeler. And he stayed pretty much to himself?

Miss Murret. Yes.

Mr. Liebeler. And then here you find him in the street handing out leaflets in connection with Fair Play for Cuba Committee, and did you hear that he was a member of the Fair Play for Cuba Committee here in New Orleans?

Miss Murret. No; he said that after on television, or all of that came out after. He must have been interviewed by WDSU shortly thereafter; however——

Mr. Liebeler. You don't know?

Miss Murret. I don't know whether they showed that the first time, and they reran all of that after the assassination, but, you know, it was because my family had told me—well, the policeman had told my sister, well, that a lot of these people do that around here, and it is not against the law, just the fact179 that they are disturbing the peace. I mean these are just boys—that's what he said, "they are just boys, and I handle a lot of them like that." And then after I saw it on television, he didn't deny anything, and he said out and out that he was a Marxist.

Mr. Liebeler. My question is basically, did this surprise you, based on the past experiences that you had with him? And did it surprise you that all of a sudden he was in the street handing out leaflets?

Miss Murret. Yes; it did, because he didn't say anything, but then, after something happens, then you start formulating your opinions, of course. But I mean he seemed to be perfectly content, and particularly after he met Marina. But then in other theories that were expounded, that perhaps because he was turned down by Russia and then turned down by Fidel, that perhaps he wanted to show them that he could commit such a great act without the help of any others, and still they didn't want him to work for them, you know——

Mr. Liebeler. This is the theory that you have thought of since the assassination?

Miss Murret. I beg your pardon?

Mr. Liebeler. This is a theory that you have thought up since the assassination?

Miss Murret. Well, because everybody yells—it just didn't strike me, so if there was any reason, that just seemed to be the most logical one. But then, on the other hand, and I know now that I am looking back on all this, and I don't think that Khrushchev really turned him down at first, and then let him have access to all of Russia, you know. I don't think he was just turned down immediately, like that, and then being allowed to work in the factories, and go from one city to the other.

Mr. Liebeler. Did Lee ever indicate to you that he didn't receive the kind of treatment that he expected to receive when he went to Russia?

Miss Murret. Nothing. I didn't press him on that, because I figured even if somebody didn't like it, that they, after they had done such a thing, they wouldn't probably want to come back and just, you know, do nothing but knock it. He wouldn't anyway, since everybody was so horrified that he left, that he, you know, that he wouldn't admit that big of a mistake. I don't think he could have realized that, because, I mean, as I am saying, he liked to do what he wanted to do. And as an individual he never did really seek company. But then, no Communist lives like the Communists, anyway—they live like capitalists, and just preach the doctrine.

Mr. Liebeler. I think you indicated in response to my question as to whether or not you thought that Lee had done it, that it all looks very much that way and that the evidence points that way, but what do you believe? Do you believe he did it?

Miss Murret. On circumstantial evidence, but I don't—there have been so many conflicting reports, you know, as to two guns, and one person supplying the telescope, and another stating that that telescope had already been mounted; so, if there were, I—it could have been more than one shot actually, or I mean shot from more than one place.

Mr. Liebeler. Did you ever see Lee in possession of a weapon of any kind when he was here in New Orleans?

Miss Murret. No.

Mr. Liebeler. Did you see any rifle in his apartment?

Miss Murret. No.

Mr. Liebeler. Did you ever mention that he had a rifle?

Miss Murret. No.

Mr. Liebeler. Can you think of anything else that you can remember about Lee that I didn't ask you about that you think the Commission should know? If you can, I would like to have you put it in the record.

Miss Murret. I don't know of any.

Mr. Liebeler. Were you interviewed by the FBI?

Miss Murret. Yes.

Mr. Liebeler. How many times?

Miss Murret. Once. My mother and I at the same time——

180 Mr. Liebeler. Can you tell me how many times, up at your house, you were interviewed either by yourself or when your mother was there?

Miss Murret. I think the FBI was there twice primarily for my mother, and I talked to one of the Secret Service men once myself. My mother was there, I mean, but he was talking to me.

Mr. Liebeler. To the best of your recollection that is all, the only time that either the Secret Service or the FBI have been in touch with you?

Miss Murret. Yes.

Mr. Liebeler. If you can't think of anything else that you want to add at this point, I don't have any other questions. I would like to thank you very much for the cooperation that you have given to us. I want to express on behalf of the Commission our thanks for coming here and being as cooperative as you have been.


TESTIMONY OF CHARLES MURRET

The testimony of Charles Murret was taken on April 7, 1964, at the Old Civil Courts Building, Royal and Conti Streets, New Orleans, La., by Mr. Albert E. Jenner, Jr., assistant counsel of the President's Commission.

Charles Murret, 757 French Street, New Orleans, after first being duly sworn testified as follows:

Mr. Jenner. You are Charles Murret, is that right?

Mr. Murret. Yes, sir.

Mr. Jenner. And you live at 757 French Street in New Orleans, is that right?

Mr. Murret. Yes, sir.

Mr. Jenner. Mr. Murret, Mr. Rankin, general counsel of the Commission, transmitted to Mrs. Lillian Murret, who is your wife, a letter in which he enclosed Senate Joint Resolution 137, authorizing the creation of a Commission to investigate the assassination of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy; Executive Order No. 11130 of President Lyndon B. Johnson, appointing that Commission and fixing its powers and duties, and a copy of the rules and regulations under which we take testimony before the Commission and also by way of deposition, such as this one. Did she receive those?

Mr. Murret. Yes; she did.

Mr. Jenner. And did you see them, and read them?

Mr. Murret. Yes; I did.

Mr. Jenner. You did read them?

Mr. Murret. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. I am Albert E. Jenner, Jr., member of the legal staff of the Commission, and the Commission is now performing its duties of making inquiries of the various people such as you, who, during their lifetime, came into contact, in the ordinary course of their lives, with various people who are part of this ball of wax. We are looking into the background of Lee Harvey Oswald in an attempt to determine if possible the motive for this tragic event which occurred November 22, 1963, which of course was the assassination of the President. In that connection, we would like to ask you a few questions about what you know, if anything, in that regard.

Mr. Murret. Yes, sir.

Mr. Jenner. First, do you have a nickname?

Mr. Murret. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. What is that nickname?

Mr. Murret. Dutz.

Mr. Jenner. Dutz?

Mr. Murret. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. How do you spell that?

Mr. Murret. D-u-t-z. That's a name that my uncle gave me years ago and it caught on, with me being in the fight game and all, and it just stuck with me.

Mr. Jenner. You say your uncle gave you that nickname?

Mr. Murret. Yes; he was the one that gave me that name, and it stuck.

Mr. Jenner. Did you do much prizefighting?

181 Mr. Murret. No; oh, I had a couple of bouts, but I never did make a career of it, or anything.

Mr. Jenner. How old a man are you?

Mr. Murret. 63; just made 63.

Mr. Jenner. You were born and raised in Louisiana?

Mr. Murret. Yes; in New Orleans.

Mr. Jenner. And your family were all born Americans?

Mr. Murret. Right.

Mr. Jenner. By the way, you have a fine family.

Mr. Murret. Thank you very much.

Mr. Jenner. Your wife and your children are very proud of you, by the way.

Mr. Murret. Thank you.

Mr. Jenner. How many children do you have, four or five?

Mr. Murret. Five.

Mr. Jenner. You have one who is studying for the priesthood, is that right?

Mr. Murret. That's correct.

Mr. Jenner. And he's over in Mobile studying, is that right?

Mr. Murret. That's right.

Mr. Jenner. He finished law school before he entered this institute in Mobile, is that right?

Mr. Murret. Yes. He enrolled in the service. He had this 1-A hanging over him, so he just went in and put in his 2 years, and came back, and to my surprise he never took a leave, but he went on back to college, and he got all kinds of honors in college, and then he decided to be a priest and enrolled with the Jesuits over at Mobile.

Mr. Jenner. And you have another son who is, I believe, with the Squibb Co., is that right?

Mr. Murret. Yes; that's John. He's with Squibb & Co. now.

Mr. Jenner. And I understand that he is also a pretty good baseball player, is that right?

Mr. Murret. Oh, yes.

Mr. Jenner. You have three boys and two girls, is that right?

Mr. Murret. Yes; three boys and two girls.

Mr. Jenner. Were all three boys interested in athletics?

Mr. Murret. Well, yes.

Mr. Jenner. All interested in baseball?

Mr. Murret. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. Had baseball equipment, like gloves and things?

Mr. Murret. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. What are your boys, right handed or left handed?

Mr. Murret. They are all right handed.

Mr. Jenner. Did they ever loan their equipment, particularly gloves, to Lee Oswald?

Mr. Murret. Not to my knowledge.

Mr. Jenner. Not that you know of?

Mr. Murret. That's right.

Mr. Jenner. Well, I think it's no secret that Mrs. Murret, your wife, did lend one of their gloves to Lee Harvey Oswald one time to play ball when he was in high school; did you know that?

Mr. Murret. Well, she could have.

Mr. Jenner. She could have, and you wouldn't have known about it?

Mr. Murret. That's right.

Mr. Jenner. But all of those gloves would have been gloves for boys who are right handers then, isn't that right, since all three of your boys are right handed?

Mr. Murret. Yes, that's right. They are all right handers.

Mr. Jenner. Then the gloves were for the left hand, is that correct?

Mr. Murret. Yes, that's correct, the left hand.

Mr. Jenner. Do you know Marguerite Oswald?

Mr. Murret. Oh, yes, I know her. I never could get along with her.

Mr. Jenner. You couldn't get along with her?

Mr. Murret. No; she was quite a bit younger than my wife.

182 Mr. Jenner. You're talking about Lillian Murret, your wife, and Marguerite's sister, now, is that right?

Mr. Murret. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. Do you know a man by the name of John Pic, or Ed Pic?

Mr. Murret. Ed is all I knew him by.

Mr. Jenner. Did you see him once in a while?

Mr. Murret. Oh, I saw him just by chance.

Mr. Jenner. But you did see him once in a while over the years, is that right?

Mr. Murret. Oh, yes and I still do, as a matter of fact, but not very often. He has been with T. Smith, Stevedores, for many, many years.

Mr. Jenner. Does he have a responsible position with T. Smith?

Mr. Murret. Oh, I imagine, because he has been there for so many years.

Mr. Jenner. Was he ever a stevedore?

Mr. Murret. I think he has just been an office man, to my knowledge, but his firm is in that line of business.

Mr. Jenner. Do you remember his marriage to Marguerite Claverie?

Mr. Murret. Well, I didn't attend the wedding.

Mr. Jenner. But you knew they were married?

Mr. Murret. Oh, yes.

Mr. Jenner. And do you know that some difficulty arose eventually in that marriage?

Mr. Murret. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. They didn't get along?

Mr. Murret. That's right.

Mr. Jenner. And they separated?

Mr. Murret. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. Since your wife has given us most of that information, we will just skip some of that, but that marriage did end in divorce, is that right?

Mr. Murret. Yes, it did.

Mr. Jenner. They had one child, John Edward Pic, is that right?

Mr. Murret. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. Did you see them once in a while during this period?

Mr. Murret. Yes; they lived close in the neighborhood, so I would see them pretty often.

Mr. Jenner. Do you remember her divorce from John Pic and subsequent marriage to a man by the name of Lee Oswald?

Mr. Murret. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. What business was he in?

Mr. Murret. The insurance business.

Mr. Jenner. Was he an insurance collector?

Mr. Murret. Yes, sir.

Mr. Jenner. He was not an insurance salesman?

Mr. Murret. No, he was a collector. He collected premiums for his company.

Mr. Jenner. You do remember that Marguerite married Lee Oswald, and a couple of children were born of that marriage, is that right?

Mr. Murret. Yes, sir.

Mr. Jenner. Robert Lee and Lee Harvey, is that right?

Mr. Murret. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. Do you remember the birth of Lee in 1939?

Mr. Murret. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. Do you recall when they lived on Alvar Street?

Mr. Murret. Alvar? Yes.

Mr. Jenner. You do remember that?

Mr. Murret. Yes; I think that's where they were living when he died.

Mr. Jenner. Yes; our records show that he died in August 1939, and Lee was born a couple of months after he died; do you remember that?

Mr. Murret. Yes; I don't know the exact month, but I remember it was right after he died.

Mr. Jenner. What did she do after her husband died, after she had the child? Did she go to work, or what?

Mr. Murret. I couldn't swear to that. I don't know if she inherited anything183 from the insurance, from Lee dying, or not. It wasn't any of my business, so I didn't ask about that.

Mr. Jenner. You mind your own business?

Mr. Murret. That's right; that's what I did then, too.

Mr. Jenner. Do you recall her living in and around New Orleans then, after Mr. Oswald died?

Mr. Murret. Well, yes; I imagine so, but then she moved to Texas, and I think she married this man over there sometime after that, by the name of Ekdahl, or something like that. It's a hard name to pronounce.

Mr. Jenner. Did you ever meet Mr. Ekdahl?

Mr. Murret. No; never in my life.

Mr. Jenner. There has been some evidence in these depositions about a picnic that was held over at Covington, La., which was attended by Marguerite and her three children and Mr. Ekdahl; do you remember that?

Mr. Murret. No.

Mr. Jenner. You don't know anything about that?

Mr. Murret. No, sir.

Mr. Jenner. What kind of a boy was Lee Harvey Oswald?

Mr. Murret. Well, I'll tell you: I didn't take that much interest in him. I couldn't tell you anything about that, because I didn't pay attention to all that. I do think he was a loud kid, you know what I mean; he was always raising his voice when he wanted something from his mother, I know that, but I think a lot of times he was just the opposite. He liked to read, and he stuck by himself pretty much in the apartment the way I understand it.

Mr. Jenner. Did you and Marguerite get along all right?

Mr. Murret. Not too well.

Mr. Jenner. Not too well?

Mr. Murret. No.

Mr. Jenner. What was the reason for that?

Mr. Murret. Well, it was due to her disposition, more or less. She always thought she was right, and she would get aggravated at anybody that disagreed with her, and things like that.

Mr. Jenner. But you avoided open controversy with her, is that correct?

Mr. Murret. Oh, yes; I didn't want to run head-on into anything like that. For that reason I always did pretend like everything was all right, but I never did think a house was big enough for two families, to that extent.

Mr. Jenner. Did there come a time then when they left New Orleans?

Mr. Murret. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. Where did they go?

Mr. Murret. I don't know.

Mr. Jenner. To Texas?

Mr. Murret. I imagine so, but I don't know where they went.

Mr. Jenner. But they did leave your house?

Mr. Murret. Yes; they sure did.

Mr. Jenner. And you didn't hear from them for a while, is that right?

Mr. Murret. Well, my wife might have heard from them, and she might even have told me, but I didn't take any interest in that after they left.

Mr. Jenner. You just didn't follow that?

Mr. Murret. No.

Mr. Jenner. Did there come a time, along in 1954, in the winter of 1954, about January or something like that, that they returned to New Orleans? Do you remember that?

Mr. Murret. I don't remember what year it was, but they came back to New Orleans.

Mr. Jenner. They did come back to New Orleans; you remember that?

Mr. Murret. Yes, sir.

Mr. Jenner. Lee was a young man then—a teenager, is that correct, sir?

Mr. Murret. That's right.

Mr. Jenner. And 13, 14 years old?

Mr. Murret. About that, I guess.

Mr. Jenner. Do you remember him being about that age when they returned to New Orleans?

184 Mr. Murret. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. And he started high school here, I believe, is that right, or do you know?

Mr. Murret. Yes; I think so. I mean, I can't fix the year and all those details, but they did come back here, and he went to high school.

Mr. Jenner. What do you remember about him as to his personality when he returned?

Mr. Murret. Well, couldn't remember the first one, to compare it to the second time. I mean, I couldn't say he actually changed in any certain way, because I couldn't remember how he was the first time.

Mr. Jenner. They lived with you for awhile when they returned to New Orleans, didn't they?

Mr. Murret. I don't remember.

Mr. Jenner. You don't remember that?

Mr. Murret. No.

Mr. Jenner. Do you remember, or were you conscious of the fact, that they were living in New York City before they returned to New Orleans on that occasion?

Mr. Murret. Well, I couldn't swear to that, but judging from what the wife said, I mean, that's probably what happened. She had told me that they were in New York; I remember that.

Mr. Jenner. Do you remember when they returned here from New York that they lived over on St. Mary Street, or Exchange Alley?

Mr. Murret. I remember Exchange Alley. I remember 1 day in particular, and I think it was on carnival, or somewhere in the carnival season. I don't know the date any more. They went back to Texas from there.

Mr. Jenner. At any rate you remember that they left and went to Texas, right?

Mr. Murret. Let me put it this way. I think they did, but I lost contact with them.

Mr. Jenner. But they did leave New Orleans again, after living at Exchange Alley, didn't they?

Mr. Murret. Yes; they went back to Texas. Do you mean the second time?

Mr. Jenner. Yes. Do you remember that?

Mr. Murret. Yes; I recall my wife telling me that—that they had moved back to Texas, but I don't know the date or anything like that.

Mr. Jenner. When was the next time that you saw either of them?

Mr. Murret. Well, the next time was when he came to New Orleans, and stayed at our house. That was just a year ago in May, I think. I don't remember what month, but it was about that.

Mr. Jenner. About a year ago or in that neighborhood?

Mr. Murret. Yes. That's when Lee came to town, and wanted to look for an apartment, and said he was going to get a job, and that he would like to stay with us until he found something.

Mr. Jenner. All right; now, tell us about that.

Mr. Murret. Well, when I walked in the house, he was standing in the kitchen.

Mr. Jenner. That was after you came home from work?

Mr. Murret. That's right.

Mr. Jenner. You were surprised to see him?

Mr. Murret. Yes; that's right. I was surprised all right.

Mr. Jenner. All right. What happened then?

Mr. Murret. My wife said, "Do you recognize who this is?" and I said, "Yes," and I said, "It looks like he has grown up or something." Of course, he looked older, but he hadn't changed too much in appearance, I don't think.

Mr. Jenner. Of course, this was Lee Oswald?

Mr. Murret. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. The same boy, but you say he had grown up a little more, is that right?

Mr. Murret. That's right.

Mr. Jenner. Physically, at least?

Mr. Murret. Yes, sir.

Mr. Jenner. Had you heard anything about him in the meantime?

185 Mr. Murret. No.

Mr. Jenner. Not a thing?

Mr. Murret. No.

Mr. Jenner. What did he tell you on that occasion?

Mr. Murret. What did he tell me?

Mr. Jenner. Yes; didn't you help him put some stuff in your garage? Didn't you go to the bus station and get his luggage and things and bring them to the house?

Mr. Murret. Did I help him?

Mr. Jenner. Yes.

Mr. Murret. I don't remember that. I don't remember helping him with any luggage, not that day.

Mr. Jenner. The next day?

Mr. Murret. No; I don't believe it was even that next day. It was a couple of days afterward.

Mr. Jenner. All right; it is your recollection that it was a couple of days later, is that right?

Mr. Murret. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. Did you take him with you to pick up his luggage at the bus station?

Mr. Murret. No; I don't remember that.

Mr. Jenner. You don't remember that?

Mr. Murret. No; I don't.

Mr. Jenner. Are you sure now?

Mr. Murret. I don't remember.

Mr. Jenner. Would it be possible that you did that, but you just don't remember it?

Mr. Murret. You mean gone to the bus station with him?

Mr. Jenner. Yes; and picked up his luggage for him, and perhaps you don't recall it at this time?

Mr. Murret. I might have. I just don't remember.

Mr. Jenner. Now, tell me what you recall his luggage consisted of at that time?

Mr. Murret. Well, I'll tell you; it might have been a duffelbag, or something; I'm not sure of that. I don't remember what all it was.

Mr. Jenner. Did he have a Marine duffelbag, like soldiers use—that sort of thing?

Mr. Murret. Well, it was a bag; I guess it was a duffelbag.

Mr. Jenner. Did it have a name on it?

Mr. Murret. I didn't see any.

Mr. Jenner. Do you remember going in your car to the bus station to get his luggage?

Mr. Murret. Yes; I remember doing that.

Mr. Jenner. And you drove?

Mr. Murret. Yes; I drove.

Mr. Jenner. Could Lee drive a car, to your knowledge?

Mr. Murret. Not to my knowledge.

Mr. Jenner. Did he ever drive a car, to your knowledge?

Mr. Murret. No.

Mr. Jenner. Did you ever see him driving an automobile?

Mr. Murret. No.

Mr. Jenner. How many duffelbags were there?

Mr. Murret. I think there were two of them.

Mr. Jenner. What else did he have?

Mr. Murret. That's all that I know of.

Mr. Jenner. Did he have any cardboard boxes?

Mr. Murret. Not that I know of.

Mr. Jenner. Did he have any suitcases?

Mr. Murret. Not that I saw; I don't think he had any suitcases.

Mr. Jenner. Well, you put this luggage in your car, didn't you?

Mr. Murret. No; I didn't.

Mr. Jenner. Did he do that?

186 Mr. Murret. Yes; he put them in my car.

Mr. Jenner. Did you see him doing that?

Mr. Murret. Yes; I saw him.

Mr. Jenner. Did you stay close to the locker in which this luggage was contained?

Mr. Murret. No; I don't believe I did. I sat at the wheel of the car. I asked him if he wanted a lift, but he said no, but I know he had two duffelbags at least. I sat at the wheel of the car, to my knowledge.

Mr. Jenner. All right; you reached home, right?

Mr. Murret. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. Was the car unpacked then?

Mr. Murret. Yes; by Lee.

Mr. Jenner. Lee did the unpacking?

Mr. Murret. Yes; he didn't want any help, so I didn't help him.

Mr. Jenner. What was your impression of Lee then, after he had appeared at your house after all those years?

Mr. Murret. Well, I don't know, but I just couldn't warm up to him, but he said he wanted to find a job and get an apartment and then send for his wife in Texas, so I wasn't going to stand in his way.

Mr. Jenner. Did he get an apartment?

Mr. Murret. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. Where was that?

Mr. Murret. Oh, that was out on Magazine Street, but as far as the number is concerned, I don't know it.

Mr. Jenner. Do you remember Lee's wife?

Mr. Murret. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. Marina?

Mr. Murret. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. When he got the job, did he call his wife on the phone and have her come over?

Mr. Murret. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. And did she come over with a Mrs. Paine?

Mr. Murret. Yes; they drove on into New Orleans, and I met them, and I told the lady, I said, "I'm glad to have met you," but if she would walk in this door now, I wouldn't recognize her.

Mr. Jenner. By the lady, do you mean Mrs. Paine?

Mr. Murret. That's right.

Mr. Jenner. All right; what happened after Marina and Mrs. Paine arrived?

Mr. Murret. Well, after we greeted them and everything, we decided to go up to the apartment on Magazine, and I had Lee ride with me, I think, and the others rode in the station wagon behind us.

Mr. Jenner. Lee rode with you?

Mr. Murret. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. Was the station wagon pretty packed with the luggage and everything?

Mr. Murret. Yes; it was pretty loaded, because Mrs. Paine had her two children with her.

Mr. Jenner. While they were living on Magazine Street, did they come and visit you or your family at your home?

Mr. Murret. Well, if they did, it was while I wasn't there. They must have come in the daytime.

Mr. Jenner. Now, tell me about the trip over to Mobile; who went over?

Mr. Murret. My daughter Joyce, her two children, and Marina and the baby, and Lee.

Mr. Jenner. How did this come about?

Mr. Murret. Well, her brother being in the seminary, he heard that Lee was here and he wanted to see him. He wondered if we could bring Lee up there to visit him, because he said he would like to see him.

Mr. Jenner. Then it wasn't at Lee's request that this trip was made over to Mobile?

Mr. Murret. Oh, no.

Mr. Jenner. Did you drive them over?

187 Mr. Murret. That's right.

Mr. Jenner. How long were you there?

Mr. Murret. Oh, just from Saturday morning to Sunday evening.

Mr. Jenner. Did Lee give some kind of an address to the students over there?

Mr. Murret. Yes; but it was just for the faculty and the school over there.

Mr. Jenner. Just for the boys and the faculty at the school?

Mr. Murret. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. Were you there?

Mr. Murret. I was there—not to listen to the speech now, but we were on the grounds.

Mr. Jenner. But you didn't listen to the talk Lee gave at all?

Mr. Murret. No.

Mr. Jenner. How about Marina?

Mr. Murret. No; Marina and my wife—none of us went in.

Mr. Jenner. So you returned to New Orleans the next day, is that right?

Mr. Murret. Yes; that's right.

Mr. Jenner. Did you pay all the expenses of that trip?

Mr. Murret. Yes; I did.

Mr. Jenner. Was Lee Oswald making very much money at that time?

Mr. Murret. I don't remember that. I didn't ask him that, how much he was making.

Mr. Jenner. What was your impression?

Mr. Murret. My impression was that he didn't have money to pay for the trip or the motel or anything.

Mr. Jenner. You paid it?

Mr. Murret. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. Did you ever see any communistic literature or leaflets or pamphlets relating to communism, or anything like that that could be termed subversive in any sense of the word, in Lee Oswald's apartment?

Mr. Murret. Well, I saw a picture in his apartment, a picture of Castro, on the mantel there.

Mr. Jenner. On the mantel?

Mr. Murret. Yes; it was there after he was arrested.

Mr. Jenner. Last summer?

Mr. Murret. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. In August it was there?

Mr. Murret. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. Did you ever see Lee in a television interview here?

Mr. Murret. Well, no; but I heard him over the radio.

Mr. Jenner. The radio?

Mr. Murret. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. Tell me about that.

Mr. Murret. Well, he called up my wife and told her that he was going to be on television, so we turned on the television, but he was on the radio instead.

Mr. Jenner. You did hear him on the radio; did you listen to the program?

Mr. Murret. Yes, sir; not all of it, but enough of it.

Mr. Jenner. Mr. Murret, did you ever try to teach Lee how to drive an automobile?

Mr. Murret. No; I didn't try to teach him that, but I tried to teach him to talk American to his little child.

Mr. Jenner. What was your discussion with him on that?

Mr. Murret. There was no discussion. I just told him, I said, "Why don't you teach your child how to speak the English language?" But he didn't give me an answer to that.

Mr. Jenner. Did you ever have a discussion with him as to why he left Russia?

Mr. Murret. No.

Mr. Jenner. Did you ever have any discussion with him as to his political views in connection with Russia, as to what he thought of Russia?

Mr. Murret. No, I didn't. To tell you the truth, after he defected to Russia and went there to live and everything, I just let it go out the window. I188 figured, "What's the use?" and then after he came back here and got into this radio thing about Castro, and communism, and these leaflets and all, I didn't worry myself any more about him. My main concern was keeping peace in the family and seeing that he didn't disrupt anything around there.

Mr. Jenner. In other words, you sort of gave up on him?

Mr. Murret. I sure did, but now, Marina, I asked her how she liked America, and her face broke out in a big smile, like a fresh bloom, and she said, "I like America."

Mr. Jenner. Now, Mr. Murret, did anything occur that I haven't asked you about that you think might be helpful to the Commission in its investigation of all the circumstances and facts surrounding this matter?

Mr. Murret. No.

Mr. Jenner. Now, you have the privilege of reading and signing your deposition, or you can waive that privilege and let the reporter transcribe your testimony, and it will be forwarded to Washington. What do you prefer to do in that respect?

Mr. Murret. I will waive it.

Mr. Jenner. You wish to waive the reading and signing of your deposition?

Mr. Murret. Yes, sir; that's right.

Mr. Jenner. All right, thank you for coming in, Mr. Murret; that's all the questions I have.

Mr. Murret. He was a hard one to get to know. You just couldn't get to know him at all, and I don't think he had much consideration for anyone, especially for his mother.

Mr. Jenner. You arrived at that opinion over the period of time that you had contact with him?

Mr. Murret. Yes; and the thing that was so odd to me was that he seemed to always be trying to prove himself, that he was so independent. For example, he wouldn't let me help him with the luggage, and things like that. He wanted to do it all himself.

Mr. Jenner. So you let him do it by himself, right?

Mr. Murret. Absolutely. It didn't matter to me, if he wanted to go ahead and do it that way. I just, you know, lost all interest in him after all these things happened. You just couldn't figure him out.


TESTIMONY OF JOHN M. MURRET

The testimony of John M. Murret was taken on April 7–8, 1964, at the Old Civil Courts Building, Royal and Conti Streets, New Orleans, La., by Mr. Wesley J. Liebeler, assistant counsel of the President's Commission.

John M. Murret, having been first duly sworn, was examined and testified as follows:

Mr. Liebeler. My name is Wesley J. Liebeler. I am a member of the legal staff of the President's Commission investigating the assassination of President Kennedy. Staff members have been authorized to take the testimony of witnesses by the Commission pursuant to authority granted to the Commission by Executive Order No. 11130, dated November 29, 1963, and Joint Resolution of Congress No. 137. I want to give you a copy of the Executive order and the joint resolution to which I have just referred, and also a copy of the rules of procedure adopted by the Commission governing the taking of testimony of witnesses. (Producing documents and handing to witness.) Those rules provide that technically a witness is entitled to 3 days' notice before he is required to testify before the Commission or to give testimony to a staff member. I know that you didn't get 3 days' notice. Witnesses are entitled to waive the notice requirement, and I hope and assume that you will be willing to do that since you are here, and we will go right ahead with the testimony. Are you willing to waive the 3 days' notice?

Mr. Murret. Yes, sir.

189 Mr. Liebeler. Thank you. We want to inquire of you briefly this morning concerning your contact with Lee Oswald while he was here in New Orleans during the summer of 1963. Before we get into the details of that, however, will you state your full name for the record.

Mr. Murret. My full name is John Martial Murret.

Mr. Liebeler. Where do you live?

Mr. Murret. 6622 Louis XIV Street, New Orleans, La.

Mr. Liebeler. Are you employed?

Mr. Murret. Yes, sir.

Mr. Liebeler. By whom?

Mr. Murret. E. R. Squibb and Sons.

Mr. Liebeler. How long have you worked for them?

Mr. Murret. Approximately 4 years.

Mr. Liebeler. What do you do for them?

Mr. Murret. I am a pharmaceutical sales representative.

Mr. Liebeler. Am I correct in understanding that you are Lee Harvey Oswald's cousin?

Mr. Murret. Yes, sir.

Mr. Liebeler. You are a brother to Marilyn Murret and the son of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Ferdinand Murret?

Mr. Murret. Yes.

Mr. Liebeler. Mr. Charles Murret is also known as Dutz Murret, is he not, D-u-t-z?

Mr. Murret. Yes, sir.

Mr. Liebeler. Were you born here in New Orleans?

Mr. Murret. Yes, sir.

Mr. Liebeler. And you obtained your primary and secondary education here in the New Orleans school system?

Mr. Murret. Yes, sir.

Mr. Liebeler. Where did you go to school?

Mr. Murret. Holy Rosary primary and St. Aloysius High School and St. Louis University and Loyola University.

Mr. Liebeler. Do you hold a degree from Loyola University?

Mr. Murret. Yes, sir.

Mr. Liebeler. A Bachelor's Degree?

Mr. Murret. A Bachelor's Degree.

Mr. Liebeler. What did you major in?

Mr. Murret. Secondary education, minor in chemistry.

Mr. Liebeler. Did you have occasion to see Lee Oswald during the summer of 1963?

Mr. Murret. Yes, sir.

Mr. Liebeler. Would you tell us about that, starting with the first time you saw him. Tell us the circumstances under which you met him, the conversations that you had. Tell us about the various times that you did see him during the summer of 1963, what you did during that period of time, as far as Oswald is concerned.

Mr. Murret. Well, actually there was not too much contact that I did have with him. Since I did live in the house and did——

Mr. Liebeler. At 757 French Street?

Mr. Murret. 757 French Street. The first contact I think I had with him, we ordinarily—sometimes when I am working in that particular neighborhood, I would come home for lunch, and he was there at this particular occasion with his little bag and so forth.

Mr. Liebeler. Now can you tell me approximately when that was?

Mr. Murret. Tell you the truth, I can't recall, but as you mentioned, you know, during the summer. Evidently it was during the summer. I am not too sure.

Mr. Liebeler. Would it have been some time in May perhaps of 1963, or can't you——

Mr. Murret. I can't recall. I could have recalled then, but I am kind of confused now on it.

190 Mr. Liebeler. So you came home to lunch on this particular day and Oswald was there?

Mr. Murret. He was gone to the grocery. When he came back, that is when, you know, well, like my mother said, she said, "Guess who was here," and I think I guessed it, you know, and he went to the grocery to get a loaf of bread, I think it was, and he just came back. But there was no particular other contact that I could say I had with him other than—you know, he talking about maybe Russia or something, but mostly, you know, the food and drink and, you know, different environments that they have. That is the only thing I can say about it.

Mr. Liebeler. You say that he did talk about his time in Russia, and that basically it was in terms of the kind of living conditions that they had and the way the people live their lives in Russia?

Mr. Murret. Yes, sir.

Mr. Liebeler. Did he indicate to you in any way that he had received better treatment while he was in Russia than other Russians, or did you gain an impression about that?

Mr. Murret. No, I couldn't you know, actually say that, but—in fact, I couldn't, you know.

Mr. Liebeler. Did he tell you at all why he went to Russia in the first place?

Mr. Murret. No. In fact, I didn't inquire or feel that it was any of my particular business why he did, but the only thing I can say, he just went. I just didn't want to pry into his business, you know, or anything like that.

Mr. Liebeler. Did he tell you anything about his experiences in Russia, other than in general terms as far as living conditions and that sort of thing is concerned?

Mr. Murret. Well, his experience working in the factories where he had gotten work. Other than that—that is the only particular.

Mr. Liebeler. Did he tell you what kind of a factory he worked in?

Mr. Murret. I really don't recall if it was a photographic factory or something, you know, similar.

Mr. Liebeler. Did he tell you that he was working in the field of photography?

Mr. Murret. Well, I know he was trying to acquire positions here in the city of New Orleans either as a photographer or working in a photographic shop or as a draftsman. I had known that.

Mr. Liebeler. Did he mention anything about any hunting activities that he might have engaged in while he was in the Soviet Union?

Mr. Murret. In the Soviet Union?

Mr. Liebeler. Yes.

Mr. Murret. No, sir.

Mr. Liebeler. Did he tell you why he decided to come back to the United States?

Mr. Murret. No, not directly. Maybe my mother tried to get it out of him, but he just said he was back, and he got married and so forth and wanted to come back to the States.

Mr. Liebeler. He didn't go into very much detail as far as his experience in Russia? Is that correct?

Mr. Murret. That is correct.

Mr. Liebeler. As I understand it, he stayed at the house at 757 French Street for about a week? Is that right?

Mr. Murret. Actually stayed there? I couldn't recall offhand, you know, how long he stayed there, even though, you know, I lived there, but I can't recall whether it was a week, 2 weeks, 3 weeks, or what it might be.

Mr. Liebeler. During this time, he was looking for a job?

Mr. Murret. Yes, sir; he was.

Mr. Liebeler. Do you know whether he found one?

Mr. Murret. Well, it was kind of hard for him, you know, finding a job. I do know that he did find a job. He was working. It was indicated that he did work for a coffee factory on Tchoupitoulas or Magazine Street or some place around there.

Mr. Liebeler. Did he tell you that he was having trouble finding a job?

Mr. Murret. Well, no. In fact, I was interested in actually him finding a191 job, to be truthful, and I would have thought, personally, you know, even the way he was dressed, it was kind of difficult for him finding a job the way his appearance looked, you know, when he first came back, with no clothes and so forth looking for a job. It was sort of impossible for him to get a job. There is no doubt about it.

Mr. Liebeler. He didn't make too good an appearance?

Mr. Murret. No, sir; he could have, but he just didn't have the clothes, evidently the money, for him to make the appearance. That is all.

Mr. Liebeler. Now did you ever go over to the apartment that Oswald apparently rented on Magazine Street?

Mr. Murret. I knew where he lived. In fact, possibly I had drove Marina and Lee to the apartment, but I have never stepped out of the car or actually been in front of the particular home or inside the home.

Mr. Liebeler. The Commission has some information to the effect that you tried to teach Oswald how to drive a car. Is that correct?

Mr. Murret. Yes, sir.

Mr. Liebeler. Would you tell us about that.

Mr. Murret. Well, like I say, he was always home, you know, on 757 French Street looking at TV or whatever it may be. It just so happened sometimes I work late, come home maybe 5:30 or 6 o'clock, and I didn't have any time during the day to teach him, and this one particular night—I had told him, you know, I was going to take him out, that he should learn how to drive and so forth, that it may be helpful to him on getting a job.

Mr. Liebeler. He told you that he didn't know how to drive a car?

Mr. Murret. I can't directly say, you know, that he did, but the impression was—I could actually say that he did not know how to drive a car before he got behind the wheel. I actually had to tell him how to start the car and so forth, what to do on it.

Mr. Liebeler. Now on this particular night that you took him out in the car, would you tell us how he handled the car and just what you and he did, where you drove the car, how you practiced with it.

Mr. Murret. Well, this was at nighttime, as I was saying. I forget—I guess it was after supper. And I drove him to City Park, which is the city park here in New Orleans. It was by the golf driving range where they have these little parking partitions, yellow lines for parking places for the golfers, and I had brought him here.

Mr. Liebeler. You had driven the car from your house on French Street over to the parking lot in the park?

Mr. Murret. Yes, sir; and I was actually trying to teach him how to back up. It was a pushbutton car, a Dodge, a 1960 Dodge, a rather big car, no power steering or anything, and I was just trying to tell him, you know, how to go into the parking lanes and also backing into the parking lanes, and he was awkward, I mean as far as learning is concerned. You could see that he had never driven a car before. That is my impression of this. So after—we stayed there awhile and then I let him drive the car, you know, through the park and back home again.

Mr. Liebeler. You let him drive the car back to the house on French Street?

Mr. Murret. Yes, sir; it was through the park. There was no traffic or anything. Nobody was in the park.

Mr. Liebeler. It was just a drive through the park?

Mr. Murret. Yes.

Mr. Liebeler. How did he seem to handle the car at that time?

Mr. Murret. Well, I had to stay next to him, tell you the truth. Evidently he could handle the car—I mean just steering—because it was just regular gas and brake. That is all it is, you know. There is nothing to that. But in traffic, I really couldn't say how he could have handled it, you know, the car.

Mr. Liebeler. Did you go out with him again after that with the car?

Mr. Murret. No; that was the only time.

Mr. Liebeler. Did you ever let him take the car by himself?

Mr. Murret. No, sir.

Mr. Liebeler. Do you know whether he ever took your car by himself without your permission?

192 Mr. Murret. No, sir; I always had the car working.

Mr. Liebeler. Did he have access to any other automobiles while he was here in New Orleans, as far as you know?

Mr. Murret. To my knowledge, no; not of my family's possessions.

Mr. Liebeler. You have a brother who is studying to be a Jesuit priest——

Mr. Murret. Yes, sir.

Mr. Liebeler. In Mobile, Ala., do you not?

Mr. Murret. Yes, sir.

Mr. Liebeler. Did there come a time in the summer of 1963 when Lee Oswald went to Mobile, Ala.?

Mr. Murret. Yes, sir.

Mr. Liebeler. Did you go along?

Mr. Murret. I was supposed to. I was in Houston at the time, we had a sales meeting in Houston, and I didn't make the trip.

Mr. Liebeler. You did not go?

Mr. Murret. No, sir; I did not go.

Mr. Liebeler. Who all went on that trip? Do you know?

Mr. Murret. As I recall, it must have been my mother and father and Marilyn, and that is it, and Lee and Marina and the baby.

Mr. Liebeler. Have you talked with your brother, the Jesuit student, since that time?

Mr. Murret. I have; yes, sir.

Mr. Liebeler. Did he tell you about Oswald's appearance at the seminary?

Mr. Murret. No, sir.

Mr. Liebeler. You never discussed that particular event?

Mr. Murret. No, sir.

Mr. Liebeler. Did you talk about Oswald at all?

Mr. Murret. I did. In fact, the next time I had seen my brother was at my wedding. You see, he doesn't come in New Orleans at all. And I had asked him what kind of talk he gave, because I was interested in what kind of talk he did give and what impression he made on the Jesuits, and, like he said, you know, he didn't speak other than what the conditions were, you know, in Russia, and how he lived and the food and drink and so forth, and I think the other boys were asking him questions or trying to ask him questions. He may be evading the questions, but other than that, that is the only connection I had with my brother, you know, just asking him about it.

Mr. Liebeler. This was at your wedding? Is that right?

Mr. Murret. Yes, sir.

Mr. Liebeler. What was the date of that?

Mr. Murret. That was October 5, 1963.

Mr. Liebeler. 1963?

Mr. Murret. Sixty-three, yes.

Mr. Liebeler. Did your brother indicate—did your brother, Eugene, indicate his opinion of Lee Oswald to you?

Mr. Murret. Well, his mind was—as far as his thinking was concerned, there is no doubt but that he thought in the wrong direction.

Mr. Liebeler. That is what your brother thought?

Mr. Murret. That is what my brother thought; yes.

Mr. Liebeler. Your brother, of course, is studying to be a Jesuit priest?

Mr. Murret. Yes, sir.

Mr. Liebeler. Did you ever talk to Oswald about religion?

Mr. Murret. No, sir.

Mr. Liebeler. Now other than the first time that you saw Oswald when he was there at 757 French Street on that day when you came home for lunch——

Mr. Murret. Yes, sir.

Mr. Liebeler. And the contact that you had with him at 757 French Street until he moved out, did you have any other contact with Oswald during the summer of 1963?

Mr. Murret. No, sir; just only when, you know, he came to the house some Sundays maybe to eat or something on that order.

Mr. Liebeler. Did you meet Marina Oswald?

Mr. Murret. Yes, sir.

193 Mr. Liebeler. Did you talk to her?

Mr. Murret. Not in clear English, but made signs and so forth, and I actually didn't want to, you know, get involved, but I actually couldn't speak to her, you know.

Mr. Liebeler. Did you form an opinion as to whether or not Marina could speak English?

Mr. Murret. No; I don't think she could, and I was amazed how fast that she did pick it up, you know, when she was on television and so forth.

Mr. Liebeler. After the assassination——

Mr. Murret. Yes.

Mr. Liebeler. You observed a distinct and surprising improvement in her use of the English language, did you not?

Mr. Murret. Definitely.

Mr. Liebeler. From the time that you saw her in New Orleans here in the summer of 1963 until the time that she appeared on television after the assassination?

Mr. Murret. Yes.

Mr. Liebeler. Did you have occasion to observe Lee Oswald and Marina together?

Mr. Murret. Around the television; yes. I think that is about the only time.

Mr. Liebeler. Did you form any opinion as to how they got along with each other?

Mr. Murret. To me they got along pretty well, they got along pretty well. In fact, they had a television program on one day—I forget what it was, on a Friday night—pertaining to a circus, and it was in Russia, and they were pretty well enthused about it being it was Russian, and it was the first time they had ever seen something like that. In fact, I think they had either the Olympics or some sort of sporting event in Russia at the time, and they were quite impressed, because it was the first time they had ever seen something like this, but other than that, it seemed like they got along pretty well. I didn't see anything out of the ordinary, I guess.

Mr. Liebeler. There was never any indication of strain or hostility in their relationship, as far as you could tell?

Mr. Murret. No, sir; not that I could see.

Mr. Liebeler. Did you ever discuss politics——

Mr. Murret. No, sir.

Mr. Liebeler. With Oswald at all?

Mr. Murret. No.

Mr. Liebeler. Did you ever hear him mention President Kennedy?

Mr. Murret. No, sir.

Mr. Liebeler. Or Governor Connally?

Mr. Murret. No, sir.

Mr. Liebeler. Did you form an opinion about Oswald's general character from your observations and experience with him in 1963?

Mr. Murret. In the summer of 1963?

Mr. Liebeler. Yes.

Mr. Murret. Actually, he probably didn't have any other choice of doing anything. It was kind of hard, I guess, for him to get along. Like I say, his appearance in general—I mean, just by looking at him, he just didn't have the clothes or anything to do anything right. In other words, everything that he did was wrong if he did go look for a job and get turned down and so forth. It was kind of hard for him after a bit. Someone would have helped him, but he didn't actually need any help. He wanted to do it on his own. You could have helped him, you know, but he just didn't want any help. He wouldn't ask for anything, I know that, he wouldn't ask for anything.

Mr. Liebeler. He struck you as sort of an independent, proud sort of fellow?

Mr. Murret. He was proud, there is no doubt about it. He was proud.

Mr. Liebeler. Did you think he was a fairly bright fellow, or did you form an opinion about his intelligence?

Mr. Murret. He was bright and he impressed me—you know, bright in a different sense of the word. Now whether he thought in the right direction, I really don't know, but he was—but he improved particularly, you know,194 from the younger years that I had known him. He had improved tremendously as far as intelligence is concerned and his vocabulary, and evidently he tried to impress people, you know, with it, but he was impressive, he was impressive.

Mr. Liebeler. He seemed to speak well and was articulate?

Mr. Murret. Right, he was. He used words that an ordinary individual wouldn't use in conversation.

Mr. Liebeler. Did you know that he was arrested by the New Orleans Police Department some time during the summer of 1963 in connection with some difficulties that he got into when he was distributing Fair Play for Cuba Committee literature?

Mr. Murret. Yes.

Mr. Liebeler. When did you learn that?

Mr. Murret. Well, when it was in the paper or when it was on television.

Mr. Liebeler. At the time?

Mr. Murret. At the time. Either that or my parents had told me. I don't recall.

Mr. Liebeler. Did you have anything to do with getting him out of jail?

Mr. Murret. Nothing at all.

Mr. Liebeler. Did you know that he was on a radio debate over at WDSU?

Mr. Murret. Yes, sir.

Mr. Liebeler. Did you hear him?

Mr. Murret. Yes, sir.

Mr. Liebeler. I understand that Oswald actually called the house out there and told you that he was going to be on the radio, did he not?

Mr. Murret. Right. He sure did.

Mr. Liebeler. Did you have any discussions with him or see him after the radio debate?

Mr. Murret. If I did see him, I didn't discuss it, you know, with him.

Mr. Liebeler. Did you ever at any time discuss with him this Fair Play for Cuba Committee episode or his radio debate or anything in connection with those events?

Mr. Murret. No, sir.

Mr. Liebeler. Do I understand that your sister was involved in the events that led to Oswald's release from jail? Is that correct?

Mr. Murret. To my understanding, she was.

Mr. Liebeler. Did she tell you that?

Mr. Murret. Did she tell me that? That is my oldest sister.

Mr. Liebeler. What is her name?

Mr. Murret. Joyce O'Brien.

Mr. Liebeler. Where does she live?

Mr. Murret. She lives in Beaumont, Tex.

Mr. Liebeler. The question was: Did she tell you that she had been involved in getting Oswald out of jail?

Mr. Murret. I heard something to the effect that while he was in jail he phoned the home. It just so happened my sister was there at the time, because she very seldom comes in, and naturally you want to, you know, see if we could get him out, and she is saying how did he get in there in the first place, and she didn't want to get him out after she heard what he did.

Mr. Liebeler. She didn't want to get him out after she heard what he did?

Mr. Murret. Yes.

Mr. Liebeler. Did you know Oswald as a younger boy?

Mr. Murret. No; not closely. I can recollect, you know, when he was a small boy, but no particular dealings with him. He was too small to hold any conversation with him.

Mr. Liebeler. Do you have any recollection of what kind of a fellow he was when he was a kid?

Mr. Murret. He was a nice kid. Just by his pictures and so forth, he was real nice. To me he was harmful [sic].

Mr. Liebeler. What?

Mr. Murret. Harmful.

Mr. Liebeler. Harmful?

Mr. Murret. Harmless.

195 Mr. Liebeler. How old are you, Mr. Murret?

Mr. Murret. I am 29.

Mr. Liebeler. Twenty-nine?

Mr. Murret. Yes, sir.

Mr. Liebeler. You are the youngest member of the Murret family? Is that right?

Mr. Murret. Yes, sir.

Mr. Liebeler. Did you ever know Lee Oswald's older brother, Robert?

Mr. Murret. Yes, sir.

Mr. Liebeler. Were you closer to Robert than you were to Lee, would you say, or how much contact did you have with Robert?

Mr. Murret. Well, I would say about the same. Actually they weren't here in the city of New Orleans, you know, long enough to get close to them.

Mr. Liebeler. There was nothing that you knew about Lee Oswald's youth that was particularly noteworthy or outstanding or would draw your attention to him or would distinguish him from other boys of his age, that you can remember, was there?

Mr. Murret. No, sir; I couldn't say. I didn't have that much contact.

Mr. Liebeler. Now looking back over the summer of 1963, thinking about your contact with Lee Oswald, is there anything that you can think of that you did with him or any conversations that you had or anything of interest that occurred during that time that we haven't talked about? If you can think of anything else in that nature that we haven't mentioned, that you think would be helpful to the Commission, we would like to have you tell us.

Mr. Murret. Well, the only thing I can think of; like I say, it just so happens that I was home all the time, but the telephone rang, you know, for him getting a job or some employment agencies calling up asking, you know, for him to contact the employment agencies because they had located him a job and so forth, and the only thing I can recollect is an employment agency calling me up one night, and couldn't get in contact with him, and I had to call the particular coffee plant the next day, you know, saying that the agency wants to see you, you know, right away, he has a job located for you—in photography I think it was. So I had called him, and that was about the end of that.

Mr. Liebeler. You did call Lee?

Mr. Murret. Yes, sir.

Mr. Liebeler. Did you reach him at the coffee plant?

Mr. Murret. Yes, sir.

Mr. Liebeler. Did he say anything when you told him that this employment agency was looking for him?

Mr. Murret. No; I was just hoping that this was the job that he was looking for. Other than that, that is all.

Mr. Liebeler. Do you remember the name of the employment agency?

Mr. Murret. No, sir; I don't. They had maybe one or two that called up, different ones, but it was amazing—not amazing, but evidently when he was applying for these particular jobs he must have impressed them such that they would let him know one way or the other, you know, whether they had a job for him or not, rather than just pass it by.

Mr. Liebeler. Did Lee own a suit of clothes?

Mr. Murret. I think he did; yes, sir. It was during the summer, and it was a woolen suit more so than a summer suit.

Mr. Liebeler. Do you know whether he wore that suit when he went looking for a job?

Mr. Murret. He might have wore it once; yes, sir. That was the only suit he had that I know of.

Mr. Liebeler. How much luggage did Lee have with him when he stayed out at the place on French Street?

Mr. Murret. I couldn't say. Just the bag that I saw, you know, just the handbag which is similar to—you know, like a basketball equipment bag.

Mr. Liebeler. Something like an airline bag?

Mr. Murret. Yes; something like that.

Mr. Liebeler. Just a soft——

Mr. Murret. Right, just a small bag.

196 Mr. Liebeler. You don't remember what color it was?

Mr. Murret. No, sir.

Mr. Liebeler. If you can't think of anything else that you can remember or that you think would be helpful, I have no more questions at this point.

Mr. Murret. O.K.

Mr. Liebeler. I want to thank you very much.


TESTIMONY OF EDWARD JOHN PIC, JR.

The testimony of Edward John Pic, Jr., was taken on April 7, 1964, at the Old Civil Courts Building, Royal and Conti Streets, New Orleans, La., by Mr. Albert E. Jenner, Jr., assistant counsel of the President's Commission.

Edward John Pic, Jr., No. 6 Jay Street, Lake Vista, New Orleans, La., after first being duly sworn, testified as follows:

Mr. Jenner. You are Edward John Pic, Jr., is that right?

Mr. Pic. Correct.

Mr. Jenner. What is your address, sir?

Mr. Pic. No. 6 Jay Street, Lake Vista.

Mr. Jenner. Is that J-A-Y?

Mr. Pic. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. Is Lake Vista a suburb of New Orleans?

Mr. Pic. Yes; it's on the Lake Pontchartrain frontage.

Mr. Jenner. Are you aware of the existence of the Warren Commission, Mr. Pic?

Mr. Pic. Well, I knew, you know, an investigation was started.

Mr. Jenner. Mr. Pic, the Warren Commission was authorized by Senate Joint Resolution No. 137. That legislation authorized the President of the United States to appoint a Commission to investigate all the facts and circumstances surrounding, and pertinent to, the tragic event of November 22, 1963, which was the assassination of our President John Fitzgerald Kennedy.

Mr. Pic. I understand.

Mr. Jenner. Thereafter President Johnson, under Executive Order No. 11130 did appoint that particular Commission, of which His Honor, the Chief Justice of the United States, Earl Warren, is Chairman. That Executive order, pursuant to the legislation, directs the Commission, upon its creation, to investigate all the facts and circumstances surrounding the tragic event of November 22, 1963, and also the subsequent death and course of conduct of Lee Harvey Oswald and of Jack Ruby.

The Commission was authorized to create a legal staff, and one of our duties is the taking of testimony, both in person before the Commission itself and by deposition, such as we are doing here today, of anybody who might have touched the lives of these people in any manner or in any capacity. Do you understand what we are doing now?

Mr. Pic. Yes; I think so.

Mr. Jenner. Now, I must confess candidly that up until yesterday I was under the impression that you were deceased, or at least no one knew where you were, and then a witness whom I examined yesterday told me, to my surprise, that you were very much alive?

Mr. Pic. I certainly am.

Mr. Jenner. You have been seen occasionally by this witness on the street. He said he had no occasion to speak to you, but that he recognized you. Now, had I known that before, I would have transmitted to you in advance a letter through the general counsel of the Commission, Mr. Rankin, in which you would have been advised of the Commission's authority to take your deposition, and you would have also received, enclosed with the letter, a copy of Senate Joint Resolution 137 authorizing the creation of the Commission to investigate the assassination of President Kennedy; a copy of the Executive Order No. 11130,197 of President Johnson appointing the Commission and fixing its powers and duties, and a copy of the rules and regulations under which we take testimony before the Commission itself, and also by way of deposition, as we are doing here today.

Mr. Pic. May I say something?

Mr. Jenner. Surely; anything.

Mr. Pic. I think it was some time after Christmas, possibly January, that an agent of the FBI came to see me, and he knew whether I was still alive.

Mr. Jenner. Well, I am just confessing my own stupidity and ignorance.

Mr. Pic. He just wanted to know if I knew anything about it, and I told him I didn't; and that was all.

Mr. Jenner. He didn't go into it any further than that?

Mr. Pic. No, sir.

Mr. Jenner. Well, that still doesn't justify my ignorance or misinformation. Who was it that said—was it Will Rogers, that said the reports of his death were very much exaggerated?

So I called you last night, and then in order that you might be assured that you weren't being inquired of by some crackpot, I asked the Secret Service man to contact you today, and he did, didn't he?

Mr. Pic. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. And so you appeared voluntarily here; is that right?

Mr. Pic. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. Now, Mr. Pic, you are a native of this section of the country, are you not?

Mr. Pic. I was born and raised in New Orleans.

Mr. Jenner. Born and raised here?

Mr. Pic. Yes, sir.

Mr. Jenner. And your wife the same way?

Mr. Pic. Yes; my present wife; yes.

Mr. Jenner. You were married at one time to Marguerite Oswald, or rather, to Marguerite Claverie, who later married Oswald; is that right, Mr. Pic?

Mr. Pic. Correct, sir.

Mr. Jenner. And that took place when?

Mr. Pic. 1929.

Mr. Jenner. You were both very young people?

Mr. Pic. Right. I was born in August of 1907.

Mr. Jenner. You were married how long? Just give me your best estimate.

Mr. Pic. I guess about 3 years.

Mr. Jenner. Three years?

Mr. Pic. Somewhere around that.

Mr. Jenner. Did you have difficulty in this marriage before it actually terminated?

Mr. Pic. Well, yes; things happened, you know.

Mr. Jenner. Your marriage was terminated in divorce, wasn't it Mr. Pic?

Mr. Pic. Yes; that's right.

Mr. Jenner. About how long did you actually live together before you separated?

Mr. Pic. Oh, about a year, I guess.

Mr. Jenner. So then you separated, and a divorce followed in a couple of years; is that right?

Mr. Pic. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. What was your business or occupation when you were married to Marguerite?

Mr. Pic. I was just classified as a clerk.

Mr. Jenner. In what company?

Mr. Pic. T. Smith & Son.

Mr. Jenner. Are you still with that company?

Mr. Pic. I am, sir.

Mr. Jenner. I suppose the nature of your work with the company has changed; is that right?

Mr. Pic. Yes; it has, sir.

Mr. Jenner. What do you do now?

198 Mr. Pic. I am in the ship department as well as the tugboat department of the company.

Mr. Jenner. Do you have managerial supervision in the company now, Mr. Pic?

Mr. Pic. Yes; I am operating manager of the company.

Mr. Jenner. You have major responsibilities with the company now; is that right?

Mr. Pic. Yes, sir; right much. I have a big responsibility with the company.

Mr. Jenner. Now, at a point in your marriage to the then Mrs. Pic, who is now Mrs. Oswald, there was a time when you didn't get along; is that right?

Mr. Pic. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. Will you tell me about that please? Just tell me in your own words what difficulty you had with her.

Mr. Pic. Well, we just couldn't put two and two together and make it come out to four.

Mr. Jenner. There was no outside influence?

Mr. Pic. No; none; definitely not.

Mr. Jenner. On either side?

Mr. Pic. No; there wasn't.

Mr. Jenner. You just figure you were two persons who couldn't jell; is that just about a fair statement of your situation at that time?

Mr. Pic. That's right. We couldn't make it. We just couldn't get along, you know, so we finally decided to quit trying and call the whole thing off; which we did.

Mr. Jenner. Tell me this. Was she a nice girl. Would you right now be able to look back and say whether she was what you would consider a nice girl at that time?

Mr. Pic. Oh, definitely, yes. She was a nice girl. I couldn't say anything about Marguerite at all. It was just one of those things. We just couldn't get along. We had a lot of friends and everything, but there was something that kept things getting worse and worse. Maybe I had a rotten disposition, I don't know.

Mr. Jenner. You aren't trying to place the blame anywhere now, are you?

Mr. Pic. No.

Mr. Jenner. Now, you have lived here in New Orleans all the intervening years; haven't you?

Mr. Pic. Yes; that's right.

Mr. Jenner. Was there a child born of your marriage to Marguerite, Mr. Pic?

Mr. Pic. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. And that's John Edward Pic, is that correct?

Mr. Pic. Correct, sir.

Mr. Jenner. Why did you give him that name, so he wouldn't be another "Jr.," or II or III?

Mr. Pic. I had nothing to do with that, sir. She named him.

Mr. Jenner. She gave him that name?

Mr. Pic. Yes, sir.

Mr. Jenner. Was the child born before or after the separation?

Mr. Pic. After the separation.

Mr. Jenner. Were you aware that she was pregnant at the time of the separation?

Mr. Pic. I was, sir.

Mr. Jenner. And you discussed that with her, I presume?

Mr. Pic. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. Was that a mutual agreement, to separate?

Mr. Pic. Yes, sir; we went to an attorney, the same attorney, and he worked it out for us. We decided the best thing for us was to separate, and we did.

Mr. Jenner. Then you supported her; did you?

Mr. Pic. Yes, sir.

Mr. Jenner. The child John Edward Pic was born then during the period of the separation, but before the divorce, is that right?

Mr. Pic. That's right.

Mr. Jenner. Were you aware of the birth of the child?

199 Mr. Pic. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. Then a divorce took place?

Mr. Pic. Correct.

Mr. Jenner. About how long after the birth of the boy?

Mr. Pic. Oh, I guess about a year and a half.

Mr. Jenner. About a year and a half?

Mr. Pic. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. Was a decree entered?

Mr. Pic. Oh, yes.

Mr. Jenner. Under which you paid alimony to your former wife and child support to your son?

Mr. Pic. Well, it was not a court decree as far as the alimony was concerned. That was an arrangement made between her, myself and the attorney, that they keep that out of the divorce decree, about alimony. That was a mutual understanding. I agreed that I would give her as much as I could out of the salary I would make.

Mr. Jenner. How long did you make payments in the form of alimony to her?

Mr. Pic. From the time of the separation up to 1950, I paid it. I sent monthly checks.

Mr. Jenner. In the same amount?

Mr. Pic. The same amount; yes, sir.

Mr. Jenner. Did you pay her any separate amounts during that time as alimony?

Mr. Pic. No, sir.

Mr. Jenner. You did not?

Mr. Pic. No, sir; it was agreed with our attorney that she could have all the furniture. I made no claim on anything. She took it all.

Mr. Jenner. And you have the distinct recollection that you paid her the same amount each month up until 1950, is that right?

Mr. Pic. Correct, sir.

Mr. Jenner. What were those amounts, if you can recall?

Mr. Pic. Let's see—I am trying to remember if I sent that semimonthly or monthly. I think I sent those checks semimonthly. I sent her $20 semimonthly, which was $40 a month I sent her.

Mr. Jenner. You sent her $40 a month until 1950?

Mr. Pic. Yes, sir.

Mr. Jenner. Then even though she remarried you still sent her $40 a month, is that right?

Mr. Pic. That's right.

Mr. Jenner. You knew she had remarried?

Mr. Pic. Yes, sir.

Mr. Jenner. When did you remarry?

Mr. Pic. I remarried in 1939.

Mr. Jenner. And is that your present wife?

Mr. Pic. Yes, sir.

Mr. Jenner. What was her maiden name?

Mr. Pic. Marjorie.

Mr. Jenner. What was her given name?

Mr. Pic. Boensel. She had previously been married.

Mr. Jenner. Was she a widow?

Mr. Pic. When we got married, yes; she was a widow. Her husband had died.

Mr. Jenner. Have you had any children from that marriage?

Mr. Pic. Yes.

Mr. Jenner. Girl or boy?

Mr. Pic. Girl.

Mr. Jenner. What is her name?

Mr. Pic. Martha.

Mr. Jenner. How old is she?

Mr. Pic. 17 this July.

Mr. Jenner. Tell me this: Did you know from time to time where Marguerite would be so that you would know where to send those checks?

Mr. Pic. Yes, sir; I did.

200 Mr. Jenner. How? Did she communicate with you?

Mr. Pic. Well, up to the time she moved out of the city, I think I knew where she lived, but I am trying to think where the next place she moved to when she moved out of town. I think it was Fort Worth, Tex., or Brownsville; I just don't remember.

Mr. Jenner. Well, let me give you some addresses and let's see if they refresh your recollection.

Mr. Pic. Yes, sir.

Mr. Jenner. From 1939 to 1941 on Alvar Street in New Orleans?

Mr. Pic. Alvar; yes.

Mr. Jenner. Do you remember when she lived on Alvar?

Mr. Pic. Yes, sir.

Mr. Jenner. Then she lived for a while, about a year, at 1010 Bartholomew in New Orleans; do you remember that?

Mr. Pic. Yes, sir; since you mention it.

Mr. Jenner. Then in 1942 at 2136 Broadway, New Orleans; do you remember that?

Mr. Pic. That's possibly right, but it don't ring a bell.

Mr. Jenner. Do you remember her being over in Algiers, 227 Atlantic Avenue?

Mr. Pic. No, sir.

Mr. Jenner. Then about 1945 in Dallas, Tex., 4801 Victor?

Mr. Pic. I don't remember Dallas.

Mr. Jenner. You don't remember Dallas?

Mr. Pic. No; she could have, but I don't remember it.

Mr. Jenner. Do you remember Benbrook, Tex., in 1946?

Mr. Pic. No, sir.

Mr. Jenner. Covington, La., in 1946, in the summer of that year?

Mr. Pic. Covington, no; I don't remember sending checks there.

Mr. Jenner. All right. Fort Worth, Tex., 1947?

Mr. Pic. I do remember her being there; yes.

Mr. Jenner. 1505 Eighth Avenue?

Mr. Pic. Well, the address I don't know, but I know she lived in Fort Worth about then.

Mr. Jenner. You do remember Fort Worth?

Mr. Pic. Yes, sir.

Mr. Jenner. Do you definitely remember sending her $40 a month when she was in Fort Worth?

Mr. Pic. Yes, sir.

Mr. Jenner. And it was while she was in Fort Worth that the payments were finally stopped, is that right?

Mr. Pic. Correct, sir; in 1950.

Mr. Jenner. In 1950?

Mr. Pic. Yes, sir.

Mr. Jenner. How did you transmit these checks to her, since she moved around quite a bit, as we know?

Mr. Pic. Well, I would get a cashier's check from the Whitney National Bank in New Orleans and sometimes the City Bank Branch, which our company had an account in, and I could get it through without a lot of red tape that way since I worked for the company and all. Now, those addresses that you read off to me, she probably kept me posted where she would be from time to time—you know, let me know where to send the check.

Now, in 1950 I was of course still sending support to my son, and through withholding I was able to claim him as a dependent, but I knew he was getting up in age, 17, 18 years, and I made inquiry whether he was still going to school, or was working, because the Treasury Department called me in and said I made a claim for my son when he had filed a tax return himself and in fact claiming his mother as a dependent, so I got in trouble with the Treasury Department over that, because I didn't know he was working.

Mr. Jenner. Did you learn in 1950 eventually that your boy was in the Coast Guard?

Mr. Pic. Finally I did; yes. She sent me a picture of John, and to me it looked like he was in the Navy, but I guess it was the Coast Guard. So anyway201 after they told me he was working, I went to see my attorney and explained it to him that the boy had reached the age where he was self-supporting, and inasmuch as I had remarried and she had remarried, it wasn't necessary that I send her any more money, so I wrote her a letter and told her that I had no further legal obligation as far as the law was concerned, so I advised her that that would be the last check I would be sending her, and I heard no more from her.

Mr. Jenner. Have you seen your son John?

Mr. Pic. No, sir; only on the picture; and that was just up to about the 1-year age, that I actually seen him.

Mr. Jenner. You did see him when he was about a year old?

Mr. Pic. Yes; up to about a year old.

Mr. Jenner. But from that time on to the present day, you have never seen him?

Mr. Pic. No, I have never seen my boy since that time.

Mr. Jenner. When was the last time you saw Marguerite?

Mr. Pic. Oh, that's been a long, long time.

Mr. Jenner. Could that have been as long a period as 37 years that you haven't seen Marguerite?

Mr. Pic. Well, yes; that's about correct, sir; it's very close to that.

Mr. Jenner. 37 years?

Mr. Pic. Yes, sir.

Mr. Jenner. And you never knew Lee at all; you never saw him, did you?

Mr. Pic. No.

Mr. Jenner. You didn't even know he was born, or when he was born, did you?

Mr. Pic. No, sir; I knew she had two children now, but what their names were, I didn't know that. Now, a few days after the assassination, which I hate to mention, her name struck me all of a sudden, but I didn't think even then that she was the Oswald mixed up in this, and her son, and all.

I said to my wife, "Honey, do you realize who that is?" and she said, "Yes, I figured who it was all the time, but I didn't want to mention it to you and bring all that up." I didn't realize that it was her boy at all.

Mr. Jenner. Did you know her husband, Lee Oswald?

Mr. Pic. No; I never met him.

Mr. Jenner. You never did meet him and you never did hear of him, is that right?

Mr. Pic. That's right; I never did even hear of him.

Mr. Jenner. Did you know a man by the name of Ekdahl?

Mr. Pic. No; not to my knowledge; no, sir.

Mr. Jenner. Did you know she was married to him at one time?

Mr. Pic. No, sir.

Mr. Jenner. Had you known him up to that moment?

Mr. Pic. No; not till I read about him in the paper—that she had another marriage and it broke up, I believe, or something. It was in the paper.

Mr. Jenner. And your boy John didn't communicate with you at that time?

Mr. Pic. Never has; no, sir. I never got any word from John. I guess he forgot about me. He was too young to realize, and maybe his mother never did tell him about his old man.

Mr. Jenner. Well, to be completely charitable about it, you don't even know if he knows you are alive, do you?

Mr. Pic. That's right.

Mr. Jenner. You never can tell about those things?

Mr. Pic. No; you never know.

Mr. Jenner. Well, Mr. Pic, I appreciate your coming in today. I know it has been some inconvenience to you. I have no further questions.

Mr. Pic. Well, like I say, I never did know about her marriage to Mr. Oswald, other than I had known that she remarried, and his name was mentioned to me.

Mr. Jenner. I understand that. Now, Mr. Pic, you have the right, if you wish, to come in and read your deposition and sign it, or you may waive that and this gentleman, the court reporter, will transcribe the deposition and it202 will be sent by the U.S. attorney to Washington. Now what do you prefer to do? Do you want to read and sign it, or do you want to waive that?

Mr. Pic. Oh, I will waive it. I mean, the information I have is all I can give you. My wife and I have known that we faced this ever since the assassination, that it would come some day, but we just didn't want a lot of publicity or anything, you know.

Mr. Jenner. Well, you may rest assured that the fact that you have testified here will not be made known to any news reporters or any news media by anyone in this room, and we appreciate your coming in and telling us what you know about it.


TESTIMONY OF JOHN CARRO

The testimony of John Carro was taken on April 16, 1964, at the U.S. Courthouse, Foley Square, New York, N.Y., by Mr. Wesley J. Liebeler, assistant counsel of the President's Commission.

John Carro, having been first duly sworn, was examined and testified as follows:

Mr. Liebeler. My name is Wesley J. Liebeler. I am a member of the legal staff of the President's Commission investigating the assassination of President Kennedy. Staff members have been authorized to take the testimony of witnesses by the Commission pursuant to authority granted to the Commission by Executive Order No. 11130, dated November 29, 1963, and Joint Resolution of Congress No. 137.

Under the Commission's rules for the taking of testimony, each witness is to be provided with a copy of the Executive order and of the joint resolution, and a copy of the rules that the Commission has adopted governing the taking of testimony from witnesses. The Commission will provide you copies of those documents.

Under the Commission's rules for the taking of testimony, each witness is entitled to 3 days' notice of his testimony. I don't believe you actually received 3 days' notice.

Mr. Carro. No.

Mr. Liebeler. But since you are here, I don't believe there is any question that you will——

Mr. Carro. There's no problem.

Mr. Liebeler. We want to inquire briefly of you today, Mr. Carro, concerning your recollection of the contact we are informed that you had with Lee Harvey Oswald when he lived here in New York at the time he was approximately 13 years old, back in 1953–54.

Mr. Carro. Yes.

Mr. Liebeler. Before we get into that, would you state your full name for the record.

Mr. Carro. Well, my name is John Carro.

Mr. Liebeler. Where do you live?

Mr. Carro. 56 Lakeside Drive, in Yonkers, State of New York.

Mr. Liebeler. Where are you presently employed?

Mr. Carro. I am employed with the mayor's office here in the city of New York.

Mr. Liebeler. You are an assistant to the mayor?

Mr. Carro. An assistant to the mayor.

Mr. Liebeler. Where were you born?

Mr. Carro. I was born in Orocovis, P.R.

Mr. Liebeler. When?

Mr. Carro. August 21, 1927.

Mr. Liebeler. When did you come to the United States?

Mr. Carro. I came to the United States, I believe it was in 1937—'37.

Mr. Liebeler. And you came to New York at that time?

Mr. Carro. New York City; yes, sir.

203 Mr. Liebeler. And you have lived in New York City ever since, or its environs?

Mr. Carro. Yes.

Mr. Liebeler. Would you outline briefly for us your educational background?

Mr. Carro. Well, I went to junior high school and high school, college and law school here. I attended Benjamin Franklin High School, Fordham University and Brooklyn Law School. I graduated from law school in 1952. In addition, I attended schools in the Navy, the hospital corps school, and I attended one year at NYU, the School of Public Administration, under the city executive program.

I am an attorney and have a B.S. degree from the University of Fordham.

Mr. Liebeler. Have you at any time engaged in the practice of law here in New York?

Mr. Carro. Yes; I have. I have from the time I was admitted to practice in February of 1956 been in the practice of law. Even at the present time, although I am not, myself, actively engaged, I maintain a law partnership where I practice.

Mr. Liebeler. I understand that you were a probation officer, assigned as a probation officer to the Domestic Relations Court.

Mr. Carro. Yes.

Mr. Liebeler. Here in New York?

Mr. Carro. Yes.

Mr. Liebeler. At what time did you first become so assigned?

Mr. Carro. Well, I worked with the Probation Department of the Domestic Relations Court, Children's Division, from early 1952 'til 1954. I am trying to recollect—from 1952 to 1954. I believe it was up to October of 1954. It may have been around September of 1954. I'm not sure.

Mr. Liebeler. Can you tell us, after 1954 did you hold any other public office or any other——

Mr. Carro. Oh, yes; I worked from 1949 to 1952 as a social investigator for the city of New York. From 1952 to 1954 I was probation officer of the Children's Court. Then, in 1954 for about a month or so I was with the New York City Police Department as a probationary patrolman and left to join the New York City Youth Board where I worked as a social—I mean, a street club worker, senior worker and supervisor. I worked with the New York Youth Board for 4 years with their council of Social and Athletic Clubs, which is the common name given to the "street gang project."

From 1958 to 1960 I was appointed to the State Commission Against Discrimination. I worked with them as a field representative.

In 1960 to 1961 I worked for Mobilization for Youth, which is a privately financed organization with Federal, State, and city funds and private funds, developing a program for the youth, as an associate director, and from 1961 to the present I have been an assistant to the mayor of the city of New York.

Mr. Liebeler. Does your job with the mayor at the present time relate to youth, or more generally——

Mr. Carro. Yes, in the sense that I have liaison responsibility with the various social service agencies, which included the Youth Board, the Department of Correction and City Commission on Human Rights. I do a great deal of work with education and youth, and I am in charge of the mayor's information center and the mobile unit, and although that does not give me a direct relationship, the leaning of my own background experience have been so that I have represented the mayor on the President's Committee on Narcotics. I also have worked with the Mobilization for Youth. I have sat in for the mayor on some of the situations. I naturally tend to this kind of work.

Mr. Liebeler. How did you first become interested in this? Was this because of your work as a probation officer or the work you did prior to that?

Mr. Carro. Well, I think it was a combination of both. I grew up in east Harlem, and I belonged to a number of organizations, and actually I desired to get social work experience, and when I went into the welfare department I found out that I would enjoy it much better working with youth, and it was just through reading about it, I happened to read—I heard that probation work with youth—than welfare investigator, and while in probation I read about the youth board work, and I liked the idea of a detached worker approach,204 working in the streets, trying to reach the young people before they came to court and had already committed a crime, and this is why I left the police department, in the thought that I would like to do that.

I have an interest in young people.

Mr. Liebeler. During the time that you worked as a probation officer did you have occasion to make the acquaintance of Lee Harvey Oswald?

Mr. Carro. Yes, I did.

Mr. Liebeler. Will you tell us everything that you can remember about that in your own words?

Mr. Carro. Well, I was first assigned to the case, I believe it was about April of 1953. This was a petition that had been brought before the court by the attendance bureau relating to this boy, Lee Harvey Oswald, because of his truancy from school. He had been absent quite a great deal of time on a prior term, on a transfer to a new school; he had just neglected to attend school altogether, and the Board of Education has a bureau who send out an attendance officer to find out why the boy is not going to school. Apparently their efforts were fruitless so that the attendance bureau of the board of education had referred the matter to the court for a petition, and the mother had been asked to come into court with the boy.

My recollection, as I recall, is that initially the mother did not bring him in and the judge ordered a warrant for her to bring the boy, and when she did come in with the boy a petition was drawn, alleging truancy, the judge made a finding of truancy, and ordered that the boy be remanded to Youth House for what they call a sociological study. The case is then assigned to a probation officer in the court to make further investigation to bring back to the court for a possible determination as to the case.

This is the instance that I came into the case. The judge having made a finding and ordered an investigation, I was the probation officer assigned to do the investigation in the case.

Mr. Liebeler. The original finding that the judge made was that Oswald was a truant, and the first finding also ordered Oswald to be committed in the Youth House, is that correct?

Mr. Carro. Remanded, yes.

Mr. Liebeler. Remanded.

Mr. Carro. Pending investigation, and for a sociological study while there.

Mr. Liebeler. Would the probation officer work with the boy while he was in the Youth House or basically after he got out of the Youth House?

Mr. Carro. No, actually the probation officer's job would be then to develop a history of the family which would entail talking to the boy about the nature of the difficulty which brought him before the court, talking to the parent as to what the parent knew and the boy's whole background from early childhood, whether there was trauma, whether he was a nailbiter, you know, the whole family history, brother, sibling relationship, parental history, look into the school record. In this particular instance it was most important because there was a question of truancy. Also find out about the religious affiliation, whether the boy went to church, look into the environmental surroundings, where he lived; visit the home, talk to the boy, himself, about the nature of his act and why he did the things he did, and actually, in essence, get a full report, about as full as possible as to the boy's background, his parents, his whole situation, make a recommendation to the court, get the reports from the school as to what the probation officer deemed should happen in this instance.

Unlike the special sessions and other courts where the probation officers do not make recommendations, in Children's Court the probation officer does make a recommendation which the judge then can go along with or reject or take it under consideration. This was aside from what was going on in Youth House.

In Youth House the boy that is sent there, every worker that has some contact with the boy is required to write something about the contact, and they are in fairly good position because they watch this boy in his off moments for 2 to 3 weeks, in his everyday activities, and he is also seen by a psychiatrist while he is there, and then this report, along with what the probation officer has205 been able to get from visits to the home, the parents, talking to the boy himself, is collated and put together, and this forms the basis for the material that is given to the judge, so that the judge is in a better position to render a decision of what should happen, whether this boy should be placed, whether he should be returned home, whether he should be given therapy, whether he should be put on probation, strict probation, or whatever the judge would deem in the particular instance.

Mr. Liebeler. In this particular case you recall that Oswald was remanded to Youth House?

Mr. Carro. Yes, he was remanded from the very first day to the Youth House because he had not even bothered to report to school. I forget whether he had just turned 13 or he was still 12, but in New York State we have a law that requires each boy to attend school until at least 16, and this was a young man of tender age who had at this point taken it upon himself to just not bother to go to school any more, and furthermore, this was not the usual hooky-playing type—when I say hooky, the type of boy who does not go to school, to truant with his other friends, to go to the park, fish, play, or whatever it is. This is a boy who would not go to school just to remain home, not do anything.

The judge felt that since there was no father figure at home and it was just a mother who worked, that this was not a salutary situation for a boy this tender age to be in, and he felt he wanted to find out a little more about this boy before he made decision, and consequently he asked for the study at the Youth House.

Mr. Liebeler. Do you know who worked with Lee Oswald at the Youth House?

Mr. Carro. No; I only know that—I did not know the staff by name. I had been there on some occasions, so I do not know specifically who. I know he was seen by the psychiatrist, Dr. Hartogs, because they do send you their report afterwards, and I did receive a Youth House report, but I don't recall who specifically had the daily contacts with Lee Oswald.

Mr. Liebeler. How does it come that you remember receiving Dr. Hartogs' report?

Mr. Carro. Well, because since he was sent there and he is the doctor who does the report, this comes back to the court, and it is incorporated into the final report before it is put out, and Dr. Hartogs, I knew, was the one who did it for the court. He was the chief psychiatrist or so. All the reports were signed by him, almost, that came to us.

Mr. Liebeler. Do you know whether Dr. Hartogs actually interviewed these children and talked to them?

Mr. Carro. I don't know.

Mr. Liebeler. Or did he just administer the work of other psychiatrists, do you know?

Mr. Carro. I don't know if he had, you know, colleagues who did the work for him. As a matter of fact, I don't know how many times he saw Lee or his mother. All we used to get is a report signed by Dr. Hartogs. I don't know if he personally saw this boy or not.

Mr. Liebeler. What else can you remember of your contacts with Lee Oswald?

Mr. Carro. Let me tell you my recollection of the Oswald case. As you can imagine, from 13 years ago, this was an odd thing, because I did not realize that Oswald was the person that had killed Kennedy the first couple of days. It was only almost—I believe it was after the burial or just about that time, while I was watching the papers, on the day that he actually was killed by Ruby, that I saw some pictures of the mother, and I started reading about the New York situation, that it suddenly tied in, because, you know, something happening in Texas, 1,500 miles, is something you hardly associate with a youngster that you had 10 years prior or 12 years prior.

A friend of mine called me up, a social worker, to tell me, "Carro, you know who that case is?"

And he said, "That was the case you handled. Don't you remember?"

And then we started discussing the case, and I remembered then, and what happened then is I felt, you know, it was a kind of a numb feeling, because you know about it and could not know what to do with it. I was a probation officer and despite the fact that I was no longer one, I still felt that this was a kind of a ticklish situation, about something that I knew that no one else knew, and206 I went upstairs and I told the press secretary to the mayor. I told him the information that had just been relayed to me that I had been Oswald's P.O. and that I should tell the mayor about it, and the mayor had gone to Washington, so he told me, "Just sit tight and don't say anything."

The story didn't break in the papers—this was on a Tuesday or Wednesday—until Saturday when someone found out, went to Judge Kelley, and then there were stories Friday, Saturday, and the Post reporter showed up to my house on a Sunday evening. I don't know how he found out where I lived or anything else, but once he got there, I called city hall again, "Look, I got this reporter over here. What do I do with him?"

They said, "So apparently the story has broken. So talk to him." But the reporter it seemed, had more information than I had. He was actually clarifying my mind, because you can understand that you're not going to quote, you know, paraphrase 13 years later what happened. I have worked with a great many children during that time, and I have done a great deal of work with youth. What did stand out, you know, that I really recall as a recollection of my own was this fact, that this was a small boy. Most of the boys that I had on probation were Puerto Rican or Negro, and they were New York type of youngsters who spoke in the same slang, who came from the Bronx whom I knew how to relate to because I knew the areas where they came from, and this boy was different only in two or three respects. One, that I was a Catholic probation officer and this boy was a Lutheran, which was strange to begin with, because you normally carry youth of your own background. And secondly that he did dress in a western style with the levis, and he spoke with this southwestern accent which made him different from the average boy that I had on probation.

And, as I said, my own reaction then was that he seemed like a likable boy who did not seem mentally retarded or anything. He seemed fairly bright, and once spoken to, asked anything, he replied. He was somewhat guarded, but he did reply, and my own reaction in speaking to him was one of concern, because he did not want to play with anybody, he did not care to go to school; he said he wasn't really learning anything; he had brothers, but he didn't miss them or anything. He seems to have liked his stay at Youth House, and this is not—how do you call it—not odd, because in Youth House they did show the movies and give candy bars and this and the other, and they were paid attention, and this is a boy who is virtually alone all day, and only in that respect did it mean anything to me.

As I told reporters at the time there was no indicia that this boy had any Marxist leanings or that he had any tendencies at that age that I was able to view that would lead him into future difficulty.

Actually he came before the court with no prior record, with just the fact that he was not going to school, and the other thing that touched me was that the mother at that time seemed overprotective; she just seemed to think that there was nothing wrong with the boy, and that once we got him back to school, which I told him in no uncertain terms he would have to go back because he was just too young to decide he would not go to school any more, that all his problems were resolved. I think it may have been a threat to her to want to involve her in the treatment for the boy, because I did make a recommendation that he—it seemed to me that he needed help, that he needed to relate to some adult, that he needed to be brought out of this kind of a shell that he was retreating to, and not wanting friends, not wanting to go out, and not wanting to relate to anyone, and that I thought he had the capacity for doing this, and the psychiatric report sort of bore this out in perhaps much more medical terms, and they recommended that he either receive this kind of a support of therapeutic group work treatment at home, if it were possible, or, if not, in an institution.

Now, the situation in this kind of case is that treatment has to involve the parent, you know, the whole family setup, not just the child, and I think this is where the mother sort of felt threatened herself. People do not always understand what group work and treatment and psychiatric treatment means. There are all kinds of connotations to it, and she resisted this.

We tried—or even before we came into the case, before the case came to court, I think she had been referred to the Salvation Army, I believe it was,207 and she had not responded. Actually, when the boy came back with all these reports to the court, he was not put on supervision per se to me. The matter was sort of up in the air where it would be brought back every month while we made referral to various agencies, to see if they would take him into Children's Village or Harriman Farms, and whatever it was, and it was just looking around, shopping around for placement for him. And the mother, I think, felt threatened about that time, that the boy was back in school, we were looking to get him psychiatric treatment, and she came in and wanted to take the boy out of the State, and we told her she could not take him out without the court's OK.

As a matter of fact, I recall the case was put on the calendar before Judge Sicher in November of that year, 1953, when she was told, yes, that it was necessary to have the boy remain here, and that that is when the judge ordered a referral to the psychiatric clinic of the court, and to the Big Brothers who subsequently accepted the boy for working with. With that the mother took off in January, without letting us know, and just never came back.

Mr. Liebeler. Did you have the impression that Mrs. Oswald had the idea that you were going to take the boy and place him?

Mr. Carro. I think she might have had the idea because we certainly were coming back to court each month, you know, with the judge saying, "Well, try Children's Village. Try Harriman Farms, try this place and try that."

I think she was threatened, that there was a plan afoot, that if the boy would not work out, that he would be placed. This was one of the recommendations that I felt he should be placed, and the court also; something could be worked out, because, incidentally, when he did go back to school he did go to school, but he was presenting, you know, marginal problems in school, and he was not doing as well as expected.

Mr. Liebeler. There is a summary report in the file that he had been elected president of his class; that the court had been given a report to that effect. Do you recall anything about that?

Mr. Carro. No. As a matter of fact, the one that I recall is that he neglected to salute the American flag in class, and the reason I never said anything of that to the newspapers is because I figured they would pick this up and say, you know, "See, 15 years ago he refused to salute the American flag. This is proof." And I did not want a newspaper headline, you know, "Oswald at the age of 12 refused to salute the American flag."

Mr. Liebeler. That happens from time to time, I suppose, in children that age?

Mr. Carro. The kind of reports that came back, he was a little disruptive in class, but nothing of any nature that I would, you know, singly point out. He did not become president of the class that I recall.

Mr. Liebeler. You indicated that you had the feeling that the possibility of Lee Oswald being involved with psychiatric treatment, which would also involve his mother, whole family group, constituted a threat to or threatened the mother. What did you mean by that?

Mr. Carro. Well, there was a reluctance in her to get involved in the boy's treatment process. She saw herself as removed, as this having nothing to do with her. Furthermore, she saw the boy's problem as the only problem being he did not go to school, and once we insisted that he go back to school her attitude was, "Why are you bothering me? You're harassing me. He's back in school. Why do you want him to go to the clinic for? Why should I go with him? Why do we have to see the Protestant Big Brothers for? He has brothers. What does he need brothers for? Leave us alone. I don't like New York. I was a woman of means in Louisiana when my husband was alive."

Here in New York she just felt that people were—this was just bothering her; she couldn't understand that in helping the boy you need to have the help of the parent because this is a young boy, and if he is going to go to a court clinic, for example, she has to take him there, and her own attitude toward the help he is receiving, unless it is one that will support whatever we are trying to do for him, if it is negative, and she is rejecting, and she is resisting, the boy himself will resist whatever kind involvement you are doing for him, and we needed her to see this, and did go along with the plan. Or she may have been as disturbed as the208 boy but we were just trying to get her involved in whatever plan we had for the boy.

Mr. Liebeler. I wanted to seek your opinion on that.

Mr. Carro. I think she was. Even at that time I said that she was so self-involved in her own situation that she tended to blame everything, and yet say it was nothing, for the boy's problems. The fact that a boy could stay out of school, I think it was 47 days before he went to this new school and not report at all, and have a parent whom the attendance officer and the bureau of education, bureau of attendance is getting after, and the parent admits that she cannot control or cannot do anything about her boy not going to school, is significant of her inability to cope with this situation.

Then this plus, this idea—I don't know if she, in fact, came from wealth or not; this giving you this idea that where she came from she was a woman of means and all that, but in New York here, she had been downgraded to this kind of a thing. She mentioned that part of his problem was that when he first came to live here in the Bronx, they lived around the Grand Concourse, and I don't know if you are familiar with the Bronx, but Grand Concourse is an area of fairly middle class Jewish community, and she felt this, that the boy was dressed in a little below the level of the children up there. He did dress in levis and I think his reaction in not going to school was in part the fact that some of the children had poked fun both at his dress and his manner of speech, and he had retreated from this, and this is why he would not mix and why he became a loner, and she reacted in the same way, and she was working, as I think I recall it, in a department store, and she was very unhappy about the whole situation, and she was really in no position to be with this boy any length of time, and she seemed so preoccupied with her own problems at the time that I do not think she really had an awareness as to the boy's own problem and fears.

Mr. Liebeler. Did you get the feeling that Mrs. Oswald felt that if—I can say this because I have lived in New York for the last 7 years myself, so it doesn't bother me too much to bring it out. I am really a New Yorker. Did she have the feeling, do you think, that if these nosey New Yorkers would just leave her alone and keep out of her business everything would be all right? In other words, it was just a kind of situation that exists here in this city because of the nature of the city that was different from the way things were in Texas, maybe, or Louisiana, that this had——

Mr. Carro. I don't have any doubt about it. I think she must have thought that we were making a mountain out of a molehill, and that in some other States—I was brought up in Puerto Rico, myself; if a boy didn't go to school or so nobody saw to it that he was brought to court, that he was sent to a psychiatrist, that the Big Brothers got involved in it, that you referred him here and there, and this is why I said she must have been threatened by this whole process; there is no question about it in my mind, that she could not see what all this fuss was all about. She said so, too. No question in my mind about that. I am sure that this had an effect on her decision to leave the State and take off, and particularly when she came to see us and we told her she could not go without the OK of the court, that the boy was under the supervision of the court, and he would have to remain so until the court felt that it was OK.

Mr. Liebeler. She did advise you, however, before leaving the State, that she did intend to leave the State of New York, did she not?

Mr. Carro. Well, she advised my colleague, Timothy Dunn, I was on vacation I think that month of January, she came in to see him, she was referred by the Big Brothers, who told her she could not leave without coming to see us, and she came in to tell him, and he told her before she did we would have to put the matter on the calendar and that it would be up to the judge.

You see, normally it is not that we don't allow it, that we prohibit it. Routinely, even if a boy is under supervision or probation, what you do is, if the parent comes in, you put it on the calendar, you go up and report to the judge, and the judge will ask the parent, or you will have the information, and the parent wants to go to Newark, N.J., or, you know, Louisiana, that they are going to live with such-and-such a person over there and the court may ask you to write to that jurisdiction, to go out and make a visit to that home to see209 if it is a worthwhile home, and to see if there is a realistic plan or just not an effort on the part of the parents to take the boy out of the jurisdiction of the court, and you know if such a plan in reality exists and how feasible and how good is it in the interests of the welfare of the child, because for all the court may know, this is just a fiction on the part of the person to say, "I am moving out to Philadelphia," and they may not be moving at all. You go up to the court, get the child discharged, and they just remain where they are. And this way the boy doesn't have to report to the court any more and the parent doesn't have to bother herself with this sort of thing.

So she came in to tell us, and she was told that the matter would have to be put on the calendar and that the judge would have to pass on this.

Mr. Liebeler. But despite that fact she left the jurisdiction?

Mr. Carro. I wrote to her to come in, having heard, and the letter was returned "Moved, address unknown." I was asked about what happens then, and, well, there is very little that one can really do. We don't have extra-state jurisdiction, and we didn't even know where she had gone. This is about the sum total of what happened there.

Mr. Liebeler. Did you yourself try to find a place to place this boy?

Mr. Carro. Yes; from the very time that we had the recommendations of the psychiatrist, those that I had made were before the judge, and he went along and felt that this boy should be helped, and the next almost 9 months I spent in making referral after referral to the various institutions, the various clinics, to see if they would be able to service this boy either at home or within the institutional confines, because the psychiatric report was very distinctive in the fact that this boy did need this kind of help; and I mentioned that the tragedy of the whole thing was in this instance that because of his tender age and his religion, the facilities that we had here in New York were taxed, and somehow one factor or the other kept us from getting him the kind of help that he needed. It was either that it was a Protestant place and he was—well, he was a Lutheran, it was either a Catholic and he was a Lutheran, or one thing or another, but something mitigated their being able to service him.

I remember, for example, that the Salvation Army got a referral, and they felt they just didn't have the facility to give this boy the intensive treatment he needed. This was their reason for turning him down.

Children's village at the time, which could have given service to this boy and had the kind of setup, did not have any vacancies at this particular time of the year for this particular age boy; and so on down the line. Finally, the only recourse we had was to send it to our own psychiatric clinic, where we would do both, have him seen by a psychiatrist at our clinic, which normally we didn't even do, and at the same time receive the support of help from the Big Brothers, which was one of the recommendations that he should be seen by a male figure preferably because of the fact that he lacked a father, and we were actually complementing both without removing the boy from the home, and this is actually when the mother left. So that the boy was not going to be taken away; we were going to try to work out within, you know, the limits of the situation we had with the boy at home.

Mr. Liebeler. You mentioned that the boy was going to go to your own psychiatric clinic. That is a different proposition from the Youth House, is it not?

Mr. Carro. Yes. This is the psychiatric court clinic, that is on 22d Street, which in some instances, where we are not able to effect the kind of placing we need or so, we will utilize that as a last resort, and the boy would go there periodically and be seen by the psychiatrist.

Mr. Liebeler. It would be an outpatient-type situation?

Mr. Carro. An outpatient-type of situation, yes.

Mr. Liebeler. He never actually did do that, however, because he left the State?

Mr. Carro. No; because of the mother's own resistance to the thing and having left the jurisdiction. I don't think they got to see him once.

Mr. Liebeler. Would you say that Oswald was more mentally disturbed than most of the boys that you had under your supervision at that time?

Mr. Carro. Not at all, actually. I have handled cases of boys who committed murders, burglaries, and I have had some extremely disturbed boys, and210 this was one of the problems, this was just initially a truancy situation, not one of real disruptive or acting out delinquent behavior. No; I would definitely not put him among those who acted as—I also have had boys whom we have placed who turned out to be mentally defective, mentally retarded, quite psychotic, and who really had gradations of mental illness, of disturbances that were far, you know, greater in depth than those displayed by Oswald; and the behavior which brought them before the court was certainly of a much more extreme nature.

Mr. Liebeler. Than his?

Mr. Carro. Yes.

Mr. Liebeler. He did not in fact appear to you at that time to be a real mental problem or prone to violence or——

Mr. Carro. No. He appeared to have problems, but one of the problems in the situation seems to be, why wasn't this boy sent to the New York Training School for Boys at Warwick? And the fact is that the New York Training School for Boys at Warwick is for delinquent boys who commit crimes, really, and whose behavior is such that it is really criminal behavior; and you brand it delinquency because of the tag that attaches because he is under 16. You don't normally send a boy who just stays out of school. It is for boys who commit serious acts. And as a matter of fact, Warwick did not have what this boy needed: extensive psychiatric help. And that is why he was not sent to the only school we have in the city, which is Warwick, for the more serious boy. More seriously, it is even a drastic action to place a boy away who comes in for truancy, because truancy is itself a passive delinquent act. It is not an act which vitiates against society or mores or does harm to other people. It is an act of omission, a failure to go to school rather than an aggressive acting out, where you are destroying property or injurying persons or other things. And this is one of the factors in here.

It was surprising in this instance that we wanted placement and the reason we felt placement was needed in this instance was because although you may get boys acting out in other areas, there is always someone in the community who can help out, and the court will hesitate to put a boy away if some plan can be formulated within, because the court in social work feels that there is no substitute for love and parents, even in the best of institutions that you can place children.

But here the boy had no parents; he had no father; he wasn't going to school; he had no friends; he had—no agency was working with the family. He was on his own. He was just watching television all day. He wasn't mixing with anybody. He was an extremely introverted young man. He didn't want to go to school. So that in effect he had nothing going for him outside.

Mr. Liebeler. And in addition to all that, that his mother didn't show any inclination to cooperate.

Mr. Carro. She was ineffectual. She didn't want to cooperate and there was nothing that I as a probation officer could hang my hat on to say, "Keep him here in New York City. The mother will see him through, between his mother and I, this agency and I." There was nothing there out of the total community that would be a prop or a crutch to help him see these things through.

Mr. Liebeler. And it was these reasons that prompted you to recommend placement rather than a peculiar extreme mental disturbance in the boy himself, you would say?

Mr. Carro. Yes; it was just the sum total of the environmental factors rather than the boy's own inward manifestations of mental disturbance or psychotic disorder.

Mr. Liebeler. You mentioned before that his particular type of truancy was different from the kind of truancy that you many times run into where the kids will just take off and go fishing or just go out——

Mr. Carro. Fly kites or pigeons, you know.

Mr. Liebeler. Did you think it was different because Oswald just had a tendency to stay home and watch television?

Mr. Carro. No——

Mr. Liebeler. Wait, please——

Mr. Carro. I am sorry.

211 Mr. Liebeler. Or did you think that the fact that he had this different kind of truancy was a reflection of some sort of mental disturbance on Oswald's part, or would you say that it was just as much a function of environment, the environment that he found himself in here in New York?

Mr. Carro. Well, I don't think there is any question in my mind that there was an inability to adapt, to adapt from the change of environment. One of the things that probably influenced me in this is that I came to New York City when I was 9 years of age and when I came here I didn't speak a word of English, and I lived in what we call East Harlem, in an area where there was a Puerto Rican community within a Negro area, and I recall when I went to school there were four Puerto Rican boys in a class that was otherwise all Negro, and I used to virtually run home every day in the first 2 months I lived in the city, because at one point or another the Negro boys would be waiting for me outside to take my pencils, my money, and anything that I had in my hands.

I remember my mother bought me a pair of skates and I don't think I was downstairs for 10 minutes with the skates—I don't think I was down there for 10 minutes before they took them away from me. And I just stayed upstairs and waited for my mother at 5 o'clock.

Then eventually I made friends with the other three boys, and when somebody took my books, one of the other boys stayed with me, and I fought with the Negro boys until things worked out—and, as I remember, things didn't work out. I had to transfer to another school.

But I can see this kind of reaction taking place. You meet the situations. Either you meet them head on or you retreat from them.

Now he apparently had one or two incidents where he was taunted over his inability to speak the same way that the kids up here speak and to dress the same way or even comb his hair—you know, here the kids wore pegged pants and they talked in their own ditty-bop fashion. There is no—that this kid was a stranger to them in mores, culture and everything else, and apparently he could not make that adaptation, and he felt that they didn't want any part of him and he didn't want any part of them, and he seemed self-sufficient enough at the time that I recall that I asked him. He felt he wasn't learning anything in school and that he had other, more important things to learn and do.

Now, whether this was an artifice on his part, you know, a mechanism, I don't know—but it didn't—let me say it didn't trigger any reaction on my part that this was symptomatic of a deeper emotional disturbance. I thought that this was just symptomatic of a boy who had chosen one way of reacting to a situation that other boys would react to in another fashion.

Mr. Liebeler. I understand that some statements have been made, based apparently on the psychiatric reports or the observations of people who worked with Lee Oswald here in New York when he was 13 years old, to the effect that one might have been able to predict, from seeing the boy at that time, that he might well commit an act such as the assassination, or some similar violent act. Did you see any such indication in Lee Oswald?

Mr. Carro. No; naturally I didn't see it, and I would say that would be extremely difficult in order to be able to make that sort of projection or prediction. I have even, when I worked with the Youth Board as a streetclub worker, I worked in the street where we had no psychiatrists along with us and where we worked with much more psychotic and deeply disturbed boys, who did kill somebody right along the line, possibly a couple of months later, and even though, you know, the studies we have done here in the city and everything shows that there are a great many people who are extremely disturbed walking around, and the crutch that just keeps them on their marginal—what do you call—on this marginal living, where they just don't go out and commit some violent act, that you don't know what it is, what the factors are that keep them from just blowing up or exploding altogether.

I didn't see any particular behavior that would say that this boy would someday commit this act. I have seen it, let's say, in the Puerto Rican youth I am familiar with, the Negro youth, that sometimes they ascribe this to a crying out of people to say that they exist and that they are human beings, and they commit that violent act, just to get their one day in the sun, the day when all the papers will focus on them, and say, "I am me. I am alive."

212 I worked with this young man in the case of the killing, this Raymond Serra, and this fellow, after blowing this boy's jaw up, he was flashing the victory sign like this [indicating], and when we visited him in jail he said, "Did you see my picture in the papers?" And the paper played this up as a coldblooded killer. And they don't realize that 2 days later, sensibility dawns on him, and these are the weakest, the most remorseful kids. This is just the bravado at the moment. And this is their one point in life where they draw everybody's attention—most of these kids in private life come from broken homes, and they take this opportunity to show that they are human beings.

Mr. Liebeler. Are you suggesting that this is one of the factors that motivated Oswald?

Mr. Carro. Well, I am saying that this is a young man who apparently was trying to find himself and really had been—you know, he had been knocking about a great deal from here to Russia and everywhere, and he had come back disgruntled, and nobody paid any attention to him. Some people are prone to this.

I wouldn't speculate on what drove Oswald to do this. I would say in my experience I have encountered many a boy who will do things like this to attract attention to themselves, that they exist, and they want somebody to care for them. It is hard to say what motivated him. I don't really know. I had no inkling of that at that stage.

As a matter of fact, he said when he grew up he wanted to go into the Service, just like his brothers, who were in the Service, and he said he liked to horseback ride; he used to collect stamps. But certainly these things that he said were the normal kind of outlet, the things any normal boy of 13 years of age would do. There was nothing that would lead me to believe when I saw him at the age of 12 that there would be seeds of destruction for somebody. I couldn't in all honesty sincerely say such a thing.

Mr. Liebeler. Let me ask this, Mr. Carro: After you became aware of the fact, after it was called to your attention that Lee Oswald had been under your supervision as a probation officer, did you have occasion to review the records of the case before you——

Mr. Carro. No; I had no—there was nothing to review. Those kind of records were all kept in the children's court. The only recollection—and they were not furnished to me. The newspaper guy who came to see me seemed to have gotten, as I mentioned—there were five reports made, and they are sent out to different institutions. I don't know. I am not privy to how newspapermen get their information, but he seemed to have a better knowledge. He was just in a sense corroborating what I may have said at a particular point and all that, with me, and I had nothing to really go on, you know, that would refresh my recollection, except this conversation with this social worker, a friend of mine, who knew of the case, because they had gotten it from me, who called me to say that.

Mr. Liebeler. So that you yourself have not actually reviewed——

Mr. Carro. I have no independent record of any sort or had nothing to refresh my recollection about.

Mr. Liebeler. And you had not seen the court's papers or the petition that was filed, or the memorandum——

Mr. Carro. No; the only thing that I might have seen, and I don't—an FBI agent come in and spoke to me a couple of months ago, and I don't know if that was the original record he had with him, but he sat down, as you are, and spoke to me, and there was little I could add to what was in the record there.

Mr. Liebeler. The record that you prepared——

Mr. Carro. Well, I noticed it was my handwriting. He seemed to have my record with him. I had no independent recollection or evidence outside of the records he had.

Mr. Liebeler. The records which you would have prepared would be prepared by you in the course of your work as a probation officer, and they would have reflected your opinions at that time, is that correct?

Mr. Carro. Correct, and I would have nothing to add now at this point as to what happened 12 years ago.

213 Mr. Liebeler. Let me ask you to review a photostatic copy of a document that is captioned "Supplementary Facts and Explanations," which appears to be some sort of exhibit to a petition in connection with Lee Oswald. This particular document I refer to consists of eight pages and I would ask you to review that briefly, to look it over and tell me if you recognize what it is, where this gets into the proceedings and if it in fact sets forth the report of some of your work, reports to the Youth House, and would it be the record that was prepared at that time in connection with the court proceedings relating to Lee Oswald?

Mr. Carro. Yes; as I just briefly peruse over it, first of all, it is the form that is prescribed by the court for making a report by the judge, that you can readily notice it has a prescribed type of form where you begin with the identifying information as to the child, the nature of the petition, the initial court actions, and then you go into the actual history as to the family, previous court record, family history, and then you have paragraphs set off for the home and neighborhood, school record, religious affiliations, activities and special interests, mental and physical condition, child's version, which is the discussion with the child as to the nature of the incidence why he was before the court, parental attitudes, where you discuss with the parents; past records with other agencies and evaluation of the recommendation which is made by the probation officer based on his getting together all this data.

And you will also notice that included then beyond that report, which is signed by the probation officer, includes the summary for the probation officer, which is a summary of the psychiatric study, not the actual study.

And then this is a record of the various court actions which preceded, who appeared, when, and I note that my signature—not my signature but my name has been typed in with respect to the various actions that took place subsequent to the boy being returned to the court during the time he was under the supervision of the court, right up to January 1954.

Just perusing over this, I know that this is the various reports that I made to the court.

Mr. Liebeler. And it finally concludes with your statement——

Mr. Carro. Yes; concluding with the last statement of the court action of March 11, 1954, before Justice Delaney, where there was no appearance by the people; it was just the attendance officer, myself, the probation officer, before the court, and that Mrs. Barnes reported that she had contacted New Orleans and received no information as to the whereabouts of the family, and there was a question that a former associate thought that the family may have been living in California.

Justice Delaney discharged the case and Lee was no longer in our jurisdiction, which goes along with the fact that we had no idea; we attempted to find out; we wrote to Louisiana and New Orleans but couldn't get back any positive reports.

Mr. Liebeler. Would this particular document, which I will mark as "Exhibit 1" on the deposition of Mr. John Carro, April 16, 1964, at New York—would that have been attached to the petition or just a part of the record as a special report?

Mr. Carro. No; this would be part of the court record, and actually the petition is just one petition where the judges make their own small notations when the probation officer appears. And that is the docket. That is kept up in the courtroom in their files. These are the records—this is the actual record that is kept by the probation department, and the only thing that is sent to the other agencies is just this initial report. You don't send in the day-to-day or the month-to-month, other subsequent actions. So that this is a separate report.

Mr. Liebeler. Would this record in the ordinary course reflect all of the action taken?

Mr. Carro. Yes; this is the record.

Mr. Liebeler. In connection with the case?

Mr. Carro. This is the record that the probation officer maintains while the case is under his supervision until the case is closed and reflects the contacts with the child, periodic or—all the contacts and any work that the probation officer does he is supposed to report here and make a small notation.

214 Mr. Liebeler. Mr. Carro, I have initialed Exhibit 1 on your deposition for purposes of identification, and I ask you if you would also initial it near my initials so that we won't have any difficulty in identifying it. I am correct in my understanding, am I not, that you prepared this report?

Mr. Carro. Yes; this is my report and the entries herein, except for one or two that may have been made by Mr. Dunn—and I refer to the entry of 1-5-54, while I was on vacation—those bearing the name John Carro, bearing my name, are my entries, and this is my report.

Mr. Liebeler. Let the record show that the exhibit that we have marked is a somewhat illegible copy.

Mr. Liebeler. As you have indicated to me, the original was on yellow paper, which does not reproduce well. I will obtain the original and make it a part of the record. Can you think of anything else, Mr. Carro, about Oswald or your contacts with Oswald that you think would be of help to the Commission?

Mr. Carro. Well, I think that there has been so much written on it that you have probably a much more comprehensive report, since you have been able to get the actual records of these statements that I made at the time I wrote this. I doubt that I could really say anything at this point, 12 years later or so, that would be of any help to you.

Whatever I might say would just be an independent opinion on my own and I don't think that would be that valid. I think you have the original psychiatric report here, the social agency report, and whatever it is, and they are amply—I don't think that I could add anything independently that would be of help to the Commission.

Mr. Liebeler. In view of that, Mr. Carro, I don't have any more questions. I want to thank you very much on behalf of the Commission for coming here and for giving the testimony that you have. It is another example of the way the city of New York and the people who are associated with it have cooperated with the work of the Commission. The Commission appreciates it very much. We thank you sincerely.

Mr. Carro. I appreciate very much your having me over here. I would like to offer whatever help I can, and I hope I have been of some help in making whatever decision you have to make on this matter.

Mr. Liebeler. You have been very helpful, Mr. Carro.

Mr. Carro. Thank you.


TESTIMONY OF DR. RENATUS HARTOGS

The testimony of Dr. Renatus Hartogs was taken at 5:20 p.m., on April 16, 1964, at 7 East 86th Street, New York, N.Y., by Mr. Wesley J. Liebeler, assistant counsel of the President's Commission.

Renatus Hartogs, having been first duly sworn, was examined and testified as follows:

Mr. Liebeler. My name is Wesley J. Liebeler. I am a member of the legal staff of the President's Commission investigating the assassination of President Kennedy. Staff members have been authorized to take the testimony of witnesses by the Commission pursuant to authority granted to the Commission by Executive Order No. 1130, dated November 29, 1963, and Joint Resolution of Congress No. 137.

The Commission has also adopted certain rules of procedure governing the taking of testimony of witnesses which provide, among other things, that each witness should receive a copy of the Executive order and the joint resolution to which I have just referred, as well as a copy of the rules governing the taking of testimony. The Commission will provide you with copies of these documents.

The rules concerning the taking of testimony provide generally that a witness may have counsel if he wishes. He is entitled to 3 days' notice, which I do not believe you had, but every witness is also entitled to waive that notice. I presume that you will waive the notice since we are here.

215 Dr. Hartogs. That's right, sure, yes.

Mr. Liebeler. We want to inquire of you concerning the contact which the Commission understands you had with Lee Harvey Oswald some time in 1953 or 1954.

Would you state your full name for the record, please.

Dr. Hartogs. Renatus Hartogs.

Mr. Liebeler. What is your address?

Dr. Hartogs. 7 East 86th.

Mr. Liebeler. Where were you born and when?

Dr. Hartogs. In Mainz, M-a-i-n-z, Germany, January 22, 1909.

Mr. Liebeler. When did you come to the United States, Doctor?

Dr. Hartogs. On December 4, 1940.

Mr. Liebeler. You received your education in Germany, is that correct?

Dr. Hartogs. In Germany, in Belgium. I have a Ph. D. from the University of Frankfurt-am-Main, which is Germany, and I have a medical degree from the University of Brussels Medical School, and then I came to the United States and I studied medicine again to fulfill the requirements of the New York State Education Department, and I have a medical degree from the University of Montreal Medical School. Then I have an M.A. from New York University, and that's it.

Mr. Liebeler. In what field is that?

Dr. Hartogs. In clinical psychopathology.

Mr. Liebeler. And you are——

Dr. Hartogs. I am a Ph. D. in clinical psychology and an M.D.

Mr. Liebeler. You are admitted to the practice of medicine in the State of New York, is that correct?

Dr. Hartogs. In the State of New York.

Mr. Liebeler. And you have taken the examination for the practice of medicine?

Dr. Hartogs. Yes.

Mr. Liebeler. And you are admitted to practice medicine in the State?

Dr. Hartogs. Yes.

Mr. Liebeler. You are regularly engaged, are you not, in the practice of medicine as a psychiatrist?

Dr. Hartogs. As a psychiatrist exclusively, yes.

Mr. Liebeler. How long have you been practicing here in the United States as a psychiatrist?

Dr. Hartogs. In the States since 1949.

Mr. Liebeler. Did you practice medicine in Germany?

Dr. Hartogs. In Belgium.

Mr. Liebeler. How long did you practice in Belgium?

Dr. Hartogs. 3 years.

Mr. Liebeler. Was that as a psychiatrist or in the general practice of medicine?

Dr. Hartogs. No, psychologist.

Mr. Liebeler. You are also the chief psychiatrist for the Youth House of New York City, is that correct?

Dr. Hartogs. That's correct.

Mr. Liebeler. How long have you held that position?

Dr. Hartogs. Since 1951.

Mr. Liebeler. What kind of duties do you perform as the chief psychiatrist at the Youth House? Tell us generally about what they are.

Dr. Hartogs. Yes, that's right. I examine all the children which have been remanded to Youth House on order of the court for the purpose of psychiatric examination, so not all children who are at Youth House are psychiatrically examined. There is only a specific quantity, number. As these children are psychiatrically examined by me and my staff, I submit my report to the court with recommendations and diagnosis, and it is up to the court to follow the recommendations or not.

I at the same time teach the staff. I give workshops in the psychiatric aspects of social work. I give seminars in which we discuss very interesting216 cases which have come up and to which the professional public of New York City is invited.

So, for instance, we gave such a seminar on Oswald. That is the reason why I vaguely remember him.

Mr. Liebeler. You were also, as you have testified, the chief psychiatrist for the Youth House in 1953.

Dr. Hartogs. Yes.

Mr. Liebeler. Were your duties in connection with that job pretty much the same in 1953 as they are now?

Dr. Hartogs. Yes.

Mr. Liebeler. How large a staff did you have in 1953, approximately?

Dr. Hartogs. Approximately I would say 300.

Mr. Liebeler. A staff?

Dr. Hartogs. Yes, staff, because we have three shifts, you see. We have about two staff members for every child.

Mr. Liebeler. I see. I thought you testified previously that there were other psychiatrists.

Dr. Hartogs. Oh, my staff?

Mr. Liebeler. Yes, on your staff, not at the Youth House, but on your staff.

Dr. Hartogs. Oh, I thought—on my staff we have three psychiatrists now.

Mr. Liebeler. About how many did you have in 1953?

Dr. Hartogs. In 1953 we had two, two or three. It changed continuously. Sometimes we had even four.

Mr. Liebeler. Do you remember the names of the other psychiatrists who were on the staff at the time Oswald was in the Youth House?

Dr. Hartogs. No, no. They are continuously changing. Sometimes they were just for a few weeks there, but I have remained on the staff continuously.

Mr. Liebeler. The Youth House is an institution of the city of New York, is that correct, or is it supported by voluntary contributions? Is it a private institution or is it an adjunct of the city of New York?

Dr. Hartogs. Right now it is part of the probation department of the city of New York, under the jurisdiction of the probation department. Previously it was a private institution with a private board. Then later on the city of New York took over as far as the administration and the payment of the salaries is concerned, but the private board was maintained. So today the private board still exists, but the probation department of the city of New York has the jurisdiction over Youth House.

Mr. Liebeler. Does the city of New York support it financially?

Dr. Hartogs. Yes, the city of New York pays for it.

Mr. Liebeler. Was that true, do you know, offhand, in 1953, or was it still a private organization at that time?

Dr. Hartogs. At that time it was a private organization, yes.

Mr. Liebeler. You are a citizen of the United States, are you not?

Dr. Hartogs. Yes, since 1945.

Mr. Liebeler. Would you outline for us in general terms what the procedure is with respect to a boy who is remanded to the Youth House for psychiatric observation. He is ordered by the court to go to the Youth House; he goes to the Youth House.

Dr. Hartogs. He goes to the Youth House, that's right.

Mr. Liebeler. What generally happens to him then?

Dr. Hartogs. When he is in Youth House he is given a preliminary screening as to what kind of a person he is, through human figure drawings. That is a special test that is given.

Mr. Liebeler. Who administers that, social workers on the staff?

Dr. Hartogs. Social workers, and the psychologists, they do that, a preliminary screening, because if we have very disturbed children right away from the beginning we—I see them right away on an emergency basis and send them out because we cannot keep too disturbed children in Youth House. We send them then to a mental hospital. So then this child goes into an intake dormitory where he is dressed, acquainted with the techniques of adjustment in Youth House, the Youth House philosophy. Then he is assigned to one of the dormitories, and then he is sent to school. We have our own school, P.S. 613. We217 have our own workshops for the children, recreation department. We have group service. We have our own hospital where the child is checked as to his physical health.

So the child is slowly but surely introduced in all these various departments.

Then the social worker has interviews with this child and with the parents of the child who are invited.

Then the school authorities prepare a report for me so that when I see the child I have in front of me the probation officer's report, the social worker's report on his contact with the child and the parents, I have the report of group service or household, as it is called, I have the report of the medical department, and I have the report of the recreation department, and I have also the report of the psychologist.

And then I see the child and examine the child, and then I incorporate in my report all these, my own findings with the findings of the Youth House staff.

Mr. Liebeler. Can you tell us approximately in 1953 how much of your time you devoted to the examination of children in Youth House?

Dr. Hartogs. 30 hours per week.

Mr. Liebeler. 30 hours a week. And about how many children would you see during the period of time in a week, average week?

Dr. Hartogs. During that, 10 or 12.

Mr. Liebeler. So that you would spend somewhere between 2 and 3 hours with each child, is that correct?

Dr. Hartogs. Yes.

Mr. Liebeler. Is that still true?

Dr. Hartogs. No, I mean not with the child itself. The child is seen for about half an hour to an hour.

Mr. Liebeler. By you?

Dr. Hartogs. By me, but then I have also to study the record which takes half an hour, and then it takes about an hour to dictate, so that counts about 2 hours.

Mr. Liebeler. In your capacity as chief psychiatrist for the Youth House did you have occasion at any time to interview Lee Harvey Oswald?

Dr. Hartogs. Yes.

Mr. Liebeler. Would you tell us when that was and all that you can remember about that interview in your own words.

Dr. Hartogs. That is tough. I remember that—actually I reconstructed this from what I remembered from the seminar. We gave a seminar on this boy in which we discussed him, because he came to us on a charge of truancy from school, and yet when I examined him, I found him to have definite traits of dangerousness. In other words, this child had a potential for explosive, aggressive, assaultive acting out which was rather unusual to find in a child who was sent to Youth House on such a mild charge as truancy from school.

This is the reason why I remember this particular child, and that is the reason why we discussed him in the seminar.

I found him to be a medium-sized, slender, curlyhaired youngster, pale-faced, who was not very talkative, he was not spontaneous. He had to be prompted. He was polite. He answered in a somewhat monotonous fashion. His sentences were well structured. He was in full contact with reality.

Mr. Liebeler. He was?

Dr. Hartogs. He was in full contact with reality. I found his reasoning to be intensely self-centered, his judgment also centering around his own needs, and the way he looked at life and his relationships with people. This was mostly in the foreground. So this is what I remember actually.

Mr. Liebeler. You say that you have reconstructed your recollection of your interview with Lee Oswald by thinking of the seminar that you gave; is that correct?

Dr. Hartogs. The seminar; that is right.

Mr. Liebeler. Do you have any independent recollection of the interview with Lee Oswald it