Booknotes+ Podcast: Paul Gregory, “The Oswalds”

By | January 10, 2023

Back in the period between June to November of 1962, Paul Gregory reportedly knew Lee and Marina Oswald better than anyone else. Two hours after President Kennedy’s assassination, Mr. Gregory, then a student at the University of Oklahoma, was watching television and saw members of the Dallas police escorting a suspect into police headquarters. Paul Gregory said out loud, “I know that man,” meaning Lee Harvey Oswald. Sixty years later he has written a book about his friendship with the Oswalds and the conspiracy theories surrounding Kennedy’s assassination. He joined us to about it.

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Back in the period from June to November Of 1962 Paul Gregory reportedly knew Lee and Marina Oswald better than anyone else Two hours after President Kennedy's Assassination Mr Gregory a student at The University of Oklahoma Was watching television and saw members Of the Dallas Police escorting a suspect Into the police headquarters Paul Gregory said out loud I know that Man Meaning Lee Harvey Oswald 60 years later he has written for the First time his account of his friendship With Lee Oswald and his wife Marina Paul Gregory how is it that you spent 48 different visits to the Lee Harvey Oswald household Back in 1962. Well it's a long story I'll try to make It short Um I became acquainted with Lee Harvey Oswald Shortly after he and his wife Marina and Daughter June returned to the U.S to our Mutual hometown of Fort Worth My father Who was born in chitta Siberia Uh Became a patrolling engineer and worked Out of Fort Worth he also offered Language classes Russian language Classes as a volunteer at the library so

He was known as the one person in Fort Worth who could Communicate in Russian And somehow the employment agency in Fort Worth sent him to my father's Office For a certification that he was Proficient In Russian Ali came back with the Illusion that he would be greeted with Open arms there would be employers who Would want to hire him because of his Three years behind the Iron Curtain so Lee showed up at my father's office My father did listen to his Russians Spoke Russian with him which and he Wrote a certification that this fellow Is fluent in Russian and if there are Any jobs out there requiring Russian He's okay Before leaving well they went to the Texas Hotel for lunch which was near the Office Uh upon leaving Lee left the number of His uh of his brother Robert where they Were staying with an invitation come Over and meet my wife Marina Uh so that's how it all got started Whether there were 48 visits I doubt it Uh I think that's one of the conspiracy Theories That somehow ties me into this Conspiracy it was less than 48 but it Was this fairly substantial number

So why were you around Lee Harvey Oswald And his wife a lot of time For a lot of time Well The arrangement we made and remember I Was Um Sort of a Fanatic in studying Russia and The Soviet Union and this was cold war And Sputnik Etc I very much wanted to meet someone who Was fresh out of the Soviet Union And we have to both remember how it was In those days there was virtually no one Coming In to the United States from the Soviet Union What we had among Russian speakers were Displaced persons ukrainians polls Etc Who spoke Russian and they were a part Of this Fort Worth Dallas Russian Community So Um I very much wanted to meet Marina to Talk to her about the Soviet Union about Minsk I wanted to improve my Conversational Russian with her As a consequence of this and my father Was very leery of Lee and really it was Not encouraging me to be around them a Lot we agreed that I would come to their House which was a duplex on Mercedes Street near Montgomery Wards two or Three times a week and we would Converse

And talk about things and and so on so That's how I came to be there on a Regular basis Well we ought to get one thing out of The way to be because as you know and You mentioned in your book there are a Lot of conspiracy theories what is your Feeling about Lee Harvey Oswald and his Role in the assassination of JFK Uh my feeling is and has been since Let's say an hour into the assassination That he did it he did it alone My words to the Secret Service when they Picked me up the next morning As a known associate of Oswald Already in the car from Norman Oklahoma Whereas a student To Oklahoma City I was asked what do you Think I said uh he did it he did it Alone he did it because he wanted Fame And notoriety If there were a conspiracy and I were in Charge of it he'd be the last one I Would I would recruit because unreliable And for other reasons so I never I never Had a problem Um accepting the fact that he did it and He did it alone And you point out in your book again That you did not see Lee Harvey Oswald Or Marina Oswald after Thanksgiving Exactly one year before the Assassination why didn't you see them During that period

I was um I was a student in Oklahoma As a cop and I was Mostly not in Fort Worth Um So let's see the question is well why The the answer is they moved to Dallas Courtesy of the of the Gregory family Because we had agreed to introduce Lee And Marina to what we call the Dallas Russians headed by a fellow named George Buhar So we invited uh and company over to our House for dinner Lee was on his best behavior Marina put On her red dress which had she wore when She first met Lee And as a consequence of that of that Dinner party they moved to Dallas I went Back to Norman Oklahoma Uh and I had no real occasion to seek Them out in Dallas I had thought perhaps We would meet for Thanksgiving Uh and indeed that's what happened the The last time we met was November 22nd 1962 Which was Thanksgiving Day So that's the reason I didn't see them So the most concentrated time of being Together with them would have been June Through September of 62. let's assume That somebody listening to this has no Idea of the specifics back then so I Want to ask you to back off Back away from the assassination and

Fill in some blanks how old were Lee Harvey Oswald and Marina in 1963 on the Assassination day Um by my count Marina was 21 Ali was 24 I was 21. So a bunch of kids the three of us and Uh Whether whether They'd had a birthday between November 22nd uh November 62 and 63 I don't know But the answer is approximately 21 and 24. you point out that his father died Before he was born what was his mother Like Marguerite His mother was a monster a disaster And we saw this or I didn't see it Firsthand but my father saw it firsthand Because Uh he translated for Marina in the Aftermath of the assassination My parents got a Um were awakened At 3am the the night of the Assassination by the Secret Service and They understood that my father I could Speak English Russian and could Translate So uh it was I'm getting a little bit off off track Here would you want to repeat the Question well let me move on to ask you About both of them when you were in and Around the two of them And uh in those months in 1962 what did

You observe I observed a family of Lee and Marina in June uh living very Poorly uh I don't think Marina Understood how poorly they were living Because Lee put her in sort of a gilded cage Which he locked trying to keep her away From anyone who would sort of let her Know that they were living at the Minimum of of Poverty he was working for 1.25 cents an Hour They lived in a in a small duplex in a Poor part of town Uh lee had no car he he walked to work Or he rode the bus to work there was no Baby carriage in the in the household Um therefore if Marina wanted to go out She had to carry June everywhere So this was a family living on the Borderline Uh I was the only one who was really Admitted into this uh sanctum or Sanctuary if you want to call it Lee was very very worried about Marina Learning uh English because if you Learned English she would learn That they were not doing it all well for Her having a duplex without air Conditioning without a fan even in Fort Worth Texas in summer didn't bother her Compared to men she was doing pretty Well and Lee wanted to keep her thinking

That way Uh now there has been a great deal of Attention devoted to the fact that when I was there the whole time The time of the Time Magazine of the Year Edition was on there on a small Table in their living room and that had JFK as the man of the year Um And that gave me occasion to Uh to ask Maureen and Lee particularly Marina you know do you know who this is Uh have you heard anything about the President and Marina answered that uh She very much admired the president she Very much admired Jackie From what she could see Jackie was a Very good mother Uh lee did not object to any of this and For some strange reason that that was The only piece of literature uh in the In the apartment and it was this picture Of JFK on the cover of time What was your relationship with Lee Harvey Oswald during the time that you Visited that home and spoke Russian Between you and Marina Well when when I say we spoke Russian we Also spoke Russian with Lee so whenever I was there the entire conversation Would be in in Russian so that made me a Pretty good judge of how good his Russian was Which has been an element of controversy

Uh and and the foundation for a Conspiracy theory as to my relationship Ali was a real Cipher he said very Little We didn't engage in any conversations About Marxism leninism Uh about what he was reading because he Did read a lot he was a sort of a Bookworm Uh he had the uh Habit uh or practice of Of Making you think that he'd answered a Question when he'd not really answered The one thing he did not want to talk About was why he went to the Soviet Union Uh after being discharged from the Marines uh my father asked him that Question in their first visit Uh that question was asked at the dinner Party at our house Ali did not did not want to answer that Question Another illustration of this is we learn That Lee and I attended the same High School And from the questions that he did not Answer or he would shrug his shoulders Uh I thought he had graduated from the Same high school as I it turns out no he Was there for two months and then he Left to Um Join the Marines so he did this he did

Have a habit of of saying very little About himself Um Allowing you to draw conclusions about Him that were not correct Uh he in in terms of behavior I I never Saw him in a bad mood I never saw him uh weary Because he did walk to work he did work Eight or nine hours a day as a welder so This is tough work he was he was never Never appeared to be tired Uh he was a good father to June so these Are the things that uh that I observed Three years in the Soviet Union why did He go there Lee had the habit of thinking the grass Was greener on the other side of the Fence He Joined the Marines because he thought That would be a career for him That didn't work out he spent much of The time in in much of his time in the Brig From his readings of Marx which he began At the age of 15. He had decided that the Soviet Union Must be a worker's Paradise So somehow he got himself to Moscow Uh he thought he would be greeted with Open arms because he had volunteered to Uh tell them all the secrets he had Learned in the Marines

Uh but they regarded him as as sort of a Kook and were anxious for him either to Leave the Soviet Union or to put him in Some uh distant Province namely Belarus Where he couldn't do much harm So uh and then uh that was not working Out so he figured the The United States would be his next Attempt at a good life he thought that He would be greeted with open arms that Publishers would want to publish his Historic diary Which was full of misspellings and no Punctuation when that didn't work out And this sort of brings us to the December 15. Releases of of classified documents He'd pretty much given up on the United States and his next plan was to go to Cuba and so one reason why he was in Mexico City Uh two months before the assassination Was to arrange visas He needed two Visas one to go to the Soviet Union where he was pretending he Wanted to go back but really he needed a Transit Visa to Cuba so it was really His plan Uh to leave the United States go to Cuba Where he would be well received And respected So that part of his life didn't happen Because he he happened to kill the President

Let me ask you about your yourself uh Where do you live today Uh I would say uh Palo Alto California How long and and with considerable time Spent in Eastern Tennessee with my son And granddaughters All of whom speak Russian by the way How did that happen Uh my my son worked for Um quite a while in Ukraine and married A beautiful Ukrainian young lady so that Explains it and how long did you teach At the University of Houston Uh almost 50 years what did you teach Economics so my PhD is in economics When you started when did you start Preparing to write this book Yeah one of the questions that I'm often Asked is why wait 60 years Uh the answer is I didn't I didn't feel I had time to Write a book I was in the publisher Parish business so I needed to write Scholarly papers and I built a pretty Good career Uh writing scholarly papers on the Soviet and Russian economies So I didn't really have time to to write A book in fact it would have struck me As a rather odd idea if someone had said Why don't you write a book So I was only uh much later in life Uh where my colleagues and I I'm also at The Hoover institution of Stanford

Where I am among very good historians And is these historians who Uh who upon hearing that I actually knew The assassinate the Assassin of Kennedy They said you know you must write this Down to me I didn't think it was all That important to tell the truth that May be another Factor Another Factor why I waited so long was That my family did not want it known That we had any type of association with Lee Harvey Oswald it would have affected My father's business his our social life Etc etc so there are any number of Reasons for me not thinking even Thinking about writing this book so it Was only the 60th anniversary or the 50th that I wrote a piece for the New York Times which sort of serves as a Preview uh to this to my book my current Book So uh that's that's that's the reason And another factor is that uh as my Career academic career developed I Became much more of a historian Then then an economist and so I I Realized that there was a lot of Material out there which would allow me To approach this subject as as a real Historian would write it with the added Twist that I was a small part of that History being written How often was Lee Harvey Oswald in any Kind of a jail

He was in the brig in the in the Marines Um he was in jail in Dallas before Ruby Shot him so I guess two times Why was he in the brig in the Marine Corps Uh insubordination he Had an illegal weapon which he brought On base He got into fights I think he got into a Fight with one of his superiors so he Was a real pain for the Marines where Was he located in the Marine Corps I think Japan and you know one of the Conspiracy theories is that the U2 Um was based where he served and that he Knew something about Gary Powers and all That story uh but I I have not Researched this enough to To form an opinion Why was he given a lesson honorable Discharge from the Marine Corps I think I think I answered that I think The The main factor was hitting hitting a Superior officer The main reason I ask you that because In your book you talk about the fact That he did not like John Conley who had been Secretary of The Navy and governor of Texas and you Say he wrote him a letter asking what Um he was dishonorably discharged And while he was still in the Soviet Union

He began a campaign to remove that Dishonest dishonorable discharge so he Was writing letters to Connor Connolly All of which are on record Uh basically arguing that he did not Deserve a dishonorable discharge I can't Remember the details of of those letters Uh surprisingly or or not uh is Intermediary with uh commonly was his Mother Who I said was quite a character and I Would characterize her as a monster Uh so he used his brother Robert when he Needed Robert he used his mother Marguerite when he needed her Uh he would not allow Marina to admit The mother to their uh duplex So Um he figured he's going to return to The U.S he knew that uh the the burden Of a dishonorable discharge would be Heavy for him so he began this campaign Uh it was not successful but at least it Gave us a lot of material on his his Life and how he operated He tried to kill General Walker who was General Walker and what impact did that Have why didn't he get picked up after That That's a very good question uh general Edwin Walker Um was a general I believe he was Relieved of Duty Uh he lived in Dallas he was uh in I

Think a leader of the John Birch Society In Dallas And much of the reputation of Dallas as Being a Haven for a right-wing Not I came from the fact that Walker Lived in Dallas Uh Lee Harvey Oswald decided that he Would kill uh General Walker and Probably that's what he had in mind when He ordered the assassination rifle Because that was the rifle he fired at Walker uh late at night When he was Uh On on where he he had he had cased The Joint as one could say And he had a position which would allow Him to fire at Walker sitting in his Study he barely missed walker uh he ca He came uh back frightened to his wife Marina who was worried about him not Being at home and he told her about this Walker incident and when she told when She said you know you can't do things Like that particularly in peace time he Said well it's it's as if I were a German citizen uh assassinating Hitler At just the right moment and that was Not convincing to Marina The importance of the Walker thing is That it shows that Oswald Didn't have any worry about being a Killer so he he was intent on killing Walker

He didn't have any hesitation to killing Tippett and I think he almost killed the Arresting officer at the theater But going back to the the John Conlee Situation was it ever implied in all the Warren Commission and all that he was Just possibly wanting to shoot Conley Instead of the president I think it Would be that correspondence Uh that would have have given rise to That theory but I didn't see anything And if if there were something it would Be rather trivial I would think Did anybody ever catch up with him after He tried to kill Walker did anybody ever Find that out no uh and this is to some Degree a tribute to his ability to Manipulate and plan Because he put two or three weeks into The planning of the assassination of Walker Uh his his Escape Route after Supposedly killing Walker was to run a Couple of miles to the next bus station Uh our bus stop then get on the bus and Go go home Uh earlier I looked at that as as sort Of comical Um if you can use that term with respect To assassinating a president the fact That he escaped from Dealey Plaza on a Bus you know The the who could have imagined that but Uh after Kelly after trying to kill

Walker he did escape on the bus and when Marina asked him about this he said Americans are so stupid they would never Think of an assassin escaping on a bus So what I thought was comedic almost uh Turned out to be a part of his thinking Go back to Russia for a moment When he was in Moscow did he ever was he Ever successful in renouncing his U.S Citizenship We have a lot of material on that Because the U.S embassy kept very good Records of this uh the first they heard Of Oswald in in Moscow in the embassy Was when he comes in on a Saturday where They only had a skeleton crew on duty And he said that he was an American he Was ready to renounce his American Citizenship and he would place all his Knowledge In He would devote all of his talents to Helping the Soviet Union At that point he pulled out his passport Threw it on the desk of the Consular Official And walked out with a smile on his face The counselor official told him well you Know it's Saturday we can't process this So I'll just keep the password So that passport remained in the embassy For almost three years and it was Available when Oswald wanted to Reinstate his citizenship

No I Uh no you go ahead please my question Was why did the leaders in Moscow send Him to Minsk Belarus And giving a good job and a good Apartment what was their motive there Uh their motive was to Um get rid of him to sort of uh I'm Trying to think of the Russian term Which doesn't come to me right now it's It's the sort of put out the pastor in a Sleepy place where he can't do any harm That he would disagree with your Characterization of good job and easy Life because they did assign him to Work as a machinist in the biggest Company in in town They paid him uh double wages And in addition the so-called Soviet Red Cross gave him an enormous amount of Money so the one thing that Lee RB Oswald had in myth was a pocket full of Money and little uh to spend it on but He he did uh live much better than his Fellow workers and this caused a lot of Resentment Uh as far as the Moscow authorities were Concerned and by the way I was surprised That his case was handled by the Politburo I always thought this would be Like a local passport office but it was The politburo itself that decided to Send him to Minsk to put him out to pass Sure so um the whole idea was to just

Get this guy out of the way because he Was regarded as unstable due to the fact That he made a almost credible suicide Attempt so they want him out of the way They wanted him out of the way And there's no doubt that he was Surveilled very closely so we have some Of those surveillance documents they Also gave him a best friend Uh Pavel who Um who kept track of of Lee and was Clearly a a KGB plant You say he was somewhat of a ladies man And I want to ask you about that and he Had somebody that he was really Interested in who rejected him and then I want to know how he uh how the marina Uh of their relationship was was started Uh Probably for the first time in his life Lee was attractive to women uh in Minsk He dressed well Uh he was he he was fastidious about his Appearance and and whether his hair was Properly cut and so forth The biggest attraction However was the fact that Lee had an Apartment for himself in a good Apartment building with a good view of The of the river So uh and also Lee's friends Including this Pavel who was a KGB plant Would introduce him to women In particular the the women who were

Studying English language wanted to be Around Lee so they could practice their English they even made tapes of of his So-called southern accent Uh so he was attracted to women and he Clearly uh and remember he's probably 19 At this point he clearly wanted to get Married to a Russian So he had uh A Um Promising romance and at this moment I Can't remember her name Which went on for a long time maybe Eight or nine months Uh he was often in her house with her in Her apartment with her parents Etc he Figured it would be a sure thing when he Asked her to marry him that she would Accept she turned him down to his Surprise And the reason given was Lee you don't quite understand how the Soviet Union works if I marry you I'm in For a lot of trouble and I just don't Want that trouble So on the rebound he met Marina at a Dance where she had on this red dress Which she brought with with her to the To Texas Uh she understood that he had an Apartment that he and that he had plenty Of money Uh and she was something of a Maverick

Herself because once they became engaged As she uh had a lot of trouble at work The the party cell would call meetings To berate her for her uh going out with This American when she uh got a visa to Leave They she lost all her friends etc etc so It takes a Maverick to go through to Endure something like that But uh he met Marine on the rebound uh He proposed she accepted At the time he made the proposal he was Already planning and scheming to return To the U.S and he didn't tell her about This So she was among the last to know that He was headed for the U.S and it was Only the birth of their daughter that Convinced her to go with him Why did he feign a suicide attempt in Russia Because he was there on an internist Visa Uh the Visa had expired even though the Visa hadics are was expiring that Evening And they were going to pick him up and I Don't know put him on a plane or a train I don't know what they had in mind He was in um He was in a hotel and uh he had an Intuous guide Rima who was assigned to Him so he timed the slitting of his Wrist to a time when he knew Rima would

Be arriving but he did lose a lot of Blood and he did spend um some Considerable time in the hospital By the way the suicide was Required at least he thought in order to Not be deported and at what time in the Time is three years in the Soviet Union Did he have did he try the suicide was At the beginning or in the middle in the Very beginning for I guess he probably Had a Visa for maybe a week or a couple Weeks so at the end of that time is when He attempted suicide so they decided to Come back to the United States why did The United States Allowing back in and why did they loan Him the money to come back Well all that correspondence is there uh It also tells me that Oswald what he wanted to could be fairly Convincing Because the Consular official who Handled his case for a return with the Same Consular official he saw on that Saturday when he threw the passport on His desk Uh as far as that that Consular official Uh was very interested in whether This guy had seen the light And somehow Lee convinced him that he Had made a mistake you know uh he really Uh had changed he no longer held these Opinions and if he could just go back to The United States everything would be

Fine so in the correspondence among uh Consular officials in Washington There is interest in whether or not he'd Really changed his stripes and I guess He convinced him that he had He didn't have the money to get back so The the cons the Consular Office did Make him alone which he repaid Um his brother uh Robert Gave him a loan which he repaid Lee was Very careful with his money Which I observed first hand because I Would drop them and go shopping with Them so that that's the answer uh I'm I Imagine there was deep regret among Those officials in the U.S embassy when They heard that he had With the prime suspect in killing the President by the way yeah you were at The University of Oklahoma as a student When the assassination happened tell us The circumstances of what how you Figured out that you knew Lee Harvey Oswald It was easy We were about to attend class in the Library A fellow student came in said the President's been shot no classes I Headed for the Student Union where they Would have a reasonably large TV Sat there I heard Walter Cronkite say That Kennedy had died Uh I guess about an hour or so later

They said there's a suspect they're Bringing him in They bringing in this guy who looks very Short relative to the Um Dallas police in a t-shirt bloodied Nose uh black eye Etc I said that's Lee Lee Oswald So I had that was what you might say the Shock of your life what did you do after That I said uh and there were like 50 people Around that TV set I said I know that Guy No one paid attention they thought I was Crazy So I did nothing I just sat there like Everybody else it was our first National trauma that was televised so no Traffic on the street no movement I went Back to my student apartment my roommate Was out of town so I I sat there Uh for quite a while With this with this secret and no one to Share it with so it was a very odd Feeling it was a feeling of being in Shock So the next morning probably around 9 00 A.m the uh chief of police of Norman With the secret service agent came and Got me And drove me to Oklahoma City where I Did my first deposition When did you talk to your father about This

I talked to my mother uh I would say a Couple of hours After they brought Oswald in and I Called up and and she said yes I know What you're calling about so she already Knew and my father already knew because He had watched television at the Texas Hotel Which is where JFK spent his last night So um uh I probably didn't get a full Accounting Of What happened with respect to my father Until Thanksgiving Which was like four days later and my Father was a great rock on tour So got a very detailed account of What was going on at the Six Flags Inn Between Dallas and Fort Worth where he Was locked in with Marguerite Um Marina the two daughters and the Secret Service But one of the interesting things he saw Was the bitter enmity Between the Secret Service and the FBI So the Secret Service would not tell the FBI where Marina was the the Secret Service who were very close to the President thought that the FBI had Really really Fouled this up really had had dropped The ball and it was because of FBI Incompetence that the president was dead So he saw some very interesting things

In that four or five days at Six Flags In How did you Uh when did you start re doing your Research and writing this book and how What period of time uh did you do this I would say and you know all of us have Uh on our computers the correspondence And emails for the next for the last Decade so in terms of email traffic Related to this I would imagine about Four years Uh one one reason why it was so time Consuming is That if the Warren report is is a Masterpiece That few have bothered to read So it was very interesting I wanted to Find those instances where I had already Expressed myself With respect to Um what I remembered And in many cases what I was trying to Remember was also witnessed by someone Else such as say the dinner at our house With Oswald and the Dallas Russians so I Wanted to be sure that my memory was Serving me well and I must say I I was Quite pleased to see that even though These are 50 or 60 year old memories That they were pretty accurate how much Of the Warren Commission have you read If anyone says more than five percent They're lying because you have all the

Exhibits you have all the appendices and So on so I would say I've read but if You're if you're a good researcher you Know where to look and so you know where And also you know where not to look so I Think I got the probably I'm up to like 10 or 20 percent but in terms of of Material that's of immediate interest uh I'd say I got close to 80 percent As you referred earlier to the fact that Some more Material from the Warren Commission has Been released in in December Why has it taken so long and how much is Left to be released and do you think There's anything in there that will Surprise people Well I've spent a lot of time the last Few days going through that release I Spent a lot of time going through Earlier releases one being FBI wiretaps Of Marina after the assassination Uh and I found nothing Of of great substance in any of these Releases The latest release which is brought uh Out some of the kookiest conspiracy Theories Uh doesn't add very much to anything in Fact I did not see anything that I didn't Know already in the December 15 releases Uh the blame I I feel is this tendency Towards over classification

An example would be uh the fact that There was a secret agreement Between the CIA and the then president Of Mexico to Um to wiretap and surveil the Soviet and Cuban embassies in Mexico City That was 56 that was 59 years ago so uh That really is not something that needed To be classified but that was one of the Nuggets that they wanted to keep out of The public domain for for some reason Uh they did there were a couple of minor Things that caught my attention But uh it all really boils down in my View to what Oswald was doing in Mexico City And that is where the conspiracy Theorists Find the most meat and where I find Absolutely no meat so Um Oswald in Mexico City is sort of a key And I saw nothing in the December 15 Releases to convince me otherwise as you Prepared to write this book was are There were there or are there anybody Who I still alive from those days that You were able to talk with and compare Notes Uh yes Um Well the obvious question is did I talk To Marina uh the the answer is no uh Marina's second husband who's

Performed marvelous service for her Keeping her out of the public eye would As has uh put an iron curtain around Marina And I could see this and I just didn't Want to bother her if I were a newspaper Reporter I could probably be obnoxious But I didn't want to be obnoxious Mike Howard who was the secret service agent In charge of the Um of Marina and Marguerite Etc in in Six Flags in is is alive at age 92. He's still an active police officer Lives outside of Dallas He and I have had quite a few Conversations Uh he his memory is quite good and he Has uh quite interesting anecdotes Uh so he's the one who who was most Valuable and he is the one who also Confirmed some of the more uh outrageous Things that my father saw in in in at The Six Flags Inn I was at the in the military back at the Time and I actually knew Mike Howard and That's why I was surprised that he was In your book he doesn't I'm sure he Doesn't remember me but he was a very Very nice outgoing guy who was El one in The LBJ and lindeberg Johnson detail uh And he had a tremendous amount to do With that whole time after the Assassination what was what were his Responsibilities and what did he

Remember the most He remembered Marguerite the most As being a I'll continue to use the word monster Manipulative monster so after it was Over and Marguerite had gone back to Fort Worth and um Um and Marina had gone into hiding in Dallas which is quite a story in itself He was in charge of Marguerite safety A Marguerite uh however had developed a Hatred for the Secret Service in Particular for Mike Howard And thought that Mike Howard was was had Been assigned to Keller So uh the when Marguerite was called up To Washington to testify before the Warren Commission He was supposed to drive her to the Airport But she would not get in a car with him Without a local reporter present because Mike Howard would have murdered her in That car so that sort of gives you a Flavor for what my father in The Secret Service went through At that time but by the way and you talk About this in your book uh where did Marguerite take Lee Harvey Oswald to Live during uh his early years Uh she led a vagabond life and I Understand why because uh she would Alienate each and every employer and Then she would move to another city

So she took Lee and I I don't have the Sequence in my mind but um Fort Worth New Orleans the Bronx Maybe somewhere else so he would never Be in a school for any period of time She he was a latch key kid at the age of 10 or whatever in say Bronx which is Not an ideal childhood But she kept telling him that he was Special That he was about Bound for greatness And that the world is against him Uh he hated her Uh but he believed what she was what she Was pretending for him So it's a very very strange situation The two other brothers one being a Half-brother uh turned out quite well One in a good military career the other In a good industrial career but they Were farmed out to orphanages So they did did well whereas the Youngest Lee was had to uh Um follow his mother in her Vagabond Journeys throughout the U.S You talk about a guy named James Martin Who was he and what was his relationship To Marina James Martin uh was at that time the Manager of the Six Flags Inn hotel A very handsome guy looks looks sort of Like uh Cary Grant tall good looking and Marina Didn't mind

Had a thing for I believe for tall Handsome men which would not be Lee Uh he was the manager he knew what was Going on as the manager that that they Had Marina and Marguerite in isolation There They could not stay forever in the Six Flags Inn because sooner or later the The news people would find out about This and where so let me just ask you This what period of time were they at The Six Flag Inn and where is that Physically in Texas It's halfway between Dallas and Fort Worth on on what was then the Dallas Fort Worth Turnpike We're talking about The Sunday after the assassination to Uh New Year's Day or the day after New Year's in 1963. so it's less than a week But Martin sort of understood what was Going on He saw a business opportunity here Because Um money was flowing in donations were Flowing in from all over the world for Marina there was a great wave of Sympathy for Marina Um so he saw this looks pretty good and So he proposed that Marina with her two Kids move in to his rather modest home In Dallas She agreed Uh not knowing that

He issued this invitation Without his own wife knowing So through wiretaps and other means We now know that a sexual relationship Developed between Marina and and this guy Who became her business manager And there was a lot of money at stake so Even after being milked by all kinds of Adventurous Um uh Marina still had enough money to buy a House for cash so that tells you Something about the amount of money that Was flowing in so in sympathy to her In the mid 90s if I remember correctly She went on the Oprah show and changed Her mind at least before the audience That her husband had not operated alone Why do you think she did that and do you Think there was any money exchanged for Her to appear On on the money issue I wouldn't know Anything Um what I do know is that she said Yes I think he did not do it alone but She gave no details so she didn't Explain how he did it Now I got a strange phone call from a Woman Who uh I think was the one who persuaded Marina that Lee did not do it alone So she was kind of feeling me out and She said well uh you know I might want I

Might be able to arrange a meeting Between you and Marina uh nothing came Of this and I suspect she she was uh Hoping for some money from me uh But I really can't answer your question Because it's as much a mystery to me as It is to you what did Robert Oswald his Brother think uh Lee Harvey Oswald did In the assassination did he did he think He operated alone Yes the only one the only one who Uh was contending that Lee was innocent Was Marguerite And at the time Marina was uh convinced As well now Robert is the real hero of This story because he was Uh For some reason he he Did everything that a good brother Should do Uh and that was an awful lot he had to Arrange a funeral under very difficult Circumstances because no Cemetery wanted The Oswald body uh no no Minister was Willing to preside uh it was Robert had To spend though that less than a week at Six Flags in with Marguerite driving Everybody nuts because she wanted Lee Buried in Arlington National Because in reality Lee was an agent for The United States and was a hero so he Had to contend with all that and he kept His sanity and uh so he would be one of The few very positive figures that came

Out of this by the way did you know Marguerite when you were a round Lee and Marina back in 1962. no they would not Admit her to their apartment Uh and they made sure that Robert wasn't There when I came and I don't know why That was the case so I was always it was Just the three of us did you ever know Robert Um I would say let's see I met Robert uh At the very beginning I I well I I don't know how to answer The question I I knew him but uh other Than interactions that involved Lee and Marina we didn't have anything to do With each other we're about done but I Want to ask you a couple more questions About your father you dedicate the book To your father what was his opinion After uh this all happened No hesitation uh to accept the fact that Lee did it and Lee did it alone Uh there he was he was pestered Quite seriously by those who felt that The assassination was organized by Big Oil interests because he he practiced The petroleum engineering in Fort Worth There was a lot of Big Oil money in Fort Worth so it was kind of natural that the Conspiracy theorists would move in in That direction The one of our good friends who was part Of the Russian Community as as the Husband of a Russian woman

Uh was a uh an attorney for General Dynamics And so the conspiracy theory theorists Went after him And if you put him together with my Father you would have a a cohesion of Big oil and defense industry so that Really was Uh bait for the conspiracy theorists the Conspiracy theorists even put me in These conspiracies in what I did what I Supposedly did or did not do I have no Idea where was your father born Liberia What percentage of the American people From the latest poll that you've seen Thinks that Lee Harvey Oswald was not a Lone assassin I think it's about 60. What why do you think people think that I think it's very simple they say uh the Killing of JFK Changed History And history is not changed by Uh losers Who can't read can't spell Um worked for a dollar 25 an hour so That can't be the case everything must Be determined by more powerful forces so That's by simple explanation but I Believe it's quite true As we wrap it up there's one little note In the book that kind of jumped out at Me that you learned that you had a lisp By reading the Warren Commission

That I had I didn't quite get that I say That you you say you tell us in your Book that you learned that you had a Lisp Uh from really yes I see I heard l-i-s-t Uh well I can ask you Well to me I wouldn't have given a Second thought but there's a slight uh You know in your in your verbal uh Language that you can hear is a little Bit different but did you not know that Before you read it no that was my first Occasion And you'd been in the classroom in front Of students for 50 some years yeah yeah That's right So it I guess the conclusion is it must Not be pronounced it's not let me ask You this is a final question what what Was this experience like and you're Still in the middle of it uh the book is Out just a you know about six weeks or So but what's this experience like Writing this book and the reaction that You've been getting from people Well the reaction from most is I had no idea about this because I Didn't talk about it I talked about it Only with a few friends Uh and the remarkable thing is That our family really was not dragged Into the into the Press so now we wanted To keep it quiet and it was kept quiet So the reaction is I didn't I didn't

Know about this story so I'll go back to Hoover institution at Stanford and I'll Encounter colleagues who say I heard About the book why didn't you tell me About this So uh that's that's the answer Just a quick recap he tried to kill General Walker He shot JFK He also wounded John Conlee in the Process you mentioned about taking the Bus away from the uh the Texas Book Depository last question is about JD Tepid why did he kill this Dallas cop I I imagine he panicked Um And the killing of Tippett was a problem Because if he had killed the president He could say I killed the president Because he was moving us towards Vietnam Or he was a capitalist or what have he But an ordinary police officer with Widow and children it's hard to justify That so that kind of spoiled any Satisfaction he got from having Succeeded in killing the president Name of the book is an Untold account of Marina and Lee Oswald the book's called The oswalds by Paul R Gregory and we Thank you very much for your time sir Uh thank you Thanks for listening to the book notes Plus podcast please rate and review Booknotes plus and don't forget to

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