A former US Marine, Lee Harvey Oswald was accused of assassinating the 35th President of the United States in Dallas, Texas, on November 22, 1963. He lived a nondescript life in his early years until that one fateful day, where his actions spoke volumes about the inner monster he nurtured within, as a result of his difficult past. As a child, he was a recluse and temperamental, which led to frequent sessions of psychiatric assessments at juvenile reformatories. He led a life of fantasy; one which revolved around power and above all, invincibility. Later, he was enlisted in the United States Marine Corps and was trained and tested in shooting. However, after an incident where he ‘accidently’ shot himself, he defected to the Soviet Union, where he declared his desire to denounce his US citizenship. But fate pulled him back to the United States and then began his long and endless list of crimes and hostilities. A somewhat enigmatic figure, Oswald failed to obtain a marksmanship badge during his military career. However, he himself was killed two days after the assassination of the American president.
- Lee Harvey Oswald was born to Robert Oswald Sr. and Marguerite Oswald Claverie, in New Orleans, Louisiana. Robert Oswald passed away of a heart attack a couple of months before Lee’s birth and soon after he was born, Marguerite sent Lee and his two brothers to an orphanage.After Marguerite remarried, she shifted to Bronx, New York, with her children. Young Oswald changed a number of schools and was often described by his teachers as ‘temperamental’ and ‘withdrawn’.He was sent for psychiatric assessments at a juvenile reformatory, where the psychiatrist described him suffering from ‘passive-aggressive tendencies’.In order to get over his psychological complications, he voraciously read socialist-literature and even attended a few Civil Air Patrol meetings, which inspired him to enlist with the US Marine Corps in 1956.He proved his mettle as a better-than-average marksman in the Marine Corps, but was court-martialed twice in 1958, for illegally possessing a weapon and exhibiting violent behavior.He entered military service in 1959 and arranged for a trip to Moscow. After reaching Russia, he informed Russian authorities that he wanted to acquire Russian citizenship.After some deliberation by government authorities over Oswald’s possible role as an infiltrator, he was allowed to stay in Minsk but was kept under close vigilance by the KGB.Offences & Incarceration
- He returned to the United States in 1962 as he was dissatisfied with the ‘Soviet way of life’. He set up residence in Dallas, Texas, and it was during this time, his support for communism grew.In 1963, he inconspicuously purchased a .38 handgun and a rifle, which happened to be the same arms that were used to assassinate John F. Kennedy.In April 1963, he allegedly tried to shoot General Edwin A. Walker, but failed. He then supposedly tried to flee the United States but soon, adapted to the ‘normal’ life and worked at the Texas School Book Depository in Dallas. It is said that he was a hard-working employee and religiously completed his day-to-day duties.In the days before President Kennedy’s arrival in Dallas, several regional newspapers described the route of the presidential convoy, which passed through the Book Depository, the place where Oswald worked.According to the Warren Commission, several of Oswald’s colleagues were interrogated about his whereabouts on the day of the assassination and many claimed to have seen him walking around on the 6th floor of their office building, gazing intently outside the window, with a clipboard in his hand. Many others claimed that they did not see him the whole day at all, while a few stated that he mysteriously disappeared post-lunch.Later, Oswald assassinated John F. Kennedy with a rifle from the sixth floor. Just a minute or so after the shooting, he walked through his office as if nothing had happened and according to a few other individuals, who at the time were unaware of his deeds, he appeared calm and composed. He is believed to have left the office building, just before the police could cordon-off the area. Suspicions grew as he was the only employee who was missing from the office building.By the time Oswald got back home, a police broadcast offering his physical descriptions was released all over the television. It was during this time, Patrolman Tippit confronted the armed assassin and as a result, he was struck and shot four times in broad daylight. Numerous witnesses saw him flee the scene and the four cartridge cases that were found beside the body of Tippit were identified as those belonging to the revolver that he owned.At around 1.40 pm on the day of the assassination, he was captured by the police at a theater, and by the end of the day, he was charged with the murder of Tippit and the assassination of the American president.During his brief stay in prison, he became the subject of dozen-odd interrogations by the FBI, and even though he asked for legal representation for his defense, he was refused those privileges by the American government.Major Crimes
- As Kennedy’s motorcade passed through the street of Oswald’s office on November 22, 1963, it is reported by the Warren Commission that he fired three rifle shots from the sixth-floor of the Book Depository, slaying the President and grievously wounding Texas Governor, John Connally.Personal Life
- In March 1961, he met Marina Prusakova, a 19 year old pharmacology student and married her in April. Their first child was born on February 15, 1962 and their second child, a daughter, was born the following year, in October.Although he was arrested and placed in lock-up for trials, he never saw a trial for his alleged crimes. On November 24, 1963, just two days after the assassination, he was shot and killed by Jack Ruby, while being taken to the country jail.Several films depicting a fictitious account of the trials of the assassin were made which include ‘The Trial of Lee Harvey Oswald’ and ‘On Trial: Lee Harvey Oswald’.Trivia
- Two days after the assassination of American president, this assassin was murdered in-front of TV cameras.
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Books About Lee Harvey Oswald
The President and the Provocateur: The Parallel Lives of JFK and Lee Harvey Oswald
by Alex Cox
David Ferrie: Mafia Pilot, Participant in Anti-Castro Bioweapon Plot, Friend of Lee Harvey Oswald and Key to the JFK Assassination
by Judyth Vary Baker
Legend The Secret World of Lee Harvey Oswald
by Edward Jay Epstein