Newspaper Page Text
Russia Once Spurned Alleged Slayer of President
By BERNARD GWERTZMAN Bur Staff Writer Lee Harvey Oswald, the ac cused slayer of President Ken- • nedy, is a moody young man who turned to Cuba for love after Russia spumed him. A man who served with Os wald in the Marines has de scribed him as a “lonely, in troverted, aloof boy.’* His section chief, however, remem bers him as a “hothead” who was “always having beefs with the guys in the barracks.” His landlady In Dallas told police, "I told myself that he was a peculiar man. I took it for granted that he didn’t care for people. But he never both ered anyone* Oswald, himself, once said his infatuation with Marxism was a result of the hardships suffered by his mother. She told police yesterday her son “is really a good boy.” “My mother has been a worker all her life* he told an American reporter in Mos cow in 1959 when he was seek ing Soviet citizenship. “She's a good example of what hap pens to workers in the United States.” Although he was not bom until 1939. he apparently liked to talk about the problems his mother had during the hard days of the depression in the etu-ly 19305. Bitter Abont Mother Allen D. Graf of Buffalo, who served with him in the Marines, said Oswald "was bitter about the tough time his mother had during the depres sion.” Oswald explained that he en listed in the Marines in 1956 when he was 17 because “we were poor and I didn't want to be a burden on my mother.” His father, an insurance salesman, died before Oswald was bom. Reared in New Orleans (his birthplace) and Port Worth, he spent two years in New York during his teens. Oswald spent only 23 days in high school and yet claims to have read “Das Kapital” by Karl Marx, a weighty tome from which many scholars have shied away. He claims that he came across Marx when he was 15, "after watching the way workers are treated in New York and Negroes in the South.” He decided after reading “Das Kapital” that, as an American, he would wind up "either a worker exploited for capitalist profit, or an exploiter or, since there are many in this category. I’d be one of the un employed.” Scored as Sharpshooter As a Marine. Oswald had an undistinguished career. He never rose above private first class, and was called before two courts-martial, once for unauthorized possession of a weapon, and once for "using provoking words to a non-com missioned officer.” As a marksman, he was some what above average, qualifying as a “sharpshooter,” with a score of 212 out of 250 with a standard M-l rifle. “Sharp shooter” is the second highest of the three qualifying categor ies. He was taught to be an avia tion electronics operator and served overseas in Japan. Later, Oswald said that in Japan, he “had a chance to watch American militarist im perialism in. action.” He received a hardship sep aration from the Marines in September, 1959, one month before his three-year hitch ex pired. But instead of going home to his mother, Oswald took his saved-up Marine money and headed for Russia to become a Soviet citizen. Like other defectors before him, Oswald looked to Russia to solve all his problems. He went to the American Embassy and told officials: "I am a Marxist.” State Department records show that on November 2, 1959, Oswald turned in his passport and said in an af fidavit: “I affirm that my al legiance is to the Soviet So cialistic Republic.” Married in Russia But Soviet officials were not eager to grant Oswald citizen ship. They put him off, offer ing, however, to allow him to live in Russia as a resident alien. He was permitted to live In the city of Minsk in the Byelo russian Republic—a far cry from Moscow. There, he met and married on April 80, 1961, Mariana Nikolaevna Prusa kova, a pharmacist. They have two daughters. About this time, apparently he became angry with Soviet authorities for not allowing him citienship, and asked for an exit visa. He also sought VtJtMLUtMa y-xy Jb-fr* 2*4* , ? u * < 41 jfU 4fe*4«p , AX, •Q * . ifciuAn" *>/ This is a portion of the Oswald letter released by Senator Tower. , x AP wtrephcto ~ mm I jJ' /* M B M ! z. W |jj|L f \\ j Lee Harvey Oswald holds up his manacled hands as he is led through the Dallas police station.—AP Wirephoto. the return of his American passport. In early 1962, he wrote a letter to Senator Tower, Re publican of Texas, asking his help. Senator Tower released the letter on Friday night. The text; with Oswald's spelling and punctuation, follows: "My name is Lee Harvey ! Oswald, 22, of Fort Worth. : up till October 1959 when I i came to the Soviet Union for a residenual stay. I took a residenual document , for a non-Soviet person 11 v ■ ing for a time in the USSR. ■ The American embassy in i Moscow is familiar with my . case. "Since July 20. 1960, I have unsuccessfully applied for a Soviet exit visa to leave this country, the So viets refuse to permit me • and my Soviet wife, (who : applied at the US Embassy Moscow, July 8, 1960 for immigration status to the 1 UJB.A.) to leave the Soviet ; Union. I am a citizen of the United States of Amer ica (passport No. 1733242, ’ 1959) and I bessech you, ' Senator Tower, to rise the 1 question of holding by the 1 Soviet Union of a citizen ; of the U.S. against his will ' and expressed desires." Wrote to Connally i About the same time, he wrote a letter to John Con | nally, the Texas Governor whom he wounded on Friday. The letter was addressed to Mr. Connally as Secretary of the Navy, a job he had by that time turned over to Fred A. 1 Korth. 1 The Pentagon yesterday re ; leased the text of that note ; which protested his “undesire -1 able discharge” from the Ma ! rine Reserves on September 1 30. 1960. The discharge fol lowed stories from Moscow > about his decision to renounce 1 his American citizenship. • In his letter, Oswald tried ’ to disassociate himself from k his earlier professed allegiance to Russia. The text of the i letter, with his own spelling and punctuation: | “I wish to call your atten . tion to a case about which . you may have personal knowledge since you are a resident of Ft. Worth as I am. “In November, 1959, an event was well publicated in ; the Ft. Worth newspapers ■ concerning a person who had ■ gone to the Soviet Union to > reside for a short time, t (much in the same way E. Hemingway resided in Paris.) > "This person in answers to • questions put to him by re t porters in Moscow criticized t certain facets of American , life. The story was blown up • into another ‘turncoat’ sen i sation, with the result that the Navy Department gave r this person a belated dis t honourable discharge, al ! though he had received an r honourable discharge after t three years service on Sept. 11, 1959 at El Toro. Marine Corps base in California. "These are the basic facts of my (underlined) case. , "I have and allways had the full sanction of the U. S. Embassy, Moscow USSR, and ! hence the U. S. government. ; In as much as lam return ing to the U. S. A. in this year with the aid of the U. S. Embassy bring with me my family (since I married in the U. S. S. R.) I shall em ploy all means to right this gross mistake or injustice to a boni-fied U. S. citizen and ex-serviceman ("ex” is un derlined twice). The U. S. government has no charges or complints against me. I ask you to look into this case and take the nercessary steps to repair the damage done to me and my family. For in formation, I would direct you to consult the American Em bassy, Chikovskl St. 19/21, Moscow, USSR.” In February, 1962. after a review of his case, the State Department decided that since he never received Soviet citi zenship, Oswald could be given another American passport. He also was given a loan of $435 to help pay his expenses com ing home. It is not known if he ever repaid the loan. Oswald’s name reappeared in news last August when he be came involved in the politics of Cuban refugees. He was the secretary of the > New Orleans chapter of a Fair ' Play for Cuba group, and on ‘ August 9 he was arrested to r gether with anti-Castro Cubans • after a street fracas. He plead ’ ed guilty to disorderly conduct on August 13 and was fined $lO. 1 This publicity led to his ap pearance on a New Orleans radio station as part of a panel | discussion on Cuba. His com ments often seemed to ramble, and they were largely made up ’ of Marxian cliches about Cuban ; society. ( Described as Quiet k At one point, he was asked 1 if he agreed with Fidel Castro i that President Kennedy was » “a ruffian and a thief.” . His reply was that “I would > not agree with that particular wording. However I and the Fair Play for Cuba committee does think that the United States Government through certain agencies, mainly the State Department and the CIA, have made monumental mis takes in its relations with Cu ba.” On September 26, President Kennedy’s plans for a visit to Dallas were announced. A few. days later, Oswald got a job at the Texas School Book De pository as a temporary ware house worker. The man whif hired him, R. 8. Truly, said yesterday: “He was a pretty quiet in dividual, His work was fine and I had no reason to believe —no idea the man had ever been in Russia. He was very quiet with nice manners and a nice appearance.” On October 14, with just a satchel and a few clothes on coat hangers in his possession. Oswald rented an $8 a week room—a barren 5 by 12 foot room. He usually retired by 10 pm. He kept his room clean, according to his landlady, and never spent the week ends there. During the Friday noon hour, the housekeeper was watching a television report of President Kennedy’s shooting when she said of Oswald: “He came in running like the dickens, and I said to him. ‘you sure are in a hurry,’ but he didn’t say anything—just ran to his room and got a short tan coat and ran back out.” Connolly Son, 17, Will Represent Him at Funeral DALLAS. Nov. 23 (AP). t Gov. John B. Conn ally, wounded , when President Kennedy was > assassinated, will send his 17- ' year-okl son to Mr. Kennedy's i funeral as his personal repre > sentatlve, the Governor’s staff i said today. The boy is John B. Connally t HI. The Governor’s aides at i Parkland Hospital also said Lt. ' Gov. Preston Smith, Texas At -1 tomey General Waggoner Carr and Texas House Speaker Byr ! on Tunnell will be the official ' representatives of Texas. 1 Gov. Connally, meanwhile, showed much improvement last 1 night. A late medical bulletin re ’ ported Gov. Connally’s color, ' pulse and blood pressure good. The bullet splintered a rib, [ causing considerable damage to I the surrounding area. He may be in the hospital from 10 to ; 14 days. Parkland Hospital assigned some of its area to Mr. Con nally for use as the Governor’s office. Communications experts installed special equipment. | '/ GRAB THIS GUY 1 * I Officers' Own Story ; Os Oswald Capture By m. n. McDonald Dallas Patrolman t (Written for the Associated Press) > DALLAS, Tex.. Nov. 23 (AP). (I—Yesterday I grabbed this guy t they say shot the President. Today, I get two kids stealing ' | hub caps. 1 That makes me an ordinary l cop, I guess. Right after the police radio • began carrying news of Presi- I i Dollas Police Potrolmon M. N. Mc- Donald went into an Oak Cliff the t ater Friday and wrestled with Lee [ Harvey Oswald, the man charged with assassinating President Ken i nedy. This is how he remembers it. 1 dent Kennedy’s being shot, the ’ alerts in different parts of the city began jamming the radio. I was cruising toward Oak Cliff, across the river (Trinity that splits Dallas almost in half). I got my call about 1:30 pin. Tip From Theater The radio dispatcher, G. D. Henslee, first told me to check the alleys. The next tip was that & guy that fitted the de scription they were giving was in a branch library out in Oak Cliff. This didn’t take long to be a phony. The next one said a man acting funny was holed up in the balcony of the Texas Theater. I headed that way in a hurry. The cashier at the picture show was the one who called in to say this guy was. acting suspicious and hidden out in I the balcony. Sc - i ■ « fMm * 3L * - President Kennedy slumps against his wife as the bullet from an assassin’s rifle strikes him in the head. Gov. Connally, who was wounded in the attack begins to turn around just to the DALLAS Captured Suspect Clings to Denial That He Fired Shots Fatal to Kennedy Continned From Page A-l able discharge from the Marine Reserve. The request was de | nied. Chief Curry was asked If police are considering the pos sibility that the sniper who killed President Kennedy may have been aiming at Texas Gov. Connally. He said he did not think so because the Presi dent was hit twice while the Texas Governor suffered only one wound. Added to the case against 1 the self-proclaimed Communist 5 sympathizer and admirer of - Fidel Castro was an FBI dis s closure that it had made paras - fin tests of Oswald’s skin and f found definite traces of nitrate (an ingredient of gunpowder) r on both his hands. No traces of gunpowder were found on Os . wald’s face, the tests disclosed. The paraffin test disclosure, j it was pointed out, does not ! specify what type of gun was fired; only that the body was [ in contact with a discharged firearm. Oswald is also accused of slaying a policeman with a ; pistol soon after the assassina ' tion. Investigators now are await -1 ing the results of ballistics and • fingerprint tests being per ■ formed at the FBI Crime Lab ■ oratory in Washington. » FBI Director J. Edgar Hoov ' er’s scientists are examining a ) “weak” latent fingerprint found on the rifle used by the sniper 1 to slay President Kennedy yes • terday. s Other technicians are con s ducting ballistics testa»with the rifle and the slugs that struck I went in from the rear and came out through the curtains on the side of the screen. I noticed about 10 to 15 peo ple sitting in the theatre, and they were spread out good. A man sitting near the front, and I still don’t know who it was. tipped me the man I wanted was sitting on the third row i from the rear on the ground floor and not in the balcony. I went up the aisle and talked to wto people sitting about in - the middle. I was crouching 1 low and holding my gun in 1 case any trouble came. I want ed to be ready for it. I walked up the aisle and ; turned in Oswald’s row.. We ; were no more than a foot from 1 each other when he suddenly ; stood up and raised both hands. ; “It’s all over now,” he told r me 1 Then he hit me a pretty good one in the face with his fist. I saw him going for his gun and I grabbed him around the waist. We struggled and fell around the seats for a few sec onds, and I got my hand on the ' butt of his pistol. But he had his hand on the trigger. I was pulliing the gun toward me, and I heard the hammer click. The primed (which detonates the bullet) was dented, and it didn’t fire. This might have saved me. I got the pistol out of his hand and another officer. Bob Carroll, reached me and took the pistol from me. I held Oswald. As we took him out of the show he calmed down. I’m sure glad that shell didn’t fire. down the President and serf . ously wounded Gov. Connally. The two bullets that mortal ly wounded the President in the head and neck are con ’ sldered to be in relatively good . condition for ballistics testing , techniques. One of the bullets, r as was learned, was found on the stretcher that bore Presl * dent Kennedy from his car 1 into the Dallas Hospital where * he died. It apparently had 5 fallen clear after penetrating f the President’s body. Dallas police said they ex t pect to receive reports on the t laboratory tests late today or f tomorrow but already are on - record as saying they consider - the evidence against Oswald i to be “ample.” s The rifle and three expended > cartridge shells were found on f the sixth floor of the Texas - School Book Depository build ing overlooking the roadway , | where Mr. Kennedy was shot, t j Oswald was employed as a 8 wrapper in the book company, s In other developments dls -1 closed today: 11. It was learned police have 1 located a man who drove ■; Oswald to work yesterday morning and said the suspect ■ was carrying a long package 1 that could have concealed an ■ object the size of the rifle. ■ 2. Police Chief Jesse E. Curry revealed that detectives ■ are questioning another man J in connection with the assas -1 sination of Mr. Kennedy r • Quiz Fellow Worker The second man being ques ‘ tioned in the case is described ; by police as a fellow worker 1 of Oswald at the book com pany, of Latin origin. Chief Curry said the only reason for interrogating the second man was that his name has turned up among a list of those in the Dallas area who have attended left-wing or ganization meetings. Earlier Chief Curry declared, and then retracted the state ment that the FBI had ques tioned Oswald in recent weeks , and had not notified the Dal . las police that he was in the ’ area. The FBI promptly de-1 nied this statement, and said j its agents had interviewed Os * wald only once more thtin a ■ year ago when he got into some trouble in New Orleans. i “I didn’t mean to accuse / the FBI of not co-operating,” 1 the chief said. "Somebody told . me last night they had talked l to him, but I dont know who it i was. I don’t Know if they ; knew he was in Dallas or not.” l FBI sources indicated Os ■ wald came to Dallas from Fort Worth about two months ago l J but said the suspect s presence s here was not known to them. I Rejects Lie Detector Test Meanwhile, District Attorney [ Henry Wade told reporters this afternoon Oswald had been . asked if he wished to submit , to a lie detector test but that i he had declined. He said Os i wald continues to deny any l knowledge of the shooting of President Kennedy or Police i man J. D. Tippitt. [ Mr. Wade said the State has : at least 15 witnesses in connec tion with the two murder charges against Oswald includ : ing some persons who saw him fatally wound the 39-year-old policeman in the forehead two , miles away and 50 minutes after President Kennedy was slain. Mr. Wade said “We have suf ficient evidence to prove he killed the President.” He said he expects to present the evidence against Oswald to a 12-member Dallas County THE SUNDAY STA* Witkiito*. D. C, Novwbw 24, 19ii left of Mrs. Kennedy. This picture of Friday’* assassination was made by Mrs. Mary Ann Moorman, wife of a Dallas plumber.—AP Wire photo. -grand jury next Wednesday on on Monday, December 2. If the grand Jury returns in-; dictments against Oswald, the Prosecutor said he expects to be able to go to trial no later than January. Oswald will be tried for the murder of Mr. Kennedy first, District At torney Wade declared. He said Oswald, who now is being held without bond for 1 the grand jury, is entitled to ; appear himself or present wit nesses of his own to the secret . panel. However, he said the > suspect is not required to do r this. i If indicted, Oswald is en r titled to a habeas corpus hear- I ing to determine if he can be held without bond, but Mr. I Wade pointed out that Texas [ law provides that no bond be , set in cases involving capital . crimes. , Mr. Wade said he will de , mand that Oswald be found . , guilty and demand his death . in the electric chair for the crimes of which he is accused. Oswald was not represented by counsel on either occasion, i last night when he was given ' | preliminary hearings on the ; two State murder charges > against him. 1 Charged as Kennedy’s Killer Both times, five hours apart,; | Justice of the Peace David , Johnston apprised Oswald of , his rights, read the charges ! | and then ordered him held j ! without bond. ! The complaint, filed by Capt. Will Fritz of the Homi- I cide Squad at 12:26 am. (EST) ■ today, read: “Lee Harvey Oswald, here | after styled defendant, here ■ tofore on or about the twenty i second day of November A.D., : 1963, in the County of Dallas, State of Texas, did then and i there voluntarily and with malice beforethought unlaw fully kill John F. Kennedy by shooting him with a gun.” Mr. Wade said he had talked with Oswald’s relatives and understood from them that 'counsel was being sought for the youth. It Oswald does not I obtain counsel of his own choosing, the prosecutor said, Texas jurisprudence provides that a court-appointed lawyer enter the case. He reiterated that he con siders Oswald to be “perfectly sane.” But he said the suspect will soon be given a psychiatric examination to establish his ' mental condition. He said Os wald may even have himself examined by a psychiatrist of his own selection if he wishes. Chief Curry told reporters today detectives lyid found a quantity of Communist books and pamphlets in the room Oswald occupied in the Oak Cliff section near the movie theater in which he was cap tured. He said Oswald appar ently had left the book build ing immediately after the shooting and had gone home to change his clothes. Chief Curry said he did not know why Oswald wanted to change his attire nor have po lice established just how the suspect traveled the two miles from the assassination scene in downtown Dallas across the Trinity River to his home. He 1 said it is possible someone in advertantly gave Oswald a lift away from the scene or that Oswald may simply have taken a bus. Police first became aware of Oswald when they learned he ' had been seen leaving the building immediately after the President was shot from one of 1 its upper windows. People in i A-5 i the building. Chief Curry said, i thought nothing of it at the time because, to them, Oswald , belonged there. Later, however, - police decided to investigate him because of his quick de parture, and a radio lookout was broadcast. He theorized that Pvt. Tip pitt, 39-year-old father of three, may have recognized Oswald on the street from the description and tried to ques tion him. Witnesses said Oswald fled : one block on foot after shoot ing the policeman in the fore head and was trapped in the Texas Theater where he had | taken refuge. Meanwhile. Oswald’s family , rallied to his support. His , blond, 22-year-old Russian bom wife. Marina, carrying their infant daughter in her arms, gave every indication she is standing by her husband when she was brought to the FBI field office here for ques | tioning. Russian Wife Questioned Although there is reason to suspect she speaks English bet ter than she admits, FBI agents had to bring in an in -1 terpreter to question the young mother. Even so, her answers were noncommital and defen sive, it was reported. Mrs. Oswald would not even tell questioners why she and her husband had been living apart for the past several weeks—the suspect in a fur nished room in Southwest Dal las and his wife and child in a home in the nearby town of Irving. The suspect’s mother, Mr*. Marguerita Oswald, a practical nurse who lives in Fort Worth, and his brother, Robert Lee Oswald, indicated to District Attorney Henry Wade that they were seeking a lawyer for Lee I Harvey Oswald. H. Louis Nichols, president * of the Dallas Bar Association, * who met with Oswald this af*- * ternoon, said Oswald told him • he would like to be represented ~ by John Abt of New York City . A well-known New York lawyer * named John Abt has defended - many Communists on various charges. If he could not get Abt, Mr. I Nichols said, Oswald would like * a lawyer from the American Civil Liberties Union, of which he is a member. Mr. Nichols said he went to - see Oswald because he had * heard that Oswald had been * unable to get legal counsel. ; ILA to Observe Day of Mourning - The International Long- ! shoremen’s Association has asked its members not to re port for work tomorrow in ob servance of the national day of mourning for the late President Kennedy. ILA President Thomas W. Gleason, inastatementre. leased here, also expressed the » AFL-CIO union’s grief over I “the tragic assassination of our l j great President.” His union covers ports on the - Great Lakes and Atlantic and " Gulf coasts from Portland, Maine, to Brownsville, Tex. On the West Coast, president Harry Bridges of the Interna- ’* tional Longshoremen’s and Warehousemen's union an nounced in San Francisco that his union also will not work to morrow.