On November 22, 1963, a dark period greeted the United States, as President John F. Kennedy was assassinated that day in Dallas. Lee Harvey Oswald was suspected of having committed the assassination, and they managed to capture him in the hours following the tragedy, but Oswald was also murdered two days after Kennedy’s death. The man’s former friend, Paul Gregory, published a book in mid-November The Oswalds: An Untold Account of Marina and Lee titled, in which he reported, among other things, that Oswald had an inferiority complex, behaved violently, and had a mysterious nature.
As Gregory explains in the volume, although he was initially shocked when he saw Oswald’s arrest on the news, within an hour he was enlightened.
The next morning, when the Secret Service interviewed me, I told them, ‘I’m convinced he did it.’
– written by Gregory, who was once a professor at the University of Houston and also worked as a researcher at Stanford.
They were obsessive fans
As Gregory explained, he met Oswald after he went to the office of his father, Peter Gregory, an oil engineer of Siberian origin, for a job interview. He wanted to work as a translator because he spoke Russian fluently, but he never got a job. He spent most of his time together with Oswald and his wife, Marina, in the summer of 1962, when all three were still in their 20s. According to the man’s recollection, when he visited the Oswalds’ apartment, he immediately noticed that there was no radio, TV or fan in their home. At the same time, one issue of TIME magazine was held in high esteem. The newspaper, which featured John F. Kennedy, then Man of the Year, on its front page, always rested on the coffee table, in the same place.
The magazine was always in the same position on the table during my visits
He added that Oswald’s wife, Marina, who was usually reclusive, often talked about John F. Kennedy and his wife, Jackie Kennedy. According to him, he knew a lot more about the couple than he thought. All of this was interesting because Marina came to the United States from Russia. Gregory noted that he could not imagine that Oswald, who kept a newspaper at home with John F. Kennedy on its front page, would later be able to kill the president.
It could not prevail in the Soviet Union
Lee Harvey Oswald was a Marine who defected to the Soviet Union and later returned to the United States, while his wife, Marina, was of Russian descent. Gregory explained that his father was part of a local community of Russians who claimed to be anti-communist and managed to befriend Oswald. The members of the group called Dallas Russians were expatriate Russians who wanted to hear about what life was like in the Soviet Union. According to him, the club’s undisclosed goal was to stand up for Marina, who was an attractive but quiet woman who was abused by her husband. As he added, when they went out to have fun, Marina quickly loosened up, but her husband sat in the corner like a pot.
According to Gregory, he and Marina became closer when she started teaching him Russian. At the same time, Oswald did not allow his wife to learn English. As she mentioned, the couple often took her shopping since they had no car or stroller. According to him, Oswald and his wife did not appear to be overly attached to each other, but they loved their children together very much. They had two daughters, June and Rachel – the latter was only five months old when John F. Kennedy and then her father were assassinated.
The Russian community in Dallas once took pity on them and gave them a baby carriage as a gift, which Oswald reluctantly accepted and later became enraged at the act of charity – so they didn’t get any more help. As Gregory points out in the book, Oswald had an explosive nature, sometimes had outbursts of anger, and avoided questions about why he went to the Soviet Union – where he ultimately failed. He added that everyone knew about Oswald that he espoused Marxist views, which his wife viewed with disdain.
He must have been aware that such views could land him and his family in trouble in the United States
can be read in the book.
He was a shrunken figure
Gregory also recalled the time he invited the Oswalds to tour Fort Worth’s finest estates and mansions together. Although Marina was all for the buildings, her husband lectured them on the underbelly of capitalism. According to Gregory, Oswald suffered from an inferiority complex and was a shrink. He gave Marina two dollars a week as spending money and enough food to barely survive, but he hired a typist to help her prepare her memoir. Oswald sincerely believed that he would find a publisher for his memoir, but it did not happen.
As Gregory explained, the last time he met the couple was when Marina asked him to go with them to Oswald’s brother’s place where they were celebrating Thanksgiving, and to take them to the bus station afterward. Gregory recalled that they had a tense conversation during the feast, and then, as requested, he escorted them to the to the train station, that was the last time they met. The next time he heard about the man was when he became the main suspect in the John F. Kennedy assassination, however, after what happened, he did not visit the man’s wife, Marina. Not even after Oswald was assassinated two days later. As he explained in the book, he could only contact Marina’s second husband, Kenneth Porter, who asked him to respect Marina’s privacy, so he did. Marina Porter, 81, currently lives in Rockwall.
He would have been a school shooter
Gregory says she was initially afraid of the publicity and stigma because their family was ashamed of her association with Lee Oswald. In the end, he decided to write a book because he wanted to pay tribute to the memory of John F. Kennedy.
In connection with the assassination of the president, the authorities concluded that Oswald’s actions were not politically charged. They believed that the man was a desperate, lonely figure who wanted to feel important. Gregory added that the torturous relationship he had with Marina may have played a role in this.
If Lee Harvey Oswald had grown up, he probably would have been a school shooter
– explained Gregory, and added that it is also possible that Oswald killed the president because his wife, Marina, liked him, so he knew exactly that he could cause her pain.
(Cover photo: Lee Harvey Oswald on November 22, 1963. Photo: STRINGER / AFP)