Marina Oswald Porter
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|Marina Oswald Porter|
|Born||Marina Nikolayevna Prusakova
July 17, 1941
Severodvinsk, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union
|Nationality||Russian American (formerly Soviet)|
|Spouse(s)||Lee Harvey Oswald (m. 1961; wid. 1963)
Kenneth Jess Porter (m. 1965)
Life with Oswald
Porter was born Marina Prusakova in Severodvinsk, in the northwest section of western Russia, near Arkhangelsk, and lived with her mother and stepfather until 1957, when she moved to Minsk to live with her uncle Ilya Prusakov and to study pharmacy. She met Lee Harvey Oswald, a former U.S. Marine who had defected to the Soviet Union, at a dance on March 17, 1961. They married on April 30, 1961, and had a daughter, June Lee, on February 15, 1962. In June of that year, Lee Harvey Oswald returned to the United States and he, Marina, and their daughter settled in Dallas, Texas. In February 1963, at a party, the couple were introduced to Ruth Paine, a Quaker and Russian language student, by George de Mohrenschildt.
In January 1963, Lee Harvey Oswald is believed to have ordered a Smith and Wesson .38 revolver and then, in March, a Carcano rifle (often mistakenly called a Mannlicher-Carcano rifle). Later that month, as Marina told the Warren Commission, she took photographs of Oswald dressed in black and holding his weapons along with an issue of The Militant newspaper, which named ex-general Edwin Walker as a “fascist.” These photos became known as the “backyard photos” of Oswald, which conspiracy theorists dismiss as faked. The series of photographs were later found in the garage of the Paine household, with the exception of one, which was given to George De Mohrenschildt. The photograph given to De Mohrenschildt was signed by Lee Oswald, and has a quote attributed to Marina’s handwriting in Russian, the translation of which reads “Hunter of Fascists, Ha-Ha-Ha !!!.”
In April 1963, Marina and her daughter moved in with Ruth Paine (who had recently separated from her husband, Michael). Oswald rented a separate room in Dallas, and briefly moved to New Orleans during the summer of 1963. He returned to Dallas in early October, eventually renting a room in a boarding house in the Oak Cliff district of Dallas. Oswald obtained work at the Texas School Book Depository when Ruth Paine learned, from a neighbor, that employment was available there, and Lee Harvey Oswald commenced work on October 16, 1963. On October 20, Marina gave birth to a second daughter, Audrey Marina Rachel Oswald. Lee Harvey Oswald continued to live in Oak Cliff but stayed with Marina at the Paine household in Irving on weekends, an arrangement that continued up until the assassination of President Kennedy.
Oswald had been getting rides to and from the Paine household on Friday afternoons and Monday mornings with fellow TSBD employee Buell Wesley Frazier, when staying with Marina over the weekends. On November 21, Oswald asked Frazier to give him a lift to visit Marina, and to pick up some curtain rods for his boarding house in Oak Cliff. Lee was also attempting to reconcile with Marina after an argument, but having not succeeded in a reconciliation that evening, he left the Paine household that morning, leaving behind his wedding ring and some money, before hitching a ride with Frazier to work. According to Frazier, Oswald carried with him a package that he claimed contained the curtain rods he had mentioned the evening before.
Marina learned of the assassination of President Kennedy after the massive media coverage that commenced within minutes of the event, and later, of the arrest of her husband. That afternoon, Dallas Police Department detectives arrived at the Paine household, and when asked if Lee owned a rifle, Marina gestured to the garage, where Lee stored his rifle rolled up in a blanket. When detectives unfurled the blanket, no rifle was found. Marina was subsequently questioned both at the Paine household, and later at Dallas PD headquarters in relation to her husband’s involvement in the assassination of the president and the shooting of a Dallas PD officer, J. D. Tippit.
After the Kennedy assassination and arrest of Oswald, Marina was under Secret Service protection until completion of her testimony before the Warren Commission, making a total of four appearances before the commission. Questions about her reliability as a witness against her deceased husband were expressed within the commission, particularly in regard to her claims about an assassination attempt on General Edwin Walker, and an allegation by Marina that Oswald had intended to assassinate Richard Nixon.
The Warren Commission reported that Jack Crichton, the 1964 Republican candidate for governor of Texas, arranged for a member of the local Russian community to act as translator in the police questioning of Marina, during which she implicated Oswald in the assassination. In her Warren Commission testimony, she stated a belief that her husband was guilty, an opinion she reiterated in testimony before the House Select Committee on Assassinations in 1978.
In 1965, Marina married Kenneth Jess Porter, with whom she has two sons. She remained in Dallas, Texas, and has appeared in numerous documentaries on the Kennedy assassination. In 1989, she became a naturalized United States citizen. She now contends that Oswald was innocent of the assassination. In the mid-1970s, Marina Oswald Porter moved to Rockwall, Texas where she lives today.
In popular culture
- Marina Oswald was portrayed by Beata Poźniak in Oliver Stone's JFK.
- Helena Bonham Carter portrayed Marina Oswald in Fatal Deception: Mrs. Lee Harvey Oswald.
- A fictionalized version of her appeared in Stephen King's 2011 novel 11/22/63, about a man who travels back in time to prevent the Kennedy assassination.
- In the 2013 television movie Killing Kennedy, based on the non-fiction book of the same name by Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard, Michelle Trachtenberg portrayed Marina Oswald.
- Mailer, Norman (2007). Oswald's Tale: An American Mystery. Random House Publishing Group. p. 137. ISBN 1-588-36593-X.
- Hosty, James P.; Hosty, Thomas (2013). Assignment: Oswald. Skyhorse Publishing, Inc. p. 112. ISBN 1-628-72187-1.
- Groden, Robert J. (1995). The Search for Lee Harvey Oswald: A Comprehensive Photographic Record. Bloomsbury Publishing Plc. pp. 60–61. ISBN 0-747-52401-7.
- Groden 1995 pp. 90–95
- Bugliosi, Vincent (2007). Reclaiming History: The Assassination of President John F. Kennedy. W. W. Norton & Company. pp. 793–795. ISBN 0-393-07212-6.
- Sabato, Larry J. (2013). The Kennedy Half-Century: The Presidency, Assassination, and Lasting Legacy of John F. Kennedy. Bloomsbury Publishing USA. p. 486. ISBN 1-620-40281-5.
- Johnson McMillan, Priscilla (2013). Marina and Lee: The Tormented Love and Fatal Obsession Behind Lee Harvey Oswald's Assassination of John F. Kennedy. Steerforth Press. p. 360. ISBN 1-586-42217-0.
- Groden 1995 pp.100–101
- Groden 1995 pp.62–63
- Warren Commission (2003). Warren Commission Report. Barnes & Noble Publishing. pp. 187–188. ISBN 0-760-74997-3.
- Bugliosi 2007 pp.697–698
- Baker, Russ (2010). Family of Secrets: The Bush Dynasty, America's Invisible Government, and the Hidden History of the Last Fifty Years. Bloomsbury Publishing USA. p. 119. ISBN 1-608-19192-3.
- "Marina Oswald Concedes Husband Could Be Killer". Observer-Reporter. September 15, 1978. pp. D–3. Retrieved September 25, 2014.
- Interview with Oprah Winfrey at the Wayback Machine (archived October 22, 2014) (Nov. 22, 1996)
- See also G. Posner, Case Closed at p. 345 (Anchor Books 1993, 2003)
- "The secret life of Lee Harvey Oswald's widow who refuses to believe he killed JFK as it's revealed assassin cared so much for president he sobbed when his premature son Patrick died". DailyMail. October 30, 2013.
- Bolam, Sarah Miles; Bolman, Thomas J. (2007). The Presidents on Film: A Comprehensive Filmography of Portrayals from George Washington to George W. Bush. McFarland & Company. p. 110. ISBN 0-786-42481-8.
- Roberts, Jerry (2009). Encyclopedia of Television Film Directors. Scarecrow Press. p. 139. ISBN 0-810-86378-2.
- "Errol Morris Interviews Stephen King". nytimes.com. November 10, 2011. Retrieved September 25, 2014.
- Blake, Meredith (November 8, 2013). "'Killing Kennedy': Michelle Trachtenberg on playing Marina Oswald". latimes.com. Retrieved September 25, 2014.