Ruth Hyde Paine (born September 3, 1932) was a friend of Marina Oswald, who was living with her at the time of the JFK assassination. According to five government investigations, Lee Harvey Oswald stored the 6.5 mm caliber Carcano rifle that he used to assassinate U.S. President John F. Kennedy in Ruth Paine's garage, unbeknownst to her and her husband, Michael Paine.
Ruth Paine answered more than 5,000 questions for the Warren Commission. There were over 500 witnesses for the Warren Commission, and the average number of questions asked for each witness was less than 300. Furthermore, Ruth Paine has given more interviews than any other Warren Commission witness, always consistent with her Warren Commission testimony.
Paine was born Ruth Avery Hyde, to her parents, William A. and Carol E. Hyde. She went to Antioch College and became a Quaker. Through her interest in folk dancing and music she met her future husband Michael Paine. Though strictly speaking not a Quaker, Michael attended meetings with Ruth. They married on December 28, 1957.
In 1959 Michael Paine got a job with Bell Helicopter in Fort Worth, Texas and the Paines moved into a house in the suburb of Irving (Michael Paine's step-father, Arthur M. Young, invented the Bell Helicopter). As liberals in Dallas, the Paines were isolated, and Ruth Paine was quite lonely.
Ruth Paine had been studying Russian since 1957. In the late 1950s she participated in Quaker pen pal programs and the East-West Contact Committee, which sponsored visits by three Soviets to the US. In 1963 she signed up to teach a summer class in Russian at St. Mark's School in Dallas, but only one student signed up (William Hootkins, who became an actor and had a minor role in the movie Star Wars as X-wing pilot Jek Porkins).
Ruth Paine met the Oswalds through her interest in the Russian language. She had learned to read Russian, but she had difficulty with conversational Russian. Also, she and Michael Paine were separated at this time. A mutual friend from their Madrigal singing group, Everett Glover, invited her to a party at his apartment on February 22, 1963 because he thought she would be interested in meeting two interesting people who spoke Russian.
The attendance of the couple, Lee and Marina Oswald, was arranged by Oswald's friend, 51-year-old Russian émigré George de Mohrenschildt, a well-educated petroleum geologist with intelligence connections.
Ruth and Marina 2/22/1963 to 5/11/1963
Following is a terse summary of Ruth Paine's long testimony to the Warren Commission about events starting from the date when Ruth first met Marina Oswald (2/22/1963) until the date when Ruth and her infant children, Lynn and Chris, drove Marina and baby June to New Orleans (5/11/1963) to be reunited with Lee Harvey Oswald.
- FEBRUARY 22nd 1963
Ruth Paine and Michael Paine were separated. Everett Glover was an engineer and a mutual friend from the Unitarian Church that Michael attended. Everett scheduled a party at his apartment for February 22, 1963. A working associate of Everett's, George De Mohrenschildt, who was unknown to the Paines, offered to bring a young couple that spoke fluent Russian. Maybe this would please Ruth and help reunite the Paines.
This Russian-speaking couple was also eccentric, which might entertain his engineer friends. They were Lee Harvey Oswald (hereafter LHO) and Marina Oswald. LHO had defected to the USSR and then returned to the USA. He was a novelty in the Dallas area.
The Paines accepted this invitation from Everett Glover, but at the last minute, Michael decided not to go. Ruth went alone.
Marina had taken baby June to Glover's party. Marina knew no English, so she mostly spoke with Jeanne De Mohrenschildt who spoke Russian natively. Ruth could read Russian, but her conversational skills were low -- they spoke too fast for her.
Yet Marina would very courteously correct Ruth, and Ruth simply loved that. Ruth wanted to be friends with charming Marina, and asked for her phone number. Marina said, "We don't have a telephone," yet Marina promptly shared her home address. Ruth wanted this friendship.
- MARCH 4th - 12th 1963
On March 4, 1963, after the party at Everett Glover's apartment, Ruth wrote a letter to Marina at that address, and got a letter back on the 8th saying, “We have moved. This is the new address. Come next Tuesday the 12th.” Marina's new address was a furnished apartment at 214 West Neely Street.
On the mid-morning of the 12th, Ruth drove her toddlers (Lynn and Chris) from Irving to Dallas (as Marina had no car, and no bus came directly to the Irving suburb). The trip by car was about 40-minutes one-way. LHO was at work. Ruth and her children walked with Marina and baby June to a nearby park where the children played. Ruth thoroughly enjoyed that visit. At lunchtime Ruth had to return to Irving so that her children could have naps.
- MARCH 20th 1963
Ruth met Marina again on March 20th. On this visit Marina told Ruth that Marina was expecting a baby, and asked Ruth not to tell the Russian émigrés. Marina had mistakenly assumed that Ruth knew them; but Ruth didn't. The Russian émigré community in Dallas was fairly restricted to those who spoke native Russian and were members of the Russian Orthodox Church. Ruth didn't qualify at all.
Yet Ruth assured Marina of her discretion. Then Marina confessed that LHO refused to allow her to learn English, and insisted that they speak only Russian to baby June. Ruth could see that Marina knew no English at all, so Ruth became upset with Lee's position. It seemed thoughtless and cruel. Yet Ruth lacked the conversational skills to tell Marina. Mostly Marina talked and Ruth listened.
On their third visit, March 27th, Ruth drove Marina and June to her place in Irving – two two-way trips taking more than two hours just driving. In that meeting, Marina told Ruth that LHO wanted her to return to the USSR with June -- without him, and that she truly hated the idea; she emphatically wanted to remain in America. LHO had even forced Marina to write to the USSR Embassy for papers and the USSR replied, asking why. Marina had not yet answered that letter.
Ruth now became angry. Marina was pregnant! LHO refused to let Marina learn English in America! Marina was tormented by Lee’s threat to send her and June back to the USSR when Marina wanted to stay in America! That was cowardly abandonment instead of a courageous divorce! Ruth felt that she had to do something about this moral outrage – as a Christian duty.
- MARCH 26th 1963
The next Tuesday, family night, when Ruth saw her separated husband Michael, she emotionally exposed the whole story. Ruth knew that an educated person like Marina could support a family somewhere in America where there was a large Russian émigré community, like New York City or Los Angeles. Or, if LHO really wanted to get rid of his family, couldn't Marina live with Ruth until Marina got on her feet, Ruth asked Michael?
Since Ruth and Michael were separated, Michael was sensitive to the fact of Ruth's loneliness in Irving -- her desire for educated conversation, and her desire to learn Russian. So, he allowed Ruth to pursue the idea -- but only with LHO's approval.
By the way, Ruth at this time saw LHO as a normal man who simply wanted to divorce his wife -- and she had no fear that LHO was violent. So, after a few visits with Marina, Ruth now decided to invite both LHO and Marina to dinner to meet Michael on family night. That way Michael could offer an informed opinion about LHO.
- APRIL 2nd 1963
It was now Tuesday, April 2nd, and it would be the second time that Ruth ever saw LHO. (The first time was at Glover's party.) This was also the first time that Michael ever met either of the Oswalds.
The plan was for Michael to drive to Dallas to pick up the Oswalds at their Neely Street address. Marina was not yet ready, yet LHO did nothing to help except barking orders at her from his living room sofa next to Michael. Michael thought LHO was rude.
While waiting for Marina (as Michael told Dan Rather in 1995), LHO showed Michael one of his 'Backyard Photographs' showing LHO holding a rifle, wearing a gun, and holding two Marxist newspapers. As Michael had already told the Warren Commission, he knew right then that LHO was not a genuine Marxist, because Michael's own father had been a Marxist, and Michael knew a lot about it (though he never joined). A genuine Marxist joins a Party and follows the rules. No Marxist group allows individual members to make provocative photos like that. Michael now knew that LHO was a poser, and that the dinner conversation that night would be boring.
At dinner in Irving, LHO and Michael talked in English while Ruth spoke with Marina in Russian. After dinner, Marina and Ruth did the dishes and talked in Russian while Michael and LHO sat in the living room to converse. Ruth didn't hear their conversation. She knew that Michael was initially interested in what sort of American would move to the USSR; perhaps a thinker and an individualist. After Michael drove LHO and Marina home, he returned to tell Ruth that LHO was not a deep thinker as he'd hoped. LHO merely shared the dogmatic belief that capitalists wrongly exploited workers. Boring.
Ruth and Michael had no idea on April 2nd that LHO had lost his job just the day before. The topic never came up during dinner. Nor did they ask whether LHO was unhappy with his marriage, and might prefer for Marina to live with Ruth. Ruth didn’t want to offend anybody, so she kept quiet, although it was uppermost in her mind.
- APRIL 7th 1963
On April 7th Ruth wrote a mock letter to Marina, not to mail, but to compose her thoughts to her in Russian language. Ruth was angry that LHO might send Marina and June back to the USSR to escape his own responsibilities. Ruth couldn’t just discuss it with Marina, because her Russian language skills were poor.
Ruth wanted to offer Marina a workable alternative to returning to the USSR, and she searched for the words to invite Marina to live with her -- only if Marina wanted to. Ruth still has that letter; she never mailed it. On April 8th, Ruth saw Marina again, and did not discuss the topic.
- APRIL 10th – 12th 1963
Ruth visited Marina again on April 10th for another pleasant picnic in the park with the children. That night, Ruth heard the late evening news on TV that somebody tried to assassinate General Walker in Dallas. Ruth herself never connected LHO with that. Michael spoke about General Walker occasionally, but never in connection with LHO. Nor did Ruth overhear any discussion about General Walker by or between LHO and Marina -- ever. Nor did Marina seem disturbed in any way during the following days.
Ruth visited Marina again on April 11th for yet another pleasant picnic in the park with the children. This was when Marina told Ruth that LHO was out of work. Marina had just found out herself, because LHO lacked the courage to tell her about it. Ruth was still intent on keeping her friendship with Marina -- so she asked Marina to invite LHO to their next planned picnic -- on April 20th.
- APRIL 20th 1963
Ruth visited Marina again on April 20th for a picnic in the park with the children and LHO. This was only the third time that Ruth had met LHO. LHO spent most of the picnic fishing alone. Ruth noticed his lack of social skills. He came to eat when it was time, but he complained about the food which Marina had cooked. He caught a fish, and he and Marina argued about who would clean it. Ruth then excused herself, gathered her children and drove home. Once again, Ruth chose not to raise the topic of Marina living with her -- LHO was in an irritable mood.
- APRIL 24th 1963
Ruth visited Marina again on April 24th, planning for a picnic in the park with the children, but she arrived at about 10 AM to find LHO all packed up and ready to go to New Orleans -- alone. What a surprise. Lee asked Ruth to drive his old duffel-bags and suitcases to the Greyhound bus station, where he would buy two tickets to New Orleans. Marina hoped that LHO would find work there.
At the bus station, LHO checked in his baggage and bought two tickets. He returned to Ruth's car and handed Marina her ticket. LHO offered his plan: Marina would wait for his letter announcing that he finally found work and a place to live. Then Marina and June would travel by bus to New Orleans.
Ruth didn't like that plan. So, in broken Russian, she told LHO: "It’s very difficult for a pregnant woman with a small child and no English to pack up and take a 13-hour bus trip from Dallas to New Orleans. Therefore, why can’t I drive Marina and June to New Orleans? Also, instead of living alone at Neely Street, waiting for your letter, Marina and June could stay with me, where you could call her by telephone, instead of a letter!"
Lee liked the idea. He immediately took Marina's bus ticket back for a refund and gave Marina some of the money to last a few days. He had no planned date of contact. LHO drove with the women and children back to Neely Street, and LHO loaded all of their possessions (no furniture; mainly baby things, dishes and clothes) and Ruth drove her children, along with Marina and baby June back to her home in Irving, Texas.
Ruth felt wonderful about this. Everything was going well. LHO was scheduled to leave by bus that night, and if he later decided to abandon Marina, Marina would be safe with Ruth. Nice plan.
After unpacking Marina’s things late in the day of the 24th, they made supper, ate, put their children to bed, and talked. Ruth gave Marina the number of her aging Russian tutor (mother-in-law of a professor Mamantov) just in case Marina needed help whenever Ruth went on errands.
- APRIL 24th – MAY 8th 1963
Ruth was delighted. She and Marina spoke in Russian about Marina's marriage, her life in Russia and her previous Russian boyfriends. Marina never said that LHO was violent in any way, nor did LHO ever seem violent to Ruth. Yet Marina withheld much from Ruth, for example, her weeks of living apart from LHO, with Katya Ford and others, starting in October 1962. Nor did Marina mention again Lee’s urging her to return to the USSR. Still, Ruth finally got the courage to read her own letter of April 7th, inviting Marina to live with Ruth until Marina could support herself and her family.
And what about Marina's new baby? Even if she moved to New Orleans, she must get medical care very soon, because in six months Marina would have a new baby. If LHO didn't have medical insurance by then, then perhaps Marina could return to Ruth's house, and have her baby at Parkland Hospital. After all, baby June was now comfortable with Ruth, and Marina would need time and help to recover after childbirth.
Marina promised she would try to learn English despite LHO. Ruth then gifted Marina a Russian book entitled, “Self Teacher in the English Language.”
Then Ruth took Marina out to shop for maternity clothes. By surprise, they met someone in the Russian émigré community. Marina was pregnant! The truth was now out in Dallas' Russian émigré community.
Ruth took Marina and baby June to see the movie, "War and Peace". Marina knew the story line very well, so Marina despite the language difference, she enjoyed it. Ruth's steady stream of visitors continued as usual. Neighbors and their children; but nobody came to visit Marina; not even from the Russian émigré community. Nor did Marina ever phone them; though she knew how to use a telephone.
Every year the wealthy Ruth Paine would take a long summer vacation. She would drive back East to visit her family and friends, starting in May and ending in September. Ruth asked Marina to come with baby June. They spoke about possible jobs in New York, Philadelphia or Washington, where larger Russian communities would value her Russian skills. But, again, Marina was pregnant, and it was unlikely Marina would apply for any job soon. Ruth saw in Marina a self-respecting, capable woman.
- MAY 9th – 14th 1963
On May 9th, two weeks after Marina moved in with Ruth, LHO called on the telephone. It was May 9th, and LHO now had work and a place to live. Marina exclaimed, “Papa nas lubet!” “Daddy loves us!" After they hung up the phone, Marina kept chanting, “Papa nas lubet!”
Ruth and Marina starting packing the car immediately, so that they could start out for New Orleans at noon on the 10th. That would get them to Shreveport by nighttime. Then they would arrive in New Orleans on the 11th. It worked. Everybody warmly embraced.
LHO and Marina invited Ruth and her children to stay with them for the weekend. Fine. Yet LHO and Marina bickered most of the time. Marina hated the roach-infested apartment. LHO continually told her to shut up. It was not always sour, though. Ruth and her children joined LHO, Marina and baby June in a visit to the French Quarter during the daytime. Yet Ruth had seen no clear opportunity to ask LHO about registering Marina at Parkland Hospital, to be prepared once her birth pangs began.
John F. Kennedy assassination
Involvement with Oswald family
Ruth Paine drove Marina Oswald to New Orleans when the Oswalds moved there in May 1963 and back to Dallas when they moved again in September 1963. When the Oswalds resettled in the Dallas area, Marina and Lee's child, June, moved in with Ruth Paine in the suburb of Irving, Texas while Lee stayed in a boarding house under the name O.H. Lee. The second Oswald child was born after Marina moved in. Marina helped with the housework and Ruth's Russian studies while Lee visited on weekends. Michael and Ruth had long been separated, but remained on good terms. Michael was a frequent visitor and cared for his children deeply. At the suggestion of a neighbor, Linnie Mae Randle, Ruth Paine told Lee Oswald about a job opportunity at the Texas School Book Depository.
Lee Harvey Oswald stayed at the Paine home with Marina and his children unannounced on Thursday night, November 21, 1963—the night before President Kennedy was assassinated. When Oswald left for work on the morning of November 22, he brought a large package that he had kept in the Paine's garage with him to work at the Texas School Book Depository. Oswald's coworker and friend, Wesley Frazier testified that Oswald told him the bag contained curtain rods. The evidence demonstrated that the package actually contained the rifle used by Oswald in the assassination.
Eight days after the assassination of President Kennedy, on November 30, 1963, Ruth Paine inadvertently discovered evidence that Lee Oswald had attempted to assassinate General Edwin Walker. Among the letters that Ruth Paine repeatedly sent to Marina was a thick book of household advice in Russian. The book contained an undated note left by Lee for Marina on April 10, 1963 (the day of the Walker assassination attempt) which Marina would later testify she had concealed. Before the Kennedy assassination, Dallas police had no suspects in the Walker shooting.
Aftermath of assassination
Ruth Paine testified before the Warren Commission and has been interviewed by a number of authors, including Johnson, William Manchester and Gerald Posner. She has appeared in numerous documentaries and even a mock trial of Lee Harvey Oswald. She also testified in Jim Garrison's trial of Clay Shaw. Paine was not called to testify before the House Select Committee on Assassinations.
After the assassination, Marina and Lee Oswald's mother Marguerite briefly stayed with Ruth Paine until Marina was taken into custody by the Secret Service. Marguerite and Lee's brother Robert did not like Ruth Paine, which may have influenced Marina Oswald. They thought Paine sought attention for herself, an opinion Marina would later express before the Warren Commission. Ruth wrote to Marina incessantly, with letters that took an almost desperate tone, but received no response except for a Christmas card. They met briefly in 1964 but afterwards they would never see each other again. Paine heard news about Marina through author Priscilla Johnson McMillan until McMillan's relationship with Marina broke off in the early 1980s.
Ruth Paine returned to Pennsylvania and became principal of a Quaker school, the Greene Street Friends School located in Germantown. She soon moved to St. Petersburg, Florida and earned a master's degree in psychology from the University of South Florida. After working for the school system in Franklin County in the Florida Panhandle, she returned to St. Petersburg and worked for the Hillsborough County, Florida school system until her retirement. She is active in Quaker and liberal charities and organizations and lives in Santa Rosa, California.
The City of Irving bought the former Paine home in 2009 and has been restoring it to its 1963 condition to be turned into a museum in time for the 50th anniversary of the Kennedy assassination on November 22, 2013.
Conspiracy theorists have attempted to connect the Paines to various conspiracies going back generations, since both Ruth and Michael Paine's relatives and ancestors held important government and business positions.
According to a declassified CIA document, Ruth's sister, Sylvia Hyde Hoke, was listed as an employee of the agency in the Falls Church, VA local directory in 1961. Ruth visited and stayed with her sister in September 1963. Ruth admits that her sister may have worked for "an outfit."
Ruth's father, William Avery Hyde, was an insurance executive who went to work for USAID (United States Agency for International Development), which was and is a well known cover for CIA personnel. Declassified documents show that Hyde had contacts with the CIA, which at least considered him for use in an operation in Vietnam.
Ruth's husband Michael Paine was the son of Ruth Forbes Paine and George Lyman Paine Jr.. Ruth Forbes Paine was a close friend of Mary Bancroft, an OSS agent and at times a mistress of CIA director Allen Dulles and Henry Luce. Forbes Paine was also a student of Carl Jung. Ruth Forbes Paine later married Arthur M. Young, who was a member of Andrija Puharich's Roundtable Foundation.
In Oliver Stone's JFK, the Paines are depicted as Bill and Janet Williams, played by Gary Carter and Gail Cronauer. While most names in the movie JFK were not changed, the Paines were renamed to avoid potential legal action. (The name Janet Williams was used again in the 1993 TV movie Fatal Deception: Mrs. Lee Harvey Oswald, in which the role was played by Quenby Bakke.)
Ruth and Marina 6/6/1963 to 11/22/1963
Following is a terse summary of Ruth Paine's long testimony to the Warren Commission about events after June 1963, as Ruth continued writing to Marina Oswald with the goal of Marina having her baby at Parkland Hospital, through the success of that goal, and then to November 22nd, when JFK was assassinated.
- JUNE – SEPTEMBER 1963
Ruth continued writing to Marina during the summer. (Ruth still has all of Marina's letters.) One letter from Marina in early June 1963, namely CE 409, complained that Lee Harvey Oswald (hereafter LHO) wanted Marina to return to the USSR with baby June, without him. Marina was distressed.
Ruth began her long summer vacation back East, staying with friends and family. Everybody wanted to talk about her separation from Michael, but Ruth was only interested in Marina Oswald, and about ‘saving’ Marina from her lout of a husband.
Ruth's letters continually encouraged Marina to live with her during Marina's upcoming childbirth. Marina needed proper medical care as offered by programs like those at Parkland Hospital in Dallas. In July Marina replied that all of that must depend on a formal divorce.
Ruth also telephoned Church ladies in New Orleans to find Russian contacts to provide Marina with Russian-speaking friends. The Quakers had none. The Unitarians found a partly Russian-speaking mother, Ruth Kloepfer and her two daughters, who agreed to visit Marina. That was nice.
In a new shock, on August 11th, Marina sent another letter (CE-421) saying that, “LHO doesn’t have work now already three weeks.” What a blockbuster. Marina was about six months pregnant and LHO had no job! This was Ruth's opportunity. In her plans to drive with her children back to Texas in September, Ruth offered to stop by New Orleans to talk about moving Marina (not LHO) to her house for the birth of the new baby.
- SEPTEMBER 20TH 1963
Ruth and her children arrived in New Orleans at noon on Friday, September 20th, to find LHO and Marina in a good mood. LHO invited Ruth to stay for the weekend, and he was an attentive host. Ruth called Mrs. Kloepfer and her two college-age daughters to visit. One of her daughters had been studying Russian and brought slides of her recent trip to Russia. LHO politely remarked about each slide.
LHO made a much better impression on Ruth that weekend than ever before. Ruth could see, for the first time, that LHO was concerned about Marina’s physical health and childbirth options -- now that she was eight months pregnant, and had not yet seen a doctor. LHO seemed relieved to think of Marina at Parkland Hospital. Ruth was delighted with LHO's approval. This made all the difference to Ruth. During that weekend, Ruth, Marina and LHO planned a course of action so that Marina could have her baby while living in Irving.
During that weekend, also, Ruth first learned about LHO’s involvement with the pro-Castro movement. She asked LHO if his arrest in New Orleans would affect his ability to get and keep a job. He said he didn’t know, although he had lost his job before he was arrested.
LHO did most of the packing and all of the car loading on Sunday night, as Marina and Ruth would take the babies on long walks or to wash diapers at the local laundromat. LHO went out to buy all the groceries, and returned with a cheery call to his two girls, “Yabutchski!”
It was a very well loaded automobile because Ruth already had many things of her own, including a boat on the car-top and they also had a playpen on top. They left on Monday the 23rd. LHO sadly watched them leave, yet he gave Ruth no money (for this trip or ever) nor any to Marina for this trip.
- SEPTEMBER 24th - OCTOBER 4th 1963
Here is part of a letter that Ruth wrote to her mother, dated 30 September 1963; the second paragraph.
“To my surprise Lee was willing for Marina to come here to have the baby. Even grateful; he has been out of work since August. Their income is $33 a week unemployment compensation...I feel now that Lee wants to keep his family together and will send for them as soon as possible...I told them both of my expectation that you would be here February to June.”
In other words, Ruth planned for her own mother to come to live with her in Irving starting in February, 1964, and so Marina should be ready to move out by then. Ruth hoped that LHO would have a job by then.
In any case, Ruth, Marina and their children drove back to Irving, Texas.
From Tuesday, September 24th through Thursday, October 3rd, Marina, baby June, Ruth and her children enjoyed 10 days of peace and quiet. They received no word from LHO, by telephone or letter. They never discussed where LHO might be – they were busy enough registering Marina at Parkland Hospital. Marina had no visitors and no social contacts beyond Ruth and Ruth's neighbors.
Ruth wasn't worried that LHO had not contacted Marina -- Ruth was focused on Marina’s pregnancy.
- OCTOBER 4th 1963
LHO telephoned around 1 PM on Friday, October 4th. Ruth quickly handed Marina the phone and Marina asked why he had never called. LHO asked to come to visit for the weekend. Marina asked Ruth and Ruth approved. Then LHO asked if Ruth could come pick him up in Dallas. Marina replied, “No, Ruth can’t come and pick you up; Ruth was at Parkland Hospital this morning donating blood, and she shouldn’t be driving now.” (The exchange for Marina's care at Parkland was Ruth's donations of blood.)
Ruth left to buy groceries and expected LHO to arrive by bus around suppertime. Yet when Ruth returned an hour later, LHO was already there.
He explained that he'd hitchhiked. LHO said his 10-day search for work in Houston had failed, and he would now try Dallas. He said nothing about Mexico City. Ruth told LHO that a driver’s license would make him eligible for more jobs, and Ruth gave him Texas driving regulations booklet and a map for job-hunting. Warren Commission CE-128 appears to be that same map.
- OCTOBER 7th – 14th 1963
LHO stayed at Ruth's home for the weekend, and then on Monday morning, October 7th, Ruth drove LHO about three miles to the bus terminal. The YMCA was too expensive, so he went looking for a room. (By the way, the only day that Ruth ever drove LHO all the way to Dallas was when LHO wanted to take his driver’s license test, and Marina and all the children went with them.)
On Saturday, October 12th, LHO gave Ruth and Marina a contact telephone number for his new room in Dallas, just in case Marina went into labor. He gave no address.
Ruth wrote a letter, CE-425, to her mother dated Monday, October 14th. Ruth said she gave LHO a driving lesson:
“Dear Mom, Lee Oswald...arrived a week and a half ago and has been looking for work in Dallas ever since...If LHO can just find work that will help so much. Meantime I started giving him driving lessons last Sunday (yesterday). If he can drive, this will open up more job possibilities and more locations...He spent last weekend and the one before with us here and was a happy addition to our expanded family. He played with baby Chris, watched football on TV, planed down the door that wouldn’t close..and generally added a needed masculine flavor. From a poor first impression I have come to like him...”
LHO and Ruth never had any political discussions. LHO never said a word against JFK.
(Ruth had no clue that LHO was keeping a rifle in her garage. She was certain that it was never in the Oswald belongings that Ruth had personally unloaded from New Orleans. LHO's rifle had to arrive after LHO came back to Dallas in early October -- without Ruth's knowledge. Ruth was stunned when she learned that Marina had known about it. Ruth was astounded that LHO would be accused of anything so catastrophic as the JFK assassination.
On October 14th, Marina and Ruth shared coffee with the next door neighbors, Mrs. Roberts and two other mothers, including Linnie Mae Randle. The topic of LHO’s unemployment came up, and Linnie Mae said that her younger brother, Buell Wesley Frazier, thought they needed another person at the TSBD where he worked. Ruth translated for Marina. After they returned to Ruth's home, Marina asked her to please call the TSBD right away. Ruth looked up their number, called, and learned that she’d need to speak to Roy Truly.
Once connected, Ruth told him that she knew a young man, a former Marine named Lee Oswald whose wife was staying in her house, with one child and expecting a baby, and he needed a job. Mr. Truly said that he should apply in person. That very day LHO applied at the TSBD, and he was hired by Roy Truly on the spot; to report to work the very next day, Tuesday, October 15th.
- OCTOBER 15 1963
LHO called Marina from Dallas and Marina exclaimed in Russian, “Hurray, he got a job!” She thanked Ruth warmly and said, “We must thank Randle!” Ruth was pleased.
That day Ruth wrote to her mother: “It is likely that Marina will stay on here for some time, perhaps through Christmas or New Year’s...with LHO coming on weekends, just as he has the past two.” Ruth then explained why Marina didn't just move back to her husband: “He has a room in Dallas at $8 a week currently, and he’d like to save a bit before getting an apartment...and...Marina should be here until she has rested some from childbirth.”
- OCTOBER 18th – 25th 1963
Friday the 18th was LHO’s birthday, and Ruth had a cake for him at her house that night. During Sunday evening, October 20th, Marina began labor, and LHO stayed at Ruth's to care for all the sleeping toddlers while Ruth drove Marina to the hospital in her station wagon around 9pm.
Parkland accepted Marina and sent Ruth home. A few hours later Ruth called the hospital, and they said that Marina had a baby girl. LHO was asleep, so Ruth decided to tell him in the morning. LHO went to work normally that Monday, but that evening he arrived again in Irving, driven by Frazier. Ruth encouraged LHO to go to the hospital; Ruth was not admitted. Then Ruth drove LHO back to her house, and he traveled back to Dallas in the morning, Tuesday, October 22nd, with Frazier again.
During that week LHO called every day to talk to Marina and ask about baby Rachel. Next Friday 25th LHO came to Irving again. Marina and baby Rachel were now home -- everybody was together again.
- NOVEMBER 1st 1963
Starting mid-afternoon on Friday, November 1st, bad luck arrived. FBI Agent James Hosty stopped by to ask whether either of the Oswalds were living with her, and if so, to meet them. This was nap-time so Ruth started out alone with the FBI. Hosty had spoken last week with her immediate neighbor, Mrs. Roberts, who confirmed that a Russian lady was living with Ruth. Yes, Ruth said, but not LHO.
Hosty asked for LHO’s address, and Ruth told him honestly that she didn’t have it, but she knew it was in Dallas. At that time Ruth truly believed that the FBI could find anybody’s contact information with ease, so Ruth waited for his next question. Hosty asked where LHO worked, and Ruth said that LHO was worried that the FBI might contact his workplace and jeopardize his job. The FBI assured her that they never contact the employer in routine inquiries. Then Ruth told Hosty that LHO came every weekend on Friday, and that the FBI were always welcome at her home.
Suddenly, Marina joined the conversation, and when Ruth told Marina that Hosty was with the FBI, Marina's eyes became very wide. Ruth translated as Hosty reassured Marina that he was only there to greet her, and not to question her, and that he wanted Marina to rest after having her baby. He also added that if any pressure was being placed on Marina by anybody in the USSR, that Marina was always welcome to speak with the FBI about it. Then he left.
After LHO arrived that evening, Ruth and Marina told him about the FBI visit. Ruth gave LHO the piece of paper on which she had written Hosty’s name and the FBI office number. LHO frowned but he said nothing else about it.
- NOVEMBER 5th 1963
On Tuesday, November 5th, FBI agent Hosty visited again with another FBI agent. Ruth invited them in the door but they didn’t sit down. Hosty asked her again for LHO’s address, and Ruth repeated that she still didn’t have it, but after LHO and Marina are reunited she would certainly give him their new address. Then Hosty asked if Ruth thought Oswald was a mental case, and Ruth said no; even though he was a Marxist, which is illogical, he could still function in society. Hosty scoffed and left. Marina didn’t appear during that visit.
While doing dishes that night, Ruth told Marina what happened, and Marina raied her voice -- the Oswald address was the Oswald's business! Marina had never spoken in this way before, but Ruth didn’t reply. Privately Ruth disagreed that the Oswald address was private from the FBI. Ruth still believed that the FBI had easy access to any address they desired, so she thought little of it.
- NOVEMBER 9th – 11th 1963
On that long Veterans Day weekend, starting Saturday, November 9th, Ruth gave LHO permission to use her typewriter. After he typed an English draft that morning Ruth took the whole family with LHO to Dallas for a driver’s test. The DMV was closed because of the holiday. LHO returned to his draft. He worked on it all weekend, and he left the draft on the desk through the Sunday evening. On early Monday morning, since the draft was still there, Ruth glanced at it (which is now CE 385).
The first sentence that grabbed her attention said: “The FBI is not now interested in my activities.” What? The FBI had come looking for LHO twice! LHO was writing fibs on her typewriter! So, Ruth read the whole thing. Here is the entire document:
“Dear Sirs: This is to inform you of events since my interview with comrade Kostine in the Embassy of the Soviet Union, Mexico City, Mexico. I was unable to remain in Mexico City indefinitely because of my Mexican visa restriction which was for 15 days only. I could not take a chance on applying for an extension unless I used my real name so I returned to the U.S. I and Marina Nicholyeva are now living in Dallas, Texas. The FBI is not now interested in my activities in the progressive organization FPCC of which I was secretary in New Orleans, Louisiana since I no longer live in that state. The FBI has visited us here in Texas on November 1st. Agent of the FBI James P. Hasty warned me that if I attempt to engage in FPCC activities in Texas the FBI will again take an ‘interest’ in me. The agent also ‘suggested’ that my wife could remain in the U.S. under FBI ‘protection’, that is, Marina could defect from the Soviet Union. Of course I and my wife strongly protested these tactics by the notorious FBI. I had not planned to contact the Mexico City Embassy at all so of course they were unprepared for me. Had I been able to reach Havana as planned, the Soviet Embassy would have had time to assist me, but of course the stupid Cuban consul was at fault here. I am glad he has since been replaced by another.”''
Ruth regarded this letter as fiction with some alarming elements: (1) the FBI really was interested in LHO, since they had just visited her, twice, asking about him; (2) Hosty’s invitation to Marina talk to the FBI about any USSR pressures was not an invitation to defect; (3) LHO falsely suggested that he was present at these FBI visits, and that he and Marina “protested vigorously;” and (4) LHO concluded with the words, “notorious FBI,” which Ruth found disturbing.
Ruth regarded the Mexico City story as nothing but fiction. Since LHO had addressed this letter to the USSR Embassy with, “Dear Sirs,” Ruth discounted espionage. Ruth related this letter to those letters that Marina told her about, where LHO had forced Marina to write to the USSR. Ruth decided to make a handwritten copy of this letter to give to the FBI Agent the next time he called. Then Ruth carefully placed the letter back, precisely where it had been.
Once again, Ruth felt justified in regarding LHO with some suspicion. Why was the FBI still tracking LHO in Dallas?
- NOVEMBER 15th – 19th 1963
On the weekend of November 15-17th, LHO Harvey Oswald didn't stay at Ruth's home. Marina told LHO not to come that weekend so that Ruth could have a birthday party for her daughter. Then, on Monday evening, baby June and Marina exclaimed, “Let’s call papa” and asked Ruth. Ruth dialed the number LHO gave her, and a man answered and Ruth asked, “Is Lee Oswald there?” He replied, “There is nobody by the name Lee Oswald, here.” Ruth asked, “Is this a rooming house?” He said “Yes.” Ruth asked, “Is this WH 3-8993.” He said “Yes.” So Ruth told Marina, “They don’t know of a Lee Oswald at that number.” Marina looked surprised.
It didn't occur to Ruth that lying to his wife was an FBI matter. The following day, Tuesday, November the 19th, LHO called and complained to Marina for calling him at his rooming house! He had turned it back on her! Marina slammed down the phone.
- NOVEMBER 20th – 21st 1963
On Wednesday the 20th, LHO did not call at the usual time. On Thursday the 21st, Ruth arrived home from the grocery storeg around 5:30 PM to see LHO on her front lawn playing with baby June and Marina holding baby Rachel. This was the first time that LHO had ever appeared at her house without asking. Ruth parked her car in the driveway as usual and LHO helped her with the groceries. Ruth briefly greeted him, and he walked in first, while Marina privately apologized for his having come without asking. Ruth said it was OK; they suspected that this was LHO’s way of apologizing.
They had dinner as usual, and it seemed to Ruth that Marina and LHO were gradually making up. Ruth had cooked dinner so Marina and LHO washed the dishes as Ruth bathed her children, put them to bed, read them a story, and let Marina and LHO be alone. By 9 PM LHO was already in bed.
Ruth went out to the garage to paint some crafts, and she noticed that the light was on in her garage. That was strange for her house. Ruth believed that LHO had been out there since Marina had also been busy with her own children. Ruth thought it was careless of LHO to leave the light on, but Ruth finished her work and then turned off the light and left the garage.
- NOVEMBER 22nd 1963
Ruth woke up the next morning at 7:30 AM to find that LHO had already left. Ruth found a plastic coffee cup in the sink with some remains of instant coffee in it – which was usual for LHO’s breakfast. Ruth never saw him make a sandwich to take to work with him. Ruth remembered one time when Marina made something for him to take, but not this day.
When Marina got up Marina said absolutely nothing about anything unusual. She had nursed the baby in the morning as LHO got ready, but went back to sleep after that. Ruth fixed breakfast for her own children, turned on the TV to hear JFK speak in Fort Worth and then left about 9 AM with her children for a dentist appointment and some errands. Ruth left the TV on for Marina. Ruth returned sometime before noon and Marina thanked her for leaving the TV on, because the glad reception of JFK and Jackie at Love Field had lifted her spirits.
Ruth was preparing lunch when the TV said that JFK had been shot; Ruth translated this to Marina through her tears. Ruth lit some candles with baby Lynn. An hour later, they heard confirmation that JFK was dead. The announcer said the shot came from the TSBD. Marina was outside hanging clothes, and Ruth went outside to tell her. They stood there, looking at each other.
As they watched, the TV news reported that somebody had been arrested at a movie theater. Suddenly, the doorbell rang and she saw six police and deputy officers at her door. Ruth thinks that this was just after 3pm, because they had put their children down for their naps. The man in front said “We have LHO Oswald in custody. He is charged with shooting an officer.”
Now Ruth realized that they were in real trouble. Ruth invited the officers inside immediately, warrant or not, and Ruth told them that LHO’s things were in the garage. Still, they spread out and searched every room in her house. From the garage, one officer asked her if LHO had any guns, and Ruth honestly answered, no! Ruth translated the question to Marina, however, and Marina answered, yes!
Ruth was stunned. Marina said she had seen part of a gun inside a blanket roll on the floor, and Marina pointed to the blanket. Ruth translated this to the officers, and they picked up that blanket and it flopped over. Marina blanched – and Marina was good at hiding her feelings. This was bad. First the TSBD, and now a missing rifle.
The police then insisted that Ruth and Marina come downtown to make official statements. By that time, Michael appeared at Ruth's door, thinking that she might need support, and he was right -- but the officers wanted him to come downtown as well. Ruth had to quickly find a babysitter for her children as officers hauled several boxes from her garage and house to their cars. Then Michael, Ruth, Marina and baby June went downtown with the police. On the way one policeman asked Ruth, “Are you a Communist?” She replied, “No, and I don’t even need the 5th amendment.” He seemed satisfied with that.
The DPD station hired professor Ilya Mamantov to translate Russian, instead of Ruth. As they waited their turn for interrogation, Michael and Ruth saw LHO’s mother enter. They had never seen her before. Marina and Marguerite Oswald hugged and wept. Grandmother cooed over the new baby, whom she had never seen before. Then LHO’s brother, Robert, entered. Michael and Ruth had never seen him before, either.
After all their depositions, in which Marina provisionally identified LHO’s rifle, the DPD police drove them all back to Ruth's home as a group. (Marina had all of her belongings at Ruth's house.) This was about 9 PM. Michael bought hamburgers for everybody’s supper and then Robert went to a hotel while Marguerite Oswald asked to stay with Marina at her home that night, and Ruth agreed.
After that night, however, the Oswald family with the help of the FBI and Secret Service moved Marina, baby June and baby Rachel into their sole custody. Basically, Ruth never reestablished a relationship with Marina again, despite her many efforts.</ref>
Television and film
- The Assassination & Mrs. Paine (2018)
- Ruth & Marina (2013)
- These were investigations by: the Federal Bureau of Investigation (1963), the Warren Commission (1964), the House Select Committee on Assassinations (1979), and the Dallas Police Department.
- "Chapter 4: The Assassin". Report of the President's Commission on the Assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Washington, D.C.: United States Government Printing Office. 1964. p. 125.
- CE 460, Warren Commission Hearings and Exhibits, volume 17, pg. 179.
- Thomas Mallon, Mrs. Paine's Garage and the Murder of John F. Kennedy. ISBN 0-375-42117-3.
- An Inventory of the Ruth Hyde Paine, Marina Oswald Papers, 1963-1968
- Warren Commission Hearings, vol. 2, p. 385, Testimony of Michael R. Paine.
- Warren Commission Report, Appendix 13, p. 722.
- Warren Commission Hearings, vol. 11, p. 396, Testimony of Ruth Hyde Paine.
- Warren Commission Hearings, volume 9, pp. 190-191, Testimony of George S. de Mohrenschildt.
- Warren Commission Hearings, vols. 2, 3, 9, 11.
- The Warren Report, Chapter 6, p. 284, Investigation of Possible Conspiracy; Background of Lee Harvey Oswald
- Warren Commission Hearings, vol. 3, pp. 7–9, Testimony of Ruth Hyde Paine Resumed.
- The Warren Report, Chapter 1, pp. 14–15, Summary and Conclusions
- KTRK-TV, Suburban home that housed Lee Harvey Oswald being restored. December 22, 2012. Retrieved January 3, 2013.
- Testimony of Wesley Frazier, Warren Commission Hearings, vol. 2, pp. 226-227.
- Magen Knuth, The Long Brown Bag.
- National Archives, Report of the President's Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy Retrieved January 4, 2013.
- Vincent Bugliosi (2007). Reclaiming History: The Assassination of President John F. Kennedy. W. W. Norton. pp. 954–55. ISBN 978-0-393-04525-3. Retrieved 14 September 2013.
- Knuth, Magen. "The Long Brown Bag: Did Lee Harvey Oswald Bring a Rifle Into the Depository Concealed in a Long Paper Bag?". Kennedy Assassination Home Page. John C. McAdams. Retrieved 16 September 2013.
- McAdams, John C. (2011). JFK Assassination Logic: How to Think about Claims of Conspiracy. Potomac Books, Inc. pp. 167–73. ISBN 978-1-59797-489-9. Retrieved 16 September 2013.
- Manchester, William (1967). The Death of a President. Harper & Row. pp. 114–15.
- Gerald Posner. Case Closed: Lee Harvey Oswald and the Assassination of JFK. Anchor Books. pp. 223–24. ISBN 978-1-4000-3462-8.
- Michael L. Kurtz (2006). The JFK assassination debates: lone gunman versus conspiracy. University Press of Kansas. pp. 67–8. ISBN 978-0-7006-1474-5. Retrieved 20 September 2013.
- "I.A.". Report of the Select Committee on Assassinations of the U.S. House of Representatives. Washington, D.C.: United States Government Printing Office. 1979. p. 66.[failed verification]
- Warren Commission Hearings, vol. 23, p. 392–393, CE 1785, Secret Service report dated December 5, 1963, on questioning of Marina Oswald about note Oswald wrote before he attempted to kill General Walker.
- Testimony of Ruth Hyde Paine, Warren Commission Hearings, vol. 9, p. 393–394.
- "Oswald Notes Reported Left Before Walker Was Shot At", Dallas Morning News, December 31, 1963, sec. 1, p. 6.
- Testimony of Marina Oswald Porter, HSCA Hearings, volume 2, pg. 234.
- Report of the Select Committee on Assassinations of the U.S. House of Representatives, Chapter I, Section A 1979, pp. 60-61.
- Douglass,James W. JFK and the Unspeakable. Why he died and why it matters. Maryknoll, NY, Orbis Books, 2008, p. 171-173. ISBN 978-1-57075-755-6
- "Paine Family Connections to the CIA - The Assassination & Mrs. Paine". The Assassination & Mrs. Paine. Retrieved 2018-01-17.
- Nemy, Enid (1998-03-15). "Ruth F. Young, 94, Founded An Academy to Promote Peace". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2018-01-17.
- Srodes, James (2000-07-01). Allen Dulles: Master of Spies. Regnery Publishing. ISBN 9780895262233.
- Jacobsen, Annie (2017-03-28). Phenomena: The Secret History of the U.S. Government's Investigations into Extrasensory Perception and Psychokinesis. Little, Brown. ISBN 9780316349376.
- Fatal Deception: Mrs. Lee Harvey Oswald (1993), Japanese version in 1997, also known later as: Marina's Story
- Marina's Story, releases in five different nations
- Thomas Mallon, Mrs. Paine's Garage and the Murder of John F. Kennedy. ISBN 0-375-42117-3.
- Priscilla Johnson McMillan, Marina and Lee. ISBN 0-06-012953-0.
- James W. Douglass, JFK and the Unspeakable. ISBN 1439193886.