“Interactive Timeline of the Life of Lee Harvey Oswald” – an Analysis
“Timeline of the Life of Lee Harvey Oswald,” the accused assassin of President John F. Kennedy, by W. Tracy Parnell, is usually the first Internet article to pop up when a student or academic seeks information about the accused assassin of President John F. Kennedy.Oswald. But before quoting from it and trusting it, be aware that this timeline is both incomplete and outdated. The Timeline is sponsored by the same people who try to tell us, for example, that the doctors who treated President Kennedy at Parkland Hospital in Dallas must have been too busy to see if JFK had an injury in the back of his head. They shamelessly try to discredit what these photos of Parkland Doctors and nurses so pointedly prove: that a shot from the front created a hole in the back of Kennedy’s head, meaning Oswald was innocent.
As every medical student knows, a thorough search of the body for important wounds is immediately made for every trauma patient brought into an emergency room, most certainly including the President of the United States The “Timelime” is similarly constructed to blame only Oswald for Kennedy’s murder. This article provides evidence (see below) proving that the “Timeline” as of April 2011 misleads the reader and omits compelling evidence of Oswald’s innocence. In addition, only five sources are used as reference materials. Two are outdated and the other three are famed for promoting only the “Oswald killed Kennedy” position as presented elsewhere on the big website sponsored by John McAdams. Thus, it is our recommendation that the “Interactive Timeline” should not be used as a reliable, quotable resource. Below, we present examples of the prejudice and omissions in the “Timeline” and provide, in bold face, what was left out. Judge for yourself.
12 EXAMPLES OF “TIMELINE” OMISSIONS AND PREJUDICE
Example #1: February 25, 1959: Lee requests a foreign language test in Russian and scores "poor."
The truth: Oswald was tested in Russian by the Department of the Army. An Army expert was brought in by the Warren Commission to analyze Oswald’s military records. The word “request” was not mentioned in any records. It has been inserted to detract from the fact that Oswald was being trained in the Russian language by the military.
“Mr. ELY - All right. Now, moving further down page 7, we have the record of a Russian examination taken by Oswald on February 25, 1959. Could you explain to us what sort of test this was, and what the scores achieved by Oswald mean? Colonel FOLSOM - The test form was Department of the Army, Adjutant General's Office, PRT-157. .. his rating was poor throughout.”1
Skipping many instances of distortions and omissions, we stop at this date next:
Example #2: October 12, 1959: LHO applies for a visa at the Russian consulate. October 14, 1959: The visa is issued.
(The testimony of Allison G. Folsom, Lt. Col., USMG, was taken at 1:15 p.m., on May 1, 1964, at 200 Maryland Avenue NE. Washington, D.C., by Mr. John Hart Ely, member of the staff of the President's Commission.) Concerning the score of “poor,” those Marines willing and able to learn Russian –an extremely difficult language-- were relatively few. Note that “Where the demand is large relative to the supply it will be necessary to lower the minimum qualifying score in order to qualify more men. When this is done, a higher percentage of failures must be expected among those selected.” (Army Personnel Tests and Measurement, Dept. Army Pamphlet 611-2,p. 18) Considerable witness evidence exists as to Oswald’s eventual proficiency in Russian.
Researcher Peter Wronski2 has updated information that proves Lee Oswald signed his application October 13 and that the visa was issued just 24 hours later—a pattern we will see repeated, later, in New Orleans for his new passport:
Oswald's USSR entry visa was issued in twenty-four hours (or less), not fortyeight hours as previously alleged.
Since the beginning, everyone has been questioning the rapidity with which Oswald's visa was issued. It was generally held that Oswald requested his visa on Monday, October 12, the first business day after his arrival in Helsinki. His passport shows that his Soviet entry visa was issued on October 14, a mere forty-eight hours later. Normally, tourist visas took approximately five to seven days to be issued. This unusually rapid issue of Oswald's visa is sometimes cited as evidence of Soviet facilitation of his entry into the USSR. In fact, the situation appears even worse that that: the visa was issued in twenty-four hours or less! Lee Harvey Oswald's 1959 visa application form is still held in Russian archives, but KGB Colonel Oleg Nechiporenko reproduced a photographic copy of it in his 1993 book, Passport to Assassination. In the photo it can be seen that the form is dated and signed by Oswald on October 13, one day later than previously thought. It is unlikely that the Soviet Consular bureaucracy would have allowed Oswald to make a mistake on the dating of the application form. He signed and submitted it on 13 October and within a mere twenty-four hours, the Soviet consulate approved and stamped Oswald's entry visa into his passport.
Updating the information to accuracy would have made Lee Harvey Oswald look like he received special help to get the Visa so quickly.
Example #3: (In the USSR) June 18, 1960: LHO obtains a hunting
license and shortly afterward buys a shotgun.
The entry should say that Oswald joined a hunting club and purchased a shotgun. Would this information make Oswald look more sociable and friendly than the outline writer wants? Not mentioned is Oswald’s inadequate performance with the shotgun: "Oswald was an extremely poor shot and it was necessary for persons who accompanied him on hunts to provide him with game."3
Example #4: June 1, 1962: Lee signs a promissory note for $435.71, and the Oswalds leave for America.
No details of the journey are offered, though it took 13 days. They arrived in Holland early on June 3rd, after a long train ride through most of Europe, and stayed in a nice bed & breakfast in Rotterdam. Researcher Martin Shackelford told the ARRB that Lee Oswald had dealings with someone at the American Express office. And that files existed there that American Express refused to release to the public.4
“…[Warren Commission’s] Liebeler…composed a staff memorandum on March 9, 1964, repeating some of the information obtained from [Russian defector] Nosenko. According to the memorandum, "Oswald was an extremely poor shot and it was necessary for persons who accompanied him on hunts to provide him with game."
Source: “ CD 344, discovered in the National Archives by Harold Weisberg.” 4
There was a drinking fountain with a lion’s head in the hall, and the dining room had beautiful windows and chandeliers (I’ve been there –it has since been sold and the interior changed). Shackelford testified to the ARRB in Dallas,Nov.18,1994.
”AM EX” = American Express; “Maasdam HollAmer” and 92 Meent (Bed & Breakfast) are in Lee’s address book. “DeBooy” may have been a contact.
On June 4, they boarded the (luxurious) SS Maasdam IV from Rotterdam, The Netherlands. The ocean liner was only 10 years old.
June 13, 1962: The Oswalds arrive in Hoboken, NJ. June 14, 1962: They leave by plane for Fort Worth. Return to America In none of the above is any mention made of Lee’s prepared speeches. Lee wrote two question and answer scenarios in case reporters would question him when he returned to the US -- one was pro USSR and the Communist system, and the other was against the USSR and the Communist system. He would not have written two different versions unless he believed someone would tell him which version he should use.5 Example #5: October 12, 1962: He begins work at Jaggars-Chiles-Stovall. October 15, 1962: Lee moves into the YMCA. October 16, 1962: June is baptized without Lee's knowledge. Between October 12 and November 17, the deMohrenschildts are not mentioned again. Why? George deMohrenschildt is widely regarded as having been Lee’s CIA handler in Dallas during this time period. It is the deMohrenschildts who separate Lee and Marina and later help them reunite (see below). DeMohrenschildt, with strong CIA ties, is minimized in this account so that the reader will be unlikely to realize that Lee and George DeMohrenschildt were close friends. November 4, 1962: The Oswalds are reunited at 604 Elsbeth St. in Dallas, where Lee had found an apartment. November 5, 1962: The Oswalds have a violent argument, and Marina and June move in with their friends, the Mellers. November 10, 1962: Marina and June move to the home of the Fords. November 17, 1962: Marina and June spend the day at the home of Mrs. Frank Ray. Lee calls and asks to visit Marina, who agrees to return to him. They return to the Elsbeth St.address that night.
Example #6: January 28, 1962: LHO orders a .38 caliber Smith and Wesson revolver by mail.
Vol. XVII has most of Lee Oswald’s writings, including his “Historic Diary” and material written on SS Maasdam stationery.
Though the author states the above as fact, by no means is it cut-and-dried that Lee Harvey Oswald ordered this revolver. The main problem is that the revolver was sent to an alias name that was NOT listed as a recipient on Lee Harvey Oswald’s P.O. Box.
“A. Hidell” ordered the rifle, but only “Lee H. Oswald” could have picked it up from his P.O. Box. On form (below) where it says “NAMES OF PERSON ENTITLED TO RECEIVE MAIL…” only “Lee H. Oswald” has the privilege.
No record of handing over the revolver to Oswald could be found. We encounter worse problems
when checking on the records provided to prove Oswald also ordered the Italian rifle purportedly used to kill Kennedy. The “Interactive Outline” states, as if undisputed, that Lee Harvey Oswald purchased this mail order weapon when such weapons were easily available in Dallas, with little chance of discovery. Oswald, a former Marine, would have been expected to first inspect any firearm before purchasing it. Both firearms were inferior weapons. March 12, 1963: Ruth Paine visits Marina at the new apartment. Also that day, LHO orders a rifle from Klein's Sporting Goods in Chicago. March 20, 1963: The rifle and the revolver are shipped. March 25, 1963: LHO picks up the weapons.
Example #7: April 10, 1963: Lee (according to evidence discovered later) fires a single shot at General Walker, which misses him.
Once again, the reader is not told important facts. Nobody was blamed for the Walker incident until after Lee Oswald was arrested for the murder of the President. The source was Marina Oswald, who had a baby-in-arms and a toddler and a dead husband, with threats, as we now know, that she would be deported. Isolated, and trotted out to give damning testimonies against Lee, what choice did she have? Even the Warren Commission rejected her later story that Lee also wanted to shoot former Vice President Nixon, who she said was in town at the time (he wasn’t). See Me & Lee: How I Came to Know, Love and Lose Lee Harvey Oswald, for more information about the purpose of the letter that Marina said were instructions related to the Walker shooting attempt.
Example #8: April 14, 1963: Lee retrieves the rifle which he had hidden near the shooting site.
We only have Marina Oswald’s word for this. She also said that he hid the rifle under a raincoat when he took it out, as he had to ride a bus to get the Walker’s house and had to hide the rifle (let’s ignore the fact that the rifle could not be hidden under a raincoat: though Police even confiscated Lee’s flip-flops and ties, no raincoat was ever found). Marina said he cleaned his rifle with pipe cleaners (!) and that he shot at leaves (!) in the public park (!) for target practice. Example #9: April 25, 1963: Lee moves in with his aunt Lillian Murret. The Murrets explained more than once that Lee did not move in with them until later. No mention of Lee’s Uncle, Charle “Dutz”Murret – an associate of Mafia Boss Carlos Marcello. is made. Why?
Example #10: May 9, 1963: With the help of Myrtle Evans, LHO finds work at the Reily Coffee Co. He also finds an apartment.
Both Oswald and Judyth Vary Baker were hired the same day at Reily’s. Earlier in the morning, Evans drove Lee around town until Lee (as she herself states) asked her to stop at 4905 Magazine. He took the apartment there immediately. Later he and Judyth were hired at Reily’s through a prearrangement. Myrtle Evans at no time even suggested that she helped Lee get the job at Reily’s. This misinformation separates Lee Harvey Oswald and Judyth Vary Baker.
Example #11: June 24, 1963: LHO applies for a new passport.
No mention is made of the fact that this so-called “returned defector” received his passport 24 hours later. We have evidence that Charles Thomas, AKA “Arthur Young” of Customs (NY and Miami) was brought to New Orleans to quickly process Oswald’s passport (as well as a handful of others with it to escape detection). Why didn’t the timeline show this remarkable event? Was it because it showed how Oswald got special treatment?
Example #12: July 27, 1963: Lee speaks to the Jesuit group for 30 minutes on the subject of "Contemporary Russia and the Practice of Communism".
Lee himself hand-wrote that he spoke for over an hour, and then had a question-and-answer session. Independent sources agree. Lee’s statements made it clear that he believed the communist way of life was inferior. The (inaccurate) 30-minute “fact” above was taken from McMillan-Johnson’s book Marina and Lee. The book is famed for its glaring inaccuracies. The rest of the “interactive timeline” goes on painting Oswald in the worst possible light in important areas, such as stating without any qualifiers that Lee shot President Kennedy:
12:30 PM: LHO assassinates President John F. Kennedy.
Presented with these boldly stated “facts,” the unwary reader might blindly believe. But after reading this paper, no honest writer should trust a quote from this “interactive timeline” in any scholarly paper. Those who want to conduct research should compile timelines from updated and more accurate sources, such as JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why It Matters, Me & Lee: How I Came to Know, Love and Lose Lee Harvey Oswald, Crossfire: the Plot that Killed Kennedy, and Inside the ARRB. These books contain more trustworthy facts and details that exonerate Oswald as assassin and go far to proclaim his innocence.