Prior to publication of Marina and Lee, the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) had been established in the fall of 1976, initiated by the efforts of Congressmen Downing and Gonzalez. Despite some start-up difficulties - including the firing of chief counsel Richard Sprague, who was replaced by Robert Blakey in mid-1977 - the HSCA managed to conduct an intensive investigation of both the assassination of John Kennedy and Martin Luther King leading up to the public testimony of various important witnesses in September, 1978.
One notable skeptic of the whole process undertaken by the House of Representatives was none other than George McMillan (husband of Priscilla Johnson McMillan), who wrote a dissenting editorial in the New York Times in early 1977.(1) Written when the committee had only been given two months to prove that it had "a reason to exist," McMillan suggested that there would be great pressure to "find 'new' facts, produce sensations or die." McMillan anticipated that, in order to avoid premature death, the HSCA was "almost certain to turn to that small army of sectarian scholars, the assassinologists, who have for more than a decade been raising questions about the events in Dallas ... and Memphis faster than the old ones could be answered ... The common characteristic of these questions is that they are negative. Many can never be answered." The remainder of his editorial summarized the arguments supporting the guilt of both Oswald and Ray, along with the comment that in the case of Sirhan Sirhan, "there had been very few rumors" suggesting either his innocence or the possibility of a conspiracy.(2) In conclusion, McMillan described the HSCA's efforts as a "callous investigation" and believed that the nation must learn to accept the "lone assassin" verdicts. Later that month, the New York Times included in its "Letters" section a strong rebuttal from Congressman Gonzalez, taking exception to most of McMillan's remarks.(3)
Public testimony before the HSCA began Sept. 6, 1978, following an opening statement by Congressman Richardson Preyer of North Carolina and the first "chapter" of periodic narration by Robert Blakey, chief counsel to the committee. A cross section of witnesses, political figures and technical experts testified throughout the month including Marina Oswald Porter, who appeared in the public spotlight on Sept. 13 and 14.(4) Unlike in 1964, Mrs. Porter no longer needed a translator.
A large number of questions related to Marina's ongoing association with Priscilla Johnson McMillan, who herself had testified in closed session the previous year. Mrs. Porter began by describing how she first met Miss Johnson after rejecting a written request to coauthor a book, when the writer arrived at her doorstep (despite the fact that Marina was under Secret Service protection and FBI scrutiny.) Through her business manager, James Martin (whom she later fired), Marina had received numerous offers, but until she met Miss Johnson, felt uneasy about the idea of the "shameful position" she was in. She indicated to the committee that she liked Miss Johnson because of "her intelligence," along with "the way she spoke Russian beautifully," and the fact that she had lived in the Soviet Union. She was asked if Miss Johnson had mentioned having worked for the CIA, or if the CIA was ever discussed such as in connection with Lee, but Marina could not recall any reference having been made. Marina also couldn't remember any details about the bus ticket found in 1964 during Miss Johnson's interviews, verifying Oswald's bus trip to Mexico City (which James Hosty later described having looked at while at Dallas police headquarters on Monday, Nov. 25, 1963.)(5)
Mrs. Porter was asked if she and Priscilla were still close friends; she not only answered "yes" but revealed that she had seen Mrs. McMillan as recently as the night before her testimony, certainly suggesting the possibility that Marina had been "coached" in preparation for her testimony. In response to a question dealing with the possibility that her husband worked for "a U.S. Intelligence agency"(6) (not necessarily the CIA), Mrs. Porter again mentioned Mrs. McMillan in attempting to describe her late husband's secretive nature:
"Well, knowing Lee as little as I know of him and the unpredictable steps he would take ... I cannot say anything he might do ... when I was working with Priscilla there was so little I knew of him, I think as secretive as he was I would be surprised if he would take orders or be confiding (to) somebody. I doubt it. I don't know.(7)
After briefly discussing leaflets handed out by Oswald in New Orleans (which had the address of an anti-Castro group on them, associated with Guy Banister, despite the fact that the leaflets encouraged "Fair Play For Cuba"), Mrs. Porter was asked again about the bus ticket and whether she had discussed the subject with Mrs. McMillan the night before. In reply she stated:
"Me and Mrs. McMillan did not discuss what questions the committee might ask, what to say, what not to say. The conversation was very personal."(8)
At this point, Mr. Cornwell of the committee took over from Mr. Wolf, and once again, referred to Mrs. McMillan, wondering if, in their discussions the previous evening, "anything about the committee's work" had been mentioned. According to Marina, she let Mrs. McMillan know that she was "very scared" [of what?] and was asked by Priscilla if she liked her lawyer and to describe him. Another committee member interjected at this point, suggesting that this portion of the testimony not be included in the record. Cornwell resumed his interest in the conversation with Priscilla, wondering if they had discussed "anything about other witnesses who may have appeared before the committee (or) about the subject matter of our inquiry." Once again, Marina replied that "Priscilla never told me what she was asked here and I do not want to know. I do not jeopardize her reputation by even asking questions even though how curious I would be." (Although Marina evidently didn't know the content of Priscilla's earlier testimony, she as least did know that Priscilla had appeared before the committee.)
Cornwell referred back to 1964 when Marina first met Priscilla at which time they agreed to work on a book together, and was asked if she had any "control ... over the final form that the book might take as to the accuracy of it."(9) In response, Marina admitted having confided in Priscilla and then elaborated:
"Well, I trust Priscilla well enough or I would not start the job. The book was not designed to make something entertainment or just to make money. It was a therapeutic thing for me as well as I tried to explain to me or to people somehow-not just me; I just contribute very little to the book. It was up to Priscilla to fish out all the facts and everything and put them together some way ... I gave her the right to use her own judgment because it was her book."
(So much for being a co-author.)
The committee also learned at this point that, although she was given the opportunity to read the manuscript before publication, she did not read it "beforehand," although she indicated having read the finished book "in its entirety." Mrs. Porter felt that the book was accurate in terms of the factual information provided by her, "but some conclusion that she has come to on her own, maybe even analyzing my character, that was up to her to decide..."
Mr. Cornwell continued to dwell on possible differences of opinion between Marina and Priscilla as reflected in the finished product to which Marina replied:
"Well, since the person [Oswald] is dead and I was not a mature person or a qualified psychiatrist [implying that Priscilla was] to analyze the motives for doing so and so ... you are doing a very hard job putting puzzles together. Priscilla did her best and an honest job of trying to put things in some kind of perspective that a normal [ordinary?] person could understand ... I would buy Priscilla's conclusions. From my own personal experience I did not come up with anything different. Priscilla did not have the attitude to condemn or pronounce guilty from the first page, she was just working through the dark as well as I was and everybody else, so I would, in my mind, agree with that conclusion more than the conspiracy theory because I do not know anything about the other matters. I do not know anything about ballistics ... to disprove that Lee didn't do it. I would like that very much but I know so little..." [suggesting that Priscilla knew more than Marina].(10)
In respect to certain opinions expressed by Mrs. McMillan, Marina felt somewhat ill-equipped to comment, feeling that "some things were not very meaningful ...she made some opinions from a psychology point of view. I don't know enough about that to make an opinion."(11) Although the committee member attempted to elicit a point of view distinct from the opinions expressed by Mrs. McMillan in her book, Marina continued to defend Priscilla's position:
"Priscilla was in a position to analyze. Maybe somebody will criticize her for being an immature psychiatrist [such as Choice magazine?], but she tried to draw some kind of picture to compare me being without parents and him being without a father that might motivate us to be married to each other, but those traits of character is not up to me to say is right or wrong. I cannot assume that is correct ... The facts were not twisted to fit somebody's theory [Priscilla's?]. I agree with her because she didn't just take my word for it or my opinion on the matter, she compared them with somebody else's statements which were completely unknown to me and somehow the puzzle fit..."
After briefly discussing Oswald's alleged "intelligence ties" that his mother discussed with the media, Cornwell wondered why the book took "so long to get into print." Marina replied:
Well, it is not an easy book to write about, especially when you try to be so accurate and not just to bluff around because it was lots of research ... it is a hard message to deliver ... you don't try just because you have to write so many pages a day, you have to work hard. Priscilla had personal tragedies in her life which put her [?] in the mood to write. It was just a long process of working at it ... when Mrs. McMillan approached me she was not concerned about money [no mention was made about a very large advance from Harper & Row] ... she told me she wants to do a very honest job to try to explain the things why Lee did it for the American people ... I was refusing to do the book but she said at least that much I owe to people to show a little bit of the inside of the person ... I owe this much to history, I guess."(12)
Cornwell also wondered if it was "a mere coincidence that the book has come out during the time period that our committee has been working on it,"(13) and whether they had "discussed the timing of the publication of the book" or "the fact that this would be a good time to publish it?" Marina felt that the timing was simply a coincidence, and thought it was "completely absurd how people can put two and two together." She compared the effort to an artist painting a picture, and although she was aware of a deadline [of 14 years?), "I don't want to push her, because I want a qualitative job." Marina mentioned that Priscilla had, in fact, been "very apologetic (that) it took so long." (In an interview for Publisher's Weekly prior to the release of her book, Mrs. McMillan was quoted as saying that she originally expected to finish the book "within a couple of years of the assassination," but she found it "hard to write of the lives of Marina and Lee without taking them over into my own life. The book almost did me in...")
In a final reference to Miss Johnson by the House Assassinations Committee, Cornwell again returned to the mysterious bus ticket discovered by Marina back in 1964. Mrs. Porter insisted she had not given any thought to it, and couldn't recall discussing it with Mrs. McMillan, even though the episode was mentioned in the book. At this point, the interview shifted to other topics unrelated to Priscilla.
It would appear from the nature of the questions asked, that the committee knew that the two women had seen each other beforehand, and suspected that Mrs. Porter might have been tutored by Mrs. McMillan, who was fourteen years older than Marina. Undoubtedly, the committee planned to compare Marina's statements in regard to her relationship with Priscilla to Mrs. McMillan's own comments a year earlier to check for any inconsistencies.
As for the timing of the book, Marina and Lee, released during the "in camera" portion of the committee's work, there seemed to be some suspicion that the timing was not a coincidence. However, it should be noted that Priscilla had been subject to growing criticism from several sources beginning with a New Times article written in August, 1975, by Jerry Policoff.(15) In it, he mentioned the Belin book review written by the McMillans, and the fact that George was still working on a biography of James Earl Ray, citing a 1969 New York Times article quoting McMillan's impression of Ray even before he began his research as being a "loner." Mrs. McMillan was also referred to at length, and portrayed as "one of the most vocal and intriguing defenders of the Warren Report," which no longer could be considered a compliment.
In his analysis of the media's coverage of the assassination, Policoff referred to the 1959 interview with Oswald and stated that:
"...she filed no story on her interview [this was not the case], but she did deliver her notes to the American consultant at whose request she had conducted the interview [referring here to either Snyder or McVickar, although her notes were only summarized to McVickar, with a written report provided to the State Department after the assassination.] Following the CIA-engineered defection of Svetlana Allileyeva to the United States, it was Priscilla McMillan who translated her book. An unpublished Warren Commission document includes her name among 'employees of the State Department' who had contacted Oswald in Moscow. On the day of the assassination, she filed a story with the Boston Globe, "The Stuff of Which Fanatics Are Made." This and other articles in Harper's and the Christian Science Monitor published in the weeks and months following the assassination were widely quoted and helped bolster the public image of a hapless fanatic who had murdered the President. Still later, Priscilla became a confidant of Marina Oswald and was designated as her official biographer (like her husband's, the book is unfinished after 11 years). Nor was Priscilla any stranger to the Times. Her Freudian pieces on Oswald had twice graced the Op-Ed page. Four days after the Belin review, she informed Times readers that the reason people cling to conspiracy theories is that Oswald had committed symbolic patricide and since we all unconsciously want to kill our fathers we believe in conspiracy 'as a defense, a screen, a barrier, against having to hold those feelings in ourselves.'"
As a result of this critical and slightly inaccurate description in Policoff's article, the McMillans retained a Boston law firm, demanding a retraction and threatening to sue.(16) According to a letter sent to New Times, Mrs. McMillan insisted she had never been "an undercover government employee" and had not been aware of the Warren Commission document identifying her "as a State Department employee."
However, author Mark Lane, in his 1977 book, Code Name 'Zorro', pointed out that, in fact, he and Mrs. McMillan participated in a panel discussion on May 11, 1975 (prior to Policoff's article) in which he referred to Commission Document #49. After looking at it, Mrs. McMillan' was quoted as saying: "That was a mistake about me and I wouldn't bother to correct that mistake. I worked for the North American Newspaper Alliance and I didn't work for anyone else." No reference, however, was made to The Progressive magazine, which had published two articles by her in 1958 and 1959.
Given the revelations in the New Times article, followed by other negative comments in books on the assassination by Anson, Fensterwald, Canfield and Lane, the pressure was on Priscilla to produce, or her extensive interviews with Marina would certainly be seen as being more for the benefit of the CIA and the State Department than the reading public. Consequently, the eventual publication might have been "timed" more to silence the critics than to counteract suspicions of conspiracy in the assassination of President Kennedy. In addition, two other books dealing with Oswald were also published in 1977 and 1978, namely The Oswald File by Michael Eddowes(18) and Legend(19) by Edward Epstein - both linking Oswald to the KGB.
Of course, Mrs. McMillan must have also anticipated that Marina would be questioned by the HSCA, and reference to her long association with Priscilla would undoubtedly be made. For numerous reasons, therefore, the time was right for her personal account of the Oswalds, but it didn't necessarily give Marina's or Lee's "side of the story."(20)
Despite the conclusion of the House Assassination Committee that John Kennedy was most likely killed as a result of a conspiracy (a conclusion also arrived at in regard to Martin Luther King's death), Priscilla McMillan remained steadfast in her belief that Oswald was a classic lone assassin.(21) Although books such as Conspiracy by Anthony Summers, The Plot to Kill the President by Blakey and Billings, and Best Evidence by David Lifton further supported the overwhelming belief that others were involved in the death of JFK, Mrs. McMillan seemed oblivious to them, as reflected in her 1982 article entitled, "An Assassin's Portrait."(22)
Although her article was principally about John Hinckley, Jr., who had attempted to kill President Reagan in March, 1981, it was also very much about Lee Harvey Oswald, both of whom were described as "an American type: the lone assassin." Reminiscent of her earlier writings, Mrs. McMillan described Hinckley as "the picture of a man, who, lacking a sense of who he is, shops among the artifacts of our culture - books, movies, TV programs, song lyrics, newspaper clippings - to fashion a character. This man, who cannot form friendships or hold a steady job, goes on a murderous rampage like that of a character that he has seen many times in a film ... he becomes one of the bit players of our history."
Mrs. McMillan emphasizes early in the article that Hinckley is, "of the assassins of the last twenty years ... the first to come from the upper-middle class," having grown up, oddly enough, in the Highland Park district of Dallas. He is described as very much a loner, dating back to elementary school, when he first began his interest in playing the guitar and listening to the Beatles. In 1973, his family moved to Colorado, where he attended college, off and on, for the next seven years, although never graduating. He lived off-campus by himself, reading a great deal of racist and right-wing literature, longing to be a songwriter, guitarist and singer, like many other young people of his generation.
Unlike Oswald, who joined the Marines at age seventeen, travelling throughout the Far East while becoming a radar specialist (with possible intelligence training), who studied the Russian language intensely, travelling to the Soviet Union on his own after receiving an honorable discharge, who attained a degree of status in Minsk, living in a comfortable apartment and marrying an attractive and well-educated young lady (whose uncle was in the MVD), who became a father soon after marriage, returning to Texas with his new family, Hinckley merely fantasized. He apparently became obsessed with certain aspects of the Martin Scorcese movie "Taxi Driver" starring Robert DeNiro, seeing it fifteen times, and imagined himself having a relationship with the young actress Jodie Foster, who played a prostitute.
After heading for Los Angeles in 1976 for several months trying to make it in the music business, Hinckley wrote to his parents about a non-existent girlfriend, whom he had split up with, and even threatened to kill himself. Later, in 1980, he expressed his grief at hearing of John Lennon's death, which occurred in December of that year, in a "tipsy monologue which he recorded on New Year's Eve," suggesting he might do something violent to "win Jodie Foster and enter into a death pact with her."
Mrs. McMillan continued her analysis of this disturbed young man whom she described as looking more "like a boy, not like a man of twenty-seven," citing numerous other influences on his psyche, that contributed to shaping "his fantasies (that) had taken hold of his life." Amongst his possessions were a copy of the Shakespearean tragedy, Romeo and Juliet, along with Catcher in the Rye, made infamous by Lennon's assassin, Mark Chapman,(23) and The Boston Strangler. He also had a book about Ted Bundy, one about skyjacking, an article on Presley's death, Daybreak by Joan Baez, two books on Reagan and one on Ted Kennedy.
He also "drew upon a genre of American folklore that did not exist before Nov. 22, 1963: the literature and the cultural detritus of assassination."(24) Ironically, Hinckley had read two books about earlier assassinations while attending Texas Tech: one about Sirhan Sirhan, not identified by Mrs. McMillan, and the other about the Oswalds, Marina and Lee. He also collected guns, apparently equal to the number purchased by the main character in "Taxi Driver," along with a "rifle exactly like the one Oswald used to shoot President Kennedy." [Was that a Mannlicher-Carcano or a Mauser? Only the Dallas police and the FBI know for sure.]
Hinckley's obvious fascination with the subject of assassination was also reflected in articles about Arthur Bremer, along with the published diary that he kept. Apparently Hinckley mimicked Bremer's stalking of Nixon in Ottawa, Ontario, by appearing at a Carter campaign gathering in 1980.
At this point in her study of Hinckley's motivation and inspiration, Mrs. McMillan suggested that "the political assailant whose behavior Hinckley's most resembles is Lee Harvey Oswald," citing amongst his possessions Jesse Curry's book on the assassination of John Kennedy (which certainly did not strongly support the Warren Commission), and again, "my book about Oswald." She seems quite amazed at the "uncanny'' similarities between certain events in the lives of Hinckley and Oswald: both had photos taken of them holding a rifle and pistol; both left written remarks behind; both attempted suicide; both stalked other political figures; both fantasized about becoming President; both suggested hijacking an airplane; both created a fictitious political organization to which they belonged; both shot a president "partially in order to impress a woman"; and each "expected to be acclaimed a hero."
Naturally, Mrs. McMillan avoided discussing some of the events attributed to Oswald in any detail or possible reasons behind them, totally unrelated to assassination. Although she mentioned two photographs taken of Oswald by his wife (there were actually three(25)), Mrs. McMillan failed to recall, as she had in her book, a date and comment ("Hunter for the fascists, ha! ha! ha!") written by Marina on one of them, mailed to the DeMohrenschildts. As mentioned in the Oct. 31, 1977 Newsweek review of her book, Mrs. McMillan had interpreted the date of "5/IV/63" as being May 4, 1963, when it was more likely to have been April 5, 1963, prior to the attempt on General Walker's life. Although Americans use a month/day/year sequence when writing dates in short-form, Europeans (and even Canadians) use a day/month/year sequence. Also, the use of a Roman numeral would undoubtedly be an easy means of distinguishing the month from the day of the month.
In reference to the Walker incident, evidence strongly suggested the involvement of more than one person, with the use of a car to quickly escape, and the bullet recovered could not be matched to Oswald's rifle. As for his diary, Epstein's analysis, of course, was not mentioned, suggesting that the diary was contrived and written under great pressure, long after the events described. Oswald's suicide also looked suspiciously staged, even according to the Soviet's own medical report. The events surrounding Oswald's application for membership in the Fair Play For Cuba Committee again presented evidence of contrivance, especially given the anti-Castro address on the back of leaflets distributed by Oswald. As for Oswald's expressed desire to hijack a plane, it was associated with the murky political activities he appeared to be involved in, again related to Cuba. In respect to Oswald's alleged expectation of being treated like a hero, his response to questions by the media at the Dallas police station gave no hint that he was even involved. In fact, his recorded denials were analyzed some years later by a former CIA employee for the 1975 book, The Assassination Tapes, indicating that Oswald was telling the truth when he stated that he didn't shoot anyone.
Given the fact that Mrs. McMillan recognized Hinckley's preoccupation with other people's lives and his escape from reality, it is surprising that she didn't point out that he was obviously attempting to imitate what he had read about Oswald (regardless of its accuracy), along with many others, such as Mark Chapman, whom she discusses in the closing paragraphs of her "portrait." At one point she links not only Hinckley and Chapman, but compares his envy towards Chapman for having killed John Lennon with James Earl Ray's alleged anger in prison when he heard that someone else had killed John Kennedy. As she dramatically put it, "He coveted Oswald's fame, and resolved that if he ever got out of jail, he would kill Martin Luther King, Jr." (Although she doesn't cite any sources, presumably this little gem came from her husband's book, The Making of an Assassin.)
While Oswald spent the last weekend of his life denying to the Dallas police, the FBI, the Secret Service, the Treasury Department and the media that he was an assassin, Hinckley boasted to one of his psychiatrists, according to Mrs. McMillan, that he would become "a front-page killer"(26) and would "enter the history books." In the case of Oswald, he even denied to his family any knowledge of the events in Dallas, and assured them that he would be proven innocent. Years later, Marina recalled that at the time she thought that the look in her husband's eyes was one of guilt, but now realized that it was one of fear.(27) Clearly, Hinckley showed no such signs.
Consistent with her belief in the "lone assassin," Mrs. McMillan concluded her essay with the expectation of more lone assassins waiting in the wings:
"He had added his bit to the sad and ugly lore out of which he pieced himself together, giving the next assassin, whoever he is, that much more to draw upon. In enacting his unhappy fate, he has revealed to us some of the jagged edges of our time."(28)
Not only are American assassins loners, but, from Mrs. McMillan's perspective, they are also male, regardless of the assassination attempts of Sarah Jane Moore and "Squeaky" Fromme directed at Gerald Ford.
Throughout the 1980s, numerous books were added to the rapidly growing list arguing against the Warren Commission's conclusions, including:
Crime of the Century (1982) by Professor Michael Kurtz;
Contract on America (1988) by David Scheim, originally self-published in 1983;
Reasonable Doubt (1985) by Henry Hurt, who had earlier performed many of the interviews for Edward Epstein's book, Legend;
On the Trail of the Assassins (1988) by Judge Jim Garrison of New Orleans;
Mafia Kingfish (1988) by John Davis, first cousin to Jackie Kennedy (whose previous book on the Kennedy family also covered the assassination at length); and
Crossfire (1989) by Texas journalist and lecturer Jim Marrs.
Mrs. McMillan could seek some comfort from such works as American Assassins: the Darker Side of Politics (1982) by Professor James Clark, as well as Oswald's Game (1983) by Jean Davison, primarily a novelist, who made extensive reference to Marina and Lee.(29) There was also a psychological analysis of various assassins in the December, 1981 edition of Science strongly supportive of Mrs. McMillan's point of view (also cited by Mrs. Davison). And, of course, one cannot ignore the dean of Warren Commission defenders, David Belin, whose second book, Final Disclosure, was also published in 1988.
Television coverage, both in 1983 and 1988 commemorating the 20th and 25th anniversaries of the tragedy, was also extensive, including several documentaries examining the evidence, interviews with various witnesses, rebroadcasts of coverage in Dallas that fateful weekend, dramatizations of events surrounding JFK, computer simulations of Dealey Plaza, and even a "trial" of Lee Harvey Oswald produced in Britain. (Although the producers did their best, using a real Texas judge, residents of Dallas for the jury, two well-known American lawyers and a number of important witnesses, the absence of Oswald himself left a gaping hole in the proceedings, let alone the absence of other important witnesses who were either dead or not invited to participate.)(30)
In 1988, during the week of the 25th anniversary of events in Dallas, CBS News carried a series of short reports on various aspects of the assassination nightly on Dan Rather's evening report. Choosing the topics must have been an extremely difficult task, with so many to select from. Amongst those broadcast was an interview in Washington D.C. with Priscilla Johnson McMillan, standing in a snowfall reminiscent of her days in Moscow, who once again described her encounter with a young, confused but determined American defector, whom she had interviewed in 1959. Her final recollection of their conversation was a comment that Mrs. McMillan had underlined at some point in the notes that she provided to the Warren Commission, which she had failed to mention in either version of her article on Oswald. But consistent with her later reference to the remark in both the April, 1964 Harper's report and in her 1977 book, it was again edited for maximum effect:
But that's Mrs. McMillan's side of the story, not Oswald's.
Go to the November, 1993 UPDATE
1. George McMillan, "Qualms About the House's Assassination Investigation." New York Times, February 5, 1977, p. 19.
2. McMillan, "Qualms About the House's Assassination Investigation." Note: In fact, there were numerous "loose ends" that hadn't been resolved, as pointed out in the Saturday Review article of Feb. 19, 1977, by Allard Lowenstein, "Suppressed Evidence of More Than One Assassin?"
3. New York Times, February 23, 1977, p. 22.
4. House Select Committee on Assassinations, Volume II, page 422. Reference to this source cited hereafter in format: IIHSCA p. 422.
5. In Clarence M. Kelley, Kelley: The Story of an FBI Director, p. 295: "Note" - I wrote to Hosty in regard to his comment in a chapter which he basically put together. In his reply of Dec. 11, 1990, Hosty indicated that "The carbon of the round trip ticket was found with Oswald's things by the police department. The carbon is not the ticket."
6. IIHSCA p. 422.
7. IIHSCA p. 423.
8. IIHSAC p. 424.
9. IIHSCA p. 425.
10. IIHSCA p. 426.
11. IIHSCA p. 427.
12. IIHSCA pp. 427-28.
13. IIHSCA p. 428.
14. "The Making of a Marriage and of an Assassin." Publisher's Weekly, July 11, 1977, pp. 47-8. In a letter from The Third Decade contributor Tim Cwiek (see "The Interview That Never Was?" in Volume 2. #2) dated October 8, 1990, he recalled that he had spoken to Marina "once in the early 1980s. By that time she already sounded quite disillusioned with Priscilla. She was angry that she had to testify before the House Commission (not Priscilla). Marina said she felt like a fool. And she said the book, Marina and Lee, was a big disappointment, appearing much too late to be a big seller..."
I also spoke to Marina several times in the fall of 1987, and at one point she asked me why I was bothering to investigate the case, since "we'll never learn the truth." I was glad to read a year later that she had finally decided to speak up as to how she personally felt about the assassination without the influence of others, possibly including Priscilla McMillan.
15. "The Media and the Murder of John Kennedy." New Times, Aug. 8, 1975, pp. 34-5.
16. "The Media and the Murder of John Kennedy." p. 35.
17. Lane, Code Name "Zorro", pp. 244, 245.
18. Eddowes had originally published a longer book on the same subject entitled, Nov. 22: How They Killed Kennedy (Spearman: London) in 1976 and self-published, Khruschev Killed Kennedy in Dallas later that year.
19. Epstein did not discuss the possibility that an imposter returned posing as Oswald which was the theory supported by Eddowes, but suggested that Oswald had become an agent of the KGB.
20. Although Marina had originally been referred to as co-author of the book, it was quite apparent from her own testimony that Priscilla was the author as reflected in the final product.
21. An article on the same theme was published by Dr. L. Z. Freedman entitled, "The Assassination Syndrome," in the July/August, 1981 edition of Saturday Eveninq Post, in which he struggled to place Oswald in this category. Not surprisingly, Dr. Freedman cited Priscilla's interview with Oswald to support his belief that lone assassins "were acting against a symbol, not a man ... Indeed, most frequently, the President was not hated as a man at all. There is no evidence that Oswald ever criticized President Kennedy, and Priscilla Johnson, who interviewed him while he was living in Russia, found him to be curiously unconcerned and dispassionate about Kennedy..." It seems Dr. Freedman forgot that, in 1959, Kennedy was not the President, and it is very likely that Oswald hadn't even heard of him yet. (Priscilla listed Freedman's 1966 article, "Profile of an Assassin, published in Police in her bibliography. According to the Post, he has also prepared a profile of political assassins for the Secret Service after JFK's assassination.)
22. "An Assassin's Portrait." The New Republic, July 12, 1982, pp. 16-18.
23. See Fenton Bresler, The Murder of John Lennon (New York: General Publishing, 1989) for an improbable scenario linking his death to the CIA.
24. "An Assassin's Portrait." pp. 17, 18.
25. A New Times article by Robert Sam Anson, dated March 19, 1976, after publication of his book, included the third photo and reference to an unnamed member of the Dallas police (Roscoe White), who had somehow obtained the only known copy of it (see reference on p. 27 of article). Ricky White, son of the former Dallas policeman, accused his late father of having participated in the assassination of President Kennedy (see an editorial and Jack White's article on Roscoe White in The Third Decade, Volume 6, #6, September, 1990).
26. "An Assassin's Portrait." p. 18.
27. Ladies Home Journal, Nov. 1988, p. 186.
28. "An Assassin's Portrait." p. 18.
29. In response to a letter criticizing Mrs. Davison for totally ignoring most of the available material emphasizing the possibility of a conspiracy, she replied, in part: "...I regret now that I didn't spend more time on conspiracy theories in Oswald's Game, but I was working against a publishing deadline and my main objective was to present my own view of what happened, not someone else's..." (letter dated Jan. 12, 1987). Typically, Mrs. Davison could not dictate how long she was going to spend on her book, but had to abide by the publisher's expectations (Norton Publishers, NY). For some reason, Mrs. McMillan had no such pressures imposed on her, even though she was no literary giant.
30. I learned from Jean Hill, an important witness, that she was invited to London for the "trial," but never appeared - at least not in the five-hour edited version (the original was 18 hours long.) Marina Oswald Porter was apparently invited but refused to attend.
The Lady in Red
Partial Bibliography of Peter Whitmey
My Brief Correspondence with Aline Mosby
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