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Oswald's wife finds a cryptic note from her husband

  • Ruth Paine stands by the willow tree by her home at the Friends House in Santa Rosa on Thursday, September 5, 2013. Pain had Lee Harvey Oswald's wife and children living at her home in Dallas at the time of John F. Kennedy's assassination. (Conner Jay/The Press Democrat)

Earlier that same night, Walker was seated at his desk in his Dallas home when a bullet pierced a window and passed just above his head. Authorities would determine the rifle slug was deflected upon striking the windowpane.

Many months later, Marina would testify that Lee Oswald looked pale when he arrived home that night. He told her he'd shot at Walker and didn't know if he'd hit him, she said. News accounts the next day reported that police had identified no suspects in the attempted murder.

Ruth Paine said her friend Marina confided nothing to her about Oswald having been the shooter. By that time in the spring of 1963, Paine said, she'd come to resent that Oswald was physically abusive of Marina and he wanted to control and keep her isolated. But, she said, she had no reason to suspect he was a potential killer.

On April 24, two weeks after the attempted shooting of Walker, Paine arrived at the Oswalds' apartment for a visit and found that Lee Oswald was preparing to leave Texas and travel by bus to his hometown of New Orleans. He said he needed to find work and he'd have his wife and daughter meet him there once he did.

Paine spoke up. She offered to have Marina and little June stay with her in Irving until the time came for them to join him in Louisiana. The Oswalds accepted.

Paine said the next few weeks were wonderful for her and Marina and their three children. But the happy period ended with a phone call from New Orleans: Oswald announced he'd found work greasing coffee machines and he wanted Marina and June to come at once.

"I was kind of appalled," Paine said. "He wanted his pregnant wife to take a bus to New Orleans."

So Paine packed her kids and Marina and June in her 1955 Chevrolet station wagon and drove there. After the good-byes in Louisiana, the women kept in touch through letters for about four months.

In September, Paine took Christopher and Lynn on a long road trip to visit family and play tourist. For their last major stop, they went to New Orleans to reconnect with Marina and June.

As the time approached to head back to Texas, Paine floated a proposal. She told Lee Oswald that if Marina returned to Texas with her, Paine could act as a translator and assist Marina when she went into labor. Oswald agreed.


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