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.
A good deal of everything the Oswalds owned was stuffed into Paine's station wagon. The green and brown blanket that Lee Oswald placed in the back of the car set off no alarms in Paine, but inside was the rifle now widely believed to have fired the shot at ex-general Walker.
When the two mothers arrived back in Irving, they stored most of the Oswalds' possessions in Paine's garage.
On Oct. 4, it surprised everyone in the house when Lee Oswald phoned and said he was at the Irving bus station. Investigators would later learn that he'd traveled to Mexico in the intervening weeks to request a visa to travel to Cuba, but was denied.
Oswald joined his wife and daughter at Paine's home. On Oct. 14, a neighbor mentioned to Paine that the Texas School Book Depository had a staff position open. Paine phoned the book warehouse manager to say she had someone in mind for the job. Lee Oswald was hired.
By that time, Paine said, she actively disliked Oswald "but I really hadn't been worried about his mental stability."
As he began at the book warehouse, Oswald didn't have a driver's license or a car, so he rented a room in a boarding house in Dallas. He started a routine of staying there through the work week and hitching a ride to Paine's place in Irving after work Friday.
"He came out most weekends," Paine said.
The period immediately after Oswald started the job was an exceptionally busy one at the Paine household. When Lee Oswald arrived from Dallas on Oct. 18, Paine had baked him a cake for his 24th birthday. Two days later, Marina gave birth to Audrey Marina Rachel Oswald.
Just a month after that, Oswald surprised Paine by appearing at her home. It was a Thursday, and he wasn't due back from Dallas until Friday.
Later that night, after Paine put her children to bed, she went into her garage to paint some blocks. She was mildly surprised to find the garage light on. Given that Marina was occupied with June and the newborn Rachel, she presumed that Lee Oswald had gone in to get something, perhaps an item of winter clothing stored in the garage.
But today, she said, she has been haunted for nearly 50 years by the certainty that Oswald went into her garage to remove the rifle she didn't know was there. The next morning, Friday, Nov. 22, Paine awoke to find no sign of him but for a used, plastic coffee cup in the kitchen sink.
At 12:30 p.m., gunshots struck and mortally wounded President Kennedy as his motorcade passed near the Dallas School Book Depository. At 1:22 p.m., police arrested Lee Harvey Oswald.