Eugenia (Jeanne) Fomenko was born in Harbin, China on 5th May, 1914. Her parents had both been born in Russia and just before she was born her father was director of the Chinese Eastern Railroad. In 1925 he resigned because the company was sold to the Soviet Union.
Eugenia became an architect in Harbin. In 1932 she married Valentin Bogoiavlensky. They later moved to Shanghai where they became a successful dance team. It was during this period that they changed their names to Robert and Jeanne LeGon.
In 1938 they emigrated to the United States. Her father remained in China and according to her testimony before the Warren Commission he was doing secret work for the US government. Jeanne later heard from another family member that her father was killed by the "communists" in 1941.
Jeanne found work with Martins Fashion Apparel Store in Brooklyn. According to her own account: "within 1 year, from modeling, from 25, I became in charge of the showroom, I was selling, I was selecting fabrics, and became a stylist.... the very same firm paid me to design a collection for them." She later worked for Bloom and Eagen, Lombardy Coat Company and Leeds Coats.
In the summer of 1953 Jeanne LeGon moved to Dallas where she was employed by Nardis Sportswear: "It was $20,000 a year, plus two trips to Europe, with expenses paid." In April 1954 she relocated to California where she worked for Style Garments. In 1955 she returned to Dallas and designed dresses for Handmacher Vogel. The following year she met George de Mohrenschildt. When Robert LeGon discovered what was going on, he wrote a letter to the FBI accussing her of being a "communist spy". This resulted in the FBI making inquiries about her political activities.
According to Priscilla Johnson McMillan: "After Jeanne started seeing George de Monhrenschildt, Robert LeGon came twice to Dallas. He is said to have gone after his wife's admirer with a revolver, then hired a private detective. But, like so many others before him, he succumbed to the De Mohrenschildt charm. He declared that he would grant his wife a divorce on one condition - that De Mohrenschildt promise to marry her."
Jeanne continued to get a lot of work designing clothes. In 1956 she worked for Leeds Coats and the following year she was employed by Judy Bond, Nancy Greer and Jack Rothenberg in Dallas.
Jeanne married George de Mohrenschildt in June 1959. The following year, George's only son died of Cystic Fibrosis. George wrote in his autobiography: "I asked my wife Jeanne to give up her successful designing profession and join me on an expedition on foot by the trails of Mexico and all of Central America." After the couple used all their savings in the trip to Mexico and Central America they returned to Dallas. George began writing a book about his experiences and Jeanne found a job in the millinery department of the Sanger-Harris department store.
Jeanne and George de Mohrenschildt attempted to provide support for Russian-born people living in Dallas. Jeanne told the Warren Commission: "There are two types of Russian people there - some that came in after the revolution, and there are some new ones that escaped during the Second World War, from Germany....If anybody heard that there was all of a sudden a new Russian somewhere, there was, naturally, interest in people to know who they are, where they are from, what kind of people they are."
In 1961 George de Mohrenschildt was invited to lunch by J. Walton Moore. According to Edward Jay Epstein, during the meeting Moore told de Mohrenschildt about Lee Harvey Oswald living in Minsk. In October, 1962 De Mohrenschildt met with Oswald in Fort Worth. Over the next few months he took Oswald to anti-Castro meetings in Dallas. De Mohrenschildt later told Epstein that he was asked by Moore to find out about Oswald's time in the Soviet Union. In return he was given help with an oil deal he was negotiating with Papa Doc Duvalier, the Haitian dictator. In March 1963, De Mohrenschildt got the contract from the Haitian government. He had assumed that this was because of the help he had given to the CIA.
In February, 1963 George de Mohrenschildt introduced Marina Oswald and Lee Harvey Oswald to Ruth Paine. On 24th April, 1963, Marina and her daughter went to live with Paine. Oswald rented a room in Dallas but stored some of his possessions in Ruth Paines garage. Ruth also helped Oswald to get a job at the Texas School Book Depository.
On 5th September 1976 George de Mohrenschildt sent a message to George H. W. Bush, who was at that time director of the CIA: "Maybe you will be able to bring a solution to the hopeless situation I find myself in. My wife and I find ourselves surrounded by some vigilantes; our phone bugged; and we are being followed everywhere. Either FBI is involved in this or they do not want to accept my complaints. We are driven to insanity by the situation. I have been behaving like a damn fool ever since my daughter Nadya died from (cystic fibrosis) over three years ago. I tried to write, stupidly and unsuccessfully, about Lee H Oswald and must have angered a lot of people I do not know. But to punish an elderly man like myself and my highly nervous and sick wife is really too much. Could you do something to remove the net around us? This will be my last request for help and I will not annoy you any more."
Two months later George de Mohrenschildt was committed to a mental institution. According to Jeanne he was suffering from depression. He was taken to Parkland Hospital and underwent electroshock therapy.
In February 1977, Willem Oltmans, met him at the library of Bishop College in Dallas, where he taught French. Oltmans later told the House Select Committee on Assassinations: "I couldn't believe my eyes. The man had changed drastically... he was nervous, trembling. It was a scared, a very, very scared person I saw. I was absolutely shocked, because I knew de Mohrenschildt as a man who wins tennis matches, who is always suntanned, who jogs every morning, who is as healthy as a bull."
According to Willem Oltmans, he confessed to being involved in the assassination of John F. Kennedy. "I am responsible. I feel responsible for the behaviour of Lee Harvey Oswald... because I guided him. I instructed him to set it up." Oltmans claimed that de Mohrenschildt had admitted serving as a middleman between Lee Harvey Oswald and H. L. Hunt in an assassination plot involving other Texas oilmen, anti-Castro Cubans, and elements of the FBI and CIA.
Oltmans told the HSCA: "He begged me to take him out of the country because they are after me." On 13th February 1977, Oltmans took de Mohrenschildt to his home in Amsterdam where they worked on his memoirs. Over the next few weeks de Mohrenschildt claimed he knew Jack Ruby and argued that Texas oilmen joined with intelligence operatives to arrange the assassination of John F. Kennedy.
Willem Oltmans arranged for George de Mohrenschildt to meet a Dutch publisher and the head of Dutch national television. The two men then travelled to Brussels. When they arrived, Oltmans mentioned that an old friend of his, a Soviet diplomat, would be joining them a bit later for lunch. De Mohrenschildt said he wanted to take a short walk before lunch. Instead, he fled to a friend's house and after a few days he flew back to the United States. He later accused Oltmans of betraying him. Russ Baker suggests in his book Family of Secrets: "Perhaps, and this would be strictly conjecture, de Mohrenschildt saw what it meant that he, like Oswald, was being placed in the company of Soviets. He was being made out to be a Soviet agent himself. And once that happened, his ultimate fate was clear."
The House Select Committee on Assassinations were informed of George de Mohrenschildt's return to the United States and sent its investigator, Gaeton Fonzi, to find him. Fonzi discovered he was living with his daughter in Palm Beach. However, Fonzi was not the only person looking for de Mohrenschildt. On 15th March 1977 he had a meeting with Edward Jay Epstein that had been arranged by the Reader's Digest magazine. Epstein offered him $4,000 for a four-day interview.
On 27th March, 1977, George de Mohrenschildt arrived at the Breakers Hotel in Palm Beach and spent the day being interviewed by Epstein. According to Epstein, they spent the day talking about his life and career up until the late 1950s.
Two days later Edward Jay Epstein asked him about Lee Harvey Oswald. As he wrote in his diary: "Then, this morning, I asked him about why he, a socialite in Dallas, sought out Oswald, a defector. His explanation, if believed, put the assassination in a new and unnerving context. He said that although he had never been a paid employee of the CIA, he had "on occasion done favors" for CIA connected officials. In turn, they had helped in his business contacts overseas. By way of example, he pointed to the contract for a survey of the Yugoslavian coast awarded to him in 1957. He assumed his "CIA connections" had arranged it for him and he provided them with reports on the Yugoslav officials in whom they had expressed interest."
Edward Jay Epstein and De Mohrenschildt, broke for lunch and decided to meet again at 3 p.m. De Mohrenschildt returned to his room where he found a card from Gaeton Fonzi, an investigator working for the House Select Committee on Assassinations. George De Mohrenschildt's body was found later that day. He had apparently committed suicide by shooting himself in the mouth.
On 11th May, 1978, Jeanne de Mohrenschildt gave an interview to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, where she said that she did not accept that her husband had committed suicide. She also said that she believed Lee Harvey Oswald was an agent of the United States, possibly of the CIA, and that she was convinced he did not kill John F. Kennedy. She then went onto say: "They may get me too, but I'm not afraid... It's about time somebody looked into this thing."
Mr. JENNER. Now, I am going to, in a moment, bring you to the period when you met the Oswalds.
Mrs. De MOHRENSCHILDT. Yes.
Mr. JENNER. But I want you to tell me first, if you will, slowly, the nature of the Russian colony in Dallas at that time. Now, as I understand it, you met the Oswalds in the summer of 1962.
Mrs. De MOHRENSCHILDT. In the late summer.
Mr. JENNER. There was a small Russian colony?
Mrs. De MOHRENSCHILDT. You see, I wouldn't classify it as a colony. There are some odds-and-ends Russian people.
Mr. JENNER. I am using a reference to identify a more or less heterogeneous group of people in Dallas who had a measure of common interests arising out of the fact that either they or their parents had been born or had a relatively immediate contact with Russia.
Mrs. De MOHRENSCHILDT. Well, you see, there are two types of Russian people there - some that came in after the revolution, and there are some new ones that escaped during the Second World War, from Germany....
Mr. JENNER. Now, as people came to Dallas, that is persons with this history, did you people and I don't mean just you alone, but I am talking about the whole group - become interested in them, seek to meet them, become acquainted?
Mrs. De MOHRENSCHILDT. Well, if anybody heard that there was all of a sudden a new Russian somewhere, there was, naturally, interest in people to know who they are, where they are from, what kind of people they are. And, of course, if they were destitute or something - and none of them were really - only Marina was--then we helped them. But there were no organizations, no particular organizations to help or wait for them to come in, because there was no necessity.
Mr. JENNER. Now, were you generally - were you advised normally in advance that somebody new was coming?
Mrs. De MOHRENSCHILDT. No. In fact, they were talking about Marina for months to us. I said, after all, we should really meet that young girl. They were talking for a couple of months.
Mr. JENNER. Who?
Mrs. De MOHRENSCHILDT. Well, we found out about her actually through, I believe, George Bouhe. I think George probably told you the name....
Mr. JENNER. Now, I take it from what you have said, that you were wholly unadvised, you and your husband, that Marina and Lee were coming to the Fort Worth-Dallas area before they came. You knew nothing about it?
Mrs. De MOHRENSCHILDT. Nothing at all.
Mr. JENNER. Now...
Mrs. De MOHRENSCHILDT. I don't even know when they came.
Mr. JENNER. Had you heard anything about them at all, that he had been in Russia?
Mrs. De MOHRENSCHILDT. Before?
Mr. JENNER. Before, and then had married her, and come back, he attempted to defect?
Mrs. De MOHRENSCHILDT. No; nothing at all - in spite that it was in some press somewhere I believe it was printed.
Mr. JENNER. But you didn't see it?
Mrs. De MOHRENSCHILDT. Never saw it. Never had no idea.
Mr. JENNER. Had there been any discussion among you people, any of you - Bouhe, Clark, and Meller, Voshinins, Mamantov, Gravitis, Dymitruk, Raigorodsky -
Mrs. De MOHRENSCHILDT. That is a character - Dymitruk was also imported recently, I think after we were there.
Mr. JENNER. What do you mean imported?
Mrs. De MOHRENSCHILDT. I mean he arrived--I call him imported. He was really a sad sack.
Mr. JENNER. He was the husband of Lydia Dymitruk?
Mrs. De MOHRENSCHILDT. Yes....
Mr. JENNER. You made a comfortable living, and that is about it?
Mrs. De MOHRENSCHILDT. That is it.
Mr. JENNER. But at this particular time, you were not in a position to assist the Oswalds financially in any material sense?
Mrs. De MOHRENSCHILDT. Exactly; none at all.
Mr. JENNER. But you were in a position that you could afford them time?
Mrs. De MOHRENSCHILDT. Yes.
Mr. JENNER. And attention?
Mrs. De MOHRENSCHILDT. Yes. Not them - actually with Marina, because couldn't do much for Oswald--just talk to a couple of people about him, and maybe get him a job. But even the job he had - I don't know who got it - I think it was an agency that got him the job he had.
Mr. JENNER. At Leslie Welding?
Mrs. De MOHRENSCHILDT. I don't know the name of the firm. He worked in a darkroom.
Mr. JENNER. That was later.
Mrs. De MOHRENSCHILDT. I don't even know the name of it.
Mr. JENNER. You are not clear in your mind, I take it, that when you first met the Oswalds; you don't know whether you went to their home or...
Mrs. De MOHRENSCHILDT. I don't remember. I really don't remember. And, believe me, I had enough time to think about it. I was trying to remember every little detail that can be useful. I cannot still remember exactly how it came about - whether they were brought to our house. I don't think we drove and got them for the first time. Maybe we took them back, you know, to Fort Worth. It could be. I don't know.
Of course, they had the baby with them. They always had to bring the baby - couldn't leave the baby with, anyone.
Mr. JENNER. But in due course you did enter their home in Fort Worth?
Mrs. De MOHRENSCHILDT. I never entered their home in Fort Worth. George, I think, did once. George walked in, because Lee was asleep, I think, when we brought Marina - so he maybe walked in the house because he went out to door. I never did. They lived somewhere - there was a tremendous store, Montgomery Ward or something.
Mr. JENNER. Sears?
Mrs. De MOHRENSCHILDT. No; I think it was Montgomery Ward. I don't remember. That is where they lived. It was a miserable-looking house. That what I saw. A wooden building.
Mr. JENNER. You found them to be in destitute circumstances, did you?
Mrs. De MOHRENSCHILDT. Well, I wouldn't say they were completely starving, but they were quite miserable quite, quite miserable, you know. Even if were not destitute, the personality that Lee had would make anybody miserable to live with.
Mr. JENNER. All right. Tell us about Lee Oswald.
Mrs. De MOHRENSCHILDT. What I think of the fellow?
Mr. JENNER. Your impressions of him, what you thought of him.
Mrs. De MOHRENSCHILDT. Disagreeable. He was very, very disagreeable, and disappointed. He is like a puppy dog that everybody kicked. And he was sort of withdrawn within himself. And his greatest objection was that people helped them too much, they were showering things on Marina. Marina had a hundred dresses given. to her. The baby had a crib. My daughter didn't have it when I came to the United States, and I didn't have one-hundredth of what Marina had because I didn't know anybody, and I didn't want to know anybody when I came over. I was in such circumstances. So, anyway, he objected to that lavish help, because Marina was throwing it into his face.
Mr. JENNER. She was?
Mrs. De MOHRENSCHILDT. Absolutely--see people, how nice they are? And she is always telling me the people are nice, giving all these things, and he is insulting them for it. He was offensive with the people. And I can understand why, and maybe I was the only one that understood him, while he was offensive, because that hurt him. He could never give her what the people were showering on her. So that was very difficult for him, no matter how hard he worked--and he worked very hard. He worked overtime, he used to come in at 11 o'clock, she said, at night, and when he come home, he started reading again. So he was not running around. He didn't drink, he didn't smoke. He was just hard working, but a very difficult personality. And usually offensive at people because people had an offensive attitude to him. I don't think he was offensive for that, because of the things we did, he could have killed us.
He (George de Mohrenschildt) had fled Russia when he was still a child, gone to school in France and then, after emigrating to the United States, entered the oil business. He explained that he was now settled in Dallas. Finally, when they reached the swimming pool, he asked if he could show it to his wife. Jeanne de Mohrenschildt, his fourth wife, was an extraordinarily interesting woman. She had been born in Manchuria, the daughter of one of the Russian directors of the Far Eastern Railroad. After dancing through China in a ballet company, she had emigrated to the United States in 1938 and established herself as a dress designer of some note.
An April 1, 1977, the committee received from Jeanne de Mohrenschildt, the widow of George de Mohrenschildt, a photograph of Oswald standing in a yard and holding a rifle in one hand and two newspapers in the other hand. A gun was strapped in a holster on his hip. This photograph, which was similar to other photographs recovered in a search of Oswald's property on November 23, 1963, had never been seen by the Warren Commission or law enforcement official.
On the rear of the photograph was the notation "To my friend George from Lee Oswald," with the date "5/4/63" and another notation "Copyright Geo do M", and an inscription in Russian reading "Hunter of fascists, ha-ha-ha!" a handwriting panel engaged by the committee determined that the writing "To my friend George" and the Oswald signature were the writing of Lee Harvey Oswald. The panel was not able to conclude whether the other writing was written by Lee Harvey Oswald, Marina Oswald, or George de Mohrenschildt.
On April 1, 1977, the committee also received from Jeanne de Mohrenschildt a copy of the manuscript of the book, "I Am A Patsy, I am A Patsy," which George de Mohrenschildt was writing about his relationship with Lee Harvey Oswald at the time of de Mohrenschildt's suicide on March 29, 1977.
Q: There's a thesis that Lee Harvey Oswald was befriended by a wealthy man, George de Mohrenschildt in Texas, who could have had CIA connections and could effectively have been debriefing Oswald without Oswald knowing it. What do you make of that theory?
A: We looked very carefully into the activity of a man named George de Mohrenschildt, a Russian, like Lee Harvey Oswald. He was a sophisticated man, a very articulate man, a world traveler, and George de Mohrenschildt and his wife befriended Oswald and Marina in this country and we explored very carefully whether he could have been a contact, an indirect contact, between the agency and one of its own agents, Lee Harvey Oswald. After a careful study, we were not able to establish that George de Mohrenschildt was connected to the CIA.
Lee called me a few days after our trip to Fort Worth. "Marina and I will come over tonight, if you don't mind," he said.
"Maybe I could drive to Fort Worth and drive you?" I asked.
"No, thank you, we will come by bus," he answered laconically.
And here they were, Marina, Lee and the baby June. We lived at the time in a pleasant area called University Park, a few blocks from the Southern Methodist University, a conservative stronghold. Both my wife and I were fairly free at the time and welcomed our guests, so different from the local society. Jeanne liked Marina immediately and offered to help her with her English. "Yes, I have to know the language," she agreed and then added unexpectedly. "People already asked me why I liked Lee," and her eyes darted about the furniture and decoration of our rather modest home, "and I answer them, why did Lee like Me?" Jeanne liked this humble remark and her sympathy for Marina increased.
In the meantime Lee and I sat on a comfortable sofa and talked all evening. Naturally I do not remember the sequence, although I recorded what I remembered a few years later, but mostly I asked questions and he answered them. Naturally I wanted to know what made him go to the Soviet Union and he answered me by telling me of his youth in New Orleans. Since his childhood he was keenly aware of social and racial injustices. Instead of playing basketball or baseball, like any other red-blooded American youth, he read voraciously. Among the books he read was Marx's "The Capital" which made a deep impression on him. Ironically, he said, he borrowed this book from the Loyola University library.
"What did you like in it?" I remember asking him.
"It made clear to me the intolerable fact of the exploitation of the poor by the rich."
"But," I said, "Lee, you must have seen it all over the world, the weak or the poor are exploited everywhere by the powerful and the rich. Listen to this: two dogs meet on the crosspoint between East and West Berlin. One dog is running away from the capitalism, the other from communism. The capitalist dog asks-'why do you run away!'-'Because I can eat but I cannot bark. Why are you running away? 'If I bark I cannot eat' answered the capitalist dog."
Lee laughed and answered by a joke he heard somewhere in Minsk. "As you knew," he said, "Russians grab all they can from the satellite countries. So one day at the meeting of the communist party in Rumania, one of the workers stood up and said. 'Camrade Secretary, may I ask you 3 questions?'-'Go ahead." I want to know what happened to our wheat, our petroleum and our wine?" 'Well' said the Secretary, "it's a very complex economic question I cannot answer it immediately."
"Well a few months later the workers are holding the same type of a meeting and another comrade raises his hand and says: 'Comrade Secretary may I ask you four questions?' - 'Shoot' says the secretary. 'I want to ask you what happened to our petroleum, wine and wheat and also what happened to the comrade who had asked the three questions some time ago?' - Silence."
We both laughed. "At least here we are not being sent to a concentration camp," I said.
"You are wrong," answered Lee seriously, "most of the prisoners, convicts in American jail are political prisoners, the very victims of the system."
I read similar opinions recently in several liberal books and Lee was way ahead in thought of all of them. This was over fourteen years ago.
I remember concluding this conversation by telling Lee. "If you want to be a revolutionary, you have to be a fool or to have an inspiration. And your actions will be judged by the success or failure of your life."
Lee agreed. What I liked about him was that he was a seeker for justice-that he had highly developed social instincts. And I was disappointed in my own children for lack of such instincts.
Incidentally, I remember some details pretty well because I made notes of them later and also made tapes of my recollections fairly soon after the assassination.
That night Jeanne served a Russian dinner which Marina found delicious but Lee hardly touched. He was ascetic in his habits, was indifferent to foods and didn't like deserts. In the meantime baby June slept quietly in bed all wrapped up. Lee looked tenderly at her. That night we learned a lot about him - he neither drank or smoked and objected if others, especially his wife, did. Since neither my wife nor I smoked and drank very little, he liked it and considered that we were on his side.
When de Mohrenschildt and Oswald finally did meet, in October 1962, they must have seemed an odd pair. De Mohrenschildt was bull-chested and middle-aged-an anti-Communist, White Russian, aristocratic bon vivant. Oswald, by contrast, was skinny, taciturn, allegedly leftist, and twenty-two years old, from a broken lower-middle-class home. His wife, Marina, was the allegedly apolitical niece of a colonel in the Soviet secret police. Yet, despite their differences, the de Mohrenschildts and Oswalds soon became inseparable.
George and Jeanne de Mohrenschildt were constantly in and out of the Oswald household, making introductions and offering help in finding housing, child care, marriage counseling, social introductions, and more. A State Department document relates one such example. "Mrs. de Mohrenschildt took Mrs. Oswald in her car from Fort Worth to Dallas for dental treatment, a week or two after they first met Oswald," it says. "According to Mr. and Mrs. De Mohrenschildt, they were interested in the Oswalds solely in [sic] helping them as unfortunate people." The de Mohrenschildts were devoted to the Oswalds to a truly remarkable extent; never before had they been known to take such an interest in managing the details of other people's lives. And certainly not people as contentious and purportedly "difficult" as the Oswalds. Neither Lee nor Marina was easy to be around-and neither exhibited much gratitude. It certainly appeared a labor of obligation rather than of love.
Then followed one and a half days of testimony for my wife and our Manchesters. They were not "material witnesses" but Jeanne refused cathegorically to leave them in the hotel. If our dogs could have talked, their testimonies would have been more valuable than ours.
As Jeanne and I discussed our experiences as witnesses, many details came to our minds. For instance: "Lee Harvey Oswald must have asked you a question about your political philosophy. What did you say?" Asked Jenner slyly.
"Live and let live," I answered simply. Jenner made some comments on that but generally seemed satisfied.
I said to Jeanne later: "It was an unpleasant experience, but in Russia we would have been sent to Siberia for life." She agreed.
Jeanne's opinion regarding our experiences were somewhat different from mine. I was anxious to clear up my name and return to Haiti. "I considered it a favor of mine to come and help the Committee," she had said. "I was completely relaxed. The counsel was pleasant and reserved. However, instead of asking pertinent questions, for instance 'when did you meet the Oswalds?' and 'how many times you talked to him and Marina and about what?' Instead they asked me: 'where were you born? Who were your parents?' I never suspected that my personal life would be broadcast, although I had nothing to be ashamed of. Still it's my property, my life, the whole report was a washup, a coverup."
Later we shall say whom the Warren Committee tried to cover up, maybe unconsciously.
"I can never forgive the cheek of asking me how many children I had," continued recollecting for fiery wife, "how many jobs I changed, and why, whom I had worked for, how many times I went to Europe on buying trips, how much I earned. I had expected to speak only of Lee and Marina. So I have a grudge and if I could, I would try to make them pay for the harm and insult they done to me. Where is the privacy we are supposed to have here?" Said Jeanne bitterly.
"And so I spoke of my wonderful parents, of my life in China, my arrival in USA. Poverty, hard work, success finally. But I hoped that this would be a country free of prejudice, of racial discrimination. Financial opportunities in USA were not the prime reasons for my coming here. My Faith, or lack of faith, all was polluted by this porno-exhibitionist questioning. Finally we began discussing Lee in a desultory manner," concluded Jeanne.
Naturally our testimonies regarding Lee and Marina coincided. We said the same things in our own ways and we never even bothered to read our own testimonies. Obviously everything we said coincided perfectly. When you said truth, you don't have to remember it, so we did not discuss further details.
We both felt that the minds of the members of the Warren Committee were already made up, they were obsessed with the idea that Lee was the sole assassin. The idea of Cuban refugees with mortal grudge against Kennedy did not interest them. We both were investigated the same way. Any time we said anything favorable to Lee, they passed it up. And Jenner just kept asking questions which were incriminating to Lee...
We discussed also what we had heard from the committee members - most other witnesses were nervous and contradicted themselves, probably intimidated by the awesomeness of the proceedings and the fact that many were not even naturalized citizens. And so some good people spoke very unkindly and untruthfully of Lee just because they were frightened and they wanted to please the Committee...
All the favorable facts we mentioned about Lee were subsequently misinterpreted in the printed edition of the report or not mentioned in it at all.
Both of us we furthermore felt that Jenner was displeased whenever he heard some favorable facts about Lee.
Then we asked ourselves: why did Warren Committee spent all the money bringing us back and forth, keeping us in an expensive hotel, doing all that hellishly expensive investigation around the world about us, even carrying our mutts to Washington and back to Haiti? Why such a waste of the taxpayers' money if they did not want to hear the truth?
We discovered that we both told Jenner independently: "why don't you send good detectives to New Orleans and to Mexico, find who were Lee's contacts at that time and what he was up to at the time of the tragedy. It seems that a Senate Committee is going to do just that now, in the summer of 1976.
We sondered why the Committee paid so much attention to the testimonies of people who had known Lee and Marina in Dallas, long before the assassination or others who had known him long before that? And the answer was - just to fill up the pages and tranquillize the American populace.
Jeanne dispute with Mrs. Hugh Auchincloss, Jacqueline Kennedy's mother in the evening when we finished our deposition. Jeanne asked her: "Why don't you, the relatives of our beloved President, you who so wealthy, why don't you conduct a real investigation as to who was the rat who killed him?"
"But the rat was your friend Lee Harvey Oswald," was the cold answer.
Thus the minds of not only the members of the Committee but of President' family were all made up.
Jenner kept asking me constantly - "why did Oswald like you and didn't like anybody else?" As if there was some homosexual link between us...
"I don't have the slightest idea, maybe because I liked him."
"Maybe he liked you because you were a strong person?" Jenner asked again intimating that maybe I was a "wolf" or a devil influencing him to do evil. "Maybe he identified you as an internationalist?" Intimating again some dark connections I might have.
"Maybe," I answered. "I am no admirer of any particular flag."
"You and your wife were the only ones who remained his friends? Continued Jenner his line of inquiry.
Their question was asked of both of us. And we answered both in about the same terms: "to us they were warm, open, young people, responsive to our hospitality."
Albert Jenner then brought to my attention part of a letter I wrote to Mrs. Auchincloss from Haiti. He used this as my admission of Lee's guilt, and I had explained already under what circumstances this letter was written. "Since we lived in Dallas we had the misfortune to have met Lee Harvey Oswald and his wife Marina. I do hope that Marina and her children (now he has two by Lee) will not suffer too badly through life and that the stigma of the assassination will not affect her and the innocent children."
This was my foolish letter and my speculation, not Jeanne's.
And again, after the impact of this letter read to me, Jenner very cleverly bamboozed me into a possible motive of Lee's guilt. "The only reason for Lee's criminal act," I continued, "would be that he might have been jealous of a young, rich, attractive president who had a beautiful wife and was a world figure. Lee was just the opposite; his wife was bitchy and he was a failure."
Now, away from the pressure of the Committee, I conseder this statement of mine most unfair. It would not have made him a here to have shot a liberal and beloved president, especially beloved by the minorities, and Marina was not such a bitch, while Jacqueline was not so beautiful. Especially she was not beautiful inside when she married that gangster of international shipping Aristotle Onassis...
Isn't better to think, maybe subconsciously, that the assassin was a crazy, semi-literate, ex-Marine, screwed-up, Marxist lunatic, with an undesirable discharge and a poverty-stricken childhood, unsuccessful in his pursuits both in USSR and in USA - and with a record of marriage verging on disastrous. It's better to hold to this belief for them and for the rest of the country rather than to find out that the assassination was a devilishly clever act of revenge caused by the Bay of Pigs disaster.