Mother of the Decade

Lee Harvey Oswald's mother clings to her conviction that her son has been wrongly made history's villain. She's building a library for scholars to prove it.
Mother of the Decade
Mrs. Oswald has all 350 books on the assassination, but wants to write her own.
Photograph by Geoff Winningham

Even over 300 miles of transatlantic cable a BBC voice is a BBC voice: calm, assured. “You see we’re doing this anniversary thing on the Assassination. We want you to interview Jackie Onassis, Nellie Connally, Lady Bird Johnson, Marina Oswald, Mrs. Tippett, Judge Sara Hughes, and oh, yes, Lee Harvey Oswald’s mother.” A job is only a job. This would be a career! I became excited. “You mean you want me to fly to the Greek islands and…” “No. Catch her in Central Park if you can. We’ve got our trace service in New York locating the others.”

The weeks passed. Jackie Onassis did not seem to be in Central Park. The trace service could locate no one. Not even Nellie Connally, even though McCalls had just done a big story on her. The voice from the BBC was turning testy. “No one? Listen. You’ve got to find four women. We’re planning this big feature. The Widows of Dealey Plaza. Go to Dallas. See what you come up with, and watch the expenses. we’re flying this photographer out from London to meet you there.” “You’re flying a photographer out from London, and you ask me to watch the expenses? There are photographers in Texas, you know.” The voice from BBC didn’t believe it.

The photographer came down from New York with me in the end. He was plump and like most pro photographers he liked to talk about sex. We rose about LaGuardia in the wet dawn. The photographer announced he wanted to lay the air hostess. And that girl three rows back. And that other one. We flew over Memphis. Nice girls in Memphis, said the photographer. We landed in Dallas. We checked into the Holiday Inn on Elm St. It was 10:30 A.M. The photographer beckoned to the bell boy. “Where can we

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