After marrying in the Soviet Union in 1961, Marina Oswald Porter became Lee Harvey Oswald’s wife. The young couple relocated to Texas the next year. Marina’s husband shot President John F. Kennedy in 1963, only weeks after they welcomed their second child.
Marina Oswald Porter was at the center of the assassination, which sparked a firestorm. Oswald Porter later questioned if her husband was genuinely guilty, notwithstanding her testimony before Congress.
Marina Oswald remarried and moved to a remote suburb of Dallas, taking the last name of her new husband, Kenneth Porter, after a brief period in the spotlight following the killing of John F. Kennedy. And she’s been there for the past seven decades, hoping she’d never had to go through the horrors of November 22, 1963.
Marina Oswald Porter’s Meeting with Lee Harvey Oswald
Marina Oswald Porter was born Marina Nikolayevna Prusakova in the Soviet Union on July 17, 1941, during the darkest days of World War II. She went to Minsk as a teenager in 1957. She went to school to become a pharmacist. She met Lee Harvey Oswald at a dance a few years later, in March 1961.
Her life would be changed forever as a result of that experience.
Lee Harvey Oswald was a US Marine who defected to the Soviet Union because he was a communist supporter. They hit it off right away and married six weeks later.
Marina gave birth to a daughter called June in February 1962. The young Oswald family returned to the United States four months later, settling in Fort Worth, Texas.
Lee Harvey Oswald’s wife understood he had a dark side early in their relationship.
Oswald told his wife in April 1963 that he had attempted to assassinate Maj. Gen. Edwin Walker, a staunch anti-communist and racial supremacist. Marina Oswald Porter subsequently testified before the House of Representatives, “He said he only tried to shoot General Walker.” “I inquired as to General Walker’s identity. How can you go about claiming someone’s life?”
“Well, what would you say if someone got rid of Hitler at the right time?” Oswald retorted. So how can you stand up on General Walker’s behalf if you don’t know who he is?”
The Oswalds relocated from Fort Worth to New Orleans later that month, before returning to Texas and settling in the Dallas region that fall. Marina gave birth to her second daughter on October 20, 1963. Her spouse assassinated the president five weeks later.
John F. Kennedy’s assassination
Lee Harvey Oswald began to work at the Texas School Book Depository on November 22, 1963. That day, though, was different. He carried a gun to work that day, one he’d stowed at Marina Oswald Porter’s house while he rented a room in a Dallas boarding house to be closer to work.
That afternoon, the presidential convoy was set to travel through the repository. At 12:30 p.m., a burst of gunfire shattered the silence. In his limousine, John F. Kennedy sagged. The car drove off to the hospital as the Secret Service encircled the president.
Witnesses immediately pointed to two locations: the grassy knoll and the library. Three cartridge casings were discovered adjacent to a window on the sixth floor after police investigated the vault. They discovered a rifle nearby.
According to the Warren Commission report, witnesses observed Oswald exit the book depository minutes after the shooting. After a brief detour at his residence, where he picked up a.38 handgun, Oswald escaped. A Dallas police officer approached Oswald less than an hour after the shooting. Fearing for his life, Oswald fired a shot at the officer before fleeing the area.
Oswald then tried to hide in a movie theater, but he was shortly discovered. After a brief scuffle, the police arrived and arrested Oswald.
Early evidence from the assassination of John F. Kennedy pointed to Lee Harvey Oswald. His fingerprints were found on the rifle and near the window on the book boxes. Witnesses spotted Oswald in the book depository both before and after the shooting. Oswald had fake papers that matched the name on the rifle’s registration. The firearm was sent to a P.O. box owned by Oswald, according to post office records.
Oswald was interrogated by police, but he never went to trial because two days later, during a police transfer, Oswald was shot and killed by Jack Ruby.
Lee Harvey Oswald’s wife, Marina Oswald Porter, testified against him.
The FBI swiftly discovered Lee Harvey Oswald’s wife was a Soviet spy. Marina Oswald Porter was interrogated, and she was threatened with deportation if she didn’t speak up.
Oswald Porter revealed what she knew to the authorities, which wasn’t much. Nonetheless, her testimony persuaded the Warren Commission that Oswald was the sole perpetrator.
Marina Oswald Porter, who was just 22 at the time of the assassination, found herself with a toddler and an infant following the killing. The headline in the newspapers after her husband’s assassination read, “Now she’s a widow, too.”
“What is America going to do about it?” one newspaper’s editors wondered. “Are we going to make fun of her and harass her because of what her spouse is accused of?” Or are we going to aid just because there’s a human being in distress who really needs assistance?”
The widow received a flood of donations. She was awarded $70,000 in donations as well as a scholarship at the University of Michigan.
However, Oswald Porter was unable to accept the offer right away. She was questioned by the FBI, the Secret Service, and the Warren Commission. Oswald Porter moved to Michigan in 1965 to enroll in an eight-week English course.
However, the widow was not well received by all. “Send her back to Texas, and if she felt any remorse for what her husband did to Jackie and all of the decent inhabitants of the United States, she would return to Russia (where she belongs),” a furious Michigander commented. “Get her out of Michigan as soon as possible.” In my opinion, she belongs with her hubby. Where is your admiration for President John F. Kennedy?”
In 1965, Lee Harvey Oswald’s wife married Kenneth Porter, a carpenter, and moved to Richardson, Texas.
Marina Oswald Porter isn’t certain that her husband is guilty.
Marina Oswald Porter wrote a book on her marriage to Lee Harvey Oswald in 1977. “My regret has been great throughout the years,” Oswald Porter said in an interview. “What he did to me and my children, to the president and his family, to the entire world, I will never forget or forgive.”
However, Oswald Porter began to have doubts about the official account over time.
In a 1988 interview with Ladies Home Journal, Marina Oswald Porter claimed, “When I was questioned by the Warren Commission, I was a blind cat.” “Their interrogation left me with only one option: guilty.” Lee was found guilty by me. He was never given a chance. That is something that bothers me. My words crushed all of his possibilities. “I beat him with my drums.”
And by the mid-1990s, she was certain he wasn’t the one who had pulled the gun. “I’m not saying Lee is innocent, that he didn’t know about the conspiracy or wasn’t a part of it,” she stated again to Ladies Home Journal, according to Deseret News, “but I am saying he’s not necessarily guilty of murder.” “I believe Lee was assassinated in order for him to keep his mouth quiet.”
According to The Independent, Oswald Porter stated in 1996, “At the time of the killing of this wonderful president whom I loved, I was misled by the ‘evidence’ supplied to me by federal authorities, and I participated in the conviction of Lee Harvey Oswald as the assassin.”
“Based on fresh information, I am now certain that he was an FBI agent and that he did not assassinate President John F. Kennedy.”
The widow of Lee Harvey Oswald asked the authorities to declassify documents relating to the assassination. Marina Oswald Porter never publicly recanted her statement, but her call went unanswered.
- Mailer, Norman (2007). Oswald’s Tale: An American Mystery. Random House. p. 137. ISBN978-1-588-36593-4.
- Chapter 4: The Assassin”. Report of the President’s Commission on the Assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Washington, D.C.: United States Government Printing Office. 1964. pp. 118–119.
- Investigation of the Assassination of President John F. Kennedy: Hearings Before the President’s Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy. U.S. Government Printing Office. 1964.
- Marina Oswald was provided support and housing there by the First Presbyterian Church of Ann Arbor, led by Ernest T. Campbell (“Mrs. Oswald Enrolls Quietly at U of M”. Petoskey News-Review. United Press International. January 5, 1965. p. 2 – via Newspapers.com.)