TESTIMONY OF RUTH PAINE
"What does this man [Lee Harvey Oswald] know that would be of interest to anybody? .... He didn't know anything that the Soviets might be interested in, and I never gave it any thought of the possibility of his being employed by this Government. .... I simply cannot believe that the FBI would find it necessary to employ such a shaky and inadequate person."
-- Ruth Hyde Paine; 1964
31-year-old Ruth Paine was probably closer to Marina Oswald and (to a lesser extent) President Kennedy's assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald, than any other person in the weeks and months leading up to John F. Kennedy's assassination in Dallas on November 22, 1963, with Marina Oswald having lived with Mrs. Paine at Paine's residence in Irving, Texas, during a portion of the year 1963 (including the period in October and November of '63 which immediately preceded the murder of President Kennedy).
Mrs. Paine testified extensively in front of the Warren Commission over the course of several days in March and July of 1964, providing the Commission with a large amount of information pertaining to Paine's relationship with the Oswalds and the events that unfolded before and after JFK's assassination.
I've read through all of the many, many pages of transcript dealing with Ruth Paine's testimony and depositions that appear in the Warren Commission volumes, which, in my own opinion, make for some very intriguing and fascinating reading.
Some JFK conspiracy theorists have pointed an accusing finger of "conspiratorial" guilt at Mrs. Paine (and her husband Michael, from whom Ruth was separated at the time of JFK's death), with those theorists suggesting--without one ounce of supporting evidence or proof to back up such crazy charges--that both Ruth and Michael Paine were somehow involved in some kind of nefarious plot to kill the President and/or were involved in setting up Lee Oswald to take the fall for Kennedy's murder.
I would recommend to anyone who currently believes that Ruth Paine was part of some conspiracy plot to kill the President and blame the murder on Lee Harvey Oswald that they do what I have just done....and that is -- read all of Mrs. Paine's Warren Commission testimony.
And after reading all of those pages of testimony, if anybody can still claim that Ruth Hyde Paine was a "plotter" or a "conspirator" or a "cover-up agent" or something similarly revolting (and unprovable), they should then sit down and READ HER TESTIMONY AGAIN.
Because if you come away feeling as if Ruth still had a hand in the plotting of President Kennedy's death after reading all of her 1964 testimony, then you certainly didn't read the same Ruth Paine testimony that I just read.
Below, I've culled and highlighted several passages from Mrs. Paine's testimony, which are segments from her lengthy Warren Commission sessions that I think are especially noteworthy, humorous, or just plain interesting.
On several occasions throughout her testimony, Mrs. Paine (who is a very smart lady and speaks in a highly intelligent manner, even somewhat "lawyerly" at times) doesn't hesitate to toss in a subtle derogatory "dig" or unfavorable comment aimed at Lee Harvey Oswald. A few examples of such cleverly-subtle remarks (or "shots", I guess you could call them) are included amongst the potpourri of Paine remarks shown below.
I've thrown in a bunch of related articles, photos, and Warren Commission exhibits along the way too, plus some of my own comments as well (prefaced by the initials DVP):
JOHN J. McCLOY -- "Do you solemnly affirm that the evidence you will give in this investigation will be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?"
RUTH HYDE PAINE -- "Yes; I do." ....
ALBERT E. JENNER, JR. -- "You are wife of Michael Ralph Paine?"
MRS. PAINE -- "Yes."
MR. JENNER -- "And you were born September 3, 1932?"
MRS. PAINE -- "Yes."
[DVP -- Mrs. Paine was born in New York City, but was raised primarily in New Jersey and Ohio.]
MR. JENNER -- "You are almost 34 years old."
MRS. PAINE -- "Almost 32. I will be 32 in September."
MR. JENNER -- "Pretty bad arithmetic. .... Now you were married to Mr. Paine December 28, 1957, is that correct?"
MRS. PAINE -- "Yes; I believe so." ....
MR. JENNER -- "You are a Quaker?"
MRS. PAINE -- "I am."
MR. JENNER -- "When did you embrace that faith?"
MRS. PAINE -- "I joined in early 1951 [at the age of 18], I believe." ....
MR. JENNER -- "You have two children?"
MRS. PAINE -- "That is right. .... A girl and a boy. .... Sylvia Lynn...she is now 4. The boy is Christopher--and he is 3."
MR. JENNER -- "Now you became acquainted with Marina Oswald, did you not, in due course in Irving, Texas?"
MRS. PAINE -- "No. I first met her and her husband at a gathering of people in Dallas at the home of Everett Glover." ....
MR. JENNER -- "You met Marina for the first time when?"
MRS. PAINE -- "I judge it was the last of February, towards the end of February of 1963." ....
MR. JENNER -- "Would you please relate the circumstances under which the meeting between yourself and Marina Oswald first occurred in February of 1963."
MRS. PAINE -- "I was invited to come to the home of Everett Glover to meet a few friends of his, and I judge that was on the 22nd of February looking back at my calendar."
MR. JENNER -- "Would you please tell us who Mr. Everett Glover was and how you became acquainted with him. What was the milieu?"
MRS. PAINE -- "I met Mr. Glover at a group gathered to sing madrigals together. These are old English songs where each part has a melody and it was for the enjoyment of reading the music and in harmony, and we often had coffee afterward and would talk." ....
MR. JENNER -- "You have an entry in your calendar as I recall on this subject. There is a question mark."
MRS. PAINE -- "I recall it says "Everett?"" ....
MR. JENNER -- "This will be the Commission Exhibit Number 401. .... It is Mrs. Paine's calendar which she used in part as a diary and part to record prospective appointments." ....
THE JANUARY 1963 & FEBRUARY 1963 CALENDAR PAGES FROM CE401
MR. JENNER -- "And when you arrived [at the Glover home on February 22, 1963], were either of the Oswalds present?"
MRS. PAINE -- "I am not sure I recall accurately. I think they came a little after I arrived. .... I believe they came with the DeMohrenschildts."
MR. JENNER -- "And you were introduced, were you?"
MRS. PAINE -- "Yes, I was introduced."
MR. JENNER -- "By whom?"
MRS. PAINE -- "I don't recall. It was a very informal gathering. Marina was wearing slacks and Mrs. DeMohrenschildt also was. I doubt pains were taken with the introductions."
MR. JENNER -- "What was your overall impression of Marina Oswald?"
MRS. PAINE -- "I had very little impression altogether. I did ask for her address."
MR. JENNER -- "Why did you do that?"
MRS. PAINE -- "And I asked if I could write her. I wanted to go visit her at her home."
MR. JENNER -- "Why?"
MRS. PAINE -- "To talk Russian. She is very hard to find, a person speaking modern Russian, and in fact I know of no other, and this was an opportunity for me to again practice in the language, a rather unusual opportunity, and I was interested in meeting her and getting to know her." ....
MR. McCLOY -- "Did you take any dislike to him [Lee Oswald]?"
MRS. PAINE -- "Not an active dislike, but I didn't like him. I think we can say that."
MR. JENNER -- "And you gathered that impression the evening of February 22?"
MRS. PAINE -- "It is very hard to know whether I gathered it then or in terms told me then after we met. .... I would say it was more formed later."
MR. JENNER -- "Didn't you think that was a little presumptuous on your part to invite a man's wife to come to live with you?"
MRS. PAINE -- "Well, toward Lee it was presumptuous. .... Presumptuous in relation to Lee."
MR. JENNER -- "In relation to Lee?"
MRS. PAINE -- "Indeed it is. Well, I will have to refer again to the letter of April 7 where I said I didn't want to hurt Lee by such an invitation, but that if they were unhappy, if their marital situation was similar to mine, and this is not specifically in the letter, but if he just did not want to live with her, that I would have offered this as an alternative, really to both of them. I didn't want to get into a position of competition with Lee for his wife. I thought about that, and thought he might be very offended."
MR. JENNER -- "It is possible he might very well be."
MRS. PAINE -- "Yes, it is possible he even might have been violent, but I didn't think anything about that."
MR. JENNER -- "Did you have any impression of him up to this moment on this score...as a man of temper? .... Violence?"
MRS. PAINE -- "No. .... I had met him once." ....
MR. JENNER -- "Was anything said that night [4/2/63] about Lee Oswald's work?" ....
MRS. PAINE -- "Well, I asked him how could I reach them if I had to call off a get-together. I had no way of telephoning Marina. If the child got sick how would I tell her I am not coming. So I said could I have his telephone at work in order to reach them through him if I felt it necessary sometime, and he wrote down for me the address and telephone number of the place where he worked. This was on the 2nd of April."
MR. JENNER -- "And that [address book] will be Commission Exhibit 402. .... Is all of that exhibit in your handwriting?"
MRS. PAINE -- "Well, I have just said he [LHO] wrote down Jaggars-Chiles-Stovall."
MR. JENNER -- "There is one entry that is in his handwriting?"
MRS. PAINE -- "That is right."
LEE HARVEY OSWALD'S HANDWRITTEN ENTRY IN CE402
MR. JENNER -- "Now, was the April 2nd occasion the second time that you had seen Lee?"
MRS. PAINE -- "Yes, sir." ....
MR. JENNER -- "When next did you see him?"
MRS. PAINE -- "I next saw him on the 20th of April at a picnic at a park near where they lived on Neely Street." .... He spent most of his time fishing. We saw almost nothing of him and heard virtually nothing from him. I was impressed with his unwillingness to be sociable really in this situation. He came to eat when it was time to, and complained about the food." ....
ALLEN W. DULLES -- "Did you supply the food?"
MRS. PAINE -- "No, Marina had cooked it. He complained about it. He caught a fish, as I recall, and took it home to be cleaned. I hardly know who would clean it." ....
[DVP -- Here's one of those "digs" directed at Mr. Oswald by Mrs. Paine, as Ruth implies that Lee certainly wasn't going to be willing to clean the damn fish, so that task would probably be left up to Marina.]
MR. JENNER -- "Did you have any conversation with him other than some pleasantries?"
MRS. PAINE -- "I don't believe so. I can't even think of the pleasantry."
MR. JENNER -- "You next have an entry on April 24 reading "Lee and Marina". .... Where was that held?"
MRS. PAINE -- "That was to be a visit at the apartment on Neely Street. .... I arrived and found that he was packed to go to New Orleans."
MR. JENNER -- "Was this a surprise to you?"
MRS. PAINE -- "This was a distinct surprise. .... He was fully packed. I was evidently expected. I and my car, because he asked if I could take these bags and duffel bags, suitcases, to the bus station for him. .... Where he would buy a ticket to go to New Orleans. .... He said he had not been able to find work in Dallas, around Dallas, and Marina suggested going to New Orleans, which is where he had been born."
MR. JENNER -- "Up to November 22, 1963, had there ever been any discussion between you and Lee Harvey Oswald or between you and Marina or any discussion in the presence of either of them by anybody, including yourself, about the use of a firearm by Lee Harvey Oswald?"
MRS. PAINE -- "Yes. Marina told me that he had been hunting in the Soviet Union. .... She quoted a proverb to the effect that you go hunting in the Soviet Union and you catch a bottle of vodka, so I judge it was a social occasion more than shooting being the prime object."
MR. McCLOY -- "Did you ever witness any altercations [between Marina and Lee Oswald]?"
MRS. PAINE -- "Indeed; I saw them argue a good deal."
MR. McCLOY -- "Sharp arguments?"
MRS. PAINE -- "Yes."
MR. DULLES -- "But no violence of any kind?"
MRS. PAINE -- "No physical violence."
MR. McCLOY - "Any profanity?"
MRS. PAINE -- "I am not sure I know Russian profanity. He was very curt and told her to shut up quite a great deal. .... Particularly in New Orleans the first time when we went down, when I took her to New Orleans in May, he was very discourteous to her, and they argued most of that weekend. I was very uncomfortable in that situation, and he would tell her to shut up, tell her, "I said it, and that is all the discussion on the subject"."
GERALD R. FORD -- "What were the kinds of discussions that prompted this?"
MRS. PAINE -- "I can't recall that, and I have already had my brain picked trying to. .... I do recall one thing, yes--we arrived with a big load of blackberries that we bought from a vendor along the street...on the way down [to New Orleans], on the road, and ate them, and then, he, one morning, started to make blackberry wine, and she bawled him out for it, what a waste of good blackberries, and she said, "What do you think you are doing? Ruining all this." And he proceeded, and argued about it. ....
"On this occasion she was making the attack in a sense and didn't think he should do it this way, and then, so, under fire and attack, he continued. But then the next day she observed that he had tossed it all out and lost heart after the argument, and decided it wasn't--"
MR. DULLES -- "He tossed out the wine?"
MRS. PAINE -- "He tossed it out; yes."
MR. JENNER -- "You detected, then, irritability as between them. Is that a fair statement?"
MRS. PAINE -- "That is accurate."
MR. JENNER -- "And anger rose to the surface pretty easily?"
MRS. PAINE -- "Very easily."
MR. JENNER -- "The first sentence [of a letter from Ruth Paine to Marina Oswald, dated July 11, 1963] reads, "Dear Marina, if Lee doesn't wish to live with you any more and prefers that you go to the Soviet Union, think about the possibility of living with me." .... Is that the portion of your letter which you say this is the first invitation you made to Marina to come to live with you generally?"
MRS. PAINE -- "This was the first written invitation. .... I had made an informal invitation face-to-face when she was staying the first week in May, but felt, as I made it, that she didn't take this seriously."
MRS. PAINE -- "I knew that he [LHO] had not even a learner's permit to drive. I wasn't interested in his driving on the street with my car until he had such. But on Sunday [October 13, 1963] the parking lot of a neighboring shopping center was empty, and I am quite certain that is where the driving lesson took place. .... Now I recall this also -- and it is significant -- I offered him a lesson and intended to drive him to this area for him to practice. He, however, started the
"He got in and started the car, so that I know he was able to do that and wanted to drive on the street to the parking lot. .... I said, "My father is an insurance man and he would never forgive me"...and insisted that he get a learner's permit before he would drive on the street." ....
MR. JENNER -- "He would be capable of driving an automobile from your home to the parking area in which you were about to give him a lesson. That was your full impression, was it not?"
MRS. PAINE -- "Yes. I should add that, as I am recalling, he did drive a portion of the way, he drove in fact, it is about three blocks, to the parking lot. I was embarrassed to just tell him "No, don't". But I did, in effect, on the way there, when he was on the street, driving on the street in my car, when we got there I said, "Now, I am going to drive back". I didn't want him to. ....
"Also, it became clear to me in that lesson that he was very unskilled in driving. We practiced a number of the things you need to know: to back up, to turn, right angle turn to come to a stop. .... I noticed when we got to the parking lot when he attempted to turn in a right angle he made the usual mistake of a beginner of turning too much and then having to correct it. He was not familiar with the delay of the steering wheel in relation to the wheels. .... It was not power steering. But it has no clutch so that makes it a lot easier to drive." ....
MR. JENNER -- "Describe your automobile, will you please?"
MRS. PAINE -- "It is a 1955 Chevrolet station wagon, green, needing paint, which we bought secondhand. It is in my name. .... I think there were altogether three [driving lessons] with Lee."
HALE BOGGS -- "You never formed any opinion about Lee Oswald as a person?"
MRS. PAINE -- "I formed many, and I would like to make that a special area."
MR. BOGGS -- "Would you just tell me just in a sentence or two...but was your opinion favorable? Was it unfavorable, or what?"
MRS. PAINE -- "I disliked him actively in the spring when I thought he just wanted to get rid of his wife and wasn't caring about her, wasn't concerned whether she would go to the doctor. I then found him much nicer, I thought, when I saw him next in New Orleans in late September.
"And this would be a perfectly good time to admit the rest of the pertinent part of this letter to my mother written October 14, because it shows something that I think should be part of the public record, and I am one of the few people who can give it, that presents Lee Oswald as a human person, a person really rather ordinary, not an ogre that was out to leave his wife, and be harsh and hostile to all that he knew. But in this brief period during the times that he came out on weekends, I saw him as a person who cared for his wife and his child, tried to make himself helpful in my home, tried to make himself welcome, although he really preferred to stay to himself."
MRS. PAINE -- "This was an intervening section where he was the most human that I saw him, and, of course, it has been followed by my anger with him, and all the feeling that most of us have about his act. But it seems to me important, very important, to the record that we face the fact that this man was not only human but a rather ordinary one in many respects, and who appeared ordinary.
"If we think that this was a man such as we might never meet, a great aberration from the normal, someone who would stand out in a crowd as unusual, then we don't know this man, we have no means of recognizing such a person again in advance of a crime such as he committed. The important thing, I feel, and the only protection we have, is to realize how human he was, though he added to it this sudden and great violence beyond-----"
MR. BOGGS -- "You have no doubt about the fact that he assassinated President Kennedy?"
MRS. PAINE -- "I have no present doubt."
MR. BOGGS -- "Do you have any reason to believe he was associated with anyone else in this act or it was part of a conspiracy?"
MRS. PAINE -- "I have no reason to believe he was associated with anyone."
MR. JENNER -- "Did he [LHO] ever have a telephone call at your home mysterious or otherwise?"
MRS. PAINE -- "No. Never."
MR. BOGGS -- "You then would be surprised if he were part of any group?"
MRS. PAINE -- "I would be very surprised. For one thing, I judged, I had to wonder whether this man was a spy or someone dangerous to our nation. He had been to the Soviet Union and he had come back; and he didn't go as a tourist. He went by his own admission intending to become a Soviet citizen and then came back. ....
"Then the FBI came, as I thought they well might, interested in this man who had been to the Soviet Union, and I felt that if he had associations this would be very easy for them to know. I didn't see any, but would tend to point to the possibility of his being a spy or subversive. But I didn't see any such and I felt happy that they were charged with the responsibility of knowing about it."
MR. DULLES -- "Have you any idea as to his motivation in the act...in the assassination?"
MRS. PAINE -- "It is conjecture, of course, but I feel he always felt himself to be a small person -- and he was right. That he wanted to be greater, or noticed; and Marina had said of him he thinks he is so big and fine, and he should take a more realistic view of himself and not be so conceited. And I feel that he acted much more from the emotional pushings within him than from any rational set of ideas, and---"
MR. DULLES -- "Emotional pushings toward aggrandizement you have in mind -- is what you said?"
MRS. PAINE -- "Yes."
MR. JENNER -- "Did you ever give any consideration, Mrs. Paine, to the possibility that Lee Harvey Oswald might have been employed by some agency of the Government of the United States?"
MRS. PAINE -- "I never gave that any consideration. .... None whatsoever. .... It never occurred to me at any time."
MR. JENNER -- "Was the absence of its occurring to you based on your overall judgment of Lee Harvey Oswald and his lack, as you say, of, not a highly intelligent man?"
MRS. PAINE -- "Yes. .... That, and he was not in a position to know anything of use to either Government. .... As regards he might be a Soviet agent, what does this man know that would be of interest to anybody or what could you find out, and you judge he didn't know anything that the Soviets might be interested in, and, as I say, I never gave it any thought of the possibility of his being employed by this Government."
MR. JENNER -- "We have now reached the summer period of 1963, and covered some of it in part. My recollection of your testimony is that you vacationed in the summer of 1963."
MRS. PAINE -- "That is right."
MR. JENNER -- "You visited various members of your family up north?"
MRS. PAINE -- "Yes. .... I saw also friends...in Richmond, Indiana, and then from there I headed directly south to New Orleans."
[DVP -- The above testimony about Mrs. Paine visiting Richmond, Indiana, in the late summer of 1963 really hits home (literally) with this writer, because Richmond just happens to be the small town in eastern Indiana where I was born in 1961.
Perhaps some crackerjack conspiracy theorist can now link me (as a "conspirator") to the Kennedy assassination, by way of Ruth Paine's visit to my hometown just two months (approximately) before the President was killed.
Of course, I wasn't even two years old when Ruth visited with some of her friends in my hometown in September 1963, but that shouldn't eliminate me as having possibly hosted a clandestine meeting with Ruth Paine, from my crib, to talk over plans of the assassination. :)
When I first saw the words "Richmond, Indiana" in Ruth's WC testimony, I was a little bit stunned, due to the somewhat remarkable coincidence of Mrs. Paine, an acquaintance of President Kennedy's assassin, having actually been in the very small town where I was born* only two-plus months prior to JFK's death.
* = When I lived in Richmond (1961-1977), the population was 43,999 (via the 1970 Census). The population has dropped slightly since then.
The topic of Richmond comes up one more time in Mrs. Paine's Warren Commission sessions too, when she talks about "Earlham College", which was located approximately one mile from my house in Richmond:
MR. JENNER -- "In some of the materials I have seen there is mention of a Young Friends meeting or conference at Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana. I think you made some reference to that yesterday, did you not?"
MRS. PAINE -- "There was a conference, a Young Friends Conference at Earlham in 1947. That was the first one I ever attended."
It's quite possible that Mrs. Paine and her immediate family visited Richmond at other times through the years as well, seeing as how Ruth and her brother went to college in Yellow Springs, Ohio, which is only 52 miles from Richmond.
Off-Topic Note Re. Richmond:
Here's a "BTW" notation (since the topic of my hometown has come up) -- April 2008 marked the 40th anniversary of the most newsworthy event to ever occur in the city of Richmond, Indiana:
At 1:47 PM on Saturday, April 6, 1968, just two days after the country was shocked by the murder of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., downtown Richmond, Indiana, was rocked by a series of deadly explosions, sparked by a gas leak underneath Main Street.
41 people were killed and dozens more were injured by the massive explosions, which totally destroyed several city blocks of downtown Richmond.
A "green light" on Main Street very possibly saved this writer's life that April day in 1968. My brothers and I were on Main Street, riding in my father's 1967 Chevrolet Impala, when the tragedy occurred. If it hadn't been for the green traffic lights that were in our favor, my dad's car would have very likely been sitting on "Ground Zero" just as the first explosion occurred on Main Street. (Green became one of my favorite colors as of that day in 1968.)
A new movie about the Richmond explosion, entitled "1:47", premiered at Indiana University East on April 4, 2008.]
MRS. PAINE -- "I was impressed during these two days [in New Orleans] with his [LHO's] willingness to help with the packing. He did virtually all the packing and all the loading of the things into the car. I simply thought that gentlemanly of him at the time. I have wondered since whether he wasn't doing it by preference to having me handle it."
MR. JENNER -- "I was about to ask you your impression in that direction. Did he seem eager to do the packing?"
MRS. PAINE -- "He did, distinctly." ....
MR. JENNER -- "And did you have the feeling it was just a touch out of the ordinary?" ....
MRS. PAINE -- "On reflection now, I think it wasn't simply a gesture of the gentleman."
MR. JENNER -- "But at the time it didn't arouse enough interest on your part to have a question in your mind?"
MRS. PAINE -- "No. I would have expected it of other men, but this was the first I saw him taking that much interest."
[DVP -- The above testimony is kind of interesting, in that it must be kept in mind that the Mannlicher-Carcano rifle that Lee Oswald used when he fired one gunshot at General Edwin Walker in April 1963 (which was the same rifle that LHO would end up using to assassinate JFK in November) was very likely among the possessions that Mr. Oswald was "distinctly eager" to pack up, by himself, while he prepared the bags that Ruth and Marina ultimately took to Irving from New Orleans.
Lee himself, however, was not present at the Paine home in Irving when the rifle package would have been unloaded from Ruth's station wagon. It was either Ruth Paine, Michael Paine, or Marina who must have physically taken the rifle package out of the car in Irving and then placed it inside Paine's garage, where it remained until the morning of November 22, 1963. Some color pictures of Oswald's rifle from the National Archives are available at the Mary Ferrell link below.]
MR. JENNER -- "Have you described for us generally the course of events in the 2 days and 3 nights you were there [in New Orleans in late September 1963]?" ....
MRS. PAINE -- "We left on...Monday morning early, the 23rd, and it seemed to me he was very sorry to see her go. They kissed goodbye and we got in the car and I started down, intending really to go no farther than the first gas station, because I had a soft rear tire and I wasn't going to have a flat with this great pile of goods on top of not only my car but my spare.
"So I went down to the first gas station that was open a couple blocks down, and prepared to buy a tire. Lee, having watched us, walked down to the gas station and talked and visited while I arranged to have the tire changed, bought a new one, and had it changed. I felt he wished or thought he should be offering something toward the cost of the tire. He said, "That sure is going to cost a lot, isn't it?" And I said, "Yes; but car owners have to expect that." This is as close as he came to offering financial help. But it was at least a gesture." ....
MR. JENNER -- "Mrs. Paine, did he [LHO] ever, during all of the period of your acquaintance with the Oswalds, ever offer any reimbursement financially or anything at all to you?"
MRS. PAINE -- "No, he never offered anything to me."
MRS. PAINE -- "He [LHO] was using the typewriter [on November 9, 1963]. I came and put June in her high-chair near him at the table where he was typing, and he moved something over what he was typing from, which aroused my curiosity."
MR. JENNER -- "Why did that arouse your curiosity?"
MRS. PAINE -- "It appeared he didn't want me to see what he was writing or to whom he was writing. I didn't know why he had covered it. .... It did make me curious. Then, later that day, I noticed a scrawling handwriting on a piece of paper on the corner at the top of my secretary desk in the living room. It remained there. Sunday morning I was the first one up. I took a closer look at this, a folded sheet of paper folded at the middle. The first sentence arrested me because I knew it to be false. .... It said, "The FBI is not now interested in my activities". ....
"I then proceeded to read the whole note, wondering, knowing this to be false, wondering why he was saying it. I was irritated to have him writing a falsehood on my typewriter, I may say, too. I felt I had some cause to look at it." ....
MR. JENNER -- "And there were a number of things in that that you thought were untrue."
MRS. PAINE -- "Several things I knew to be untrue. .... I observed it was untrue that the FBI was no longer interested in him. I observed it was untrue that the FBI came---"
MR. JENNER -- "Why did you observe that that was untrue?"
MRS. PAINE -- "Well, the FBI came and they asked me, they said---"
MR. JENNER -- "Had the FBI been making inquiries of you prior to that time?"
MRS. PAINE -- "They had been twice. .... November 1, and they told me the 5th. I made no record of it whatever. ....
"What I was most struck with was what kind of man is this? .... Why is Lee Oswald writing this? What kind of man? .... This was the first indication I had that this man was a good deal queerer than I thought, and it didn't tell me, perhaps it should have but it didn't tell me just what sort of a queer he was. ....
"It is a rather provocative document. It provoked my doubts about this fellow's normalcy more than it provoked thoughts that this was the talk of an agent reporting in. But I wasn't sure. .... I didn't know him to be a violent person, had no thought that he had this trait, possibility in him, absolutely no connection with the President's coming. If I had, hindsight is so much better, I would, certainly have called the FBI's attention to it. Supposing that I had?"
MR. JENNER -- "If the FBI had returned, Mrs. Paine, as you indicated during the course of your meeting with the FBI November 1st, would you have disclosed this document to the FBI?"
MRS. PAINE -- "Oh, I certainly think so. This was not something I was at all comfortable in having even."
LEE HARVEY OSWALD, THE LIAR:
MR. JENNER -- "Now, in the process of removing everything other than the two duffel bags, on the occasion on the 24th of September 1963, when you reached Irving, Texas, did you find or see any long rectangular package?"
MRS. PAINE -- "I recall no such package."
MR. JENNER -- "Did you see any kind of a package wrapped in the blanket?"
MRS. PAINE -- "Not to my recollection." ....
MR. JENNER -- "Of course we all know the blanket to which we are referring. .... I might show it to you at the moment, or at least ask you if it is the blanket. I am exhibiting to the witness Commission Exhibit Number 140. Is this blanket familiar to you?"
MRS. PAINE -- "Yes, it is."
MR. JENNER -- "And give us the best recollection you have when you first saw it."
MRS. PAINE -- "My best recollection is that I saw it on the floor of my garage sometime in late October ." ....
MR. FORD -- "How carefully did you analyze the blanket on the previous occasions?"
MRS. PAINE -- "I stepped over it. I didn't pick it up or look at it closely." ....
MR. JENNER -- "Did you have a lot of debris or articles in the garage?"
MRS. PAINE -- "Indeed, and do yet. Our things and most of the Oswald things were stored there. I have mentioned several pieces of machine tools." ....
MR. JENNER -- "This is a photograph...marked with Commission number 429, and I now exhibit that to Mrs. Paine. Are you familiar with what is depicted in that photograph?"
MRS. PAINE -- "Very."
MR. JENNER -- "Do you know when that photograph was taken?"
MRS. PAINE -- "It was taken about two weeks ago." ....
MR. JENNER -- "And it is your garage?"
MRS. PAINE -- "It is."
MR. JENNER -- "...I would like to have you place an X at the point in that picture that you first saw the package?"
MRS. PAINE -- "Underneath that box."
MR. JENNER -- "All right. You have written an arrow or X next to "on floor" and it is underneath the box that is on the floor."
MR. JENNER -- "When you returned [from grocery shopping on October 4, 1963], was Lee at your home?"
MRS. PAINE -- "He was already there, which surprised me greatly."
MR. JENNER -- "Why did it surprise you?"
MRS. PAINE -- "Because I thought he would have to take a public bus to Irving, they run very rarely if at all during the afternoon, and I thought he would have considerable difficulty getting out. I thought it would be at least supper time before he got there. .... He then said that he had hitchhiked out, caught a ride with someone who brought him straight to the door, a Negro man...to whom he said that he had been away from his wife and child and he was just now getting home, and the man kindly brought him directly to the door."
MR. JENNER -- "Now, there came an occasion, did there not, that weekend or the following weekend at which there was a discussion at least by you with some neighbors with respect to efforts to obtain employment for Lee Harvey Oswald?"
MRS. PAINE -- "As best I can reconstruct it, this was while having coffee at my immediate neighbors, Mrs. Ed Roberts, and also present was Mrs. Bill Randle, and Lee had said over the weekend that he had gotten the last of the unemployment compensation checks that were due him, and that it had been smaller than the others had been, and disappointing in its smallness and he looked very discouraged when he went to look for work. ....
"And the subject of his looking for work and that he hadn't found work for a week came up while we were having coffee, the four young mothers at Mrs. Roberts' house, and Mrs. Randle mentioned that her younger brother, Wesley Frazier, thought they needed another person at the Texas School Book Depository where Wesley worked. Marina then asked me, after we had gone home, asked me if I would call...the School Book Depository to see if indeed there was the possibility of an opening, and at her request, I did telephone. ....
"I looked up the number in the book, and dialed it, was told I would need to speak to Mr. Truly, who was at the warehouse. The phone was taken to Mr. Truly, and I talked with him and said...I know of a young man whose wife was staying in my house, the wife was expecting a child, they already had a little girl and he had been out of work for a while and was very interested in getting any employment and his name, and was there a possibility of an opening there, and Mr. Truly said he didn't know whether he had an opening, that the young man should apply himself in person."
MR. JENNER -- "Which made sense."
MRS. PAINE -- "Made very good sense for a personnel man to say."
MR. JENNER -- "Did you make more than one call to this Texas School Book Depository?"
MRS. PAINE -- "No." ....
MR. JENNER -- "What was the date of this call?"
MRS. PAINE -- "Reconstructing it, I believe it was October 14."
LEE HARVEY OSWALD'S BOOK DEPOSITORY WORK APPLICATION
WAS LEE OSWALD "PLACED" IN THE TSBD BY PLOTTERS?
MRS. PAINE -- "I informed him [LHO] in the morning that he had a baby girl. He was already asleep when I got back--no, that is not right. He was not asleep when I got back from the hospital, but he had gone to bed, and I stayed up and waited to call the hospital to hear what word there was. So, that I knew after he was already asleep that he had a baby girl. I told him in the morning before he went to work. ....
"He went to bed; I stayed up and waited until what I considered a proper time and then called the hospital to hear what news there was...and learned that he had a baby girl. I then went to bed and told him in the morning."
MR. JENNER -- "You did not awaken him then?"
MRS. PAINE -- "I did not awaken him. I thought about it and I decided if he was not interested in being awake I would tell him in the morning."
[DVP -- The above comments by Ruth strike me as quite humorous (and kind of sad at the same time). Lee Oswald, who knows his wife is going to have a baby any minute, doesn't seem to care about the impending birth of his child in the slightest degree -- he decides to go to bed, while Ruth waits up to find out if Marina gave birth or not and what her condition is. Unbelievable.
While her husband Lee went to sleep in Irving, Marina gave birth to Audrey Marina Rachel Oswald at 10:41 PM, Sunday night, October 20, 1963. Rachel's place of birth was, ironically, Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas -- the same hospital where President John F. Kennedy would die 33 days later after having been shot in the back of the head by Rachel's father.]
MR. JENNER -- "I would like to have you restate, if you now will, in your own words, what occurred [during a November 18, 1963, phone call made to Lee Oswald's Beckley Avenue roominghouse, where LHO was registered under the alias "O.H. Lee"]? You dialed the telephone, someone answered, a male voice?"
MRS. PAINE -- "Yes."
MR. JENNER -- "What did he say and what did you say?"
MRS. PAINE -- "I said, "Is Lee Oswald there?" He said, "There is no Lee Oswald living here." As best as I can recall. This is the substance of what he said. I said, "Is this a rooming house?" He said "Yes." I said, "Is this WH 3-8993?" And he said "Yes." I thanked him and hung up." ....
MR. DULLES -- "You are quite sure you used the first name "Lee," did you? You did not say just "Mr. Oswald," or something of that kind?"
MRS. PAINE -- "I would not say "Mr. Oswald". It is contrary to Quaker practice, and I don't normally do it that way."
MR. JENNER -- "Contrary to Quaker practice?"
MRS. PAINE -- "They seldom use "Mister"."
MR. JENNER -- "Let's proceed with the 21st [of November 1963]. Did anything occur on the 21st with respect to Lee Harvey Oswald, that is a Thursday?"
MRS. PAINE -- "I arrived home from grocery shopping around 5:30, and he was on the front lawn. I was surprised to see him."
MR. JENNER -- "You had no advance notice?"
MRS. PAINE -- "I had no advance notice, and he had never before come without asking whether he could." ....
MR. JENNER -- "Did you walk over to speak with him?"
MRS. PAINE -- "Yes...I greeted him. .... As we were walking in the house, and he must have preceded, because Marina and I spoke in private to one another, she apologized...for his having come without permission, and I said that was all right. .... I recall exchanging our opinion that this was a way of making up the quarrel, or as close as he could come to an apology for the fight on the telephone, that his coming related to that, rather than anything else."
MR. JENNER -- "That was her reaction to his showing up uninvited and unexpectedly on that particular afternoon, was it?"
MRS. PAINE -- "Well, it was rather my own, too." ....
MR. JENNER -- "What did you do that evening? Did you have occasion to note what he did?"
MRS. PAINE -- "We had dinner as usual, and then I sort of bathed my children, putting them to bed and reading them a story, which put me in one part of the house. When that was done, I realized he had already gone to bed, this being now about 9 o'clock. I went out to the garage to paint some children's blocks, and worked in the garage for half an hour or so. I noticed when I went out that the light was on...in the garage."
MR. JENNER -- "Was this unusual?"
MRS. PAINE -- "Oh, it was unusual for it to be on, yes. I realized that I felt Lee, since Marina had also been busy with her children, had gone out to the garage, perhaps worked out there or gotten something. Most of their clothing was still out there, all of their winter things. They were getting things out from time to time, warmer things for the cold weather, so it was not at all remarkable that he went to the garage; but I thought it careless of him to have left the light on. I finished my work and then turned off the light and left the garage." ....
MR. JENNER -- "You stated that he was in the garage. How did you know he was in the garage?"
MR. McCLOY -- "She didn't state that."
MRS. PAINE -- "I didn't state it absolutely. I guessed it was he rather than she. She was busy with the children and the light had been on, and I know I didn't leave the light on."
MR. JENNER -- "Then, I would ask you directly, did you see him in the garage at any time from the time you first saw him on the lawn until he retired for the night?"
MRS. PAINE -- "No."
MR. DULLES -- "Was there any evidence of any quarreling or any harsh words between Lee Harvey and Marina that evening, that you know of?"
MRS. PAINE -- "No."
MR. JENNER -- "Was there a coolness between them?" ....
MRS. PAINE -- "I didn't notice any such coolness. Rather, they seemed warm, like a couple making up a small spat. I should interject one thing here, too, that I recall as I entered the house and Lee had just come in, I said to him, "Our President is coming to town." And he said, "Ah, yes," and walked on into the kitchen, which was a common reply from him on anything. I was just excited about this happening, and there was his response. Nothing more was said about it." ....
[DVP -- During her testimony the next day (on March 20, 1964), Mrs. Paine offered up a slightly-different version of Lee Oswald's response after having heard Ruth say "Our President is coming to town". That March 20th version is shown below....]
MRS. PAINE -- "He said "Uh, yeah" and brushed on by me, walked on past."
MR. JENNER -- "Did he have an attitude of indifference?"
MRS. PAINE -- "It was clearly both indifference and not wanting to go on and talk, because he moved away from me on into the kitchen."
MR. JENNER -- "You awakened when in the morning [on Friday, November 22, 1963]?"
MRS. PAINE -- "At 7:30."
MR. JENNER -- "And when you awakened, immediately after you awakened, what did you do?"
MRS. PAINE -- "When I awoke I felt the house was extremely quiet, and the thought occurred to me that Lee might have overslept. I wondered if he had gotten up in time to get off around 7 o'clock, because I knew he had to go to meet Wesley Frazier to catch his ride. I looked about and found a plastic coffee cup in the sink that had clearly been used and judged he had had a cup of coffee and left." ....
MR. JENNER -- "Do you have a recollection of the garage area? Was the door to the garage, the entrance to the garage from the kitchen, closed or open?"
MRS. PAINE -- "It was closed. Would it help if I tried to narrate what happened?"
MR. JENNER -- "Yes."
MR. McCLOY -- "Go ahead and narrate."
MRS. PAINE -- "I fixed breakfast for myself and my children, turned on the television set to hear President Kennedy speak in Fort Worth, and had breakfast there. I left the house about 9 with my little girl and boy, because she had a dentist appointment, the little girl. I left the television set on, feeling that Marina might not think to turn it on, but I knew that she would be interested to see President Kennedy.
"I then was gone until nearly noon, 11:30 or so, both to the dentist and on some errands following that, came back and there was coverage of the fact of the motorcade in Dallas, but there was no television cameras showing it, as you know. And Marina thanked me for having left the television set on.
"She said she woke up in kind of a bad mood, but she had seen the arrival of President Kennedy and Mrs. Kennedy at the airport in Dallas, and had been thrilled with this occasion and with the greeting he had received, and it had lifted her spirits.
"Very shortly after this time, I had only just begun to prepare the lunch, the announcement was made that the President had been shot, and I translated this to Marina. She had not caught it from the television statement. And I was crying as I did the translation. And then we sat down and waited at the television set, no longer interested in the preparing of lunch, and waited to hear further word.
"I got out some candles and lit them, and my little girl also lighted a candle, and Marina said to me, "Is that a way of praying?", and I said "Yes, it is, just my own way." And it was well over an hour before we heard definitely that the President was dead."
MR. JENNER -- "How did that come to your attention?"
MRS. PAINE -- "It was announced on the television. .... It was announced on the television that the shot which was supposed to have killed the President was fired from the Texas School Book Depository Building on Elm."
MR. JENNER -- "Did you communicate that to her [Marina Oswald]?"
MRS. PAINE -- "Marina at this time was in the yard hanging some clothes. I recall going out to her and telling her this."
MR. JENNER -- "What did she say?"
MRS. PAINE -- "I don't believe she said anything. .... I don't recall anything at all that she said. .... And I believe I also said I didn't know there was a building on Elm."
JOHN SHERMAN COOPER -- "Why did you go out to tell her this fact?"
MRS. PAINE -- "I felt this was terribly close, somebody working in that building had been there. I thought Lee might be able to say somewhat about what happened, had been close to the event. This was my thought, that we would know somebody who would be able to give or possibly give a first-hand [account?]."
MR. COOPER -- "Did you have any thought at all that Lee Oswald might have been the man who fired the shot?"
MRS. PAINE -- "Absolutely none; no."
MR. JENNER -- "Why was that, Mrs. Paine?"
MRS. PAINE -- "I had never thought of him as a violent man. He had never said anything against President Kennedy, nor anything about President Kennedy. I had no idea that he had a gun. There was nothing that I had seen about him that indicated a man with that kind of grudge or hostility. ....
"I do recall then next sitting on the sofa when the announcement was definitely made that the President was dead. And she said to me, "What a terrible thing this was for Mrs. Kennedy and for the two children." I remember her words were, "Now the two children will have to grow up without the father. ....
"Then it was shortly after that that the bell rang and I went to the door and met some six officers from the sheriff's office and police station."
MR. JENNER -- "Had there been any conversation between you and Lee Oswald, or between you and Marina, or any conversation taking place in your presence prior to this occasion, in which the subject of curtain rods was mentioned?"
MRS. PAINE -- "No, there was no such conversation."
MR. JENNER -- "Was the subject of curtain rods--had that ever been mentioned during all of these weekends that Lee Oswald had come to your home, commencing, I think you said, with his first return on October 4, 1963?"
MRS. PAINE -- "It had not been mentioned."
MR. JENNER -- "Never by anybody?"
MRS. PAINE -- "By anybody."
RUTH PAINE'S CURTAIN RODS
ABOUT THOSE "CURTAIN RODS" OF LEE HARVEY OSWALD'S
MR. JENNER -- "How many police officers were there?"
MRS. PAINE -- "There were six altogether, and they were busy in various parts of the house. The officer asked me in the garage did Lee Oswald have any weapons or guns? I said no, and translated the question to Marina, and she said yes, that she had seen a portion of it...she indicated the blanket roll on the floor very close to where I was standing. As she told me about it, I stepped onto the blanket
"And she indicated to me that she had peered into this roll and saw a portion of what she took to be a gun she knew her husband to have, a rifle. And I then translated this to the officers that she knew that her husband had a gun that he had stored in here. .... I then stepped off of it and the officer picked it up in the middle and it bent so."
MRS. PAINE -- "Just close to the time of retiring [on the night of 11/22/63], Marina told me that just the night before Lee had said to her he hoped they could get an apartment together again soon. As she said this, I felt she was hurt and confused, wondering how he could have said such a thing which indicated wanting to be together with her when he must have already been planning something that would inevitably cause separation. I asked her did she think that Lee had killed the President and she said, "I don't know." And I felt that this was not something to talk about really anyway. But my curiosity overcame my politeness."
MRS. PAINE -- "In the afternoon [of 11/23/63] I was the only one there and I felt I had better get some grocery shopping done so as to be prepared for a long stay home just answering the doorbell and telling what I could to the people who wanted to know. I was just preparing to go to the grocery store when several officers arrived again from the Dallas Police Office and asked if they could search...and held up their warrant and I said, yes, they could search. They said they were looking for something specific and I said, "I want to go to the grocery store, I'll just go and you go ahead and do your searching."
"I then went to the grocery store and when I came back they had finished and left, locking my door which necessitated my getting out my key, I don't normally lock my door when I go shopping. .... Then about 3:30 or 4 I got a telephone call. .... I recognized the voice, but I don't recall what he said? .... The voice said: "This is Lee." .... I said, "Well, Hi." And he said he wanted to ask me to call Mr. John Abt in New York for him after 6 p.m. He gave me a telephone number of an office in New York and a residence in New York. .... He thanked me for my concern. ....
"I was quite stunned that he called at all or that he thought he could ask anything of me. Appalled, really."
MR. McCLOY -- "This is not a court of law. We are trying to get at the facts. Anything that you can contribute before you complete your testimony which would help us to get the facts we would like to receive, whether it be in the form of hunches or anything that you have, and you must not, I suggest that you don't, assume that merely because we haven't examined you on a particular fact that if there is anything that you do have in mind that you advance it and volunteer it for the benefit of the further security of the country."
MRS. PAINE -- "I have tried very hard to think of the things that I thought would be useful to you, especially as we had so little time in advance of testifying to help me recall in thinking about it."
[DVP -- The above comments made by Warren Commissioner John McCloy should, in my view, make any conspiracy theorist pause for a moment or two before advancing the notion (as CTers consistently want to do) that the Warren Commission was created to merely "cover up" the real truth about the assassination of John Kennedy.
Worth a replay:
"We are trying to get at the facts. Anything that you can contribute before you complete your testimony which would help us to get the facts we would like to receive." -- John J. McCloy]
MRS. PAINE -- "To Mr. [Lonny] Hudkins [of the Houston Post] I said many things, which I hoped would convince him that he had no story, that his information was very shaky, that Oswald was not in my view a person that would have been hired by the FBI or by Russia.
"I said to him "You are the other side of the coin from a Mr. Guy Richards of the New York Journal-American, who is certain that Oswald was a paid spy for the Soviet Union, and just as inaccurate," and coming to, in my opinion, and of course I made it clear this was my opinion, to conclusions just as wrong."
MR. JENNER -- "That is, it was your opinion that Lee Oswald was neither a Russian agent nor an agent of any agency of the United States?"
MRS. PAINE -- "That is right. I said, indeed, to Mr. Hudkins, I had said to Mr. Richards, that if the so-called great Soviet conspiracy has to rest for its help upon such inadequate people as Lee Oswald, there is no hope of their achieving their aims. I said I simply cannot believe that the FBI would find it necessary to employ such a shaky and inadequate person."
MR. JENNER -- "And is that still your view?"
MRS. PAINE -- "Indeed it is."
[DVP -- Bravo, Ruth! I love this woman's common sense! I'm going to name my next child "Ruth" (hopefully it'll be a girl). ;)
Another comment worth repeating:
"I said I simply cannot believe that the FBI would find it necessary to employ such a shaky and inadequate person." -- Ruth Hyde Paine]
MR. JENNER -- "Was he [Lee Oswald] in the habit on these weekends of making himself a sandwich which he would take with him?"
MRS. PAINE -- "No, there is no such habit. Perhaps once Marina prepared something for him to take with him, I think more for him to put in his room, partly for lunch, partly for him to have at his room in town and use the refrigerator."
MR. JENNER -- "But in any event, on the morning of the 22nd you saw no evidence of there having been an attempt by anybody to prepare...sandwiches for lunch or to take anything else in the way of food from your home?"
MRS. PAINE -- "I saw no evidence, and I saw nothing that was missing."
[DVP -- Here's some rather strange testimony from Mrs. Paine, in my opinion. "Strange" from a "Why would Ruth do this?" standpoint. I'm sure a few conspiracy theorists could easily find something to sink their "plot"-hungry teeth into here without trying too hard:]
MR. JENNER -- "Have you now concluded the list of newspapers, periodicals, or magazines to which he [LHO] was a subscriber?"
MRS. PAINE -- "I believe so. I might say that my awareness of his subscribing to these last two, the Militant and the Worker, came after the assassination. There was mail awaiting for him for that weekend which he did not pick up on the 21st, and after the assassination, indeed, after Saturday evening, the 23rd, when it was announced on television that they had a photograph of Lee Oswald holding two papers. I looked at this pile of mail waiting for him which consisted of these two newspapers, the Militant and the Worker, and I threw them away."
MR. JENNER -- "You threw them away?"
MRS. PAINE -- "Without opening them."
MR. JENNER -- "Why did you throw them away?"
MRS. PAINE -- "I was pleased to throw away anything I could. I just didn't want it."
MR. JENNER -- "Well, my question or query, and I think expression of surprise, is activated by what I am about to ask you as to whether you might call that to the attention of the FBI?"
MRS. PAINE -- "Oh, I am sure they knew."
MR. JENNER -- "How are you sure they knew?"
MRS. PAINE -- "Because mail stopped coming on the spot. Nothing came after the assassination, I was certain it was still coming to some place."
MR. JENNER -- "But this was almost instantaneously after you heard a broadcast that a photograph of him had been found in which he had been holding up the Militant. But you immediately went to see if he had that mail and there was a copy of the Militant, and you threw it away?"
MRS. PAINE -- "Why not?"
MR. JENNER -- "Well, it occurred to me you might have called the FBI's attention to the fact that it had come to the house. But you didn't in any event?"
MRS. PAINE -- "No, I didn't."
[A little later....]
MRS. PAINE -- "He [LHO] lived in Dallas, but he used my house...as a residence, mailing address. Never asked to and I never complained, but I noticed, of course, that he was using it as a mailing address."
MR. JENNER -- "Was there any discussion at any time, Mrs. Paine, in your home or otherwise, with Marina or with Lee, as to the appearance of his rooming house? Curtains? Flooring? What it was like?"
MRS. PAINE -- "The only thing I recall is that he described it as more comfortable than the seven-dollar room he had occupied, told me the cost of it, said that he could watch television and had privileges to use the refrigerator."
[DVP -- I find it a bit humorous that Lee Oswald considered his $8-a-week lodgings at 1026 North Beckley Avenue in the Dallas suburb of Oak Cliff to be "more comfortable" than his previous accommodations at the home of 67-year-old Mary E. Bledsoe of 621 North Marsalis in Dallas (which is where Oswald rented a room between the dates of October 7 and October 14 of 1963).
It's hard to imagine a room being much LESS comfy than this closet-sized one on Beckley that Oswald used in October and November of '63:
But, perhaps Lee's "more comfortable" comment that he made to Ruth Paine was meant to convey the level of comfort of the WHOLE roominghouse on Beckley (including the kitchen and living quarters, etc.), and not just Lee's cramped bedroom, which, as evidenced by the above photograph (which is a picture that was taken on the afternoon of JFK's assassination), doesn't even look big enough to "swing a cat", as the old saying goes. ;)]
MR. JENNER -- "You are acquainted with Dr. Froelich Rainey?"
MRS. PAINE -- "I am." ....
MR. JENNER -- "You are acquainted with his wife, Penelope?"
MRS. PAINE -- "I am. .... Her home is not far from the residence where I was staying [while on vacation in the summer of 1963] in Paoli. It is suburban Philadelphia. ....
"I recall one important thing in what I said to Mrs. Rainey that I never said in conversation to anyone else -- that I was worried about offending Lee, that if offended, or if he felt I was talking his wife or not doing what he wanted in the situation, that he might be angry with me, and that I didn't want to subject myself or my children to possible harm from him.
"She is the only person to whom I mentioned my thought that he might possibly be a person who could cause harm, and there was a very--not a strong thought in my thinking at all, but should be registered as having at least occurred to me, that he could be angry to the point of violence in relation to me."
MRS. PAINE -- "I said I did not see how he [LHO] could have taken the gun from the garage without my knowing it. There were two weekends particularly in question which had been reported in the Press that someone had seen him at a firing range, one being the weekend of the 9th and 10th [of November], and I was home virtually all of that weekend, except Monday the 11th as I have already described. The other being the following weekend, and I didn't see how he could have the weekend he was not out at my house.
"I didn't see how he could have come out, taken the gun, gone away without my knowledge, and if the gun had not been in that garage that weekend, I didn't see what the purpose of his coming out the 21st of November was in the situation. And this is what I told Mr. Tackett of the Fort Worth Press. ....
"Let me say, in making such a statement to the Press, I was not implying that I didn't think Oswald had taken a gun from my house on the morning of the 22nd." ....
MR. COOPER -- "Were you referring to two weekends when he left your house in saying that he couldn't take the gun or were you including also the morning of the 22nd?"
MRS. PAINE -- "I was definitely not including the morning of the 22nd."
MR. COOPER -- "What made you willing to have this man, you have said, this very curious man, from all you have described about him, to have him in your house?"
MRS. PAINE -- "He was Marina's husband and I like her, and I, as I have described, was both lonely and interested in learning the Russian language. I would have been happy had he never come out -- indeed happier had he not come out on the weekends. But they were not separated as a married couple, nor contemplating such separation, and I didn't feel that it was appropriate for him to have to stay away."
MR. COOPER -- "Is there anything about him [Lee Harvey Oswald] now...which seems consistent with the fact...that you believe he did shoot...President Kennedy?"
MRS. PAINE -- "Well, what has led me to the conclusion that he did shoot President Kennedy is the massive circumstantial evidence that surrounds his relationship or where he was, what he had at the time of the assassination."
MR. COOPER -- "Have you been paid or promised any monetary consideration for any article that you might write or you might assist someone else in writing about your experiences connected with the Oswalds?"
MRS. PAINE -- "The complete answer to that would be that I received a $300 advance from Look magazine for helping in the writing of that article, which will not appear; and that I have been told I will receive $500 from Red Book magazine for helping Miss [Jessamyn] West in writing that, and if you want, I will tell you what I think about what I want to do with this money. .... I plan to give it away...to charity."
MR. JENNER -- "You have referred to a Look magazine article in the preparation of which you have assisted. .... You have examined Commission Exhibit 460. Is that the Look article to which you have made reference in your testimony here this afternoon?"
MRS. PAINE -- "Yes."
MR. JENNER -- "And that article, however, is not one to be published?"
MRS. PAINE -- "That is right." ....
MR. JENNER -- "The text and statements that are made in there had your approval?"
MRS. PAINE -- "Yes. They are, of course, not all of my words."
MR. JENNER -- "Of course, not. The article was written by?"
MRS. PAINE -- "By George Harris, who is a senior editor on Look magazine, and he wrote it from typed copy he had directly as he had taken it from my telling."
MR. JENNER -- "So it is, to use somewhat of a vernacular, it is ghost written?"
MRS. PAINE -- "It is ghost written, but most of it is my words."
[DVP -- The unpublished "Look" article referred to above (CE460) is very interesting too. The 18-page article--entitled simply "Oswald"--can be read in its entirety HERE.]
MR. JENNER -- "Mrs. Paine, are you now or have you ever been a member of the Communist Party?"
MRS. PAINE -- "I am not now and have never been a member of the Communist Party." .... If I may say here, I am offended by the portion of the Communist doctrine that thinks violence is necessary to achieve its aims. I am likewise offended by the doctrine that any means to what is considered a good end is legitimate. I, on the contrary, feel that there is no justification at any time for deception, and the Communists, as I have observed their activity, have no reluctance to deceive -- and this offends me seriously. .... Their espousal of violence repels me."
MR. JENNER -- "Would you tell us of your feelings toward Marina? You liked her? That is what I am getting at."
MRS. PAINE -- "Yes, I like her very much. I felt always that what I wanted to say and what I was able to understand of what she said was hampered by my poor Russian. It improved a good deal while with her, and we did have very personal talks about our respective marriages.
"But I felt this was just a developing friendship, not one in full bloom by any means. I respected what I saw in her -- her pride, her wish to be independent, her habit of hard work, and expecting to work, her devotion to her children--first to June and then to both of the little girls--and the concentration of her attention upon this job of mother, and of raising these children.
"I also respected her willingness and effort to get on with Lee, and to try to make the best of what apparently was not a particularly good marriage, but yet she had made that commitment and she expected to do her best for it."
MRS. PAINE -- "I also recalled something I will put in here that occurred as we were watching the television set after it was announced that the President was shot. I said, "and it happened in our city; I am going to move back east." And she knew, of course, not only because of this statement, but because of the many things I have done which I have reported at that time that I was terribly grieved at Kennedy's death.
"And I wondered if she wouldn't possibly feel that I couldn't forgive her for simply being the wife of the accused assassin. So that I wanted to somehow convey to her that I didn't hold her guilty or carry any animosity toward her. And in the situation, I just didn't know how to convey this. What I did was to write her letters talking about normal things, but requesting a reply, and I didn't get a reply."
MR. JENNER -- "Mrs. Paine, you have read a number of newspaper articles and also various magazine articles dealing with the tragedy of November 22, 1963, and the Oswalds, and even of yourself. Do you have an overall reaction of any kind to those articles and newspaper stories, particularly with respect to their accuracy, you knowing what you do as to what the actual facts were and are?"
MRS. PAINE -- "There are several things I might say in reply to that. First, I have thought about someday teaching a course in high school on the subject of newspaper and magazine accuracy, using this particular story of the assassination of President Kennedy as source material.
"I have been impressed with both the inaccuracy of things I have read and my inability to judge inaccuracy when...the story does not refer to things I personally know about. On the whole, my feeling has been that the press has been pretty accurate in reporting what I have said. I have by no means seen all of what was reported of what I said.
"I might say in this connection, but in a slightly different department, that you will see a large stack of newspapers on a table in my house when you come. They represent the newspapers I have not yet---"
MR. JENNER -- "Perused?"
MRS. PAINE -- "More than that--not yet found courage enough to read. They are the newspapers of late November and of December. And while I have tried to read them, I usually end crying, and so I have not gotten very far. I might say, just to be perfectly clear, that my problem is my grief over the death of the President. That is what brings me to tears--much more than my own personal touch with the story--although this just makes more poignant my grief."
MR. JENNER -- "Mrs. Paine, if you had become aware prior to November 22 of the fact, if it be a fact, that there was a rifle in the blanket-wrapped package on the floor of your garage, what do you think now you would have done?"
MRS. PAINE -- "I can say certainly I would not have wanted it there. And that my pacifist feelings would have entered into my consideration of the subject. I cannot say certainly what I would have done, of course. And, as I have described myself and my beliefs, I like to consider the situation that I am in and react according to that situation, rather than to have doctrine or rigid belief. I can certainly say this -- I would have asked that it be entirely out of reach of children or out of sight of children."
MR. JENNER -- "Well, when the FBI agent interviewed you on November 1, had you known of the existence of the rifle on the floor of the garage, what is your present thought as to what you might have done with respect to advising the FBI of its existence?"
MRS. PAINE -- "I would seriously doubt that I would have considered it of significance to the FBI. I know that a great many people in Texas go deer hunting. As one of the FBI agents said to me after the assassination, he surmised that every other house in the street had a rifle, a deer rifle. I would have simply considered this was offensive to me, but of no consequence or interest to them."
MR. JENNER -- "You see what I am getting at. Would the existence of your knowledge of the rifle on the floor of your garage, connected with Lee Oswald's history as you knew it up to that point, and some of the suspicions that you voiced in your testimony with respect to Lee Oswald, have led you to be apprehensive out of the ordinary as to the existence of that rifle on the floor of your garage?"
MRS. PAINE -- "I don't believe I would have assumed that this rifle was for any other purpose than deer hunting."
MRS. PAINE -- "You have not yet asked me if I had seen anything of a note purported to be written by Lee at the time of the attempt on [General Edwin] Walker. And I might just recount for you that, if it is of any importance."
MR. JENNER -- "Yes, I wish you would. .... Tell me all you know about it--all you knew about it up to and including November 22."
MRS. PAINE -- "I knew absolutely nothing about it up to and including November 22. .... I was shown a portion of a note by two Secret Service men...perhaps a week [after the assassination]. I had sent Marina one of these small collections of letters, such as I have described, that includes notes to her and donations, and left such with the Irving police, and on one occasion left also a couple of books which were hers. ....
"I believe it was probably the next day I got a call from the Secret Service saying something important had come up in this case, could they come out and see me. I said yes, of course. They arrived -- Mr. Gopadze of the Secret Service, who was acting as translator, and I think the other man's name was Patterson, and he spoke English only.
"Mr. Gopadze showed me a piece of paper with writing on it, a small piece of paper such as might come from a telephone note pad. He asked me not to read it through carefully, but simply to look at it enough to tell whether I could identify the handwriting and whether I had ever seen it before. I said I could not identify the handwriting.
"I observed that it was written in Russian, that the second word was a transliteration from the English word--that it said "This key"--using the word "key" rather than the Russian word--and went on to say it was for a post office box. And that is as far as I read. And Mr. Gopadze indicated that it was his impression that I had sent this note to Marina. And this surprised me. And I said---"
MR. JENNER -- "That is a masterpiece of understatement, isn't it?"
MRS. PAINE -- "Yes, it certainly is. It astounded me. I said that--I repeated that I had not seen it and did not know how I might possibly have sent this to Marina Oswald. I asked if he thought the note was current, and he did not say. We went on for some time with Mr. Gopadze--this in Russian--saying that "Mrs. Paine, it would be well for you to be absolutely frank and tell us exactly what happened", and my saying in turn to Mr. Gopadze, "I am; what more can I do than what I have said?"
"And finally we went over to English and included Mr. Patterson in the conversation, and he volunteered this note had been in a book. Then I realized what must have happened is that I did send Marina Oswald a book, and described my having sent this to the Irving police and the Secret Service. And that seemed to clear up the mystery for all of us. And they left.
"Then I don't recall whether this first reference to General Walker having been shot at was before or after this incident, but I am certain I made no connection between the two. It was not until it was reported by the Houston Chronicle that there was a note written by Lee Oswald at the time of the attempt on Walker's life, and they also reported some of the content of that note and included a reference to a post office box, that I made a connection to the note that had been shown me by Mr. Gopadze.
"I bring this up because I was irritated by Mr. John Thorne's statement to me that he thought that I was probably the one to have given the Houston Chronicle information about this note. I was sufficiently irritated that I called the Houston Chronicle and spoke to the executive editor, asked if he could tell me who had given them this information. He said no, he could not. I said that I was curious, because someone had thought that I had. He said we can certainly tell anyone that you did not. But I don't think Mr. Thorne was interested enough to have made such a call himself."
[DVP -- The testimony that appears below was taken at Ruth Paine's house at 2515 West Fifth Street in Irving, Texas, on the evening of March 23, 1964. Secret Service Agent John J. Howlett was also present to assist WC Counsel member Albert Jenner during the taking of this portion of Mrs. Paine's deposition. Howlett's main function at the Paine home seemed to be to measure the size of the rooms and to take other measurements of just about everything imaginable.] .....
MR. JENNER -- "Did you do anything else that evening [11/22/63] in the garage?"
MRS. PAINE -- "Yes. .... I lacquered two large box blocks."
MR. JENNER -- "Would you obtain, if you can, from the box of blocks which I notice now in your living room, the two blocks you lacquered?"
MRS. PAINE -- "This is one."
MR. JENNER -- "You say you lacquered two boxes or two blocks?"
MRS. PAINE -- "It's the same thing, yes."
MR. JENNER -- "Mrs. Paine has produced still another thing, and I take it, Mrs. Paine, that you meant two boxes?"
MRS. PAINE -- "I considered them blocks, but they do have the shape of a box. They are what I call a large hollow block."
MR. JENNER -- "They in turn are processed in building to be solid blocks?"
MRS. PAINE -- "That's all right. I describe them as--they are sets--anything a child wishes to make it into--for play." ....
MR. JENNER -- "John Joe [Howlett], will you measure that which Mrs. Paine describes as a block and which I describe as a box?"
SECRET SERVICE AGENT JOHN JOE HOWLETT -- "It is 1/4-inch wide by 2 feet long."
MR. JENNER -- "How deep?"
MR. HOWLETT -- "It is 7-1/2 inches deep, with 1/2 inch press plywood on the bottom, makes it a total height of 8 inches."
MR. JENNER -- "John Joe, is that which Mrs. Paine calls a block and I call a box, rectangular--it has a bottom, or at least it has a plate on one side and it is open on the top of it--the opposite side--is that not correct?"
MR. HOWLETT -- "It is open on the top, yes. It is closed on the five sides and open on the top."
MR. JENNER -- "Mrs. Paine, just so we don't have any confusion in the record, is my description of this as being a box a fair description?"
MRS. PAINE -- "I will adopt it for our usage, for usage here."
MR. JENNER -- "You are setting apart your sensitivity about blocks here?"
MRS. PAINE -- "That's quite all right--I will call it a box."
MR. JENNER -- "And those two boxes or containers, you lacquered these that evening [11/22/63]?"
MRS. PAINE -- "That evening."
MR. JENNER -- "How long did that take you?"
MRS. PAINE -- "About half an hour."
[DVP -- While reading the above excruciatingly-detailed testimony regarding children's "blocks" or "boxes", I kept thinking to myself: Why is any of this "block"/"box" testimony needed in order to help find out who shot President Kennedy?
About the only reason I can think of to explain why the Commission needed to know the exact dimensions of the children's blocks that Mrs. Paine lacquered in her garage on the evening of November 22, 1963, is that the Commission was possibly interested in determining the exact amount of time it would have taken Mrs. Paine to lacquer two of those large blocks in her garage that evening.
But even without knowing the precise dimensions of the blocks that Ruth lacquered, Mrs. Paine testified (more than once) that she was in the garage for "about half-an-hour" on the night of November 22nd.
There are many other occasions during Ruth Paine's lengthy Warren Commission sessions (and during the testimony of other witnesses as well) when a lot of questions revolving around seemingly-unimportant matters surface in the WC record. Which, IMO, just tends to further illustrate the fact that the Warren Commission and its associated lawyers and counsel members were trying to cover any and all bases (even the seemingly-meaningless ones) when it came to questioning the various witnesses who appeared before the Commission in 1964.
I think conspiracy theorists would be wise to ask themselves the following question -- Would an organization like the Warren Commission have desired to go into such massive detail with many of the witnesses it questioned if the Commission had been on a "Cover-Up" mission from the get-go, as many conspiracy theorists seem to believe?
In other words, the level of detail and thoroughness that can be found within the 888-page Warren Commission Report (and its supplementary 26 volumes of exhibits and witness testimony) is such that it certainly does not bode well for conspiracists who want to believe that Earl Warren's Commission was merely one great-big "whitewash job" -- especially with respect to the MANY times when witnesses were asked OPEN-ENDED questions during their testimony or depositions (such as: "Is there anything else you would like to add that would aid the Commission in any way?", which is the type of open-ended question that was asked of many witnesses during the WC's investigation).
It's some food for WC thought anyway.]
[DVP -- And here we have some additional deeply-detailed data and info being revealed by way of Albert Jenner's "in Ruth's house" WC session with Mrs. Paine -- this segment of testimony dealing with the precise wattage of the light bulb that was left burning in Paine's garage on the night of 11/21/63:]
MR. JENNER -- "What was the first thing that arrested your attention when you opened the door, if anything?"
MRS. PAINE -- "I was arrested by the fact that the light was on."
MR. JENNER -- "The light where?"
MRS. PAINE -- "In the garage."
MR. JENNER -- "The overhead light?"
MRS. PAINE -- "Yes."
MR. JENNER -- "That headlight is approximately in the center of the ceiling of the garage, is it not?"
MRS. PAINE -- "Yes, I believe it is." ....
MR. JENNER -- "That bulb that's in there now, Mrs. Paine, was that bulb in place on the night in question?"
MRS. PAINE -- "Yes, I believe so."
MR. JENNER -- "And the ceiling fixture is unshaded, is it not?"
MRS. PAINE -- "That's right."
MR. JENNER -- "So, that, the bulb itself is bright and glaring?"
MRS. PAINE -- "That's right."
MR. JENNER -- "John Joe, would you take a look at that bulb and see what watt it is?"
MR. HOWLETT -- "It is a 100-watt bulb, I just looked at it."
MR. JENNER -- "And it is quite bright, is it not?"
MR. HOWLETT -- "Yes, sir; especially with the white reflection off of the white walls."
MR. JENNER -- "Oh, yes; this garage is painted white, is it not?"
MRS. PAINE -- "Yes."
MR. JENNER -- "The garage door is a medium shade of grey, and when I say "garage door" I mean the overhead door, which is now in place, the inside facing, which I see from this doorway?"
MRS. PAINE -- "Yes."
MR. JENNER -- "You noticed that the light was on?"
MRS. PAINE -- "Yes."
MR. JENNER -- "Why was that something that drew your attention?"
MRS. PAINE -- "I knew that I had not left it on."
MR. JENNER -- "Had you had any habit in that respect?"
MRS. PAINE -- "It's my habit to turn the light off."
MR. JENNER -- "And frugality, if not appearance, had dictated you in that direction, had it?"
MRS. PAINE -- "Yes, more appearance than frugality."
MR. JENNER -- "Now, Mrs. Paine, one of the things we said we might see is a package that was in your garage containing curtain rods."
MRS. PAINE -- "Yes--as you recall."
MR. JENNER -- "You said you would leave that package in precisely the place wherever it was last week when you were in Washington, D.C., and have you touched it since you came home?"
MRS. PAINE -- "I have not touched it."
MR. JENNER -- "And is it now in the place it was to the best of your recollection on November 21, 1963?"
MRS. PAINE -- "Yes. .... It is on a shelf above the workbench." .... This, to the best of my recollection, contains venetian blinds."
MR. JENNER -- "The witness is now referring to a package which Mr. Howlett, and I will ask you to measure it in a moment, but which appears to me to be at most about 28 inches long, maybe 30, and about 6-1/2 inches high and about 6-1/2 inches through. While it is still wrapped in place, Mr. Howlett, would you measure the package--and it is a little bit irregular."
MR. HOWLETT -- "That is 2 feet, 11 inches."
MR. JENNER -- "The package is 2 feet, 11 inches long." ....
[DVP -- Take note here of Jenner's incorrect (too short!) estimate of the nearly-three-foot-long package found in Ruth Paine's garage....and it's an estimate made by Jenner that is very similar to the estimates made by Buell Wesley Frazier and Linnie Mae Randle when those two witnesses said that the package carried by Lee Oswald on the morning of 11/22/63 (which Oswald claimed contained curtain rods, but which almost certainly contained LHO's rifle) was about 27 or 28 inches or "about 2 feet" long.
Oswald's rifle package [Commission Exhibit #142] was, in reality, 38 inches long -- which is very close to the length of the 35-inch package in Mrs. Paine's garage that was incorrectly estimated by Jenner to be "28 inches long, maybe 30" prior to Howlett measuring the package.
The main point being, of course, that it's not uncommon for people to incorrectly estimate the length of innocuous packages that those people had no real reason to be paying a lot of attention to at the time they saw such a package (like when Frazier and Randle observed Oswald's brown paper bag on the morning of November 22, 1963).
Of course, it's quite likely that some conspiracy theorists probably are of the opinion that Warren Commission Assistant Counsel member Albert E. Jenner Jr. deliberately underestimated, on the WC record, the length of the package that was in Mrs. Paine's garage during Paine's 3/23/64 testimony, in order to highlight how undependable and non-exacting a casual "eyeball" measurement of a particular object can be.
Resuming Mrs. Paine's testimony with respect to the packages found in
MRS. PAINE -- "While you are up there, measure the one behind you."
MR. JENNER -- "Yes, we will."
MR. HOWLETT -- "The height of the package is about 7 inches." ....
MR. JENNER -- "Now I'll ask Mr. Howlett to take the package down, since he is already up there on top of the bench, and we will open it in the presence of Mrs. Paine and see what it contains. ---- The package has now been taken down from the shelf in our presence and Mrs. Paine is opening it. Mrs. Paine, and in your presence, Mr. Howlett, what does the package contain?"
MRS. PAINE -- "It contains two venetian blinds, both of them are 2 feet, 6 inches."
MR. JENNER -- "And they are of the metal variety, are they not?"
MRS. PAINE -- "They are." ....
MR. JENNER -- "For the record, when we sought to rewrap the package, it has a paster on the outside of Sears, Roebuck & Co., Dallas, No. 4017, and "Will call--M.R. Paine"." ....
MR. JENNER -- "Now, we see in back of this package that we have just described a much longer package also wrapped...in light-tan wrapping paper. .... And it is how long?"
MR. HOWLETT -- "3 feet, 9 inches long, as it is folded now."
MR. JENNER -- "And in general, is it a rectangular package?"
MR. HOWLETT -- "Yes, sir." ....
MR. JENNER -- "Mrs. Paine, before we open it, what is in that package?"
MRS. PAINE -- "My best guess would be that it contains two pull blinds which I did have in the southeast bedroom." ....
MR. JENNER -- "Mr. Howlett, would you be good enough to take that package down and we will open it in Mrs Paine's presence here."
[Package is then opened.]
MR. JENNER -- "It contains, does it not, what you call the pull blinds, and which I, in my vernacular call spring window shades."
MRS. PAINE -- "All right, that's correct, and these are cut to fit the windows in the southeast bedroom." ....
MR. JENNER -- "It was your impression as you testified last week that you had some curtain rods on the shelf wrapped in a paper wrapping?"
MRS. PAINE -- "Well, I testified that---."
MR. JENNER -- "That was your impression, was it not?"
MRS. PAINE -- "And as part of the testimony I said they were very light and might not deserve their own wrapping." ....
MR. JENNER -- "Is there another shelf below the shelf on which you found the first two packages?"
MRS. PAINE -- "Yes, there is."
MR. JENNER -- "And, Mr. Howlett, that shelf is about how far below the upper one on which we found the two packages?"
MR. HOWLETT -- "About 10-1/2 inches."
MR. JENNER -- "Now, we all see, do we not, peeking up what appears to be a butt end of what we might call a curtain rod, is that correct?"
MRS. PAINE -- "That's correct."
MR. JENNER -- "Is that correct, Mr. Howlett?"
MR. HOWLETT -- "Yes, sir; that's correct."
MR. JENNER -- "Painted or enameled white?"
MR. HOWLETT -- "Yes, sir."
MR. JENNER -- "Would you reach back there and take out what appears to be a curtain rod, Mr. Howlett. How many do you have there?"
MR. HOWLETT -- "There are two curtain rods, one a white and the other a kind of buff color or cream colored." ....
MR. JENNER -- "Mrs. Paine, are the curtain rods that Mr. Howlett has taken down from the lower of the two shelves the two curtain rods to which you made reference in your testimony before the Commission last week?"
MRS. PAINE -- "Yes, they are."
MR. JENNER -- "And you know of no other curtain rods, do you, in your garage during the fall of 1963?"
MRS. PAINE -- "No, I do not."
MR. JENNER -- "And in particular, no other curtain rods in your garage at any time on the 21st or 22nd of November 1963?"
MRS. PAINE -- "None whatsoever."
MR. JENNER -- "May we take these curtain rods and mark them as exhibits and we will return them after they have been placed of [sic] record?"
MRS. PAINE -- "All right."
MR. JENNER -- "Miss Reporter, the cream-colored curtain rod, we will mark Ruth Paine Exhibit 275, and the white one as Ruth Paine Exhibit No. 276."
RUTH PAINE EXHIBITS 275 & 276
"CURTAIN ROD" DISCUSSION
PHOTOS OF THE PAINE AND RANDLE HOMES (CD497)
MR. JENNER -- "I direct your attention to page 49 of the document entitled "Affidavits and Statements Taken in Connection With the Assassination of the President." .... Is that an affidavit or a signed statement that you furnished the Dallas city police?"
MRS. PAINE -- "Yes, it is."
[Below are the contents of Ruth Paine's 11/22/63 affidavit, which appears in the official Warren Commission record on Page 433 of Volume #9....]
AFFIDAVIT IN ANY FACT
THE STATE OF TEXAS
COUNTY OF DALLAS
BEFORE ME, Patsy Collins, a Notary Public in and for said county, State of Texas, on this day personally appeared Ruth Hyde Paine/w/f/31, 2515 W. Fifth Street, Irving, Texas....who, after being by me duly sworn, on oath deposes and says:
I have lived at the above address for about 4 years. My husband, Michael, and I had been separated for about a year. In the early winter of 1963, I went to a party in Dallas because I heard that some people would be there that spoke Russian. I was interested in the language.
At that party I met Lee Oswald and his Russian wife Marina. About a month later I went to visit them on Neely Street. In May I asked her to stay with me because Lee went to New Orleans to look for work. About two weeks later I took Marina to New Orleans to join her husband.
Around the end of September I stopped by to see them while I was on vacation. I brought Marina back with me to Irving. He came in 2 weeks later, but did not stay with his wife and me. Marina's husband would come and spend most of the weekends with his wife.
Through my neighbor, we heard there was an opening at the Texas School Book Depository. Lee applied and was accepted. Lee did not spend last weekend there. He came in about 5 pm yesterday and spent the night. I was asleep this morning when he left for work.
[signed] RUTH HYDE PAINE
MR. JENNER -- "It is now 10 minutes after 11 [P.M., Monday, March 23, 1964] and we arrived here at 7:30 this evening. Mrs. Paine, again I express to you my personal appreciation of the length to which you have gone to be cooperative with me and with the Commission and with all of us undertaking this sometimes gruesome work."
MRS. PAINE -- "Well, I am glad to help."
MR. JENNER -- "And you have been very helpful. Thank you."
MRS. PAINE -- "Thank you."
[End Warren Commission Testimony.]
After reading through all of Ruth Paine's many pages of WC testimony, I am surprised that one particular subject was never discussed at all -- that being Lee Harvey Oswald's murder at the hands of Jack Ruby.
Never once was Ruth asked the following questions, or something similar (at least I don't recall seeing them in any of the WC volumes):
"Did you see Lee Harvey Oswald shot and killed on November 24, 1963?"
"Immediately after Lee Oswald was murdered, what were your thoughts, Mrs. Paine, as to the possibility of President Kennedy's assassination being the result of a larger plot, versus the President's death having been caused by just one man--Lee Harvey Oswald--acting alone?"
I wish that Mr. Jenner (or some Commission member) had asked Ruth the above questions, because I would have been very interested in hearing her answers.
On February 22, 1969 (exactly six years to the day after she first met Lee and Marina Oswald), Mrs. Paine testified for the defense at the Clay Shaw trial in New Orleans. During her fairly-brief time on the witness stand, the following humorous exchange occurred:
MR. DYMOND -- "Mrs. Paine, if someone else said something and you did anything as a result of something that was said, you may say what you did...but don't say what anyone else told you at that time. As a result of the conversation that you had on that day [on 10/14/63, re. LHO's trouble finding a job], did you do anything?"
MRS. PAINE -- "Yes."
MR. DYMOND -- "What did you do?"
MRS. PAINE -- "I telephoned the Texas School Book Depository and asked whether they were employing at this time, whether they did have an opening."
MR. DYMOND -- "To your knowledge, was any appointment made?"
MRS. PAINE -- "Appointment? No. You have got me confused on how to describe what the man said without saying what he said."
[Laughter ensues throughout the courtroom.]
BAILIFF -- "Order! Order!"
MR. DYMOND -- "You can't very well do that."
MR. ALCOCK -- "That is hearsay."
MRS. PAINE -- "I heard him say it."
MR. DYMOND -- "To your knowledge, as a result of your conversation, did Lee Harvey Oswald do anything?"
MRS. PAINE -- "Yes. I understood, well, how can I say this? Can I say I did not get a clear understanding that they were or were not hiring?"
MR. DYMOND -- "Well, let me ask you, as a result of your having this conversation, did Lee Harvey Oswald finally do anything?"
MRS. PAINE -- "He applied the next day...to the Texas School Book Depository for a job; and did receive a job and telephoned us about noon that following day, a Tuesday, to say that he was to report to work the next day."
Also via Mrs. Paine's testimony at the trial of Clay Shaw:
MR. DYMOND -- "Mrs. Paine, had you ever before seen this Defendant, Mr. Clay Shaw, before today out here at court?"
MRS. PAINE -- "Not before today."
MR. DYMOND -- "Did you ever hear Lee Harvey Oswald mention any of these names: Clay Shaw, Clay Bertrand, or Clem Bertrand?"
MRS. PAINE -- "No, I did not."
Ruth Paine also testified during the "Mock Trial" of Lee Oswald in 1986. I'll close this article with the following thoughtful (and fitting) words spoken by Mrs. Paine during that '86 TV Docu-Trial:
"I do think for the historical record it's important that people understand that Lee [Harvey Oswald] was a very ordinary person -- that people can kill a President without that being something that shows on them in advance." -- Ruth Paine; 7/24/86; "ON TRIAL: LEE HARVEY OSWALD" (London Weekend Television)
RUTH PAINE'S 1986 MOCK TRIAL TESTIMONY:
INTERVIEWS WITH RUTH PAINE: