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Marina and Lee: The personal life of Lee Harvey Oswald

Updated on July 3, 2015
Hee Harvey Oswald. The assassin of President John Kennedy.
Hee Harvey Oswald. The assassin of President John Kennedy. | Source

Married to the man who shot President Kennedy

I know that I'm not alone when I say that I'm fascinated by the events of 22nd. November 1963. So much has been written and like many people, I've read a great deal. But what about the woman who was married to the assassin whose name will forever be remembered?

A family man?

It seems hard for us to even believe that Oswald was married, let alone the fact that he was the father of two babies. The second child, a girl they named Audrey Rachel, had been born just a few weeks before the assassination; the other daughter June was not yet two years old. Marina spoke little English and had lived in the United States for just eighteen months. Two days after the assassination she was also the widow of the most hated man in America.

A young Russian girl

The book you see here was written in conjunction with Marina Oswald. When John Kennedy was assassinated she was just twenty two years old (Lee was twenty four), a Russian who spoke only the most basic English and she had two small babies to care for. She became friendly with the author of this book which was first published in 1977. Strangely - almost uncannily - the American author had interviewed Lee in Russia in November 1959, almost exactly three years before Kennedy was shot. Prior to that, the author had worked for JFK. She spoke Russian well and had a good relationship with Marina. She was the ideal person to write this book.

The killer's wife

Marina and Lee were not living together at the time of the assassination. She was living with a Russian-speaking American friend, Ruth Paine. She still saw Lee often and he wanted his family to be together again. Marina, like so many other people, was watching on television the presidential visit to Dallas that day. When she learned that the shot had been fired from the very building where her husband worked - Lee had only been working there for a month - she immediately thought that her husband was involved. She was right. Read her story.

Twenty five years later

Immediately after the shooting of the president, Marina said in interviews (that many people think were scripted) that she accepted that her husband had been the perpetrator. One reason people believe that they were scripted was because her English was so good in her responses. It's 'known' that she didn't have that kind of fluency.

In the video below, in which she is interviewed twenty five years later, you'll see that despite living in the States for over twenty six years, and despite her second marriage to an American, her English is still not perfect by any means. She married her second husband in 1965 and they remain married to this day.

In the 1988 video below, she says that she now believes that Lee was not the assassin. It's easy to imagine that a young widow of twenty two, penniless in a strange country, with two young babies and the threat of deportation hanging over her head would say anything the authorities wanted her to say. Isn't it?

Lee Harvey Oswald: 48 Hours to Live: Oswald, Kennedy, and the Conspiracy that Will Not Die
Lee Harvey Oswald: 48 Hours to Live: Oswald, Kennedy, and the Conspiracy that Will Not Die

Another viewpoint. How many theories have there been in the last fifty years? But this book explored something that many other have ignored - Oswald was a free man from the time he shot the president until the time he was arrested - it was only a few hours until he was apprehended but what happened in that time?

And what happened during the two days that was in custody before he was killed by Jack Ruby?


Marina and Lee had two children - both girls. They were just babies at the time of the Kennedy assassination. However, some people are surprised when they discover that the girls are still alive. (As is Marina, at time of writing).

But what must it be like to live your life knowing that your father killed the president of the United States?

Or did he? It depends on how you feel about the many conspiracy theories that abound.

11/22/63: A Novel
11/22/63: A Novel

This book is fiction - written by Stephen King - but is immaculately researched. The book's plot is an extraordinary fantasy about time travel and whether one should change the past if the opportunity was there. Marina Oswald is obviously described in this book as is her relationship with her husband. Incidentally, King believes that Oswald acted alone.


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© 2013 Jackie Jackson


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    • BritFlorida profile imageAUTHOR

      Jackie Jackson 

      4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @sousababy: You're welcome Rose - it's certainly a fascinating subject. I wonder if we'll ever know the truth? Or maybe we already do?

    • sousababy profile image


      4 years ago

      Well, there certainly have been false confessions and similar things over the years. So now, she believes he was not the assassin - quite plausible. Thank you for piquing my interest in these books Jackie.


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