21: Our Return to the United States
I Am a Patsy! by George de Mohrenschildt
Trouble in Haiti
The incident with the stolen maps destroyed my desire to continue working for the Haitian Government and the American Ambassador declared in a hysterical way: “I hate you. You cause me nothing but trouble!”
“I am a Christian, Mr. Timmon, I don’t hate anybody. But I wish you would help me to recover my maps.”
Before this incident the Haitian Government insisted that I try to develop some of the resources I’d discovered in Haiti: Copper, titanium, bauxite, excellent oil possibilities. Therefore, whenever I left the country I took the bulk of information (not all, fortunately) with me and each time I acted as an agent for the Government. Here, with my maps gone, the trust was destroyed and I began preparing for departure. Since the Haitians owed me large amount of money for the survey, I was able to dispatch most of my valuable information through friends to a safe place to the States. Anyway, most of my work was completed and I began worrying that the Haitians would detain me as a hostage. Just recently an American citizen, an ex–air force officer, domiciled in Haiti, was accused by Papa Doc of dealing with his enemies abroad. The poor fellow looked for asylum in our Embassy — but it was refused to him (all other embassies do give asylums to political refugees, ours doesn’t). In addition to this the chief of police came and assured the Ambassador that nothing would happen to the poor ex–US officer. And so he was carried out screaming and shouting and nothing was heard of him again. My friends in the know told me that he was beaten to death in the dungeon of the presidential palace.
A Secret Deal
Such a fate was not to our taste. Since nobody expected our immediate departure, we made a very secret deal with a small German line — plying the trade in the Carribean islands — using the good offices of the German Ambassador, and the little ship accepted us on board late in the evening. How we avoided the customs etc.? I still had a laissé passé from the President Duvalier and nobody bothered to stop our truck with our furniture and supplies and our personal car.
Late in the evening the only person who came to say good–bye to us was the delightful Ambassador and his charming Austrian wife, we a few glasses of champagne and department into the dark Carribean.
Incidentally on the manifest of this ship we signed our names as follows: Jeanne — a cook; — reckoned. And that’s how we landed in Miami, having skirted very close to the Cuban Coast.
The crew, most international, was composed of a German ex–submarine commander, an engineer — a young Norwegian genius who could repair anything on board, and a meldey of Haitians, Jamaicans, Trinidadians and other picturesque Carribeans. Since Jeanne decided to cook some delicious European meals for the captain and the crew and I, in excess of energy, painted the whole deck, a pleasant surprise awaited us in Miami. When I asked the captain for the bill, not only for us but also for the car and the luggage, the answer: “it was a pleasure having you on board. You earned more than the price of your transportation.” The only way to reciprocate was to invite the officers to a sumptuous dinner.
Driving to Dallas, Texas
From Miami we drove slowly to Texas. Incidentally as we were skirting late at night Lake Okochobee on a deserted road, a brilliant comet crossed the dark, tropical sky, lighting the weird scenery around and even scaring our dogs. A comet for some is considered a good omen but for us it foretold very bad times indeed.
In Dallas we hoped to meet some good, old friends, quite a few had come to Haiti and enjoyed our hospitality. Instead we encountered suspicion and an outright hostility. Surprised at first, we soon discovered the reason — the Warren Commission Report.
Immediately after our testimonies, the transcripts of which we signed without even bothering to read — it was supposed to be truth and nothing but the truth — who would want to quibble over the words. After our depositions were so sick and tired of the whole affair. We put the matter of the inquiries by these various agencies and even our own testimonies completely out of our minds, and while driving an open car back to Dallas along the coast, we breathed in the fresh marine air and wanted to forget the whole tragic incident.
But in Dallas we had to face another situation.
“Have you read the Warren Report?” a lawyer, a good friend of ours, asked us.
“No.” I answered, “I head there is a comprehensive resumé of various depositions.”
“Aren’t you going to read it? It contains some sixteen volumes and one of them is almost exclusively about the two of you.”
The aura of suspicion, of innuendoes, of gossip, of semi–lies and concealment polluted the air around us. But the events forced us to read what we had said in Washington D.C. and especially what has been said about us in these voluminous sixteen tomes.
Still we postponed reading these dry, bureaucratic, insipid pages until one day we saw with some friends in Fort Worth (they had known Lee and Marina also but had avoided interrogation by some hook and crook) and they loaned to us the volume in which we figured so prominently. “Read it carefully and don’t miss a word. Actually you should read all the volumes and you will understand the attitude of many people towards you.”
Reaction to the Warren Report
And indeed, after reading several deposition, I was ready to vomit and I understood what Albert Jenner, our “inquisitor” at the Warren Commission had mentioned: “you will be the only people in the world to know exactly what others think about you.” he did not dwell further on these words and did not indicate that our depositions and those of other people we knew or had even remote relations with, would be printed, after careful editing, to probe the nebulous point that Lee was the sole assassin. It turned out that some decent people volunteered to testify on the condition that their testimonies would remain secret and available only to Warren Commission members. But FBI insisted that all depositions should be printed and distributed to the public.
The shades of J. Edgar Hoover mush regret that decision after it was discovered how many falsehoods his organization was involved in. And never again these patriotic and decent people will expost themselves in the degrading positions of “informers”.
It was saddening to read the opinion of an old business associate that “he never trusted me completely.” My ex–secretary divulged that I had made many suspicious and intriguing trips to Houston, Texas — such an exotic and mysterious place to her underling’s mind. A scurrilous remark was made by an old Russian emigrée, a biddy whom we never considered bright but harmless: “that Chinese woman never even believed in God,” she declared indignantly, as if religion was not a very personal matter. “He always wanted to be the commissar of Texas,” was an opinion of a slight acquaintance. And finally the testimony of my ex–son–in–law, Gary Taylor: “if anyone had finagled this assassination or had influenced Lee Harvey Oswald in that direction, that person would be obviously George de Mohrenschildt.”
Of course, in the meantime my daughter had abandoned him and he kept a grudge against me because I had not approved of their teen–age marriage.
Reading all this I even thought of writing a short book, assembling these opinions and give the book the title “I arranged Kennedy’s assassination”.
Or another title that would attract customers: “My affair with the teen–age Jacqueline Bouvier and how I got rid of her husband.”
Making Money from Lee Oswald
The same people, Russian refugees and Americans, who had detested or ignored Lee and Marina, made money out of them later, especially out of the resulting unbelievable promotion of the “poor Russian Marina,” — “that defenceless, God–fearing, miserable wife of that brutal monster Lee Harvey Oswald.”
The story reminds me somewhat of another specimen, Svetlana Stalina, the daughter of the greatest assassin the world had seen (including Adolf Hitler and Atilla the Hun), communist and daughter of the ferocious communist, who came to the United States in search of God …
But back to Marina. She finally “made it in the United States”, just like her girl–friend put it in her letter from Soviet Russia in 1962. She became a success, had her cover in Time, money poured from the naive Americans. Her arrival in this country was superbly fulfilled: Lee Harvey Oswald had finally become a real money–maker after his death. Poor fellow, even his tomb was stolen and desecrated from the public cemetary near Arlington, Texas.
Lee became subject of articles and books — and will be for a long time — by the scavengers from a poor man’s death.
I would not dare to call our dear President Gerald Ford a scavenger, but his book was the first one, directly accusing Lee Harvey Oswald — on “his” Portrait of the Assassin. Naturally the book was ghost–written, inept and uninteresting, yet he was the first one (he or his ghost–writer) to have the information assembled by the Warren Commission.
Again, I have to give credit to the American people, the book was a failure.
Newspapermen kept on calling us, they were geniuses at discovering our whereabouts, we did not have a listed number and stayed with some friends. They should have used their talents investigating Lee’s activities in Atlanta, New Orleans and Mexico City just before the assassination. Garrison did it and his career as district attorney was ruined. People who had the slightest connection with Lee and whose testimonies were not exactly “kosher” as far as the official version was concerned, died mysteriously.
The owner of the apartment house on Gillespie, an excentric lady who, like us, was extremely fond of Haiti — she almost had a fit when she saw Haitian car licences on our car — asked discreetly for police protection for us.
With the exception of the European press, the majority of the American books and articles accepted an almost preposterous thesis introducted by some lawyer of the Warren Commission that the same bullet killed Kennedy and gravely wounded Governor John Connally. Yet, Connally himself distinctly remembers two consecutive shots and he had never changed his testimony.
Only some more logical and cynical writers mentioned the fact that there was no reason whatsoever in Lee’s action; but they approve the thesis that Lee was aiming at Governor Connally, whom he had reasons to dislike, but being a usual flop and f– – – up, he killed Kennedy instead and only wounded Connally …
Lee Harvey Oswald as a Patsy
Not withstanding these superficial conclusions, favored in USA, the general opinion in other countries stopped accepting the thesis of Lee’s guilt. Many people suspected LBJ, as a party which profited directly from the assassination and who always thoroughly disliked JFK and the whole Kennedy clan, who used to cold–shoulder him and his wife… It’s not for us to judge but the latest discoveries of FBI’s finagling add some credence to this theory. After all LBJ was a most devious man and jointly with it his ignorance was also out of the ordinary. They say that he was not sure of the location of Vietnam.
And so, here again, Lee Harvey Oswald was the most convenient patsy.
And so, little by little, even naive and credulous Americans, annoyed by this constant harping on Lee’s guilt, by the serving of platitudes and repetitious statements, began to disbelieve in Lee’s guilt, or at least they began to doubt the non–existence of any conspiracy. After all, Americans are business–minded, if somebody performs an act as assassination, without any rhyme or reason and without any financial reward … something stinks in Denmark.
We personally, retained our doubts to ourselves, saw fewer people than before, restrained our social life and eliminated false friends and acquaintances.
A dear friend of ours, a staff writer for the Dallas Herald, insisted on interviewing us and pointed out my deep–felt opinion how harmful it is for the United States to believe that a lone lunatic killed the President and then another lunatic killed him. And then, shortly afterwards, the brother of the President was murdered in cold blood by another lunatic, without any apparent reason. What is it a country of homicidal maniacs? Had a reasonable theory of a plot or plots had been substantiated, I think it would be benificial to this country.