24: Who Are the Real Criminals?

I Am a Patsy! by George de Mohrenschildt

Over twelve years went by since the tragic events of 1963. Kennedy’s widow remarried. Questions arose in some decent people’s minds: did Jacqueline know what type of an individual she espoused or was it a huge bank account, not a real person. The Dean of women at the University of Texas where I had been lecturing at the time, was pale with indignation when she heard the news. Then Mrs. Aristotle Onassis became widow again. And then Robert Kennedy was assassinated, carrying with him the reason for the strange warning he had given my friend Willem Oltmans … Worst of all, Dr. Martin Luther King was shot in a cowardly way by an ignorant redneck, possibly encouraged by another redneck — but clever and powerful that one — J. Edgar Hoover, who hated and despised the Blacks. The award of the Nobel Prize for Peace to Reverend King was an ultimate insult to him. Then the shrewd and unscrupulous CIA agents and their associates assembled large fortunes by illicit profits in Korea, Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, and Laos ….

And the discoveries will forthcoming — of deals, corruption, doublecrossings, discoveries annoying to me because they have to do with taxes I had been paying for years. And in this manner American money will be soon “Chinese” money.

In a way, the high–school dropout, that “inferior American,” Lee Harvey Oswald, had forseen all that by calling our bureaucracy — stupid but crooked. But, knowing him the way I did, he would have also understood Gulag Archipelago and would have approved Solzhenitzin’s indignation…

My wife and I spent many an agonizing moment thinking of Lee, ashamed that we did not stand up more decisively in his defence. But who would have listened to us at the time and would have published anything true and favorable to him?

If you, dear reader, are interested not in the assassinations but in organized murder for profit, follow the articles in the French publication Le Canard Enchaîné. You will learn that Aristotle Onassis’ fortune, made during the war, was based on a very simple formula: old tankers are overinsured, duly sunk by the Nazi submarines, motley, ignorant crew members drown and their no less ignorant poor families receive peanuts in a way of compensation. Repeat the operation dozens, maybe hundreds of times. Later, when a huge fortune is made, acquire exclusive rights for transportation of Arab oil…

If you believe in just punishment, Aristotle’s rotten soul will remain forever in the Greek–Orthodox hell.

Conscience is the most stretchable substance — Ari’s friends found him cheerful, amicable, cosmopolitan, intelligent – although his education was not more advanced than Lee’s, he danced well and sang Greek and Argentinian folklore songs. Only his end was somewhat gruesome…

Our performance at the Warren Commission was very lukewarm and not decisive enough in favor of Lee. I hope he will forgive us … And I hope also that Mrs. Marguerite Oswald will also forgive us.

Disbelief in Lee Harvey Oswald’s Guilt

Lee’s innocence or his being just a patsy is our conviction. And now we can speak more objectively of the reasons of our conviction. That the younger generation in America does not believe in Lee’s guilt is a fact but why would old fogies, like ourselves, have such unorthodox opinions?

Let us talk of the clever “leaking on” by the choice lawyers of the Warren Commission, which forced us, Lee’s friends and acquaintances to appear somewhat antagonistic to him.

The general opinion setup in the United States at the time puts pressure on you, warps your judgement, changes your words.

In these short chapters we tried to correct the distorted image of this good friend of ours. Some will say that the introduction of the late Aristotle Onassis in these chapters may be in bad taste — others may find an interesting and significant relevance.

Somebody else will prove who fired the fatal shots, will prove or disprove Lee’s involvement or lack of it in the conspiracy to commit the assassination. If there are good Catholics involved in this affair, maybe a confession will solve the problem.

We like to speak of Lee’s occasional, clever repartees, of his frequent outbursts of justifiable anger at the existing situation in this rotten world of ours, of his deep concern for the starving and poorer than himself, of his worry and his pity for the racially segregated, for masses deprived of their just rights by the clever manipulators.

Had Lee lived most of his life in the totalitarian country, he would have landed in a concentration camp for his outspoken opinions — for his loose tongue.

More should be said of Lee’s interests in the world affairs. I can hear his clear speaking voice, sincere, simple, without affection — its attractive modulation.

Lee did to have a trace of nasal, Southern drawl, his was a voice of a thinking, refined individual. Incidentally, I never heard Lee use any four–letter Anglo–Saxon words, no profane language in English or in Russian. This was most unusual for a man of his background, I mean New Orleans and Fort Worth slums and the United States Marine Corps.

But do not think he was a sissy, as there is a wide–spread belief that if you do not swear, you are not a red–blooded American. I am guilty of constantly cussing myself and the students with whom I associate happily these days, consider me OK and a good guy.

Segregationists are still here but they are losing ground. Still we have a long way to go. A professor of medicine from Kentucky but born in Alabama, believes that intermarriage and any sexual integration is the only way to combat racism. The ones who disagree “should be shot”, says he. Lee agreed with this opinion, I remember.

We wish that our dogs, Nero and Poppea (both gone now) could have barked on his behalf. Such a testimony would have been very flattering for Lee, and you cannot fool an animal, says a truism. And yet, they were méfiant [distrustful] little creatures and trusted very few.

We constantly shout — “communists at fault”, “It’s a Marxist conspiracy”, instead that most of our mishaps come from own mistakes — commited or good actions — omitted. What fiendish names were given our friend Lee Harvey Oswald — communist, traitor, misfit, insane killer!

In the meantime our top capitalist, Harold Lamar Hunt, called John F. Kennedy a “traitor” and a confrontation between the US Government and the Soviet Union, during the missle crisis, a “dispute between two communist states”.

Everything is relative: we waste 140 billion and 45,000 lives (our only) to prove that democracy is right and Lee Harvey Oswald wanted to improve our image around the world in his own way, humanizing United States. Remember his nice but naive defence of the American ways to his friends–workers, during his stay in Minsk…

Listening to Lee describe his experience in the Soviet Union, one saw clearly that the Soviet Union was not a UTOPIA but just another liveable country, enormous, with endless problems, full of good, friendly people ̵ and many others, stupid, cruel and limited.

Judge the man after reading this book: no easy solution is offered, no criminal presented on a dish, I am not even offering an analysis of his complex personality. Make up your own mind.

The Whole Story of Lee Harvey Oswald

Why, with passing time we became more and more convinced that the whole story of Lee Harvey Oswald has not been told, we are adding just another chapter to it. It should be useful, as I had known him well, better than anybody else, according to the Warren Report, better than his mother and wife, according to the lengths of our depositions.

How the oppressive weight influenced my testimony can be seen so clearly by me now, looking at it after several years, as if it were somebody else deposition, deprived of a warm feeling for Lee, full of my own stupid jokes, which make me sad now. I was not expressing myself recall, I didn’t defend Lee vigorously and passionately enough, which I am sure he would have done if he had to defend me in a similar situation. I was cleverly led by the Warren Commission counsel, Albert Jenner, into saying some things I had not really want to say, to admit certain defaults in Lee, which I wasn’t sure were his, in other words I consider myself a coward and a slob who did not stand up to defend proudly a dead friend, whatever odds were against him.

That big, clever boy, the trial lawyer handled me like a baby: first he bullied me, then led me to tell him carefully all about my life by saying: “don’t conceal anything, we know more about yourself than you do.”

I should have answered: “if you do why ask the questions? Why all the rigmarole?”

And then later, in a friendly manner this time, Jenner would put forward some suppositions regarding Lee, suppositions which seemed innocuous enough at the time but sufficiently cleverly termed that would make me admit that possibly, just POSSIBLY, he might have committed a crime … After all, he was so cruel, he put a cigarette on his wife’s bare flesh … A torturer!

It makes me remember now that Lee was keenly aware of the fact that it was the white man who had brought in “scalping” during the American–Indian war. And later, somehow, the Indians, cruel and contemptuous were charged with this unpleasant procedure.

George de Mohrenschildt and the Warren Commission

Almost everyone has a skeleton hidden in a closet, so did I, I shall talk later about it. But it was such an insignificant, small skeleton. I should have taken a stronger stand. Instead, I talked, talked, talked, drunk with words and descriptions … Talking about oneself, as everyone knows, is the sweetest pastime. And Jenner got me into this talking mood by calling me “distinguished, handsome, virile,” — intimated that I knew people all over the world, that I led a very colorful life, was a great Casanova, member of the jet–set, he lauded my university degrees. In reality the bastard despised me, my independence and especially my liberalism.

Jenner was an impressive trial–lawyer, somewhat like Bailey, it was hard to resist him, he knew how to cajole and how to threaten.

In reality Jenner spoke much more than I did, the Warren Report so well doctored, does not show it. At lunchtime and between the sessions he offered me suggestions, tried to find answers — a clever plan and a good preparation, makes me think of the Tukhachevsky trial in the Soviet Union. There, of course, drugs were also used. The results on paper were proving General Tukhachevsky’s treason, the results for the Soviet Union was the fall of the Red Army and Nazis’ original, gigantic success. I am not comparing myself to Tukhachevsky, but rather the whole Warren Report and its distastrous effect on the American credibility.

In my case, such a long deposition had a soporific effect on me, you get deadly tired of these official proceedings, you begin to agree with the questioner just ot get out of this boring room away from the annoying, dry individual. You only dream to get away from all this nonsense, to go back to your sunny house in Haiti, to my few real friends there, to my interesting work and to the week–ends of skindiving in the beautiful, transparent waters of the Carribean near the Arcaclin Islands.

My idiotic interrogation had lasted almost three full days then the same torture was inflicted on my wife, somewhat shorter and enhanced by the presence of our Manchesters, Nero and Poppaea, who testified, silently, unfortunately, for their friend Lee.

The final conclusion, after observation of all this bunch of lawyers is a short pun. “Have you ever met an honest lawyers?” someone asked. “Yes, I did, only recently. He paid for his own lunch …”

Jeanne’s best suggestion, eliminated from the Warren Report, was a suggestion, similar to mine: “don’t try to solve the crime of the century by deposition, ie. gossip, ninety per–cent irrelevant to the issues. Have good detectives hired, we are supposed to be the heaven of private dicks. Don’t use FBI’s or CIA’s or any other federal agents, they are recognizable a mile away.”

During our walking trip through Guatemala, where we happened to be there just be for the Bay of Pigs. The town was full of crew–cut Americans, not speaking a word of Spanish, out of place. I told Jeanne “but these are Marines, or rather Marine pilots. What the hell are they doing here?”

No question that the same idea occurred to all the pro–Castro Guatemalans, and the country is full of them. And messages were sent on time to Fidel Castro …

Looking over Marina’s deposition recently, I was amazed how closely our opinions on Lee matched, they almost coincided, as if they had been dictated to us. “The weight of the evidence“ must have influenced both of us. First we were both angry at Lee for putting us into such a horrible situation. bad enough for me, but think of Marina’s plight, especially the first days after the assassination. I cannot talk of her feelings, but I know how deadly scared she was, in a foreign country, not knowing the language and used to the Stalinist tactics.

We know, Jenner and Dulles told us, that Marina had made innumerable mistakes — perjuries if you wish — being under a tremendous pressure and frightened out of her wits. The pressure we were under was of a different type, yet very strong. We had lived here for a long time and were familiar with the “American” ways.

But we cannot forget the attitude of the American Embassy in Haiti, the Ambassador’s animosity towards me, the hard and soft approach of the FBI agent, the possibility of losing my contract in Haiti. A mysterious letter at the Embassy from Washington (this I found through a few remaining friends there), warning the personnel there against us. There was a pressure from our friends, by the radio, newspapers, TV — finally this powerful Warren Commission – all saying “disassociate yourself from this assassin Lee Harvey Oswald!”

Everybody was on a bandwagon condemning this insignificant ex–Marine.

Now let us ask ourselves a question: was there a conspiracy of the part of the Warren Commission members, this powerful and impressive group of people to promote a deliberate lie, to inculpate an innocent person? No, I don’t think so, they acted naively and sheepishly for a purpose which seemed right to them and good for the country. The country was in an upheaval, it was necessary to pacify the public opinion. And the dead eccentric is the easiest subject of condemnation. Personally, I think that such a mentality is tragic and detrimental to this country. it’s the same self–illusion as throwing Prince Sihanouk out of Cambodia, accusing him of being a “red prince”. Then financing and supporting to the bitter end his enemies. Fortunately for the “Red Prince” he is well and back in his country, while his enemies are either dead or exiled.

And now I am sorry to cast an accusation at John F. Kennedy’s family, especially on his brother Robert, who wanted to sanctify the President’s memory and to make us all — all American citizens — forget our President’s biggest mistake, the Bay of Pigs. Willem Oltmans strange incident, described here, is explainable by this attitude. Also our conversations with Jacqueline Kennedy’s family.

The Bay of Pigs resulted in an unbelievable hatreds and desires of revenge among the Cuban refugee groups as well as among Castro’s followers, but to a lesser degree because their losses were smaller and the result was Castro’s triumph. But the desire of revenge among the refugee groups here were thus covered up and whenever somebody like Garrison in New Orleans would try to establish a connection between the assassination and the Bay of Pigs, he would be put down as a drunkard, incompetent and silenced. Garrison was completely completely discredited and lost his district attorney’s position. His latest book is a fiction dealing with the assassination.

I Am a Patsy! : the Text

The complete text of George de Mohrenschildt’s I Am a Patsy! is available online for the first time in valid HTML.

This Edition

The main heading of each chapter is taken from de Mohrenschildt’s typescript. Headings within each chapter have been added for ease of comprehension.

English was not George de Mohrenschildt’s first language. Obvious mistakes in spelling and punctuation have been corrected. There are a few instances in which the correct meaning is unclear; in these cases, the original text is preserved and noted.

The Original Text

A facsimile of George de Mohrenschildt’s original typescript was published in House Select Commission on Assassinations Report, appendix vol.12, pp.69–315.

A scan of the typescript in PNG format is available at http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/viewer/showDoc.do?absPageId=40273.

Lee Harvey Oswald As I Knew Him

Dr Michael Rinella has edited George de Mohrenschildt’s text and added an introduction, more than 700 endnotes, and several photographs.

Lee Harvey Oswald As I Knew Him is thoroughly recommended for anyone interested in this aspect of Lee Oswald’s life:

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22 November 1963

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