Friday, 29 October 2010

Circumstantial Evidence Re: Lee Oswald and Judyth Vary Baker

Circumstantial Evidence Re: Lee Oswald and Judyth Vary Baker
(originally posted at Dean Hartwell's Perspective) 

An article for researchers written by Judyth Vary Baker

(note: this material has not been presented in the first person to make it more useful to researchers, who can apply its directing principles to other matters needing investigation that involve circumstantial evidence)


Circumstantial evidence is best explained by saying what it is not - it is not direct evidence from a witness who saw or heard something. Circumstantial evidence is a fact that can be used to infer another fact

Indirect evidence that implies something occurred but doesn't directly prove it; proof of one or more facts from which one can find another fact; proof of a chain of facts and circumstances indicating that the person is either guilty or not guilty. However, circumstantial evidence is the most common form of evidence that provides the determinant weight leading to a verdict of guilt or  innocent in a case where direct evidence cannot be found or has been discarded for various reasons in a court of law.

E.g., A man accused of embezzling money from his company had made several big-ticket purchases in cash around the time of the alleged embezzlement.  Such a fact would provide an incentive to investigate the  circumstantial evidence more closely to determine the possibility that the suspect had stolen the money. The law makes no distinction between the weight given to either direct or circumstantial evidence. 

Circumstantial evidence is generally admissible in court unless the connection between the fact and the inference is too weak to be of help in deciding the case. Many convictions for various crimes have rested largely on circumstantial evidence.

These points ought to be carefully examined in order to form a correct opinion. The first question ought to be Is the fact possible? If so, are there any circumstances which render it impossible? If the facts are impossible, the witness ought not to be credited.

Judyth Vary Baker provides extensive circumstantial evidence regarding her relationship with Lee Harvey Oswald, the accused assassin of President John F. Kennedy.   Statistical analyses of certain events that occurred to both Oswald and Baker at the same time indicate a less than a million-to-one chance that those events were not deliberately prearranged by those working with Baker and Oswald in New Orleans.  Below, a few of the many pieces of circumstantial evidence presented in her book Me & Lee: How I came to know, love and lose Lee Harvey Oswald (Trine Day) are listed in detail to illustrate the utility and importance of circumstantial evidence in establishing the truth of a controversial matter:


FACT: Lee H. Oswald wrote “Catholic” for his religion on his application for a tourist visa to Mexico.  

FACT:  Both Mexico and Cuba had anti-Catholic attitudes.  By designating himself a “Catholic” Oswald added a difficulty he did not need to add to the record: mentioning a religious status that was in disfavor with both Mexican and Cuban governments and their authorities.

FACT:  Oswald, baptized and raised Lutheran, had always left ”religion” blank on forms.  The ONLY time he EVER placed “Catholic” on any legal form was for this one:  CLICK HERE 

Baker says Oswald made a copy of this document and carried it with him into Mexico when he entered that country on Sept. 25, 1963.  Had the mission worked as expected, Baker was to have met him in a remote part of Mexico  a few days later. Their expectations were shattered when Alex Rorke and his pilot were shot down in Cuban waters on Sept. 25th as they were en route to Florida.  Oswald called Baker from Houston just prior to boarding a bus in Houston and told her that “Rorke has gone missing.” Rorke was to supply Baker’s ‘ride’ to Mexico.  Soon after, Oswald’s mission was aborted and he was ordered to return to Dallas.

Utility of the document:  It was going to be used to “prove” Oswald’s status as a Catholic in the non-civil marriage they wanted to be performed by a “corrupt priest” (one who would marry them quickly without posting banns in the church for several weeks--after they obtained a “quickie divorces” --for which Mexico was then famed).   Oswald and Baker wanted to keep the marriage quiet and out of the papers.

Assessing the evidence:

The first question ought to be; is the fact possible? If so, are there any circumstances which render it impossible? If the facts are impossible, the witness ought not to be credited.

1) the fact is on the official record

2) Baker offers a logical reason for which is otherwise an illogical entry of “Catholic”

Additional Evidence of the Oswald-Baker relationship:


FACT: “ Marina and Mrs. Paine toured Bourbon Street while Oswald stayed home and did some packing for Marina's return to Texas. 1097”  (p. 730) Warren Commission Report, Appendix 13

FACT: “Ruth Paine arrived in New Orleans on September 20” (p. 729)

FACT: “On Sunday, September 22, Oswald and Mrs. Paine finished loading the station wagon with the Oswalds' household belongings.1098…Marina and June departed with Mrs. Ruth Paine for Irving on the morning of September 23.1103.” (p. 730) Packing of a car already loaded with Ruth Paine’s belongings for her summer vacation for herself and her two small children left relatively little room for much in the way of belongings, described as a baby bed, a hamper full of clothing, etc. Oswald stayed behind with plans to go to Mexico: “Marina Oswald testified that sometime in August her husband first told her of his plan to go to Mexico and from there to Cuba, where he planned to stay… Before she left, Oswald told Marina that she should not tell anyone about his impending trip to Mexico.” (p. 730)

FACT: Though Marina Oswald had been present over four months in New Orleans, Oswald never took her to the French Quarter, the most famous part of New Orleans where all tourists go. When she finally went, just prior to leaving New Orleans, Oswald stayed behind.  Though he said he was staying behind to ‘pack,’ the Oswalds owned very little –most of it fitting into the rear compartment of  Paine’s already well-loaded station wagon.

FACT: Oswald took Marina to the grocery store, to Pontchartrain beach, and to the nearby Napoleon St. public library.  Marinas reports that she did not even go to movie theaters with Oswald.

Note: Baker states that there was plenty of time to pack and that Oswald avoided going to the French Quarter with his wife, children and Ruth Paine because she and Oswald had been seen together frequently in the French Quarter.  She states that Oswald was afraid somebody would call out, “Oswald! Where’s Marina?” because Baker had posed as “Marina Oswald” with Oswald in the French Quarter being the same height, with same eye color, hair color, and, moreover, speaking only in Russian when with Oswald in French Quarter restaurants. 

Assessing the evidence:

The first question ought to be; is the fact possible? If so, are there any circumstances which render it impossible? If the facts are impossible, the witness ought not to be credited.

a) it is possible that this is the true reason that Oswald did not go to the French Quarter with his wife and children

b) it is possible that Oswald never took Marina to the French Quarter because this was where he and Baker spent considerable time with Baker posing as his wife, Marina

c) of course, the original reasons offered—that Oswald simply wanted to pack—are reasonable. But they are not exclusive 

FACT:  Mary Morgan saw a woman with Lee H. Oswald.  Mary, the daughter of Reeves Morgan, who was an employee at the East Louisiana State Hospital in Jackson, Louisiana, was home during summer vacation from her college classes.   One evening , after sunset, she saw a woman sitting in an old car parked under a tree in their front yard. She was standing on the front porch. The car had been driven up into the yard and parked under the tree.  The only other occupant of the automobile was Lee H. Oswald, who was inside the house and talking to her father at the time.  Their rural home was located outside Jackson, Louisiana.  Mary Morgan and her father stated that the incident occurred at the end of August or the beginning of September, 1963: Lee H. Oswald was inside the house at the time, talking to her father. [note: one researcher says Mary Morgan now asserts she did not see 'a woman'--some 48 years later, and despite the fact that her record of saying she had seen a woman in the car went unchanged in the official record ---and uncontested by Mary Morgan --until the alleged interview reported late in 2010. In such instances, where there has been ample time to correct any misinformation, and where her father testified that his daughter, Mary Morgan, was present at the time mentioned, during the Clay Shaw trial, the earlier statement is to be considered worthy of inclusion in this list].

FACT:  Marina Oswald told Garrison investigators that she was NOT the woman in the car.

FACT: Judyth Vary Baker is the only person who ever stated that she was the woman in the car. She has explained complex circumstances as to why she and Oswald were in Jackson, Louisiana: specifically, they had been required to drive up to the hospital located just outside the city of Jackson.

FACT: Reeves Morgan worked at the same hospital just outside the city of Jackson.

Assessing the evidence:

The first question ought to be: is the fact possible? If so, are there any circumstances which render it impossible? If the facts are impossible, the witness ought not to be credited.

1) The fact is possible.

2) Is there any reason to believe the woman was not Baker?  Yes, because Mary Morgan did not speak to her or see her up close.  However, Baker is the only woman that witnesses have ever described as being seen in Oswald’s company, except for Oswald’s wife, in Louisiana in 1963.

By itself, the incident holds little weight, but a second, similar incident occurred in the same time period (Baker said it happened the same day):

FACT: Lea McGehee, the Jackson town barber, states that “late in the afternoon” at the end of August, 1963, Lee H. Oswald entered his barber shop soon after an “old car” had pulled up and parked.  A woman was “sitting in the front seat” (meaning she was not behind the wheel).  There was a “bassinette” in the back seat of the car.

FACT: McGehee gave Oswald a quick, unneeded haircut, and observed, as a barber, the length of and style of the woman’s hair (he could not see her face).   After Oswald left the barbershop, the old car drove off.  

Later: McGehee’s initial belief was that Oswald had to be driving. This was what he told Garrison investigators.  Under great criticism for this, with HSCA investigators stressing that Oswald could not drive, he later stated that Oswald might have got into a different car and perhaps the woman drove away alone, but his earliest accounts to Garrison investigators did not mention any such details.

FACT: Judyth Vary Baker logically explains the reason for the stop at the barbershop. She is the only person who has ever come forward and identified herself as the woman in the old car.  In tandem with Mary Morgan’s account, the two incidents together constitute a good case of circumstantial evidence that Baker was in the car with Oswald.

NOTE: McGehee agreed to be tape recorded after Baker responded (with witness Kelly Thomas present) , to McGehee’s inquiry as to the kind of haircut Oswald received. Baker answered  that she noticed NO DIFFERENCE in Oswald’s hair after the so-called haircut. McGehee, pleased with her response, then agreed to go on tape, at which time Baker THEN told him that she was the woman in the car, which elicited exclamations of amazement from McGehee.  This has been cited as an example of Baker leading the witness on, except for the fact that Baker had already established herself as someone who knew that Oswald’s hair had not ‘really’ had a significant haircut. 

Note: Baker gives a logical reason for the presence of the “bassinette.”  David Lewis’ wife, Anna, was pregnant and the car, which belonged to Lewis’ friend, carried the wicket basket (not actually a bassinette) for use when the baby, after its birth, would be carried back from the hospital.  Anna Lewis gave birth to six children while David Lewis’ wife, and an additional four children afterwards.

FACT: Lea McGehee, the barber, subsequently picked out, among a number of photos of Baker, one with the length of hair and style that he thought most similar to the hairstyle and length of hair of the woman in the old car.  The photo had been taken one month earlier (late July, 1963) than the sighting of the woman in the old car (end of August,. 1963).

Assessing the evidence:

The first question ought to be: is the fact possible? If so, are there any circumstances which render it impossible? If the facts are impossible, the witness ought not to be credited.

1) The fact is possible

2) Changing the story later does not render the fact impossible

3) Baker gives the most plausible reasons yet offered for Oswald’s, Ferrie’s, and Shaw’s concurrent presence together in Jackson in a Cadillac, as seen for hours parked near the Clinton, Louisiana courthouse, AND for the two sightings of Oswald with a woman in an old car in Jackson , Louisiana within a day or two of the Clinton sightings.  No one has been able, until Baker spoke up, to account for the two different trips, or for why Oswald made a point of making it known that he was trying to “get a job” at the hospital.

NOTE: Oswald never showed up in this area again (it was over one hundred miles from New Orleans), even though he made a job application at the hospital and openly seemed to seek work there.  That this was an excuse for the trips is eminently consistent with Baker’s version of what happened: the two trips, as reported, were the only known trips Oswald made outside of New Orleans to that particular area.


FACT:  Guy Banister’s secretary, Delphine Roberts, and her daughter, Delphine Jr., asserted that they had seen “Mrs. Oswald” in Banister’s office.  Anthony Summers is the researcher reporting her statement: his work is respected.  (Anthony Summers, Conspiracy, 1989 Paragon ed. p. 314) 

Dave Reitzes' in “LHO in New Orleans, Part 2” noted that:  Posner mocks Delphine Roberts, Jr., for saying she met Marguerite Oswald at 531 Lafayette Street, and that "she was lovely." Posner points out, correctly, that Marguerite Oswald -- as far as we know -- did not step foot in New Orleans during 1963 [Posner, 141].

CORRECTION:  Baker states that “Mrs. Oswald” was herself, posing as Marina Oswald (Mrs. Lee Harvey Oswald).   The statement was not in regard to Oswald MOTHER, Marguerite Oswald.  It was in regard to Baker, who posed as marina Oswald.

FACT:  Marina Oswald denied ever having met Guy Banister. (House Select Committee Hearings Vol. II, p. 253)

FACT: Judyth Vary Baker states that Oswald introduced her to Bannister’s staff as “Mrs. Oswald.”  Baker explains in her book Me & Lee why his introduction to banister was necessary..

FACT: Note that Gerald Posner’s statements about doubts as to the veracity of Delphine Roberts and her daughter’s statements have been discredited by many.(see footnote, below) 

FACT:  Anthony Summers observed that Roberts’ “manager” brandished a gun and in other ways obstructed his ability to question Roberts. But when she was finally alone with Summers, Roberts said she could not longer hold back information and did not want compensation for what she had to say.  Summers, a seasoned investigator, took her new information seriously. Compensation was later arranged for a televised interview.

FACT: Former Banister secretary Mary Brengel corroborates Roberts’ statement of Oswald being in Banister’s office:

Assessing the evidence:

The first question ought to be: is the fact possible? If so, are there any circumstances which render it impossible? If the facts are impossible, the witness ought not to be credited.

a) It is possible, because Baker was the same height, eye color, hair color, hairstyle (as photos prove) as Marina Oswald

b)  Marina Oswald was not in New Orleans during the time period Baker says she was introduced to Banister; she thus qualifies as the person who may have been seen by Delphine Roberts and her daughter.  

c) Baker offers good reasons (see book Me & Lee) for why she wanted to meet Banister

d)  it is possible that Baker could be introduced as “Mrs. Oswald” even though Marguerite Oswald was not in town

e)  Marina Oswald denied having ever met Banister

f) Baker is the only person to have come forward claiming to have been introduced to Guy Banister as Oswald’s wife, “Mrs. Oswald.”

g) Baker is known to have been in New Orleans at this time through bus ticket, newspaper advertisement, and letters

FACT:  Oswald began taking long baths or showers at night instead of taking showers in the morning.  In the “official version” book, Marina and Lee, by late summer Oswald was taking long, soaking baths, had an upset stomach, “burped,” and one night, while sleeping, he suffered four episodes where he shook all over and groaned in his sleep without waking. Marina also complained that he was developing a “body odor.”

NOTE:  Baker says Oswald was assisting in the killing and gutting of hundreds of cancerous mice that had a foul odor, and that it made him sick. She, too, was taking nightly baths for the same reason. 

FACT: Baker’s entire family knows that she has “always” taken baths and showers at night rather than in the morning.

FACT:  Oswald lost weight but otherwise remained healthy.

Assessing the evidence:

The first question ought to be: is the fact possible? If so, are there any circumstances which render it impossible? If the facts are impossible, the witness ought not to be credited.

Is the fact possible? Yes, though highly unusual circumstances are involved. However, Baker was a cancer researcher known to have worked extensively with cancerous mice.

 Are there any circumstances which render it impossible?

One would have to prove what Baker was doing at all hours (but her husband was almost always out of town)  and oddly for her, for she is a gregarious person who easily makes friends, Baker made no friends in New Orleans who ever saw her outside the workplace, except for Anna and David Lewis. Anna is on film stating that Oswald and Baker were lovers.

NOTE: Baker says Oswald helped with this “dirty work” because he was in love with Baker and wanted to spare her from this part of her work.

FACT:  Baker “found” $400.00 in an ironing board on September 1, 1963, the day before she was scheduled to leave New Orleans and return with her husband to Florida.  The entire family was aware of this $400 “windfall.”  Bank records back up the “find.”

REPORTED:  Oswald was receiving $200 a month from the FBI

Note: Baker says Oswald received a total of $400 a month from the agencies for which he was doing clandestine and undercover work. 

Assessing the evidence:

The first question ought to be: is the fact possible? If so, are there any circumstances which render it impossible? If the facts are impossible, the witness ought not to be credited.

Is the fact possible?

a) The explanation given by Baker to her family that the $400 was found in a secondhand ironing board that she purchased in a yard sale the day before is difficult to believe: the sum of money was equivalent to $4,000 in today’s funds.

Are there any circumstances which render it impossible?  (What motive did Oswald have for giving Baker that much money?  How did he manage to obtain that much money?)

a) Adrian Alba, a manager of the Crescent City Garage, observed Oswald receiving a large envelope from a government agent.  CIA paymaster Wilcox said Oswald was on the CIA payroll.  An investigation in Texas by the state’s attorney general found Oswald was being paid $200 a month by the FBI as an informant.

b) Baker says the money was provided so Baker and Oswald could meet in Mexico, where they planned to get “quickie” divorces and marry. The “Catholic” document at beginning of this article supplies supporting evidence for this.

Note: When Ruth Paine came to pick up Oswald’s wife, Marina, the book Marina and Lee mentions Oswald weeping as he says goodbye to his toddler daughter, June Lee. Oswald told his wife that he was going “to Cuba” and that she would not see him again.  Oswald told Ruth Paine that he was seeking work in Philadelphia, and Oswald wrote letters implying that he would be in Philadelphia and elsewhere seeking employment.  However, he had purchased a bus ticket to Mexico on August 31, according the WC records.  Baker says she and Oswald had made plans well ahead of time to leave the U.S. and meet in a remote area of Mexico, near Chichen-Itza, Belize, or in the area today known as Cancun (then called Kankun, and undeveloped).

Fact: Quickie divorces were well-known in Mexico. Baker notes that actress Jayne Mansfield obtained a quickie divorce from Mickey Haggerty in early May, 1963 in this manner, which she had seen in the newspapers and shown to Oswald.

Fact: Rumors that Oswald has sought information about divorces at the Mexican border were so widespread that the FBI investigated them.  They could not find any conclusive evidence, but because of poor weather conditions, only investigated a rumor emanating from just one town.

Note: Baker says CIA asset Alex Rorke and his pilot were supposed to fly her from Florida to Mexico soon after Oswald’s arrival in Mexico City.

Fact:  Oswald crossed the border on September 26 on his way to Mexico City.

Fact:  Rorke and his pilot were shot down in Cuban waters after taking off from the Yucatan and crossing over Cuban waters, \while possibly en route to Florida.

Note: Baker states that Oswald called her in Houston before crossing the border to tell her Rorke had gone missing and that she should not prepare for the anticipated flight after all.

Fact: Oswald was using a telephone the night Baker says she was informed that Rorke had gone missing and she should not prepare for the flight to the Yucatan.  It is known that Oswald made at least one telephone call from the Houston area just before crossing the border into Mexico, to Mrs. H. Twiford.

Another kind of evidence is that of the eyewitness who makes a distinct statement of having recognized the person in question regarding activities or sightings that prove the person in question is a truth-teller.

A credible witness is an individual whose statements are reasonable and believable. A witness's statements are generally accepted as true unless his/her testimony is thoroughly discredited. A witness is, in general, presumed to speak the truth.  IN BRIEF: A person who is able to report on something seen. A witness is someone who has firsthand knowledge about a significant event through their senses (e.g. seeing, hearing, smelling, touching), and can help certify important considerations to the event. A witness who has seen the event firsthand is known as an "eye-witness".

"If Oswald can't be connected to such an office" as the one he mentioned in his letters to FPCC headquarters,(78) the La Fontaines write, "whether as a room he really paid money for, was allowed to use for free, or just visited on occasion -- and if that office can't be solidly placed in a specific Camp Street building" -- the one in which Guy Banister's office was located -- "then the game's over," they declare.(79) "Posner wins."(80)

"Only the Camp Street building can put Oswald in the company of other 'conspirators,'" they conclude. "Without this connection firmly in hand, the proponents of a conspiratorial Oswald" would find their theories all to be "built on sand."(81) "Everything turns on this office, then. On this site, the battle of New Orleans will be decided."(82)

So be it.

Footnote: re Delphine Roberts’ veracity: This well-written piece by Dave Reitzes, who since has totally abandoned any stance concerning Oswald's innocence, to his shame, for he knows better, neatly summarized the problems with Gerald Posner’s discrediting of Roberts’ statements.  What a shame that soon after this, Reitzes became a Warren Commission supporter whose later articles are slanted to the dark side.

“In Case Closed, author Gerald Posner spends three pages attempting to

discredit Delphine Roberts, first by quoting her views on race and

religion (Posner, 140), then dismissing her story -- given under oath to

the House Select Committee on Assassinations and to journalist Anthony

Summers, among others -- as simply "unreliable" (Ibid., 141). In regard

to Anthony Summers, Posner quotes Roberts as saying, "I didn't tell him

all the truth." The remark, innocuous enough on its face -- she didn't

tell Summers the whole story; big surprise -- happens to lack a source

citation. Ms. Roberts' statement that every Japanese person "should have been

wiped off the face of the earth" receives a citation ("Interview with

Delphine Roberts, March 17, 1992"). Her intriguing claim to "being one of

the very few, since the beginning of the world, who has ever read the

sacred scrolls that God himself wrote and gave to the ancient Hebrews for

placing in the Ark of the Covenant" receives a citation ("Ibid."). But "I

didn't tell him all the truth" does not rate even a footnote, as does,

say, Posner's confirmation that Roberts was indeed Guy Banister's

mistress. Then, without furnishing a direct quotation, Posner writes,

"She claims the only reason she told him the story she did was that

Summers, then shooting a television documentary, paid her money" (Ibid.).

He quotes Roberts as saying, "He did give us $500 eventually, and they

did take us to dinner. We did enjoy the dinner" (Ibid.). Again, no

citation. Then, without a direct quotation, he writes, "John Lanne, a

former Banister friend and attorney, acknowledges that Roberts refused to

speak to Summers unless she was paid" (Ibid.).

Perhaps to avoid a costly libel suit by an internationally respected

journalist, the self-described "Wall Street lawyer" includes -- in a

footnote -- a response from Summers: "Anthony Summers told the author

that he had met with Delphine Roberts at John Lanne's office. There,

Lanne, whom Summers 'thought to be fairly mad, certainly odd," pulled a

pistol from his desk, waved it in the air, and told Summers he could not

interview his client, Delphine. Summers drove Delphine home from that

meeting, and during the ride, 'she suddenly, more or less, broke up, put

her hands to her face, and said, "Mr. Summers, look, why should I bottle

this up?"' She then told him the story he wrote in his book. FOLLOWING

THAT DISCUSSION [emphasis added], Summers told Roberts that he wanted to

do an interview for television. He says that 'several days later, at the

urging of her daughter, Delphine, Jr., a big fat lady [Summers' words,

not Posner's], she agreed to do the interview, not for $500, but if I

rightly recall, for $250 to $300.' Summers says, 'Just so you know, the

general tariff I make is that I DO NOT PAY PEOPLE TO DO INTERVIEWS FOR

THE BOOK, EVER [emphasis added], but I do regard television interviews as

a different thing' (Interview with Anthony Summers, May 31, 1993)"

(Posner, 141fn.). So according to Posner, who cites interviews in *Case Closed* that

several of his subjects say never occurred (two examples being JFK

autopsy pathologist J. Thornton Boswell and key assassination witness

James Tague), Delphine Roberts only talks for money. Yet she told

essentially the same story she told Summers to the Dallas *Morning News*

with no payment whatsoever, just as she testified under oath to the same

facts before the House Select Committee on Assassinations, who were also

not in the habit of paying witnesses. In 1982, Roberts affirmed to author

Henry Hurt not only that Summers' published account of her interview was

accurate (Hurt, Reasonable Doubt, 292), but also that her decision to

talk followed "an upsetting confrontation with her own lawyer" (Ibid.),

supporting Summers' recollection which was unpublished until 1993.

See for information on how to purchase a book or a work of art at her site.  (Note: be sure to write in "shipping instructions" that you have purchased a work of art.)

1 comment:

  1. Dear Brian Thomas: Please contact me at I am delighted to hear from you and indeed want more facts.



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