Saturday, 11 September 2010

Lee Harvey Oswald and the Spartacus Biography: a Study in Bias and Carelessness

Lee Harvey Oswald and the Spartacus Biography
    by Judyth Vary Baker
The Spartacus Schoolnet, a popular online website, is used by school children, students and teachers, as well as by the general public, as a trusted resource.
     Its lee Harvey Oswald biography is located at

As such, it should be an unbiased and accurate biography, written with due care.
It is not.
Beginning with the first few lines, the bias in the biography is evident to those who know the truth:
“Lee Harvey Oswald was born in New Orleans on 18th October, 1939. His father, Robert Oswald, died two months before his son was born. At the age of three his mother, Marguerite Oswald, sent him to live in the Bethleham Children's Home.”
What’s wrong/missing in these opening lines? Let’s take a look:
There is no mention that Marguerite Oswald had two older sons when Lee was born, and that she was under severe financial distress. Lee stayed with his mother until, due to her financial circumstances, he was sent to live with his aunt and uncle until he was three years old.  The biography continues in the same vein, leaving out too much information:
“Oswald went to live with his mother in Benbrook, Texas when she married Edwin Ekdahl. The marriage did not last and Marguerite Oswald took her three sons to a new home in Fort Worth.”
What’s wrong/missing in the above lines?  If you access…
….you would read (see below) a great deal of information left out of the Spartacus biography. Note that in certain sections, as we shall see, the Spartacus biography for Oswald goes into exquisite detail at times; therefore, one must ask Why so much information is missing?

(from the SCRIBD articleJ

“Birthdate: October 18, 1939, Birthplace: The Old French Hospital in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA. Family members: Lee Oswald was the third child and third son of New Orleans native Marguerite Claverie, by her second marriage, to Robert Edward Lee Oswald (married 20 July, 1933).Lee Oswald's full brother, Robert, was born April 7, 1934.Lee's oldest sibling, a half-brother (John Edward Pic) was born January 17, 1932, after Marguerite's previous marriage to Edward John Pic, Jr ended in divorce.
Marguerite described her marriage to Robert E. Lee Oswald, an insurance agent, as a happy one, but he died of a heart attack on August 19th, 1939, two months before Lee Oswald was born. He was named Lee after his father; Harvey was his paternal grandmother's maiden name.
After two years of struggle, Marguerite, financially and emotionally stressed, placed her sons in a Lutheran orphanage, Bethlehem Children's Home, Lee at first being kept by his affectionate Aunt Lillian (Marguerite's sister) and his Uncle Charles Murret until he was old enough to enter the orphanage, where he remained with his brothers for about a year. Their mother visited them on weekends. Marguerite's
third marriage, to Edwin A. Ekdahl, an electrical engineer, allowed Lee to return home, to Dallas, TX. where he was treated as a son by Ekdahl, while Lee's brothers were sent to Chamberlain-Hunt Military Academy at Port Gibson, Miss, their tuition there paid by their mother. The marriage was happy for a time, but after they moved to Fort Worth, TX, problems developed when Ekdahl committed infidelities, and the couple had a bitter divorce in June, 1948.
   Lee and his mother moved often in the ensuing years, each move making it more difficult for Lee, who suffered from dyslexia, to catch up on his studies and make friends. Nevertheless, Lee managed to pass his classes and did not fail any grades, and his general behavior was not considered erratic or violent, though there is no doubt that he was a thoughtful and quiet child, whose deep interest in reading, despite his disability, along with a lifelong interest in politics, classical music and chess, would serve to set him apart.”
Of course, the Spartacus biography is a limited one, but nevertheless, the information given tends to be negative, without any explanations.  You will not find positive remarks in Wikipedia’s “Official Version” biography, either, nor on the popular sites that come up on top in a Google search: they almost always reflect only the Official Version.
To go on a bit further with the Spartacus version:

“The two elder brothers, John and Robert, found work and in 1952 Marguerite and Lee moved to New York.”
In fact, the two elder brothers both went into military service upon leaving home.  Why is this called ‘found work’? They were serving their country. What we find next is equally negligent in quality of content and in truthfulness:
“Although considered an intelligent boy, Lee Harvey Oswald's behaviour at school deteriorated. He was sent to a detention centre and underwent psychiatric treatment.”
The bias at this point in the Spartacus biography is blatantly obvious:
1) Lee Oswald’s behavior at school was not why he was sent to a detention center.
2) Lee Oswald was sent to a detention center for missing too much school. He spent his time at home, traveling on buses and subways, and going to the zoo and to the library instead of to school.  He was therefore sent to the detention center.
3) Lee Oswald did not undergo any psychiatric treatment at the detention center.  He was given several interviews at the detention center by a psychiatrist to assess his problems as a juvenile who had been a chronic truant.
It was determined that he was emotionally starved, and had been neglected by his mother.  
When carefully examined, the testimony of Dr. Renaus Hartogs, who interviewed Lee, as given to the Warren Commission, turned out to not match his statements on record.  Yet “Official Versions” continue to cite Hartogs. Hartogs told the Warren Commission he was convinced of Lee Oswald’s belligerent attitude and pronounced him dangerous, but even the Warren Commission decided not to use Hartog’s testimony:
 “Posner cited the testimony of Renatus Hartogs, the psychiatrist who examined Oswald as a teenage truant, arguing that Hartog's findings suggested a violent potential. (6) The Warren Commission dismissed Hartog's testimony when an examination of his original report revealed the opposite conclusion. In
fact, the commission concluded, "[c]ontrary to reports that appeared after the assassination, the psychiatric examination did not indicate that Lee Oswald was a potential assassin,potentially
 dangerous, that his 'outlook on life had strongly paranoid overtones,' or that he should be institutionalized." 
F. KENNEDY, 379, (1964), [hereinafter

Ref: Dr. Gary L. Aguilar, “Letter to the Federal Bar News and Journal” protesting Gerald Posner’s highly biased book, Case Closed.

So why did the Spartacus biography tell school kids and teachers that Oswald received psychiatric treatment? Who wrote the biography? Who is responsible?
To go on, let’s skip to another problem:
Oswald left school at sixteen and the following year joined the U.S. Marines.”
Sounds like a high school dropout who finally wandered into the Marine Corps, right?
Lee Oswald wished to follow in his brothers’ footsteps in their ‘work’ – he joined the Marines as soon as he was legally of an age to do so. A close look at Lee Oswald’s records show that he remained in school, though his attendance record was sometimes poor, until just before he joined the Marines at age 17:

“In New Orleans, and later in Fort Worth, Texas, Lee would attend five different schools in the next several years, finally dropping out a few days after his 17th birthday to join the Marines (both his siblings had already joined military organizations), his longtime dream. He had attempted to join the Marines when he was only 16, using a faked birth certificate, but his small physical stature was a giveaway, and he was rejected.”
(Note: I wrote this biography with the input of researchers, and every statement is backed up by records –in this case, by Warren Commission records.)

The Spartacus biography then says:

“After basic training Oswald qualified as an Aviation Electronics Operator and in 1957 was posted to the Atsugi Air Base in Japan.”

There is no mention that Lee Oswald obtained his GED in the Marines, proving he
had attained the equivalency of a high school education. Nor is there any detail about

 his training in Russian.  The updated, modern biography does give those details:

“…at age 17, he successfully finished Boot Camp, subsequently
attaining his GED, a matter rarely mentioned. He was also trained in marksmanship, scoring in the lower two of three marksmanship levels. Between October 1956 and October 1959, Lee was trained at Jacksonville, Biloxi, and El Toro. He also served on the U.S. S. Bexar, during which time friends noticed he was studying Russian and subscribing to Russian newspapers and magazines. That he was able to conduct such activities without harassment or investigation during serious ongoing problems with Russia at the time must be considered, not ignored: what Marine could conduct such activities, and also be tested (as was Oswald) for proficiency in Russian, unless he had received approval at some level to do so? Lee was sent to Atsugi, Japan (a known MK-ULTRA --"mind control" operations center--and U2 spy station) in 1957; he later saw duty in the Pacific, and in the South China Sea.”
The Spartacus article also says:
   “He soon got into trouble for being in possession of an unregistered weapon. In March 1958 he was found guilty of using "provoking words" in a quarrel with a sergeant.”
   The weapon was a Derringer, and Lee Oswald accidentally (according to official records) shot himself in the elbow with it and was reprimanded, with a ‘suspended sentence’ that, however, was imposed via a court martial ruling when he quarreled with a sergeant at a bar and reportedly poured beer over the sergeant’s head.  He then went to the brig, but there is a lot of interest in the records involved: they’re confusing, and it isn’t certain that Lee Oswald was not, in fact, being trained secretly during the so-called ‘brig time’ –which is not mentioned in the Spartacus biography.  Who didn’t want to mention ‘brig time’ for Lee Oswald, when it should show him in an unfavorable light?  Is it because so many problems come up trying to account for the time Lee Oswald supposedly spent in the brig?  But let’s go on, and see what Spartacus tells us next:
“Oswald also served in Taiwan and the Philippines before returning to his base in California. He remained interested in politics and became an outspoken supporter of Fidel Castro and his revolution in Cuba.”
Whoa, there!  We know that Lee Oswald made news in New Orleans in 1963 concerning his support for Castro, which I explain in detail in my book, Me & Lee. However, in 1958 he made known his interest in Russia and in the Russian language, not Castro.
The Spartacus biography does not tell us the exact truth in the next four sentences, either:

“In 1959 Oswald left the Marines. Soon afterwards he travelled to Finland. After a short stay in Helsinki he acquired a six day tourist visa to enter the Soviet Union. Oswald went to Moscow and applied to become a Soviet citizen.”
The truth: Lee Oswald left active duty and became a member of the Marines Reserves. He did not leave the Marines. He had about three more years to serve. He left with an honorable discharge –not mentioned in the Spartacus biography (this designation was later changed to “undesirable” after his return from the USSR). 
    He supposedly left active duty because his mother was “ill” – from an injury to her nose that happened months earlier. He stayed only a few days with Marguerite and with his brother Robert, then left Texas and went to New Orleans, where he sailed to Lehavre, France, posing as an exports agent, eventually reaching Finland. The entire route is unusual, involving routes, a plane flight, an expedited visa, and access to other knowledge generally unknown to the public. The trip also involved more funds than Lee Oswald had in his bank account.  All these suspicious details are left out of the Spartacus biography. To go on, considerable detail is then involved regarding Lee Oswald’s defection. His entire life, to this point, has been told in the most Spartan of details, but now we hear from Mosby and Johnson in exhaustive detail.  Why? Is it because the writer of the Spartacus biography wants to make sure that the reader gets the Official Version of the defection?  It seems that Lee Oswald’s intention to tell radar secrets to the Communists is what the writer intends. What the writer does not tell the reader is that Col. Fletcher Prouty, Dr. James Fetzer, and Gary Powers of U2 fame all believed Oswald was ordered to give radar secrets to the Soviets.
 Instead, the Spartacus article leads us to assume that Oswald is simply a traitor, with not one syllable expressing the other side of the story: Not only is he a traitor – he’s also rather stupid, according to Mosby:
“On 13th November, 1959, Arline Mosby, who worked for United Press International (UPI) interviewed Oswald. Mosby later told a fellow journalist: "He (Oswald) struck me as being a rather mixed-up young man of not great intellectual capacity or training, and somebody that the Soviet Union wouldn't certainly be much interested in."
Three days later, Priscilla Johnson checked into the same hotel as Osward. The following day she visited the American Embassy to pick up her mail (16th November, 1959). According to Johnson, John McVickar approached her and told her that "there's a guy in your hotel who wants to defect, and he won't talk to…
==Wow! All this detail! Where was all this detail when Oswald’s Marine training and activities were being described (not)?==

…any of us here". She later told the Warren Commission: "John McVickar said she [sic] was refusing to talk to journalists. So I thought that it might be an exclusive, for one thing, and he was right in my hotel, for another." As Johnson was leaving the American Embassy McVickar told her "to remember she was an American."
Oswald agreed to be interviewed by Johnson. She later testified that they talked from between nine until one or two in the morning. Oswald told her: "Once having been assured by the Russians that I would not have to return to the United States, come what may, I assumed it would be safe for me to give my side of the story."
==Wow, again! We’re getting a plethora of detail, in fact.===
Johnson's article appeared in the Washington Evening Star. Surprisingly, the article did not include Oswald's threat to reveal radar secrets. Nor was it mentioned in any other article or book published by Johnson on Oswald. However, under oath before the Warren Commission she admitted that Oswald had told her that "he hoped his experience as a radar operator would make him more desirable to them (the Soviets)".
Besides an inequitable allocation of detail, for unexplained reasons, there are many more problems with the Spartacus biography.
From beginning to end, replete as it is with omissions, false assertions, and significant gaps in Lee Oswald’s life, perhaps the most troubling is the outright statement that a witness said Lee Oswald shot Officer Tippit, without a word about conflicts among witnesses concerning the Tippit murder.
There is also no hint of the injustices against Lee Oswald that occurred when witnesses in lineups were “helped” to identify the “killer,” and not a whisper about the fact that the number one witness, Helen Marham, stated she ‘talked’ to Tippit for some twenty minutes before he died, though he could not actually speak.  Forensic evidence, however, proves that Tippit died instantly. This is the Official Version’s star witness! Wikipedia and Spartacus both boldly assert that a witness saw Lee Oswald kill Tippit:
Wikipedia:  “Helen Markham witnessed the shooting and then saw the man with a gun in his hand leave the scene. Markham identified Lee Harvey Oswald as Tippit's killer …i 
Spartacus:  “…at 1.16 p.m. J. D. Tippet, a Dallas policeman, approached a man, later identified as Oswald, walking along East 10th Street. A witness later testified

that after a short conversation Oswald pulled out a hand gun and fired a number of shots at Tippet. Oswald run [sic] off leaving the dying Tippet on the ground.”
The Spartacus biography redeems itself in places, noting that separate bullets hit Kennedy and Connally, and properly describing the location of the bullet that hit Kennedy in the shoulder (but without mentioning that this means Oswald could not have fired the Magic Bullet), which has since been established through the excellent work and research done on autopsy photos and via testimonies, as well as by examining the Zapruder film as to its alterations, by Douglas Horne of the ARRB and his team, by Dr. James Fetzer, by Dr. David Mantik, and many others.
Spartacus: “At about 12.30 p.m. the presidential limousine entered Elm Street. Soon afterwards shots rang out. John F. Kennedy was hit by bullets that hit him in thehead and the left shoulder. Another bullet hit John Connally in the back. Ten seconds after the first shots had been fired the president's car accelerated off at high speed towards Parkland Memorial Hospital. Both men were carried into separate emergency rooms. Connally had wounds to his back, chest, wrist and thigh. Kennedy's injuries were far more serious. He had a massive wound to the head and at 1 p.m. he was declared dead.”
But soon the Spartacus biography again goes awry, failing to mention that the first rifle found in the TSBD was not a Mannlicher-Carcano, but, via testimony and official affidavits by police, was first clearly identified as a MAUSER, until that seems to have proven inconvenient, seeing that the three cartridges found in ‘the sniper’s nest” happened to be from a Mannlicher-Carcano.   
The fine work of Gil Jesus provides ample reason to doubt the Official Version’s linking of Oswald to the Mannlicher-Carcano. See:
 “Ten Reasons Why I Believe “the Oswald Rifle” Isn’t Oswald’s” (summary)
Waldman Exhibit 8 is a copy of the order blank used by "A.Hidell " to

order the rifle from Klein's. On that order form, taken from the February, 1963 edition of
American Rifleman, one can see that Oswald ordered catalog # C20-T750…
     The fine research of Linda Minor also reveals that it was impossible for the order form to reach Chicago from Dallas in just 24 hours, during which time it was also supposedly processed by the company receiving the order and the rifle packed and shipped out to Oswald (!). The order could not possibly have reached Chicago from Dallas in less than 24 hours. It was also mailed from the wrong mailbox, et., etc., etc.
The Spartacus biography then moves on to drastically compress the witness testimony as to where the shots were fired ,and then to mix it up with what is now believed to be planted evidence in the case. Where’s the ‘detail’ when we need it?
“Witnesses at the scene of the assassination claimed they had seen shots being fired from behind a wooden fence on the Grassy Knoll and from the Texas School Book Depository. The police investigated these claims and during a search of the TSBD they discovered on the floor by one of the sixth floor windows, three empty cartridge cases. They also found a Mannlicher-Carcano rifle hidden beneath some boxes.”
No mention of any of the rifle order problems…no mention of the Mauser…no mention of anything that might exculpate Oswald.  It’s all damning, as if it’s an open-and-shut case.  Probably most shameful of all is that the Spartacus biography repeats a claim that witness Howard Brennan “saw Oswald” in the TSBD window:
“Another witness, Howard Brennan, claimed he saw Oswald holding a rifle at the sixth floor window.”
Brennan had this to say about the lineup where he was asked to identify the “killer” --but in fact, did not do so because he feared for his life:
“The officer walked over to me sticking out his hand to shake. He greeted me by name and I knew if he knew who I was and what my connection with

the case was, then others must know. He asked me, “Does the second man from the left look most like the man you saw?” He was talking about Oswald and I knew what he wanted me to say.”  (*from Brennan’s posthumous book, Eyewitness to History.)
   The sloppiness of the writing, the carelessness with which this vital information has been handled, the lack of details where needed, bespeak also of multiple writers and/or the presence of multiple “editors” with their own agendas. This situation seems clear when you read the last two paragraphs of the biography.  It is obvious that one of the paragraphs was rewritten, but in a spate of carelessness, the original (which one?) was not removed.
Paragraph #1: “On 24th November, 1963, Jesse Curry decided to transfer Oswald to the county jail. Will Fritz placed George Butler in immediate charge of the transfer. As Oswald was led through the basement of police headquarters a man rushed forward and shot him in the stomach. The gunman was quickly arrested by police officers. Oswald died soon afterwards. The man who killed him was later identified as being Jack Ruby.”
Paragraph #2,immediately following Paragraph #1: “On 24th November, 1963, the Dallas Police decided to transfer Lee Harvey Oswald to the county jail. As Oswald was led through the basement of police headquarters a man rushed forward and shot him in the stomach. The gunman was quickly arrested by police officers. Lee Harvey Oswald died soon afterwards. The man who killed him was later identified as being Jack Ruby.”  

The lack of accuracy, care, and responsibility (no editor[s] named) for this biography about Lee Harvey Oswald for UK students, teachers and others is truly underscored by the presence of these two paragraphs.
Educational websites have a special duty to provide accurate biographies that reveal both sides, when there are disputes concerning particular facts as officially presented.  What if we could only accept the “official” version of Adolph Hitler’s life as provided by the German government a year after Hitler’s death? That’s what we face with the Warren Commission and its version concerning Lee Harvey Oswald’s biography.  Today’s facts, emerging new evidence and witnesses, all point to an entirely different man.
Not a Lone Nut.  Not demented.  A man I testify gave his life trying to save John F. Kennedy.
Spartacus’ biography of me (Judyth Vary Baker) is similarly riddled with half-truths, falsehoods, and URL’s to websites that are hostile to my testimony. Yet they had personal access to me.

To get a true look at Lee Oswald, a good place to start is to read Me & Lee: How I Came to Know, Love and Lose Lee Harvey Oswald. (Trine Day, 2010)
Other recommended books that tell the truth:

Dr. Mary’s Monkey, by Edward T. Haslam
Inside the ARRB by Douglas Horne
JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why it Matters
The Great Zapruder Film Hoax ed. by Dr. James fetzer
Crossfire by Jim Marrs
The Search for Lee Harvey Oswald by Robert Groden

Truth must prevail.

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Four Photos of Interest and the Kennedy Assassination

The two top photos are from newspapers in Holland published Nov. 22 and Nov 23, 1963.
The first photo is of interest because it shows Gov. John Connally riding as a third person in the same seat with JFK and Jackie Kennedy.  The third photo shows three people also sitting in the Limo in the same seat.  The fourth photo (below) shows another view, with only JFK and Jackie riding in the seat in the limo.  How happy they look!
The second photo published in Holland (above) shows Jackie and Robert Kennedy, after the assassination: Jackie is bending and reaching forward to open the door of an ambulance.   It is striking to me because nobody from the Secret Service/security officers opens the door for her and Robert.  Where's the respect?  It is telling that the slain President's brother, who is shell-shocked with sorrow, and Jackie, Kennedy's wife, with bloodstains still on her clothing and her legs, must get into that ambulance unassisted.  The Kennedys are no longer the prime center of attention: Lyndon Johnson has been given that position.   We know that the President's physician was not in the limo on Nov. 22., though on other occasions, he had been. We know that people rode with the President and the First Lady in the limo alongside them on occasion.  But on November 22, though there was room for another passenger, the seat remained empty. Clint Hill, the Secret service agent who leaped onto the Presidential limo from the rear, had been assigned to guard Jackie Kennedy.  He saw President Kennedy after the final fatal head shot and described him as hunched over, then slumping to the left.  He also saw what the Parkland Hospital physicians, nurses and staff saw, concerning the fact that Kennedy had been shot from the front, not the back, and he described the head wound clearly:  
"As I lay over the top of the back seat I noticed a portion of the President's head on the right rear side was missing and he was bleeding profusely. Part of his brain was gone. I saw a part of his skull with hair on it lying in the seat. The time of the shooting was approximately 12:30 p.m., Dallas time. I looked forward to the jump seats and noticed Governor Connally's chest was covered with blood and he was slumped to his left and partially covered up by his wife. I had not realized until this point that the Governor had been shot." 
On Nov. 22, 2008, "Octafish" wrote this poignant message to all Americans:
"Going by the newspapers, radio and television stations though, you’d think no one else gave a damn, let alone remembers the assassination of the 35th President of the United States.
There was nothing about the assassination in Dallas in my local newspaper. I checked the TV and listened to the radio. Nothing.

Thank heavens for DU and Google News, which returned 7,111 articles today under “JFK.”  
Here’s the thing: President Kennedy who worked every day in office to keep the world at peace. He worked to make this a better nation for all Americans. He saw a better future and did all he could to bring it to reality. And he stood up to those he knew opposed him when he thought he was right.  Contrast the history since President Kennedy’s passing: It’s been a pretty much steady drumbeat for war from Vietnam to Iraq. 
To those who tell me to “Move on, it was just the brutal work of a lone nut,” I say, “That is exactly what J. Edgar Hoover and Allen Dulles wanted us to believe.”  
To those who say, “We’ll never know,” I say, “It is no pipe dream. There are veterans of World War I still among us. Therefore, we must try to find them. There is no statute of limitations on murder or treason.”  To those who want to shut down discussion on the subject – and to forget the memory of a great President – I say: “Go to Hell.” (Octafish) REF#1:
Secret Service Agent Clint Hill ref: from his 
03/09/1964 Warren Commission Testimony 
Ref.#2: from "Octafish" 


Information about Lee Harvey Oswald and my book, Me & Lee.

Nigel Turner

Nigel Turner
His business card shows a knight in armor on a charging warhorse....