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Interview of Ruth Paine of Senate Internal Security Subcommittee, Dec 5, 1963

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The Mary Ferrell Foundation site has posted 17 documents from the Senate Internal Security Subcommittee, that is Dodd's subcommittee (https://www.maryferrell.org/php/showlist.php?docset=2123). One is a Dec 5, 1963, interview with Ruth Paine (see https://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=219416). I have not seen this before now. Following are some points of interest from this early Ruth Paine interview:

  • Crying a good deal after learning JFK had been killed. (p. 2)
  • Marina spoke of having seen the rifle in the garage "perhaps two weeks back or more", not the night before as some news reports originally reported. (p. 3) (This detail of interest to me re an argument I have made elsewhere that Oswald with Marina's knowledge removed the rifle from the Paine garage on Tue Nov 11 and 12, and that the rifle was not in the Ruth Paine garage after Nov 12, close to two weeks earlier [https://educationforum.ipbhost.com/topic/27502-the-oswald-family-at-the-furniture-mart-a-rifle-scope-installation-in-november-1963-and-why-it-matters-a-sale-of-the-rifle-before-the-assassination/]. )
  • Sat Nov 23 Marguerite was focused on getting Lee legal counsel that day. (p. 4, again p. 5) (Also of interest to me in light of the analysis I have argued elsewhere that Marguerite via intermediaries made contact that day with childhood friend, attorney Clem Sehrt in New Orleans, and that that is the true background to the phone call New Orleans attorney Dean Andrews received that afternoon asking Dean Andrews to go to Dallas to represent Oswald [https://educationforum.ipbhost.com/topic/27687-a-fresh-analysis-of-the-dean-andrews-phone-call-and-the-name-clay-bertrand/]. ) 
  • A detail of interest with respect to the Life magazine reporters of Fri eve Nov 22 in Ruth Paine's house whom Marguerite implied Ruth had let in the house and Marguerite did not like them there, vs. Ruth saying in the Max Good film the opposite, that Marguerite had invited them. Here in this Dec 5, 1963 interview Ruth Paine says of Sat Nov 23, "And things were quite quiet here. The newsmen hadn't found me and weren't interested." She would not have said that if she had initiated the idea of inviting Life (or other) newsmen in to her house to do interviews the evening of the assassination. It supports Ruth's version that the reason they were in her house Fri evening when Marguerite was there is because they were with Marguerite whom Ruth had generously invited to stay overnight in her house that night. Marguerite had originally contacted a reporter on Fri Nov 22 to get a ride into Dallas to the police station, and was negotiating with reporters for her story following that; the Life reporters appear to have been a continuation of that and the drivers of the car or cars that brought the Oswald women and Ruth back home Fri eve Nov 22 from the Dallas police station. Those reporters were let by Ruth into Ruth's house that evening because they were with Marguerite (and had driven all of them home). Those same Life reporters then bought Marina and Marguerite a hotel room Sat night Nov 23 in order better to interview them. That wasn't Ruth Paine's doing--important point. (p. 4)
  • Reference to Ruth taking Lee "two or three Sunday afternoons" to an empty parking lot teaching Lee to parallel park. (p. 9)
  • Ruth never heard the name FPCC (Fair Play for Cuba Committee) from Lee. (p. 10)
  • Circumstances of Lee and Marina in Sept 1963 when Ruth invited Marina to Irving: "he [Lee] had lost his job. She was at that time, perhaps one month away from having a new baby, and they had no arrangements at a hospital, and no means of paying for any. So that I suggested she return with me to Dallas where she could get medical assistance here geared to their ability to pay . . . one year residence. You have to fulfill a one year residence requirement in order to get such aid. They had this one year in Texas, but they had not this year in Louisiana. So it was really for this that she came back with me. We left him there. He said he was going to go and look for work in Houston." (p. 11) 
  • Ruth says Lee hitchhiked from Dallas to Irving on Fri Oct 4. (p. 13) Somewhere I have had the idea that Lee took a bus Dallas to Irving that day and hitchhiked from the bus station in Irving to Ruth's home (which could have been catching a ride with someone met at the bus station not actually from a thumb out by the side of a road)? Did I have that wrong? There is no other known instance of Lee hitchhiking as transportation. Is Ruth correct or mistaken on the hitchhiking all the way from Dallas to Irving?
  • Ruth speaks sympathetically and favorably toward Lee and her attitude toward Lee in the Oct-Nov period, contrary to often how portrayed. She was negative toward Lee in spring 1963, but came to be sympathetic and favorable to him in the summer and fall of 1963. If Ruth in later years says she did "not like" Lee including in the Oct-Nov period, this early testimony says differently. "Well, I felt that more when I first knew them in the spring. I found him primarily impolite, not courteous or thoughtful towards his wife. But then in New Orleans first, when I was coming in September to New Orleans and saw them there I realized how concerned he was for his wife. And I saw him for the first time as a father who did care. And my feelings changed somewhat then. And then he showed concern later, too, after we were in Dallas." (p. 16) 
  • stupid comment in a question from the interviewer (not Ruth) which brings a smile: "You cannot call him [Lee] smart or intelligent, but..." (p. 16) Lee read and read library books, continuously reading, his political writings among his papers are reasonable, no calls for violence, nothing outlandish. Under other circumstances Lee could have gone on to a graduate degree in a university if life had gone differently for him. 
  • Lee "called almost every day to be sociable, just to converse", to Marina and Ruth at the Ruth Paine house. (p. 18)
  • Ruth makes reference to Wed Nov 20 as being unusual when Lee did not call that evening, since he usually called every evening (p 19). Wed Nov 20 is the evening when Lee is separately reported to have spent hours in a laundromat not far from his room in Oak Cliff, until after midnight that night.
  • On Lee going into the garage early Thu eve Nov 21 and leaving the light on, before Lee went to bed that evening, Ruth deconstructs any need to read significance into that in itself. "I noticed that he had been in the garage, but that didn't mean a great deal, because one o[r] the other of them often went into the garage because most of their things were there. I noticed he had been there because he had left the light on." (p. 20) In other words, a normal thing to do for Lee or Marina, since that is where their things were, happened all the time.
  • Lee showed nothing unusual in demeanor, not a clue that he would be accused of killing a police officer and President Kennedy within hours. (p. 21)
  • Ruth found FBI agents professional and has glowing praise for them, says she was proud to pay taxes that would support such fine men. (p. 24-25)
  • Ruth says explicitly she is "a Democrat" and "I had voted for Kennedy and was very pleased with his administration" (p. 25)
  • Nature of Ruth's daily relationship with Marina: "I would summarize it we were very busy doing dishes and diapers, that this was our primary involvement, and talking and enjoying one anothers company". (p. 26) 
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Dodd also chaired the Hearings before the Subcommittee to Investigate Juvenile Delinquency of the Committee on the Judiciary held hearings in 1962-63 about mail order guns. Interestingly, the two firms that LHO bought his weapons from were targets of this committee.  Some have suggested LHO may have been working on behalf of this committee.

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11 hours ago, Lawrence Schnapf said:

Dodd also chaired the Hearings before the Subcommittee to Investigate Juvenile Delinquency of the Committee on the Judiciary held hearings in 1962-63 about mail order guns. Interestingly, the two firms that LHO bought his weapons from were targets of this committee.  Some have suggested LHO may have been working on behalf of this committee.

Good point--it does make sense that something like that may have been going on, doesn't it. I would dearly love to nail down specifics on this which remain elusive. 

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