Jump to content
The Education Forum

Just call me Lee, er... Lee Harvey

Ian A. Kerr

Recommended Posts


Did Oswald go by the name Lee, or was he known to friends and associates as Lee Harvey ? .

What difference does it make, you ask ? Well, IMO it makes a big difference - hopefully, you'll see what I mean later.

I watched a stand-up comic on television one time ( can't remeber who it was ) and as part of his routine he asked - Why is it that all assassins, serial killers and mass murderers, et cetera, have three names ? He cited LHO , James Earl Ray, Mark David Chapman as examples. The punchline was something to the effect that he didn't understand why we should have so much trouble finding theses guys after they had committed crimes because all we had to do was look for someone who used three names . As ridiculous ( and humorous ) as this assertion is, in a way, there actually may be some significance to it.

I, as I assume most others interested in the assassination, have amassed considerable research materials over the years that I periodically re-refer to when I want to refresh myself on the case. I do this regularly, and the other day I re-watched a VHS called " The JFK Conspiracy " - a 1978 offering by Anthony Summers. On that tape there is an interview with Silvia Odio, in which she is presented to the effect as being a key witness, who has never appeared in a taped interview before then . We hear Mrs. Odio's words, but see her shadow in silhouette.

In that interview, Mrs. Odio recalls the meeting she had with the three men who came to visit her, at her home, prior to the assassination. Everyone should know the story, so I won't go into it in detail, except to say that Mrs. Odio described Oswald as having introduced himself as Leon Harvey Oswald.

While some may not see this a significant, I certainly do - here's why :

There has always been some debate as to whether Mrs. Odio is telling the truth.

IMO, unless Oswald was regularly known by two names ( and introduced himself thusly ), then one of two things must be true - 1) Odio is lying or , 2 ) whoever it was that visited her, assuming that actually happened, wanted to ensure an extra-ordinarily defined introduction . (I'm sure you'll agree, the fact that Odio insists that he introduced himself as Leon Harvey introduces a whole other problem set to the equation, but I won't go into that right now.)

To me, the salient point in all of this is how Oswald was known to the people he interacted with ? Did he prefer to be called Lee, or did he actually refer to himself as Lee Harvey ? We know that Oswald's middle ( second ) name was Harvey by virtue of the myriad of written material that's available about him, both, by his own hand , as well as other things like job applications, diaries etc. Think about it though, in the case of the people that we know actually knew him eg. his brothers and his mother, none of them refer to him as Lee Harvey, just Lee. Is it so unusual that the written material we see uses both names ? I don't think so, IMO, a case can be made that most of it includes material that one would expect to bear his given names - much in the same way as you or I would give all our names on a job application, or any other such thing that tends to be even a little more formal than normal.

I admit that if Oswald was in the habit of using both names as sort of a colloquialistic thing like Billy Joe, or something like that, then I'm attaching too much significance to all this and should forget it, however , I don't think so. Off the top of my head, I can think of only two readily accessible people that claim to have known

Oswald that may be of some help . Gerry Hemming, and Judith ( Sorry, the last name escapes me ) Oswald's erstwhile lover, circa his Reilly Coffee Co. days.

Someone should ask Mr. Hemming how Oswald introduced himself to him when they first met ( and thereafter ).


Edited by Ian A. Kerr
Link to comment
Share on other sites

De Mohrenschildt had talked and written about him quite extensively - always called him "Lee". Ruth Paine referred to him as "Lee" - maybe Michael, too. Marina did. I don't really remember anyone calling him "Lee Harvey".

Edited by JL Allen
Link to comment
Share on other sites

De Mohrenschildt had talked and written about him quite extensively - always called him "Lee".  Ruth Paine referred to him as "Lee" - maybe Michael, too.  Marina did.  I don't really remember anyone calling him "Lee Harvey".

I listened recently to the Oltmann tapes of De Mokhrenschildt reading from his manuscript and thought it was interesting that he referred to "Harvey Lee Oswald" a number of times.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The relationship of those two makes the whole Oswald theory go up in smoke.

DeMorenschildt was a double if not a triple agent.

He was apparently more interested in Marina,

the KGB family russian immigrant, at first,

but then the suave international white russian became a handler for Lee as well...

That guy was dirty, he was murdered before he could testify to COngress or talk

to his biographer,

The Baron is really the puzzle....


and they called him Lee...

Edited by Shanet Clark
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in

Sign In Now
  • Create New...