Interesting reading this morning, Judyth Baker’s memories in Me and Lee. She and Lee Oswald fell in love even as Judyth was married to another man and Lee to Marina. In their romantic life they planned to escape to Mexico, but it is now late July of 1963 and Oswald is distraught. They fight about trust, her not wanting to be his “harlot” and him not wanting to endanger her by telling her too much. She has been working on a transmittable form of cancer in New Orleans under the supervision of Dr. Alton Ochsner, and Oswald had been sent by the CIA to spy on the program, which is how they happen to meet. His pet name for her is “Judiffki,” a private joke as they are both fluent in Russian.
However, by the time of this conversation, he realizes that he is a dead man. He knows too much – a group of Dallas oil men, New Orleans businessmen, military and CIA members have decided to murder Kennedy. Oswald has been ordered to appear in publicity stunts as a pro-Castro fanatic in order to draw out and photograph other pro-Castro elements. He knows that if he does this, he can be fingered as a patsy so that Castro can be blamed for the murder, thereby justifying another Cuban invasion. At the same time he knows he is low-level and disposable, and that if he does not cooperate his wife, daughter and unborn child, along with Judyth, are all in danger. He says he can run and hide, but they cannot, and anyway, he would be found. He’s dead, he tells her. Later, after Oswald is murdered, David Ferrie tells her to go lead a “vanilla” life, or she’ll be killed. She does so.
In other reading, a book published in a France and Germany in the late 1960’s was supposed to be released in the US to support the Bobby Kennedy candidacy, but since he was murdered too, it did not make it to our shores until recently. According to the introduction (book was written under a pseudonym), the KGB cooperated in putting the book together, supplying intelligence information from its US spy network. Take it for what it is worth, but it says that the assassination team that got to JFK consisted of ten men: four shooters, each with a side man to clean up shells and help with stowing weapons; one man to create a distraction prior to the shooting (the guy who had an epileptic fit in Dealey); and one man in charge of communications (umbrella man). Escape was remarkably easy for them, as they rode away in Dallas police cars (Dallas was chosen as a venue in part due to its utterly corrupt police force, but there had been prior attempts in Chicago and Tampa). Oswald was the eleventh man, the patsy.
Killing Kennedy was seen as necessary as he was too reluctant to attack Cuba, but there was a larger motive as well: To neutralize the office of president. Once it was shown to all that the president could not be kept safe, all future presidents would know to cooperate with the shadow forces embedded in power that were able to get to JFK. LBJ and Nixon, who both understood what happened, left office knowing that they could not survive if they fought back. Since both were corrupt anyway, there was no great loss to the country.
After a crime of this magnitude, there are details. The shooters were hired guns and were probably murdered, as were other low-level agents who knew too much, such as David Ferrie and Dr. Mary Sherman. Many, many witnesses met untimely deaths. Oswald was supposed to have been killed by Dallas police at the movie theater he went to after the hit, and letting him leave there alive was a major screw-up that forced them to call in Jack Ruby, even though the two were somewhat friends. Later, after threatening to talk and asking Earl Warren to be moved to DC from Dallas, Ruby was injected with … something … while in his jail cell, and in very short order died of an extremely aggressive cancer.
There’s a movie coming out later this year called “Legacy of Secrecy.” So much is known now, and Me and Lee is breaking down even more walls of secrecy. The purpose of the movie is probably jujitsu – since so much is public now and so many cats out of the bag, LaMar Waldron, author of the book on which the movie is based, has pinned it all on the Mafia.
The cover-up continues. Is anything ever actually true in this crazy country?
Footnote: Baker’s credibility has been challenged by authoritative sources – assassination researchers who have grilled her on minute details. They have found her to be believable. The book I cite here offering KGB sourcing is less credible, as much must be taken on faith. The translation is sloppy and significant typos are distracting. I’ll put its name up when we return to Colorado.
Perhaps the most significant matter brought forth by Baker is the research she participated in to weaponize cancer. She even participated knowing that a prisoner was used for experimentation, making her an accessory to murder. This is how people get caught up in this murderous business – by the time they know what is up, they are in so deep that their lives are in danger for just knowing. This is the predicament Oswald was in, and why he and Baker planned to flee the country.