Coverage-50 years to the day-of events leading to the assassination of President Kennedy

JFK Elm Street



Stuck in a New Orleans jail cell because he lacks $10 in bail money, Lee Harvey Oswald is interviewed by police Lt. Francis Martello, after he spots Oswald's Fair Play for Cuba Committee (FPCC) leaflets. Oswald lies throughout the interview, embellishing his background. He lied about where he has lived - completely omitting his time in the Soviet Union - and says since moving to New Orleans, he had worked at the Jax Brewery company. Oswald says the FPCC's New Orleans branch had 35 members, when in fact he was the only known member. 


At the end of the interview, Oswald makes an odd request: he wants to be interviewed by John Quigley of the FBI. Martello called him and Quigley arrived later that morning. Oswald was worried he had been under FBI surveillance and was convinced this was the reason he had been fired from at least two of the three jobs he lost in the past year. 


That Oswald called the FBI suggests that there never was any relationship between him and that government agency as some have suggested. Had he been an confidential informant, he would be extremely unlikely to expose that connection by asking to speak with a specific agent. 


And Quigley's meeting was hardly kept a "secret" as some have alleged. Quigley typed a five-page, single-spaced report of his 90-minute interview with Oswald, who repeated the same lies he had just told Lt. Martello. 


After Quigley left, Oswald had a friend of the Murrets (his New Orleans aunt and uncle) and asked them to bail him out of jail. They were unavailable, so a cousin, Joyce Murret, who was visiting from Texas, came down to the jail. Meeting Lt. Martello, she told him things Oswald had omitted during his interview: his defection to the U.S.S.R., his Russian language skills and comments Lee had made about disliking America. Joyce declined to bail out Oswald and left. 


Martello, intrigued by her disclosures, interviewed Oswald again. This time Oswald admitted he was "guilty" of being a socialist ad a Marxist but said communism in the Soviet Union "stunk."


Oswald phoned Joyce again and demanded to be bailed out. Joyce refused but after conferring with her Mother, called a friend - a state boxing commissioner - who paid Oswald's bail.  


When Oswald got home, Marina was both furious and worried. Worried about Oswald's attempt to shoot Gen. Walker in Dallas, she checked to see if Oswald's rifle was still in their shabby apartment. It was.

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