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Warren Commission Hearings: Vol. I - Page 162« Previous | Next »

(Testimony of Mrs. Marguerite Oswald)

Mr. Rankin.
Sunday afternoon?
Mrs. Oswald.
Sunday, November 24th.
Mr. Rankin.
And then what happened?
Mrs. Oswald.
Then Mr. Perry, the doctor, came down. We were escorted into a room. And he came in. He said, "Now, you know the Texas law is that we have to have an autopsy on a body."
I said, "Yes, I understand."
And Marina understood.
Marina is a registered pharmacist.
So Marina understands these things. And Marina understood.
And he said, "Now, I will do whatever you ladies wish. I understand that you wish to see the body. However, I will say this. It will not be pleasant. All the blood has drained from him, and it would be much better if you would see him after he was fixed up."
I said, "I am a nurse. I have seen death before. I want to see my son now."
Marina--as I am trying to say, she understands English--she said, "I want to see Lee, too." So she knew what the doctor was saying.
We were escorted upstairs into a room. They said it was a morgue, but it wasn't. Lee's body was on a hospital bed, I would say, or a table a table like you take into an operating room. And there were a lot of policemen standing around, guarding the body. And, of course, his face was showing. And Marina went first. She opened his eyelids. Now, to me I am a nurse, and I don't think I could have done that. This is a very, very strong girl, that she can open a dead man's eyelids. And she says, "He cry. He eye wet." To the doctor. And the doctor said, "Yes."
Well, I know that the fluid leaves, and you do have moisture. So I didn't even touch Lee. I just wanted to see that it was my son.
So on the way, leaving the body in the room--I am in the room----
Mr. Rankin.
You were satisfied it was your son?
Mrs. Oswald.
Yes, sir. That is why I wanted to see the body. I wanted to make sure it was my son.
So while leaving the room, I said to the police "I think some day you will hang your heads in shame."
I said, "I happen to know, and know some facts, that maybe this is the unsung hero of this episode. And I, as his mother, intend to provide this if I can."
And, with that, I left the room.
Then we were escorted into a room downstairs, and introduced to the chaplain. I have asked several reporters to give me the chaplain's name, because I wanted to have all this information for you. But you have to realize I just knew Thursday. And I have three times as many papers as I have here. So it has been a chore for me to do all of this. But that is easy to find out--the name of the chaplain at Parkland Hospital. So I asked to speak to the chaplain in private. So I spoke to the chaplain in private, and I told him that I thought my son was an agent, and that I wanted him to talk to Robert. Robert does not listen to me, never has, and I have had very, very little conversation with Robert, ever since Robert has joined the Marines, because of the way our life has intervened.
Mr. Rankin.
Did you tell the chaplain why you thought your son was an agent?
Mrs. Oswald.
No, sir, but this is what I told the chaplain. No--I am always thinking of my country, the security of my country before 1 would say anything like that.
And I told you why I told the FBI men, because of the money involved, and I didn't know how the public would take this, because they helped a Marxist.
So I didn't tell him. But I did say I wanted him to talk to Robert, because we financially were in very poor straits. And then I wanted my son buried in the Arlington Cemetery.
Now, gentlemen, I didn't know that President Kennedy was going to be buried in Arlington Cemetery. All I know is that my son is an agent, and that he deserves to be buried in Arlington Cemetery. So I talked to the chaplain about this. I went into quite detail about this. I asked him if he would talk to Robert, because when I talked to Robert about it, as soon as I started to say something he would say, "Oh, Mother, forget it."
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