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Warren Commission Report: Page 378« Previous | Next »

(CHAPTER VII - Lee Harvey Oswald: Background and Possible Motives)

entirely to help support the family, which he did for 4 months in the fall of 1948.25 In order to supplement their income further she falsely swore that Pic was 17 years old so that he could join the Marine Corps Reserves.26 Pic did turn over part of his income to his mother, but he returned to high school in January of 1949, where he stayed until 3 days before he was scheduled to graduate, when he left school in order to get into the Coast Guard.27 Since his mother did not approve of his decision to continue school he accepted the responsibility for that decision himself and signed his mother's name to all his own excuses and report cards.28


Pic thought that his mother overstated her financial problems and was unduly concerned about money. Referring to the period after the divorce from Ekdahl, which was apparently caused in part by Marguerite's desire to get more money from him, Pic said: "Lee was brought up in this atmosphere of constant money problems, and I am sure it had quite an effect on him, and also Robert." 29 Marguerite Oswald worked in miscellaneous jobs after her divorce from Ekdahl.30 When she worked for a time as an insurance saleslady, she would sometimes take Lee with her, apparently leaving him alone in the car while she transacted her business.31 When she worked during the school year, Lee had to leave an empty house in the morning, return to it for lunch and then again at night, his mother having trained him to do that rather than to play with other children.32


An indication of the nature of Lee's character at this time was provided in the spring of 1950, when he was sent to New Orleans to visit the family of his mother's sister, Mrs. Lillian Murret, for 2 or 3 weeks. Despite their urgings, he refused to play with the other children his own age.33 It also appears that Lee tried to tag along with his older brothers but apparently was not able to spend as much time with them as he would have liked, because of the age gaps of 5 and 7 years, which became more significant as the children grew older.34

New York City

Whatever problems may have been created by Lee's home life in Louisiana and Texas, he apparently adjusted well enough there to have had an average, although gradually deteriorating, school record with no behavior or truancy problems. That was not the case, however, after he and his mother moved to New York in August of 1952, shortly before Lee's 13th birthday. They moved shortly after Robert joined the Marines; they lived for a time with John Pie who was stationed there with the Coast Guard.35 Relations soon became strained, however,36 so in late September Lee and his mother moved to their own apartment in the Bronx.37 Pie and his wife would have been happy to have kept Lee, however, who was becoming quite a disciplinary problem for his mother, having struck her on at least one occasion.38


The short-lived stay with the Pics was terminated after an incident in which Lee allegedly pulled out a pocket knife during an argument

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