Saturday, December 2, 2017

Robert Oswald dead at 83


Robert Oswald, brother of accused presidential assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald, is dead at the age of 83.

Oswald, who passed away on November 27, 2017, was buried in a private ceremony earlier this week. The announcement came yesterday.

Born Robert Edward Lee Oswald in New Orleans, Louisiana, on April 7, 1934 to Robert Edward Lee Oswald, Sr., and Marguerite Frances Claverie, Robert spent his youth in Louisiana with his brothers Lee and John Pic before joining the Marine Corps in 1952 at age 18.

He proudly served his country as a Marine in the Korean War. Upon returning from Korea, he met and married Veda Mercer on November 21, 1956 in Ft. Worth, Texas. He earned his degree in Business Management from Midwestern State University in 1970 and was a member of the Faith Village Church of Christ.

On the afternoon of November 22, 1963, Robert was working as a sales coordinator for Acme Brick in Denton, Texas, when he heard his name called as he passed the receptionist’s desk. She had her radio on. He heard the announcer say his name again, this time repeating the full name – “Lee Harvey Oswald.”

“That’s my kid brother,” he said to the receptionist, stunned.

Thus, began one of the most agonizing chapters of his life – being thrust into the center of one of the greatest national nightmares of the twentieth century.

Robert hadn’t seen his brother for a year and hadn’t heard from him in about eight months when he visited him briefly in the jail visiting room on Saturday, November 23.

“Lee, what the Sam Hill is going on?” he asked his brother, astonished at how completely relaxed he was, as if the events of the previous day had nothing to do with him.

“I don’t know,” Lee answered.

“You don’t know?” Robert replied, disbelieving. “Look, they’ve got your pistol, they’ve got your rifle, they’ve got you charged with shooting the president and a police officer. And you tell me you don’t know? Now, I want to know just what’s going on.”

“Don’t believe all this so-called evidence,” Lee replied, brushing his brother’s inquiry off.

Robert studied his face, then his eyes, looking for some expression of the truth. Lee realized what his brother wanted.

“Brother, you won’t find anything there,” Lee said.

Robert thought that his brother might tell him the truth. Robert believed he was closer to Lee than anyone else in a lot of ways. But, the man behind the jail room glass was disturbingly machine-like, unnaturally detached from the predicament he found himself in whether innocent or guilty. To Robert, the man in jail was a stranger to him.

When Robert heard that cabdriver William W. Scoggins had told authorities that the man he identified as Lee Harvey Oswald had muttered “poor damn cop” or “poor dumb cop” as he fled the scene of the murder of Dallas police Officer J.D. Tippit, Robert flashed back to an earlier incident.

Robert had been stopped by police after running a traffic light, fearful that a tailgater would have hit him had he stopped quick. The officer was unsympathetic as he listened to Robert’s explanation, and wrote him a citation. Robert’s kid brother, Lee was in the passenger seat. As they pulled away from the curb, Lee looked back over his shoulder and said, “That dumb cop!” The recollection left Robert with a disturbing feeling.

Mr. Oswald had been interviewed many times for various television programs over the years. He often said he believed the findings of most experts that his brother acted alone in killing the president.

“This is mind over heart,” Oswald once told ABC News. “The mind tells me one thing, the heart tells me something else, but the facts are there.”

“After all these years,” he said, “and we’re talking about a long time, I think more than anything else, if I had an opportunity and had the facts that said Lee was innocent, I would be out there shouting it loud and clear.

“It is my belief, my conviction, no one but Lee was involved - period.

“People need to look at what transpired before [the assassination]. Everything – you’ve got to come all the way from childhood on up and especially that last year of his life, and understand what transpired in his life. He was a lonely boy, needing attention but not getting it.

“[In 1963], he had problems at home, he had problems on his job, he was completely frustrated about what was going on around him. This is not excusing what he did, this is understanding what he did. He wanted to be somebody and this opportunity came about coincidental. Nothing planned. Nothing organized. It happened that way. It’s one of those happenstances of history.”

Robert didn’t believe there was a conspiracy.

“The conspiracy was in the mind of Lee Oswald,” he said.

Shortly after the 2003 broadcast of ABC News’ Peter Jennings Reporting: The Kennedy Assassination – Beyond Conspiracy, Robert Oswald telephoned and told me that had he known ABC was going to air the computer animated sequences I had produced, he would have given up his interview time so that the audience could see more of what I had done.

I was stunned. Stunned and grateful that he had taken the time to look me up and tell me personally how he felt about my work, particularly since it concerned what had to be one of the darkest days of his own life. That telephone call said a lot about his character.

I assured him that the audience needed to hear what he had to say about his brother and thanked him for his call.

“Next time you’re down this way, come by,” he said. “We’ll go out and get a hamburger.”

I could tell he really meant it. That’s what I thought about when I heard of his passing – may he rest in peace.

He is survived by his wife Vada, daughter Cathy and her husband Dean Barrett, and his son Robert Oswald and wife Linda. He had four grandchildren, Brooke and her husband William Hamilton, David Barrett, Elizabeth Barrett, and Trey Oswald, as well as two great grandchildren, Willa Barrett and Hayden Hamilton.

Sources: Dallas Morning News, Times Record News, ABC News, Vincent Bugliosi's Reclaiming History, and Robert L. Oswald's Lee


Barry Ryder said...


very sad news. My thoughts and condolences go to his entire family.

Robert always came across very well in the many interviews that he gave over the years. He always struck me as a sincere and honest man.

He handled his predicament with great dignity and restraint. He was able to do something quite extraordinary; he was able to evaluate the evidence against his brother dispassionately and, somehow, he managed to subdue his instinctive, fraternal 'defence mechanism' and accept that Lee had murdered two men. Not many brothers would have been able to do that, I don't think.

The book that he wrote provides many unique insights into his brother's life and is required reading for those who seek to get a fuller picture of Lee Oswald.

I was unaware that Robert had contacted you after seeing your segment on the Peter Jennings documentary. Again, this is the mark of a decent and honest man. He need not have said anything but, he chose to congratulate you and praise your work - work that re-enforced the case against his deceased brother. It takes a big guy to do that.

Robert - and his family - bore their burden with great dignity and refused to change their family name or move away from their homes. They were all very courageous.

Over the years it would have been very easy for Robert to have jumped on the conspiracy bandwagon. He would have had more credibility than Marguerite and his, calm, measured personality would have added huge force to the movement. He never did, of course. He knew that his brother was the murderer. He remained committed to the truth, no matter how much it must have hurt.

He was a fine man.

Barry Ryder

Unknown said...

Cursed in life with a murderous brother and a crazy mother, hopefully Robert can finally find peace.....Rest in Peace Robert.

Paul C. said...

Thank you for noting this, Dale. In contrast to the parade of bizarre characters at the center of this circus, Mr. Oswald always seemed to be one of the most human and one of the most relatable.

I hope the minimal press coverage of his passing has been some comfort to his family.

Anonymous said...

R.I.P. Robert Oswald.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I recall the assassin's brother's interview that ABC Jenning's report and Robert Oswald's decency was noticeably apparent. We are not our brother's keeper, but I do not envy the burden the man was given - through no fault of his own - he seemed to carry it as well as any man could.

And thank you too to Dale Myers' animation skills for in the same documentary, they provided a most persuasive case, indeed.

Unknown said...

Everyone speaks as if LHO was tried and convicted. He wasn't and never will be. He, himself, was assassinated because no one wanted him talking. That is why the 12 hours of interviews with LHO are "missing." Actually, oops, burned. How convenient. Brothers don't necessarily know each other as well as they think.

RB Glennie said...

But in fact, many people in the `assassination community' speak of Oswald as though he is some lily white innocent. People can independently assess the guilt of someone based on their own review of the evidence: this is what occurred in the O.J. Simpson case, or do you think just because a jury decided he was not guilty that means he's innocent too? By they way, what is your source for the allegation that `twelve hours of Oswald interviews were burned?'

Dale K. Myers said...

No, Angela, not "everyone" has tried and convicted LHO (in fact, this article refers to him as the "accused presidential assassin"). And, no, LHO was not murdered "because no one wanted him talking"; Jack Ruby - a hot-headed nightclub owner - shot him as a vigilanti would, during a fit of rage. And, no, the substance of LHO's interrogation sessions are not "missing" because they were "burned" - there are detailed reports submitted by the DPD, Secret Service and FBI that dovetail with one another about what was asked and what LHO said - all consistent with LHO's known demeanor and personality. And while it is true that some brothers don't know each other very well, some brothers do. It seems from what we know about LHO, that his own brother Robert knew him quite well (as well as any brother can), and in Robert's case - after much soul-searching in the wake of the assassination, and a great deal of searching for anything that might show his brother innocent - Robert came to believe that LHO did what he was accused of for reasons that will, unfortunately, remain obscure.

Unknown said...

You have bought into what the government said. That makes you a sheep. Where are the notes for the 12-hour interviews? Everything I read says they don't exist. Just like the autopsy notes on a president. Gone. I don't believe for a second that Jack Ruby was a vigilante. He, for whatever reason, was chosen to take LHO out. They set up LHO even though he did shady things. I know that. But he didn't shoot at JFK. If you knew what I know, the gun they said he used was not compatible with autopsy X-Rays. The bullets that killed JFK were high velocity bullets that fragment. A Mannlicher Carcano doesn't do that. Jack Ruby was frightened the whole time in prison and died quickly of cancer. He was also set up. Hmmm. Almost 200 people died who had JFK assassination evidence. An accident, a suicide, a murder. Whatever it took. I have studied this from all angles and your information doesn't reflect the same effort. And you might want to change your tone and not come across as rude. I research for a living. Here you go.

Unknown said...

RB Glennie I don't belong to an assassination community and I know LHO was involved in shady business. That doesn't make him an assassin. He was not innocent or lily white, but he was set up and when the finished with him, he was silenced. I got that there were no notes at the National Archives and other places.

I saw in the NYT where after 30-odd years bits of notes were showing up. Like I believe that. Those were important notes and they should have been documented and put in the file. I have read in other places that the notes were burned.

I am not a sheep. I think for myself after weight evidence. I don't believe OJ was innocent. I believe he butchered two people. Based on deep investigation of my own of credible souraces.

RB Glennie said...

Don't think I called you a `sheep' - you did claim that Dale Myers is as such, though.

You are correct about Oswald, he was not at all innocent: he was guilty of the assassination of JFK and of the Dallas Police Office as well. This whole `he was a patsy' business just doesn't have anything to back it up - nothing, not a thing. I am happy to be persuaded elsewise but I have too been examining this matter for decades myself and the idea that somehow Oswald was part of some grand conspiracy is just entirely baseless...

…Like, for example, your own assertions about the interview notes - `I read in the NY Times...' `I read somewhere...' these things are not evidence of anything.

I will also address remarks you made to Dale Myers: namely, about Jack Ruby. The latter didn't `die quietly', he was as expected a loudmouth to the end. Many in the `assassination community' that you say you are not a part of - fair enough - always quote Ruby as to his comments about he being part of a `grand conspiracy' but never quote the whole statement which had Ruby alleging that his jailers were piping poison into his cell as part of some grand anti-Semitic conspiracy The man was in other words, psychotic and a bully with no impulse control, which is why he shot Oswald apparently...

Unknown said...

You are right. Those are not evidence. I have read everything I felt was credible. Anything that didn't take into account that LHO could not have pulled off what happened alone with that gun, I dismiss those. Why look at the impossible? I have read about what happened at Parkland, the night before the assassination in TX, the bodies taken for autopsy in MD. I have checked all forensics available as well as trajectories. I don't trust the government on this. I read things like the National Archive because I like to know what everyone says. Only facts can be proven. I pick and choose now, after so many years, who is reliable.

Jack Ruby was silenced just as LHO was. Jack Ruby was terrified in prison. He realized too late that he too was a patsy. I have read his medical information. He wanted to talk but refused to do so in Dallas. Of course. He would have been found hung in his cell like Epstein recently. When people don't want you talking, they kill you. That is when you know you are on the trail of the truth. Another infamous family has done so much of this it is head spinning. You and I don't read the same material. Well, I have read what you have and believed it in the beginning. It's what I was told. Now I take things apart and I know more. I research for a living. If you want to know more, look deeper. Be open-minded. I don't reveal every place I find my research except in publications. Do your own searching. Or maybe you just stopped where the Warren Commission did and people who know anything about that commission, even some of its members, say it was a sham from start to finish.

Dale K. Myers said...

Angela, your claim that the Warren Commission was "a sham from start to finish" - a charge you even lay at the feet of "some of its members" - is shown to be false in every respect in the new documentary film, "Truth is the Only Client". Check it out.