Ruth Paine: Marina Oswald’s landlady

[caption id="attachment_1071" align="alignleft" width="300"] RUTH PAINE[/caption]

Ruth Paine, who is 81-years-old and lives quietly in a Santa Rosa Quaker community, is speaking in Sonoma on Friday about the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Fifty-years ago, in an act of pure kindness, Paine invited Lee Harvey Oswald’s wife, Marina, and their children to live with her, because they were suffering economically. As it turned out, unbeknownst to her, Oswald hid the rifle he used to kill the president in her garage, and spent the night before the murder in Paine’s home, visiting his wife.

And so Ruth Paine became a permanent part of history. She was a key witness in the Warren Commission’s investigation. The Irving, Texas, house she lived in, where she hosted the Oswalds, was recently turned into a museum. Now, as Nov. 22 draws near for the 50th time, curiosity focuses on Paine once again, and she feels a responsibility to accommodate. Paine recently met with NBC’s Tom Brokaw for an anniversary story he is doing. She will speak here because the Sonoma Valley Historical Society invited her.

Paine believes Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone. She thinks it is pivotal for people to remember that, before he killed the president, Oswald attempted to murder Edwin A. Walker, a former Army general and an avid anti-communist. She calls Oswald “very much a loner” and she didn’t particularly like him.

She does not believe there was a conspiracy to kill President Kennedy, and she doesn’t engage in conversation with people believe there was. “In my view there was not a conspiracy,” she said. “Conspiracy theorists believe it like a religion, and I don’t mess with people’s religion.”

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