Ruth Paine’s speech, “The JFK Assassination: My Window on the Oswalds,” was a sellout last Friday, with people being turned away at the door almost a half an hour before it began.
Paine, 81, spoke about her friendship with Marina Oswald, Lee Harvey Oswald’s wife, and recalled the moment when police officers found an empty blanket in her garage, where Oswald had hidden the rifle he used to kill President John F. Kennedy.
“It’s always hard. It’s hard to talk about,” she said about recalling the assassination, later adding, “It brings forth a lot of grief for me.” Invited to speak by the Sonoma Valley Historical Society, Paine shared her belief that Oswald acted alone, and that there was no conspiracy. “I’m in a different position because I was there,” she said.
Standing, holding a microphone and speaking without a single note, Paine explained that in April 1963, Oswald had attempted to kill Edwin A. Walker, a former U.S. Army general and anti-communist, and thought he would either be killed or arrested had he succeeded. He left Marina a note, written in Russian, with 11 numbered instructions, including that she was to call the Soviet Embassy for assistance and get rid of his clothing, and letting her know the rent and utilities were paid.
“This was a man who was willing to murder, and perhaps to do it for notoriety,” Paine said.