George de Mohrenschildt

80

George de Mohrenschildt : biography

April 17, 1911 – March 29, 1977

De Mohrenschildt married his fourth wife, Jeanne, in 1959. From late 1960 and into 1961, he and his wife toured Central America and the Caribbean.Warren Commission Hearings, . He insisted that the trip was merely for pleasure. However, de Mohrenschildt submitted a written report of his trip to the U.S. State Department, and a photograph shows de Mohrenschildt meeting with the American ambassador to Costa Rica.

Lee Harvey Oswald and his Russian-born wife Marina Oswald were introduced to de Mohrenschildt in the summer of 1962 in Fort Worth, Texas. De Mohrenschildt had heard of the Oswalds from one of the Russian-speaking group of émigrés in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. George and Jeanne befriended them, tried to help them as best they could, and introduced them to the Russian community in Dallas. In his Warren Commission testimony in 1964, de Mohrenschildt stated that he believed he had discussed Oswald with J. Walton Moore, who de Mohrenschildt described as "a Government man — either FBI or Central Intelligence",Warren Commission Hearings, volume 9, p. 235, , House Select Committee on Assassinations – Appendix to Hearings, Volume 12, 4, p. 54. and who had debriefed de Mohrenschildt several times following de Mohrenschildt’s travels abroad, starting in 1957. (According to a CIA classified document, obtained by House Select Committee on Assassinations, J. Walton Moore was an agent of the CIA’s Domestic Contacts Division in Dallas.) De Mohrenschildt asserted that shortly after meeting Oswald, he asked Moore and Fort Worth attorney Max E. Clark about Oswald to reassure himself that it was "safe" for the de Mohrenschildts to assist Oswald. De Mohrenschildt testified that one of the persons he talked to about Oswald told him that Oswald "seems to be OK," and that "he is a harmless lunatic." However, de Mohrenschildt was not exactly sure who it was who told him this.Warren Commission Hearings, volume 9, p. 235-236, . (When interviewed in 1978 by the House Select Committee on Assassinations, J. Walton Moore denied that de Mohrenschildt had asked for his permission to contact Oswald.) It should be noted that during this time, tens of thousands of American citizens were routinely debriefed by the CIA after traveling to countries such as Yugoslavia, as de Mohrenschildt did.

In October 1962, de Mohrenschildt told Oswald that he would have a better chance of finding work in Dallas, after Oswald informed de Mohrenschildt that he had lost his job in nearby Fort Worth, Texas. Oswald was soon hired by the Dallas photographic firm of Jaggars-Chiles-Stovall. George de Mohrenschildt’s wife and daughter would later say that it was George de Mohrenschildt who secured the job at Jaggars-Chiles-Stovall for Oswald.Summers, Anthony. Not in Your Lifetime, (New York: Marlowe & Company, 1998), p. 158. ISBN 1-56924-739-0

On April 13, 1963 — three days after the attempt on the life of conservative activist General Edwin Walker (a crime that Oswald would later be alleged to have committed)"Police Keep Watch on Walker’s Home", Dallas Morning News, April 12, 1963, section 1, p. 11. — the de Mohrenschildts visited the Oswalds’ apartment. George de Mohrenschildt, aware of Oswald’s stated dislike for Walker, joked to Oswald, "Hey, Lee! How is it possible that you missed?" Lee and Marina looked at each other but said nothing., 1 H 18., 9 H 250. Jeanne de Mohrenschildt later saw a rifle standing against the wall in a room that served as Oswald’s study., 9 H 314–316. When she and George asked why Lee owned a rifle, Marina and Lee both replied that it was for target shooting., 9 H 314–316. , 9 H 249.

In March 1963, de Mohrenschildt received a Haitian government contract for $285,000 to set up an industrial enterprise with other investors, which included surveying oil and geological resources on the island. In May, he met in Washington, D.C. with CIA and Army intelligence contacts to further his Haitian connections.Douglass, James. JFK and the Unspeakable, (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2008), p. 48. ISBN 978-1-4391-9388-4, House Select Committee on Assassinations – Appendix to Hearings, Volume 12, pp. 56-57. De Mohrenschildt moved to Haiti in June. He never saw Oswald again. After Kennedy was assassinated, de Mohrenschildt testified before the Warren Commission in April 1964. (For this testimony in the hearing record, see .) In 1967, de Mohrenschildt left Haiti and returned to Dallas. Also in 1967, New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison interviewed George and Jeanne de Mohrenschildt as part of Garrison’s prosecution of Clay Shaw. Garrison said that both de Mohrenschildts insisted that Oswald had been the scapegoat in the assassination of President Kennedy. Garrison concluded from his conversation with the de Mohrenschildts that George de Mohrenschildt had been one of Oswald’s unwitting "baby-sitters" … "assigned to protect or otherwise see to the general welfare of [Oswald]."Garrison, Jim. On The Trail of the Assassins, (New York: Sheridan Square Press, 1988), pp. 55-56. ISBN 0-941781-02-X In JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why it Matters, James Douglass opined that George de Mohrenschildt "…had been Oswald’s CIA-approved shepherd in Dallas … [who had] probably no understanding in advance of the scapegoat role that lay ahead for his young friend [Oswald].""Douglass, James W. JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why It Matters, (October 2010) [2008], New York: Touchstone/Simon & Schuster, p. 49. ISBN 978-1-4391-9388-4