About Marina Nikolayevna Oswald-Porter
Marina Oswald Porter (born Marina Nikolayevna Prusakova (Russian: Марина Николаевна Прусакова); July 17, 1941) is the widow of Lee Harvey Oswald, who, according to four U.S. government reports, was the assassin of U.S. President John F. Kennedy.
Life with Oswald
Marina Prusakova lived with her mother and stepfather until 1957, when she moved to Minsk to live with her uncle Ilya Prusakov and to study pharmacy.
She met Oswald, a former U.S. Marine who had defected to the Soviet Union, at a dance on March 17, 1961. They married on April 30, 1961, and had a daughter, June Lee, on February 15, 1962. In June they returned to the United States and settled in Dallas, Texas. In February 1963, Marina and Lee were introduced to Ruth Paine, a Quaker and part-time Russian language teacher, by George de Mohrenschildt, at a party.
In January 1963, Lee is believed to have ordered a Smith and Wesson .38 revolver, and in March, a Carcano rifle (often mistakenly called a Mannlicher-Carcano rifle). Later that month, Marina is believed to have photographed a series of controversial "backyard photos" of Lee, posing with his weapons and communist newspapers. These photographs were later found in the garage of the Paine household, with the exception of one, which was given to George De Mohrenschildt. The photograph given to De Mohrenschildt has a quote attributed to Lee's handwriting written in Russian, the translation of which reads "Hunter of Fascists, Ha-Ha-Ha !!!".
In April 1963, Marina and her daughter moved in with Ruth Paine (who had recently separated from her husband, Michael). Lee rented a separate room in Dallas, and briefly moved to New Orleans during the summer of 1963. Lee returned to Dallas in early October, eventually renting a room in a boarding house in the Oak Cliff district of Dallas.
Lee obtained work at the Texas School Book Depository when Ruth Paine learned they were hiring from a neighbor, and Lee commenced work on the 16th of October 1963, and on the 20th of October 1963, Marina gave birth to a second daughter, Audrey Marina Rachel Oswald. Lee continued to live in Oak Cliff, but stayed with Marina at the Paine household in Irving on weekends, an arrangement that continued up until the assassination of President Kennedy.
Lee had been hitching rides to and from the Paine household on Friday afternoons and Monday mornings with fellow TSBD employee, Buell Wesley Frazier, when staying with Marina over the weekends. On the 21st of November, Lee asked Frazier to give him a lift to visit Marina, and to pick up some curtain rods for his boarding house in Oak Cliff. Lee was also attempting to reconcile with Marina after an argument, but having not succeeded in a reconciliation that evening, he left the Paine household that morning, leaving behind his wedding ring and some money, before hitching a ride with Frazier to work. According to Frazier, Lee carried with him a package that he claimed contained the curtain rods he mentioned the evening before.
Marina learned of the assassination of President Kennedy following the massive media coverage that commenced within minutes of the event, and later, the arrest of her husband. That afternoon, Dallas Police Department detectives arrived at the Paine Household, and when asked if Lee owned a rifle, Marina gestured to the garage, where Lee stored his rifle rolled up in a blanket. When detectives unfurled the blanket, no rifle was found. Marina was subsequently questioned both at the Paine household, and later at Dallas PD headquarters in relation to her husband's involvement in the assassination of the President, and the shooting of a Dallas PD officer, J.D. Tippit.
After the Kennedy assassination and arrest of Oswald, Marina was under Secret Service protection until completion of her testimony before the Warren Commission, making a total of four appearances before the commission. Questions about her reliability as a witness against her deceased husband were expressed within the commission, particularly in regards to her claims about an assassination attempt on General Edwin Walker, and an allegation by Marina that Lee had intended to assassinate Richard Nixon.
The Warren Commission reported that Jack Crichton, the 1964 Republican candidate for governor of Texas, arranged for a member of the local Russian community to act as translator in the police's questioning of Marina, during which she implicated Oswald in the assassination. In her Warren Commission testimony, she stated a belief that her husband was guilty, an opinion she reiterated in testimony before the House Select Committee on Assassinations in 1978.
After death of Oswald
In 1965 she married Kenneth Jess Porter, with whom she has a grown son; they divorced on October 11, 1974. She has resided in Dallas, Texas, for many years, and has appeared in numerous documentaries on the Kennedy assassination. In 1989, Porter became a naturalized United States citizen. She now contends that Oswald was innocent of the assassination, though she has not formally recanted any of her Warren Commission testimony.
Marina Oswald was portrayed by Beata Pozniak in Oliver Stone's JFK and on television by Helena Bonham Carter in Fatal Deception: Mrs. Lee Harvey Oswald.