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The Photo Destroyed by Marina Oswald

From Mailer's Oswald's Tale 
"Then in January before Krushchev's visit, Oswald even sold his shotgun for 18 rubles at the exact same store in which he had bought it. However he caused a shock to surveillance when he got on a bus holding his gun; but then they observed he was merely on his way to sell the weapon..." 

From Marguerite's testimony
Mrs. Oswald: She opened the closet.. ..And she came out with a picture, a picture of Lee, with a gun. It said, "To my daughter June"-written in English. I said, "Oh, Marina, police." I didn't think anything of the picture. Now, you must understand . .. I don't know all the circumstances, what evidence they had against my son by this time ... anybody can own a rifle, to go hunting .... So I am not connecting this with the assassination. . .. No one is going to be foolish enough to take a picture of themselves with that rifle, and leave that there for evidence . ... No, sir, that is not the picture. He was holding the rifle up ....
Rankin: By holding the rifle up you mean-
Mrs. Oswald: Like this.
Rankin: Crosswise, with both hands on the rifle?
Mrs. Oswald: With both hands on the rifle.
Rankin: Above his head?
Mrs. Oswald: That is right.

Sylvia Meagher conjectured that this photo was actually taken in Minsk and it was the shotgun that he was holding.

I believe it was - based on the inscription dedicating the photo to June - something you might do for a new-born daughter (although it should be noted that the alleged BY photos were supposed to have been taken soon after June's 1st birthday, so if this photo was one of that series, it could still have been dedicated to her).

Meagher's footnote:
The photograph seen by Oswald's mother, in which Oswald may have been holding the shotgun he owned there rather than a rifle, may have been one taken in the Soviet Union. Because the questions put to Marguerite and Marina Oswald were not searching, the available information about the third photograph is insufficient to warrant any conclusion about it.

Sorry Sylvia but I am going to at least speculate here:

It makes no sense whatsoever for Marina to panic about one photo and not the others - especially when they were even more incriminating because of the commie papers he was holding.

I have made the point a few times in the past, so I don't want to belabor here, but I think this is further evidence that the photo that was destroyed was taken in Minsk and that there were in fact NO BY photos in existence.

Marina mentioned the shotgun early on and this led to a belief that this was the murder weapon. At least until she told them it had been sold in Minsk.

I need to dig into the timing of the information flow from Marina to the Secret Service / FBI on these issues... but is it possible that the paperwork for the MC was only "found" after the shotgun was ruled out?

Could it also be that the BY photos were created  simply because the shotgun was ruled out and in any case, the incriminating photo of him holding it had been destroyed? "Hey guys. We need a new weapon and some photos of him holding it. Let's throw in some commie papers while we're at it..."       

On the matter of Oswald jumping on the Minsk bus in January (1962) to sell the shotgun... you may have noted this was a couple of months before June was born... but for those of us old enough to remember having to put film in for processing... you may also recall there were often lengthy delays in doing so... e.g. there were still shots left to take on the film, no time to get it to a photo shop, plain forgetting about it for a while... any number reasons could cause a two month delay between a photo being taken and having it developed.

The other issue is that - as with the putative Minsk photo - this incident provides a template - or in this case, inspiration may be the better word - for having him carrying the MC carbine to and from the Walker hit on a bus.

All the above raises a further issue - who was feeding information about such innocuous matters that occurred in Minsk to authorities in Dallas? Marina alone? Is it possible, since the KGB was aware of all this, that they were passing on some of it?

Greg, In a way this strongly suggests Marina knew nothing of the BYP's existence. As you say why would she agree to destroy a seemingly innocent photograph of Lee holding a shotgun above his head with raised arms in Russia and not destroy very incriminating photos of Lee holding leftist newspapers a rifle and a gun. It makes sense that she knew nothing about the BYP's IMO.

Quote from Mick Purdy on February 1, 2020, 11:00 am

Greg, In a way this strongly suggests Marina knew nothing of the BYP's existence. As you say why would she agree to destroy a seemingly innocent photograph of Lee holding a shotgun above his head with raised arms in Russia and not destroy very incriminating photos of Lee holding leftist newspapers a rifle and a gun. It makes sense that she knew nothing about the BYP's IMO.

She was initially insistent that

  • She only took ONE photo
  • She used a camera held up to the eye

Both of these initial statements point to it being in Minsk using their Soviet camera.

She also later claimed that she moved into Neely St in January '63.  I think she is just matching up the month that she took the one real photo -- except it was the previous January in Minsk.

So yeah, I agree - she was clueless about the photos eventually produced. But by then, she had been seduced by the Secret Service flaunting shit-loads  of cash in front of her sent from around the country, and she had also been given immunity from being deported in return for cooperation. Oh yeah... and another shit-load of money for a film never made.

And I do sincerely believe that the story of him riding the bus in Minsk with his shotgun to sell it, was used as part of the false narrative of him taking a potshot at Walker.... and catching buses to get there and to get away...

They had Marina in isolation and used and twisted whatever they could from her information, to weave a narrative that would implicate him in whatever they wanted.