The Other Widow
November 22nd, 1963. Marina Oswald, second left, stands with her mother-in-law, Marguerite Claverie Oswald, in the police station in Dallas where her husband, Lee Harvey Oswald is being held, accused in the assassination of President Kennedy. Photograph: AP
The quiet life in Dallas of Marina Porter (72) has been disrupted by paparazzi as the anniversary of the Kennedy assassination neared. As 19-year-old Russian bride Marina Prusakova, she became Mrs Lee Harvey Oswald in April 1961, six weeks after they first met at a dance, thrilled to become the wife of the only foreigner in all of Minsk.
However, not long after they moved to the US together, their marriage started to strain. Oswald refused to allow Marina to learn English, believing it would jeopardise his fluency (and value) as a Russian speaker, and she grew tired of his radical ideas.
By the day Oswald was arrested for Kennedy’s assassination and the murder of police officer JD Tippit, the pair were living apart. Marina was subsequently put under Secret Service protection until she finished testifying as part of the Warren Commission’s investigation. She later remarried, taking on the surname Porter, and worked at an Army-Navy store in Dallas until retirement.
Initially, Marina reluctantly accepted Oswald’s guilt as the lone gunman responsible for Kennedy’s death. Over time, though, emerging evidence convinced her that Oswald had been an FBI informant, spurring her to clear his name.
She eventually stopped speaking about the subject altogether and refused to sell her story, only breaking that silence to write a five-page autobiographical letter to accompany the recent auction of Oswald’s wedding band, which sold for $108,000.