What did George de Mohrenschildt say about Lee Oswald?

I am a Patsy! – The Lost Tapes of George de Mohrenschildt from E2 Films on Vimeo.

George de Mohrenschildt was a fascinating character who would fit into a comic but world-weary spy novel by Graham Greene. And he was good friends with Lee Oswald, the man who supposedly killed President Kennedy. De Morhenschildt doubted that his friend was the author of Kennedy’s death. At the end of his life, he was not afraid to say so.

Shane O’Sullivan, director of the excellent documentary, “Killing Oswald,” (and editor of Doug Horne’s fascinating interview with CIA photo analyst Dino Brugioni) offers another revelation: tapes of George de Mohrenschildt talking about Oswald.

These tapes were made by Dutch journalist Willem Oltmans who befriended de Mohrenschildt and falsely sought to implicate him in JFK’s assassination. The tapes became the basis of de Mohrenschildt’s unpublished memoir about Oswald. De Mohrenschildt knew Oswald better than almost anyone in 1963 and he never believed he was the author of JFK’s death.

You can buy the de Mohrenschildt tapes on Amazon or at the iTunes store.

54 thoughts on “What did George de Mohrenschildt say about Lee Oswald?”

  1. I am curious about the name Juri. Is that another name for George? I have always wondered about Lee Oswald telling Robert Oswald “Junie needs a new pair of shoes”. What if what he had actually said was Juri needs a new pair of shoes? Was that a message telling Robert to help Juri (george) to get new traveling papers? If so, does it shows the concern Oswald was feeling for his friend?

    “Thank you for any opinions about Juri (George son of Sergius) de Mohrenschildt “

    1. Michae Rinella

      You may be thinking of “Jerzy” – George’s birth name was “Jerzy Sergius von Mohrenschildt.”

      (Tom S. note: First name is Michael, not “Michael”.)

  2. Until the spring of 1976 the name of George’s manuscript was The Harvey Lee Oswald That I Knew. The tapes as I pointed out back in 2014 were an early reading of that book. The project – book and tapes – were a 50/50 arrangement with Willem Oltmans. The tapes record the story out of order; George lost his notes at one point and they simply kept recording. George repeated the incorrect chronology in the 1976 manuscript. I have edited the original manuscript, putting it back in the corrected order (as well as combining material that is repeated two and three times), added hundreds of notes using the memoirs of Willem Oltmans and Sam Ballen, as well as many documents declassified since the late 1970s. This was published as Lee Harvey Oswald as I Knew Him by the University Press of Kansas. We are now working in conjunction with the Willem Oltmans Foundation and the Dutch Foundation for Literature to produce an English language edition of Oltmans’s 1977 book on his friendship with de Mohrenshchildt een reportage over de kennedy-moordenaars. It will be published in May 2017.

    1. Michael Rinella, can you provide links? Little has been made of the fact that Sam Ballen visited Haiti while the deMohrenschildts were there, in spite of the allegations that deM was working with/through/or on behalf of the Central Intelligence Agency. Even less has been noted that it was Sam Ballen who arranged for the Epstein interview. Can you expound on these episodes thru a comment on this site or is it necessary to locate the University Press of Kansas book?

      1. Michael Rinella

        Sam Ballen’s memoir is called “Without Reservations” and has a chapter on George. The chapter was written from memory so it jumps around a bit but it’s a good read. As I recall the meeting between Ballen and Epstein took place in Washington DC in February of 1977 (Ballen had initially resisted acting as a go-between, but letters from George stating how dire his financial situation was changed his mind) and is discussed both in Ballen’s memoir and the Wertz Weiford biography of George called “The Faux Baron.” Weiford conducted inteviews with Ballen before he passed away.

        1. Michael Rinella

          I would also mention that the translation of Willem Oltmans “Reporting on the Kennedy Assassination” is on schedule to be published in the spring of 2017. There’s some stuff in both my introduction and the manuscript itself that will like blow some minds. It’s going to totally revise how assassination researchers look at Oltmans.

    1. Mohrenschildt’s first name in Russian was Georgy (Георгий), not Yuri (Юрий). They are both Russian equivalents of “George”. Jerzy is the Polish equivalent of “George”.

  3. I am interested in information which I have read regarding Jackie Bouvier knowing George and calling him “Uncle George,” as well as information about the christening in which JFK was the godfather. Thanks for any info you have.

  4. Pardon me for veering off topic but I want to relate a very vivid memory that I and many others have from the first time the Zapruder film was shown on television. In that early version of the film the Presidential limo clearly slows down and momentarily stops after passing the Stemmons Freeway sign. It was during this stop that Kennedy was shot in the head in what virtually all viewers agreed was a shot from the front.
    This egregious action by the Secret Service driver combined with the “back and to the left” movement of Kennedy’s head after he was hit – caused absolute outrage throughout the Country.
    It was this outrage that forced Congress to re-open the case. That then led to a disgraceful rash of mysterious deaths amongst witnesses and an eventual finding of “probable conspiracy” by the House Cmte. on Assassinations.
    Even though the first broadcast of the Zapruder film occurred before most people had video recorders there must be copies of that “original” film somewhere. The film that’s shown today shows the limo speeding down Elm St. All we’ve been left with are pictures of the limo’s brake lights flashing on and the outriding motorcycles braking hard – to prove that the limo was indeed halted. Our “handlers” have eliminated all other evidence of the limo coming to a stop. The film that was shown 35 years ago clearly showed Kennedy’s driver stopping the limo and our President being shot down in the street like a dog; Then, after a second look by the driver, to be sure the deed was done, he drove off.

    1. BrotherBruce, the actions of the driver, SSA William Greer, were quite suspicious indeed. Since he didn’t speed up immediately after the first shots(wherever they came from), you have to wonder if he was in on this assassination.

        1. Problem is, Jody, many people disagree it was Oswald alone….and they always will. Let it rest? Not till we know more than we were “supposed” to know.

    2. “Pardon me for veering off topic but I want to relate a very vivid memory that I and many others have from the first time the Zapruder film was shown on television. In that early version of the film the Presidential limo clearly slows down and momentarily stops after passing the Stemmons Freeway sign. It was during this stop that Kennedy was shot in the head in what virtually all viewers agreed was a shot from the front.”~BrotherBruce

      I am afraid your’s and whatever others recollections are wrong about the limo stopping in this film you saw.

      That Z-film shown on television for the first time is available on line. You can watch it again today and see for yourself that your memory is a myth:


    3. I viewed a documentary on this issue today by David Icke. He speaks of this very issue and is very knowledgeable.
      I agree with your comments as well.

  5. What was the relationship between George de Mohrenschildt and Walter von Mohrenschildt, a member of the SA who seems to have been involved in the setting of the Reichstag Fire?

  6. I have long been a history buff on JFK assassination. My mother told me that she and my father knew George DM and he appeared early one morning knocking on the door. He came to say that because of the assassination of JFK, all of his acquaintances were being asked about him and for that he apologized. I don’t know how my parents or father knew George except there was a (white)Russian painter — Igor, who came to town and painted portraits of the elite here early early on in my life (born 1957)or before. My father’s father lived in Greenwich,Conn and his mother and George W. Bush’s mother were friends. My father also spent time in Key Largo, FL where George Bush often vacationed. He may have known H.L.Hunt My father died in 1981 and my mother is now deceased. Now, I am not sure when GDM visited Natchez, MS c. 1976-77? Or before he testified before the Warren Commission? All this time I believed he had shot himself before the Warren Comm. but now realize it was 1977 when I was off to boarding school and not yet a JFK history buff.

    1. Alma Carpenter, I read your comment with great interest. I’ll begin by asking the obvious … are you related to the Carpenters of Dallas? Assuming that is not your maiden name, I won’t pry further, if it is, I would be very interested in following up with you.

      Do you think GdM traveled to Natchez for the express purpose of talking to your parents or was he just passing through? It is clear from some of his records that he was very concerned that his reputation was being destroyed. I’m not an apologist for the man, but I’m having difficulty squaring the suggestion he was involved in the assassination when he was in Haiti at the time and had been for months. I’m also drawing up an essay that presents the discrepancies in testimony related to his friendship with CIA agent J. Walton Moore.

  7. At one point this man called Lee, “pathetic”. What a friend to have. And why would I want to look at him as a reliable witness. If Marina can be called unreliable so can this man.
    It’s very sad what happened to him. Very sad. He was a very interesting, intelligent man.
    But why would I take seriously what he had to say about Lee? When I read he called him pathetic and declared he was Oswald’s friend at the same time, I started to not trust him.

  8. PLEASE comment on jay watson of wfaa tv dallas. earl jay watson reported, after seeing the assasination, live from tv 8 in dallas. it was historical. the web and other sources have completely erased him regarding his whereabouts after 1964. he died in 2001 in arizona of cancer. that is the only reference. what did he do from 1964-2001. this is important. (he did one special in 1964 at the station. they have erased him from their memory)

  9. Is what Jack Crichton said about De Mohrenschildt possibly more important than what De Moherenschildt said about Oswald?
    “I liked Georege, he was a nice guy”. I believe they were both members of the Dallas Petroleum Club. Along with H L Hunt, Clint Murchison, GHWB, and Harold (Dry Hole) Byrd (who owned the TSBD and started the Civil Air Patrol – see Oswald & Ferrie).
    Crichton rode in the pilot car as head to the 488th Military Intelligence unit which he created. He was OSS (later CIA) in WWII, in 63 he was running for Governor of Texas while Bush was running for congressman.

    1. In 1964 GHW Bush was the Texas Republican nominee for US Senate against Ralph Yarborough. He lost. And Jack Crichton was the 1964 Texas GOP nominee for governor. He lost to John Connally. GHW Bush was later elected to Congress in November, 1966 out of Houston, TX.

      Fabian Escalante, then head of Cuban intelligence, has said that GHW Bush and his buddy Jack Crichton were both recuiting people for and raising money for the Bay of Pigs and other anti-Castro operations. They were organizing assassins of Fidel Castro.

  10. In this March 23, 1964 letter concerning George and Jeanne De Mohrenschildt, J. Edgar Hoover advises J. Lee Rankin of the Warren Commission, “if not already handled, you may desire to contact the Central Intelligence Agency concerning the De Mohrenschildts”.

    On March 28, 1964, J. Lee Rankin requests information on the De Mohrenschildts from Richard Helms of the CIA

    1. Roy W Kornbluth

      Neil, thanks so much for the link. I’ve almost finished reading it. It’s touching. I find GdM’s Russian sensibility refreshing–paradoxes and shades of gray; everything’s not cut and dried, black and white as in the American sensibility. The reader should keep in mind, though, he was a truly WHITE Russian. I’m getting a kick out of how much he emphasizes Marina’s curiosity about African-Americans, who must have been terribly exotic to her.

      1. I did find it rather touching also, though some other things stood out. First, the rather blase attitude towards spousal violence, which might simply be an indication of how attitudes have changed in a half-century. For all of GdM’s talk of how he wanted to portray Oswald in a more positive light, repeatedly mentioning that he’d once held a lit cigarette to his wife’s arm (simply because she’d been smoking!) didn’t do anything to make him more sympathetic to me, to put it mildly.

        Actually, reading the entire thing reminded me of how I felt reading Michael Paine’s WC testimony. With Paine, despite his claim that he didn’t know Oswald well at all, I nonetheless got the sense from his descriptions of what they’d done together that a rather close friendship was developing between them. GdM was certainly clear that he felt very close to Oswald and liked him very much (while he seems not to have liked Marina at all), I still felt there was a lot to be read between the lines.

        For instance, you have to wonder why this middle-aged couple of more-or-less upper class status would involve themselves so intimately in the affairs of this hard-scrabble pair of very young and not very stable people like the Oswalds. I was especially curious as to why they would work so hard to help Lee and Marina through their marital difficulties. It’s one them to provide a little material assistance to people, driving them around, introducing them to people who might help them, arranging to get them good clothing, etc. It’s quite another to get in the middle of their violent quarrels and help them try to find a solution. Very, very few people would get involved at that level, and I found myself thinking that GdM and his wife were probably given some powerful inducements by some shadowy people to keep the Oswalds from getting so out of control that the police would have to be summoned. Assistance with getting that contract for mineral/oil exploration with the Haitian government seems like a powerful motivating factor. I doubt people in Washington were anxious to have that sort of thing done, given the attitude towards the Duvalier regime that was prevalent at that time.

        Once again, as with Paine talking to the WC, there’s a lot of interesting information there, as well as a lot that one feels is being left out.

    1. Its interesting that Jeanne and George became a couple same time LHO defects to Russia and when George dies HSCA is not interested in interviewing Jeanne.

  11. deMorhenschild not only spoke with Moore he also did a debrief with CIA case officer Mike (Nicholas) Anikeeff in DC before securing his “reward” in Haiti. From John Newman’s book “Oswald and the CIA”

    “Yes, I believe I saw him.” [deMorhenschildt] …”Yes, I talked with deMorhenschildt.” he concedes, “and may have spoken with him about Oswald.”


    But don’t worry. Oswald was just a crazed communist warehouse worker. Move on.

    1. March 29, 1977, de Mohrenschildt gives an interview to Edward J Epstein admitting that he was working with the CIA and that they gave the go-ahead to mentor Oswald. That same morning, Gaeton Fonzi, investigator for the HSCA, gives de Mohrenschildt his card and asks to arrange a meeting with him.

      That afternoon, he supposedly shoots himself in the mouth with a shotgun. On his recorder that is recording an audio of a TV show, a door alarm is heard, footsteps are heard and then the shot. He already gave extensive testimony to the WC and press interviews, but his recent interviews show he was now willing to talk about the CIA and his own involvement with Oswald. His wife said he didn’t commit suicide and that Oswald was involved with US intelligence somehow.

      1. There are a lot of “convenient suicides” in cases involving the intelligence community and the deep state.

        Of course there are many who do not find such in the least bit suspicious. I think the term “Coincidence Theorists” would apply quite well there.

      2. How do you shoot yourself in the mouth with a shotgun?
        I own several shotguns. They measure about 45 inches from stock to muzzle. One would need to arrange one’s toe to somehow pull the trigger to fire.
        This, incidentally, brings up the testimony of Wesley Frazier, who said LHO carried his “curtain rods” to work with one end cupped in his hand and the other under his armpit. With a Manlischer rifle, even disassembled, this is impossible.

        1. Ed, unfortunately this type of suicide is not that uncommon. A normal sized man sitting up in a straight chair’s head is about 4′ off the ground. With the stock set about a foot out and tilted…
          My dad’s friend Jimmy Weaver did this in his garage. He was a really good man, a teacher and track coach, father and husband.
          From what I’ve read but can’t provide documentation as I don’t remember where I question whether De Mohrenschild did such.

    1. yes, and his “smirk” at Gerald Ford’s funeral, as Poppy spoke of the “delusional assassin”(I think that is what he said, anyway)of JFK. What was so funny about that, Pops?

  12. De Mohrenschildt’s letter to George Bush in 1976:

    You will excuse this hand-written letter. Maybe you will be able to bring a solution to the hopeless situation I find myself in. My wife and I find ourselves surrounded by some vigilantes; our phone bugged; and we are being followed everywhere. Either FBI is involved in this or they do not want to accept my complaints. We are driven to insanity by the situation. I have been behaving like a damn fool ever since my daughter Nadya died from [cystic fibrosis] over three years ago. I tried to write, stupidly and unsuccessfully, about Lee H Oswald and must have angered a lot of people — I do not know. But to punish an elderly man like myself and my highly nervous and sick wife is really too much. Could you do something to remove the net around us? This will be my last request for help and I will not annoy you any more. Good luck in your important job. Thank you so much.

    Bush replied:

    Let me say first that I know it must have been difficult for you to seek my help in the situation outlined in your letter. I believe I can appreciate your state of mind in view of your daughter’s tragic death a few years ago, and the current poor state of your wife’s health. I was extremely sorry to hear of these circumstances. In your situation I can well imagine how the attentions you described in your letter affect both you and your wife. However, my staff has been unable to find any indication of interest in your activities on the part of Federal authorities in recent years. The flurry of interest that attended your testimony before the Warren Commission has long subsided. I can only speculate that you may have become “newsworthy” again in view of the renewed interest in the Kennedy assassination, and thus may be attracting the attention of people in the media. I hope this letter had been of some comfort to you, George, although I realize I am unable to answer your question completely.

  13. “De Mohrenschildt would fit into a comic but world-weary spy novel by Graham Greene. ”

    If Nicholas Deak had never existed, Graham Greene would have tried to invent him. The incredible life and death* of Nicholas Deak, the CIA’s Cold War banker hailed in Time magazine as “the James Bond of the world of money”. Like George de Mohrenschildt , Deak was charismatic, the ultimate old world aristocrat,” . “He had this imperial bearing and yet was very charming and equally comfortable with high financiers and arms dealers.

    The media was enthralled. Time tagged him “the James Bond of Money.” Merv Griffin interviewed him with barely concealed awe.

    Born and raised in Transylvania during the last decade of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Deak received a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Neuchâtel in 1929 and held posts with the Hungarian Trade Institute and London’s Overseas Bank before taking a post in the economics department of the League of Nations shortly before World War II. He fled Europe for the United States in 1939, enlisted as a paratrooper in 1942, and was quickly recruited into the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the wartime precursor to the CIA.


    * “assassin, Lois Lang, fell under the care of a famous Stanford Research Institute psychiatrist, Frederick Melges — an expert on dosing his subjects with drugs and hypnosis to induce “artificial” dissociative states. Dr. Melges was up to his eyeballs in secret CIA behavior modification programs that were going on at Stanford until they were exposed in Congressional hearings in 1977.”


  14. “I went to see Mr. J. Walton Moore to his office, in the same building I used to have my own office, Reserve Loan Life Building on Ervay Street, and asked him point blank. ‘I met this young ex-marine, Lee Harvey Oswald, is it safe to associate with him?’. And Mr. Moore’s answer was: ‘He is OK. He is just a harmless lunatic.'”

    1. “on March 29 de Mohrenschildt gave an interview to author Edward Jay Epstein during which he claimed that in 1962, Dallas CIA operative J. Walton Moore had given him the go-ahead to meet Oswald. “I would never have contacted Oswald in a million years if Moore had not sanctioned it,” de Mohrenschildt said. “Too much was at stake.” Pg. 233, Hit List, sourced to John Simkin, Education Forum.

  15. These are the tapes made by Willem Oltmans in the Dallas CBS studio with George and Jeanne de Mohrenschildt in February 1969. De Mohrenschildt, with occasional questions from Oltmans and interjections by his wife, reads from a rough draft of what was intended to be at some future time a book manuscript. The manuscript has no name, least of all “I am a Patsy!” as he would later call a revised and updated version finished in the summer of 1976. Their content is, with some slight variations, identical to material found in the crude manuscript de Mohrenchildt left behind after he died in 1977. Oltmans and de Mohrenschildt were trying to figure out a way to profit from the tapes as late as 1975 but nothing ever materialized. In truth the de Mohrenschildts had basically stopped seeing the Oswalds after November 1962. George was non-committal on Oswald’s involvement in the assassination and was convinced it was the work of anti-Castro Cuban veterans of the Bay of Pigs, probably among those released in December of 1962 in exchange for humanitarian aid.

  16. De Mohrenschildt knew Oswald better than almost anyone in 1963 and he never believed he was the author of JFK’s death.

    Never believed?

    Or just started saying that (and telling conspiratorial tales) in the 1970s?

    1. John McAdams wrote:

      Never believed?

      Or just started saying that (and telling conspiratorial tales) in the 1970s?

      George de Mohrenschildt had this exchange with Albert Jenner, assistant counsel to the Warren Commission:

      Mr JENNER: Now, you say in that letter, after expressing your sympathies to Mrs. Auchincloss, and your very kind comments about Mrs. Kennedy, “I do hope that Marina and her children (I understand she has two now) will not suffer too badly throughout their lives, and that the stigma will not affect the innocent children. Somehow, I still have a lingering doubt, notwithstanding all the evidence, of Oswald’s guilt.”

      Mr de MOHRENSCHILDT: Exactly.

      Mr JENNER: Now, please explain that remark in that letter.

      Mr de MOHRENSCHILDT. Unless the man is guilty, I will not be his judge unless he is proven to be guilty by the court, I will not be his judge, and there will be always a doubt in my mind, and throughout my testimony I explained sufficiently why I have those doubts. And mainly because he did not have any permanent animosity for President Kennedy. That is why I have the doubts.

      1. That’s something that we should be reminded of-although we all know it: LHO was never proven guilty of shooting JFK. A simple statement, perhaps, but it opens the door to a possible conspiracy.

      2. Thank you for the testimony, but it doesn’t prove “never believed,” only “had doubts.”

        He wasn’t convinced of Oswald’s innocents, but he was not entirely convinced of his guilt either.

  17. I had a friend, now deceased, who was involved with the Russian community in Dallas in those years, and knew de Mohrenschildt well. She told me how he came over to her apartment one day before his death and was constantly looking out the window as if afraid of being followed. Whether rightly or wrongly, he was certainly paranoid. Interestingly, this lady was acquaintances with Marina Oswald before the assassination, and the really ironic thing is that in the 1950’s she was the godmother at a baptism, in Connecticut I believe, at which JFK was the godfather. How odd that she not only knew JFK, but also the wife of his assassin years later. I have the picture of her holding the baby while standing next to a youn JFK at the baptism.

    1. Please post that photo you seem to say shows your friend (name please) and JFK at a baptism and what year you think it was taken.

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