Who was the ‘babushka’ lady?

She was  an unknown woman present during the 1963 assassination of President John F Kennedy.

The ‘babushka lady’ is a nickname for an unknown woman present during the 1963 assassination of President John F Kennedy. She is of interest to investigators because she might have photographed the world-shattering events in Dallas that

Source: JFK assassination: Just who was the ‘babushka’ lady? – AOL News UK

26 thoughts on “Who was the ‘babushka’ lady?”

  1. From the witnesses who said they remember and even spoke with the B-Lady, they said she was middle-aged – late 40s perhaps even in her 50s. Definitely not a teenager.

    One of the things Oliver claimed that gave me doubts was when she described Oswald’s personality the time she supposedly met him. She described him as belligerent, obnoxious, and rude. That is the only time I’ve ever heard him described that way, as those who knew him or encountered him had always described him as quiet, a man of few words, and usually polite. Also he didn’t drink, so he obviously wasn’t drunk when she supposedly met him.

  2. It is fascinating there appears to be no interview/testimony/photo evidence/identity evidence of the BL, or Beverley Oliver for someone so close to the scene, and seemingly taking pictures whilst the mayhem ensued immediately after the shooting.
    Moorman photo/Muchmore movie/Zapruder film reveal a much older person than the 17 or 18 year old Beverley Oliver of the time.
    In a number of respects Beverley’s claims do not match up with descriptive details and actions of the BL.
    If Beverley was there apart from the BL, and the FBI or CIA confiscated her movie camera, never to be returned, what would Beverley attribute that to? It would be interesting to know what she considered remarkable about her film, if indeed some of what she claims is true?
    It is troubling that she would trick people into accepting she was BL thereby distracting from the potentially true historical importance, that of the real BL.

  3. Yes, Bill,
    Beverly Oliver is certainly one of the most fascinating characters in the whole history of JFK assassinology, but many aspects of her story remain uncorroborated.
    Specifically, her claim that she was out gallivanting with Jack Ruby on the night before the assassination could have been confirmed by witnesses such as Ralph Paul, Larry Meyers or Sam Campisi. The FBI interviewed those three men about Ruby’s visits to the Egyptian Lounge and the Cabana Motel that night, and NONE of them mentioned that he was accompanied by an attractive blonde teenager. (Did they also ask Don Campbell about that night? I could not find his FBI statement.)

    Oliver also claims to have seen Janet Conforto (a.k.a.Jada) at the Carousel Club on the night of Nov. 21, but although Conforto was still in Dallas at that time she had not worked for Ruby since Halloween Night.

    I’ve spoken to Beverly in person several times, and she refuses to divulge her whereabouts later that night in Fort Worth, and neither does her book. Why not?
    Although she’s now happily married to a preacher, the Rev. Charles Massagee, Oliver was married in the mid-1960s to Texas gambler George McGhee, who was reportedly murdered shortly after they tied the knot.
    In 1965 she graduated from nightclub singing to “starring” in a racy B-Movie called “The Street is My Beat,” followed the next year by “Hot-Blooded Woman.”
    Now she sings “Amazing Grace.”

    Why would she claim to be the Babushka Lady if she’s not?
    that’s a question better answered by qualified psychologists, but it’s clear that she relishes the limited celebrity status it has gained her.

    And if she’s not the B-Lady, why doesn’t the real Babushka Lady come forward? Is it possible, as the late researcher Mary LaFontaine once suggested to me, that Beverly knew who the B-Lady really was, and also knew that she would NOT come forward for some reason? Is it possible that the real B-Lady has passed on?

    A Dallas-based Kodak executive told Gary Mack that — on the afternoon of Nov. 22, 1963 — a woman in her early 30s with brunette hair brought in film she shot with a still-camera said to be of the assassination scene while they were processing the Zapruder film. Mack told the ARRB in 1994 that the Kodak executive saw that the woman’s photo was out of focus and “virtually useless” and indicated that the woman apparently went home without anyone recording her identification.
    No wonder she never came forward. Her photograph was a failure.

    Beverly Oliver claims that FBI agent Regis Kennedy seized her movie film a couple days after the president’s killing, but it’s well-documented that Regis Kennedy remained in New Orleans interviewing characters such as Jack Martin.

    If Beverly was really the Babushka Lady, her story wouldn’t be so full of holes. She definitely sang at Abe Weinstein’s Colony Club, and would surely have known Jack Ruby, but her claims of meeting Oswald and Ferrie at the Carousel ring hollow.
    Even a hyper-kinetic motor-mouth like Ruby would never be so indiscreet as to introduce someone as “from the CIA.”

    I think Beverly Oliver is a clever mythologizer.

    1. “She’s Traveling A Different Circuit Now! (Conference of Southern Baptist Evangelists)


      Former Movie Actress
      Former Night Club Singer
      Husband Was Hit Man and Leader of The Dixie Mafiia Before His Murder
      Published Author, Lecturer, Gospel Singer, and Professional Ventriloquist
      Movie Made of Her Life Story
      Been On Geraldo Show, 48 Hours, Larry King, etc.”


    2. Russ, do you know if Beverly filed any claim to retrieve the film – similar to the claim filed by Gayle Nix Jackson and her family? If she did not, I wonder what or who persuaded her not to? And do you know when and under what circumstances she met the Southern Baptist Evangelist Rev. Massegee? tks.

      1. Sorry, Leslie,
        it has been so many years since I read her book, I can’t recall accurate answers to those questions, but we can check ‘her’ versions in the book…
        off the top of my head, I don’t believe she ever officially lodged a request as did the Nix family…
        regarding Rev. Massagee, a very kind and courteous gentleman by the way, the book certainly covers her spiritual rebirth following George McGhee’s murder and her own heroin withdrawal, but the details are escaping me at the moment…
        Researcher John DeLane Williams wrote an insightful article about Beverly in the September 1997 edition of The Fourth Decade, vol. 4, number 6.

        1. Thank you Russ. I’ll find the Fourth Decade article. Given your knowledge I don’t need to point out the history of Southern Baptist movement and Rev. Criswell in the lead up to the assassination. I’m not by any stretch suggesting that Rev. Massegee exerted any pressure on Beverly in the ensuing years, but it’s a coincidence that can’t be ignored that in Dallas, the Southern Baptist’s considered John Kennedy a disciple of the devil. How do we know why and under what influence we as individuals make our critical decisions, but why would Beverly Massegee hold to her claim to be the babushka lady yet not stop and demand the return of that film?

          1. The father of Beverly Oliver McGhee Massegee’s husband:

            Feb. 17, 1914
            Motley County
            He graduated from Howard Payne University and Southwestern theological Seminary. He and Mary Lee Lindsay were married on June 30, 1934. He was an Army veteran of World War II and retired as a LIEUTENANT COLONEL IN 1970 . . . Survivors include one son, Jasper “Charles” Massegee Jr. of Ranger

            According to the [Massegee] CMES website, they have been tax exempt since 1961. A feature of the site is the “product categories” and the “partner with us/donate” link. Can one credibly assert this is a for-profit business and that performance and entertainment are among their products?

            Related to the Southern Baptist affiliation of the Beverly and Charles Massegee Ministries, 50 years after Dallas we are witnessing the Franklin Graham “Decision America Tour”; Franklin is the son of Billy Graham who was the protégée of First Baptist Church’s Rev. Wm. Criswell whose infamous sermon, distributed at the expense of John Birch Society funder HL Hunt, has weighed heavily in understanding the ‘spirit’ of Dallas as John Kennedy approached the city. Franklin Graham’s current, politically motivated tour is frequently held on the steps of state capitols across the country, apparently immune to challenge for the potential infractions of the sacred concept of separation of church and state. What an irony considering John Kennedy’s private faith was used to inflame Southern Baptists. Where did the Massegees align in this propaganda?

            This may seem a tirade until one considers the implications, if indeed Beverly Oliver McGhee Massegee was the babushka lady.

          2. what an intriguing connection!
            I had Rev. Massagee pegged as just another itinerant preacher, but his pedigree certainly changes that simple picture…
            Rev. Massagee’s father seems to have been a heavy hitter in the pentecostal biz, but is there really a direct connection to Criswell and/or Graham ?
            in any case, great digging, Leslie!

          3. A “massagee” is a recipient of a massage, and my concern grows that Gary Shaw is at the root of an excessive number of them…..YMMV

            In 1970, a woman named Beverly Oliver told conspiracy researcher Gary Shaw at a church revival in Joshua, Texas that she was the Babushka Lady.[5]

            She is currently (March 11, 2016) “performing” in Branson, MO
            ……..In 1970 Beverly Oliver was accidentally discovered by researcher J. Gary Shaw. When confronted by Mr. Shaw, she finally had to admit she was the Babushka Lady, not ever wanting to be identified for personal reasons.

            Beverly Oliver married mobster and leader of the Dixie Mafia, George McGann, in 1966. He was killed in a gangland slaying, being shot five times. A year and seven months later she married Evangelist Charles Massegee and ever since then they have traveled as a team singing and preaching the gospel of Christ around the world.

            We are what we embrace or allow ourselves to be associated with.

  4. Whether Beverly Oliver is the Babuska Lady is not even the most significant aspect of her story – the rest of which checks out – though nobody wants to talk about how Gary Shaw discovered her, how she sang at Ruby’s closest competitor, how she knew Ruby, how she accompanied Ruby and Lawrence Meyers to the Egyptian Lounge on the night before the assassination, how she knew Larry Ronco – Kodak employee at Texas State Fair, how Ronco knew Cubans and gave her a movie camera, and how FBI undercover informant Herbert Philbrick – Oswald’s childhood hero – expressed foreknowledge of the assassination.

    If she wasn’t the B-Lady – why hasn’t she come forward?


    1. Victor Andrews

      Beverly Oliver came up with her story very late and obviously when she felt she could try it to make money since obviously the real babuschka lady had no intention of showing up. Her age and physique do not fit, her recollections were tailored to fit what she obviously could already cull from everywhere, and when confronted with the oddity of filming supposedly with a camera invented six years later, she would invent. There have been so many people, mainly females, inventing stuff to make themselves shine – from the supposed mistress of Lyndon Johnson who supposedly had heard “Tomorrow I’m gonna get rid of those Kennedys” to Beverly Oliver etc…etc…that this is becoming funny if it didn’t happen around a tragic event.

  5. In a few photos shot (I believe by free-lancer Jim Murray) in Dealey Plaza following the shooting, the Babushka Lady can be seen in profile and she appears to be a brunette, while Beverly Oliver was a blonde.

  6. Oh I get it, there was no “babushka lady”! That figure within the red oval line is a figment of everyone’s imagination! Or Doug Horne’s magic special effects guys at Hawkeyworks plugged her image into the film…

    Shuuuurrrr THAT’S IT!!!

    The Film JFK used many contrived plot techniques to move the story along. We know that Garrison never met Fletcher Prouty in DC as portrayed in the film — but Prouty’s information was essential to the plot line.
    So including the so-called “babushka lady” in the film is another one of these artistic tactics to add information in a smooth manner. Stone used her as an introduction to the fact that Ruby was connected to the Mob. Those who insist that Ruby had no ties to the Mob have fallen through thin ice, there is no question that Ruby was a mobster.

    You want to criticize Stone, why don’t you criticize him for using ‘actors’ in his film? None of those people were the real people from the events portrayed! They were just screen actors play acting!! How effing dishonest of Oliver Stone for trying to trick us with actors.

    1. Willy, without actors, and Stone, the Movie JFK would never been possible. Without it there would never have been an ARRB and the knowledge from it today.

      1. Ronnie,

        I was being facetious.

        I thought my comment made that clear, that the bottom line Oliver Stone’s film ‘JFK’ is just a movie. Just like the adaptation of Steven King’s story ’11-22-63′ is just a movie.

        Art is a personal perspective of an individual artist in a chosen medium. As such it is personal opinion. One may agree or disagree with such opinions apparent in works of art.

        I happen to agree with Oliver Stones perspective, and I understand that not every scene in the film is meant as a precise documentary style fact__that artistic license allows such leeway in storytelling.

        And of course I acknowledge that Stone’s film had great effect on the real political realm, and I am thankful for that.

        By the same token I disagree with Steven King’s perspective, also allowing for his right to artistic license, and personal opinions.

        …dinky parlez vous…

  7. Wasn’t the babushka lady thought to be Beverly Oliver? Call me naive but I doubt Oliver stone would have included her in his film unless he was sure that she was telling the truth, and her story has never changed over the years either.

    1. Stone included in his film Garrison and his wife at the time of the events. Neither practiced close to
      full disclosure.

    2. The stories of Beverly Oliver, Ed Hoffman, Roger Craig, James Worrell, Governor Connally,Sam Holland, and fingerprint expet Nathan Darby, Dave Powers, Ken O’Donell never changed either. Why do I list these people(mostof whom have passed by now)? They all felt in effect that Oswald was not the only shooter.

      1. There are huge errors in her time line, her physical stature, her demeanor, just to name a few. In fact, there are at the last count 26 issues that conflict with her story, the most notable is that should could not have been there as she was seen in a totally different part of the town, near her

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