Friday, January 27, 2017

The Two Marguerites Part 1

John Armstrong’s theory of “Harvey and Lee” postulates two Oswalds as most researchers know. But he also maintains there were two Marguerite Oswalds. Here is how Armstrong described them in his book (Harvey & Lee: How the CIA Framed Oswald).

The tall, nice-looking, well-dressed Marguerite Oswald, the mother of Lee Oswald, appears as a quiet, pleasant, hard-working woman who got along reasonably well with co-workers. She was about 5'7" tall, average build, had dark hair with streaks of gray, did not wear glasses, and dressed well. The FBI never once interviewed the real Marguerite Oswald, but thoroughly investigated her work and family history from the early 1940's thru the mid 1950's. They obtained payroll information and interviewed employers and employees who worked with her in retail clothing shops beginning with Princess Hosiery in New Orleans in 1943 and continued with stores in Fort Worth, New York and New Orleans through 1956.

The short, dumpy, heavy-set "Marguerite Oswald" impostor appears as a talkative, annoying, opinionated, and offensive woman. She was about 5 foot-tall, heavy-set, had gray hair, wore glasses, and was a very sloppy dresser. This woman worked for years as a practical nurse and caretaker in Fort Worth, at bars in New Orleans, and in other positions where little or no personal information, work history, or payroll tax information was required. Her reluctance to furnish personal information was demonstrated when she refused to fill out insurance forms at Dolly Shoe Company in 1955 and, as a result, was fired. Beginning in mid-1958, after assuming the identity of the real Marguerite Oswald, FBI reports and witness testimony allows us to follow the employment and residences of the "Marguerite Oswald" imposter. This woman was never able to hold a job for more than a few months, moved continuously, and had no close friends.


This is the first in a series of articles that will look at the sub-theory of two Marguerite Oswalds. I will refer to the “tall, nice-looking, well-dressed” Marguerite Oswald as the “real” Marguerite and the “short, dumpy, heavy-set” woman as the “fake” Marguerite or “the impostor” for the purposes of discussion throughout this series.

For some time, Armstrong and associates have been misreporting the height of some of the principals in the case. For example, they do their best to make Ekdahl over six feet, the “real” Marguerite 5' 7" inches, Marina very short (5'1") and the impostor a veritable midget (5 feet even). This is done so their various scenarios will appear at least plausible. Armstrong and his followers like to use photo comparisons to try and prove a point. They pretend to not understand that the only way to accurately determine the relative height of individuals is to have them stand indoors on a flat surface wearing the same type of footwear, assuming the same posture, and standing next to a visible measuring device. In other words, using controlled conditions which, of course, describes none of the photos they promote. This article by Peter Vronski explains the subject using a “controversial” photo of LHO and Marina:

http://www.russianbooks.org/oswald/discrep.htm

With the caveats provided by the above article in mind, I’ll look at some of the photos Armstrong uses to make his case. Before I can do that, some baseline facts are needed.

Height of Principals

Edwin Ekdahl

Much of the Armstrong Harvey & Lee theory uses the statements of witnesses as fact. For example, Armstrong uses the statement of John Pic to make the claim that Ekdahl was at least 6 feet tall.

His home was in Boston, Massachusetts. I think he was over 6 feet. He had white hair, wore glasses, a very nice man.


Of course, Pic was just a boy at the time he knew Ekdahl and was merely estimating his height. Edwin Ekdahl was born in Boston on September 26, 1995. The fact is, he was no taller than 5' 11". Shown here are his passport applications from 1919 and 1920 when he was 24 to 25 years old. One document shows a height of 5' 10 1/2" and one shows 5' 11". Since men tend to exaggerate their height and it is not known if he was measured or reported his height orally, it is possible he was 5' 10" or even slightly less. In any case, he was not six feet tall as Armstrong maintains. Researcher Greg Parker first located these documents and anyone can still obtain them from familysearch.org (after registering) or from other online sources.

Marina Oswald

Marina Oswald was 5' 3" tall not 5' 1" as Armstrong claims. Here is the passport that shows her height:

https://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=1133#relPageId=162&tab=page

Another document says 150 centimeters (probably a typo for 160 centimeters or 5’ 3”) which would make her 4' 11". But Armstrong doesn’t mention this document because it would make Marina shorter than the “fake” Marguerite and he argues the opposite.

https://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=1135#relPageId=496&tab=page

Marguerite

Marguerite Oswald was 5' 2 and 1/2" on a 1965 passport when she was about 58 years old. There is also a driver's license that lists her height as 5' 3", but I'll use the passport to be fair to the other side.

Research shows that women can lose up to two inches of height by age 70 about (men lose less because of greater muscle mass). Additionally, Poor posture due to loss of muscle mass and osteoporosis can give a person the appearance of being shorter than they are. It is reasonable to estimate that Marguerite could have lost one to one and a half inches by age 58 and that would make her about 5’ 3 ½ to 5' 4" in 1945 at age 38 before the “shrinking” effect starts at about age 40. At the Education Forum, researcher Sandy Larsen arrived at the same 5’ 4” figure independently (“Jim Hargrove: Are these photos of the tall, attractive Marguerite Oswald, or the short, dumpy Marguerite imposter?”, page 5).

Analysis of Photos

Marguerite married Ekdahl on May 5, 1945 when she was about 38 years old and he was about 50. Armstrong uses their wedding photo and John Pic’s testimony to place Ekdahl at six feet in height (or more) and the “real” Marguerite at 5’ 7”.

Methodology

If the height of one person in a photo is known, it is possible to calculate the height of a second person if they are about the same distance from the camera. Although it is obvious that the top of the head is one reference point when making measurements, an initial concern was what reference point to use at the feet of the two individuals. To resolve this issue, I did a series of three calculations using a different reference point for each. I found that it didn’t matter what reference point was used at the feet because the critical measurement is the difference between the top of Ekdahl’s head and the top of Marguerite’s head (I measured to the top of her hair). Using the 5’ 11” height for Ekdahl, I divided 71 inches by his actual height in the wedding photo in inches using Photoshop. This provides a ratio that can be multiplied by Marguerite’s height in the wedding photo to arrive at her actual height. The following is one of the three “data runs” I performed with the same result:

· Ekdahl’s Height-71 inches

· Ekdahl’s Height as Measured in Photo-2.537 inches

· Ratio-27.98

· Marguerite’s Height as Measured in Photo-2.37 inches

· Marguerite’s Actual Height-66.3 inches (a little over 5’ 6”)

The 5’ 6” doesn’t allow for two additional factors. In the wedding photo, Marguerite is wearing heels and has a “perm” hairdo. Heels could add two inches to her apparent height and since I measured the top of her hair, so could the perm which puts us at 5’ 2”. But adding just an inch apiece for both the “perm” and the heels is a good compromise and places us near our original estimate of the 1945 Marguerite’s height-5’ 4”. And If Ekdahl was actually 5’ 10 ½” that provides another half inch of leeway. My conclusion is that what is seen in this photo is consistent with the documented heights of Ekdahl and Marguerite when all factors are considered and does not support Armstrong’s assertion of a “tall” Marguerite.

Another photo of Marina and Marguerite walking is used by the Armstrong camp to show the “fake” Marguerite was much shorter than Marina.

Applying the above methodology using Marguerite’s 1965 height of 5’ 2 and 1/2", we arrive at a figure for Marina of 5’ 7”. There is no evidence that Marina was this tall and, as mentioned, Armstrong says she is 5’ 1”. But if you look closely, Marina is wearing heels while Marguerite has sneakers. Also, Marguerite is carrying a baby and her head is bowed and her posture somewhat stooped. It is reasonable to assume that the 4-inch difference can be accounted for by these factors since we know Marina was not 5’ 7” but was actually 5’ 3”.

Conclusion

  • The heights of Ekdahl, Marguerite and Marina are documented and do not correspond with those used by Armstrong in his book.

  • The 1945 wedding photo is consistent with the known height of the 1965 Marguerite when all factors are considered.
  • Photos of Marguerite and Marina are consistent with their documented heights when all factors are considered and do not support the two Oswald theory.

Part 2 of the Series:

http://wtracyparnell.blogspot.com/2017/01/the-two-marguerites-part-2.html

2 comments:

  1. A very interesting series. One thing I find particularly puzzling is how Armstrong would explain Robert Oswald's failure to realize that Marguerite 2 had take his mother's place (a la pod people). I do not have Armstrong's book (it sells for $90 on Amazon), and after poking around the internet, I have not been able to find any mention of this. Does he believe that Robert was part of the plot? or perhaps Robert was also a doppelganger?

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  2. Robert,

    Thanks for visiting my blog. Yes, Armstrong believes that Robert Oswald was in on the plot. For a list of who would have had to be involved, see:

    http://wtracyparnell.blogspot.com/2017/01/harvey-lee-who-was-involved-in-plot.html

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