Soon-to-be Presidential assassin Lee Harvey Oswald arranged for his
wife, Marina, to take a series of three or four photographs with Lee's
Imperial Reflex Duo Lens camera on Sunday, March 31st, 1963, just days
after Oswald had acquired (via mail-order) the two weapons that are
very likely depicted in those pictures.
Here's a picture of Oswald's Imperial Reflex camera (designated "CE750"
by the Warren Commission):
The famous and controversial pictures that were taken by Mrs. Marina
Oswald in 1963, which have been dubbed the "Backyard Photographs", show
Lee Oswald, dressed all in black, holding a rifle (almost certainly the
Mannlicher-Carcano weapon that he used to murder President John F.
Kennedy eight months after the pictures were snapped). Lee is also
holding two Russian newspapers in the photos; plus a revolver and
holster are seen as well.
Many JFK conspiracy theorists firmly believe that all of these
black-and-white photographs have been faked in some manner (with a
picture of Oswald's head pasted onto the body of an unknown
"conspirator"), in an effort to implicate Oswald in President Kennedy's
November 1963 assassination.
However, such conspiratorial notions are utter nonsense for a variety
of different reasons....and it's quite easy to prove why the "Faked
Photos" theory is full of more holes than a Swiss Cheese factory.
The main questions that conspiracy theorists need to answer if
they think the photos have been faked are:
1.) How did the plotters/photo-fakers get Marina Oswald to ADMIT to
having taken the photos?
2.) How in the world did these clever plotters get Lee Oswald HIMSELF
to SIGN one of the photographs?*
* = It was proven to be Lee Oswald's own signature on the photo in
which the words "Hunter of Fascists" were also written (in Russian; and
probably via Marina Oswald's own hand). This fact re. the Oswald
signature, all by itself, proves Oswald knew of the existence of the
photographs and proves that they are not forgeries.
Plus, there's the inscription "To my friend George" (De Mohrenschildt)
preceding Oswald's signature on the photo (and the date "5/IV/63"),
matching Oswald's handwriting.
Oswald's statement to the police after his arrest on November 22, 1963
-- when he claimed that the backyard photo he was shown was a composite
forgery -- is just one more lie to add to Oswald's lengthy tome of
untruths that he told the authorities following JFK's assassination.
3.) Why in the wide, wide world of "Presidential Assassination Patsy
Conspiracy Plots" would the perpetrators of this photo-faking scheme
feel there was any need whatsoever to "fake" MULTIPLE pictures that, in
essence, depicted the EXACT same thing (i.e., Oswald with guns and
In other words, if we're to buy into the idea of the pictures being
fakes, why wouldn't just ONE single snapshot of Oswald holding the
assassination rifle have met the photo-forging requirements of this
band of Patsy-Framers?
Plus, given many CT beliefs re. the matter, why would these plotters
decide to use the EXACT SAME HEAD of Oswald in ALL of the various
"fake" photos? Did these crooks WANT to get caught red-handed? Or were
they just overly cautious (fearing that one or two of the pics might
get "lost" before November 22nd, so they wanted a few back-ups)?
(See how stupid some of this stuff sounds from the "pro-conspiracy"
What does all of this suggest to a reasonable person looking
objectively at the evidence? --- It indicates that each of the March
1963 Neely Street "Backyard Photos" contains a separately-exposed image
of Lee Harvey Oswald, and were photos that he, himself, KNEW existed.
Here are some more of my random thoughts regarding the absurdity of the
"Faked Photos" theory (and the craziness of JFK conspiracy talk in
When looking back in hindsight, it's quite remarkable at how successful
Oswald was in duping many people (post-11/22/63) into actually
believing his web of lies. He utters the word "Patsy" one time (after
an obvious lie at that, that falsehood being his "Soviet Union" excuse
for being "taken in" by the DPD), and everyone suddenly wants to
believe him (the man accused of a double-murder)?! Incredible!
He also utters "That's my head pasted on someone else's body" -- and,
guess what, virtually every CTer within earshot jumps on that bandwagon
too -- even though Oswald actually SIGNED one of the pictures he claims
was faked! Ridiculous! Talk about the tail wagging the dog!
It's a classic case of a murderer having been caught who is trying
anything he can think of to save his own skin. And in Oswald's case, he
spouted so many lies to the police after his arrest, it's somewhat
difficult to chronicle every one of them (with many of his lies even
being said brazenly to the world via Live TV).
Along similar lines, it's futile for conspiracy believers to continue
to think that it is Oswald we see in the doorway of the Book Depository
in this famous assassination picture taken by James Altgens, when
it is known for a fact that it's Billy Lovelady standing there. But this
"fact" doesn't keep some CTers from still pursuing to this day the
false notion that it was Lee Harvey in the doorway.
It's the same with Oswald's obvious guilt in the J.D. Tippit murder.
Witness Acquilla Clemmons' testimony of having seen two men involved in
the killing of Tippit is NOT a credible account of the event when
balanced and weighed against all the OTHER testimony and evidence that
tells us: Oswald Murdered Officer Tippit Beyond All Reasonable Doubt!
Therefore, it's futile and senseless to continue to search for those
"other Tippit killers". Because no such killers exist, and never did.
I can't quite fully understand why most conspiracy theorists just don't
look upon the Backyard Photos as being genuine (which, of course, they
are), and then utilize the "CT" philosophy that these "real" photos
have aided the "Patsy" plan after the fact (i.e., after the shots were
fired by their "look-alike Oswald" on the 6th Floor of the Book
Depository on November 22, 1963).
That approach makes much more logical sense (if a person insists upon
believing in conspiracy that is) than accepting as true the
more-illogical approach that has a group of unknown plotters going to
the trouble of faking various photos....photos that (in a very real
sense) do NO GOOD at all with respect to placing their "Patsy" in that
sniper's window with a rifle anyway.
The police are going to find out ANYWAY (with or without any "Backyard
Photos") that the revolver and rifle are Oswald's; and they certainly
are going to find out about Oswald's Russian connection (i.e.,
defection) even without the "Militant" newspaper popping up in any
photos (faked or otherwise).
So, if CTers must believe in a "plot" (and they must for some reason),
then this would just be one more "They Got Lucky" aspect to the plan.
Oswald posed for the pictures in March 1963, and the plotters
benefitted from them in November.
Just as a lone-assassin believer peripherally benefits from the "real"
Oswald backyard pictures. They add further circumstantial evidence
against Oswald -- much in the very same way that photographs showing
O.J. Simpson wearing a certain pair of gloves and certain shoes in TV
films provided circumstantial evidence against that double-murderer in
the mid-1990s as well.
The Oswald Backyard Photos are/were a "Bonus", further implicating the
assassin with his weaponry. I cannot understand why the conspiracy
advocates don't view these pictures from this same "These REAL And
Unaltered Photos Of Oswald Are A Nice Bonus, But Not Essential"
Marina Oswald testified in front of the Warren Commission on February
3, 1964, and stated at that time that she remembered taking at least
one photo of her husband Lee, who was decked out in a black outfit.
Marina additionally stated (re. the picture-taking incident): "I
thought he [Lee] had gone crazy." .....
QUESTION -- "Was it on a day off that you took the picture?"
MARINA OSWALD -- "It was on a Sunday."
QUESTION -- "How did it occur? Did he [LHO] come to you and ask you to
take the picture?"
MARINA OSWALD -- "I was hanging up diapers, and he came up to me with
the rifle and l was even a little scared, and he gave me the camera and
asked me to press a certain button."
QUESTION -- "And he was dressed up with a pistol at the same time, was
MARINA OSWALD -- "Yes."
Photo experts for the House Select Committee On Assassinations verified
the batch of backyard pics as genuine. A quote from their final report
on this photographic matter reads:
"The panel detects no evidence of fakery in any of the backyard picture
materials." -- 6 HSCA 146
Plus: The dates on the newspapers Oswald is holding in the pictures
also correspond very closely in time to the date the photos were taken.
The papers were dated March 11 and March 24, 1963, perfect timing for
the March 31st backyard photo shoot.
The HSCA's full report concerning the backyard photos can be found HERE.
I'd also recommend reading the bottom of Page 106 of Gerald Posner's
book "Case Closed", where the author tells of his own conversation with
Marina Oswald regarding the photos:
"I was very nervous that day when I took the pictures," Mrs. Oswald
told Posner. "I can't remember how many I took, but I know I took them
and that is what is important. It would be easier if I said I never
took them, but that is not the truth."
So, Marina knows for a fact she took some pictures of Lee that day in
Spring 1963 (at least one photo). And Lee Oswald signed the back of
one of the pictures, thereby verifying without doubt that he, himself,
was aware of the photos [see 6 HSCA 151] -- which, of course, thereby
renders his comment to police about them being "fakes" an outright lie.**
** = To think otherwise is to actually believe that there were a
COMBINATION of "Real" and "Fake" Backyard Photos in existence, that ALL
(somehow) "melded" together to show an identical overall scene (with an
identical-looking person holding weapons, newspapers, and with a gun
belt and holster). Sound like a logical conclusion to anyone? I rather
A couple of additional semi-troublesome conspiracy-related
complications for which CTers ought to be required to provide
reasonable and believable explanations (other than just the standard
shoulder-shrugging "We Don't Have To Prove Any Details As To HOW It
Happened, We Just KNOW It Did Happen" type of response) would be these
1.) Who was the Oswald "stand-in" that we see in the so-called "fake"
photos of "Oswald" standing in his back yard? If the only part of the
"real" Oswald in the pics is his head, then whose body are we looking
at in the photos? If it's an imposter, the plotters were able to get a
stand-in whose body matched Oswald's perfectly.
2.) WHERE and HOW did these photo-tampering plotters come upon the
photograph of Oswald's "head" that was supposedly plastered onto
someone else's body in the various backyard pics?
After all, a picture of Oswald's head WAS needed in such a CT scenario.
So where did this picture come from? Who supplied it? Or was this, too,
supposedly stolen from Oswald's personal belongings (undetected), along
with the rifle, pistol, and camera? Or did the conspirators take Lee's
picture with their own "Patsy Cam" sometime prior to 03/31/63, instead
of stealing one from Lee's own property?
Or -- Did the plotters have a CHOICE of "Oswald Head Pictures" to
choose from? Because it appears they WERE able to steal (or snap on
their own) a good "match" to plant on the body of the "Fake Oswald" in
Plus, in the scenario of the plotters swiping an already-existing pic
of Oswald -- The number of readily-available Lee Oswald photos (circa
1963), showing a RECENT depiction of Oswald (that is, a 23-year-old
Oswald in early 1963 and not a younger Marine Corps-era 17-year-old
LHO, circa 1957 or so) certainly must have been limited in
number....wouldn't you think? After all, the guy wasn't exactly a male
fashion model, having his picture taken every five minutes.
But, then too, according to most conspiracy buffs, I suppose these
little picky details don't matter in the least .... because it would
appear that there were no limits restricting the amount of massive
evidence-tampering, bullet-planting, witness strong-arming, and
photo-manipulation that could be undertaken and successfully pulled off
with ease by these ace conspirators and cover-up operatives. Evidently,
no amount of covert evidence-fakery was beyond the talents and
capabilities of these crackerjack henchmen/assassins.
After all, it was apparently this same amazing team of "Patsy-Framers"
that was actually able to fool most of the world by shooting JFK with
many different guns and then have the whole nine yards pinned on one
lone loser in the Depository who (per many CTers) never even fired a
shot. Heck, faking a few photos in Oswald's back yard I guess would,
indeed, have been a walk in the park compared to what these Kreskins
did on November 22nd in Dealey Plaza!
Anyway, more food for "Conspiratorial Craziness" thought.
The overall skepticism displayed by conspiracy theorists towards ALL
figures of authority connected with the JFK murder case has reached (as
my main man, author/lawyer Vincent Bugliosi, would say) "Olympian
proportions" in some CT circles.
And I believe such massive, wide-sweeping, all-encompassing skepticism
re. the "official" findings about every single aspect of the John F.
Kennedy case is unfounded and just plain "wishful CT thinking".
David Von Pein
Take note of the "Oswald lean" in the photo of LHO on the left below. It's remarkably similar to the "leaning" posture that many conspiracy theorists think was physically impossible for Lee Harvey Oswald to achieve in the backyard photos:
David Von Pein
August 18, 2015
QUESTION FOR CONSPIRACY BELIEVERS REGARDING
THE BACKYARD PHOTOS....
Do some conspiracy theorists think the FBI (or somebody) "planted" a fake "backyard picture" of Lee Harvey Oswald amongst the possessions of Marina Oswald on the weekend of the assassination?
A copy of a backyard picture showing Lee Oswald was deliberately burned and destroyed by Marina and Marguerite Oswald in their hotel room just a day or two after the assassination.
Copies of the backyard photos, in fact, were found in multiple locations -- starting with Ruth Paine's garage....plus the picture that was destroyed by Marina and Marguerite....plus the picture that turned up 14 years later among the possessions of George DeMohrenschildt (and that photo was signed by Lee Oswald himself).
And yet (per some CTers) we're supposed to believe that ALL of those pictures are forgeries? And that somebody forged a perfect "TO MY FRIEND GEORGE, FROM LEE OSWALD" inscription on the back of the DeMohrenschildt copy?
Isn't such mass fakery a little bit hard to swallow in the case of the backyard photographs (even if you're a devoted conspiracy advocate)?
David Von Pein
May 13, 2014
THE BACKYARD PHOTOS -- PART 2