(PART 808)


It has been said that "The Fugitive" was Lee Harvey Oswald's favorite TV program at the time of JFK's assassination in 1963. The show had premiered two months before Oswald shot the President....


A Fugitive/JFK tie-in --- CLICK HERE.


"It has been said?"


Yes, Duke. That's right. You have a problem with my terminology?

In Gus Russo's 1998 book "Live By The Sword", Russo quotes Lee's brother, Robert Oswald, as having said the following:

"As an adult, his [LHO's] favorite show became 'The Fugitive,' a television series about a man always on the run because he was wrongly accused of murdering his wife."

Whether Robert Oswald was correct or not, I haven't the slightest idea. And I don't see how Robert could know what Lee's favorite TV show was in the fall of 1963 since I don't think Robert had seen Lee in about a year prior to the assassination, and "The Fugitive" didn't premiere until September of '63.

But, anyway, my earlier comment is still correct, because evidently it "has been said" (by Lee's brother Robert) that "The Fugitive" was a favorite show of Lee's.


Thanks for that. Passive voice is generally just weak writing, and definitive like "people (or 'they') say" and "I've heard" for authority. Wondered, and knowing the source, don't take stock in it.


I merely wanted a "JFK tie-in" for my thread-starting post in order to promote my "Fugitive" website within this JFK Facebook group. That's all. And even the very weak "It has been said..." tie-in served my purposes nicely here. I really couldn't care less if it's true or not.


Should add that Robert Oswald probably did say it, but my rationale for disbelief is that the show ["The Fugitive"] aired for only 10 weeks -- late (9-10 pm Central) on Tuesday nights -- prior to LHO's death.

This was during his time at Mary Bledsoe's place and 1026 N. Beckley, when it was unlikely he was able to watch what he pleased during the week, that late at night, when Robert had little or no contact with him.

I also realize that your commentary was about the show and not about LHO, but I also realize how unattributed comments from uninformed sources often become "facts" when they are not. Just sayin'.

Me, I just like facts. Should've been born in Missouri, but wasn't.

Incidentally, have I ever said "nice work" on most of this other stuff you do? If I haven't--as I suspect is the case--I should've done that, too.


Thank you, Duke.

And your point about Oswald having to watch the TV at his roominghouses is well taken. Although Lee was seen watching at least SOME television during his time at the Beckley residence. So he might very well have watched a few "Fuge" episodes while rooming at Beckley.

Oswald's landlady, Gladys Johnson, said ---

"He [Oswald] would come in and watch television maybe 30, 40 minutes at a time and never speak to a man."

JOE BALL -- "He would watch television sometimes?"

Mrs. JOHNSON -- "Yes, sir; watch television, with the other men renters."

But Mrs. Johnson also said he spent about "95 percent" of his time in his little cubbyhole of a room.


Let's don't forget about his shortwave radio either.


Hi Steve,

I've heard other people mention LHO's shortwave radio too, but I don't recall ever having seen any picture of it. Was it presented as a Warren Commission (or HSCA) exhibit that you know of? I think some people have said he listened to Radio Havana on it. (Correct me if I'm wrong.)

Then, too, not every single possession ever owned by Lee Oswald was photographed and presented as an official exhibit.


Hi David, I don't believe it was a WR exhibit, however I do have a picture of it. It was found in his Beckley room, I can't recall the Russian brand name right now.

Albert Newman was a proponent of Oswald probably listening to the English broadcast of Radio Havana. Newman monitored communist shortwave as a hobby. He bought a cheap $12 shortwave radio and was able to receive a strong signal for Radio Havana for both nightly broadcasts, one at 21:00 and the other at 23:00.


Here's a really poor picture of Oswald's radio found at Beckley:


Thank you, Steve.

I'd be willing to bet that Vince Bugliosi has the shortwave radio topic covered in his book.


As I suspected, Vincent Bugliosi covers the "shortwave radio" topic quite well in "Reclaiming History", with numerous mentions of the radio scattered throughout the book, e.g.,

"[Albert H.] Newman noticed the likelihood that Oswald was listening to nightly broadcasts of shortwave radio from Cuba, something the Warren Commission overlooked. The Commission sent the small Russian radio found in Oswald's rooming house after the assassination to the National Security Agency at Fort Meade, which reported that the radio "appears to be a normal receiver and there's no evidence of its use for any other purpose" (CE 2768, 26 H 155).

Newman, a shortwave listener himself, easily determined that Oswald's "tourist" brand radio was capable of receiving Radio Havana's twice-nightly English-language broadcasts on both the normal broadcast and the shortwave band.

Oswald was certainly familiar with the shortwave band and Soviet attempts to jam it. He wrote in his notes on the Soviet Union, "But the jamming frequiences are only half those of the 'Radio Moscow' propaganda programs, which may be heard on any short wave radio in the United States and without jamming" (CE 95, 16 H 406).


Mr. Johnson, the landlord of Oswald's final residence in the Oak Cliff rooming house, said that Oswald retired early and listened to his small radio (Hugh Aynesworth, "Oswald Rented Room under Alias," Dallas Morning News, November 23, 1963, p.6).

In the summer of 1966, Newman used the cheapest portable, transistor shortwave radio he could find—it cost less than twelve dollars—to check Radio Havana's signal in Dallas and found it to be consistently the strongest on the forty-nine-meter band (at 6.135 megacycles), three times stronger than it was in New York.

Newman, in referring to Cuban radio, writes, "If soap and cigarettes can be sold over radio, so can hatred of the United States, its policies and its leaders." (Newman, "Assassination of John F Kennedy", pp.23-27)


Although the Warren Commission displayed no interest in Lee's shortwave radio, which was the size "of a small mantelpiece clock," it was recovered from his room at Beckley and is now in the National Archives in Washington, D.C., though it was never assigned a Warren Commission exhibit number.

On the afternoon of the assassination, Mr. Johnson told a reporter from the Dallas Morning News that Lee was "always in bed by 9:30 or 10 :00 p.m." and that he "would retire early and listen to his small radio." Radio Havana's first English broadcast began at nine in the evening, Dallas time, the second at eleven, and...was easily heard in Dallas.

If Oswald had listened to Radio Havana in his room on the first night he moved in, October 14, which is more likely than not, he would have heard, among other things, the announcer speaking about the "hypocrisy" of America offering Red Cross aid to the island, which had just been devastated by Hurricane Flora (the hurricane had missed Florida just ninety miles away), while at the same time "trying to smash the Cuban Revolution in every way it can, trying to deprive the Cuban people of food by its [economic] blockade."


That Lee's small Russian radio had a shortwave capacity was virtually confirmed in his letter to his brother Robert written when Lee was in Minsk, in which he said he had "heard a Voice of America" broadcast about "the Russians releasing [Gary] Powers" (CE 316, 16 H 875)."
-- Vincent T. Bugliosi; Via various pages of his 2007 book "Reclaiming History"


Good post David.


That's what is so great about Bugliosi's mega-tome, Steve. With just the pointing of a mouse, I can find at least a little something on virtually any sub-topic imaginable that is connected with the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Of course it helps tremendously to have all 2800 pages of Vincent's book in a handy PDF format (with the invaluable "Word Find" tool attached).

David Von Pein
October 2014