The JFK assassination is full of stories that are unheard of by many and remain mysterious in their origins and connections to key people in the case. This story will feature the alleged JFK assassin Lee Harvey Oswald. There are still many unknown stories about Lee Harvey/Harvey Lee/Alek Hidell Oswald. Did he truly have a mistress? Was he bi-sexual? Did he lie about being an orphan? Was he really a Marxist? Did he believe in Castro’s cause? Depending on the book you read, the answers to these questions are as clear as Lake Pontchartrain. So, let’s add another question to this list shall we? Who was the old man Lee Harvey Oswald writes about in his diary while in Russia?
There doesn’t seem to be a definitive answer.
In 1959, after being refused political asylum in Russia, Lee Harvey Oswald attempts suicide. He is taken to Botkina Hospital, after his Intourist guide, Rimma Shirokova, finds him in the bath with his wrist slit. (another interesting character in the life of Lee Harvey Oswald, Shirokova will be discussed at a later date). Oswald is bandaged and sewn up, then admitted to the mental ward of the hospital. He is interviewed, complains of the bad food and is moved to Ward 7 of the hospital. It is here that he meets the “elderly man”.
Oswald’s Diary: October 26, 1959
An elderly American at the hospital grows suspicious about me for some reason, maybe because at the Embassy I told him I had not registered as most tourists and I am in general evasive about my presence in Moscow and at hospital.
Why does Oswald use the words, “because at the Embassy I told “HIM” I had not….” Did Oswald know him before he saw him in Ward 7? So just who was this “elderly man” of whom Oswald speaks.
The CIA thought him to be “American citizen Waldemar Boris Karapatnitsky, last known address West Berlin, visited relatives USSR 1959 and believed hospitalized Botkina Hospital Moscow in bed next to OSWALD October 21, 1959 to October 28, 1959. Subject a retired machinery importer exporter born January 14, 1886, Ukraine. Subject denounced 1950 by neighbor as “communist” based on conversations bewtween informant and SAC. No further derog. traces. (CIA, 797-872)
The KGB released a report in 1999 stating:
In the building where Oswald was staying, one other American was receiving treatment at the same time. This person was visited by a friend, a staff member of the U.S. Embassy. The latter took an interest in Oswald and asked whether he was registered at the U. S. Embassy and what had happened to him. Oswald, according to him, did not tell him anything. On October 24th, the Embassy called and asked when Oswald would be discharged from the hospital.”[U.S. Department of State, Office of Language Services, Translation Division, LS no.0692061-4 JS/PH, 1999.]
The Warren Commission was also interested, though they determined this “elderly man” to be Mr. William Edgerton Morehouse, Jr. Former Ambassador to the USSR, Llewellyn E. Thompson is questioned on July 28th, 1964 by Mr. Slawson of the Warren Commission who asks whether Morehouse is the person believed to be the “elderly gentleman” of whom Oswald speaks. Ambassador Thompson has “no recollection of hearing of this man before”, but later mentions an Air Force officer who was employed at the hospital as a doctor who knows of most American cases at the hospital. Surprisingly, this Dr. of whom Thompson speaks cannot be identified but is believed by Thompson to be in Texas (Warren Commission, Vol. 5 pg. 569)
The Secret Service also wanted to know who this elderly man was and their report, gleaned from the files of Harold Weisberg, states:
On August 5, 1964, Inspector Kelley telephoned ASAIC Jukes requesting this office attempt to locate Waldemar Boris Kara-patnitsky. Inspector Kelley said that whereabouts of the subject might be learned at 401 Broadway, New York City which is the Minerva Machinery Company….no record was found. SA Thomas interviewed Mr. Hoid, First National City Bank, Canal and Broadway, at which time it was learned that the subject had a savings account with a balance of about $20,000 and a checking account with $2000.00. Mail for the subject was being sent to Berlin, Germany. [Treasury Department Report, SA’s Harold Thomas and Alfred Wong, #1373]
In 1968, Weisberg requested this file from the NARA under the FOIA act, a file he had copied earlier on one of his many visits to the NARA. He was told it had been misfiled as CD1278 and now classified.
Why would this be? How does the elderly man fit into the Oswald and JFK scenario? Why the misfiling and classifying a report that was once available for perusal? This is yet another question that must be answered. Let’s DO THIS!