Photo Surveillance and the Mystery Man
Photograph of an unidentified individual captured on photosurveillance cameras outside the Soviet Embassy in Mexico City in the fall of 1963.
When Lee Oswald's mother complained to the Warren Commission that she had been shown a picture of Jack Ruby prior to her son's murder, she set off a chain of events which brought out one of the many mysteries surrounding the Mexico City visit.
Marguerite had in fact been shown a photo, taken outside the Soviet Embassy in Mexico City, of an as-yet unidentified man. This photo and apparently others of the same individual had been rushed to Dallas from Mexico City on a special plane late in the evening of November 22. The story told since is that this man was mistakenly identified as Oswald in a search of surveillance photos for a North American. Indeed, a CIA Mexico City station cable on October 8 had supplied a description of this man along with information about a phone call from a man named Oswald.
But from there the story only gets murkier. The Headquarters reply cable contained false information regarding CIA's knowledge of Oswald, along with a corrected description of him, an indication that some game was being played within CIA regarding knowledge of Oswald's trip. And since Mexico City had received a true description, why then were photos of this obviously "wrong" person still rushed to Dallas on the night after the assassination? Were investigators at that point actually looking for an imposter or a possible accomplice? And why did Chief of Station Win Scott send a separate message to CIA officer J.C. King, saying he had forwarded photos of "a certain person who is known to you?"
Given the evidence that Oswald was impersonated on tapped telephone lines, the question arises whether the man captured in these photos was that impersonator. Also of relevance is why the CIA worked so hard behind the scenes to try to keep the Warren Commission from publishing a photo of this supposedly unidentified person, even after receiving assurances that the background would be cropped out (the suggestion was even made that perhaps the face could be altered).
The entire episode, unresolved as it is, raises one clear caution about the completeness of our information. If Mrs. Oswald had not raised a fuss in the first place, the entire matter might have stayed buried.
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