The Mystery Of The Babushka Lady

On November 22nd 1963, President John F Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas

Thousands of people gathered at the Dealey Plaza to watch the Presidential motorcade, when Kennedy was struck by two bullets in his open-top convertible Amidst the panic, bystanders fled for cover, and the FBI began the difficult task of solving the murder But one woman saw it all While a stunned America tried to comprehend the assassination of their beloved president, FBI agents were already collecting evidence from the crime scene Leading the investigation was Chief Justice Earl Warren

But his agents quickly ran into a problem Confused by the chaos of the attack, spectator accounts from the event were conflicting – statements changed and witnesses recalled different events How many bullets were fired? From what angle? How many gunmen? And what weapons were used? Photographic evidence was now essential in order to solve Kennedy’s murder And it’s here where our mysterywitness was first discovered The FBI confiscated vital spectator footage, including the Zapruder, Muchmore, and Nix films, to piece together exactly what happened on the day

Some of these films feature a woman pointing a camera directly at the President’s motorcade when the shots were fired As the crowd ran, this woman stayed on the grass between Elm and Main Street, and filmed everything Nicknamed the ‘Babushka Lady’ because of her Russian headscarf, she held vital details to the death of the President But in every film that she appeared in, the Babushka Lady’s face was obscured – making it impossible to identify her Who was this woman? And why didn’t she react to the shooting like everyone else? Despite multiple calls by the FBI to track her down, nobody came forward

Until 1970, when conspiracy researcher Gary Shaw met a singer called Beverly Oliver, who claimed to be the Babushka Lady According to Oliver, two men from the FBI confiscated her camera on the day of Kennedy’s assassination, and it was never returned to her But JFK researchers are divided on Oliver’s claims In Nigel Turner’s 1988 documentary ‘The Men Who Killed Kennedy’, Oliver reiterated her identity as the Babushka Lady, also adding that she had connections to the Mafia, and had once met Kennedy assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald But political writer and attorney Vincent Bugliosi is not convinced

In 2007 he wrote a book called, ‘Reclaiming History: The Assassination of President John F Kennedy’, exposing Oliver as a fraud, and confirming many researchers’ doubts One major flaw in Oliver’s story is that she claimed to have captured – Kennedy’s murder with a Yashica Super-8 – but this model was not made until 1969 Supposedly, she received a prototype camera 6 years before the final product was released Skeptics also doubt Oliver’s claims because of the disparities between her appearance in real life and the photos

Analysis of the Dallas footage indicates that the Babushka Lady is a well-built, middle-aged woman But on the date of Kennedy’s assassination, Oliver would have only been 17 years old And even more suspicious – if Beverly Oliver is who she says she is – why did she take so long to come forward? Could this have been to fabricate her story? Conspiracy skeptic John McAdams has debunked Oliver’s claims in detail, which suggests that this might indeed be the case Her dubious assertions, that Kennedy’s head exploded ‘like a bucket of blood’, and that she was openly introduced to a member of the CIA called Lee Oswald, are inconsistent with the actual events surrounding JFK’s murder – these can be found in the FBI’s Warren Commission Since her announcement, Beverly Oliver has made a small fortune off the back of JFK’s murder, leading tours around the Dealey Plaza, and even publishing a book in 1994, called ‘Nightmare in Dallas’

The research community are doubtful that the Babushka Lady mystery will ever be solved But perhaps it already has been The same year that Oliver released her book, Kennedy assassination expert Gary Mack testified before the Assassination Records Review Board, with some compelling new evidence from the photography company Kodak One of Kodak’s Dallas executives claimed that a young woman with dark hair managed to snap a photo at Dealey Plaza on the 22nd November But once the photo was developed, it was extremely blurry, rendering it useless to the investigation

Could this be the photograph from the Babushka Lady’s camera? More than 50 years on, John F Kennedy and his assassin may have been laid to rest, but this part of the puzzle is still very much alive

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