The Georges of Neely Street
The Neely Street abode of Lee Harvey Oswald has always been interesting to me. During those 7 to 8 short weeks, the Warren Commission and Priscilla Johnson believe a great metamorphosis occurred in the life of Lee Harvey Oswald. During that short, curiously vague time, Lee Harvey Oswald went from wife-beating, alcoholic husband to political assassin. He bought a rifle and a gun. His belongings were moved by someone (Ruth Paine) in a white Rambler station wagon. For such an important time in his life, very little is known about the Oswald’s lives on Neely Street.
According to an affidavit taken in Dallas on June 12, 1964, the apartment duplex at 212/214 West Neely St. belonged to an M. Waldo George.[i] This is the first mention of a Mr. George, who gave his address as 6769 Inverness Street, Dallas, and identified himself as an office manager of the Tucker Manning Insurance Company. According to this affidavit, Oswald approached M. Waldo George’s wife about renting the upstairs apartment on Neely Street. The apartment had been vacant since late January. This would have made the Oswald’s address 214 West Neely St. Mr. George stated that Oswald phoned Mrs. George and she contacted her husband to inform him that Oswald wanted to lease the apartment because he had seen a ‘For Rent’ sign in the front yard.
As was the norm for the time, Mr. George took one month’s rent of $60 from Oswald on March 2, 1963, but didn’t have him sign a rental contract nor ask for references. Oswald again called Mrs. George on March 4th to complain that the utilities weren’t connected. Though Mrs. George complained to her husband that the phone call was abusive, George did nothing. He next spoke with Oswald a few weeks later, accepting a further month’s rent from Oswald on April 2. The next day, the tenants below the Oswalds, Mr. and Mrs. George Gray, contacted George complaining that Oswald was beating his wife and disturbing the peace. A few days later, M. Waldo George and wife visited the Oswalds inviting them to the Gaston Rd Baptist Church. Lee Harvey Oswald declined, claiming they were “Russian Orthodox”.[ii]
Mr. George says that he didn’t manage to visit Neely St. again until a few days after the next installment of rent was due on May 2. By that time Mr. George states, the apartment was already vacant – the Oswalds had gone, and had not left a forwarding address. Could the Oswald’s have moved because of the General Edwin Walker shooting? Some researchers don’t believe they lived there at all.
A few more salient facts about 214 Neely:
- On November 29, 1963, Capt. Fritz, SSAIC Forrest Sorrels , SSA Blake, and Dallas Police photographer B.G. Brown went to the home and took photos of the backyard.[iii]
- Then there’s the strange story of letters being sent to Jack Ruby from a Lee Oswald whose return address during this time was on Diceman St. in Oak Cliff. Read William Weston’s story about Mr.Daniel McGown’s discovery in an article entitled: “Jake Rubinstein c/o the Carousel Club”[iv]
- Mrs. George Gray, “Clydie” said her husband George B. Gray was a garbage man for the City of Dallas. They were never interviewed by the Warren Commission. She remembered the Oswalds living upstairs and remembers Marina walking the baby in front of the house. She said Marina spoke English. She saw LHO man times but was not friendly with him..[v]
- Pictures of the Neely home from the inside thanks to JFK Lancer.[vi]
- I have been told that the current owners of the Neely home have many artifacts found from this home. I am in the process of trying to locate and determine what these could be. Could they have been located in the dormer above the home?
- Transcript of interview between Richard Gilbride and former Oswald neighbor, Gordon Wayne Smith. Smith claims he and his wife used to see Oswald and Marina at the Neely St address and that his wife once saw him cleaning a gun on a porch a block away on Madison. Smith was never interviewed by the FBI but his wife was. She told them in’64 that neither she nor her husband had ever laid eyes on Oswald before seeing him in the press after the assassination. This discrepancy in accounts has yet to be cleared up.[vii]
- The confusion as to the “real” name of the owners of 214 Neely, the Georges. According to a report dated December 11, 1963, which summarized research into Oswald’s residences undertaken since November 26, an unidentified Secret Service agent personally interviewed an F.M. George living at 6769 Inverness Lane with regard to Oswald’s rental of the Neely St. apartment (WC Hearings XIV: CE 2189, p. 8). On the basis of the information he gave the Secret Service investigator, F.M. George was clearly the same individual as the M. Waldo George of the 1964 affidavit. According to the Secret Service report, Mr. George showed the agent the rental receipts. However, the receipts were apparently not handed over to the Secret Service agent either to keep or makes copies of.
[v] Ed Ledoux interview with Clydie Gray http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.php?showtopic=17593&page=5