Post by John McAdams
The Babysitters Ruth and Mike
The Fourth Decade, Volume 3, Issue 6
The Babysitters, by Martha A. Moyer & R.F. Gallagher
Ruth Paine "Come On Down"
In 1963, the FBI considered the Paines a "high priority." The WC
considered conducting their own probe of Ruth and Mike. It never
happened. For reasons known to only a few, the Paines became
untouchable and have remained protected until this day. Dallas Ass't
DA, Alexander wanted to "look into the Paines" but no one would go
along with him.
The HSCA made excuses as to why they could not subpoena the Paines and
the Record Review Board excused them saying it was not their
responsibility. How nice !
It appears that after being Communists "rolled over" the FBI and CIA
assets were assigned to the Dallas area where Ruth became the
babysitter for the Oswalds , hoping to gain information that the FBI
was not able to get from the uncooperative Marxist, Lee Oswald.
Does anybody even *care* whether there is any evidence to support such
LOL. Why are we not supposed to ask questions about the Paines?- Hide quoted text -
- Show quoted text -
The Paine Panel
by John Kelin
On Saturday afternoon I left the COPA conferfence and took a cab up to
the Dallas Grand Hotel, where the Lancer conference was underway. Its
Paine Panel was scheduled for 1pm; it was one I was especially looking
I should perhaps note that a virtually identical panel was scheduled
for the COPA conferfence on the following day. Identical but for one
personnel change, with William Kelly replacing Nancy Wertz. For
scheduling reasons not important enough to go into here, I opted to
attend Lancer's Paine panel.
* * *
Lancer's Paine panel consisted of Steve Jones, Carol Hewett, and Nancy
Wertz, who also served as moderator. In introducing Steve Jones, Wertz
called the Paines "the couple we all love to hate." She said that
studying the Paines helps to understand "how Michael and Ruth,
unwittingly or knowingly, and to what degree, were utilized by
intelligence operatives in the assassination planning."
Jones said he wanted to share with the audience "some private thoughts
and confessions that Ruth Paine shared with a close personal friend of
hers, that this friend shared with me." He had promised to never
reveal the friend's name, Jones said, because of her fears of reprisal
from the national security state. And so her identity was not
Jones said he first heard of the friend from Jim Douglass, a peace
activist who had heard of a woman who had worked in NIcaragua with
Ruth Paine, who knew Ruth Paine very well, and might be able to tell
him something about her.
After making contact, Jones said he went to her home to talk, but the
woman would only speak out-of-doors for fear her house was bugged.
"This may, at first, seem like a paranoid reaction by someone," Jones
said, "but as we talked, I believe that there was very good reason for
her to say this."
After going to what Jones described as a "neutral place" to talk, the
woman described how, after returning from Nicaragua some six months
earlier, the FBI had openly tailed her, "in a very open, brazen
attempt to intimidate her." Similarly, she said that while in
Nicaragua, CIA infiltrators would play mind games with peace workers
Eventually the discussion came to the Kennedy case, and the woman told
Jones she had gotten to know Ruth Paine in 1990 while working for an
organization called Pro-Nica. Ruth Paine was another volunteer for Pro-
Nica, but everyone was suspicious of her. "Ruth was taking photographs
of people all the time, for purposes that turned out to be untrue. She
was always taking notes, and asking people a lot of personal
questions." After being bombarded with agent-provacateurs and spies,
the peace workers were getting good at picking out who was phony, "and
Ruth Paine was someone they very quickly determined was not legit."
After learning of her connection to the Kennedy assassination, Ruth
was ostracized by everyone, Jones said --- except for the woman Jones
had met, and was telling the Lancer audience about. This woman "took a
liking to Ruth, kind of pitied her." While she, too, was suspicious of
Ruth, she also felt she was a nice person, and decided to befriend
For her part, Ruth Paine insisted she was innocent, and had nothing to
do with the CIA, or any other government agency. But she spent the
rest of her time in Nicaragua friendless, except for this particular
The women remained friends and kept in touch after returning to the
United States. According to Jones, the woman said they could discuss
anything --- except the Kennedy assassination and the CIA. "Ruth said,
'I don't want to talk about this,'" and offered to send the woman some
back issues of Life magazine. "'That will tell you everything you need
to know.'" That got a few chuckles from the audience.
The friend sensed Ruth had something to tell, apparently, because she
appealed to her at various levels to come clean. She never did;
however, Jones said, "Ruth did share with her a few things that are, I
think, very significant." Some of these things corroborate some
suspicions about the Paines, Jones said, while others dismiss some.
For example, Jones cited a mysterious road trip Ruth Paine made in the
summer of 1963, which was the subject of a COPA presentation several
years before (see Fair Play, Issue #7). "I thought that perhaps she
was doing something of an intelligence nature, maybe was involved with
an Oswald impersonator, or with Oswald, or whatever. And, this friend
told me that Ruth makes those trips every summer ... she always visits
the same friends, she always visits her ex-husband Michael --- they
were divorced in 1971 but they still maintain an amicable
relationship. So I think there was probably nothing suspicious about
that summer trip, based on what this woman told me."
But some other things this woman said do point to suspicious activity,
Jones said. "The friend mentioned to me that Ruth had admitted to her
that her father had worked for the CIA," Jones stated. Ruth told her
friend that in his capacity as a businessman, and later a government
employee with AID, "he routinely collected intelligence information
and reported it to the CIA. So, in other words, he was an asset --- a
businessman who was an asset of the CIA, not a direct employee."
Ruth added that her father never would have done it if he had
understood the CIA's true objective of destabilizing a third world
country so that American corporations could control its economy.
Perhaps the most compelling statement Jones made during his
presentation followed this. "The friend told me that the only time
Ruth ever even cracked the least bit about the Kennedy assassination
was once when she said, she kind of, with tears in her eyes, she said,
'My daughter isn't speaking to me any more, and the reason why she
isn't is because she says I really need to come to grips with the evil
that I've been associated with in my life.' And this was said during
the context of a discussion of the Kennedy assassination.
"And when the friend tried to probe further, and said 'What evil? What
do you mean?' then Ruth clammed up, didn't say another word. But the
indication was clear to the friend that it had to do with some kind of
evil that Ruth didn't want to talk about, what Ruth perceived as an
evil that had to do with the Kennedy assassination. And the friend got
the clear impression that it wasn't Lee Harvey Oswald that she was
In the summer of 1997, Jones and several other researchers decided to
try using this friend as a go-between in an effort to confront Ruth
Paine with certain data. Ruth was expected to visit the friend during
her annual summer trip, so the data was given to the friend. But about
a week before she was due, Ruth called and said she wouldn't have time
to visit the friend. Not long after this, the friend cut off
communication with Steve Jones, and he is no longer in contact with
Jones then briefly discussed some new information linking Ruth Paine
to Allen Dulles. He said an FBI document surfaced dated December 3,
1963, in which a man named Frederick Osborne Jr. vouched for Ruth
Paine's lack of knowledge about the Kennedy assassination.
But it turns out, Jones said, that Osborne's father, Frederick Sr., is
"a friend and associate of Allen Dulles. Osborne Sr. graduated from
Princeton in 1910. His resumé looks like something right out of Who's
Who in America, which he was in for many many years." He sat on the
Boards for numerous organizations, including the Carnegie Corporation
and Princeton University, and served as a U.S. representative for the
United Nations Atomic Energy Commission.
Osborne Sr. and Allen Dulles also co-founded an organization called
Crusade for Freedom, "which very little is known about," Jones said.
"It was some type of a propaganda organization, kind of patterned
after Radio Free Europe," with which it eventually merged in 1962.
Osborne Sr., Jones went on, served as its first president.
This example, coupled with other indirect connections between the
Paines and the world of Intelligence, Jones said, must give one pause.
"There's a little bit too much coincidence going on here --- that the
woman who fed and housed Oswald's wife and children happened to have
these connections to the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency."
* * *
Next on the Paine Panel was Carol Hewett, a Florida-based attorney who
has worked closely with Steve Jones and others in researching the
"The Paines were important for two reasons," Hewett began. "Like the
DeMohrenschildts, the Paines, as a couple, were the closest to the
Oswalds. And they were close to the Oswalds during two critical
periods in 1963 --- the first being April of '63, the spring of '63,
which happened to coincide with the Walker assassination attempt. And
the second critical period was the fall of 1963, which happened to
coincide with the successful assassination of President Kennedy."
She said that one reason the ARRB wasn't interested in questioning the
Paines was that they felt they had been questioned enough. It's true
they spent a long time on the witness stand, Hewett said --- days, in
fact --- but many of the questions they were asked were irrelevant.
Another reason the Paines are important is that their home was one of
two major sources of evidence seized against Oswald, the other being,
of course, the Texas School Book Depository. Evidence implicating
Oswald "simply oozed out of the Paine household, like a seeping
wound," Hewett said, and included the Walker photos, the blanket that
allegedly held the assassination weapon, the fake Hidell documents,
the negative used to fake Hidell identification, and some, but not
all, of the infamous "backyard" photos.
Two other important pieces of evidence seized from the Paine house on
the assassination weekend were the Minox camera and the November 9
embassy letter, although their existence was not learned of until
It is difficult for researchers to categorize the Paines, Hewett said.
While there are plenty of suspicious circumstances surrounding them,
what does it mean? Some plainly suggest a CIA connection, as with the
evidence presented by Steve Jones. But, Hewett continued, "the facts
surrounding the circumstances of these two items of evidence have led
me to believe Ruth Paine may have had some FBI affiliation."
The question of the Minox camera is rather problematic. It was
discovered among Oswald's possessions by the Dallas police. But
according to research by John Armstrong, this camera and hundreds of
other items were seized by the FBI on the evening November 22, 1963.
By manipulating police records, it appears, knowledge of the camera's
existence was suppressed.
By early 1964, word of the camera's existence began to leak out. "An
article appeared in The Nation magazine, in January of 1964, highly
critical of the FBI, and accusing the FBI of suppressing evidence,"
Hewett said. FBI chief J. Edgar Hoover ordered Dallas agents to find
the camera. But, she said, "This was a camera they had all along in
FBI Agent Bardwell Odum contacted Ruth Paine, Hewett said, and asked
her to "check into this matter. And Ruth calls Bardwell back, and
says, 'Oh, yes, we have a Minox camera. I just called my husband at
work and he reminded me that we have one, rusting away, in an old
coffee can in the garage. We'll be happy to get it for you.'" Agent
Odum soon showed up at the Paine's house and picked up a Minox camera.
According to Odum's report, Michael Paine said he offered the camera
to the Dallas police, but they weren't interested in it. "This is a
blatant lie," Hewett said. "This conversation --- this alleged
conversation between Michael Paine and Bardwell Odum --- was recorded
on a January 30, 1964 memo. We now have an internal memo dated January
25, 1964, generated by the highest officers and officials of the FBI,
in which they acknowledge they had been in possession of the Minox
camera all along. And in fact, they were comparing the film in that
camera with some film in a New York City counter-espionage file."
It now appears, Hewett said, that there were two Minox cameras.
Michael Paine said the camera he gave to Bardwell Odum was returned to
him after the Warren Commission finished its work. It was later
stolen, he said. But in 1978, a camera said to be the same one was
presented to Marina Oswald for identification --- along with a second
Minox camera. Mrs. Oswald could not identify either one.
One of those cameras is still in the National Archives, Hewett said,
but the other one is missing. But she said it isn't known which camera
it is because the serial number, printed on the inside of the camera,
is not accessible. Hewett wrote the Archives asking about this, but
"they wrote back claiming the camera was stuck shut." Informed of
this, the ARRB expressed no interest in pursuing the matter. (See
Reactions to the Board, in this issue, for more on the ARRB's lack of
interest in the Paines.)
"The other thing that made me consider that perhaps Ruth and Michael
were FBI informants was the November 9 embassy letter that Oswald
wrote," Hewett said. There are actually three versions --- Oswald's
handwritten version, a more polished typed version, and a third in
Ruth Paine's hand, which she told the Warren Commission she copied
from Oswald's typed version. This last version is missing from the
National Archives collection, Hewett said.
The typewritten version has the initials of FBI agent James Hosty on
it --- dated November 22, although the FBI did not officially assume
jurisdiction in the case until November 26. Although Dallas police
investigators were searching the Paine home for evidence against
Oswald on November 22 and 23, and although Ruth was fully aware of
this, Hewett said, "she is providing the FBI with critical
documentation behind the backs of the Dallas police."
Ruth Paine may also have alerted the FBI that a postal notice to
Oswald arrived at her home, directing them to the post office to pick
up a package. "What we have here," Hewett summarized, "is Ruth
furnishing the FBI with leads, while simultaneously vacating [her]
house to let the Dallas police have access to whatever it is they can
As she neared the conclusion of her talk, Carol Hewett went over some
facts which she felt demonstrated incongruitites in Ruth Paine's
personality. "Ruth Paine is described by almost all of her friends in
the northeast as a charitble individual. And yet, not once did anyone
ever describe a single act of charity. There are no indications that
she donated money, took in stray dogs, or that she'd ever taken in any
other forlorn women and children. We have no specific acts --- the
only act is her act of her taking in Marina Oswald.
"Repeatedly, throughout her own testimony and the testimony of all her
friends, they said that her motive were so that she could learn the
Russian language. Now, Ruth Paine studied the Russian language non-
stop, from the mid-1950s. And in Dallas, she was studying it not only
through the Berlitz school, but she had a personal tutor who was a
native-speaking Russian, Dorothy Gravitis. And so what did she need
Marina Oswald for?"
So it seems, Hewett said, like a phony excuse. "And the phoniness
carries over towards Ruth's care of Marina, in both the spring of '63
and the fall of '63. Ruth is very indignant when she testifies that
Oswald would not permit Marina to speak English. Yet at no time did
Ruth and Marina speak English. Ruth had ample opportunity to teach
Marina English, and yet, just like Oswald, Ruth insisted on talking to
Marina in the Russian language in the privacy of their home --- where
Oswald wasn't there to interfere. And so this doesn't seem right."
Both Paines were active in the Dallas chapter of the American Civil
Liberties Union. "And yet, when it came to obtaining counsel for Lee
Harvey Oswald, Ruth didn't try very hard. And she was very annoyed
that Oswald even had the audacity to ask her to call John Abt." There
are no indications she actually tried to contact Abt on Oswald's
behalf, Hewett said. "This doesn't seem to ring true to the civil
libertarian that Ruth claims to be."
The most disturbing incongruity, in Hewett's view, had to do with
Ruth's reaction to Oswald's murder. "We have this pious Quaker who,
when interviewed by a journalist for Redbook magazine in the summer of
1964, told this journalist that she was glad that Ruby shot Oswald.
She was glad that Oswald was dead --- these are exact quotes. And this
journalist was just appalled that this very religious woman would say
such a thing. Because even if Oswald had done the murder, this was a
man who was deprived of his civil liberties, was not given the
opportunity to have a trial or be defended by counsel. And there was
this widow, and two little girls that Ruth was supposed to be attached
to, and there was no offer of condolence. Ruth did not go to Oswald's
funeral. Even Jackie Kennedy had the good graces to offer condolences
to Marina Oswald."
Ruth told the Redbook journalist that she was glad Oswald was dead
because it spared Marina the trauma of a trial. Noting the obvious
parallel to Ruby's alleged statements about sparing Jackie Kennedy,
Hewett wondered, "Do we have the same scriptwriter here?"
None of the preceding, Hewett said, means that either of the Paines
participated in a conspiracy to murder JFK. "Our general feeling is
that the Paines were babysitters for the Oswalds, especially Marina
Oswald. And we feel it's very unfortunate that we have had three
government bodies --- two of which were investigative in nature, and
the third body that was supposed to collect records and have the power
to subpoena witnesses, if need be --- these three government entitites
have had ample opportunity to question the Paines about their real
involvement with the Oswalds. And the shame of it is, they have passed
up some very good opportunities, and passed up the chance to perhaps
not figure out who the Paines are, but figure out who Lee Harvey
"After all, he is in the epicenter of this earthquake, the
reverberations of which continue as we approach the ending of a fourth
decade without adequate answers."
* * *
The final panelist, Nancy Wertz, focused on Michael Paine. She said
that it is generally easier to find out about Ruth, and it's almost as
if Michael were her appendage. "I really feel the Warren Commissioners
in essence kind of elected Ruth their queen during the questioning ---
the enormous amount of it is evidence of that --- but kind of in
contrast, they kind of treated Michael Paine as the court jester."
On his mother's side of the family, there were anscestors from two
very diverse cultures, Wertz said. There was an artistic faction that
dated back to Ralph Waldo Emerson, while on the other was the
financial empire-building family of the Forbes'.
On Michael's father's side, his lineage could be traced all the way
back to a signer of the Declaration of Independence, Robert Treat
Paine. Michael's father Lyman was an architect who, after the birth of
two sons, became a Marxist Socialist, which eventually estranged him
from his family. He divorced his wife, moved to Los Angeles, and
There was an attempt to bridge the differences between the two sides
of the family, Wertz said. "The Forbes family sought legitimacy and
validation by becoming patrons of the arts, and supporters of limited
social programs. And it was their effort at developing a social
conscience. And this maneuver started an overlapping which resulted in
the various families moving in the same business and social circles."
Wertz said there was a lot of intermixing between the families, which
was not necessarily a negative thing. "But it is the type of thing
that someone can pick up the phone and call and say, you know, 'I know
your mother' --- 'I know this person and that person.'" And who knows
what that might have meant in terms of intelligence circles? Wertz
said. She speculated that perhaps "someone like Ruth Paine would be
very suggestive to working out in some type of a plan in which she
might not know the full objective."
Michael went to Harvard starting in 1947, but was kicked out after
struggling academically for two years. He worked in construction for a
time, then returned to college at Swathmore for one year before
leaving, still without graduating. In spite of having no degree he was
able to get work in a nuclear research lab. He left in under a year,
joined the Army, and served in Korea for two years.
Michael and Ruth met in 1955 and were married two years later, Wertz
said. Michael soon accepted a position "of some responsibility" at
Bell Helicopter in Texas. By early 1961 the Paines had two children
but their marriage was foundering. In September of 1962, Wertz
continued, Michael established a second residence in order to fulfill
Texas divorce requirements. This was the Paine situation when Lee
Oswald entered their lives in the spring of 1963.
Wertz said that Oswald and Michael Paine had at least a dozen "earnest
conversations" between the time they met and November of 1963. Michael
told the Warren Commission that he and Oswald had never really had any
serious political discussions. "But from other documents, and his own
revelations to various researchers over the years, a different pattern
starts to emerge."
Michael Paine enjoyed political discussion, Wertz said, and found
Oswald "a perfect candidate for such discussions." He soon decided
that Oswald had a limited ability for in-depth political analysis,
however, and their discussions were not fruitful for him.
Interestingly, an FBI report from June of 1964 stated that Michael
Paine, in the spring of 1963, spent several Sunday afternoons at a
cafe near a college campus, engaging people in political discussion.
"He would actively approach people and start talk of a political
nature, like 'What about Castro?' etc." According to FBI witnesses,
Paine spoke unfavorably of the U.S. hard line against Castro, easing
tensions with Cuba, and increasing trade with Eastern Europe.
After the assassination, Michael Paine "went back and forth" in
statements about the accused assassin. He told authorities he once
told Oswald that he, Paine, was completely against violence in any
form, and said he distinctly recalled that Oswald had no comment.
"That statement that he made to the police on Saturday was very, very
self-serving," Wertz noted. "He was like, kind of reminding them, 'I
don't like violence. This man didn't even comment on that fact.'"
On the other hand, Paine expressed empathy for Oswald's apparent
inability to hold a job.
Wertz related the incredible fact that, according to his own WC
testimony, Michael Paine was discussing, abstractly, presidential
assassination during lunch at a restaurant on November 22. Before the
meal was over, word of the actual assassiantion reached him, and he
raced back to work and called Ruth, who had already heard the news.
Before long the identity of the arrested suspect was also learned.
Michael testified that he was so upset he decided to leave work.
He went to Ruth's house and stood helplessly by as police searched the
premises. Then he, Ruth, and Marina were all taken to police
headquarters, and Ruth was questioned closely. "But what did they do
to Michael?" Wertz asked rhetorically. "Other than asking him if he
wanted to talk to Lee --- an offer that he declined --- they didn't
even take an affidavit from him that night."
Another story about that same night was related by Lee Oswald's mother
Marguerite, Wertz said. She told the FBI in 1965 that after the
questioning was done, she was invited to stay the night at the Paine
house. But she couldn't sleep because she kept hearing Marina's
muffled crying in one room, and the continued whispering coming from
the bedroom of Ruth and Michael.
"She claimed that at around 2am on Saturday morning, she observed
Michael Paine go through a doorway into a room, which she thought was
another bedroom, at the time, but later found it to be the inside door
to the garage." Marguerite said she believed Paine may have been
planting evidence against her son.
"In my opinion," Wertz said as she wrapped up her presentation,
"Michael's versions of his actions and reactions on 11-22 are the best
evidence we have that he was suddenly confronted with the results of
his knowing participation in a plan with an unknown objective."
She said examining Michael Paine's background --- his family and
political leanings --- might shed light on what led to his
involvement. "These are questions that the Review Board could have
helped us with, but unfortunately, that's lost again with the closing
of their doors in September."
* * *
The ARRB's John Tunheim appeared at the COPA conference that same
night, and the question of why neither of the Paines were ever deposed
was put to him.
"We had limited time for doing depositions and interviews," the Judge
replied. "There was such an intense focus on the records, and getting
the records processed. The Board had to make significant calls on
exactly how many people were interviewed.
"I think in an ideal world, and had we had enough staff and enough
time, the Paines certainly would have been interviewed and deposed. We
chose, with our deposition process, to focus on the medical evidence
issue to try to bring some clarification, or more clarification, to
that. I think that's an important addition to the body of knowledge
about that very mysterious aspect of the assassination.
"And in an ideal world," he continued, repeating himself, "the Paines
should have been deposed. We just, we ran out of time, and staff, and
money to be able to do all that."
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* * *
Do Quakers fib ? Maybe ....
When did you meet Lee Oswald?
I met him sometime in the spring of 1963.
This is Oswald?
Yes; Lee Oswald.
We were invited to a party, Ruth and I were invited to a party, given
by Everett Glover. I had a cold and wasn't able to go. Ruth went at
that time and subsequently went once or twice to see Marina. And she
invited Marina and Lee to our house for dinner, and here the date that
comes to mind is April 10.
Where was Marina staying at this time?
Berry Street in Dallas.
Berry Street or would it be Neely Street?
Neely Street. So this was the first time I saw them. I had to go over,
he didn't drive a car and I had to go over, and pick him up in my car
and bring him back to the house. So I went over to Neely Street and
saw them. Marina took about half an hour to pack all the things for
Junie. Meanwhile I was talking to Lee at their house there.
Would you tell us about that conversation?
I asked him what he was doing, his job, and he showed me a picture on
the wall, which was a piece of newspaper, I think -- that is beside
the point. I asked him about Russia, what he liked about.
Could we get that picture?
I think it was beside the point. It was a piece of newspaper showing a
fashion ad, I think. I think his job was--
Nothing to do with politics at all, to do with his job. I see.
Warren Commission Hearings: Vol. II - Page 393
(Testimony of Michael R. Paine)
I thought Mike Paine also said that he had seen a picture of Lee
holding a rifle at the first meeting of Lee when he went to the
Oswald's apartment to pick them up and take them to the Paine home in
Irving for dinner. Did he not say that Lee showed him the picture at
CBS REPORTS:WHO KILLED JFK-THE FINAL CHAPTER. The narrator was Dan
Rather, and one of the people interviewed for the special was Michael
Paine. Mike related how he met LHO for the first time.He told CBS: " I
went one afternoon to pick him up; went upstairs to pick him up. The
first thing he did, practically, was to pick up the photograph of
himself - 8 X 1O - holding his rifle and some papers. I was a little
startled. I suppose he was looking for a big revolution - that he'd
join a big revolution - that he'd join a big revolution with his gun.
He thought that the only way that change would come about was through
This is the only time that Mike ever suggested that he knew that LHO
owned a gun. He was consistent in testifying that he never had any
idea that Lee owned a rifle.
Mike should go on TV as a clairvoyant. Here is a man who just met the
young LHO and he knows that the boy wants change via revoultion.
However, in his testimony (Vol.II 384-430) ABOVE ....Mike described a
picture Lee showed him of a newspaper ad that was related with his job
at that particular first meeting.
Paine: I asked him what he was doing, his job, and he showed me a
picture on the wall, which was a piece of newspaper. I think that is
beside the point.
Dulles: Can we get that picture?
Paine : I think that is beside the point. It was a piece of newspaper
showing a fashion ad, I think. I think his job was-----
Dulles: Nothing to do with politics at all, to do with his job. I
see. (Page 393)
So, I guess we can assume that at some point before the
assassination Michael Paine did know Oswald had a rifle or at least
access to one. However, did he know a rifle was stored in the Paine
YES. Mike knew.
I personally do believe that Mike did know that Lee owned a gun , but
not at that point. He claimed that he never knew that the blanket in
his garage contained a gun.
If it's OK with you, I will speculate: When he testified about his
examination of the "rustic" blanket in his garage, he told Liebeler
that he thought that the blanket contained metal camping poles.He was
asked if he had the impression that there may have been any paper
inside the blanket. Mike said:
" No; I would have to say no. I didn't have that impression,
nothing crinkled, no sound."
Liebeler asked: "Was there any indication by a crinkling or otherwise
that there might be paper wrapped inside the blanket?"
Mike: "That is right."
Paine's vague answer, "That is right." did not satisfy Liebeler who
returned to the blanket and how it was wrapped. Mike, in one of those
moments of forgetfulness that we considered earlier said, " I can't
remember how it was wrapped at this end because I could grab my hand
around the PAPER wheras this end, I think it was folded over. "
Vol. IX, p. 439.
Most folks who do a thorough job of researching believe that LHO did
not have to snitch paper from the TSBD to carry his gun to work on
Friday morning. If he did indeed carry a rifle to work that fateful
Lee's MC had been wrapped in paper and placed in the "rustic" blanket
in late September in New Orleans, and transported by Ruth Paine and
Marina Oswald to Texas and the floor of the Paine's garage where it
was observed and maintained by the Paines until it was removed from
the blanket after LHO left for work.
In Priscilla Johnson McMillian's book, Marina and Lee, the author
describes the loading of Ruth's station wagon for the trip to Irving:
"What she (Ruth) did not know was that among the items was almost
certainly his rifle,WRAPPED IN BROWN PAPER and a blanket and tied up
in heavy string."
And more :
"... When she was certain Ruth could not see her she crept into the
garage to the place where Lee kept the rifle WRAPPED IN PAPER inside
the heavy blanket, a green and brown wool blanket of East German make
that she had bought in Russia."