The Assassin Goes to Russia

Repoter Peter Savodnik explores Lee Harvey Oswald's life in the Soviet Union.

By + More

There are more than 5 million documents in the National Archives on the Kennedy assassination. You can construct any conspiracy theory you want by isolating a handful of data points, but you can't arrive at any of those theories if you take into account all of the information available, but especially so if you look at Lee Harvey Oswald's biography and psychology. None of the conspiracy theories do. They tend to view him always as a cog in somebody else's system. When you look at Oswald more seriously, and especially his Soviet foray, the mystery becomes much less mysterious.

Why is his story important today?

What makes [him] fascinating is that he is this interloper, this wanderer who is constantly breaking into new places in an attempt to make himself new, to find a home, a sense of rootedness. And really, what he is is a man who failed utterly to grapple with his sense of alienation. Today, we probably have far more interlopers, if you will. The difference between the vast majority of people who are alienated from their country and Oswald is those people for the most part won't kill anybody.

  • Read Leslie Marshall: Republicans Ignore Facts on Obamacare, Jobs and the Nevada School Shooting
  • Read Susan Milligan: The AP Was Wrong to Fire a Reporter Over False Terry McAuliffe Story
  • Check out U.S. News Weekly, now available on iPad