On the Trail of the JFK Assassins
Oswald's Erractic Behavior
In October 1961, Oswald briefly defected to the Soviet Union, claiming that he could inform them of secrets regarding the U2 spy plane. The Russians were wary of Oswald, thinking it was possible he was an American plant, but allowed him to settle in Minsk. Oswald quickly grew bored of life in the totalitarian state, however, and returned to the United States, a new Russian wife, Marina, and their baby in tow.
Oswald's older brother, Robert, met him and Marina when they arrived in Dallas that June. In his appearance before the Warren Commission, Robert was suddenly asked by counsel Albert Jenner whether he had seen the film version of The Manchurian Candidate (he hadn't), and had "formed an opinion about whether your brother may have undergone some treatment in Russia that may have affected his mind."
Robert Oswald replied: "That perhaps is sheer speculation on my part, that due to the nature of the change in his hair, in the baldness that appeared, I reached the opinion that perhaps something in the nature of shock treatments or something along that line had been given him in Russia."
Later, Oswald would write in an article for Look Magazine: "The Commission seemed to be exploring the possibility that Lee could have been subjected to some kind of brainwashing by the Russians, and that the assassination of President Kennedy might have followed some preselected signal."
Marina was not sure whether it was that same night, or the next, that she heard Lee talking in his sleep for the first time since Minsk. He spoke so loudly and clearly that she sat up in bed with a start. Oswald was repeating the same words over and over, though she could not understand what he was saying. When she asked her husband about this, he became hostile. Over the ensuing weeks, he would ask several times whether he'd talked in his sleep the night before.
That was the same period when Oswald sent in a mail order for a Mannlicher-Carcano rifle, to be shipped to his "Hidell" alias at his post office box. This was what he used, Marina would testify, in a failed attempt to kill General [Edwin A.] Walker on April 10. Two weeks later, Oswald moved alone to New Orleans, with Marina joining him in June.
He began having nocturnal problems again, as Marina later described to biographer Priscilla McMillan: "One night he cried, yet when he woke up he could not remember what his dream had been about. He started having nosebleeds, once or twice he talked in his sleep, and one night toward the very end of June he had four anxiety attacks during which he shook head to toe at intervals of half an hour and never once woke up."
When I described Oswald's behavior to hypnosis expert Milton Kline, he responded immediately:
That sounds like an abreaction. This can occur by spontaneous regressions, in terms of someone's mental functioning. But it is more likely to occur on the basis of hypnotically induced experiences, or attempts to recall or relive certain experiences under hypnosis for which there is partial amnesia. What you are describing appears to involve some very conflicting feelings, and perhaps some real feelings of guilt. Particularly having dreams and not being able to recall them is very typical following hypnotically induced trauma. The experience is relived via the dream, but the individual represses the dream and typically would then be in a state of depression.