The home where Lee Harvey Oswald rented a tiny room, before he allegedly planned to kill John F. Kennedy in Dallas, is now on the market as the 50th anniversary approaches.
The home is owned by Patricia Hall, 61, who said she decided to put it on the market as the 50th anniversary of the assassination in Dallas on November 22, 1963 approaches.
The house has been in Hall’s family since about 1942, but she has decided that it is finally time to let it go – as long as a buyer wants to preserve it and offers the right price.
“I understand the significance of the history of this house,” said Hall. “It doesn’t matter if you believe in a conspiracy or the lone gunman. The fact is that Lee Harvey Oswald lived here.”
Oswald rented the 5-by-14 foot room from Hall’s grandmother, Gladys Johnson. He stayed at the red brick house with white trim during the week while working in his new job at the Texas School Book Depository, and on the weekends he returned to the suburb of Irving where his wife lived.
Oswald briefly returned to the house on November 22, 1963, about 30 minutes after President Kennedy was fatally shot in downtown Dallas.
Johnson’s housekeeper told the Warren Commission that Oswald hurriedly entered, grabbed a jacket and headed back out into the neighborhood. Soon after, Oswald fatally shot Officer J.D. Tippit, then was arrested at the Texas Theatre.
Hall said her grandmother, an admirer of President Kennedy, was saddenned by her connection to Oswald.
“My grandmother was very embarrassed and humiliated that her home would be associated with someone that would do something like that. She began getting death threats. She received a lot of hate mail,” Hall said.
But Johnson also refused to vilify Oswald, known to her as O.H. Lee, who kept his $8-a-week room tidy and was even granted access to the fridge.
“She would only be true to what her observations were,” said Hall.
Fay Puckett, Hall’s mother, ran the boarding house after Johnson’s death.
Neither woman ever wanted to indulge sightseers, but Puckett did allow Oliver Stone to film scenes for his 1991 movie JFK there.
Not long after her mother’s death in 2008, Hall started letting people in to see the room, displaying a donation box to help with restorations.
“People are curious. They want to see where he lived. They want to see how he lived,” she said.
Hall said she has been considering selling the house for years, but decided the time was right as this year marks the 50th anniversary of JFK’s
assassination in downtown Dallas.