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    NOTICE: The following article is written by the author itself and not by me, I am not trying to violate their copyright. I will give some information on them. One of my favourite writers, C.S. Lewis passed away on this date, 22 November 1963. I will post one of his articles to remember the 50th anniversary of his death.

    ARTICLE TITLE:The Humanitarian Theory of Punishment
    DATE: 1949
    AUTHOR: C.S. Lewis
    AUTHOR INFORMATION: Clive Staples Lewis (29 November 1898 – 22 November 1963), commonly called C. S. Lewis and known to his friends and family as "Jack", was a novelist, poet, academic, medievalist, literary critic, essayist, lay theologian, and Christian apologist. Born in Belfast, Ireland, he held academic positions at both Oxford University (Magdalen College), 1925–1954, and Cambridge University (Magdalene College), 1954–1963. He is best known both for his fictional work, especially The Screwtape Letters, The Chronicles of Narnia, and The Space Trilogy, and for his non-fiction Christian apologetics, such as Mere Christianity, Miracles, and The Problem of Pain.
    Lewis and fellow novelist J. R. R. Tolkien were close friends. Both authors served on the English faculty at Oxford University, and both were active in the informal Oxford literary group known as the "Inklings". According to his memoir Surprised by Joy, Lewis had been baptized in the Church of Ireland (part of the Anglican Communion) at birth, but fell away from his faith during his adolescence. Owing to the influence of Tolkien and other friends, at the age of 32 Lewis returned to the Anglican Communion, becoming "a very ordinary layman of the Church of England". His faith had a profound effect on his work, and his wartime radio broadcasts on the subject of Christianity brought him wide acclaim.
    In 1956, he married the American writer Joy Davidman, 17 years his junior, who died four years later of cancer at the age of 45. Lewis died three years after his wife, from renal failure, one week before his 65th birthday. Media coverage of his death was minimal; he died on 22 November 1963—the same day that U.S. President John F. Kennedy was assassinated, and the same day another famous author, Aldous Huxley, died. In 2013, on the 50th anniversary of his death, Lewis will be honoured with a memorial in Poets' Corner, Westminster Abbey.
    Lewis's works have been translated into more than 30 languages and have sold millions of copies. The books that make up The Chronicles of Narnia have sold the most and have been popularized on stage, TV, radio, and cinema.

    C. S. Lewis

    In England we have lately had a controversy about Capital Punishment. I do not know whether a murderer is more likely to repent and make good on the gallows a few weeks after his trial or in the prison infirmary thirty years later. I do not know whether the fear of death is an indispensable deterrent. I need not, for the purpose of this article, decide whether it is a morally permissible deterrent. Those are questions which I propose to leave untouched. My subject is not Capital Punishment in particular, but that theory of punishment in general which the controversy showed to be called the Humanitarian theory. Those who hold it think that it is mild and merciful. In this I believe that they are seriously mistaken. I believe that the “Humanity” which it claims is a dangerous illusion and disguises the possibility of cruelty and injustice without end. I urge a return to the traditional or Retributive theory not solely, not even primarily, in the interests of society, but in the interests of the criminal.

    According to the Humanitarian theory, to punish a man because he deserves it, and as much as he deserves, is mere revenge, and, therefore, barbarous and immoral. It is maintained that the only legitimate motives for punishing are the desire to deter others by example or to mend the criminal. When this theory is combined, as frequently happens, with the belief that all crime is more or less pathological, the idea of mending tails off into that of healing or curing and punishment becomes therapeutic. Thus it appears at first sight that we have passed from the harsh and self-righteous notion of giving the wicked their deserts to the charitable and enlightened one of tending the psychologically sick. What could be more amiable? One little point which is taken for granted in this theory needs, however, to be made explicit. The things done to the criminal, even if they are called cures, will be just as compulsory as they were in the old days when we called them punishments. If a tendency to steal can be cured by psychotherapy, the thief will no doubt be forced to undergo the treatment. Otherwise, society cannot continue.

    My contention is that this doctrine, merciful though it appears, really means that each one of us, from the moment he breaks the law, is deprived of the rights of a human being.

    The reason is this. The Humanitarian theory removes from Punishment the concept of Desert. But the concept of Desert is the only connecting link between punishment and justice. It is only as deserved or undeserved that a sentence can be just or unjust. I do not here contend that the question ‘Is it deserved?’ is the only one we can reasonably ask about a punishment. We may very properly ask whether it is likely to deter others and to reform the criminal. But neither of these two last questions is a question about justice. There is no sense in talking about a ‘just deterrent’ or a ‘just cure’. We demand of a deterrent not whether it is just but whether it will deter. We demand of a cure not whether it is just but whether it succeeds. Thus when we cease to consider what the criminal deserves and consider only what will cure him or deter others, we have tacitly removed him from the sphere of justice altogether; instead of a person, a subject of rights, we now have a mere object, a patient, a ‘case’.

    The distinction will become clearer if we ask who will be qualified to determine sentences when sentences are no longer held to derive their propriety from the criminal’s deservings. On the old view the problem of fixing the right sentence was a moral problem. Accordingly, the judge who did it was a person trained in jurisprudence; trained, that is, in a science which deals with rights and duties, and which, in origin at least, was consciously accepting guidance from the Law of Nature, and from Scripture. We must admit that in the actual penal code of most countries at most times these high originals were so much modified by local custom, class interests, and utilitarian concessions, as to be very imperfectly recognizable. But the code was never in principle, and not always in fact, beyond the control of the conscience of the society. And when (say, in eighteenth-century England) actual punishments conflicted too violently with the moral sense of the community, juries refused to convict and reform was finally brought about. This was possible because, so long as we are thinking in terms of Desert, the propriety of the penal code, being a moral question, is a question n which every man has the right to an opinion, not because he follows this or that profession, but because he is simply a man, a rational animal enjoying the Natural Light. But all this is changed when we drop the concept of Desert. The only two questions we may now ask about a punishment are whether it deters and whether it cures. But these are not questions on which anyone is entitled to have an opinion simply because he is a man. He is not entitled to an opinion even if, in addition to being a man, he should happen also to be a jurist, a Christian, and a moral theologian. For they are not question about principle but about matter of fact; and for such cuiquam in sua arte credendum. Only the expert ‘penologist’ (let barbarous things have barbarous names), in the light of previous experiment, can tell us what is likely to deter: only the psychotherapist can tell us what is likely to cure. It will be in vain for the rest of us, speaking simply as men, to say, ‘but this punishment is hideously unjust, hideously disproportionate to the criminal’s deserts’. The experts with perfect logic will reply, ‘but nobody was talking about deserts. No one was talking about punishment in your archaic vindictive sense of the word. Here are the statistics proving that this treatment deters. Here are the statistics proving that this other treatment cures. What is your trouble?

    The Humanitarian theory, then, removes sentences from the hands of jurists whom the public conscience is entitled to criticize and places them in the hands of technical experts whose special sciences do not even employ such categories as rights or justice. It might be argued that since this transference results from an abandonment of the old idea of punishment, and, therefore, of all vindictive motives, it will be safe to leave our criminals in such hands. I will not pause to comment on the simple-minded view of fallen human nature which such a belief implies. Let us rather remember that the ‘cure’ of criminals is to be compulsory; and let us then watch how the theory actually works in the mind or the Humanitarian. The immediate starting point of this article was a letter I read in one of our Leftist weeklies. The author was pleading that a certain sin, now treated by our laws as a crime, should henceforward be treated as a disease. And he complained that under the present system the offender, after a term in gaol, was simply let out to return to his original environment where he would probably relapse. What he complained of was not the shutting up but the letting out. On his remedial view of punishment the offender should, of course, be detained until he was cured. And or course the official straighteners are the only people who can say when that is. The first result of the Humanitarian theory is, therefore, to substitute for a definite sentence (reflecting to some extent the community’s moral judgment on the degree of ill-desert involved) an indefinite sentence terminable only by the word of those experts—and they are not experts in moral theology nor even in the Law of Nature—who inflict it. Which of us, if he stood in the dock, would not prefer to be tried by the old system?

    It may be said that by the continued use of the word punishment and the use of the verb ‘inflict’ I am misrepresenting Humanitarians. They are not punishing, not inflicting, only healing. But do not let us be deceived by a name. To be taken without consent from my home and friends; to lose my liberty; to undergo all those assaults on my personality which modern psychotherapy knows how to deliver; to be re-made after some pattern of ‘normality’ hatched in a Vienese laboratory to which I never professed allegiance; to know that this process will never end until either my captors hav succeeded or I grown wise enough to cheat them with apparent success—who cares whether this is called Punishment or not? That it includes most of the elements for which any punishment is feared—shame, exile, bondage, and years eaten by the locust—is obvious. Only enormous ill-desert could justify it; but ill-desert is the very conception which the Humanitarian theory has thrown overboard.

    If we turn from the curative to the deterrent justification of punishment we shall find the new theory even more alarming. When you punish a man in terror em, make of him an ‘example’ to others, you are admittedly using him as a means to an end; someone else’s end. This, in itself, would be a very wicked thing to do. On the classical theory of Punishment it was of course justified on the ground that the man deserved it. That was assumed to be established before any question of ‘making him an example arose’ arose. You then, as the saying is, killed two birds with one stone; in the process of giving him what he deserved you set an example to others. But take away desert and the whole morality of the punishment disappears. Why, in Heaven’s name, am I to be sacrificed to the good of society in this way?—unless, of course, I deserve it.

    But that is not the worst. If the justification of exemplary punishment is not to be based on dessert but solely on its efficacy as a deterrent, it is not absolutely necessary that the man we punish should even have committed the crime. The deterrent effect demands that the public should draw the moral, ‘If we do such an act we shall suffer like that man.’ The punishment of a man actually guilty whom the public think innocent will not have the desired effect; the punishment of a man actually innocent will, provided the public think him guilty. But every modern State has powers which make it easy to fake a trial. When a victim is urgently needed for exemplary purposes and a guilty victim cannot be found, all the purposes of deterrence will be equally served by the punishment (call it ‘cure’ if you prefer0 of an innocent victim, provided that the public can be cheated into thinking him will be so wicked. The punishment of an innocent, that is, an undeserving, man is wicked only if we grant the traditional view that righteous punishment means deserved punishment. Once we have abandoned that criterion, all punishments have to be justified, if at all, on other grounds that have nothing to do with desert. Where the punishment of the innocent can be justified on those grounds (and it could in some cases be justified as a deterrent) it will be no less moral than any other punishment. Any distaste for it on the part of the Humanitarian will be merely a hang-over from the Retributive theory.

    It is, indeed, important to notice that my argument so far supposes no evil intentions on the part of the Humanitarian and considers only what is involved in the logic of his position. My contention is that good men (not bad men) consistently acting upon that position would act as cruelly and unjustly as the greatest tyrants. They might in some respects act even worse. Of all tyrannies a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience. They may be more likely to go to Heaven yet at the same time likelier to make a Hell of earth. Their very kindness stings with intolerable insult. To be ‘cured’ against one’s will and cured of states which we may not regard as disease is to be put on a level with those who have not yet reached the age of reason or those who never will; to be classed with infants, imbeciles, and domestic animals. But to be punished, however severely, because we have deserved it, because we ‘ought to have known better’, is to be treated as a human person made in God’s image.

    In reality, however, we must face the possibility of bad rulers armed with a Humanitarian theory of punishment. A great many popular blue prints for a Christian society are merely what the Elizabethans called ‘eggs in moonshine’ because they assume that the whole society is Christian or that the Christians are in control. This is not so in most contemporary States. Even if it were, our rulers would still be fallen men, and, therefore neither ver wise nor very good. As it is, they will usually be unbelievers. And since wisdom and virtue are not the only or the commonest qualifications for a place in the government, they will not often be even the best unbelievers.

    The practical problem of Christian politics is not that of drawing up schemes for a Christian society, but that of living as innocently as we can with unbelieving fellow-subjects under unbelieving rulers who will never be perfectly wise and good and who will sometimes be very wicked and very foolish. And when they are wicked the Humanitarian theory of punishment will put in their hands a finer instrument of tyranny than wickedness ever had before. For if crime and disease are to be regarded as the same thing, it follows that any state of mind which our masters choose to call ‘disease’ can be treated as a crime; and compulsorily cured. It will be vain to plead that states of mind which displease government need not always involve moral turpitude and do not therefore always deserve forfeiture of liberty. For our masters will not be using the concepts of Desert and Punishment but those of disease and cure. We know that one school of psychology already regards religion as a neurosis. When this particular neurosis becomes inconvenient to government, what is to hinder government from proceeding to ‘cure’ it? Such ‘cure’ will, of course, be compulsory; but under the Humanitarian theory it will not be called by the shocking name of Persecution. No one will blame us for being Christians, no one will hate us, no one will revile us. The new Nero will approach us with the silky manners of a doctor, and though all will be in fact as compulsory as the tunica molesta or Smithfield or Tyburn, all will go on within the unemotional therapeutic sphere where words like ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ or ‘freedom’ and ‘slavery’ are never heard. And thus when the command is given, every prominent Christian in the land may vanish overnight into Institutions for the Treatment of the Ideologically Unsound, and it will rest with the expert gaolers to say when (if ever) they are to re-emerge. But it will not be persecution. Even if the treatment is painful, even if it is life-long, even if it is fatal, that will be only a regrettable accident; the intention was purely therapeutic. In ordinary medicine there were painful operations and fatal operations; so in this. But because they are ‘treatment’, not punishment, they can be criticized only by fellow-experts and on technical grounds, never by men as men and on grounds of justice.

    This is why I think it essential to oppose the Humanitarian theory of punishment, root and branch, wherever we encounter it. It carries on its front a semblance of mercy which is wholly false. That is how it can deceive men of good will. The error began, with Shelley’s statement that the distinction between mercy and justice was invented in the courts of tyrants. It sounds noble, and was indeed the error of a noble mind. But the distinction is essential. The older view was that mercy ‘tempered’ justice, or (on the highest level of all) that mercy and justice had met and kissed. The essential act of mercy was to pardon; and pardon in its very essence involves the recognition of guilt and ill-desert in the recipient. If crime is only a disease which needs cure, not sin which deserves punishment, it cannot be pardoned. How can you pardon a man for having a gumboil or a club foot? But the Humanitarian theory wants simply to abolish Justice and substitute Mercy for it. This means that you start being ‘kind’ to people before you have considered their rights, and then force upon them supposed kindnesses which no on but you will recognize as kindnesses and which the recipient will feel as abominable cruelties. You have overshot the mark. Mercy, detached from Justice, grows unmerciful. That is the important paradox. As there are plants which will flourish only in mountain soil, so it appears that Mercy will flower only when it grows in the crannies of the rock of Justice; transplanted to the marshlands of mere Humanitarianism, it becomes a man-eating weed, all the more dangerous because it is still called by the same name as the mountain variety. But we ought long ago to have learned our lesson. We should be too old now to be deceived by those humane pretensions which have served to usher in every cruelty of the revolutionary period in which we live. These are the ‘precious balms’ which will ‘break our heads’.

    There is a fine sentence in Bunyan: ‘It came burning hot into my mind, whatever he said, and however he flattered, when he got me home to his House, he would sell me for a Slave.’ There is a fine couplet, too, in John Ball:

    ‘Be war or ye be wo; Knoweth your frend from your foo.’

    “Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point.”
    -C. S. Lewis

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    Public Domain, U.S. Army hangman John C. Woods (at left with rope) hangs Nazi war criminal Justus Gerstenberg on September 12, 1946. Gerstenberg was a former Wehrmacht soldier who had been convicted of murdering allied airmen shot down over Germany.
    QUOTE:“Does loving your enemy mean not punishing him? No, for loving myself does not mean that I ought not to subject myself to punishment – even to death. If you had committed murder, the right Christian thing to do would be to give yourself up to the police and be hanged. It is, therefore, in my opinion, perfectly right for a Christian judge to sentence a man to death or a Christian soldier to kill an enemy.”[Mere Christianity Book 3 Chapter 7: Forgiveness]

    AUTHOR: Clive Staples Lewis (29 November 1898 – 22 November 1963), commonly called C. S. Lewis and known to his friends and family as "Jack", was a novelist, poet, academic, medievalist, literary critic, essayist, lay theologian, and Christian apologist. Born in Belfast, Ireland, he held academic positions at both Oxford University (Magdalen College), 1925–1954, and Cambridge University (Magdalene College), 1954–1963. He is best known both for his fictional work, especially The Screwtape Letters, The Chronicles of Narnia, and The Space Trilogy, and for his non-fiction Christian apologetics, such as Mere Christianity, Miracles, and The Problem of Pain.
    Lewis and fellow novelist J. R. R. Tolkien were close friends. Both authors served on the English faculty at Oxford University, and both were active in the informal Oxford literary group known as the "Inklings". According to his memoir Surprised by Joy, Lewis had been baptized in the Church of Ireland (part of the Anglican Communion) at birth, but fell away from his faith during his adolescence. Owing to the influence of Tolkien and other friends, at the age of 32 Lewis returned to the Anglican Communion, becoming "a very ordinary layman of the Church of England". His faith had a profound effect on his work, and his wartime radio broadcasts on the subject of Christianity brought him wide acclaim.
    In 1956, he married the American writer Joy Davidman, 17 years his junior, who died four years later of cancer at the age of 45. Lewis died three years after his wife, from renal failure, one week before his 65th birthday. Media coverage of his death was minimal; he died on 22 November 1963—the same day that U.S. President John F. Kennedy was assassinated, and the same day another famous author, Aldous Huxley, died. In 2013, on the 50th anniversary of his death, Lewis will be honoured with a memorial in Poets' Corner, Westminster Abbey.
    Lewis's works have been translated into more than 30 languages and have sold millions of copies. The books that make up The Chronicles of Narnia have sold the most and have been popularized on stage, TV, radio, and cinema.

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                50 years ago on this date, November 24, 1963, The Ozzie Rabbit A.K.A as Lee Harvey Oswald was shot dead by Jack Ruby. Oswald was arrested in connection to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. I will post the information from Wikipedia. 

    Lee Harvey Oswald. Photo taken in Minsk.
    Commission Exhibit No. 2892

    October 18, 1939
    New Orleans, Louisiana, United States
    November 24, 1963 (aged 24)
    Parkland Memorial Hospital
    Dallas, Texas, U.S.
    Cause of death
    Abdominal gunshot wound
    Resting place
    Rose Hill Cemetery
    Fort Worth, Texas
    32.732455°N 97.203223°W
    Criminal charge
    Murder of President John F. Kennedy and Dallas Police Officer J. D. Tippit
    Marina Oswald (née Prusakova)
    (m. 1961–1963, his death)

    Lee Harvey Oswald (October 18, 1939 – November 24, 1963) was, according to five government investigations, the sniper who assassinated John F. Kennedy, the 35th President of the United States, in Dallas, Texas, on November 22, 1963.

    Oswald was a former U.S. Marine who defected to the Soviet Union in October 1959. He lived in the Soviet Union until June 1962, at which time he returned to the United States. Oswald was initially arrested for the murder of police officer J. D. Tippit, who was killed on a Dallas street approximately 45 minutes after President Kennedy was shot. Oswald would later be charged with the assassination of President Kennedy as well, but denied involvement in either of the killings. Two days later, while being transferred from police headquarters to the county jail, Oswald was shot and killed by Dallas nightclub owner Jack Ruby in full view of television cameras broadcasting live.

    In 1964, the Warren Commission concluded that Oswald acted alone in assassinating Kennedy, firing three shots. One shot apparently missed the limousine entirely, another struck Kennedy and Texas Governor John Connally, and another struck Kennedy in the head. This conclusion was supported by prior investigations carried out by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Secret Service, and Dallas Police Department.

    Despite forensic, ballistic, and eyewitness evidence supporting the lone gunman theory, public opinion polls taken over the years have shown that a majority of Americans believe that Oswald did not act alone, but conspired with others to kill the president and the assassination has spawned numerous conspiracy theories. In 1979, the House Select Committee on Assassinations concluded that Oswald fired the shots that killed Kennedy, but differed from previous investigations in concluding that "scientific acoustical evidence establishes a high probability that two gunmen fired at President John F. Kennedy". The House Select Committee's acoustical evidence has since been discredited.

    Early life


    Lee Harvey Oswald was born in New Orleans, Louisiana on October 18, 1939 to Robert Edward Lee Oswald, Sr. and Marguerite Frances Claverie. Robert, Sr. died of a heart attack two months prior to Lee's birth. Oswald had two older siblings—brother Robert Edward Lee Oswald, Jr. and half-brother John Edward Pic.

    In 1944, Oswald's mother moved the family from New Orleans to Dallas, Texas. Oswald entered the 1st grade in 1945 and over the next half-dozen years attended several different schools in the Dallas and Fort Worth areas through the 6th grade. Oswald took an IQ test in the 4th grade and scored 103; "on achievement tests in [grades 4 to 6], he twice did best in reading and twice did worst in spelling."

    As a child, Oswald was described by several people who knew him as withdrawn and temperamental. In August 1952, when Oswald was 12, his mother took him to New York City where they lived for a short time with Oswald's half-brother, John Pic. Oswald and his mother were later asked to leave after an argument in which Oswald allegedly struck his mother and threatened Pic's wife with a pocket knife.

    Oswald attended the 7th grade in the Bronx, New York but was often truant, which led to a psychiatric assessment at a juvenile reformatory. The reformatory psychiatrist, Dr. Renatus Hartogs, described Oswald as immersed in a "vivid fantasy life, turning around the topics of omnipotence and power, through which [Oswald] tries to compensate for his present shortcomings and frustrations." Dr. Hartogs detected a "personality pattern disturbance with schizoid features and passive-aggressive tendencies" and recommended continued treatment. In January 1954, Oswald's mother returned to New Orleans, taking Oswald with her. At the time, there was a question pending before a New York judge as to whether Oswald should be removed from the care of his mother to finish his schooling, although Oswald's behavior appeared to improve during his last months in New York.

    In New Orleans, Oswald completed the 8th and 9th grades. He entered the 10th grade in 1955 but quit school after one month. After leaving school, Oswald worked for several months as an office clerk and messenger in New Orleans. In July 1956, Oswald's mother moved the family to Fort Worth, Texas and Oswald re-enrolled in the 10th grade for the September session at Arlington Heights High School in Fort Worth. A few weeks later in October, Oswald quit school at age 17 to join the Marines (see below); he never received a high school diploma. By the age of 17, he had resided at 22 different locations and attended 12 different schools.

    Though the young Oswald had trouble spelling and writing coherently, he read voraciously. By age 15, he claimed to be a Marxist, writing in his diary, "I was looking for a key to my environment, and then I discovered socialist literature. I had to dig for my books in the back dusty shelves of libraries." At 16 he wrote to the Socialist Party of America for information on their Young People's Socialist League, saying he had been studying socialist principles for "well over fifteen months." However, Edward Voebel, "whom the Warren Commission had established was Oswald's closest friend during his teenage years in New Orleans...said that reports that Oswald was already 'studying Communism' were a 'lot of baloney.'" Voebel said that "Oswald commonly read 'paperback trash.'"

    As a teenager, in 1955, Oswald attended Civil Air Patrol meetings in New Orleans. Oswald's fellow cadets recalled him attending C.A.P. meetings "three or four" times, or "10 or 12 times" over a one- or two-month period.

    Oswald when he served in the US Marine Corps
    Marine Corps

    Oswald enlisted in the United States Marine Corps on October 24, 1956, just after his seventeenth birthday. He idolized his older brother Robert; and a photograph taken after Lee Harvey's arrest by Dallas police shows him wearing his brother's Marine Corps ring. One witness testified to the Warren Commission that Oswald's enlistment may also have been an escape from his overbearing mother.

    Oswald's primary training was radar operation; a position requiring a security clearance. A May 1957 document states that he was "granted final clearance to handle classified matter up to and including CONFIDENTIAL after careful check of local records had disclosed no derogatory data." In the Aircraft Control and Warning Operator Course he finished seventh in a class of thirty. The course "...included instruction in aircraft surveillance and the use of radar." He was assigned first to Marine Corps Air Station El Toro in July 1957, then to Naval Air Facility Atsugi in Japan in September as part of Marine Air Control Squadron 1.

    Like all Marines, Oswald was trained and tested in shooting and he scored 212 in December 1956, slightly above the requirements for the designation of sharpshooter. In May 1959 he scored 191, which reduced his rating to marksman.

    Oswald was court-martialed after accidentally shooting himself in the elbow with an unauthorized .22 handgun, then court-martialed again for fighting with a sergeant who he thought was responsible for his punishment in the shooting matter. He was demoted from private first class to private and briefly imprisoned in the brig. He was later punished for a third incident: while on night-time sentry duty in the Philippines, he inexplicably fired his rifle into the jungle.

    Slightly built, Oswald was nicknamed Ozzie Rabbit after the cartoon character; he was also called Oswaldskovichbecause he espoused pro-Soviet sentiments. In November 1958, Oswald transferred back to El Toro where his unit's function "...was to serveil for aircraft, but basically to train both enlisted men and officers for later assignment overseas." An officer there said that Oswald was a "very competent" crew chief and was "brighter than most people."

    While in the Marines, Oswald made an effort to teach himself rudimentary Russian. Although this was an unusual endeavor, in February 1959 he was invited to take a Marine proficiency exam in written and spoken Russian. His level at the time was rated "poor."

    Adult life and early crimes

    Defection to the Soviet Union

    In October 1959, just before turning 20, Oswald traveled to the Soviet Union, a trip he planned well in advance. On September 11, 1959, he received a hardship discharge from active service, claiming his mother needed care, and was put on reserve. Along with his self-taught Russian, he had saved $1,500 of his Marine Corps salary, obtained a passport, and submitted several fictional applications to foreign universities in order to obtain a student visa. Oswald spent two days with his mother in Fort Worth, then embarked by ship from New Orleans on September 20 to Le Havre, France, then immediately proceeded to the United Kingdom. Arriving in Southampton on October 9, he told officials he had $700 and planned to remain in the United Kingdom for one week before proceeding to a school in Switzerland. However, on the same day, he flew to Helsinki, where he was issued a Soviet visa on October 14. Oswald left Helsinki by train on the following day, crossed the Soviet border at Vainikkala, and arrived in Moscow on October 16. His visa, valid only for a week, was due to expire on October 21.

    Almost immediately after arriving, Oswald told his Intourist guide of his desire to become a Soviet citizen. When asked why by the various Soviet officials he encountered—all of whom, by Oswald's account, found his wish incomprehensible—he said that he was a communist, and gave what he described in his diary as "vauge answers about 'Great Soviet Union'". On October 21, the day his visa was due to expire, he was told that his citizenship application had been refused, and that he had to leave the Soviet Union that evening. Distraught, Oswald inflicted a minor but bloody wound to his left wrist in his hotel room bathtub soon before his Intourist guide was due to arrive to escort him from the country, according to his diary because he wished to kill himself in a way that would shock her. Delaying Oswald's departure because of his self-inflicted injury, the Soviets kept him in a Moscow hospital under psychiatric observation until October 28, 1959.

    According to Oswald, he met with four more Soviet officials that same day, who asked if he wanted to return to the United States; he insisted to them that he wanted to live in the Soviet Union as a Soviet national. When pressed for identification papers, he provided his Marine Corps discharge papers.

    On October 31, Oswald appeared at the United States embassy in Moscow, declaring a desire to renounce his U.S. citizenship. "I have made up my mind," he said; "I'm through." He told the U.S. embassy interviewing officer, Richard Snyder, "...that he had been a radar operator in the Marine Corps and that he had voluntarily stated to unnamed Soviet officials that as a Soviet citizen he would make known to them such information concerning the Marine Corps and his specialty as he possessed. He intimated that he might know something of special interest." (Such statements led to Oswald's hardship/honorablemilitary discharge being changed to undesirable.) The Associated Press story of the defection of a U.S. Marine to the Soviet Union was reported on the front pages of some newspapers in 1959.

    Though Oswald had wanted to attend Moscow University, he was sent to Minsk to work as a lathe operator at the Gorizont Electronics Factory, which produced radios, televisions, and military and space electronics. Stanislau Shushkevich, who later became independent Belarus's first head of state, was also engaged by Gorizont at the time, and was assigned to teach Oswald Russian. Oswald received a government subsidized, fully furnished studio apartment in a prestigious building and an additional supplement to his factory pay—all in all, an idyllic existence by working-class Soviet standards, though he was kept under constant surveillance.

    But Oswald grew bored in Minsk. He wrote in his diary in January 1961: "I am starting to reconsider my desire about staying. The work is drab, the money I get has nowhere to be spent. No nightclubs or bowling alleys, no places of recreation except the trade union dances. I have had enough." Shortly afterwards, Oswald (who had never formally renounced his U.S. citizenship) wrote to the U.S. Embassy in Moscow requesting return of his American passport, and proposing to return to the U.S. if any charges against him would be dropped.

    In March 1961, Oswald met Marina Nikolayevna Prusakova, a 19-year-old pharmacology student; they married less than six weeks later in April. The Oswalds' first child, June, was born on February 15, 1962. On May 24, 1962, Oswald and Marina applied at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow for documents enabling her to immigrate to the U.S. and, on June 1, the U.S. Embassy gave Oswald a repatriation loan of $435.71. Oswald, Marina, and their infant daughter left for the United States, where they received no attention from the press, much to Oswald's disappointment.

    Dallas-Fort Worth

    The Oswalds soon settled in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, where Lee's mother and brother lived. Lee began a manuscript on Soviet life, though he eventually gave up the project. The Oswalds also became acquainted with a number of anti-Communist Russian and East European émigrés in the area. In testimony to the Warren Commission, Alexander Kleinlerer said that the Russian émigrés sympathized with Marina, while merely tolerating Oswald, whom they regarded as rude and arrogant.

    Although the Russian émigrés eventually abandoned Marina when she made no sign of leaving Oswald, Oswald found an unlikely friend in 51-year-old Russian émigré George de Mohrenschildt, a well-educated petroleum geologist with international business connections (a native of Russia, de Mohrenschildt later was to tell the Warren Commission that Oswald had a "...remarkable fluency in Russian"). Marina, meanwhile, befriended Ruth Paine, a Quaker who was trying to learn Russian, and her husband Michael who worked for Bell Helicopter.

    In July 1962, Oswald was hired by Dallas' Leslie Welding Company; he disliked the work and quit after three months. In October, he was hired by the graphic-arts firm of Jaggars-Chiles-Stovall as a photoprint trainee. A fellow employee at Jaggars-Chiles-Stovall testified that Oswald's rudeness at his new job was such that fights threatened to break out, and that he once saw Oswald reading a Russian language publication. Oswald was fired during the first week of April 1963. Some have suggested that Oswald might have used equipment at the firm to forge identification documents.

    Edwin Walker assassination attempt

    In March 1963, Oswald purchased a 6.5 mm caliber Carcano rifle by mail-order, using the alias "A. Hidell", as well as a .38 Smith & Wesson Model 10 revolver by the same method.

    The Warren Commission concluded that on April 10, 1963, Oswald attempted to kill retired U.S. Major General Edwin Walker, firing his rifle at Walker through a window, from less than 100 feet (30 m) away, as Walker sat at a desk in his home; the bullet struck the window-frame and Walker's only injuries were bullet fragments to the forearm. (The United States House Select Committee on Assassinations stated that the "evidence strongly suggested" that Oswald carried out the shooting.)

    General Walker was an outspoken anti-communist, segregationist, and member of the John Birch Society. In 1961, Walker had been relieved of his command of the 24th Division of the U.S. Army in West Germany for distributing right-wing literature to his troops.

    Walker's later actions in opposition to racial integration at the University of Mississippi led to his arrest on insurrection, seditious conspiracy, and other charges. He was temporarily held in a mental institution on orders from President Kennedy's brother, Attorney General Robert Kennedy, but a grand jury refused to indict him.

    Marina Oswald testified that her husband told her that he traveled by bus to General Walker's house and shot at Walker with his rifle. She said that Oswald considered Walker to be the leader of a "fascist organization." A note Oswald left for Marina on the night of the attempt, telling her what to do if he did not return, was not found until ten days after the Kennedy assassination.

    Before the Kennedy assassination, Dallas police had no suspects in the Walker shooting, but Oswald's involvement was suspected within hours of his arrest following the assassination. The Walker bullet was too damaged to run conclusive ballistics studies on it, but neutron activation analysis later showed that it was "extremely likely" that it was made by the same manufacturer and for the same rifle make as the two bullets which later struck Kennedy.

    George de Mohrenschildt testified that he "knew that Oswald disliked General Walker." Regarding this, De Mohrenschildt and his wife Jeanne, recalled an incident that occurred the weekend following the Walker assassination attempt. The De Mohrenschildts testified that on April 14, 1963, just before Easter Sunday, they were visiting the Oswalds at their new apartment and had brought them a toy Easter bunny to give to their child. As Oswald's wife, Marina was showing Jeanne around the apartment, they discovered Oswald's rifle standing upright, leaning against the wall inside a closet. Jeanne told George that Oswald had a rifle, and George joked to Oswald, "Were you the one who took a pot-shot at General Walker?" When asked about Oswald's reaction to this question, George de Mohrenschildt told the Warren Commission that Oswald "smiled at that." When George's wife, Jeanne was asked about Oswald's reaction, she said, "I didn't notice anything"; she continued, "we started laughing our heads off, big joke, big George's joke." Jeanne de Mohrenschildt testified that this was the last time she or her husband ever saw the Oswalds.

    Magazine Street, Uptown New Orleans. 4900 block, lake side. In 1963 Lee Harvey Oswald and his wife Marina lived in an apartment on the right side of this building (in wing almost completely obscured by fence and foliage), renting from landlord Jessie James Garner.
    New Orleans

    Oswald returned to New Orleans on April 24, 1963. Marina's friend, Ruth Paine, drove her by car from Dallas to join Oswald in New Orleans the next month in May. On May 10, Oswald was hired by the Reily Coffee Company whose owner, William Reily, was a backer of the Crusade to Free Cuba Committee, an anti-Castro organization. Oswald worked as a machinery greaser at Reily, but he was fired in July "...because his work was not satisfactory and because he spent too much time loitering in Adrian Alba's garage next door, where he read rifle and hunting magazines."

    On May 26, Oswald wrote to the New York City headquarters of the pro-Castro Fair Play for Cuba Committee, proposing to rent "...a small office at my own expense for the purpose of forming a FPCC branch here in New Orleans." Three days later, the FPCC responded to Oswald's letter advising against opening a New Orleans office "at least not ... at the very beginning." In a follow-up letter, Oswald replied, "Against your advice, I have decided to take an office from the very beginning."

    As the sole member of the New Orleans chapter of the Fair Play for Cuba Committee, Oswald ordered the following items from a local printer: 500 application forms, 300 membership cards, and 1,000 leaflets with the heading, "Hands Off Cuba." According to Lee Oswald's wife Marina, Lee told her to sign the name "A.J. Hidell" as chapter president on his membership card.

    On August 5 and 6, according to anti-Castro militant Carlos Bringuier, Oswald visited him at a store he owned in New Orleans. Bringuier was the New Orleans delegate for the Student Revolutionary Directorate (DRE), an anti-Castro organization. Bringuier would later tell the Warren Commission that he believed Oswald's visits were an attempt by Oswald to infiltrate his group. On August 9, Oswald turned up in downtown New Orleans handing out pro-Castro leaflets. Bringuier confronted Oswald, claiming he was tipped off about Oswald's leafleting by a friend. A scuffle ensued and Oswald, Bringuier, and two of Bringuier's friends were arrested for disturbing the peace. Before leaving the police station, Oswald asked to speak with an FBI agent. Agent John Quigley arrived and spent over an hour talking to Oswald.

    A week later, on August 16, Oswald again passed out Fair Play for Cuba leaflets with two hired helpers, this time in front of the International Trade Mart. The incident was filmed by WDSU—the local TV station. The next day, Oswald was interviewed by WDSU radio commentator William Stuckey, who probed Oswald's background. A few days later, Oswald accepted Stuckey's invitation to take part in a radio debate with Carlos Bringuier and Bringuier's associate Edward Butler, head of the right-wing Information Council of the Americas (INCA).

    One of Oswald's Fair Play for Cuba leaflets had the address "544 Camp Street" hand-stamped on it, apparently by Oswald himself. The address was in the "Newman Building" which, from October 1961 to February 1962, housed the militant anti-Castro group, the Cuban Revolutionary Council. Around the corner but located in the same building, with a different entrance, was the address 531 Lafayette Street—the address of "Guy Banister Associates", a private detective agency run by former FBI agent Guy Banister. Banister's office was involved in anti-Castro and private investigative activities in the New Orleans area (a CIA file indicated that in September 1960, the CIA had considered "...using Guy Banister Associates for the collection of foreign intelligence, but ultimately decided against it").

    In the late-1970s, the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) investigated the possible relationship of Oswald to Banister's office. While the committee was unable to interview Guy Banister (who died in 1964), the committee did interview his brother Ross Banister. Ross "...told the committee that his brother had mentioned seeing Oswald hand out Fair Play for Cuba literature on one occasion. Ross theorized that Oswald had used the 544 Camp Street address on his literature to embarrass Guy."

    Guy Banister's secretary, Delphine Roberts, told author Anthony Summers that she saw Oswald at Banister's office, and that he filled out one of Banister's "agent" application forms. She said, "Oswald came back a number of times. He seemed to be on familiar terms with Banister and with the office." The House Select Committee on Assassinations investigated Roberts' claims and said that "because of contradictions in Roberts' statements to the committee and lack of independent corroboration of many of her statements, the reliability of her statements could not be determined."

    Oswald's 1963 New Orleans activities were later investigated by New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison, as part of his prosecution of Clay Shaw in 1967–1969. Garrison was particularly interested in an associate of Guy Banister—a man named David Ferrie and his possible connection to Oswald, which Ferrie himself denied. Ferrie died before Garrison could complete his investigation. Charged with conspiracy in the JFK assassination, Shaw was found not guilty.

    The Warren Commission examined Oswald's involvement with a New Orleans Civil Air Patrol troop he briefly attended in 1955 with high school friend Edward Voebel. Several witnesses testified that David Ferrie was the Civil Air Patrol unit's commander during at least some of the time that Oswald attended C.A.P. meetings. However, the FBI interviewed Ferrie shortly after the assassination and concluded there was no relationship of significance in regards to Oswald. A more extensive investigation was done by the House Select Committee on Assassinations, which interviewed several of Oswald's former fellow cadets and others, none of whom recalled Ferrie and Oswald interacting. These fellow cadets said that Oswald attended some 8 to 10 C.A.P. meetings over a two-month period. In 1993, the PBS television program Frontline obtained a photograph taken in 1955 showing Oswald and Ferrie at a C.A.P. cookout with other cadets.

    Oswald passing out "Fair Play for Cuba" leaflets in New Orleans, August 16, 1963

    Oswald's mugshot following his arrest in New Orleans, August 9, 1963

    Marina's friend, Ruth Paine, transported Marina and her child by car from New Orleans to the Paine home in Irving, Texas, near Dallas, on September 23, 1963. Oswald stayed in New Orleans at least two more days to collect a $33 unemployment check. It is uncertain when he left New Orleans; he is next known to have boarded a bus in Houston on September 26—bound for the Mexican border, rather than Dallas—and to have told other bus passengers that he planned to travel to Cuba via Mexico. He arrived in Mexico City on September 27, where he applied for a transit visa at the Cuban Embassy, claiming he wanted to visit Cuba on his way to the Soviet Union. The Cuban embassy officials insisted Oswald would need Soviet approval, but he was unable to get prompt co-operation from the Soviet embassy.

    While in Mexico City, Oswald attended a twist party that was also attended by some individuals working for the Cuban embassy in Mexico and some pro-Castro Mexican citizens.

    After five days of shuttling between consulates—that included a heated argument with an official at the Cuban consulate, impassioned pleas to KGB agents, and at least some CIA scrutiny, —Oswald was told by a Cuban consular officer that he was disinclined to approve the visa, saying "a person like [Oswald] in place of aiding the Cuban Revolution, was doing it harm." Later, on October 18, the Cuban embassy approved the visa, but by this time Oswald was back in the United States and had given up on his plans to visit Cuba and the Soviet Union. Still later, eleven days before the assassination of President Kennedy, Oswald wrote to the Soviet embassy in Washington, D.C., saying, "Had I been able to reach the Soviet Embassy in Havana, as planned, the embassy there would have had time to complete our business."

    While the Warren Commission concluded that Oswald had visited Mexico City and the Cuban and Soviet consulates, questions regarding whether someone posing as Oswald had appeared at the embassies were serious enough to be investigated by the House Select Committee on Assassinations. Later, the Committee agreed with the Warren Commission that Oswald had visited Mexico City and concluded that "the majority of evidence tends to indicate" that Oswald in fact visited the consulates, but the Committee could not rule out the possibility that someone else had used his name in visiting the consulates.


    Texas School Book Depository, where Oswald was an employee

    Return to Dallas

    On October 2, 1963, Oswald left Mexico City by bus and arrived in Dallas the next day. On October 14, a neighbor told Ruth Paine that there was a job opening at the Texas School Book Depository. Mrs. Paine informed Oswald, who was interviewed at the Depository and was hired there on October 16. Oswald's supervisor Roy Truly, said that Oswald "did a good day's work" and was an above average employee. During the week, Oswald stayed in a Dallas rooming house (under the name "O.H. Lee"), but he spent his weekends with Marina at the Paine home in Irving. Oswald did not drive, but commuted to and from Dallas on Mondays and Fridays with his friend and co-worker, Wesley Frazier. On October 20, the Oswalds' second daughter was born.

    FBI agents twice visited the Paine home in early November, when Oswald was not present, and spoke to Mrs. Paine. Oswald visited the Dallas FBI office about 2 to 3 weeks before the assassination, asking to see Special Agent James Hosty. When he was told that Hosty was unavailable, Oswald left a note that, according to the receptionist, read: "Let this be a warning. I will blow up the FBI and the Dallas Police Department if you don’t stop bothering my wife" [signed] "Lee Harvey Oswald." The note allegedly contained some sort of threat, but accounts vary as to whether Oswald threatened to "blow up the FBI" or merely "report this to higher authorities". According to Hosty, the note said, "If you have anything you want to learn about me, come talk to me directly. If you don't cease bothering my wife, I will take the appropriate action and report this to the proper authorities." Agent Hosty said that he destroyed Oswald's note on orders from his superior, Gordon Shanklin, after Oswald was named the suspect in the Kennedy assassination.

    Kennedy and Tippit shootings

    In the days before Kennedy's arrival, several newspapers described the route of the presidential motorcade as passing the Book Depository. On November 21 (a Thursday) Oswald asked Frazier for an unusual mid-week lift back to Irving, saying he had to pick up some curtain rods. The next morning (Friday) he returned to Dallas with Frazier; he left behind $170 and his wedding ring, but took with him a paper bag. Frazier reported that Oswald told him the bag contained curtain rods, The evidence demonstrated that the package actually contained the rifle used by Oswald in the assassination.

    Oswald's co-worker, Charles Givens, testified to the Commission that he last saw Oswald on the sixth floor of the Depository with a clipboard in his hand, and that Oswald asked him to close the elevator gate and to send the elevator back up to him. He believed that his encounter with Oswald took place at 11:55 a.m.—35 minutes before the assassination. The Commission report stated that Oswald was not seen again "until after the shooting." However, in an FBI report taken the day after the assassination, Givens said that the encounter took place at 11:30 a.m. and that he later saw Oswald reading a newspaper on the first floor at 11:50 a.m. Oswald's boss, William Shelley, also testified that he saw Oswald on the first floor between 11:45 and 11:50 a.m. Janitor Eddie Piper also testified to seeing Oswald on the first floor at 12:00 p.m. Another co-worker, Bonnie Ray Williams was on the sixth floor of the Depository eating his lunch and was there until at least 12:10 p.m. He said that during that time he did not see Oswald, or anyone else, on the sixth floor and felt he was the only one up there. However, he also said that some boxes in the southeast corner may have prevented him from seeing deep into the "sniper's nest."

    According to several government investigations, including the Warren Commission, as Kennedy's motorcade passed through Dallas's Dealey Plaza about 12:30 p.m. on November 22, Oswald fired three rifle shots from the sixth-floor, southeast corner window of the Book Depository, killing the President and seriously wounding Texas Governor John Connally. Bystander James Tague received a minor facial injury from a small piece of curbstone that fragmented when struck by one of the bullets. According to the investigations, after shooting the President, Oswald hid and covered the rifle with boxes and descended using the rear stairwell. About ninety seconds after the shooting, in the second-floor lunchroom, Oswald encountered police officer Marrion Baker accompanied by Oswald's supervisor Roy Truly; Baker let Oswald pass after Truly identified him as an employee. According to Baker, Oswald did not appear to be nervous or out of breath. Truly said that Oswald appeared "startled" when Baker aimed his gun at him. Mrs. Robert Reid—clerical supervisor at the Depository, returning to her office within two minutes of the assassination—said that she saw Oswald who "was very calm" on the second floor with a Coke in his hands. As they walked past each other, Mrs. Reid said to Oswald, "The President has been shot" to which he mumbled something in response, but Reid did not understand him. Oswald is believed to have left the Depository through the front entrance just before police sealed it off. Oswald's supervisor, Roy Truly, later pointed out to officers that Oswald was the only employee that he was certain was missing.

    At about 12:40 p.m., Oswald boarded a city bus but (probably due to heavy traffic) he requested a transfer from the bus driver and got off two blocks later. Oswald took a taxicab to his rooming house, at 1026 North Beckley Avenue, arriving at about 1:00 p.m. He entered through the front door and, according to his housekeeper Earlene Roberts, immediately went to his room, "walking pretty fast". Roberts said that Oswald left "a very few minutes" later, zipping up a jacket he was not wearing when he had entered earlier. As Oswald left, Roberts looked out of the window of her house and last saw him standing at the northbound Beckley Avenue bus stop in front of her house.

    At approximately 1:15 p.m., the Warren Commission concluded, Dallas Patrolman J. D. Tippit drove up in his patrol car alongside Oswald, presumably because he resembled the police broadcast description of the man seen firing shots at the presidential motorcade, near the corner of East 10th Street and North Patton Avenue. (This location is about nine-tenths of a mile (1.4 km) southeast of Oswald's rooming house—a distance that the Warren Commission said, "Oswald could have easily walked".) Tippit pulled alongside Oswald and "apparently exchanged words with [him] through the right front or vent window.""Shortly after 1:15 p.m.", Tippit exited his car and was immediately struck and killed by four shots. Numerous witnesses heard the shots and saw Oswald flee the scene holding a revolver, nine positively identified him as the man who shot Tippit and fled. Four cartridge cases found at the scene were identified by expert witnesses before the Warren Commission and the House Select Committee as having been fired from the revolver later found in Oswald's possession, to the exclusion of all other weapons. However, the bullets taken from Tippit's body could not be positively identified as having been fired from Oswald's revolver as the bullets were too extensively damaged to make conclusive assessments.

    Witness Howard Brennan photographed in the same position where he was on November 22, 1963 across from the Texas School Book Depository. Circle "A" indicates where he saw a man fire a rifle at the presidential motorcade

    Lee Harvey Oswald arrested at the Texas Theatre, Dallas, Texas, 22 November, 1963.

    Shoe store manager Johnny Brewer testified that he saw Oswald "ducking into" the entrance alcove of his store. Suspicious of this activity, Brewer watched Oswald continue up the street and slip into the nearby Texas Theatre without paying. He alerted the theater's ticket clerk, who telephoned police at about 1:40 pm.

    As police arrived, the house lights were brought up and Brewer pointed out Oswald sitting near the rear of the theater. Police Officer Nick McDonald testified that he was the first to reach Oswald and that Oswald seemed ready to surrender saying, "Well, it is all over now." However, Officer McDonald said that Oswald pulled out a pistol tucked into the front of his pants, then pointed the pistol at him, and pulled the trigger. McDonald stated that the pistol did not fire because the pistol's hammer came down on the webbing between the thumb and index finger of his hand as he grabbed for the pistol. McDonald also said that Oswald struck him, but that he struck back and Oswald was disarmed. As he was led from the theater, Oswald shouted he was a victim of police brutality.

    At about 2 p.m., Oswald arrived at the Police Department building, where he was questioned by Detective Jim Leavelle about the shooting of Officer Tippit. When Captain J. W. Fritz heard Oswald's name, he recognized it as that of the Book Depository employee who was reported missing and was already a suspect in the assassination. Oswald was formally arraigned for the murder of Officer Tippit at 7:10 p.m., and by the end of the night (shortly after 1:30 a.m.) he had been arraigned for the murder of President Kennedy as well.

    Soon after his capture Oswald encountered reporters in a hallway. Oswald declared, "I didn't shoot anybody" and, "They've taken me in because of the fact that I lived in the Soviet Union. I'm just a patsy!" Later, at an arranged press meeting, a reporter asked, "Did you kill the President?" and Oswald—who by that time had been advised of the charge of murdering Tippit, but had not yet been arraigned in Kennedy's death—answered, "No, I have not been charged with that. In fact, nobody has said that to me yet. The first thing I heard about it was when the newspaper reporters in the hall asked me that question." As he was led from the room the question was called out, "What did you do in Russia?" and, "How did you hurt your eye?"; Oswald answered, "A policeman hit me."


    Fake Selective Service System (draft) card in the name of "Alek James Hidell", found on Oswald when arrested. "A. Hidell" was the name used on both envelope and order slip to buy the alleged murder weapon (see CE 773), and "A. J. Hidell" was the alternate name on the New Orleans post office box rented June 11, 1963, by Oswald. Both the alleged murder weapon and the pistol in Oswald's possession at arrest had earlier been shipped (at separate times) to Oswald's Dallas P.O. Box 2915, as ordered by "A. J. Hidell".

    Police interrogation

    Oswald was interrogated several times during his two days at Dallas Police Headquarters. He denied killing Kennedy and Tippit; denied owning a rifle; said two photographs of him holding a rifle and a pistol were fakes; denied telling his co-worker he wanted a ride to Irving to get curtain rods for his apartment (he said that the package contained his lunch); and denied carrying a long, bulky package to work the morning of the assassination. Oswald also denied knowing an "A. J. Hidell". Oswald was then shown a forged Selective Service System card bearing his photograph and the alias, "Alek James Hidell" that he had in his possession at the time of his arrest. Oswald refused to answer any questions concerning the card, saying " have the card yourself and you know as much about it as I do."

    The first interrogation of Oswald was conducted by FBI Special Agent James Hosty and Dallas Police Captain Will Fritz on Friday, November 22. Asked to account for himself at the time of the assassination, Oswald replied that he was eating his lunch in the first floor lounge (known as the "domino room"). He said that he then went to the second-floor lunchroom to buy a Coca-Cola from the soda machine and was drinking it when he encountered a police officer. Oswald said that while he was in the domino room, he saw two "Negro employees" walking by, one he recognized as "Junior" and a shorter man whose name he could not recall. Junior Jarman and Harold Norman confirmed to the Warren Commission that they had "walked through" the domino room around noon during their lunch break. When asked if anyone else was in the domino room, Norman testified that somebody else was there, but he could not remember who it was. Jarman testified that Oswald was not in the domino room when he was there. During his last interrogation on November 24, according to postal inspector Harry Holmes, Oswald was again asked where he was at the time of the shooting. Holmes (who attended the interrogation at the invitation of Captain Will Fritz) said that Oswald replied that he was working on an upper floor when the shooting occurred, then went downstairs where he encountered a policeman.

    Oswald asked for legal representation several times while being interrogated, as well as in encounters with reporters. But when representatives of the Dallas Bar Association met with him in his cell on Saturday, he declined their services, saying he wanted to be represented by John Abt, chief counsel to the Communist Party USA, or by lawyers associated with the American Civil Liberties Union. Both Oswald and Ruth Paine tried to reach Abt by telephone several times Saturday and Sunday, but Abt was away for the weekend. Oswald also declined his brother Robert's offer on Saturday to obtain a local attorney.

    During an interrogation with Captain Fritz, when asked, "Are you a communist?", he replied, "No, I am not a communist. I am a Marxist."

    Ruby about to shoot Oswald who is being moved by Dallas police

    On Sunday, November 24, Oswald was being led through the basement of Dallas Police Headquarters in advance of his transfer to the county jail. At 11:21 a.m., Dallas nightclub operator Jack Ruby stepped from the crowd and shot Oswald in the chest, the bullet striking several organs, penetrated his stomach, and tore his vena cava and aorta. Oswald was rushed unconscious to Parkland Memorial Hospital—the same hospital where doctors tried to save President Kennedy's life two days earlier. Oswald died at 1:07 p.m. An autopsy was performed by the Dallas County Medical Examiner at 2:45 p.m. the same day. The stated cause of death in the autopsy report was "hemorrhage secondary to gunshot wound of the chest."

    A network television camera, there to cover the transfer, was broadcasting live, and millions witnessed the shooting on television as it happened. The event was also captured in several well-known photographs.

    Ruby's Motive

    Ruby later said he had been distraught over Kennedy's death and that his motive for killing Oswald was "...saving Mrs. Kennedy the discomfiture of coming back to trial." Others have hypothesized that Ruby was part of a conspiracy. G. Robert Blakey, chief council for the House Select Committee on Assassinations from 1977 to 1979, said: "The most plausible explanation for the murder of Oswald by Jack Ruby was that Ruby had stalked him on behalf of organized crime, trying to reach him on at least three occasions in the forty-eight hours before he silenced him forever."

    Grave of Lee Harvey Oswald at the Shannon Rose Hill Memorial Park in Fort Worth, Texas.

    Oswald was buried on November 25 in Shannon Rose Hill Memorial Burial Park in Fort Worth. Reporters present to report on the burial were asked by officials to act as pallbearers. A marker inscribed simply Oswald replaces the stolen original tombstone, which gave Oswald's full name, and birth and death dates. His mother was buried beside him in 1981.

    A claim that a look-alike Russian agent was buried in place of Oswald led to his exhumation on 4 October 1981. Dental records confirmed that it was Oswald's body in the grave and he was reburied in a new coffin. In 2010 his original coffin was auctioned for over $87,000.

    In 1975, the burial plot adjacent to Oswald (#258) was purchased, and remained unmarked until 1996, when a granite marker inscribed "NICK BEEF" was placed. Speculation about the owner of the plot, and their motive was finally quelled in August 2013, when Beef (given name - Patric Abedin), a writer, was revealed as the owner of the plot. Beef had seen President Kennedy in person the day before he was killed and had visited Oswald's grave with his mother several times during his childhood.

    Official investigations

    Warren Commission

    The Warren Commission, created by President Lyndon B. Johnson to investigate the assassination, concluded that Oswald acted alone in assassinating Kennedy (this view is known as the lone gunman theory). The Commission could not ascribe any one motive or group of motives to Oswald's actions:

    It is apparent, however, that Oswald was moved by an overriding hostility to his environment. He does not appear to have been able to establish meaningful relationships with other people. He was perpetually discontented with the world around him. Long before the assassination he expressed his hatred for American society and acted in protest against it. Oswald's search for what he conceived to be the perfect society was doomed from the start. He sought for himself a place in history—a role as the "great man" who would be recognized as having been in advance of his times. His commitment to Marxism and communism appears to have been another important factor in his motivation. He also had demonstrated a capacity to act decisively and without regard to the consequences when such action would further his aims of the moment. Out of these and the many other factors which may have molded the character of Lee Harvey Oswald there emerged a man capable of assassinating President Kennedy.

    The proceedings of the commission were closed, though not secret, and about 3% of its files have yet to be released to the public, which has continued to provoke speculation among researchers.

    Ramsey Clark Panel

    In 1968, the Ramsey Clark Panel examined various photographs, X-ray films, documents, and other evidence, concluding that Kennedy was struck by two bullets fired from above and behind him, one of which traversed the base of the neck on the right side without striking bone, and the other of which entered the skull from behind and destroyed its right side.

    House Select Committee

    In 1979, after a review of the evidence and of prior investigations, the United States House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) largely concurred with the Warren Commission and was preparing to issue a finding that Oswald had acted alone in killing Kennedy. However, late in the Committee's proceedings a dictabelt recording was introduced, purportedly recording sounds heard in Dealey Plaza before, during and after the shots were fired. After an analysis by the firm Bolt, Beranek and Newman appeared to indicate more than three gunshots, the HSCA revised its findings to assert a "high probability that two gunmen fired" at Kennedy and that Kennedy "was probably assassinated as the result of a conspiracy." Although the Committee was "unable to identify the other gunman or the extent of the conspiracy," it made a number of further findings regarding the likelihood or unlikelihood that particular groups, named in the findings, were involved. Four of the twelve members of the HSCA dissented from this conclusion.

    The acoustical evidence has since been discredited. Officer H.B. McLain, from whose motorcycle radio the HSCA acoustic experts said the Dictabelt evidence came, has repeatedly stated that he was not yet in Dealey Plaza at the time of the assassination. McLain asked the Committee, "‘If it was my radio on my motorcycle, why did it not record the revving up at high speed plus my siren when we immediately took off for Parkland Hospital?’”

    In 1982, a panel of twelve scientists appointed by the National Academy of Sciences, including Nobel laureates Norman Ramsey and Luis Alvarez, unanimously concluded that the acoustic evidence submitted to the HSCA was "seriously flawed", was recorded after the President had been shot, and did not indicate additional gunshots. Their conclusions were later published in the journal Science.

    In a 2001 article in the journal Science & Justice, D.B. Thomas wrote that the NAS investigation was itself flawed. He concluded with a 96.3 percent certainty that there were at least two gunmen firing at President Kennedy and that at least one shot came from the grassy knoll. In 2005, Thomas' conclusions were rebutted in the same journal. Ralph Linsker and several members of the original NAS team reanalyzed the timings of the recordings and reaffirmed the earlier conclusion of the NAS report that the alleged shot sounds were recorded approximately one minute after the assassination. In 2010, D.B. Thomas challenged in a book the 2005 Science & Justice article and restated his conclusion that there were at least two gunmen.

    Image CE-133A, one of three known "backyard photos," the same image sent by Oswald (as a first-generation copy) to George de Mohrenschildt in April 1963, dated and signed on the back. Oswald holds two Marxist newspapers, The Militant and The Worker, and a Carcano rifle, with markings matching those on the rifle found in the Book Depository after the assassination.

    Lee Harvey Oswald's Carcano rifle, in the US National Archives
    Other investigations and dissenting theories

    Some critics have not accepted the conclusions of the Warren Commission and have proposed several other theories, such as that Oswald conspired with others, or was not involved at all and was framed.

    In October 1981, with Marina's support, Oswald's grave was opened to test a theory propounded by writer Michael Eddowes: that during Oswald's stay in the Soviet Union he was replaced with a Soviet double; that it was this double, not Oswald, who killed Kennedy and who is buried in Oswald's grave; and that the exhumed remains would therefore not exhibit a surgical scar Oswald was known to carry. Dental records positively identified the exhumed corpse as Oswald's, and the scar was present.

    Public opinion

    A 2003 Gallup poll reported that 75% of Americans do not believe that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone in assassinating President Kennedy. That same year an ABC News poll found that 70% of respondents suspected that the assassination involved more than one person. A 2004 Fox News poll found that 66% of Americans thought there had been a conspiracy while 74% thought there had been a cover-up. A Gallup Poll in mid-November 2013, showed 61% believed in a conspiracy, and only 30% thought Oswald did it alone.

    Fictional trials

    Several films have fictionalized a trial of Oswald. The Trial of Lee Harvey Oswald (1964); The Trial of Lee Harvey Oswald(1977); and On Trial: Lee Harvey Oswald (1986) have fictionalized a trial of Oswald. In 1988, a 21-hour unscripted mock trial was held on television, argued by lawyers before a judge, with unscripted testimony from surviving witnesses to the events surrounding the assassination; the jury returned a verdict of guilty.

    Oswald and Marina in Minsk
    Backyard photos

    The "backyard photos", taken by Marina Oswald probably around March 31, 1963 using a camera belonging to Oswald, show Oswald holding two Marxist newspapers—The Militant and The Worker—and a rifle, and wearing a pistol in a holster. Shown the pictures after his arrest, Oswald insisted they were forgeries, but Marina testified in 1964 that she had taken the photographs at Oswald's request—testimony she reaffirmed repeatedly over the decades. These photos were labelled CE 133-A and CE 133-B. CE 133-A shows the rifle in Oswald's left hand and newspapers in front of his chest in the other, while the rifle is held with the right hand in CE 133-B. Oswald's mother testified that on the day after the assassination she and Marina destroyed another photograph with Oswald holding the rifle with both hands over his head, with "To my daughter June" written on it.

    The HSCA obtained another first generation print (from CE 133-A) on April 1, 1977 from the widow of George de Mohrenschildt. The words "Hunter of fascists—ha ha ha!" written in block Russian were on the back. Also in English were added in script: "To my friend George, Lee Oswald, 5/IV/63 [April 5, 1963]" Handwriting experts for the HSCA concluded the English inscription and signature were by Oswald. After two original photos, one negative and one first-generation copy had been found, the Senate Intelligence Committee located (in 1976) a third backyard photo (CE 133-C) showing Oswald with newspapers held away from his body in his right hand.

    These photos, widely recognized as some of the most significant evidence against Oswald, have been subjected to rigorous analysis. Photographic experts consulted by the HSCA concluded they were genuine, answering twenty-one points raised by critics. Marina Oswald has always maintained she took the photos herself, and the 1963 de Mohrenschildt print bearing Oswald's signature clearly indicate they existed before the assassination. Nonetheless, some continue to contest their authenticity. In 2009, after digitally analyzing the photograph of Oswald holding the rifle and paper, computer scientist Hany Farid concluded that the photo "almost certainly was not altered."

    Oswald arrest card, Dallas

    Jack Ruby shoots Lee Harvey Oswald (raw footage)

    Oswald Shooting - Digitally Remastered [HD & SlowMo]


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                On this date, 25 November 1988, Adrian Lim and his two Holy wives were executed by hanging in Changi Prison, Singapore. They were convicted of murdering two children in their Toa Payoh flat. I will post information about them from Wikipedia

    Adrian Lim conned many women into offering him money and sex, and killed children in an attempt to stop police investigations against him.

    The Toa Payoh ritual murders took place in Singapore in 1981. On 25 January the body of a nine-year-old girl was found dumped next to the lift of a block of flats in the Toa Payoh district and, two weeks later, a ten-year-old boy was found dead nearby. The children had been killed, purportedly as blood sacrifices to the Hindu goddess Kali. The murders were masterminded by Adrian Lim, a self-styled medium, who had tricked scores of women into believing he had supernatural powers. His victims offered money and sexual services in exchange for cures, beauty, and good fortune. Two of the women became his loyal assistants; Tan Mui Choo married him, and Hoe Kah Hong became one of his "holy wives". When the police investigated a rape charge filed by one of Lim's targets, he became furious and decided to kill children to derail the investigations. On each occasion, Hoe lured a child to Lim's flat where he or she was drugged and killed by the trio. Lim also sexually assaulted the girl before her death. The trio were arrested after the police found a trail of blood that led to their flat. Although the case name suggested ritualistic murders, the defendants said they did not conduct prayers, burning of joss sticks, ringing of bells, or any other rituals during the killings.

    The 41-day trial was the second longest to have been held in the courts of Singapore at the time. None of the defendants denied their guilt. Their appointed counsels tried to spare their clients the death sentence by pleading diminished responsibility, arguing that the accused were mentally ill and could not be held entirely responsible for the killings. To support their case they brought in doctors and psychologists, who analysed the defendants and concluded that they had exhibited schizophrenia, and depressions of the psychotic and manic order. The prosecution's expert, however, refuted these testimonies and argued that they were in full control of their mental faculties when they planned and carried out the murders. The judges agreed with the prosecution's case and sentenced the trio to death. While on death row, the women appealed to the Privy Council in London and pleaded for clemency from the President of Singapore to no avail. Lim did not seek any pardons; instead, he accepted his fate and went smiling to the gallows. The three were hanged on 25 November 1988.

    The Toa Payoh ritual murders shocked the public in Singapore, who were surprised by such an act taking place in their society. Reports of the trio's deeds and the court proceedings were closely followed and remained prominent in the Singaporean consciousness for several years. Twice, movie companies tried to capitalise on the sensation generated by the murders by producing motion pictures based on the killings; however, critics panned both films for indulging in gratuitous sex and violence, and the movies performed poorly at the box office. The actions and behaviour of the three killers were studied by academics in the criminal psychology field, and the rulings set by the courts became local case studies for diminished responsibility.

    Whoever says Singapore is boring and antiseptic ignores our hard-to-surpass crime spine tinglers starring inimitable rogues such as ... the very incarnation of Evil — Adrian Lim ...
    - Sonny Yap, The Straits Times, 15 July 1995

    Singaporean society in the 1980s

    Early in the nineteenth century, immigrants flooded into Peninsular Malaysia, colonising the Straits Settlements including the island city of Singapore. Migrants and natives held differing beliefs, but over time the boundaries between those belief systems blurred. Most of the population believed in spirits that inhabit the jungles, and in gods and devils that hover around, capable of benevolence and mischief. Certain people claimed that they could communicate with these supernatural beings. Through rituals in which they danced and chanted, these spirit mediums—tang-kees and bomohs—invited the beings to possess their bodies and dole out wisdoms, blessings, and curses to their believers. As time passed and the cities grew, the jungles gave way to concrete structures and the mediums' practices moved deeper into the heartland of communities.

    By 1980, 75% of the residents in Singapore were living in public housing. Government-built high-rise blocks of flats clustered in the population centres, of which the Toa Payoh district was typical. Although a high density of people lived in each block, the residents mostly kept to themselves, valuing their privacy and tending to ignore what was happening around their homes. During this time, Singapore was a relatively peaceful society—a stark contrast to the prevalence of secret societies, triadsand gang warfare during the pre-independence days. The low crime rate, brought on by strict laws and tough enforcement, gave citizens a sense of security. Nonetheless, the government warned against complacency and lectured in its local campaigns, "Low crime doesn't mean no crime". In 1981, three Singaporeans committed a crime that shocked the nation.

    A photo taken alongside Toa Payoh Lorong 7, Singapore: Block 12, where the murders took place, is smaller block on the right. The flat itself is highlighted in red. Blocks 10 and 11 had been demolished and reconstructed as the taller flats and multi-storey carpark as seen on the left and centre.
    Two murders, three arrests

    For several years, a medium in Block 12, Toa Payoh Lorong 7, had been performing noisy rituals in the middle of the night. The residents complained several times to the authorities, but the rituals would always resume after a short time. On the afternoon of 24 January 1981, nine-year-old Agnes Ng Siew Hock (simplified Chinese: 黄秀叶; traditional Chinese: 黃秀葉; pinyin: Huáng Xìuyè) disappeared after attending religious classes at her church in Toa Payoh. Hours later, her body was found stuffed in a bag outside a lift in Block 11, less than a kilometre (five-eighths of a mile) from the church. The girl had been smothered to death; the investigation revealed injuries to her genitals and semen in her rectum. Although the police launched an intensive investigation, questioning more than 250 people around the crime scene, they failed to obtain any leads. On 7 February ten-year-old Ghazali bin Marzuki was found dead under a tree between Blocks 10 and 11. He had been missing since the previous day, after being seen boarding a taxi with an unknown woman. Forensic pathologists on the scene deemed the cause of death as drowning, and found on the boy suffocation marks similar to those on Ng. There were no signs of sexual assault, but burns were on the boy's back and a puncture on his arm. Traces of a sedative were later detected in his blood.

    The police found a scattered trail of blood that led to the seventh floor of Block 12. Stepping into the common corridor from the stairwell, Inspector Pereira noticed an eclectic mix of religious symbols (a cross, a mirror, and a knife-blade) on the entrance of the first flat (unit number 467F). The owner of the flat, Adrian Lim, approached the inspector and introduced himself, informing Pereira that he was living there with his wife, Tan Mui Choo, and a girlfriend, Hoe Kah Hong. Permitted by Lim to search his flat, the police found traces of blood. Lim initially tried to pass the stains off as candle wax, but when challenged claimed they were chicken blood. After the police found slips of paper written with the dead children's personal details, Lim tried to allay suspicions by claiming that Ghazali had come to his flat seeking treatment for a bleeding nose. He discreetly removed hair from under a carpet and tried to flush it down the toilet, but the police stopped him; forensics later determined the hair to be Ng's. Requesting a background check on Lim, Pereira received word from local officers that the medium was currently involved in a rape investigation. Lim overheard them and became agitated, raising his voice at the law enforcers. His ire was mimicked by Hoe as she gestured violently and shouted at the officers. Their actions further raised the investigators' suspicions that the trio were deeply involved in the murders. The police collected the evidence, sealed the flat as a crime scene, and took Lim and the two women in for questioning.


    Adrian Lim

    Born on 6 January 1942, Adrian Lim (simplified Chinese: 林宝; traditional Chinese: 林寶龍; pinyin: Lín Bǎolóng) was the eldest son of a middle-class family. Described at the trial by his sister as a hot-tempered boy, he dropped out of secondary school and worked a short stint as an informant for the Internal Security Department, joining the cable radio company Rediffusion Singapore in 1962. For three years, he installed and serviced Rediffusion sets as an electrician before being promoted to bill collector. In April 1967, Lim married his childhood sweetheart with whom he had two children. He converted to Catholicism for his marriage. Lim and his family lived in rented rooms until his 1970 purchase of a three-room flat—a seventh floor unit (unit number 467F) of Block 12, Toa Payoh.

    Lim started part-time practice as a spirit medium in 1973. He rented a room where he attended to the women—most of whom were bargirls, dance hostesses, and prostitutes—introduced to him by his landlord. Lim's customers also included superstitious men and elderly females, whom he cheated only of cash. He had learned the trade from a bomoh called "Uncle Willie" and prayed to gods of various religions despite his Catholic baptism. The Indian goddess Kali and "Phragann", which Lim described as a Siamese sex god, were among the spiritual entities he called on in his rituals. Lim deceived his clients with several confidence tricks; his most effective gimmick, known as the "needles and egg" trick, duped many to believe that he had supernatural abilities. After blackening needles with soot from a burning candle, Lim carefully inserted them into a raw egg and sealed the hole with powder. In his rituals, he passed the egg several times over his client while chanting and asked her to crack open the egg. Unaware that the egg had been tampered with, the client would be convinced by the sight of the black needles that evil spirits were harassing her.

    Lim particularly preyed on gullible girls who had deep personal problems. He promised them that he could solve their woes and increase their beauty through a ritual massage. After Lim and his client had stripped, he would knead her body—including her genitals—with Phragann's idol and have sex with her. Lim's treatments also included an electro-shock therapy based on that used on mental patients. After placing his client's feet in a tub of water and attaching wires to her temples, Lim passed electricity through her. The shocks, he assured her, would cure headaches and drive away evil spirits.

    Tan Mui Choo assisted Lim in his medium practice, reaping the benefits.
    Tan Mui Choo

    Catherine Tan Mui Choo (simplified Chinese: 陈梅; traditional Chinese: 陳梅珠; pinyin: Chén Méizhū) was referred to Lim by a fellow bargirl, who claimed the spirit medium could cure ailments and depression. Tan, at that time, was grieving the death of her grandmother to whom she had been devoted. Furthermore her estrangement from her parents weighed on her mind; having been sent away at the age of 13 to a vocational centre (a home mostly for juvenile delinquents), she felt unwanted by them. Tan's visits to Lim became regular, and their relationship grew intimate. In 1975 she moved into his flat on his insistence. To allay his wife's suspicions that he was having an affair with Tan, Lim swore an oath of denial before a picture of Jesus Christ. However, she discovered the truth and moved out with their children a few days later, divorcing Lim in 1976. Lim quit his Rediffusion job and became a full-time medium. He enjoyed brisk business, at one point receiving S$6,000–7,000 (US$2,838–3,311) a month from a single client. In June 1977, Lim and Tan registered their marriage.

    Lim dominated Tan through beatings, threats, and lies. He persuaded her to prostitute herself to supplement their income. He also convinced her that he needed to fornicate with young women to stay healthy; thus, Tan assisted him in his business, preparing their clients for his pleasure. Lim's influence over Tan was strong; on his encouragement and promise that sex with a younger man would preserve her youth, Tan copulated with a Malay teenager and even with her younger brother. The boy was not her only sibling to be influenced by Lim; the medium had earlier seduced Tan's younger sister and tricked her into selling her body and having sex with the two youths. Despite the abuses, Tan lived with Lim, enjoying the dresses, beauty products and slimming courses bought with their income.

    Hoe Kah Hong steadfastly believed in Lim, conscientiously executing his orders.
    Hoe Kah Hong

    Born on 10 September 1955, Hoe Kah Hong (simplified Chinese: 何家; traditional Chinese: 何家鳳; pinyin: Hé Jiāfèng) was eight years old when her father died; she was sent to live with her grandmother until she was fifteen. When she returned to her mother and siblings she was constantly required to give way to her elder sister Lai Ho. Under the perception that her mother favoured her sister, Hoe became disgruntled, showing her temper easily. In 1979 her mother brought Lai to Lim for treatment, and became convinced of Lim's powers by his "needles and egg" trick. Believing that Hoe's volatile temper could also be cured by Lim, the old woman brought her younger daughter to the medium. After witnessing the same trick, Hoe became Lim's loyal follower. Lim desired to make Hoe one of his "holy wives", even though she was already married to Benson Loh Ngak Hua. To achieve his goal, Lim sought to isolate Hoe from her family by feeding her lies. He claimed that her family were immoral people who practiced infidelity, and that Loh was an unfaithful man who would force her into prostitution. Hoe believed Lim's words, and after going through a rite with him she was declared by the medium as his "holy wife". She no longer trusted her husband and family, and became violent towards her mother. Three months after she had first met Lim, Hoe moved from her house and went to live with him.

    Loh sought his wife at Lim's flat and ended up staying to observe her treatment. He was persuaded by her to participate in the electro-shock therapies. In the early hours of 7 January 1980, Loh sat with Hoe, their arms locked together and their feet in separate tubs of water. Lim applied a large voltage to Loh, who was electrocuted, while Hoe was stunned into unconsciousness. When she woke, Lim requested her to lie to the police about Loh's death. Hoe repeated the story Lim had given her, saying that her husband had been electrocuted in their bedroom when he tried to switch on a faulty electric fan in the dark. The coroner recorded an open verdict, and the police made no further investigations.

    Despite her antipathy towards Loh, Hoe was affected by his death. Her sanity broke; she started hearing voices and hallucinating, seeing her dead husband. At the end of May she was admitted to the Woodbridge Hospital. There, psychologists diagnosed her condition as schizophrenia and started appropriate treatments. Hoe made a remarkably quick recovery; by the first week of July, she was discharged. She continued her treatment with the hospital; follow-up checks showed that she was in a state of remission. Hoe's attitude towards her mother and other family members began to improve after her stay in the hospital, although she continued to live with Lim and Tan.

    Altar found in Adrian Lim's flat: gods of various religions were arrayed on it. Idols and pictures of Kali, Buddha, and Phragann are on it.
    Rape and revenge

    With Hoe and Tan as his assistants, Lim continued his trade, tricking more women into giving him money and sex. By the time of his arrest, he had 40 "holy wives". In late 1980 he was arrested and charged with rape. His accuser was Lucy Lau, a door-to-door cosmetic salesgirl, who had met Lim when she was promoting beauty products to Tan. On 19 October, Lim told Lau that a ghost was haunting her, but he could exorcise it with his sex rituals. She was unconvinced, but the medium persisted. He secretly mixed two capsules of Dalmadorm, a sedative, into a glass of milk and offered it to her, claiming it had holy properties. Lau became groggy after drinking it, which allowed Lim to take advantage of her. For the next few weeks, he continued to abuse her by using drugs or threats. In November, after Lim had given her parents a loan smaller than the amount they had requested, Lau made a police report about his treatment of her. Lim was arrested on charges of rape, and Tan for abetting him. Out on bail, Lim persuaded Hoe to lie that she was present at the alleged rape but saw no crime committed. This failed to stop the police enquiries; Lim and Tan had to extend their bail, in person, at the police station every fortnight.

    Frustrated, Lim plotted to distract the police with a series of child murders. Moreover, he believed that sacrifices of children to Kali would persuade her supernaturally to draw the attention of the police away from him. Lim pretended to be possessed by Kali, and convinced Tan and Hoe that the goddess wanted them to kill children to wreak vengeance on Lau. He also told them Phragann demanded that he have sex with their female victims.

    On 24 January 1981, Hoe spotted Agnes at a nearby church and lured her to the flat. The trio plied her with food and drink that was laced with Dalmadorm. After Agnes became groggy and fell asleep, Lim sexually abused her. Near midnight, the trio smothered Agnes with a pillow and drew her blood, drinking and smearing it on a portrait of Kali. Following that, they drowned the girl by holding down her head in a pail of water. Finally, Lim used his electro-shock therapy device to "make doubly sure that she was dead". They stuffed her body in a bag and dumped it near the lift at Block 11.

    Ghazali suffered a similar fate when he was brought by Hoe to the flat on 6 February. He, however, proved resistant to the sedatives, taking a long time to fall asleep. Lim decided to tie up the boy as a precaution; however, the boy awoke and struggled. Panicking, the trio delivered karate chops to Ghazali's neck and stunned him. After drawing his blood, they proceeded to drown their victim. Ghazali struggled, vomiting and losing control of his bowels as he died. Blood kept streaming from his nose after his death. While Tan stayed behind to clean the flat, Lim and Hoe disposed the body. Lim noticed that a trail of blood led to their flat, so he and his accomplices cleaned as much as they could of these stains before sunrise. What they missed led the police to their flat and resulted in their arrest.


    The murder case was heard in Courtroom No. 4 of the old Supreme Court Building.


    Two days after their arrest, Lim, Tan and Hoe were charged in the Subordinate Court for the murders of the two children. The trio were subjected to further interrogations by the police, and to medical examinations by prison doctors. On 16–17 September, their case was brought to the court for a committal procedure. To prove that there was a case against the accused, Deputy Public Prosecutor Glenn Knight called on 58 witnesses and arrayed 184 pieces of evidence before the magistrate. While Tan and Hoe denied the charges of murder, Lim pleaded guilty and claimed sole responsibility for the acts. The magistrate decided that the case against the accused was sufficiently strong to be heard at the High Court. Lim, Tan, and Hoe remained in custody while investigations continued.

    Judiciary, prosecution, and defence

    The High Court was convened in the Supreme Court Building on 25 March 1983. Presiding over the case were two judges: Justice Thirugnana Sampanthar Sinnathuray, who would deliver judgment on serial murderer John Martin Scripps 13 years later, and Justice Frederick Arthur Chua, who was at the time the longest serving judge in Singapore. Knight continued to build his case on the evidence gathered by detective work. Photographs of the crime scenes, together with witness testimonies, would help the court to visualise the events that led to the crimes. Other evidence—the blood samples, religious objects, drugs, and the notes with Ng and Ghazali's names—conclusively proved the defendants' involvement. Knight had no eyewitnesses to the murders; his evidence was circumstantial, but he told the court in his opening statement, "What matters is that [the accused] did intentionally suffocate and drown these two innocent children, causing their deaths in circumstances which amount to murder. And this we will prove beyond all reasonable doubt."

    Tan, with Lim's and the police's permission, used $10,000 of the $159,340 (US$4,730 of US$75,370) seized from the trio's flat to engage J. B. Jeyaretnam for her defence. Hoe had to accept the court's offer of counsel, receiving Nathan Isaac as her defender. Since his arrest, Lim had refused legal representation. He defended himself at the Subordinate Court hearings, but could not continue to do so when the case was moved to the High Court; Singapore law requires that for capital crimes the accused must be defended by a legal professional. Thus Howard Cashin was appointed as Lim's lawyer, although his job was complicated by his client's refusal to cooperate. The three lawyers decided not to dispute that their clients had killed the children. Acting on a defence of diminished responsibility, they attempted to show that their clients were not sound of mind and could not be held responsible for the killings. If this defence had been successful, the defendants would have escaped the death penalty to face either life imprisonment, or up to 10 years in jail.

    No comment.

    Justice Sinnathuray
    No, no, no, Adrian Lim, you can't keep saying that to me. (To Cashin) He is your witness.

    You can see now, my Lord, how difficult it is with this witness.

    Court transcript illustrating the court's frustration with Lim's behaviour


    After Knight had presented the prosecution evidence the court heard testimonies on the personalities and character flaws of the accused, from their relatives and acquaintances. Details of their lives were revealed by one of Lim's "holy wives". Private medical practitioners Dr. Yeo Peng Ngee and Dr. Ang Yiau Hua admitted that they were Lim's sources for drugs, and had provided the trio sleeping pills and sedatives without question on each consultation. The police and forensics teams gave their accounts of their investigations; Inspector Suppiah, the investigating officer-in-charge, read out the statements the defendants had made during their remand. In these statements Lim stated that he had killed for revenge, and that he had sodomised Ng. The accused had also confirmed in their statements that each was an active participant in the murders. There were many contradictions among these statements and the confessions made in court by the accused, but Judge Sinnathuray declared that despite the conflicting evidence, "the essential facts of this case are not in dispute". Lim's involvement in the crimes was further evidenced by a witness who vouched that just after midnight on 7 February 1981, at the ground floor of Block 12, he saw Lim and a woman walk past him carrying a dark-skinned boy.

    On 13 April Lim took the stand. He maintained that he was the sole perpetrator of the crimes. He denied that he raped Lucy Lau or Ng, claiming that he made the earlier statements only to satisfy his interrogators. Lim was selective in answering the questions the court threw at him; he verbosely answered those that agreed with his stance, and refused to comment on the others. When challenged on the veracity of his latest confession, he claimed that he was bound by religious and moral duty to tell the truth. Knight, however, countered that Lim was inherently a dishonest man who had no respect for oaths. Lim had lied to his wife, his clients, the police, and psychiatrists. Knight claimed Lim's stance in court was an open admission that he willingly lied in his earlier statements. Tan and Hoe were more cooperative, answering the questions posed by the court. They denied Lim's story, and vouched for the veracity of the statements they had given to the police. They told how they had lived in constant fear and awe of Lim; believing he had supernatural powers, they followed his every order and had no free will of their own. Under Knight's questioning, however, Tan admitted that Lim had been defrauding his customers, and that she had knowingly helped him to do so. Knight then got Hoe to agree that she was conscious of her actions at the time of the murders.

    Battle of the psychiatrists

    No one doubted that Lim, Tan, and Hoe had killed the children. Their defence was based on convincing the judges that medically, the accused were not in total control of themselves during the crimes. The bulk of the trial was therefore a battle between expert witnesses called by both sides. Dr Wong Yip Chong, a senior psychiatrist in private practice, believed that Lim was mentally ill at the time of the crimes. Claiming to be "judging by the big picture, and not fussing over contradictions", he said that Lim's voracious sexual appetite and deluded belief in Kali were characteristics of a mild manic depression. The doctor also said that only an unsound mind would dump the bodies close to his home when his plan was to distract the police. In rebuttal, the prosecution's expert witness, Dr Chee Kuan Tsee, a psychiatrist at Woodbridge Hospital, said that Lim was "purposeful in his pursuits, patient in his planning and persuasive in his performance for personal power and pleasure". In Dr Chee's opinion, Lim had indulged in sex because through his role as a medium he obtained a supply of women who were willing to go to bed with him. Furthermore, his belief in Kali was religious in nature, not delusional. Lim's use of religion for personal benefit indicated full self-control. Lastly, Lim had consulted doctors and freely taken sedatives to alleviate his insomnia, a condition which, according to Dr Chee, sufferers from manic depression fail to recognise.

    Dr R. Nagulendran, a consultant psychiatrist, testified that Tan was mentally impaired by reactive psychotic depression. According to him she was depressed before she met Lim, due to her family background. Physical abuse and threats from Lim deepened her depression; drug abuse led her to hallucinate and believe the medium's lies. Dr Chee disagreed; he said that Tan had admitted to being quite happy with the material lifestyle Lim gave to her, enjoying fine clothes and beauty salon treatments. A sufferer from reactive psychotic depression would not have paid such attention to her appearance. Also, Tan had earlier confessed to knowing Lim was a fraud, but changed her stance in court to claim she was acting completely under his influence. Although Dr Chee had neglected Lim's physical abuse of Tan in his judgment, he was firm in his opinion that Tan was mentally sound during the crimes. Both Dr Nagulendran and Dr Chee agreed that Hoe suffered from schizophrenia long before she met Lim, and that her stay in Woodbridge Hospital had helped her recovery. However, while Dr Nagulendran was convinced that Hoe suffered a relapse during the time of the child killings, Dr Chee pointed out that none of the Woodbridge doctors saw any signs of relapse during the six months of her follow-up checks (16 July 1980 – 31 January 1981). If Hoe had been as severely impaired by her condition as Dr Nagulendran described, she would have become an invalid. Instead, she methodically abducted and helped kill a child on two occasions. Ending his testimony, Dr Chee stated that it was incredible that three people with different mental illnesses should share a common delusion of receiving a request to kill from a god.

    Closing statements

    In their closing speeches, the defence tried to reinforce the portrayal of their clients as mentally disturbed individuals. Cashin said that Lim was a normal man until his initiation into the occult, and that he was clearly divorced from reality when he entered the "unreasonable world of atrociousness", acting on his delusions to kill children in Kali's name. Jeyaretnam said that due to her depression and Lim's abuse, Tan was just "a robot", carrying out orders without thought. Isaac simply concluded, "[Hoe's] schizophrenic mind accepted that if the children were killed, they would go to heaven and not grow up evil like her mother and others." The defence criticised Dr Chee for failing to recognise their clients' symptoms.

    The prosecution started its closing speech by drawing attention to the "cool and calculating" manner in which the children were killed. Knight also argued that the accused could not have shared the same delusion, and only brought it up during the trial. The "cunning and deliberation" displayed in the acts could not have been done by a deluded person. Tan helped Lim because "she loved [him]", and Hoe was simply misled into helping the crimes. Urging the judges to consider the ramifications of their verdict, Knight said: "My Lords, to say that Lim was less than a coward who preyed on little children because they could not fight back; killed them in the hope that he would gain power or wealth and therefore did not commit murder, is to make no sense of the law of murder. It would lend credence to the shroud of mystery and magic he has conjured up his practices and by which he managed to frighten, intimidate and persuade the superstitious, the weak and the gullible into participating in the most lewd and obscene acts."


    On 25 May 1983, crowds massed outside the building, waiting for the outcome of the trial. Due to limited seating, only a few were allowed inside to hear Justice Sinnathuray's delivery of the verdict, which took 15 minutes. The two judges were not convinced that the accused were mentally unsound during the crimes. They found Lim to be "abominable and depraved" in carrying out his schemes. Viewing her interviews with the expert witnesses as admissions of guilt, Sinnathuray and Chua found Tan to be an "artful and wicked person", and a "willing [party] to [Lim's] loathsome and nefarious acts". The judges found Hoe to be "simple" and "easily influenced". Although she suffered from schizophrenia, they noted that she was in a state of remission during the murders; hence she should bear full responsibility for her actions. All three defendants were found guilty of murder and sentenced to be hanged. The two women did not react to their sentences. On the other hand, Lim beamed and cried, "Thank you, my Lords!", as he was led out.

    Lim accepted his fate; the women did not, and appealed against their sentences. Tan hired Francis Seow to appeal for her, and the court again assigned Isaac to Hoe. The lawyers asked the appeal court to reconsider the mental states of their clients during the murders, charging that the trial judges in their deliberations had failed to consider this point. The Court of Criminal Appeal reached their decision in August 1986. The appeal judges reaffirmed the decision of their trial counterparts, noting that as finders of facts, judges have the right to discount medical evidence in the light of evidence from other sources. Tan and Hoe's further appeals to London's Privy Council and Singapore President Wee Kim Wee met with similar failures.

    Having exhausted all their avenues for pardon, Tan and Hoe calmly faced their fates. While waiting on death row the trio were counselled by Catholic priests and nuns. In spite of the reputation that surrounded Lim, Father Brian Doro recalled the murderer as a "rather friendly person". When the day of execution loomed, Lim asked Father Doro for absolution and Holy Communion. Likewise, Tan and Hoe had Sister Gerard Fernandez as their spiritual counsellor. The nun converted the two female convicts to Catholicism, and they received forgiveness and Holy Communion during their final days. On 25 November 1988 the trio were given their last meal and led to the hangman's noose. Lim smiled throughout his last walk. After the sentences were carried out, the three murderers were given a short Catholic funeral mass by Father Doro, and cremated on the same day.

    Singaporeans crowded the grounds of the Subordinate Court (pictured) and other courts to catch a glimpse of the killers.

    The trial on the Toa Payoh ritual murders was closely followed by the populace of Singapore. Throngs of people constantly packed the grounds of the courts, hoping to catch a glimpse of Adrian Lim and to hear the revelations first-hand. Reported by regional newspapers in detail, the gory and sexually explicit recounting of Lim's acts offended the sensibilities of some; Canon Frank Lomax, Vicar of St. Andrew's Anglican Church, complained to The Straits Timesthat the reports could have a corrupting effect on the young. His words received support from a few readers. Others, however, welcomed the open reporting, considering it helpful in raising public awareness of the need for vigilance even in a city with low crime rates. Books, which covered the murders and the trial, were quickly bought by the public on their release.

    The revelations from the trial cast Lim as evil incarnate in the minds of Singaporeans. Some citizens could not believe that anyone would willingly defend such a man. They called Cashin to voice their anger; a few even issued death threats against him. On the other hand, Knight's name spread among Singaporeans as the man who brought Adrian Lim to justice, boosting his career. He handled more high-profile cases, and became the director of the Commercial Affairs Department in 1984. He would maintain his good reputation until his conviction for corruption seven years later.

    Even in prison, Lim was hated; his fellow prisoners abused and treated him as an outcast. In the years that followed the crime, memories remained fresh among those who followed the case. Journalists deemed it the most sensational trial of the 80s, being "the talk of a horrified city as gruesome accounts of sexual perversion, the drinking of human blood, spirit possession, exorcism and indiscriminate cruelty unfolded during the 41-day hearing". Fifteen years from the trial's conclusion, a poll conducted by The New Paper reported that 30 per cent of its respondents had picked the Toa Payoh ritual murders as the most horrible crime, despite the paper's request to vote only for crimes committed in 1998. Lim had become a benchmark for local criminals; in 2002 Subhas Anandan described his client, wife-killer Anthony Ler, as a "cooler, more handsome version of [the] notorious Toa Payoh medium-murderer".

    During the 1990s, the local film industry made two movies based on the murder case, the first of which was Medium Rare. The 1991 production had substantial foreign involvement; most of the cast and crew were American or British. The script was locally written and intended to explore the "psyche of the three main characters". The director, however, focused on sex and violence, and the resulting film was jeered by the audience at its midnight screening. Its 16-day run brought in $130,000 (US$75,145), and a reporter called it "more bizarre than the tales of unnatural sex and occult practices associated with the Adrian Lim story". The second film, 1997's God or Dog, also had a dismal box-office performance despite a more positive critical reception. Both shows had difficulty in finding local actors for the lead role; Zhu Houren declined on the basis that Adrian Lim was too unique a personality for an actor to portray accurately, and Xie Shaoguang rejected the role for the lack of "redeeming factors" in the murderer. On the television, the murder case would have been the opening episode for True Files, a crime awareness programme in 2002. The public, however, complained that the trailers were too gruesome with the re-enactments of the rituals and murders, forcing the media company MediaCorp to reshuffle the schedule. The Toa Payoh ritual murders episode was replaced by a less sensational episode as the opener and pushed back into a later timeslot for more mature viewers, marking the horrific nature of the crimes committed by Lim, Tan, and Hoe.


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                On this date, November 26, 1948, a Nazi SS officer, Hans Möser, was executed by hanging in Landsberg Prison. I will post the information about the sadistic officer from Wikipedia.

    Hans Möser in US custody, 1947
    April 7, 1906
    Darmstadt, Germany
    November 26, 1948 (aged 42)
    Landsberg am Lech, Germany
    Nazi Germany

    Hans Karl Möser, or Hans Moeser, (April 7, 1906 – † November 26, 1948) was a German Nazi SS officer at the Neuengamme, Auschwitz and Mittelbau-Dora concentration camps during World War II. Rising to the rank of SS-Obersturmführer, he was captured at the end of the war and tried by the United States Military Government Court for war crimes. The only one among 19 defendants at the Dora Trial sentenced to death, Möser was executed at Landsberg Prisonin 1948 (death by hanging).


    Möser was born in Darmstadt, Germany. A merchant by trade, he joined the Nazi Party in October 1929 (Member No. 155301) and the SS in July 1931 (Member No. 9555). On July 1940 Möser joined the staff at the newly opened SS-Hinzert concentration camp, infamous for its brutality, and later he transferred to Neuengamme. From May 1943 until October 1943 he was posted to the Auschwitz III Monowitz concentration camp as Kompanieführer of the Wachbatallion (Guard Battalion) in IG Farben's "Buna" plant. By the end of April 1944 he was also Kompanieführer of the Men on Watch at the Auschwitz I main camp (German: Stammlager).

    He transferred to the Dora central camp on May 1, 1944, initially serving as Deputy Protective Custody Camp Leader (German: Schutzhafthaftlagerführer) and then in July promoted to First Protective Custody Camp Leader. Here he was to commit the atrocities that would lead to his later trial and execution. During hangings of prisoners, for instance, he sometimes saw to it that the ropes were cut while the victims were still alive, in order to prolong their agony. In February, 1945, as the Red Army overran German positions on the Eastern Front, the SS headquarters personnel at Auschwitz evacuated to Mittelbau-Dora. Auschwitz commander Richard Baer and his staff took over the Dora complex and Möser was again made Deputy Leader, this time under Franz Hößler.

    On April 5, 1945, as American 3rd Armored Division closed in on Mittelbau-Dora, Möser led a forced evacuation of over 3000 prisoners to the railhead for transfer to Neuengamme. Due to the wartime situation the train was diverted to Ravensbrück concentration camp instead. The prisoners were then led on a death march for the last stage of their journey.

    Sixteen of the nineteen defendants on trial for war crimes committed during the war at Dora-Mittelbau. Locale: Dachau, [Bavaria] Germany
    The Dora defendants, Hans Möser 3rd from the right
    Trial and Execution

    Möser was arrested at the end of the war. Following the June 1945 Fedden Mission investigation of the Dora conditions, Möser was among 19 defendants tried by the American General Military Government Court in the Dora Trial (The United States of America versus Arthur Kurt Andrae et al., Case Number 000-50-37), part of the Dachau Trials. Proceedings began on July 7, 1947 and lasted until December 30. Möser was found to have been present at hangings and personally shooting prisoners execution-style during escape attempts. The responsibility for the death marches during the final evacuation of Dora were also attributed to Möser. In his trial statement he said: “The same way, with the same pleasure, as you shoot deer, I shot a human being. When I came to the SS and had to shoot the first three persons, my food didn’t taste good for three days, but today it is a pleasure. It is a joy for me.” Found guilty, he was the only defendant in the Dora Trial sentenced to death. Following appeals, Möser was executed by hanging at Landsberg Prison on November 26, 1948.

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    Hironobu Takesaki 竹崎博允
    Hironobu Takesaki 竹崎博允
    QUOTE 1:“As a judge of the court of last resort. I will strive to make a rational judgment while hearing opinions of the parties from a neutral and fair perspective and taking into consideration the course of history.”

    QUOTE 2: “The law has its logical and scientific side, but we [judges] also face the problem of understanding human beings, which is why history interests me. Trying to understand any crime or incident without knowing the background is inconceivable to me. Every social phenomenon has to be seen in its historical context. History is fundamental.”

    AUTHOR:Hironobu Takesaki (竹崎博允Takesaki Hironobuborn July 8, 1944) is a Japanese lawyer and the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Japan. He is a graduate of the University of Tokyo Faculty of Law and of Columbia Law School. At age 64, Takesaki replaced Niro Shimada as the Chief Justice when November 21, 2008, the date of Shimada's mandatory retirement, came.

    Takesaki is now at the apex of a judicial career that began in 1969. The western Japan native divides his time between his official residence in Tokyo and the city’s suburbs, where he spends every weekend with his wife and daughter. Despite a demanding schedule, he still makes time to cultivate English roses in his garden on weekends and, above all, to read. Takesaki counts works in the natural sciences, and especially history, among his favorites, and values them as much for the pleasure he gets from the subject matter as for the depth they give him as a jurist.

    APPLICATION: Although these two quotes are not referring to the death penalty, I chose them because it is another example of safeguards in capital cases. The Chief Justice of Japan himself, wants to learn from history to research more, in order to understand the cases in deeper prospective.

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    NOTICE: The following article is written by the author itself and not by me, I am not trying to violate their copyright. I will give some information on them.

    ARTICLE TITLE:How Bibi blew it with Hamas
    DATE: Friday October 28, 2011
    AUTHOR: Deroy Murdock
    AUTHOR INFORMATION: Deroy Murdock is an American libertarian syndicated columnist for the Scripps Howard News Service and a contributing editor with National Review Online.

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, previously counted among the toughest leaders in the civilized world, has become softer than the secretary general of the United Nations. Netanyahu recently ransomed a kidnapped Israeli soldier whom Hamas had held hostage since 2006. The price for Sgt. Gilad Shalit's freedom? Israel will free 1,027 Palestinian prisoners. Many are hardened terrorists with Israeli and even American blood on their hands. This colossal breach of justice for these victims injects this toxic population back into society. Some of them almost certainly will express their gratitude with machine guns and dynamite.

    The first waveof 477 prisoners swapped for Shalit includes at least three terrorists who have slaughtered Americans.
    • Ahlam Tamimi conspired to attack a Sbarro restaurant on Aug. 9, 2001. This Jerusalem suicide bombing killed 15 -- including Passaic, N.J.'s Shoshana Greenbaum, 31 -- and wounded 130 more.
    Now carefree in Jordan, despite 16 life sentences, Tamimi has no regrets.
    "It was a calculated act, performed with conviction and faith in Allah," she told a Hamas website. "Jihad warriors are always ready to die as martyrs, to be arrested -- or to succeed. I managed to overcome the barrier of prison and was released. Why should I repent?"
    • Abd al-Hadi Rafa Ghanim of Islamic Jihad grabbed the wheel of a Jerusalem-bound bus and steered into a ravine in 1989, killing eleven (including Philadelphia's Rita Susan Levin, 39) and injuring 27. Ghanim was serving 16 life sentences.
    • Ibrahim Muhammad Yunus Dar Musa received 17 years for, among other things, helping to murder Detroit native Dr. David Applebaum, 51, and his daughter, Nava, 20, on her wedding eve. Five others were killed and at least 50 wounded in a Sept. 9, 2003, suicide bombing at Jerusalem's Café Hillel.
    • Abd al-Aziz Yussuf Mustafa Salehi famously waved his bloody hands from the window of a Ramallah police station, in which he and other members of a mob fatally flogged and killed Israeli reservists Vadim Norzhich and Yosef Avrahami. These October 2000 murders earned Salehi a life sentence.
    • Maedh Waal Taleb Abu Sharakh, Majdi Muhammad Ahmed Amr, and Fadi Muhammad Ibrahim al-Jaaba of Hamas planned a March 5, 2003, suicide bombing of Haifa's bus 37, killing 17 and wounding 53. These murderers received 19, 19, and 18 life sentences respectively.
    • Nasir Sami Abd al-Razzaq Ali al Nasser-Yataima planned a Passover 2002 suicide bombing that killed 30 and wounded 140 at Netanya's Park Hotel, earning him 29 life terms, plus 20 years.
    In addition to the 469 other prisoners released on October 18, Israel soon will free another 550 dangerous characters -- all to rescue oneIsraeli soldier.

    With all due respect and sympathy for Sergeant Shalit, this was a stupid, disproportionate, and likely deadly decision.

    As Nadav Shragai wrotein Jerusalem Viewpoints, an estimated 50 percent of terrorists in previous Israeli prisoner swaps and "goodwill gestures" subsequently executed, plotted, or supported terror assaults. In fact, Israel had previously freed participants in the aforementioned Passover massacre and Café Hillel bombing. Israeli officials had twice discharged Ramez Sali Abu Salmim. He eventually blew himself up in Café Hillel.

    In October 2010, the U.S.-Israeli Almagor Terror Victims Association counted at least 30 attacks involving Islamic extremists liberated by Israel's government. Almagor reports that 177 people have been murdered, and many others injured, in attacks that Israel could have prevented simply by keeping these savages caged.

    While Israel now has complicated its own anti-terrorist vigilance, America cannot rest either. Some of these freed killers will remain in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza, from which they can attack Israelis. That would be bad enough.

    Some of the more adventurous terrorists, however, might use their new and undeserved freedom to target Americans. Why not teach Israel's chief benefactor and staunchest ally a lesson by, say, blasting a U.S. bank branch elsewhere in the Middle East -- or beyond? No American embassy, hotel, military base, or bar full of laughing, singing U.S. tourists is any safer for Netanyahu's folly -- from London to Lima.

    And why not bomb Americans in Long Island or Los Angeles? A quick flight from, say, Cairo through Frankfurt to Mexico City, and then over the well-trampled route across America's wide-open southern frontier (or via the even more vulnerable northern border), and jihad in America can become a reality for any of these hundreds of dedicated terrorists that Israel has escorted right onto the street.

    Also, Netanyahu idiotically has fixed the terrorist-soldier exchange rate at approximately 1,000 to one. With 3,997 Palestinians still in custody as of August 31, not counting the 1,027 swap beneficiaries, Hamas needs to kidnap just four Israeli soldiers in order to demand freedom for all of its detainedcomrades. My friend Jacob Laksin reports in that Palestinians in Gaza already have begun to chant: "The people want a new Gilad!"

    Ironically, President Obama, who is sometimes considered soft on terrorism, has deployed drones and Navy SEALS overseas to blow major terrorists into splinters, due process be damned. (Hooray for that!) In contrast, Netanyahu -- approximately the Ronald Reagan of Israel -- liberates thousands of Islamic-extremist killers, like a one-man Israeli ACLU.

    Netanyahu totally ignores these wise words:

    "Do not release jailed terrorists. . . . Prisoner releases only embolden terrorists by giving them the feeling that even if they are caught, their punishment will be brief. Worse, by leading terrorists to think such [prisoner-exchange] demands are likely to be met, they encourage precisely the kind of terrorist blackmail they are supposed to defuse."

    This sound advice was offered by none other than . . . Benjamin Netanyahu on page 144 of his 1995 book Fighting Terrorism: How Democracies Can Defeat Domestic and International Terrorism

    Israel urgently needs something far closer to the Obama model. Rather than "punish" terrorist killers with meaningless multiple life sentences, Israel should give them the death penalty -- good and hard. Terrorists can be neither demanded, nor exchanged, nor killed again, while dead. Israel should execute this filth, cremate them, and then dump their ashes into the Mediterranean. They will no longer bother anyone, save for a few unfortunate fish that will deserve apologies for having to swim amid such filth.

    Bio: Deroy Murdock is a fellow with the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace at Stanford University. Counterterrorism researchers Mitchell Baxter and Laurence Herman supplied information for this article. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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                Ten years ago on this date, 29 November 2003, a convicted rapist and murderer, Leonard Keith Lawson died in his cell at the Grafton Correctional Centre in New South Wales, Australia. I will post information about him from Wikipedia and Murderpedia and some quotes from Paul B. Kidd’s book, before giving my comments and thoughts. His case was very similar to Barry Gordon Hadlow.

    Convicted murderer Leonard Lawson arrested and arraigned, Central Police Court, Sydney (Photo by Jack Mulligan) (PHOTO SOURCE:

    Leonard Keith Lawson (1927 - 29 November 2003), better known as Len Lawsonor Lennie Lawson, was a bestselling Australian comic book creator, successful commercial artist and photographer, and a convicted rapist and murderer.

    Lawson first came to prominence as the creator of The Lone Avenger, an Australian comic book hero, whose first appearance was in the second issue of Action Comics in 1946, running for thirteen years, eventually taking over the entire comic and selling up to 70,000 copies. Lawson also created another masked Western vigilante hero The Hooded Rider, as well as Diana, Queen of the Apes and Peter Fury.

    In 1954, however, Lawson kidnapped, assaulted and raped five models. He was sentenced to death but had his sentence commuted to 14 years in prison. After his release in 1961, he raped and killed another model on 7 November 1962 and on the next day, took several hostages at the Sydney Church of England Girls' Grammar School, killing a 15-year old girl in the ensuing siege. Sentenced to life imprisonment, Lawson died in prison in November 2003.

    Classification: Murderer
    Characteristics: Convicted rapist - Siege at a private girls’ school
    Number of victims: 2
    Date of murders: November 7-8, 1961
    Date of arrest: November 8, 1961
    Date of birth: August 16, 1927