Thursday, January 1, 2015

Babushka Lady

Babushka Lady – Mysterious Woman Present during the President’s Assassination

The Babushka Lady is a nickname which has been given to a mysterious woman who had been present at the time of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in 1963, who could have photographed the events which took place in Dallas’ Dealey Plaza when the President had been shot.

This nickname probably arose from the headscarf that was seen on her head which is normally worn by elderly Russian women, where babushka means grandmother or old woman in Russian language. The Babushka Lady was noticed holding a camera by several witnesses, who was seen in film accounts of the assassination and was standing between Elm and Main streets where she is seen in the Zapruder film and in the films of Orville Nix,, Marie Muchmore as well as Mark Bell, a 44 seconds and 49 seconds in the Bell film, though the shooting had already taken place. While most of the other witnesses took cover, she was seen standing with the camera in focus. After the shooting event, she was observed crossing Elm Street and mingled in the crowd that went up the grassy knoll in search of the person responsible in the shootout.

Beverly Oliver’s Claim as Babushka Lady

She is seen last in photographs walking away eastward on Elm Street, with neither she nor the film which she could have taken, have been identified. It is presumed that due to the proximity of the distance to the President’s car during the assassination and continuing with her focus on the camera, she could have captured critical events on her camera though the lady has never been identified ever since that fateful day nor has she made any appearance.

She has been described as a lady, wearinga brown coat and a scarf on her head and appeared to be holding a camera in front of her face and is also seen in several photos of the scene. The FBI had also made a public request for the lady to come forward and provide the footage which she could have taken at the time of the assassination, but she never showed up.

Towards 1970, a woman called Beverly Oliver, claiming to be Babushka Woman came forward, stating that a federal agent identified as Regis Kennedy had confiscated her camera on the day of the assassination and that she had to flee the scene and remain hidden to save her life. Moreover the camera which was used by her was not produced till several years later after the assassination.

Mystery Unsolved

Eventually, photographic evidence indicated that the Babushka Lady to be much older as well as heavier than Beverly Oliver and her story having many inconsistencies was regarded as a fraud. No one till date knows who the Babushka Woman was and what was her purpose of being seen during the assassination event. It is also a mystery in her refusal in coming forward to provide the evidence of that particular scene on that fateful day. No one till date knows who the Babushka Lady was, except the lady herself. Fifty years thereafter, she could have been dead and if the possibility of anyone knowing about her existence, they too have remained silent like her and have refrained in providing any information about the mysterious lady known as Babushka Lady.

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