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Warren Commission Hearings: Vol. VIII - Page 207« Previous | Next »

(Testimony of John Carro)

Mr. Carro.
and she had not responded. Actually, when the boy came back with all these reports to the court, he was not put on supervision per se to me. The matter was sort of up in the air where it would be brought back every month while we made referral to various agencies, to see if they would take him into Children's Village or Harriman Farms, and whatever it was, and it was just looking around, shopping around for placement for him. And the mother, I think, felt threatened about that time, that the boy was back in school, we were looking to get him psychiatric treatment, and she came in and wanted to take the boy out of the State, and we told her she could not take him out without the court's OK.
As a matter of fact, I recall the case was put on the calendar before Judge Sicher in November of that year, 1953, when she was told, yes, that it was necessary to have the boy remain here, and that that is when the judge ordered a referral to the psychiatric clinic of the court, and to the Big Brothers who subsequently accepted the boy for working with. With that the mother took off in January, without letting us know, and just never came back.
Mr. Liebeler.
Did you have the impression that Mrs. Oswald had the idea that you were going to take the boy and place him?
Mr. Carro.
I think she might have had the idea because we certainly were coming back to court each month, you know, with the judge saying, "Well, try Children's Village. Try Harriman Farms, try this place and try that."
I think she was threatened, that there was a plan afoot, that if the boy would not work out, that he would be placed. This was one of the recommendations that I felt he should be placed, and the court also; something could be worked out, because, incidentally, when he did go back to school he did go to school, but he was presenting, you know, marginal problems in school, and he was not doing as well as expected.
Mr. Liebeler.
There is a summary report in the file that he had been elected president of his class; that the court had been given a report to that effect. Do you recall anything about that?
Mr. Carro.
No. As a matter of fact, the one that I recall is that he neglected to salute the American flag in class, and the reason I never said anything of that to the newspapers is because I figured they would pick this up and say, you know, "See, 15 years ago he refused to salute the American flag. This is proof." And I did not want a newspaper headline, you know, "Oswald at the age of 12 refused to salute the American flag."
Mr. Liebeler.
That happens from time to time, I suppose, in children that age?
Mr. Carro.
The kind of reports that came back, he was a little disruptive in class, but nothing of any nature that I would, you know, singly point out. He did not become president of the class that I recall.
Mr. Liebeler.
You indicated that you had the feeling that the possibility of Lee Oswald being involved with psychiatric treatment, which would also involve his mother, whole family group, constituted a threat to or threatened the mother. What did you mean by that?
Mr. Carro.
Well, there was a reluctance in her to get involved in the boy's treatment process. She saw herself as removed, as this having nothing to do with her. Furthermore, she saw the boy's problem as the only problem being he did not go to school, and once we insisted that he go back to school her attitude was, "Why are you bothering me? You're harassing me. He's back in school. Why do you want him to go to the clinic for? Why should I go with him? Why do we have to see the Protestant Big Brothers for? He has brothers. What does he need brothers for? Leave us alone. I don't like New York. I was a woman of means in Louisiana when my husband was alive."
Here in New York she just felt that people were--this was just bothering her; she couldn't understand that in helping the boy you need to have the help of the parent because this is a young boy, and if he is going to go to a court clinic, for example, she has to take him there, and her own attitude toward the help he is receiving, unless it is one that will support whatever we are trying to do for him, if it is negative, and she is rejecting, and she is resisting, the boy himself will resist whatever kind involvement you are doing for him, and we needed her to see this, and did go along with the plan. Or she may have been as disturbed as the
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