Lee Harvey Oswald bore a grudge against Texas Gov. John Connally and may have intended to kill him instead of President John F. Kennedy, according to a new book.
Oswald was angry because Connally had done nothing to help restore his honorable discharge from the Marine Corps, according to the book, "The Great Expectations of John Connally," by James Reston Jr., son of The New York Times columnist. Excerpts of the book were published in this week's Time magazine.Oswald's discharge was downgraded to undesirable, one step above dishonorable, after he tried to sell military secrets to the Soviet Union that he had acquired as a Marine Corps radar operator, Reston wrote.
Oswald lived in the Soviet Union for a time and at one point attempted to renounce his U.S. citizenship. From the Soviet Union, Oswald wrote to Connally, who had been Navy secretary, for help in having his military discharge upgraded, Reston wrote.
Oswald apparently did not know that six weeks earlier, Connally had resigned his Navy position to re-enter Texas politics, and his office sent Oswald a perfunctory reply, Reston wrote. "Oswald had been spurned by a fellow Texan, and he resented it," Reston wrote.
Alexandra De Mohrenschildt, a member of the small Russian emigre community in Fort Worth, told the Warren Commission, which investigated the assassination of JFK, that Oswald had never mentioned Kennedy.
"It was the governor of Texas (Connally) who was mentioned mostly," Reston quoted De Mohrenschildt as saying. "For some reason Lee just didn't like him. Maybe it was the dishonorable discharge."
Connally was riding in the car with Kennedy in Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963, and was seriously wounded in the shooting.
Reston's book will be published this year by Edward Burlingame Books Harper & Row.