EUGENE, Ore. - Lee Harvey Oswald was a CIA operative who went to the Texas Book Depository not to kill President John F. Kennedy in November 1963 but to try to prevent his assassination.
That is part of the story Oswald's girlfriend, Judyth Vary Baker, tells in her new book, "Me and Lee"
Baker talked to KVAL News on Wednesday ahead of her appearance at Tsunami Books on Willamette Street at 7:30 p.m.
"Lee Oswald was a hero," Baker said, "and I'm here to tell you that when you find out who did it you will understand more about who took over our country - and why we are in the position we are in today."
Baker said she met Oswald when he was sent to keep an eye on her as she worked on a project to inject Cuban dictator Fidel Castro with a fast-spreading cancer.
"I was assigned to make cancer more deadly. Can you imagine?" she said. "That is what doctors wanted me to do. I had actually given mice lung cancer, these were germ free mice exposed to radiation. I gave them lung cancer in 7 days."
The idea was to kill Castro with plausible denial for the U.S.
"One of the methods they decided to use was biological because then they had no one to blame," Baker said. "I mean if he comes down with lung cancer because he's smoking cigarettes, you're not going to blame the United States government for that.
"Now here's the problem," she said. "The people that were willing to kill Castro were just as willing to kill Kennedy."
Baker and Oswald became lovers, and she was eye-witness to his activities leading up to November 22, 1963, in Dallas, Texas.
"I was his lover. When you hear this thing about pillow talk, what I'm saying is they do confide in you," she said. "I loved him and he loved me and I believe that with all my heart."
Baker said Oswald was sent to kill JFK. He went through with taking up a sniper position at the Texas Book Depository so the agency wouldn't send another shooter, she said, but it was bullets from another gunman or gunmen who killed Kennedy.
"We have a lot of information that Kennedy was shot from the front," she said. "Lee Oswald is back here in the Texas School Book Depository.
"Now they have to get rid of a man that is going to go tell on everyone right? So the first thing they do, they arrest him, they say he's from Russia, he's the guy that shot. Right away the first announcement you hear is an assassin. Doesn't say assassins, they say assassin shot three times, even though you heard more shots. Basically they interviewed people that heard three shots."
Baker talked to Oswald by phone less than 2 days before he died.
Oswald told her " 'I love you Judyth' before he hung up," she said. "Those were the last words I ever heard from him."