Online Collection
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Beverly Oliver Oral History

Object Number: 2007.001.0002
Category: Oral Histories
Oral history interview subject: Beverly Oliver
Oral history interviewer: Stephen Fagin
Type of Object: Oral history
Dimensions: 92 Minutes
Description
Videotaped oral history interview with Beverly Oliver. A singer at the Colony Club in Dallas in 1963, Oliver knew Jack Ruby and some of his performers at the Carousel Club. In 1970, she came forward as a close eyewitness to the assassination, identified by researchers in films and photographs as the "Babushka Lady."

Interview conducted at The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza on January 12, 2007 by Associate Curator Stephen Fagin. The interview is one hour and thirty-two minutes long.

The video attached to this record is an excerpt. The entire interview is available in our Reading Room to on-site researchers or by submitting a Rights & Reproductions Request Form.
Curator's Notes

Beverly Oliver remains a controversial figure for Kennedy assassination researchers.  Inconsistencies in her story over the years have raised questions whether she really was a witness to the Kennedy assassination.  For example, she has said her camera was an experimental, Super 8mm camera loaned to her by a boyfriend who was employed by Kodak.  But industry records show there were no such cameras in 1963 because no camera or film standards had yet been decided upon.  The Super 8 film format first appeared in 1965.

She appeared under the stage name Shirley Boyd in the late-1965 film Hot Blooded Woman. - Gary Mack, Curator

 

Since coming forward as a Dealey Plaza eyewitness, Beverly Oliver has appeared on a number of television programs and documentaries, including The Men Who Killed Kennedy (1988). In Oliver Stone's 1991 film JFK, she is portrayed by actress Lolita Davidovich. Oliver is credited as a technical advisor on the Stone film and was present in Dealey Plaza for some of the on-location filming.    

With co-author Coke Buchanan, Beverly Oliver published her autobiography, Nightmare in Dallas, in 1994. To this day, she continues to be an active part of the unofficial Dealey Plaza memorial ceremony to President Kennedy each year on the annual assassination anniversary.  Leading up to a moment of silence at 12:30PM, Oliver speaks and performs hymns such as "Amazing Grace." - Stephen Fagin, Associate Curator

All requests for permission to reproduce, publish or broadcast materials in this collection must be submitted to the Museum's registrar, using the Rights & Reproductions Request Form. Inquiries may be sent to registrar@jfk.org.