After John F. Kennedy was assassinated, a photo emerged of a mystery woman. Nicknamed "The Babushka Lady" for her headscarf, the woman is believed to have photographed the assassination before disappearing. She is visible in photographs and videos of the event, but perhaps what was most notable were reports that during the shooting she remained standing, camera in front of her face, as everyone around her took cover.
|The Babushka Lady|
There has been much speculation as to the Babushka Lady's identity, including one woman who claimed it was her. But one of the most intriguing theories was that the Babushka Lady is Mary Pinchot Meyer, a neighbor and rumored romantic partner of JFK.
But what is most intriguing about Mary Pinchot Meyer isn't that she might have been present at the assassination. It's that she was murdered less than a year later.
Mary Pinchot Meyer was a respected painter living in the Washington, D.C. area. The future POTUS and his wife moved in next door to Mary and her husband in 1954. Although it's unclear what their relationship at the time was, Mary and her husband divorced in 1958 after one of their children was struck by a car and died.
|Mary and her husband, Cord Meyer. Image source: Smithsonian Magazine|
After her divorce, Mary and her two surviving children moved to Georgetown, where she began her painting career. According to her accounts, her affair with JFK began in 1961, following a visit to the White House.
A month before his assassination, the President wrote a letter to Mary, inviting her to "leave suburbia" and come to see him.
The four-page letter read: "Why don't you leave suburbia for once — come and see me — either here — or at the Cape next week or in Boston the 19th. I know it is unwise, irrational, and that you may hate it — on the other hand you may not — and I will love it. You say that it is good for me not to get what I want. After all of these years — you should give me a more loving answer than that. Why don't you just say yes." It was signed "J." The letter was retained by Kennedy's personal secretary and sold at auction in 2016.
On October 12, 1964, Mary finished a painting and decided to go for her usual morning walk along the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal towpath. A nearby mechanic reported hearing, "Someone help me, someone help me," followed by gunshots. The shooter was never caught. A black man named Ray Crump matched witness descriptions and was apprehended a quarter of a mile from the scene. He was soaking wet.
However, there were things that didn't add up. No traces of blood were found on Ray, despite evidence that Mary had been shot at close range. There was no forensic evidence leading him to the crime. He was acquitted of all charges and to this day, the murder remains unsolved.
Do you think Mary Pinchot Meyer's murder was connected to the JFK assassination?