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October 5, 1981, New York Times, Oswald's Body Is Exhumed -- An Autopsy Affirms Identity,

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October 5, 1981, New York Times, Oswald's Body Is Exhumed -- An Autopsy Affirms Identity

DALLAS, Oct. 4— The body resting in Lee Harvey Oswald's coffin was removed from its grave today, and a team of examining pathologists said that the remains were indeed Oswald's. The finding appeared to end speculation that the corpse might have been that of a Russian agent sent here to kill President Kennedy in 1963.

''We, both individually and as a team, have concluded beyond any doubt, and I mean beyond any doubt, that the individual buried under the name Lee Harvey Oswald in Rose Hill cemetery is Lee Harvey Oswald,'' said Dr. Linda Norton, head of the team of pathologists who examined the remains today at Baylor University Medical Center here.

The pathologists were said to have determined the body's identity mainly by comparing its teeth with Oswald's Marine Corps dental records. They also found on the body the scar of a childhood mastoid operation mentioned in the military records.

Helicopters Hover

The grave of the man accused of assassinating President Kennedy was opened in Rose Hill Burial Park in Fort Worth, Oswald's hometown, starting shortly after 7 A.M. The public and reporters were kept out of the cemetery as work began. As helicopters circled overhead, the coffin was covered with a white sheet and driven the 35 miles to Dallas in a hearse.

The way for the exhumation was cleared when a temporary restraining order issued by a local judge expired at midnight. Oswald's brother, Robert, who lives in Wichita Falls, had sought in court for some time to block the exhumation. It was sought first by Michael Eddowes, a British writer, who theorized that the coffin contained the corpse of a Soviet spy who assumed Oswald's identity while Oswald was living in the Soviet Union. Marina Oswald Porter, the assassin's Russian-born wife, also sought to have the grave opened so that doubts could be ended.

''Now I have my answers,'' Mrs. Porter was quoted by United Press International as saying, ''and from now on I only want to be Mrs. Porter.'' 
Brother's Rights Come Second

Two weeks ago, a state appeals court dissolved a lower court's injunction, sought successfully by Robert Oswald, against the exhumation. The court found that ''a surviving brother of a deceased does not have the right to control the remains so long as there is a surviving wife, children or parents of the deceased.''

That effectively cleared the way, although Robert Oswald sought and received yet another temporary restraining order. Last Friday, according to Jerry Pittman of Dallas, Mrs. Porter's lawyer, what turned out to be final negotiations between Robert Oswald and Mrs. Porter began. Robert Oswald, out of legal avenues to pursue, registered no opposition.

Some time ago, Mrs. Porter withdrew her permission from Mr. Eddowes to exhume the body and took over the legal battle herself. However, the exhumation, estimated to cost $8,000 to $15,000, is reportedly to be paid for by Mr. Eddowes.

Lee Harvey Oswald defected to the Soviet Union in 1959, after his discharge from the Marine Corps. Mr. Eddowes, in his book, ''The Oswald Files,'' contended that Oswald never returned and that instead a Soviet spy named Alek James Hiddell assumed the Oswald identity and killed President Kennedy on Nov. 22, 1963. Two days after the President was killed, Oswald was shot in full view of television cameras by a Dallas nightclub owner, Jack Ruby.

Mrs. Porter, her lawyer and a lawyer for Mr. Eddowes were on hand today. According to Mr. Eddowes's lawyer, the coffin contained ''just skeletal remains'' that ''could not be removed in one piece.''

The pathologists here were reported to have taken 150 X-rays. They identified, in the skull, the scar made by surgeons in a mastoid operation when Oswald was 6 years old, in 1945. They said that rings that Mrs. Porter had put on the body just before burial were still there.

After the autopsy, the remains, together with fragments of the wood coffin, were reburied in metal coffin and steel vault. ---- 
Needs of Family Cited

FORT WORTH, Oct. 4 (UPI) -Marina Oswald Porter has said that she sought to have the remains exhumed for the sake of her family. The 40-year-old Mrs. Porter, who married a carpenter, Kenneth Porter, refused to view the remains but had trusted friends do it. She was asked to identify two rings on Oswald's body.

Mrs. Porter spent hours yesterday in meetings with lawyers in Dallas planning the event. She recalled the years of work leading to it.

''Somehow it hasn't hit me yet,'' she said last night. ''But I just don't know how I'm going to sleep. Kenneth and I have to be up at 4 A.M.''

''I'm doing this for my family,'' she said a few weeks ago. ''I never want my children to go through what I've had to go through all these years.'' Mrs. Porter has three children, her teen-age daughters, June and Rachel, by Oswald, and a son, Mark, by Mr. Porter. 
Has Testified Recently

Mrs. Porter, called shy and retiring when she was thrust into the limelight nearly 20 years ago, has appeared more in public in recent years, before Congressional committees and in print.

In 1978, she testified before the House Assassinations Committee and for five and a half hours told about her life with Oswald. She met him after he defected to the Soviet Union in 1959. Married only six weeks after they met at a dance in Minsk in 1961, they moved to Texas in 1962, briefly lived in New Orleans in 1963, and then returned to Dallas.

The Porters arrived at a motel here early today, entering as 15 uniformed officers stood outside. 
Questions Her Lawyer Again

Mrs. Porter questioned her lawyer, Jerry Pittman, asking one last time if the exhumation was legal. Mr. Pittman assured a restraining order had expired at midnight.

She turned to a reporter, Dan Carmichael, and said: ''You are my witness. My lawyer says it's legal.'' At 6:24 A.M, a caravan of cars left the motel for the cemetery. Mr. Pittman and a second lawyer, Michael Pezzulli, spent much of yesterday at Baylor, completing security arrangements for the plan. Numerous ''dry runs'' were made along the motorcade route, into a little-used hospital parking lot, along a complex route through the corridors and into the autopsy room.

Illustrations: photo of Michael Eddowes (Page A16) Photo of coffin being put into hearse after exhumation (Page A16)
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