Epstein and Oswald

When an uncommon name invites questions

James Leroy Wilson
3 min readAug 16, 2019

Twelve years ago, I looked up Woody Harrelson on Wikipedia. I forgot the reason why, although I was a longtime fan of his work. At the time, I was already aware that his father Charles was a convicted hit-man who at one point confessed to the John F. Kennedy’s assassination but then recanted.

It was there that I read that his mother, Diane Lou Harrelson, had the maiden name of Oswald. Well, isn’t that unusual, as Lee Harvey Oswald is officially acknowledged as JFK’s killer. Any relation?

At the time, I kept running into dead ends; it seemed the Wikipedia page was the only place “Oswald” came up. Even in JFK forums, few people asked about the connection. So, as it turns out, anyone curious about “Diane Lou Oswald” came to my Independent Country blog; it’s probably my most-read piece.

From time to time I’d check up on this myself. Today I’ve noticed Woody’s page had a little bit more information, and free searches on geni.com determined that if there is a common Oswald ancestor, it is likely at least four generations back, with Diane Lou’s tree in Ohio and Lee Harvey’s in the Deep South.

The “Oswald” name, then, was likely coincidental. If Charles Harrelson and Lee Harvey Oswald were connected, family had nothing to do with it.

Nevertheless, I believe I was justified to be curious. Looking up the frequency of names, the best (or only) information I could find is that there are around 5



James Leroy Wilson

Former activist. Writer with a range of interests from spirituality to sports.