Sunday, March 5, 2017

The Strange Case of Edwin A Ekdahl

Edwin Albert Ekdahl is a cameo player in the saga of the Oswald Project, but one worth documenting. His ingress and egress into the life of Marguerite Claverie Oswald is a bit murky, but we will chronicle what we know.

Ekdahl was married twice, once to Rasmine and to the aforementioned Marguerite on May 5, 1945. He had one son Dewey (1931-1997) by Rasmine, and no children with Marguerite. He worked for EBASCO Services, Inc at the time of his death on January 26, 1953.

EBASCO is a descendant of a firm founded in 1905 by General Electric, and was engaged in engineering and consulting to the electrical energy industry. It was involved in a highly publicized safety case in the 1980s when Ronald Goldstein exposed numerous safety violations by EBASCO in a nuclear plant project. EBASCO retaliated by firing Goldstein.

All that can be ascertained about the dissolution of his first marriage is that he "separated" from Rasmine around 1941-1942. The FBI specifically sought to find a divorce decree in the Boston area for Ekdahl, presumably from Rasmine, but found none.

Considerably more information is available concerning his second marriage. Ekdahl sued Marguerite for divorce in Texas in 1948 after they had ceased living together on January 10, 1948. His suit claimed physical and mental abuse, and excess cruelties, with the added predicate that his heart condition prevented him from continuing to live with Marguerite.

The 12 man jury ruled in favor of the plaintiff on June 24, 1948, but awarded Marguerite 250 USD in attorney fees, and 1500 USD additional compensation. Oswald was granted her previous name, and ordered to pay court costs.

It is not clear what caused Marguerite to behave so violently, but Ekdahl's diary for 1944, which Marguerite stole, may have been the spark. Ekdahl specifically mentioned it in his lawsuit by requesting its return. Marguerite made numerous allegations of adultery and infidelity on the part of Ekdahl, something which she may have learned from the diary.

It is quite strange that a man with Ekdahl's high powered education and cosmopolitan background would marry the much simpler Marguerite. Perhaps his diary made demeaning descriptions along that line. The marriage is even stranger still given that he had a heart attack, and probably was not in the best shape to keep up with the younger Marguerite.

Ekdahl was 12 years older than Marguerite, born September 26, 1895; he died January 26, 1953 according to, and FBI investigations in 1964. He was still in the employment of EBASCO at the time of his death. His sister Elvira Elizabeth Larson was listed as closest next of kin and beneficiary of his insurance policy, living at 1095 Commonwealth Ave. in Boston, Massachusetts.

There is discrepancy in Ekdahl's date of birth, with Armstrong giving it as 1887.

Ekdahl graduated from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1916, and possibly served in World War 1, but was certainly a US Navy veteran of that era. He lived several years in China, presumably working for EBASCO, but it could easily have been for Navy intelligence.

EBASCO informed the FBI that it had no records on Ekdahl from 1943-53, but gave his social security number as 001-09-9471.

According to Dewey, Ekdahl had no further contact with Marguerite or her sons after the separation. However, Greg Parker's source states that Ekdahl was in New York City at the time Marguerite was there. Still to be determined is which Marguerite - Claverie or the short dumpy imposter?

Marguerite's sister Lillian Murret told the FBI that Ekdahl made a "fabulous" sum of money at 1000 USD per month which was about 5 times the median household income of the time. Yet the Ekdahls were reported as living in an apartment circa 1946. This living arrangement may not be so unusual given the post-war housing shortage.

Marguerite met Edwin in 1942, perhaps after his heart attack. Elvira came down to New Orleans to help care for his convalescence, and met Marguerite. One source reports Ekdahl taking the Oswalds to New York in July 1945 to meet the family.

Further research is needed to determine if Ekdahl was one of the New York connections which Marguerite had in moving there.

Linda Minor raised interesting questions about Ekdahl and possible associations with the Roosevelts in Texas, but that topic warrants a separate chronicle.


John Armstrong, Poage Library - JFK - John Armstrong Collection, 15poage-arm-09-04c-07_Ekdahl,
Box 9, notebook 4, page 11

Greg Parker, Edwin A. Ekdahl, [forum], July 24, 2011, accessed 3/5/2017

Linda Minor, Colossal Failure to Research Ekdahl, Quixotic Joust [website], May 12, 2012, accessed 3/5/2017

Copyright 2017 Tony Bonn. All rights reserved.

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