Who is James Files? Until someone sent me records on the J.F.K.’s murder recently, I had never heard of him. James Earl Files (alias James Sutton) claims to the be the shooter on the grassy knoll, November 22, 1963. He claims he shot President John Fitzgerald Kennedy. He also claims Lee Harvey Oswald did not fire a shot. (1)
Files revealed this while incarcerated for the attempted murder of two police officers in 1994. After I read the initial blog, I went searching the internet for information on the man not many people have ever heard of. It turns out there is quite a bit about him, though much of it tries to prove he could not have fired the shot that killed Kennedy.
Files ascertains there was a plot to kill Kennedy between the C.I.A. and the Mafia. It is no secret that Kennedy wanted to disband the C.I.A. Allen Dulles (who unfortunately served on the Warren Commission) resigned after his performance in the Bay of Pigs and the Algiers Putsch against Charles De Gaulle. Dulles, Richard Bissell and Charles Cabell were all forced to resign. Though many see him as being fired by Kennedy. Files claims that is when the C.I.A. called in the mob to kill the president.
In an article for UK’s Daily Mail, Files was quoted saying:
“I was aiming at his right eye. When I pulled the trigger, it was almost like looking from six feet away through the scope,” he explains.
“As I squeezed his head moved forward. I missed and got it right along the temple, right behind the eye. I squeezed off my round. I hit him and blew his head backward. I fired one shot and one shot only.”
He then walked off with no one noticing, not even the two police officers he claims were standing 25 feet away. (2)
He goes on to say that his boss Charles ‘Chuckie’ Nicoletti was actually the person in the Texas Book depository that shot at Kennedy, not Oswald. One former F.B.I. agent, Zack Shelton actual believes Files story. Even though the Warren Commission as well as other government investigations claim it was Oswald who shot J.F.K. Shelton says he was able to validate much of Files claims.
Shelton served with the F.B.I. for 28 years and is now retired. He had an outstanding record with the bureau. He spent much of his career investigating organized crime syndicates out of Chicago and Kansas City. Shelton believes both the federal government and J. Edgar Hoover lied to him.
Houston Private Investigator Joe West began his own probe into the assassination of J.F.K. in 1989. After years of dead ends, F.B.I. agent Zack Shelton received a tip from an informant and passed it on to West. That led to the Stateville Correctional Center in Jolliet, Illinois and directly to James E. Files. West went on to say that at first Files was not willing to speak about the assassination. Only after developing a relationship with Files did he reveal parts of his story to West. West did not end up getting the full story as he became suddenly ill and passed away in 1993. The full confession was videotaped in 1994 by Bob Vernon, an associate of Joe West. For two years there was an attempt to bring the interview to the public. It was cancelled on T.V. because of reasons that were proven later to not be true.
Though several F.B.I. agents investigated the claims. Files was deemed not credible for obvious reasons. Many have said he lied or they tried to discredit him. Here some valuable facts he could not have known unless he had something to do with it:
- Lee Bowers was a railroad tower operator with clear view of the procession of cars that day, and the grassy knoll-including the presidential motorcade. He saw a man that could have matched the description of a 21-year-old James Files behind the fence on the grassy knoll, down to the same type of jacket. Bowers saw 3 cars drive into the parking lot behind the fence that bordered the grassy knoll. One of them matched the blue and white 1959 Oldsmobile station wagon that Charles Nicolletti and Chauncey Holt drove from Arizona. He saw the Goldwater bumper sticker on the bumper. Bowers also heard the last 2 shots close together that he believed came from the grassy knoll. (3)
- James Files was also concerned about two men dressed in black suits on the grassy knoll in front of him. No one else remembers them, except for one other witness Charles Blankenship. ‘Charlie’ worked in the Fort Worth DPS office. He was there that day, and when he heard the shots, like other law men ran to see what was going on. The two men in black said they were secret service agents and he was to leave the Dealey Plaza area. He did and kept the story to himself and his family until his death. His wife related the facts later. (4)
- James Files bit a shell casing from the gun he shot the bullets out of, as a way to identify it. Indeed, a shell casing was found years later with the end bit, just as Files had said.
- James Files said he would tell his story one time. After Joe West passed away Bob Vernon took over for him. When Oliver Stone was making JFK, he wanted Files to tell his story, but Files did not like Stone and refused to say anything. Files did give one more interview on November 19, 2003. (4)
- Files did not profit from the interview either with fame or money. He was never seen with J.F.K. information in his cell. Joe West passed away after the initial interview. He had heart surgery, and though the surgery went well, something happened with the medication afterward. Files said in the interview in 2003 that he heard through the grapevine his medication had been tampered with. Another reason James revealed his story was that he became a born-again Christian in prison. (5)
- Files said that there was a special load in the gunfire that killed Kennedy, mercury was loaded in. Joe West was going to use that information to exhume the body of the president to prove there was more than one shooter. They had a court date according to Files.
- James Files says he had a C.I.A. supervisor, who recruited him, David Atlee Phillips who is a little famous on his own. He testified on the House Select Committee on Assassinations in the 1970’s. Cuban leader Antonio Veciana, a friend of Files knew Phillips as Maurice Bishop, who was his CIA handler. Phillips was a mastermind for the CIA. He helped stage a coup led by Pinochet in 1973 and helped the government overthrow in Guatemala. Philips went from intelligence officer to chief of the Western Hemisphere Operations. This included Latin America, Cuba, Mexico and Dominican Republic. (6)
According to his famous musician brother, Shawn Phillips, David Atlee Phillips was in Dallas the day Kennedy was murdered. His father James Phillips was estranged for the last 6 years of David’s life. In part because James knew that David was critical of J.F.K.’s policies and that David was in Dallas the day Kennedy was shot.
The F.B.I. said Files was not credible, but all the facts that were checkable were proven true. Files was paroled in 2016 and as of right now, he is quiet on the subject of the J.F.K. assassination. He did say while he was still imprisoned the government would never come after him. If they prosecute him, they would take too many other people with him.
- Kroth, Jerome A. (2003). "Chapter 5. Paradox". Conspiracy in Camelot: The Complete History of the Assassination of John Fitzgerald Kennedy. Algora Publishing. pp. 195, 197, 215–223. ISBN0-87586-247-0. Retrieved March 6, 2012.
- Klausner, Alexandra, Mob Hitman Who Says he was the Man on the Grassy Knoll and Killed Kennedy to be Released, http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3308941/Mob-hitman-James-Files-stands-claims-man-responsible-President-John-F-Kennedy-s-assassination-prepares-release.html
- Is James Files Telling the Truth? http://www.jfkmurdersolved.com/filestruth.htm
- James Files Shot JFK From the Grassy Knoll, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cxtrFoh3Pao
6. Fonzi, Gaeton. The Last Investigation, (New York: Thunder's Mouth Press,