James Earl Files and The JFK Assassination….
James Earl Files (born January 24, 1942) is allegedly a former Central Intelligence Agency/Mafia hit man who claims to have been the grassy knoll shooter in Dealey Plaza on the morning of the assassination of U.S. President John F. Kennedy.
Claims of involvement in JFK assassination
One evening in the spring of 1963, Files was playing a pinball machine (gambling type), when Mr. Nicoletti approached him and said they were going to go for a drive. During that drive, Mr. Nicoletti revealed a plan to assassinate President John F. Kennedy. This plan had come from collaboration between the CIA and the Chicago Mob boss Sam Giancana, and the job had been delegated to Mr. Nicoletti. In the months leading up to the assassination, several locations were considered, including Chicago. Ultimately, Dallas, Texas had been chosen as the location of the hit.
At this point, Files had not been considered as a shooter in the coming assassination. He was assigned only as an aide to Mr. Nicoletti in weapon arrangements and to survey the location. A week before the assassination, Files drove into Dallas and stayed at the Lamplighter Motel in Mesquite, Dallas, where he called Mr. Nicoletti as well as David Atlee Phillips (who he claims was his “controller”). He claims that the next morning Lee Harvey Oswald (who shared the same “controller”) showed up at the hotel. Over the next five days, Files and Oswald spent the days together (a picture, which Files says was taken by Oswald, can be found here). Files claims that he and Oswald went to an empty field to test fire the weapons and calibrate the scopes that were to be used on President Kennedy, and that Oswald was picking up the shells as Files fired them. He also claims that he and Oswald never spoke of the assassination the entire time.
Two days before the assassination, Mr. Nicoletti arrived in Dallas and told Files that Johnny Roselli had flown in as part of a CIA abort team to call off the hit, but said that he was going ahead with the hit anyway. He then asked Files, since Johnny Roselli would no longer be the other assassin, if Files would like to be a backup shooter, to which Files agreed. Files states this is how he became the other gunman.
When Files had volunteered as the backup shooter, he was given specific guidelines by Mr. Nicoletti:
1. He was not to fire unless absolutely necessary
2. He was not to harm Jacqueline Kennedy
3. They were going for a headshot, and he was to fire only if there had been no headshot
Following these guidelines, Files chose to use a 1962 prototype bolt-action Remington XP-100 “Fireball” given to him by CIA agent David Atlee Phillips. The location he chose for cover was the infamous “grassy knoll“. He states that he was wearing a “reversible” jacket to look like a railway worker, and that he kept the Remington XP-100 “Fireball”, as well as specially-made “mercury rounds” in a small suitcase.
Files states that he had loaded a special wax-tipped mercury round into the Remington XP-100 “Fireball”, and waited in the rail yard for President Kennedy. When President Kennedy came into view, he claims that he was aiming for President Kennedy’s right eye in his scope when he was coming down Elm St. When shots started, he began counting the shots as misses, and had to take the shot as instructed if no headshot had been made. When no headshot had been made, he claims he took his shot, and that his shot was the fatal bullet that took President Kennedy’s life. Afterwards, he packed the gun in the suitcase, bit the shell casing, left it sitting on the stockade fence, and walked away. He claims that he walked to an arranged meeting place (a car garage) where Charles Nicoletti and Johnny Roselli were waiting for him. Files drove them to a gas station to drop them off, and he drove back to Chicago.
R. W. “Dick” Gaines
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