November 22, 1963
In less than
"If you shut up the truth and bury it under the ground, it will but grow, and gather to itself such explosive power that the day it bursts through it will blow up everything in its way."
- French author Emile Zola
"Treason does never prosper.
What's the reason?
When it prospers,
None dare call it treason."
Sir John Harrington
THE CONFESSED ASSASSIN
OF JOHN F. KENNEDY
View the first part of the video interview: Click here
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Transcript of video-interview with James E. Files.
Location: Stateville Correctional Center, Joliet, Illinois.
Date: 19 november 2003
Interviewers: Jim Marrs (J) and Wim Dankbaar (W)
Camera: Gary L. Beebe
J - What is your recollection of how Joe West contacted you and what did you think of Joe West?
(Wim: Joe West was the private investigator who located James Files based on a tip from FBI agent Zack Shelton. )
JF - When Joe West first contacted me here at Stateville prison I was on a visit. The counselor came in the visiting room where I was at and stated that she wanted me to come out and make a phonecall. I told her : No way, I'm here 365 days a year. I'm not leaving my visit to make a phonecall. I said : Who's calling? Someone from Texas named Joe West. I do not know the party. Tell 'm I call them on my time, not their time. I'm on a visit. Don't bother me while I am on a visit. The next day they come and got me out of my cell, they took me downstairs, they got a phonecall hooked up. I call Joe West to talk to him. I told him: You have 3 minutes to convince me why I should talk to you. As Joe started talking to me, I told him: Woo, stop! You go through a lot of touchy spots, these phonecalls are all recorded. Every phonecall going in and coming out is recorded. If you want to talk to me that bad, then I suggest you come and visit me. Joe West had me put him on the visiting list. He came up to visit me. He spent two days of talking with me. The first day I wouldn't even talk to him about the Kennedy situation. We got into sports, weather, generally about prison, local things till I got comfortable with him. The next day, after I had thought it over all night, Joe West seemed like a pretty nice guy, I really liked Joe. He had a magnetism about him. The next day we sit down and got serious and then we started talking. I sit in the visiting room with Joe. They gave us a pencil and paper. I sketched the entire Dealey Plaza out for him, without any maps, without pictures, nothing present, and I explained to Joe at that time …. because Joe wanted to know where was I at. And I said: I'm going to put an X on the paper, to signify me, but this X is not in the correct spot. I said: When the time comes, then I'll put the X where it is supposed to be.
W - What had you told him that Joe knew you were in Dealey Plaza?
JF - Oh, I asked him. He said that someone had informed him that I was there He said he had a reliable source. And I didn't know for quite a while who that source was. It was quite some time later before I learned the fact that the FBI was aware of my presence as early as 1964. Because I never knew that anyone ever knew about me. But Zack Shelton, from what I understand, and I'm only quoting this from hearsay, that Zack was the one that stated and gave to Joe West the information on me: that I was in Dealey Plaza.
J - That's my understanding. Did you ever actually confess to taking the shot to Joe West?
JF - No, I never did.
J - Make a statement
JF - well, the whole thing is, like with Joe West ... Joe West died. He passed away, never knowing that I was one of two shooters there in Dealey Plaza that day. Joe West never knew I was on the grassy knoll.
J - do you have any thoughts on his death? Do you think that was natural?
JF - Joe West went in for heart surgery. And from what I was told and from what I understood, that he had come through it very well and he was on the road to recovery. But then I was informed there was complications with his medicine, he was allergic to it or had an allergy or something. But it killed him, the medication killed him. A couple of years ago, maybe a year and a half ago, I heard through the grapevine, and I won't go into the party that brought this information to me, they said that someone had tampered with Joe's medication and he had received the wrong medication. Because they wanted to silence him.
J - That's (also) according to his wife
W - And why would they want to silence him?
JF - We had ... I shouldn't say we, Joe West had the case in court, he wanted to exhume John F. Kennedy's body. And that's what he was fighting for. And at this point when I talked to Joe West, I explained to him that John F. Kennedy had been hit in the head with a mercury round, a special load. At this point I explained to him he can use this in the court to have the body exhumed because there would still be traces of mercury because the traces of mercury do not disappear. That will always be there. So this is what Joe West wanted to go back with, more evidence, and use this to get Kennedy's body exhumed. To look for traces of mercury.
(It should be noted that James Files believes that Kennedy's body is not buried in Arlington. He overheard a conversation of CIA deputy director Theodore Shackley telling that the body had been "dumped into the sea". The day before this interview James Files pointed out to me that if the exhumed body would not contain traces of mercury, then it would not be Kennedy's body.)
J - And the court had accepted his case?
JF - The court had accepted his case. But with his death, the case died.
J - Uh, Do you feel like your memory is as good as it was 10 years ago?
JF - No, I do not, It's not that good. My memory as of 10 years ago was a lot more alert than what it is now. It's not that I'm just getting old and senile, but it's the conditions of prison, the conditions we live under. Our water here, when people come in and I'm sure you was advised not to drink the water from here and to buy a bottle of water. I've been drinking this water for the past 12 years with radium in it, so has every prisoner here. We wasn't aware of the water situation until Oliver Stone comes along tom make a movie here. And when he made his movie here, we see all these people from the movie company running around carrying bottles of water. Even the officers that worked here, they got suspicious and that's when we started finding out: this water is unhealthy.
J - Just at the side, you know: Sodiumfluoride is what they put in some city's watersupplies. That's what the Nazi's put in the watersupplies of those concentration camps to keep everybody pacified.
JF - Yeah, well, they keep us pretty well pacified and they really kept us pacified since we went on about a ten month lockdown and they took the prison back and run it under their order now. And I mean this place is really maximum control now. There is no movement here at all to speak of.
W - Did you actually meet Oliver Stone?
JF - I met Oliver Stone three times. As a matter of fact I have a paper that Joe West ... no excuse me, not Joe West but Bob Vernon, had Oliver Stone sign. Now Bob Vernon had come in after the Joe West deal. Bob Vernon took over for Joe West. Bob Vernon met with Oliver Stone and he had him sign an agreement where they wanted to get me on film, but I refused to do that. I met with Oliver Stone three times.
J - And you never told him your story?
JF - No, I did not tell Oliver Stone my story. I refused to discuss it with him and uh …like I say, I 've got a copy, It's got Oliver Stone's signature on it, Bob Vernon's, the only signature that states what it's all about, the only thing missing is my signature because I would never sign that paper for the agreement.
J - Why was that?
JF - I didn't like the man!
J - Case closed!
JF - Case closed! And if you'd like I would be more than happy to send you a copy of the document. And it has got Oliver Stone's original signature on it. And it has Bob Vernon's signature on it.
(Wim: Well, I guess that answers the critics who say that Files is just a convict trying to get attention. I mean, if you want attention, you want to talk to Oliver Stone, who was the director of the blockbuster movie JFK.)
J - Well , I 've got a raft of questions, but it takes a while, let's just go back to.. let's go into chronology, just tell me your own account again. Go back to when you first learned there was a plot to kill Kennedy and then just bring us forward and how it all came about.
To be continued in the book: Files on JFK or DVD