November 22, 1963
Dallas, Texas
In less than
a second,
America died.

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Witness Report

"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
click

CONFIDENTIAL REPORT

JAMES E. FILES a/k/a JAMES E. SUTTON
a/k/a Sergio Castillo a/k/a John Felter a/k/a Henry Sanders

© 1998 JFKMURDERSOLVED.COM All Rights Reserved
This private, impartial investigation started in 1989 and was initiated by a Texas Private Investigator, the late Joe West of Houston, Texas, through a non-profit, educational Texas corporation known as Truth, Truth, Truth, Inc.
As of this writing, the investigation has cost over $1,000,000 and has taken 13 years. The investigation is ongoing and all new evidence will be posted here as it is gathered and verified.

Read the full chain of events click here.
The following information was gathered by Certified Legal Investigator Joe H. West (deceased), Houston criminal attorney Don Ervin, California television producer Robert G. Vernon, John C. Grady, official historian for the 82nd Airborne, a major USA detective agency, and from the files of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

OVERVIEW

In 1992, a Beaumont, Texas FBI agent, Zack Shelton, informed Truth, Truth, Truth Inc. And Houston criminal attorney Don Ervin that there was a man in prison that he believed to have knowledge of the assassination of John F. Kennedy.
Agent Shelton, a former Chicago Organized Crime Strike Force member, stated that the prisoner is a "legitimate mobster" - had been the "driver-bodyguard" for Chicago Mafia hitman Charles Nicoletti - has a long history of violent crime - and had been tortured and left for dead shortly after the murder of Charles Nicoletti in 1977, prior to Nicoletti testifying before the House Select Committee on Assassinations.
Agent Shelton also stated that he has long suspected that the Chicago Mafia was involved in the murder of President Kennedy, however, he has never been able to gather sufficient evidence to prove it.
(NOTE: Following Agent Shelton's disclosure of the prisoner to Truth, Truth, Truth, Inc. And attorney Ervin, Agent Shelton informed Houston criminal attorney Don Ervin that his FBI superiors had threatened him with the loss of his job and his government pension should Agent Shelton's name ever surface again in association with the JFK assassination. Texas State Judge Charles Carver of Beaumont also verified this fact after speaking directly with Agent Shelton. The FBI has twice declined written requests for Agent Shelton to be interviewed, on camera, regarding James E. Files.)
After an exhaustive search, Truth, Truth, Truth, Inc. located the prisoner in Joliet, Illinois.
This report is contains pertinent evidence and data gathered regarding the life of the prisoner, James E. Files alias James E. Sutton.
THE FOLLOWING IS CONFIDENTIAL AND PROPRIETARY AND READERS ARE INSTRUCTED TO PAY CAREFUL ATTENTION TO THE WARNING NOTICE AT THE TOP OF THIS PAGE.
REPORT

James E. Files a/k/a James E. Sutton a/k/a John Mandel a/k/a James Felter a/k/a Sergio Castillo was born in a small country farmhouse just outside Oakman, Alabama on January 24, 1942. His older sister, Mary Pearl Files, was born at the same farmhouse in 1936. Files's mother Vera (nee Lollar) was married to Jasper Daltman "J.D." Files although Lesly Sutton was the biological father of James E. Files. When J. D. Files learned of his wife's affair with Sutton, they were divorced. Vera left Alabama, moving to California, where she married Lesly Sutton. James Files took the last name of Sutton. Shortly thereafter Lesly Sutton was killed at Boulder Dam.
James E. Files's mother is deceased (1970). His mother's first husband, J. D. Files, passed away in 1997. The elder Files's sister-in-law, Christine Shelton of Nashville (Vera's sister), stated that there were also some adopted kids, at least two boys, possibly three, by J. D. Files during a later marriage. One is Raymond Files, an Alabama minister.
James E. Files states that he used the name Sutton (although he was born as "Files") until 1963 and there are numerous records available to substantiate his claim. His first wife Eleanor recalls that Files asked her of she wanted to be married under the name Sutton or Files. His aunt Christine recalls that he used the name Sutton all throughout his early school years. When his mother moved to California, he attended Castle Rock Grammar School in Valley Springs, California. There are no school records available.
The Sutton/Files family moved to Melrose Park, Illinois in the late 1940s, where he grew up in a tough Italian neighborhood. He was labeled as a juvenile delinquent by the local police chief (Chief Giles or Jiles), bought his first car at age fourteen, was known for riding motorcycles and he raced stock cars when he was in his early to mid-twenties. His first wife's family expressed strong disfavor of the marriage due to his history of juvenile delinquency.
Files killed his first man at the age of sixteen, avenging his sister's murder (Mary Pearl Johnson) in St. Louis, decapitating her killer at close range with a shotgun.
Files stated that he joined the U.S. Army in 1959, entered the 82nd Airborne, and was sent to Vietnam (Laos) as part of Operation White Star. Files did intelligence work and was among the first U.S. covert combat troops sent into Laos in 1959.
(NOTE: Historical records indicate that Presidents Eisenhower and Kennedy called these first troops "advisors" and that US military troops were present in Vietnam as early as 1953 - Col. Fletcher Prouty, former Head of Clandestine Services for the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the liaison between the Pentagon and the White House from 1956-1963 stated that U.S. troops had been in Vietnam since WW II. Prouty also confirmed operation "White Star.")

In early interviews, Files stated that the CIA has tried to erase all traces of his service record (S-1 record), his school records and his birth certificate. No records of his school history or birth have been located, however, an aunt by marriage recalls an Alabama lawyer once located his birth certificate which was stamped "deceased at birth." Three recent searches (1994-95-96) for Files's birth certificate have been to no avail. For all practical purposes, James E. Sutton alias James E. Files is "the man who was never born."
Despite the fact that the FBI issued a written report questioning Files's military background, and a major national private investigative agency has issued a written report which states that no trace of Files's purported military records could be located, John C. Grady, the official historian of the 82nd Airborne and the 505th Parachute Division RCT, located Files's U.S. Army serial number and a Veterans Administration claim number in an "inactive" file at a remote regional VA office and through the VA computer in St. Louis.
After an exhaustive 18 month search, historian Grady verified that Files had indeed entered the Army in 1959 and went into the 82nd Airborne before being sent to Laos on July 10, 1959. Files speaks in a distinct military manner with no remorse for anyone he has ever killed. One year later, in early 1996, historian Grady checked the service record of Files again. No records were found and all files under the name "James E. Files" were marked "no further information available."
Files stated that he spent approximately 14 months in the armed services and that he was in danger of a court martial at Ft. Mead, Maryland for certain events that happened regarding the Laotian Army. He allegedly killed two of his own men to "save face" with the Laotian Army. Files has also identified the U.S. Army JAG officer that handled his court martial as "Howell" or "Powell." Files states that he was placed into the Hines Veterans Hospital in Maywood, Illinois for 90 days of "evaluation" - however, there were no hospital records located by the FBI.
Files states that he was then recruited by David Atlee Phillips of the CIA. There are no public records that indicate this is true, however, in a letter sent to his aunt Christine from Vietnam, Files wrote "the government has turned me into a killing machine." Files also confessed that his government work became "over-extended."
Several known CIA operatives and CIA contract pilot Robert "Tosh" Plumlee recall a "young hitter from Chicago, who got into trouble down in Mexico and had to be bailed out by Frank Sturgis of the CIA." Incarcerated Mafia assassin Lenny Patrick has testified that James E. Files alias Jimmy Sutton was associated with the Chicago mob and Charles Nicoletti. A former CIA-US ARMY intelligence officer who was stationed in Florida in 1963 has also identified James E. Files as being involved with the JM/WAVE CIA covert headquarters in Miami during the early 1960s.
Files was "handpicked" to drive for mob hitman/"enforcer" Charles Nicoletti in late 1961 or early 1962 and became a "favorite" of Nicoletti. There are several witnesses who testified that Files knew Nicoletti extremely well including members of Files's second wife's family (Arnold/ Kay Marbry) and a Chicago service station/garage owner.
The garage owner (where Files was once employed) stated that Nicoletti would let only Files "touch" or work on Nicoletti's personal vehicles. Two of Files's Chicago "buddies" recall Files and Nicoletti as "being very close" and have agreed to grant television interviews to that effect. Both "buddies" and Files's aunt and uncle by marriage recall that they were introduced to Charles Nicoletti by Files.
Files stated that the FBI has pictures of Nicoletti and him together and he has clearly detailed the circumstances of how and when the pictures were taken by the FBI
In July of 1995, Michael Cain - brother of notorious Chicago gangster-turned-informant Richard Cain - made inquiries in Chicago about James E. Files at the request of Robert G. Vernon. Mr. Cain contacted active Mafia members and his late brother's FBI contacts both of which verified that Files was "Nicoletti's boy."
Despite requests of Files to sign a notarized statement giving permission to retrieve any and all records of the FBI and CIA that pertain to James E. Files under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), his former attorney, infamous Mafia lawyer Julius Echeles of Chicago, refused to allow Files to give the permission for the FOIA document retrieval. Of special interest is the fact that attorney Echeles received payment for representing Files via cashier's check with a footnote "From The Friends of James E. Files." The source of these payments is not known (SOURCE: Chicago Sun-Times).
Files was an "assault weapons trainer" for anti-Cuban forces training for the Playa Giron operation (the Bay of Pigs) in 1961. He claims (with some corroboration) he was an associate of several "key players" including David Atlee Phillips, Antonio Veciana, Gerry Patrick Hemming, and Frank Sturgis. Files has also named key CIA-anti Cuban forces, code names, events and certain historical places that were verified by cross reference with data supplied by known CIA pilot Robert "Tosh" Plumlee. Files also correctly identified Plumlee by his CIA codename, William R. Pearson.
Plumlee also recalls that a young Alabama boy "dropped off" Charles Nicoletti for a "CIA/Mafia flight" that Plumlee was piloting prior to 1963.
Files has stated that he signed a secrecy agreement with the CIA and has refused to provide much information about his CIA activities other than stating that he worked for the CIA from early 1961 to 1979 when he was arrested and sentenced to prison for running a Mafia "chop shop" (NOTE: The government's case included over 50 witnesses).

In addition, Files's personal memoirs, located in his private storage vault in Illinois, indicate that Files has first hand knowledge of numerous CIA activities dating from 1959 to 1979 including the death of Orlando Letellier and numerous other CIA operations in Florida, Louisiana, Texas, Cuba, and South America.
Further, his unpublished memoirs indicate that his CIA "associates" have included Michael Townley, Frank Terpil, the notorious terrorist - Orlando Bosch - the incarcerated arms dealer Ed Wilson and the deceased David Atlee Phillips, who was Files's CIA "controller." Files has stated that he worked directly for Phillips.
Files also stated that the CIA administered drugs to him in the early 1960s in an effort to extract the truth from him regarding a "certain situation."
Files's FBI "rap sheet" (FBI # 66 945 E) dates back to 1959 and includes several minor crimes as well as such major crimes as Armed Violence, Aggravated Assault, Attempted Murder of a Police Officer, Explosives, and numerous counts of Interstate Transportation of Stolen Motor Vehicles (Mafia chop shop). Files has served time in several locations including Wisconsin, North Carolina, and Illinois.
In addition, FBI and ATF documents obtained by Files through FOIA in the early 1980s (while he was incarcerated in Oxford, Wisconsin) indicate that Files has been investigated under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations statutes (RICO), and for Interstate Transportation of Stolen Property, Theft from Interstate Shipment, Extortionate Credit Transactions, Illegal Gambling Business, Police Corruption, and Possession of Illegal Firearms and Explosives.
James E. Files has confessed to acting in a conspiracy to murder John F. Kennedy in Dallas, Texas on November 22, 1963.
Files confessed that Sam Giancana, Johnny Rosselli and Charles Nicoletti were the other "players" in the conspiracy. Files confessed that Charles Nicoletti and he killed John F. Kennedy with two separate "head shots" fired within a split second of each other. Files confessed to firing the fatal last shot to Kennedy's right front temple from behind the grassy knoll "stockade fence."
Files confessed that he used a Remington XP-100 Fireball in the JFK assassination. He stated that the powerful, deadly accurate varmint/target pistol was given to him by David Atlee Phillips of the CIA but "not specifically for Kennedy." He claims that the "Kennedy hit" was the third time that he used the Fireball and that the weapon has been used since.
Files claims that he left a .222 caliber shell behind in Dealey Plaza after the murder. Files states that he bit the .222 shell casing, leaving his "teeth marks" on it.

In 1987, a Dallas resident and his son found a .222 "dented" shell casing buried in Dealey Plaza near the wooden fence on the grassy knoll. The casing was determined to have been buried in Dealey Plaza since 1963 by UCLA anthropology graduate Gary Hughes using the Terminus Post Quem layering technique.
Dr. Paul Stimson, a forensic odontologist from the University of Texas at Houston, as well as four other prominent forensic odontologists, examined the .222 casing and determined that the dents in the casing were indeed teeth marks. No positive identification can be made for Files now has dental plates. Of special interest is that the FBI has declined to locate Files's early dental records for a forensic dental examination by FBI experts and Dr. Stimson despite several written requests by Vernon to FBI Director, Louis Freeh.
Files stated that the .222 bullet that he fired at President Kennedy was a "special round" i.e.; a "mercury load" and that six "special rounds" were prepared for the 1963 trip by his main "weapons man," a Chicago area resident named "Wolfman" (A nickname). After being asked to have "Wolfman" corroborate this claim, Files summoned "Wolfman" to the Joliet prison and told him that he was planning on "opening up" about the JFK murder and asked "Wolfman" to speak with an investigator for Truth, Truth, Truth, Inc.
(NOTE: Wolfman died approximately one week after his visit with Files and before he could be interviewed by the investigator. His cause of death is unknown). Files also stated that the "weapons stash" kept by Nicoletti and him was secured at the old Bally Warehouse in Chicago. He stated that they kept about 40 firearms "on hand" at all times and that they were constantly modifying these guns for various "jobs."
The investigative parties herein have been unable to find any hard evidence that proves that Files was not in Dallas on November 22, 1963. The motel in which Files said he stayed in Mesquite, Texas during the week of November 18-23, 1963 was verified as having been built in 1961. The pancake house to which Files says he took John Rosselli on the morning of November 22, 1963 in Ft. Worth, Texas was verified to have been built in 1962. During the time period in question (November 18-23, 1963), no evidence has been found indicating that Sutton or Files was incarcerated or hospitalized. There are no speeding tickets issued to Sutton or Files during the time period in question. No credible witnesses have come forth to indicate that Sutton/Files was not in Dallas on 11/22/63.
Eric Buesing and Associates of Santa Ana, California, administered a Voice Stress Analysis test (VSA) of Files's videotaped confession and found a high 70% confirmation of his veracity. Buesing concluded that Files was in Dallas on November 22, 1963. A second voice stress analysis, administered by television producer Robert G. Vernon, indicated a confirmation of Files's veracity - as high as 86%.

When questioned about the "torture incident" as per the information supplied by FBI Agent Zack Shelton, Files stated that he was "kidnaped" by unknown persons shortly after the murder of Charles Nicoletti in 1977. He was held against his will in a "warehouse" at an unknown location in or near Chicago. Files's Aunt Christine also verified that Files had been tortured.
Following various methods of excruciating torture, including the insertion of an electric cattle prod into his rectum, Files was thrown, completely nude, from a speeding car and was found by police from a Chicago suburb.
Files stated that his kidnappers demanded a "package" which Charles Nicoletti gave to him following the JFK assassination. Files said that Nicoletti instructed him to "hold on to the package" for it may save his life someday.
Following his recovery from the kidnaping and torture incident, Files says he dug up the "package" and that it contained a map of the presidential motorcade route through Dealey Plaza and several Secret Service identification cards. Files stated that he destroyed the contents of the "package." Files stated that he does not believe that his kidnappers were associated with the Chicago Mafia or they would have killed him. He believes his captors were "government related."
James E. Files is currently serving 50 years at Stateville Correctional Center, Joliet, Illinois for the attempted murder of two Illinois police officers. He is in Protective Custody at the prison. His 1994 appeal was denied by the Court. Files's 1995 appeal was granted and he was scheduled for re-sentencing until he was informed, in 1996, that the appeal had been overturned.
James E. Files has written songs under the name of "Jimmy South": In two of his songs - entitled "Six Seconds in Dallas" and "I Remember Jackie" - Files's lyrics and melody paint a haunting, chilling picture of what occurred in Dealey Plaza on November 22, 1963.
"A Soldier Past" - a poem written by Files (located in his storage area) - was given special consideration by the editor of a magazine known as the National Vietnam Veterans Review.
Files and his oldest daughter have both received threats due to Files's confession to Truth, Truth, Truth, Inc. and producer Robert G. Vernon. Files says he has been threatened by both organized crime and the U.S. Government and has declined to further elaborate on those threats.
Files's daughter received a visit from a "representative" of organized crime in 1994 and has since - twice - relocated to a new address.

On November 18, 1994, television producer Robert G. Vernon testified to the Assassination Records Review Board (five scholars appointed by President Bill Clinton) in a public hearing in Dallas, Texas. Vernon informed the Review Board of the confession of James E. Files as relates to Files's participation in the daylight assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
In 1996, Beaumont FBI agent Zack Shelton broke a "four year silence" and verified to Michael Hytha, a Knight-Ridder reporter, that he (Shelton) had given the lead on James E. Files to Certified Legal Investigator Joe West. In a separate interview with journalist Marcella Kretter of UPI, Agent Shelton informed the reporter that the FBI had received a lead on Files from an informant. Shelton also asked Kretter not to reveal his name in her news story.
In August of 1996, Files received a letter from his new attorney (name unknown) which informed Files that a "$50,000 contract" had been placed on Files's head. Files also received a warning from a "friend in NY" that Files was in danger.
The investigation has also brought forth the man who flew John Rosselli into Dallas on 11/22/63 and the man who drove Charles Nicoletti into Dallas on the morning of 11/22/63.
Robert G. Vernon has turned all evidence on James E. Files's confession to the murder of John F. Kennedy over to President Bill Clinton, Vice-President Al Gore, U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno, and FBI Director Louis Freeh.


ADDENDUM


In August of 1993, Houston criminal attorney Don Ervin negotiated a deal with the US Department of Justice - through the FBI - that included (1) immunity for Files; (2) the FBI and Ervin would go to Joliet and interview Files in a non-official capacity; and (3) following the "non-official" interview the FBI would investigate and then the US Department of Justice would possibly call a special Grand Jury to hear Files's testimony.
On August 9, 1993 - without the knowledge of attorney Ervin - two Chicago FBI agents (Zydron and Pecoraro) paid a surprise visit to Files. On August 16, 1993, the two agents authored a report of their visit with Files.
Following the FBI visit with Files, Files notified attorney Don Ervin and producer Vernon that the agents had "asked him to agree that Oswald was the lone assassin of JFK" and that the agents had threatened Files's pending appeal telling him that they had already talked to the appellate court judges (NOTE: Files's appeal was granted then later overturned).
This report was placed in the National Archives and was faxed to Vernon by the Executive Director of the Assassination Records Review Board, David Marwell, in December of 1994 (NOTE: The issuance of an official FBI report to the National Archives is highly unorthodox and the reason for this action is unknown as of this writing).
In 1996, Vernon located retired FBI agent Pecoraro in Florida. Pecoraro initially informed Vernon that he "felt like he had been used" and denied any knowledge of the US Attorney's (Chicago) approval of immunity for Files (a fact verified by attorney Ervin on August 3, 1993).
Vernon then faxed Pecoraro a copy of the 8/16/93 FBI report, which Pecoraro says he had never seen. Vernon also informed Pecoraro that it was reported that agents Zydron and Pecoraro had "muscled their way into the prison through Internal Affairs."
In their second phone discussion in 1996, retired agent Pecoraro stated that he and agent Zydron had not "muscled their way in through Internal Affairs" but had contacted the warden personally and spoken with the warden and that the warden had full knowledge of the FBI visit on 8/9/93.
Immediately following his conversation with retired agent Pecoraro, Vernon contacted former Stateville warden Salvador Godinez (now Deputy Director of the Michigan Department of Corrections) and informed Godinez that Pecoraro had told Vernon that Zydron and Pecoraro had spoken directly with the warden prior to their visit with Files and that the warden had full knowledge of their visit with Files in 1993.
Godinez' response: "That's a lie."

SPECIAL ADDENDUM

In May of 1996, the unedited confession of James E. Files was released in home video form only by a Chicago video distributor. Following the video release, the distributor was "invited" to the White House by President Bill Clinton and later given a special "nomination" to the Democratic National Advisory Board. Marketing and distribution plans were mysteriously changed, altered and even not implemented as planned. Despite these strange actions, several major video chains carried the video, including Blockbuster which promoted the video over the Thanksgiving holidays of 1996. Blockbuster re-ordered twice after starting with three rental copies for each store.
In addition, the distributor has attempted to discredit Vernon, attorney Ervin and former Warden Godinez to James Files.
In addition, in September of 1996, the tabloid program "HARD COPY" did a special two day story (9/10/96 and 9/11/96) which is still in syndication as of April 18, 1997. The focus of the story was the fact that Malcolm Summers, a reputable mature Dallas businessman - who was an eyewitness to the 1963 murder of JFK - and who is cited in the Warren Commission report as a witness - IDENTIFIED JAMES E. FILES AS THE MAN HE SAW ON THE GRASSY KNOLL IN 1963. The Hard Copy story resulted from a FIVE DAY special news series produced by a San Antonio, Texas TV station.
Immediately following the Hard Copy exposure, John R. Stockwell, a former CIA case officer, and John McAdams, a known CIA disinformation specialist and asset, went on the Internet and attempted to debunk the confession of James Files. The CIA disinformation specialist even created a special website claiming Files is a hoax.
Further, the plans of the Chicago distributor to produce a second video featuring the entire evidence gathered by the extensive investigation were mysteriously altered and on April 16, 1997, Robert G. Vernon received information from a reputable source that the distributors were releasing a second JFK video WHICH DOES NOT INCLUDE ANY INFORMATION OR MENTION OF JAMES E. FILES. This information was confirmed as true by the distributor when confronted.
In the summer of 1998, one of our top researchers was contacted by the Secret Service and was asked why he was communicating with James Files. When the researcher told the agent about Files' confession of JFK, the agent informed the researcher that "the President and his staff" were very concerned for James Files is a "threat to National Security."
It is the belief of Robert G. Vernon that the United States government, through its highest elected officials, and the CIA, are working closely together to stop any publication of the certified legal evidence supporting the confession of James E. Files.

The last seconds of life


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