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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
After an exhaustive
search, Truth, Truth, Truth, Inc. located the prisoner in Joliet, Illinois.
is contains pertinent evidence and data gathered regarding the life
of the prisoner, James E. Files alias James E. Sutton.
FOLLOWING IS CONFIDENTIAL AND PROPRIETARY AND READERS ARE INSTRUCTED
TO PAY CAREFUL ATTENTION TO THE WARNING NOTICE AT THE TOP OF THIS PAGE.
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
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
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.
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.
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
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."
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."
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.
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."
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
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
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."
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:
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.
recalls that a young Alabama boy "dropped off" Charles Nicoletti
for a "CIA/Mafia flight" that Plumlee was piloting prior to
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.
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."
"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.
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
E. Files has confessed to acting in a conspiracy to murder John F. Kennedy
in Dallas, Texas on November 22, 1963.
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."
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
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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).
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.
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.
"That's a lie."
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.
the distributor has attempted to discredit Vernon, attorney Ervin and
former Warden Godinez to James Files.
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.
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.
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.
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.