Is this man the grassy knoll shooter? Meet James Files, former driver and bodyguard of notorious Giancana-era Chicago hitman Charles Nicoletti. Files was discovered in the early 1990’s by private investigator Joe West, who was tipped off by a mob informant’s statements to the FBI concerning Files’ own alleged statements suggesting inside knowledge of the events in Dealey Plaza on 11/22/1963. Files claims that he, Nicoletti, and Johnny Roselli all participated in a joint CIA/Mafia hit on Kennedy. Roselli is well-known to history as the liaison between the CIA and organized crime involving attempts to assassinate Fidel Castro. Oswald’s CIA handler, according to Files, was a man named David Atlee Phillips, well-known to JFK assassination buffs as the man supposedly id’d by Cuban expat Antonio Veciana as meeting with Oswald at about the time of the assassination.

According to Files, he and Nicoletti were the shooters that day. Nicoletti fired from the Dal-Tex building, which was across Houston Street from the School Book Depository. Files was the grassy knoll shooter who fired one shot – the fatal head shot, with his Remington Fireball using a special mercury-tipped round designed to explode on impact. Oswald, according to Files, shot no one that day and was merely the patsy. Officer J.D. Tippitt was killed not by Oswald but by a man sent by the mob to bump off Oswald so he couldn’t lead them back to the real killers. Files has not revealed the name of this person who supposedly shot Tippitt. According to Files, private investigator Joe West had succeeded in a motion to have JFK’s body exhumed and tested for traces of mercury from his fatal bullet, since mercury doesn’t degrade, when West mysteriously died due to someone tampering with his medication. With West’s death, the motion to exhume JFK died as well.

Files’ story was in the process of being turned into a television special produced by Dick Clark around 1995, when the producers hired a private investigator who supposedly debunked Files’ credibility. Others claim that the investigator was working with the CIA to “kill” the story before it could air. Files is still languishing in Stateville correctional facility in Illinois, very much alive. The most active proponent of his story at the moment is Dutch businessman Wim Dankbaar, who runs a website,, dedicated to Files’ story.

So what do we here at HistorySolved think of the Files story? I haven’t the foggiest idea. The whole JFK assassination story is like 500 Agatha Christie novels mixed in with 500 Tom Clancy novels, with thousands of witnesses thrown in to the mix – some credible, some not credible, some partly credible and partly not credible. If you’ve read my other posts on the JFK topic you realize I’m an agnostic on this whole subject – I wasn’t there, so I don’t know who’s telling the truth and who isn’t. I can only come to partial conclusions based on information I’m pretty sure of, but I’m always open to new information and to the possibility that I might be wrong. Files’ story does have elements that are undoubtedly true that have been vetted by retired FBI agent Zack Shelton as well as other retired FBI men. For example, he was in the Chicago outfit and he was a driver for Nicoletti. The interviews that I’ve seen with him are very persuasive – if he’s making this up then he’s a very good and effective liar. One of the people who supports his story is Antoinette Giancana, daughter of Sam. Sam and Chuck Giancana, stepson and younger brother of the mob boss, also maintain that Sam Giancana and Johnny Roselli were involved in the JFK murder, although they don’t mention Files. At the very least, Jimmy Files’ story jibes well-enough with what’s known about the assassination that, if he is lying, he is either very well read or very well coached on the subject.

Files’ confederates all started to drop dead at about the time Congress began investigating the CIA, its ties to assassinations and organized crime, and the Kennedy and King assassinations beginning with the Senate Church Committee in 1975-76 and later with the House Select Committee on Assassinations in 1976-78. Sam Giancana was murdered on June 18, 1975, just days before he was set to testify before the Church Committee. Six weeks later, Jimmy Hoffa (no stranger to organized crime or Chicago, and no friend of the Kennedys) disappeared on July 30, 1975. Johnny Roselli was found dead, floating in a barrel with his legs cut off, off the coast of Miami on August 9, 1976, right after being sought for additional testimony before the Committee concerning the Kennedy assasination. Chuck Nicoletti was murdered in Northlake, Illinois, on March 29, 1977. William (“Wild Bill”) Harvey, the CIA liaison to the mob through Johnny Roselli, died of a heart attack in 1976.

Where there’s smoke, there’s fire? I don’t know. There are certainly some sordid elements to our politics and our recent history which we’ve forgotten about in our rah-rah patriotic era. People like Bill O’Reilly and Geraldo Rivera used to report this kind of stuff all the time. However, we now live in a corporate oligarchic state where most of the information we get is junk-food and propaganda. That’s why stories like that of James Files never see the light of day. I don’t know how much of it is true, but, in our current age, if it weren’t for the internet, you never would have heard of it. That’s why I’m presenting it to you here so that you can judge it for yourself.