Since I published my comments about the Discovery Channel’s show JFK: Inside the Target Car and the test which showed the improbability of a Grassy Knoll shot I have received several emails. These emails are primarily from supporters of James Files demanding more proof from me that Files couldn’t possibly be the Grassy Knoll assassin. I don’t want to get into an endless debate over this but for those of you responsible for that line of reasoning consider the following:
With respect to homicide investigations the rule of law is someone is considered innocent until proven guilty. In a jury trial the jury first listens to the prosecution who presents their evidence and testimony in an attempt to prove the person guilty. Next up is the defense that uses similar tactics to prove their client innocent. In capital cases the prosecution must prove with a preponderance of the evidence that the defendant is guilty BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT. If the prosecution cannot do so the jury must return a verdict of NOT GUILTY.
In the Files case first Joe West * then Bob Vernon and now Mr. Dankbaar want people like me to turn the justice system upside down. They want us to start with the ASSUMPTION that Files is guilty BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT. As such they are no longer defending their client but acting as the prosecution. And many Files' supporters, because of Mr. Dankbaar's role reversal, should demand the proofs a jury expects from the prosecution.
On a technical level I have no problem with this. But here is where the logic fails.
Since this is the approach Mr. Dankbaar wishes to take IT IS NOT UP TO ME TO PROVE ANYTHING WITH RESPECT TO FILES. Since Mr. Dankbaar is acting as the prosecution the burden of proof of showing Files guilt BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT falls upon Mr. Dankbaar and any others who care to claim Files is the killer.
So the issue becomes what ACTUAL VERIFIABLE DOCUMENTATION does the prosecution have?
Do they have a picture of Files in Dealey Plaza? No
Do they have any contemporaneous hotel, bar or any type of receipt showing Files was in Dallas around November 22, 1963? No
Is there any reputable testimony under oath from associates that he was a member of the Chicago mob or that he was in Dallas on November 22, 1963? No
Is there anything written contemporaneously in the 1960s or 1970s by any MAJOR mob boss where he is mentioned either as Files or by his true name Sutton? No
Do they have the prototype XP-100 he claims to have used? No
Do they have any proof just one of the two .222 shells found at different locations in Dealey Plaza by John Rademacher 25 years after the assassination came from Files XP-100? Since they don't have Files' "prototype XP-100" for comparison - No
In fact all Mr. Dankbaar has to present in a real court of law is circumstantial evidence and hearsay.
Since Mr. Dankbaar's evidence is circumstantial what evidence is there that Files is innocent and possibly put this scenario together to have something to do while languishing in prison, make fools of a few people, and attract attention? In my opinion if Files statements can be proved to be fabrications then the chance is he also fabricated the story about being in Dealey Plaza at the behest of the Chicago mob. Let’s look at a few:
Claim: He says that he trained for the Bay of Pigs invasion at No Name Key in the Everglades.
Reality: Look at the MAP of south Florida and the Key Islands shown below. No Name Key is located 50 air miles southwest of the Everglades.
Claim: Files asserts there was a last minute change in the motorcade route.
Reality: The physical proof that there was no change can be found in the Tuesday November 19th through Friday November 22nd pages of both the Dallas Morning News and Dallas Times Herald.
The details appear at http://davesjfk.com/mtrcade.html
Claim: Files claims he was involved with the mob as part of "The Chicago Family" [by timelines after September 1960]. He indicated the mob was headed by Tony Accardo and that Sam Giancana was an underling to Accardo.
Reality: Sam Giancana became an under boss to Tony Accardo in 1946. Accardo turned complete control over to Giancana at a gathering held at the Tam O'Shanter Country Club in north Chicago in mid-1955.
Source: Sam and Chuck Giancana, Double Cross - The Explosive, Inside Story of the Mobster Who Controlled America (New York: Warner Books, Inc., 1992) pg. 131 & 225
Claim: He says he left the Grassy Knoll area and went to the escape vehicle which was parked in the Dal-Tex parking lot.
Reality: Aerial photography by freelance photographer Squire Haskins for The Dallas Times Herald show there was no parking lot associated with the Dal-Tex building.
Claim: Files says he, Nicoletti and Roselli got into the escape vehicle and they left the scene by turning north onto Houston Street.
Reality: Aerial photography by freelance photographer Squire Haskins for The Dallas Times Herald show the road was under construction, was blocked by barricades, and portions of the street didn’t exist.
Conclusion: There is a saying that extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof. And in the legal world someone who confesses to a crime without offering extraordinary proof can be considered to have an uncommon agenda or possible mental issues. And in this case some of those professing Files' guilt have a substantial investment in money and time. They MUST do everything they can to prove their client GUILTY.
I have shown Mr. Dankbaar has nothing but circumstantial evidence. I have exposed five instances where Files' claims are not supported by the facts. It's not my place to try to convince anyone Files is guilty or innocent . However, if you want to reach a conclusion based on faith rather than evidence, if you want to excuse Files' errors in his statements, if you want to reduce the debate to name calling, then you are accepting the story with a almost religious fervor. However, no matter how much you and Mr. Dankbaar complain - no jury in the United States operates under the loose standards you wish them to rely on. The jury would have to return a verdict of not guilty.
December 7, 2008
* Bob Vernon and now Wim Dankbaar have tried to portray the late Joe West as the man who cracked the assassination by discovering and then corresponding with James Files. What they fail to mention is that during the summer of 1990 and well beyond West was completely convinced the Grassy Knoll assassin was Roscoe White. He spent hours traveling around Texas with Roscoe White's son, Ricky, attempting to collect evidence of White's guilt. West even went so far as to conduct an "archeological dig" using a backhoe at the White summer cabin on Lake Whitney - absolutely nothing turned up. Additionally, West appeared on local Dallas and Houston television stations claiming he had a "taped confession" from a mob hitman from Dripping Springs, TX known as the "Black Ace." If the government would give the Black Ace immunity, Joe explained he would reveal the facts behind the assassination and how Roscoe White was involved. West made all of this information available prior to the JFK Assassination Information Center sponsored Ricky White press conference held on August 6,1990. And for those who might questions West's attendance supporting the theory his picture at that conference appears below.
Even though the Roscoe White story collapsed under the weight of fabricated documents and evidence, West pushed on. On August 20, 1990 West held a press conference in Houston, TX. White's widow had provided him with White's "military booklet" showing how Roscoe and others were involved in the plot. Some of West's associates including a former CIA agent refused to appear as planned because the diary was written in a type of pen that was not invented by 1963. The former CIA agent concluded "the notes are fabrications." Months later White's widow, Geneva, did confess the diary was indeed a hoax.
By this time the Texas attorney general's office and Dallas County District Attorney John Vance considered West's outlandish allegations not to be credible. Even so, as reported in the Fort Worth Star Telegram of February 17, 1992 West soldiered on. Now he claimed he had more proof of White's complicity. This time instead of the Black Ace it was a "Mafia killer called Hugh," who said he stole guns used for the slaying and helped arrange several attempts [on Kennedy's life].
"Hugh has given me a two-hour statement on videotape and a sworn, 16 page affidavit detailing his story." West said.
By now West was considered a crackpot by law enforcement and legitimate Kennedy assassination researchers. But then a few local researchers knew that as early as the summer of 1990 when some of those involved with the now defunct JFK Assassination Information Center had portrayed West as “reckless, comically secretive, and self-aggrandizing – a buffoon who unfailingly introduced himself as ‘a certified legal investigator licensed by the State of Texas,’ as though that were something truly special.”
GaryCartwright, I Was Mandarin . . . (Texas Monthly, December 1990), pg. 168
So after almost three years of trying to convince someone, anyone of White’s guilt West gave up on the case. But wait - just 33 days after his last press conference on March 22, 1992 he discovers a new shooter named James Files. And off goes the certified legal investigator, licensed by the State of Texas chasing a new windmill and using some of the same people and “evidence” he used in an attempt to prove White guilty.
Over his career as a certified legal investigator and in spite of the warnings of some of his friends and associates, West was duped by Ricky White, Geneva White, the Black Ace, Hugh, and who knows how many other witnesses and hangers on. So why would Mr. Dankbaar be unwilling to disassociate himself from West and West's checkered past as an investigator? The reality is he can't because he would have to admit the proof that Files is the Grassy Knoll assassin was in part collected by someone considered a fool.