Testimony of Bob Vernon

Dallas, Texas -- November 18, 1994 Hearing
MR. MARWELL: I understand that Karen Clem is not here today. I would ask Mr. Robert Vernon if he would like to give us a statement at this time.

MR. VERNON: Thank you very much, Mr. Marwell. I appreciate it.

There was one other gentleman who I don't believe has arrived yet, when you had mentioned to me on the phone yesterday it may be after lunch, I told him to take his time. He is not here, so you will see his name reflected in this transcription.

I appreciate the opportunity to appear before you. Mr. Chairman and distinguished members of the Board, my name is Robert G. Vernon. The gentleman who is supposed to be with me now is John R. Stockwell, he is late. I am a television producer, and Mr. Stockwell is a former CIA case officer. He is a noted author and screenwriter.

We are here representing, Truth Truth Truth, Incorporated, which is a nonprofit Texas corporation that was founded in 1989. Since their formation, Truth Truth Truth had conducted a private unbiased investigation into the death of John F. Kennedy. Mr. Stockwell and I were hired in early 1992 to write a, produce a television program and book highlighting the findings of Truth Truth Truth. Our findings are scheduled to be released in the immediate future in TV broadcast, home video, CD ROM and book form.

The first participant in the JFK assassination discovered by Truth Truth Truth is a male African-American named Q.D. Urdy. Mr. Urdy received immunity from the United States Department of Justice in 1992 in exchange for his testimony. Mr. Urdy testified that he was ordered by Jack Ruby to acquire high-powered rifles with scopes in the early fall of 1963. Mr. Urdy stated that he then stole three rifles from a ranch in West Texas. The theft of these rifles has been verified by the ranch owners.

Retired Dallas Police Officer Tom Tilson testified that he and his daughter observed Jack Ruby and three men dressed in suits, ties and hats taking target practice with rifles at a Dallas-Fort Worth firing range approximately five to seven days prior to the assassination.

No other part of Mr. Urdy's lengthy testimony has been substantiated, although he does claim to have further information and knowledge of the events surrounding the assassination, both before and after the fact.

The second participant discovered by Truth is male Caucasian Robert Tosh Plumlee, a CIA pilot. Mr. Plumlee has piloted and co-piloted clandestine CIA flights for over 31 years. He testified before the Church Committee in the 1970s and his CIA escapades have been well chronicled in magazine articles, books and congressional reports.

Mr. Plumlee testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on August 2nd, 1990, and again in May of 1991. His testimony under oath has been classified as Top Secret. Senator John Kerry served as Chairman of the Senate Committee, John Wyner, I believe his name is, and Dick McCall, staff aides to Senator Kerry, questioned Mr. Plumlee in relation to the Contra resupply network behind closed doors.

Mr. Plumlee testified to the U.S. Senate Committee and to Truth Truth Truth, Incorporated, that on the morning of November 22nd, 1963, he was a co-pilot on a top secret flight supported by the CIA. Mr. Plumlee's flight left Florida on November 21, 1963, and stopped in New Orleans and Houston before heading into Dallas, Texas, during the early morning hours of November 22nd, 1963.

Mr. Plumlee testified that Philippe or Philippo Socko, alias John Roselli, a known Mafia/CIA double operative was onboard the plane to Dallas. Mr. Plumlee stated that Mr. Roselli departed the plane at Dallas Garland Airport shortly after 6:30 a.m. on the morning of November 22nd, 1963. Mr. Plumlee testified that he was informed that the flight was an abort mission, and that their assignment was to stop the assassination attempt on Kennedy's life.

Mr. Plumlee testified that he was told this by his superior officers, and he has identified those officers. Mr. Plumlee testified that he was present in Dealey Plaza on the South Knoll at the time of the assassination.

In the spring of 1992, the late George West, the founder of Truth Truth Truth received a call from Beaumont, Texas, FBI agent Zack Shelton. Agent Shelton requested an off-the-record meeting with Mr. West at a location between Houston and Beaumont. Agent Shelton and private investigator West also had a second meeting at which a noted Houston criminal attorney, Don Irving, was present.

During the course of these meetings, Agent Shelton, a former member of the organized crime task force in Chicago, provided Mr. West and attorney Irving with a lead on James E. Files, alias James E. Sutton, a male Caucasian from Chicago currently incarcerated in the Stateville Correctional Center in Joliet, Illinois.

Mr. Files is serving a 50-year term for the attempted murder of two police officers. His FBI rap sheet indicates a life filled with violent crimes. Agent Shelton informed investigator West and attorney Irving that the FBI had previously gathered information from an informant that Mr. Files has knowledge of the events that occurred in Dealey Plaza on November 22nd, 1963.

Agent Shelton verified that Mr. Files was an associate and driver/bodyguard for one Charles Nicoletti, a known Mafia hitman from Chicago. Agent Shelton further stated that he had long suspected that Chicago mob members Sam Giancana, Charles Nicoletti and John Roselli were involved in the assassination of John F. Kennedy, but that he had no hard evidence to support his beliefs.

On August the 16th and 17th, 1992, after an extensive search to locate the prisoner, investigator West spent several hours each day questioning James E. Files. During the August 17th, 1992, meeting, Mr. Files confessed that he was involved in the JFK assassination. Mr. Files confessed that he was present in Dealey Plaza and that Charles Nicoletti and John Roselli were also present in Dealey Plaza.

Mr. Files further confessed that he had been recruited and worked for the CIA in the early 1960s, later becoming a driver for Charles Nicoletti of the Chicago Mafia.

Investigator West died from complications following open heart surgery in February of 1993 after filing a legal action to exhume the body of John F. Kennedy which was filed in the 160th Judicial District in Dallas in the fall of 1992.

On May 3rd, 1993, I visited James E. Files for the first time. Present with me was Mr. Barry Adelman, Vice President in charge of Television Development for Dick Clark Productions in Burbank, California. During our hour visit, James E. Files confessed that he fired the fatal last shot into the right front temple of John F. Kennedy from a firing position located behind the wooden stockade fence on the infamous Grassy Knoll.

Mr. Files confessed that he fired a .222 shell at the President and that he left the empty casing on top of the fence. Mr. Files said that he had bitten down on the casing for that was a trait of his. He always placed the spent shells in his mouth after a job, as he called it. Files testified that his teeth marks were in the casing that he left behind in Dealey Plaza.

Upon returning to Texas, we contacted a Mr. John Rodamacher, who I might point out is here today, of the Dallas area after we found news clippings about him in the files of Truth Truth Truth, Incorporated.

In 1987, Mr. Rodamacher and his stepson were enjoying a father and son outing when they discovered a .222 casing buried in Dealey Plaza approximately four to six feet in front of the wooden stockade fence. The casing contained dents.

Dr. Paul Stimpson of the University of Texas at Houston, a noted forensic odontologist who was recommended to us by the Houston Police Department examined the .222 casing in his lab. Dr. Stimpson issued a written medical legal opinion which states that the dents in the casing are teeth marks.

We shared the confession of James E. Files with criminal attorney Don Irving, who agreed to visit Files in an effort to cross-examine Mr. Files to ascertain his validity. In June of 1993, Attorney Irving, a veteran of over 25 years of high profile criminal cases, spent almost seven hours with James E. Files at the Joliet Prison. Mr. Irving reported that he found no inconsistencies in Mr. Files confession.

Mr. Irving issued a 17-page memo on his cross-examination of James E. Files and that memo has been included in your information packet for your confidential review.

Following his visit with Mr. Files, Attorney Irving negotiated a deal with the FBI, the United States Department of Justice, to provide Mr. Files with immunity in order that his testimony could be heard by a special grand jury that was to be called following a nonofficial visit with Mr. Files at which Attorney Irving and the FBI were to be present.

On August 3rd, 1993, Attorney Irving informed us that he had received word that the United States Attorney in Chicago had reviewed and approved the immunity agreement for James E. Files. Mr. Irving further stated that the government was to fly him and an FBI agent to the prison for the nonofficial visit with Mr. Files.

On August 9th, 1993, two Chicago FBI agents made an unannounced visit to Mr. Files without the knowledge or consent of Attorney Irving or the prison. Mr. Files informed Attorney Irving that he was asked to agree that Lee Harvey Oswald was the lone assassin of John F. Kennedy.

Shortly there after, Beaumont Agent Shelton was threatened with the loss of his FBI job and government pension. This fact was verified by both Attorney Irving and newly elected Texas District Judge Charles Carver of Beaumont, Texas. Agent Shelton has failed to respond to our numerous phone calls and the FBI has twice refused to allow me to interview Agent Shelton on camera.

Following the discovery of James E. Files, Truth Truth Truth, Incorporated, and Dick Clark Productions entered into a production agreement for a special two-hour television program. Our program was sold to a major USA television network and was scheduled to be broadcast on May 18th, 1994. Approximately three weeks before the broadcast, a conservative conspiracy researcher author who has made a full career out of denying any CIA involvement in the JFK assassination and who blames the assassination fully on the KGB and Oswald vigorously challenged the project, and the program was placed on hold by the network.

It is the intent of Truth Truth Truth, Incorporated, to provide the Assassination Records Review Board with a complete and accurate accounting of the entire investigation. The accounting will include all evidence we have gathered. We would like to call your special attention to the medical legal report issued by Dr. Randolph Robertson a noted radiologist from Nashville, Tennessee, it is included in your packet in full with Dr. Robertson's permission.

Dr. Robertson was granted rare access to the autopsy X-rays and photos of JFK which are in the National Archives in Washington, D.C. During his examination of the skull pictures and X-rays of the President, Dr. Robertson discovered a second bullet wound in the skull. Dr. Robertson's medical legal opinion states that at least one more assassin of President Kennedy remains to be identified.

Dr. Robertson further states that the second wound in the skull is consistent with a shot fired from the right front Grassy Knoll area.

We ask that the Board review our evidence and Dr. Robertson's report, investigate our findings and release your official opinion of our findings in your final report to the President of the United States and the American public at the end of your term as is designated in your mandate through which your Board was formed.

In closing, we ask that you consider recommending to the President and to the American people that a special grand jury be called to hear the testimony of Q.D. Urdy and Robert Tosh Plumlee and most certainly James E. Files. This was the original plan as per the understanding between Truth Truth Truth, Incorporated, Attorney Don Irving, and the United States Department of Justice according to Attorney Irving.

I thank you, and I would be happy to answer any questions that you might have.

CHAIRMAN TUNHEIM: Thank you, Mr. Vernon.


[No response.]

CHAIRMAN TUNHEIM: We appreciate all the materials that you have provided.

MR. VERNON: It is rather lengthy and there is quite a bit more, and anything else you would like to see, have Mr. Marwell contact me. There is also quite a bit of video that I think you would be extremely interested in.

DR. HALL: Mr. Vernon, in the course of carrying out production and investigation here have you come across or has your attention been brought to any records created by any public officials that are held in the hands of those officials that would otherwise be considered to the public documents?

MR. VERNON: There are quite a few records that we would be happy to give you, our copies. Some of ours are copies, some of ours are originals. I was glad to see the gentleman from the -- I believe it was Texas Tech earlier with the Waggoner Carr stuff. We had access to some of that earlier Waggoner Carr stuff, and that was very interesting. We would be glad to give you what we have there, and there are lots of transcriptions and there are several other documents. I don't know which you are aware of, but we will be glad to give you them, sir.

DR. HALL: Thank you.

MR. VERNON: Thank you, sir.

CHAIRMAN TUNHEIM: Thank you, Mr. Vernon, we appreciate your being here today.

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