In 1963, in a televised national press conference on this day Dallas Police Chief Jesse Curry announced that the overnight interrogation of the "grassy knoll shooter" James Earl Files had provided a warm lead to the identity of the mysterious "Depository Man".
By Ed and Jackie SpeelOne of the first U.S. covert combat troops sent into Laos in 1959, he had been court-martialed at Ft. Meade, Maryland for killing two of his own men. He then became involved in private intelligence work after his release from the military.
In the late fall of 1961 he was offered an assignment to serve as a weapons aide to the mafia hitman Charles Nicoletti, an associate of Sam Giancana. Two years later, both men stayed at the Lamplighter Motel in Mesquite, Dallas where they met with a "controller" called David Atlee Phillips.
Phillips involvement signalled a change in the mob's plan to assassinate Kennedy, a task that would not be performed by Nicoletti as originally envisaged, but instead by two operatives under his supervision. Files and a former US marine Lee Harvey Oswald spent five days on an empty field test firing the weapons and calibrating the scopes that were to be used on President Kennedy.
Oswald had been employed as an order filler at the Texas Book Depository only weeks before, and of course the Dallas Police Department had very quickly made the connection when cross referencing the staff list with potential marksmen. However, further connections began to emerge, because both Oswald and Files were linked to the covert CIA headquarters in Miami. This might well have been an accidental cross over of previous engagements rather than evidence of a wider conspiracy involving the Mob and rogue elements of the Agency, and it was precisely this burning question that the Warren Committee was ordered to answer.