In 1987, John Rademacher dug up two .222-caliber cartridge cases
from the north side of Dealey Plaza . One was located about 10 ft
east of the picket fence close to the pergola, and the other was
some 60 ft to the northeast . Subsequently, Mr. Rademacher was
introduced to Kennedy-assassination eyewitness Malcolm Summers by
investigator Joe West. From photographs provided by Rademacher of
weapons that fire .222 rounds, Mr. Summers identified a Remington
XP-100 Fireball pistol as similar to what he had seen in the
possession of a man on the north side of Elm Street shortly before
the assassination .
In 1992, Mr. West was given a
lead on the Kennedy assassination by FBI agent Zechariah (Zack)
Shelton that led West to James Files, serving a 30-year sentence in
Statesville Prison, Joliet, IL, for attempted murder of two
policemen in 1991. In August 1992, West visited Joliet and heard a
partial confession from Files [1,4]. Joe West died six months later,
and the investigation was assumed by Bob Vernon. Mr. Vernon met with
Files in Statesville in May of 1993, to be told that he (Files) had
assassinated the president with an XP-100 Fireball, modified to fire
.222 cartridges  (rather than .221). Furthermore, Vernon was told
that if the cartridge case from the round fired by Files were ever
found, it would have teeth-marks on it  because Files had bitten
down on it (and left it on the picket fence) . Vernon then
contacted and visited Rademacher in Texas, and discovered that the
cartridge case found near the picket fence was, indeed, dented as
Files had predicted .
In 2003, Bob Vernon sold his
rights to the Files story to Willem (Wim) Dankbaar, who now manages
jfkmurdersolved.com where the book Files on JFK: Interviews with
the Confessed Assassin James E. Files  and the DVD I Shot
JFK: The Real Murderer Reveals His Secret  are available for
Figure 1. Headstamps of the cartridge cases found by John Rademacher
IS JAMES FILES TELLING THE
On his website, Mr. Dankbaar has a detailed article titled Is
James Files telling the truth? which includes a close-up of the
cartridge case unearthed near the picket fence by John Rademacher,
clearly showing two indentations on the open end . The article
states: "The .222 casing was manufactured before 1971, as could be
determined from the headstamp." No photograph of the headstamp is
provided, but I had a jpeg on my computer showing both of Rademacher
s finds (Fig. 1); Dankbaar's reason for ascribing a pre-1971 date is
A telephone conversation with
Bob Vernon revealed that a Remington Arms representative initially
told him that the Rademacher cartridge cases were manufactured in
the 1960s, as revealed by the length of the dash between the "R" and
the "P" on the headstamps. Later, however, word came from Remington
that an error had been made; the length of the dash revealed that
the cartridge cases had been made after operations were moved from
Bridgeport, CT, to Lonoke, AR, in 1971. If the cartridge cases had
been manufactured in the 1960s, the dash would have been the same
length as the height of the "R" and the "P": 0.04 inches. Subsequent
to the move to Arkansas, the dash was shortened, as on the
Rademacher headstamps (Fig. 2).
Figure 2. Headstamps of the Rademacher cartridge cases modified to
emphasize the dashes.
Vernon recalls a
telephone conversation shortly before the sale of JFK Murder
Solved in which he told Dankbaar that he (Dankbaar) may have bought
two worthless pieces of metal and that James Files might be working
a hoax. The two men also discussed the possibility that Remington's
change of information might signify an effort to conceal the truth.
CORROBORATIVE PHYSICAL EVIDENCE?
The situation was left unresolved and the sale made. Vernon moved on
to other endeavors and Dankbaar assumed responsibility for
jfkmurdersolved.com. His words there -- "The [dented] .222 casing
was manufactured before 1971, as could be determined by the
headstamp"  -- suggest that he researched the issue and verified
that the dented cartridge case found by Mr. Rademacher is, indeed,
physical evidence corroborative of James Files' claim of being the
man who killed Kennedy. But if the headstamp shows that the dented
cartridge case is of 1960s vintage, why not provide elucidation to
justify the statement?
Surely it would be a simple
matter to determine whether the Rademacher cartridge cases could
have been deposited in Dealey Plaza in 1963. I decided to bite the
I contacted Remington Arms via their website -- requesting
photographs of R-P headstamps before and after the change of
manufacturing venue in 1971 -- and was told that company policy is
to provide such information only to law-enforcement agencies.
indicated that Cartridges of the World: A Complete and
Illustrated Reference for over 1500 of the World s Most Important
Sporting Cartridges might provide the information . I was
able to purchase it second-hand for $10. Only three of the 500 pages
deal with headstamps, and only in generic terms. However, the
bibliography includes the Cartridge Headstamp Guide  which
looked interesting, particularly if an edition exists later than
1963 as listed. An internet search of used-book sites revealed that
a 1977 edition is available; however, both editions are rare and
priced in excess of $200.
I put in a request for an
interlibrary loan via the local library, and 3 weeks later collected
a copy of CHG in exchange for the princely sum of fifty
cents. However, I was soon disappointed to find that it was the 1963
edition, not the 1977 edition specified on the request. The only
notation for R-P is shown in Fig. 3.
Figure 3. Entry on the R-P headstamp in the 1963 edition of
Cartridge Headstamp Guide .
The length of the dash in
Fig. 3 is consistent with what Bob Vernon was told by the Remington
representative: about the same as the height of the "R" and the "P."
I renewed the interlibrary loan request in the hope of obtaining the
A "cartridge headstamp"
search on Google as a whole -- not just used-book sites -- revealed
the availability of a CD titled Cartridge Headstamp & Measurement
Guide by Curtis Steinhauer . It arrived in the mail within
two weeks of placing an order. The CD provides photographs of three
R-P headstamps, each with a short dash (Fig. 4) with the notation, "Headstamp
used on cartridges since 1960 (the merger of Peters into the
Company)," with the location of manufacture stated as "Remington
Arms Co., Bridgeport, CT" ; there is no mention of Lonoke, AR.
Figure 4. R-P headstamps in Cartridge Headstamp & Measurement
Mr. Steinhauer clarifies that
the "R-P" notation on Remington headstamps originated in 1960, prior
to which "REM-UMC" had been used since 1911 (Fig. 5), demonstrating
that the cases found by Mr. Rademacher were not manufactured prior
Figure 5. Pre-1960 Remington headstamps in Cartridge Headstamp &
Measurement Guide .
The information provided by
Mr. Steinhauer -- at odds with that of White and Munhall --
indicates that the Radenbacher cartridge cases could have been
manufactured prior to November 1963. However, if the short dash
shown by Steinhauer on the R-P cases in Fig. 4 has been used for the
past 46 years, it begs the question of how Mr. Dankbaar would know
from the headstamp on the dented Rademacher cartridge case that it
dates from before 1971.
Another Google search
revealed a webpage run by "Ammo Guy" at http://oldammo.com/. Guy
Hildebrand's list of items for sale included these:
.222 Remington, copper jacket
soft point, copper primer, headstamp R-P 222 REM $1.00
.222 Remington, copper jacket hollow point, copper primer, headstamp
R-P 222 REM $1.00
I emailed, asking if he had
R-P cartridges from the 1960s and 1970s to allow comparison of
headstamps. Mr. Hildebrand replied that he was unaware that a
headstamp change had occurred with Remington s move from Bridgeport
to Lonoke. I was grateful to him for informing me that the 1977
edition of Cartridge Headstamp Guide has the same information
on R-P cartridges as does the 1963 edition (which I later
confirmed). I was grateful to him also for suggesting that I seek
information on the Cartridge Forum at the website of the
International Ammunition Association.
I registered with the forum
and posted (Fig. 6).
Figure 6. Message posted on the cartridge forum of the International
No hint was given of the
nature of the putative change in the headstamp. Later that day, the
messages below were posted by a forum member and a forum
administrator. They are consistent with the White & Munhall sketch
(Fig. 3) and with what Mr. Vernon had been told by Remington. The
short dash on the Rademacher cartridge cases indicates that they
were manufactured in 1971 or later:
1. Remington used R . P
instead of R - P for production at the Lonoke, Arkansas plant.
2. According to my notes:
1970, centerfire ammunition production was moved to Lonoke Arkansas.
December 1989, the Bridgeport plant was closed down and all
ammunition was produced at Lonoke. R - P Remington Peters,
Bridgeport, CT c.1960-1989 R . P Remington Peters, Lonoke, AR
A member of the forum sent a
private email with the address of someone who might be able to help.
Although unable to assist directly, that individual provided the
address of someone else who answered my email with an attached file
containing the drawing shown in Fig. 7. It provides better
documentation than photographs.
The drawing (Fig. 7) had been salvaged from trash by a former
Remington employee who gave it to the person who so kindly shared it
with me. It shows the drawing matrix for heading bunter E1258-1 for
the .222 Remington cartridge. The drawing was made, traced, checked
and approved on 4-14-60, shortly after which Remington changed from
"Rem-UMC" (see Fig. 5) to "R-P" headstamps. The second line of
"RECORD OF ALTERATIONS" states: "98719 .015 was .040 12-30-70
F.L.C.Y." (emphasis added) (Fig. 7 inset). This refers to a change
in the length of the dash between the "R" and the "P" from 0.040
inches to 0.015 inches; note that ".015" is underlined on the
drawing, denoting where the change was to be made on December 30,
1970. Note also, that the dash at 0.04 inches was the same length as
the height of the "R." (This design, in turn, was "SUPERSEDED" by
another, designated D3034-28, on 10/5/73, as shown by the notation
upper-left of the circle.)
Figure 7. 1960 drawing matrix for the Remington Arms .222 cartridge
In short, the long dash --
0.04 inches in length -- was used on .222 cartridge headstamps
throughout the 1960s. The dash was shortened to 0.015 inches in
The cartridge cases found in
Dealey Plaza by John Rademacher were manufactured in 1971 or later.
The dented cartridge case has nothing to do with James Files or the
assassination of President Kennedy.
The apparently conflicting information in Cartridge Headstamp
Guide and Cartridge Headstamp & Measurement Guide almost
precluded a firm determination of the decade in which the Rademacher
shells were manufactured. Resolution resulted perhaps from luck, but
certainly from generosity from people I have never met.
Wim Dankbaar stated : "The
shell casing is...a crucial piece of physical evidence for [Files']
credibility." In my opinion it stretches credulity beyond a
reasonable doubt that two similarly dented Remington .222 cartridge
cases lay in the vicinity of the picket fence in Dealey Plaza, one
used by James Files to assassinate President Kennedy and the other
(presumably deposited by happenstance) used to attempt to prove his
culpability in that crime. In my opinion, Files is a fraud and the
onus is now on Mr. Dankbaar* to justify his statement, "The .222
casing was manufactured before 1971, as could be determined by the
(*Note added April 10, 2007: Mr.
Dankbaar has deleted this sentence -- please see
 John Rademacher and the .222 Casing. (http://www.jfkmurdersolved.com/radtruth.htm)
 Distances are estimated by comparing Mr. Rademacher's map at
www.jfkmurdersolved.com/radtruth.htm with Richard Trask's map in
Pictures of the Pain, Yeoman Press 1994, which includes a scale
 It is noteworthy that in a statement given to Dallas police on
the day after the assassination, Mr. Summers made no mention of this
man: Yesterday, November 23 [sic], 1963, I was standing on the
terrace of the small park on Elm Street to watch the President's
motorcade. The President's car had just come up in front of me when
I heard a shot and saw the President slump down in the car and heard
Mrs. Kennedy say, "Oh, no," then a second shot and then I hit the
ground as I realized these were shots. Then all of the people
started running up the terrace away from the president's car and I
got up and started running also, not realizing what had happened. In
just a few moments the president's car sped off and everyone was
just running around towards the railroad tracks and I knew that they
had somebody trapped up there. I imagine I stayed there 15 or 20
minutes and then went over on Houston Street to where I had my truck
 Is James Files telling the truth? (http://www.jfkmurdersolved.com/filestruth.htm)
 Files on JFK. (http://www.jfkmurdersolved.com/buy2.htm)
 I Shot JFK. (http://www.jfkmurdersolved.com/dvd.htm)
 Permission to use the photograph in Fig. 1 was granted by Wim
Dankbaar on condition that he have the opportunity to respond.
 Barnes FC McPherson ML (2000) Cartridges of the World: A
Complete and Illustrated Reference for over 1500 of the World s Most
Important Sporting Cartridges, 9th Edition. Krause Publications,
 White HP Munhall BD (1963 & 1977) Cartridge Headstamp Guide.
H.P. White Laboratory, Inc., Bel Air, MD.
 Steinhauer C (2006) Cartridge Headstamp & Measurement Guide.
 This article was sent to Remington Arms. They had no objection
to use of this drawing.
 See endnote . Permission to use the photograph in Fig. 1 was
sought from Mr. Dankbaar on January 24, 2007: I am planning an
article (for my website and submission to JFK/Deep Politics
Quarterly) on the implications of the Rademacher shells for James
Files' claims. May I have your permission to use the photograph in
the attached file? He responded: Sure, but only if you show me your
article first and publish my (possible) comments as well.
Accordingly, on February 26, 2007, I emailed him a draft, stating:
Per our agreement, resulting from my use of your photograph of the
Rademacher shells, please find the article in the attached file.
Please acknowledge receipt, and inform me as soon as possible if you
plan to write a response for possible inclusion in JFK/DPQ. I say
"possible" because Walt Brown has not committed to publishing the
article. That is his decision and his alone, and he has not seen
[the article] until now. Dankbaar responded: Please copy paste the
article in an email, I cannot read articles in PDF format at this
time. My internal bullcrap indicator went into "alarm" mode, but I
gave him the benefit of the doubt and sent him a Word document,
knowing that placement in an email would scramble the formatting.
Next morning, I followed up with: Did you receive the article in
Word? Do you plan to respond in writing? He replied: I have already
made a start on my forum. Without seeking permission, he had posted
the article on the internet -- without graphics, therefore
meaningless to his subscribers -- emphasizing minor inaccuracies
(now corrected) and finessing the relevance of the drawing (http://www.jfkmurdersolved.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?p=4160#4160).
In response to the final sentence of the article, he put his foot in
his mouth with these words: Good, I gladly take that challenge and
invite everyone to help. There surely must be cartridge collectors
who still have casings from the 1960's to compare. Dankbaar's
request for "everyone to help" reveals that he has no justification
for his statement, "The .222 casing was manufactured before 1971, as
could be determined from the headstamp." Apparently, these words are
based on wishful thinking that the original information from
Remington Arms was and is accurate, and he chose to ignore Bob
Vernon's warning that the Rademacher cartridge cases might have been
manufactured in 1971 or later and that Files might be perpetrating a
Top of the Page
Bob Vernon: "...compliments on your
research and diligent efforts...your work on the dash speaks for
Mr. Vernon's comments in full are
Dave Ostertag: "Very good job of
Mr. Ostertag's comments in full are
Tim Carroll: "My hat's off to a
real researcher..." (JFK Lancer Research Forum)
Bruce Kelly: "Another brilliant,
dogged piece of research." (JFK Lancer Research Forum)
Gary Murr: "This is what true
'research' is all about." (JFK Lancer Research Forum)
Wim Dankbaar: (Feb. 27) "This is
going to be a cold shower for Mr. Eaglesham**." (JFK Murder Solved
"Bob": "Sometimes a name is all you
need to know about someone. Case in point...EagleSHAM.(JFK Murder
Bruce Patrick Brychek: "I think
that it is also important that I convey to the JFK Forum Members how
much Eaglesham has attacked and attempted to villify another close
personal friend of mine along with Wim Dankbaar, and Jimmy Files.
That other person is none other than Lieutenant Colonel Dangerous
Dan Marvin who has a career better than any Hollywood writers could
ever imagine. Dan was attacked endlessly until Dan beat the CIA and
Special Forces in Federal Court last year in New York. Since then,
Eaglesham has shut his trap on Dan. Wim, being attacked by Eaglesham
is to a degree a compliment. He attacks the biggest, and best. Then
looses [sic]." (JFK Murder Solved Forum)
Paul Pennyworth: "Between the JFK
Lancer board and this one, JFK Murder Solved is definitely the much
better board. We are connecting the dots here whereas the other
board isn't ..and as for this Eaglesham I never even heard of him.
Who cares if he has a phd..Nixxon was a lawyer...there's a whole
bunch of Jerry's kids with degrees..maybe it the family money that
did it" (JFK Murder Solved Forum)
Jack White: "That should rid us of
the Files fiction. Thanks, Allan." (The Education Forum / JFK
Wim Dankbaar: "Eaglesham's claim is
a nice try, but still bull." (The Education Forum / JFK
2009: AE awaits the cold shower. The interested reader would be
in concluding that Dankbaar has no answer. Yet, his website
continues to proclaim:
Dallas man and
son dig up casing that killed JFK! Assassin identifies it as his!
Dutchman wouldn't recognize it if it bit him where the sun don't
NOTE ADDED February 25, 2009: Further, important, evidence that the
dented Rademacher shell was manufactured in the 1970s or later, was
Top of the Page
UPDATE-1 (April 4, 2007)
An Internet search of
ammunition sites for .222 REM R-P cartridges manufactured in the
1960s and the 1970s confirmed that buying specific old ammo is less
than easy. After several tries I came across this:
I purchased five,
sight-unseen (deactivated). Each has a short dash:
Shortly after, I came across a reference to:
where Mr. Roth told me that
he had 1960s-vintage cartridges. Again, I bought them sight-unseen,
a dozen this time (again deactivated). Each has a long dash:
The box containing these
cartridge cases indicates that they were manufactured in Bridgeport,
Thus, there is consistency.
As more information is obtained, the evidence becomes ever stronger
that the dented cartridge case found by John Rademacher on the
grassy knoll in Dealey Plaza was manufactured years after 1963.
UPDATE-2 (April 27, 2007)
April 14, 2007, the graphic on the left was emailed to
Remington with the request that the date of manufacture of
the cartridges/box (see above) be provided.
On April 16,
Remington responded: "Unfortunately, much of our research
material is dedicated to firearms and we are only beginning
to archive information about ammunition...We suggest that
you contact the Remington Society of America..."
On April 26, the
message below was received via Mike, a representative of the
Remington Society of America.
The box was
manufactured in the mid-1960s. Presumably the cartridges it
contained were manufactured then also.
there is consistency. As more information is obtained, the evidence
becomes ever stronger that the dented cartridge case found by John
Rademacher on the grassy knoll in Dealey Plaza was manufactured
years after 1963.
UPDATE-3 (April 14, 2007)
Mr. Dankbaar has deleted the
following sentence from www.jfkmurdersolved.com/filestruth.htm:
"The .222 casing was manufactured
before 1971, as could be determined from the headstamp."
In the paragraph beginning, "James
Files says he left the shell casing..."
link provides insight into what led Dankbaar to remove that
Although Dankbaar removed the
offending sentence, at least as of December 1, 2008,
nonsense remains at http://www.jfkmurdersolved.com/index1.htm:
...and encouragement to do the
right thing is ignored:
On May 26, 2007, Dankbaar announced on his forum that a new
documentary is available -- for $30 -- titled The Grassy Knoll.
A description of "the cast of characters" includes this cleverly
But clever wording fails to conceal
Dankbaar's obligation to inform his clientele of the evidence that
the indented cartridge case
was manufactured years after the assassination of President Kennedy.
This speaks to his priorities and
to his integrity.