Charles Nicoletti

Charlie Nicoletti

Charles Nicoletti was a leading figure in the Mafia in Chicago. He worked under Tony Accardo and Sam Giancana and got the reputation as an effective contract killer. He was also involved in the CIA plots to overthrow Fidel Castro in Cuba.

According to James Files, Nicoletti was one of the gunmen who took part in the assassination of John F. Kennedy.

On 29th March, 1977, Charles Nicoletti was murdered in Chicago. He had been shot three times in the back of the head. George De Mohrenschildt died the same day. Both men were due to appear before the Select House Committee on Assassinations where they were to be asked about their involvement in the assassination of John F. Kennedy.

Primary Sources

(1) Chauncey Holt was interviewed by John Craig, Phillip Rogers and Gary Shaw for Newsweek magazine (19th October, 1991)

The other two men (Nicoletti and Moceri) were longtime associates of Peter Licavoli. Both of whom had been involved in Cuban politics and had been involved with Jimmy Hoffa. Although it wasn't common knowledge was that Hoffa was involved in Cuban politics up to his neck.... They were longtime associates of not only Licavoli, Moceri had known Licavoli longer than I had. He had known him for 40 years, and had been involved as one of the suspects in the Jackie Kennedy killing...(the bootlegger, not the President). He was a U.S. citizen, as was Charlie Nicoletti.

Nicoletti was also a hit man of some note. He was an enforcer and a contract killer. I don't know if he was on the payroll of the CIA or not. Or whether he was working independently or not. The same with Moceri. I have no idea who paid them, but we didn't give them any money.

(2) James Files, confession made to Robert G. Vernon (22nd March, 1994)

I was just with Mr. Nicoletti. Whatever he said do, I would do. When I say we, I'm referring like... the only thing I did was just drive the car or whatever that they needed me for. Mr. Nicoletti had asked me then at that point when we'd decided not to do it in Chicago and it was going to be moved to Dallas... when John F. Kennedy had decided to go to Dallas... a week in advance, I took the '63 Chevrolet that we had at that time.. I left and I went down a week earlier. I picked up the weapons from the storage bin that we had and loaded them in the car with everything that I thought we might need.. with a various assortment... and I left and I drove to Dallas. I stayed out at a place in Mesquite, Texas. Once I got there, I called back and notified Mr. Nicoletti that I was thee and on the scene. The following day, Lee Harvey Oswald came by the motel where I was at... they had given him my location... and he took me out to a place somewhere southeast of Mesquite where I test fired the weapons and calibrated the scopes on anything that might be needed. Then he was with me for a few days in town there... we drove around... so I would know all the streets and not run into any dead ends streets if anything went wrong and we had to flee from the area...

I had parked the car beside the Dal-Tex building, Mr. Nicoletti and I got out and we walked up and down the complete area of Dealey Plaza, we covered every corner, walked by the buildings, looked over several different things. We were just talking, having casual talk about the weather and everything. At about 10:30, Mr. Nicoletti asked me how would I feel in supporting him... in backing him up on this... and he told me I wouldn't fire unless it became extremely necessary. I told Mr. Nicoletti, Jesus, I'd be honored to do anything to back you up. He asked me if you was to be outside here, where would you position yourself at in Dealey Plaza? I told him, I said well, from looking everything over and from walking it in the week I've been down here, I think I would choose up there behind the tree behind the stockade fence on the high ridge by the knoll up there. He says why there? I says well I've got the railroad yard in back of me, we've got a parking lot there and I've got a place to where I could stash whatever I would need. I said I can pass myself off as a railroad worker in the railroad yard for the time being until that time comes and nobody would really pay any attention to me. He asked me then where do you think would be the best place for me? I said well, I think the Dal-Tex building... with the new change in it...I say I think the Dal-Tex building over there...that building would give you the best advantage point there. He said I think so too. So we took a walk over, went through the parking lot over by the tracks, walked around through there and he seemed pretty well pleased with that. Then at that point, oh it was about 11:10, he asked me what weapon would I choose to use over there. I told him I would like to use the Fireball. He said why that one? He said you've only got one shot. I said one shot's all I'm gonna get anyway if I wait until the last moment of fire and I may not fire, I said, and it's easy to conceal and I carry it in a briefcase and nobody will pay any attention to me and it's easier to walk away from there. And that's exactly what we did at that point. Shortly before noon, we went back to the vehicle, I took the briefcase out and turned my jacket inside out, I went back into the yard... the railroad yard there... I secured the briefcase, then I hung out back there and I walked down on the grassy knoll, no one paid any attention... people were gathering. Shortly before the motorcade came, I went back up there and started securing myself in a better position so I'd be able to reach the attache case at that point... the briefcase... I knew once that I opened the briefcase up and pulled the weapon out, nobody's gonna be looking at me, the motorcade would be coming... making its first time... and I wouldn't have to remove the Fireball from the briefcase until approximately... they made the first turn on Elm Street there and I would have plenty of time at that point. At that point when they started proceeding down Elm Street, shots started being fired from behind. I assumed that it was Mr. Nicoletti because he was the one that was in the building and I knew that Johnny Rosselli was there. I remember the shots ringing out and even though the President was being hit with the rounds, I was considering it a miss because I knew that we were going for a head shot on the President. I had known that he had been hit in the body but I didn't know what part at that time. I seen the body lurch and I saw the body lurch again, I heard another shot that missed. We were supposed to hit no one but Connally, I mean no one but Mr. Kennedy. I guess Governor Connally got hit with one of the rounds at that point. I wasn't even sure of that because I was keeping Kennedy as best I could in the scope on the Fireball. When I got to the point where I thought it would be the last field of fire, I had zeroed in to the left side of the head there that I had because if I wait any longer then Jacqueline Kennedy would have been in the line of fire and I had been instructed for nothing to happen to her and at that moment I figured this is my last chance for a shot and he had still not been hit in the head. So, as I fired that round, Mr. Nicoletti and I fired approximately at the same time as the head started forward then it went backward. I would have to say that his shell struck approximately 1000th of a second ahead of mine maybe but that what's started pushing the head forward which caused me to miss from the left eye and I came in on the left side of the temple. At that point, through the scope, I witnessed everything, matter and skull bring blown out to the back on the limousine and everyone on television watching saw Jackie Kennedy crawl out there to get it. I watched her hold it in her hand, crawl back on to the car, I put the Fireball back into the briefcase, and closed it up, I pulled my jacket off, reversed my jacket so I would have, instead of the plaid side out, I would have the gray like a dress jacket more or less and I put a cap on my head, my hat, to walk away, carrying a briefcase.