Photo of the Day

No Bang in the Drum. A 55-gallon drum of the type reportedly used to transport the body of former Teamster boss Jimmy Hoffa to New Jersey lies in the 47-acre landfill area in Jersey City where the FBI has obtained a search warrant to dig for a body. The FBI announced it had been told by an informant where to look for a grave on the sprawling site. — Image by © Bettmann/CORBIS

Jimmy Hoffa Disappears

One of the most famous American figures to inexplicably disappear was Jimmy Hoffa, the famed president of the Teamsters Union from 1957 until he went to prison in 1967

Wednesday, July 30, 1975, was a hot July afternoon, nearly 92 degrees,  typical muggy mid-summer Detroit weather in other words,  when Teamsters president and labour icon Jimmy Hoffa is said to have opened the rear door of a maroon 1975 Mercury in the parking lot of the Machus Red Fox restaurant in Bloomfield Hills, Mich. and climbed in.

Gerald Ford was president of the United States, the North Vietnamese Army had just rolled into Saigon, the incredible Cincinnati Reds were rolling toward a World Series championship while the sad sack Detroit Tigers were enduring one of the worst seasons in franchise history, the Eagles and Olivia Newton-John were topping the charts … and Jimmy Hoffa was about to take the last car ride of his life.

He has never been seen again.

The FBI has expended countless resources in the ensuing decades in the hopes of finally solving this enduring American mystery with no success.

The disappearance of Hoffa in 1975 sparked a public debate that continues to this day. Despite claims to the contrary, no one knows for sure what became of Hoffa or who was responsible.

There was no question that Hoffa had a lot of enemies in his day and perhaps none as powerful as Robert F. Kennedy, the president’s brother and the attorney general from 1961 to 1964. Hoffa’s ties to organised crime landed him in prison but it would not be until those same gangsters turned against him would those ties lead to his disappearance and likely murder. And while Hoffa’s body has never been found, there is little question about whether or not he is dead. One way or another, Hoffa is not coming back…

This photo, taken on July 24, 1975, was one of the last pictures of Jimmy Hoffa —the legendary union boss whose disappearance has baffled the FBI for 42 years. On the last day he was seen, Hoffa was set to meet with New Jersey Teamsters boss and Mafia member Anthony Provenzano and Detroit Mafia captain Anthony Giacalone at the Machus Red Fox Restaurant in Bloomfield, Michigan, but only he showed up. (Tony Spina/Detroit Free Press/MCT)

In the summer of 1975, Teamsters President James Riddle Hoffa — Jimmy Hoffa — was already a legendary figure in both U.S. labour history and in American pop culture.

As a teenager in Detroit, he took to union organising early on in the grocery business. He was smart and tough. With an emphasis on tough. A master strategist, he knew how to pick his targets, organise strikes and boycotts, and he rose through the Teamster ranks earning the deep loyalty of truckers and warehouse workers in a city that was becoming an industrial powerhouse.

By 1958, Hoffa was named the president of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters.

The union was already deeply involved in corrupt activities.

Hoffa negotiated important national contracts for truckers, even as he battled federal officials looking into union corruption and ties to organised crime.

There were hearings on Capitol Hill in Washington, and famous clashes with a young lawyer working for the Senate Labor Committee named Robert Kennedy, televised in grainy black-and-white images to the masses. Later, while serving as U.S. attorney general for his brother, President Kennedy, RFK continued to pursue Hoffa.

For many years, Hoffa was the controversial leader of the Teamsters Union, which boasted strong connections to organised crime. Despite his underworld dealings though, Hoffa was immune to prosecution through the 1950’s. In the early 1960’s, he became the chief target of Bobby Kennedy, chief counsel to the Senate Select Committee on Improper Activities in the Labor or Management Field (popularly called the McClellan Committee), and later, the attorney general. In 1961, Kennedy made Hoffa the top priority of his administration and his efforts resulted in the labour leader’s 1962 trial for extorting illegal payments from a firm that employed Teamsters. The proceedings ended in a hung jury.

While organised crime had dabbled in organised labour since the turn of the 20th Century, infiltration of unions became an underworld focus in the post-Prohibition Era. It seems Hoffa entered into a private alliance with the Mafia criminal network in order to win the Teamster presidency in 1957. New York criminal minds like Tommy Lucchese and Johnny “Dio” Dioguardi and Chicago’s Sam Giancana were able to fabricate union locals that backed Hoffa’s presidency and to undermine Dave Beck.

In return, the mafiosi looked for good-paying administrative posts for their key operatives, access to union funds and other favours.

Organised crime’s presence within organised labour was targeted by Senate attorney Robert Kennedy and the McClellan Committee in the late 1950s. With his brother John Kennedy’s Presidential victory in 1960, the senate attorney won appointment as the nation’s attorney general. Robert Kennedy immediately announced that Hoffa was the primary focus of his attack on corruption in labour unions.

Hoffa had channelled many millions of dollars of Teamster pension funds to underworld activities in Las Vegas and other Mafia-run land development operations. Those secret loans, rarely repaid, illustrated the intimate links between the Chicago crime family, which controlled much of Vegas at the time, and the Teamsters.

The Teamster membership records showed further links. Numerous known mobsters were listed on the union’s rolls. Johnny Dio, the reputed member of the Lucchese crime family, was one. Dio and Hoffa were believed to have used illegal wiretaps to weaken Beck in advance of the 1957 union elections.

Jimmy Hoffa (walking at left in front) leads a parade of supporting delegates to the Teamsters Union Convention in Miami Beach in 1957.

Eventually, in 1964, Jimmy Hoffa was sent to federal prison on charges of bribing a member of a grand jury. He was sentenced to eight years in prison. Hoffa was convicted of misappropriating $1.7 million in union pension funds but managed to stay out of prison until 1967.

A fraud conviction followed, and after unsuccessful appeals, Hoffa would spend more than four years under lock and key.

President Nixon commuted his sentence in 1971 — with a catch. Hoffa would go free, but he could not participate in union activities. Once out of prison, Hoffa challenged that edict. He tried to regain power at the Teamsters. He now had powerful enemies there, who took over in his absence.

Hoffa didn’t take this condition seriously and he started legal action to get it set aside. In addition, he went ahead with efforts to regain control of the union from his former “right-hand man,” Frank Fitzsimmons. This manoeuvre did not sit well with mob leaders, as Fitzsimmons was much easier to manipulate than the stubborn Hoffa was and could always be counted on to look the other way. He was also welcome at the White House, which Hoffa was not, and was infinitely more desirable as the head of the union. Hoffa was warned several times by mobsters to stop interfering and trying to regain his position but, not surprisingly, he refused to listen.

The union’s corrupt activities also continued. On July 30, 1975, Hoffa had an afternoon meeting planned at the Macchus Red Fox restaurant in suburban Detroit, one of those dimly lit places with deep, plush booths.

Hoffa went to the Red Fox Restaurant outside of Detroit to allegedly meet three men, a Detroit labour leader, an important local mobster, and a powerful figure in New Jersey Teamster politics. Hoffa arrived first, around 2:00 in the afternoon, but after waiting nearly 30 minutes, none of the others had arrived. Annoyed, he called his wife and told her that he was going to wait for a few more minutes before giving up. This was the last time that she ever spoke with her husband.

Hoffa pulled into the parking lot that day. He has not been seen since.

A Bloomfield Township police officer stands beside Jimmy Hoffa’s car after the labour leader’s disappearance, July 1975. Detroit Free Press/MCT /Landov

At 2:45, Hoffa was seen getting into a car in the restaurant parking lot with several other men. Investigators are pretty sure that he never got out of the car alive. According to FBI investigators, Hoffa had been brought to a peace conference with mobster Anthony “Tony Pro” Provenzano and then had been killed. Provenzano was just one of the long list of suspects in Hoffa’s disappearance, although he had a good alibi at the time of the union leader vanished. In fact, some would say that it was too good. Tony was apparently touring a number of union officials around Hoboken, New Jersey on July 30. He made not have actually “done the deed” but that did not mean that he wasn’t involved.

That’s when the already sizable legend became one of the great, enduring mysteries of our times.

What happened to Jimmy Hoffa? Countless theories and conspiracies were born.

The mob grabbed him and disposed of the body. He now resides under a freeway in Detroit, or even more famously, under the end zone of Giants Stadium in New Jersey.

By the time of his disappearance, Hoffa had amassed a number of enemies both inside and outside the organisation. Hoffa’s legendary political influence was rumoured to be the result of deep ties to organised crime — some even believed that he played a part in President Kennedy’s assassination.

Every year or so, it seems, new “evidence” is found. A new witness. Another theory. Yellow police tape goes up somewhere. Backhoes and other equipment are brought in. A search ensues.

Then … nothing. Hoffa was 62 years old when he disappeared.

But the legend lives on.

Bloomfield Township, MICH: BloomfiedJames R. Hoffa was officially declared a missing person 7/31 by his family and speculation that he was kidnapped or slain swept the Teamsters Union he once ruled with an iron fist. Hoffa was last seen standing outside the Machus Red Fox Restaurant in Bloomfield Township 7/30. Police found his 1974 Pontiac in the restaurant parking lot. Normally in an investigation, the last place a victim was seen alive provides the police with valuable clues. Not so in Hoffa’s case: the Machus Red Fox RestaBloomfield, Michigan, where Hoffa was spotted for the last time, revealed no hints to his whereabouts. Image by © Bettmann/CORBIS

To paraphrase that famous line from The Scarlet Pimpernel, ‘they seek him here, they seek him there, trouble is, Jimmy’s buried everywhere.’

There never really was any serious doubt about why he was killed. There is somewhat less doubt about who was behind the killing. The thing that has really perplexed investigators, and not unnaturally his family and friends, is what happened to the body? He was questionably, the most famous trade unionist in American history, certainly one of the most contentious, and thirty-three years after his alleged death, he’s still a pain in the proverbial.

His name was James Riddle Hoffa, and his mysterious disappearance triggered off one of the most intensive investigations in the history of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Their inquiry generated thousands of leads and over 16000 pages of documents. In the last fifteen years, the FBI has added more than 500 new pages to its Hoffa file.
It is generally believed that Hoffa was killed by the mob because he wanted to make a come-back and recapture the presidency of the biggest union in America, a position he had relinquished when he was sent to prison in 1967, after being convicted of fraud and jury tampering. His comeback was something the mob did not want and organised things accordingly.
Hoffa’s rise to power in The International Brotherhood of Teamsters was as relentless as a steam roller.
He was born in Brazil, Indiana on St. Valentine’s Day, 1913. In 1924, his widowed mother moved her family, Jimmy, a brother, and two sisters to Detroit. Quitting school at 14, Jimmy started work as a stock boy with Frank and Cedar Dry Goods and General Merchandising. From there, he moved to a job as a loader at the Kroger Food Company, in 1932. In 1936, fired from Kroger because of his rabble-rousing, he became a joint council organiser for Local 299, part of the Detroit Teamsters Joint Council 43. It was the start of a tumultuous career in the union field.

Police sweep a field in Waterford township, Michigan, in search of Jimmy Hoffa’s body, in July 1975. Detroit Free Press/MCT /Landov

At the age of 20, he helped organise a labour strike in Detroit and remained an advocate for downtrodden workers for the rest of his life. Hoffa’s charisma and talents as a local organiser quickly got him noticed by the Teamsters and carried him upward through its ranks. Then a small but rapidly growing union, the Teamsters organised truckers across the country, and through the use of strikes, boycotts and some more powerful though less legal methods of protest, won contract demands on behalf of workers.

Hoffa became president of the Teamsters in 1957 when its former leader was imprisoned for bribery. As chief, Hoffa was lauded for his tireless work to expand the union, and for his unflagging devotion to even the organisation’s least powerful members. His caring and approachability were captured in one of the more well-known quotes attributed to him: “You got a problem? Call me. Just pick up the phone.”

Hoffa’s dedication to the worker and his electrifying public speeches made him wildly popular, both among his fellow workers and the politicians and businessmen with whom he negotiated. Yet, for all the battles he fought and won on behalf of American drivers, he also had a dark side. In Hoffa’s time, many Teamster leaders partnered with the Mafia in racketeering, extortion and embezzlement. Hoffa himself had relationships with high-ranking mobsters and was the target of several government investigations throughout the 1960s.

Michigan State police and local authorities watch as a backhoe digs, searching for the body of missing ex-Teamster President James. R. Hoffa Sept. 28, 1975. Authorities intensified their search in a 29-acre field and wooded area that day, excavating about half a dozen locations before halting at noon. (AP Photo)

He was often jailed for his union work and harassed by management thugs, as the bosses saw him as a growing threat to their control of labour. He transformed Local 299 into a regional powerhouse, building up its membership to 15000. By 1942, Jimmy Hoffa was president of Detroit Joint Council 43, and he was also linked to the Mafia.
According to the Federal Bureau of Narcotics (FBN), Detroit, after the end of the Second World War, was a primary point in the drug importation chain, feeding into the rest of America, and in particular, New York, the biggest market for illicit drugs.
Heroin was routed from Sicily, via Marseilles, by an organisation headed by Frank ‘Frankie Four Fingers’ Coppola and Salvatore ‘Toto’ Vitale, who became closely connected to Hoffa. The two men were both powerful figures in the Detroit Mafia, before Frank’s deportation back to Italy and Vitale’s disappearance in 1956. He may have been murdered and his body buried in a California vineyard. According to Charles Siragusa of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, he was killed by Johnny Priziola and Raffaele Quasarano over a dispute involving payment on a heroin delivery.

Body Disposal. 10 Sep 1978. The FBI said a newly published theory that James R. Hoffa’s body was shredded or incinerated at a suburban disposal company was one of several “working theories” investigated after the former Teamsters’ Union leader vanished. LaRonda Friday and Royce Bramlet, who live next to the Central Sanitation Services Company which was destroyed by fire early in 1978, look through its remains after hearing the new theory of the disposal of Hoffa. — Image by © Bettmann/CORBIS

Jimmy Hoffa’s dream to make a comeback and take over the presidency of the Teamsters, was just that, a dream, according to Michigan organised crime expert, Vincent Piersante, head of the Michigan attorney general’s office.
Because of the mob’s tremendous influence on the Teamster’s Union, Hoffa had no chance of returning to power, unless the mob agreed. And the Mafia was not going to do that. The fact that Fitzsimmons and other top officials of the union had been in the pocket of the Mafia was almost indisputable. A new, and different relationship had developed in the union since Jimmy Hoffa had gone off to prison in 1967, and as always with the mob, it was tied into money. There were millions of dollars from the Central States Pension Fund that could be made available to the Dons to fund their schemes and help them grow bigger and more powerful, and Hoffa would not be allowed to stand between it and them.

He’d made a statement on his release from prison: ‘Tell the rats to get off the ship because I’m coming back.’ He may have thought it was a call to arms. In essence, it was his own personal valedictory.

By early 1975, it appeared that Anthony ‘Tony Jack’ Giacalone was trying to arrange some kind of sit-down with Hoffa and Provenzano to try and resolve their differences.

Married to Provenzano’s cousin, Giacalone was also making the rounds of the golf courses with ‘Tony Pro’ and Frank Fitzsimmons. Giacalone was currently under investigation by a federal grand jury, in Detroit, for income tax fraud and extorting a Teamster’s pension plan. He would go down in June 1976 for ten years on another tax fraud case.

‘Tony Jack’ and ‘Tony Pro’ were to be the key elements that on a combination, created the fusible mass that led to the destruction of Jimmy Hoffa.

The Teamsters House. Could this innocuous-looking house be where Jimmy Hoffa breathed his last breath? A book released in 2004 claims to have solved the mystery at last. Criminal investigator Charles Brandt talked to legendary hitman Frank “The Irishman” Sheeran in prison, and Sheeran told the author he had killed Hoffa in the foyer of his house, belonging to a local Teamsters president from Delaware. Before his death, Sheeran said, “I stand by what’s written in the book.” Investigators hired by Fox News found evidence of blood in the area Hoffa was said to have been shot, giving credibility to the theory, but the blood was later found not to be Hoffa’s. (Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)

On July 30th., 1975, Jimmy Hoffa dressed casually in a dark blue pullover shirt, blue pants, black Gucci loafers, and trademark white socks. Sometime that morning, he received a telephone call at his two storied, cottage-style summer house on Square Lake, in Bloomfield Hills, about 20 miles north of Detroit. It apparently confirmed a meeting he was waiting to hear about. He kissed his wife goodbye and drove off at 1.15p.m. in his big, green, two-door Pontiac Grand Ville. He told his wife he was going to the Machus Red Fox restaurant, next to a shopping strip on Maple and Telegraph Roads, in Bloomfield Township.

He had told Josephine that one of the men he was going to have lunch with was Anthony Giacalone, and that he and some other associates were waiting for him at the tony, 270 seat eating place which had been opened in December 1965, by food entrepreneur Harris O. Machus. The Red Fox was one of eight restaurants and pastry shops he operated in the Detroit area. Jimmy had often used the place for dining and entertaining. It had, in fact, hosted his son, James P. Hoffa’s wedding reception.

‘Chuckie’ O’Brien. More than 25 years after Jimmy Hoffa disappeared, news came that the day after his disappearance the FBI announced they had matched DNA from a hair found in Charles “Chuckie” O’Brien’s car to Hoffa. The two had considered each other father and son, and O’Brien insisted his car had been borrowed that day by a friend to deliver frozen salmon to the local Teamsters president, Robert Holmes. Photo: DAVID PICKOFF / AP

According to the manager of the Red Fox, Hoffa never entered the building that day. He parked his Pontiac at the north end of the restaurant’s lot and waited. At 2.30 p.m. he telephoned his wife from a hardware store, in the strip mall, behind the Red Fox, to see if Giacalone had rung in. The last legitimate sighting of Jimmy Hoffa on that day, was some time about 2.45 p.m., still waiting in the parking lot. A real estate salesman stopped by to talk with him for a few minutes. Hoffa then disappeared off the face of the earth, falling over the edge, missing in action to this day, thirty-three years later. His family filed a missing person report with the Detroit police at 6 p.m. on July 31st., and it is still listed there as: Missing Person #75-3425

On July 31, local police began to investigate. They discovered Hoffa’s car still in the restaurant parking lot, but the vehicle yielded no clues. The FBI became involved a couple of days later and began looking into Hoffa’s underworld connections.

So what happened to Jimmy Hoffa?

Well, it’s safe to assume that he probably died that day, some time.

According to Rolland McMaster, a close friend and mover and shaker in the Teamsters, who had turned against Jimmy in 1967:

‘Jimmy ran off to Brazil with a go-go dancer.’

That would have to be one of the more fanciful interpretations of Hoffa’s ultimate destination.

Here are some of the others:

* Mixed in concrete and now part of the Giant’s Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

* Dumped into the Au Sable River in Michigan in 30 feet of water, between two dams.

* Run through a mob operated fat-rendering plant that was subsequently burned down.

* Buried under the helicopter pad at the Sheraton Savannah Resort Hotel.

* Crushed in a steel compactor for junk cars at Central Sanitation Services, a company owned by Raffaele Quasarano in Hamtramck, East Detroit, which was destroyed by fire in 1978.

* Ironically, part of the site now occupied by the Wayne County Jail.

* Stuffed into a 50-gallon oil drum, and taken on a Gateway Transportation truck to the Gulf of Mexico.

* Ground up into little pieces and dumped into a Florida swamp.

* Buried in a field in Waterford Township.

* Disposed of in the Central Waste Management trash incinerator, again at Hamtramck, owned by Peter Vitale and Raffaele Quasarano.

* Buried at the bottom of a swimming pool behind a mansion in Bloomfield Hills, near Turtle Lake.

* Buried under a public works garage in Cadillac, Michigan.

* Dumped into a 100-acre gravel pit, owned by his brother William, near Highland. Infra- red photos were taken of the site from a military plane. No luck.

* In May 2004, authorities in Oakland County, Michigan, removed floorboards from a Detroit house and found blood stains that they thought might be linked to Jimmy. They weren’t.

* In 2006, the FBI spent a lot of time digging up parts of an 80-acre horse farm near Milford Township, 30 miles west of Detroit on the basis of ‘strong evidence.’

Squads of FBI agents fanned out across the Hidden Dreams farm outside Detroit and special agent Daniel Roberts, who lead the operation, expressed guarded optimism about solving one of modern America’s greatest crime mysteries, which has endured for 30 years. “This is the best lead I’ve come across on the Hoffa investigation,” he said. It wasn’t.

According to Johnny Carson in a monologue on his late night show, Hoffa was buried under Tammy Faye Baker’s makeup.

False Claim. Infamous mob killer Donald “Tony the Greek” Frankos told a Playboy writer he was part of the team that offed Jimmy Hoffa and offered clues to his whereabouts, insisting the body was dismembered, put in a barrel that was transported from Detroit to New Jersey, and buried under Section 107 of the Giants Stadium construction site. The feds didn’t put much faith in Frankos’ claim, but the rumour persists as one of the most famous theories. Photo AP.

Renaissance Center Tip. “No year would be complete without a Jimmy Hoffa burial rumour,” one Michigan journalist joked in 2011 when Jimmy Hoffa’s former chauffeur said the local mobster leader revealed Hoffa was buried under Detroit’s Renaissance Center during a meeting in the 1980s. “Say good morning to Jimmy Hoffa, boys,” he reportedly said.(AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

The most likely suspects were a number of men working for ‘Tony Pro,’ who along with Tony Giacalone, had set up this meeting at the Red Fox, in order to lure Hoffa to his death. He had become just too much of an embarrassment and irritation in their desire to control the Teamster’s pension fund, and as usual, with the Mafia, when they had a problem, they simply removed it. For good.

In 1985, the FBI issued a 50 page summary of the case of Jimmy Hoffa, referred to as The Hoffex Memo. In essence, it lists Chuckie O’Brien, Anthony Provenzano, Anthony Giacalone, Thomas and Stephen Andretta, Russel Buffalino (eastern Pennsylvania and upstate New York Mafia boss,) and Salvatore Briguglio and his brother Gabriel, as prime suspects in the murder.

According to the bureau, Chuckie O’Brien arrived at The Red Fox lot in a borrowed car, a 1975 maroon Mercury Brougham, that belonged to Joey, son of Anthony Giacalone. He picked up his adopted father, who obviously thought they were going to a meeting with Provenzano and Giacalone senior. Instead, somewhere along the way, the car detoured to a pre-arranged spot, and Jimmy Hoffa was murdered.
Chuckie’s mother had been in a close relationship with Giacalone for many years, to the point that Chuckie referred to him as ‘Uncle Tony.’ Did a hoodlum’s demands outweigh a step son’s loyalty?
Sniffer dogs subsequently picked up the scent of Hoffa from inside the vehicle, and years later, a DNA test on a human hair found inside the car, confirmed it was from the missing man.
Of course, none of these suspects ever admitted to any involvement in the murder or disappearance of Jimmy. Apparently, two men have actually confessed to the killing.
Donald Frankos, an alleged hit man for the mob, stated in his biography, ‘Contract Killer’ that he John Sullivan, an infamous New York criminal, and Jimmy Coonan, a member of the notorious Hell’s Kitchen mob, who called themselves ‘The Westies,’ ambushed and shot Hoffa dead in a house in Mount Clemens, Macomb County, about 25 miles north-east of Detroit. Frankos claimed they cut up the body and stuffed it into a freezer in the house.
Frank ‘Frankie the Irishman’ Sheerhan, a hit man who apparently worked for Russel Buffalino, also confessed to killing Jimmy, in a death-bed confession recorded in a book called ‘I heard you paint Houses.’ The killing he orchestrated went down in a house on Beaverland Street, off Seven Mile Road, in Detroit. That was the May 2004 FBI investigation which confirmed nothing at all.

A horse grazes in a corral in front of debris from a barn after it had been demolished on the Hidden Dreams horse farm in Milford, Michigan May 24, 2006. FBI agents hired a contractor to tear down and remove the barn as they search for the remains of Teamsters union leader James R. Hoffa who disappeared from a restaurant in 1975 about 20 miles from the farm. FBI agents began to search the farm acting on a tip from 75-year-old Donovan Wells who is serving a 10-year federal prison sentence for marijuana smuggling. REUTERS/Rebecca Cook /Landov

The Teamsters Unions call James R. Hoffa “one of the greatest labour leaders in American history.” It cites his crowning achievement — the 1964 National Master Freight Agreement — which brought more than 400,000 truckers under a single contract. The statement goes on, “Hoffa was devoted to his union and to his family” before crediting Hoffa, despite his criminal record, with the following: “He gave his life while fighting to remove corrupt elements from the union and return power to the members.”

Today, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters is led by a familiar name, Jimmy’s son, James P. Hoffa, who was elected in 1999.

When the younger Hoffa was running for the union’s top job, his name was an important calling card. His supporters liked to refer to him as “Hoffa Junior.” But to his detractors, who saw the son as too much like his father, he was “Junior Hoffa.”

James P. Hoffa made this promise back then: “The mob killed my father. If you vote for me, they will never come back.”

Hoffa won the job his father once held, but he took over a union that was by then under strict federal oversight and monitoring as part of a plan to restore integrity and root out deep-seated, institutionally organised crime ties.

In 2015, the feds decided that significant progress to that end had been achieved, announcing that the oversight would end in the next five years.

Hoffa called it “a historic agreement … our union is committed to the democratic process, and we can proudly declare that corrupt elements have been driven from the Teamsters.”

“Jimmy Hoffa raised millions of workers and their families out of poverty and into the middle class,” noted the Teamsters Union in a statement to Fox News.

“He gave his life while fighting to remove corrupt elements from the union and return power to the members.

It’s a complex story involving a large and important union, but it pales in comparison to that illustrious character named Jimmy Hoffa.

Law enforcement officials oversee the excavation of a private swimming pool in Hampton Township, Mich., Wednesday, July 16, 2003, where law enforcement authorities were searching for evidence in the disappearance of Jimmy Hoffa, the ex-Teamsters Union boss missing since 1975. Police found nothing after six hours. Police plan to keep searching with metal detectors, but their hopes aren’t high. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

Under the House? Roseville Police Chief James Berlin says a man claims to have seen a body buried under this house 35 years ago and thinks it could be Hoffa. Radar scans have revealed something abnormal underground, but police say it could be anything. In the never-ending Hoffa investigation, it’s best not to get hopes raised. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

Hoffa was declared legally dead in 1982, but his case remains open. As recently as 2013, the FBI acted on a tip into the former union leader’s whereabouts, though no body has yet been found.

A special agent at the FBI’s Detroit field office is still assigned to it. The investigation has generated over 16,000 pages of documents gathered from interviews, wiretaps, and surveillance, but despite the government’s best efforts to get to the bottom of Jimmy Hoffa’s disappearance, what really happened to him remains a mystery.

And so, officially, Jimmy Hoffa walked away from a Detroit restaurant one day and vanished into the ether. He was never seen or heard from again. Whether or not his body is hidden away in a landfill or beneath the concrete of a football stadium is anyone’s guess, but one thing is for sure — we’ll certainly never see him again.

Still missing, after 42 years.

FBI digs to end the riddle of Hoffa’s missing body | The Independent

Jimmy Hoffa – Activist –


The Disappearance of Jimmy Hoffa – Gangsters Inc. – www …

Man convicted in mob crimes says he’s ‘certain’ where Jimmy Hoffa is …

40 Years After Jimmy Hoffa’s Disappearance, His Legend Lives …

The Doe Network: Case File 2106DMMI

New evidence emerges on Jimmy Hoffa’s fate – NY Daily …

Who Killed Jimmy Hoffa? | History Detectives | PBS

How Frank Sheeran killed Jimmy Hoffa 41 years after the legendary …

The Day Jimmy Hoffa Disappeared | Nosey Parker –

Eric Shawn Reports: How Frank Sheeran killed Jimmy Hoffa | Fox News

Full text of “Jimmy Hoffa FBI Files” – Internet Archive

James R. Hoffa | American labour leader |

A guide to the life and mystery of Jimmy Hoffa – The San Diego Union …

The Disappearance of Jimmy Hoffa

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