Jimmy Hoffa -- Has He Finally Been Found?
Has Jimmy Hoffa Finally Been Found?
A question for the ages. Has Jimmy finally been found?
Since 1975, that question dominates the news whenever someone comes forward with a theory or story to tell.
July 30th of this year (2015) will mark the 40th anniversary of Jimmy's disappearance from the parking lot of the Machus Red Fox Restaurant. A restaurant that was located in a Detroit suburb called Bloomfield Hills. It finally closed in 1996. So, why ARE we still interested in Jimmy Hoffa?
Is it our fascination with the macabre? Are we enamored with his murder, if indeed he was murdered? Did he just disappear on his own? All of those are great questions, but to find out why? We need to delve into the life of the man.
Recently, a reputed organized crime Captain has come forth claiming knowledge of where Jimmy Hoffa is buried.
The burning question: Has Jimmy Hoffa Finally Been Found?
Anthony Zirelli Claims Yes, He Knows Where Jimmy's Body Is
Ii seems yet another reputed organized crime figure, named Anthony Zirelli has stepped forward to claim to know not only what happened to Jimmy Hoffa, but where he is buried. Claiming that "This is the truth about Jimmy Hoffa" yet once again. Will this fellow prove to know the truth? Only "Time" will tell and Jimmy has all of the time in the world. The picture at the right is the field where Mr. Zerelli says Jimmy is buried.
To understand about Tony Zerelli, the reputed Mafia Captain who just came forward? He was in prison when Jimmy went missing in Detroit in 1975. This is where the story first takes a turn. In an interview with New York TV station WNBC, (which also aired on Detroit's WDIV) Zerelli claims to have been told what happened to Hoffa, after he was released from prison.
Here is another turn, this guy even went so far as to take the WNBC reporter to a field north of Detroit to say that this field is where he was told that Jimmy Hoffa was buried . Disclosing as always....nothing.......nor giving an exact location of the body. (another turn yet)
During the aired interview, Zerilli did not say why he chose to make his claims now, but.....WNBC did uncover and report that Zirelli is promoting his book titled "Hoffa Found,"in which promises to reveal details about Hoffa's death. Now we're getting closer to the truth. He's 'promoting his new book' would seem like a more logical answer to all of this
FACT 1: Jimmy Hoffa was the Teamsters president from 1957-71.
FACT 2: He was an acquaintance of mobsters and an adversary to federal officials.
FACT 3: The day he disappeared, he was supposed to meet with a New Jersey Teamsters boss and a Detroit Mafia Captain. Draw your own conclusions.
After taking the F.B.I. on a three day search of the suburban Detroit property, the search yielded nothing more than a concrete slab and assorted animal bones. This latest search was terminated just a few hours into day three. Once again we have been lead down the proverbial garden path, so someone can make a few bucks selling a book.
Who was Jimmy Hoffa?
Hoffa - The American
But for a twist of fate, he might have been like you or I
Jimmy Hoffa was more than just a Union man or National President of that Union. He was a leader when times called for a tough man. He was a firm believer in a square deal for the working man when he became a Union organizer. He stepped up when things needed to be said and done. But he wasn't always that man. He was just another son of your typical descendant of Immigrants.
Thousands came to this country in pursuit of a better life around the turn of the 20th century. But for a small twist of fate, the story might have ended right there. Jimmy might have disappeared into the fabric of middle class America. His story was no different that that of many others at that time.
By age 14, (1927) Jimmy had dropped out of school to go to work, taking a job at a grocery chain. This grocery chain paid substandard wages and provided poor working conditions for it's workers. Not uncommon at the turn of and into the early 20th Century.
Conditions were so poor, that the employees tried to organize a Union to protect themselves. Although Hoffa was young, he found himself at the forefront of the movement. His bravery and leadership became well known and he rose to a position of leadership within the Union.
Hoffa would be defined not by Detroit, but by this first job, that would define him for the remainder of his life.
Jimmy Hoffa -- Where Is His body? - Stories of his disappearance
Frank Sheeran's book: "I Heard You Paint Houses." documents what he describes as "his involvement" in the disappearance of Jimmy Hoffa, and is probably the best 'connection' to that disappearance so far.
But conclusive proof still eludes the police and F.B.I.
In spite of the title, this DVD Where's Jimmy Hoffa? is actually a pretty good, informative documentary of the life and disappearance of Jimmy Hoffa. Although they never are able to answer the question of "Where is Jimmy Hoffa?" It's still an excellent story otherwise.
Evaluation: Plenty of facts and details. You won't be bored. Your purchase includes FREE Shipping
Jimmy Hoffa -- The Real Story - As told in his own words
Jimmy Hoffa Tells his own story story as no one else could. He sets the record straight on many events in his lifetime, not just as a Union Boss but otherwise as well. A very compelling read that you won't put down until you are finished.
Jimmy Makes His Move
He discover's his 'purpose' in life
After five years with the grocery chain (1932) Hoffa left his job, to take another. His departure was brought about a combination of factor's. First and foremost by his defiance to work for an abusive shift foreman and lastly, because of his Union activities.
Jimmy's efforts at the grocery chain had not been in vain, in fact they had been noticed by the teamster's. I believe his departure from the grocery chain, set the course for the rest of his working life. After Hoffa accepted the Teamster's invite to become an organizer with Local 299 in Detroit, it was evident that the Teamsters had given Jimmy Hoffa a home and a purpose in life.
In just three short years of Jimmy Hoffa's organizing, the membership roles of the Teamster's more than doubled, rising from 75,000 to 170,000. Three years later? The membership had nearly tripled, exploding to over 420,000 members, and growing steadily throughout WWII.
By 1951, the Teamster's membership rolls had doubled once more, swelling to well over 1,000,000 members. All of this, was due not just to Jimmy's charisma (which was legendary) but also by force in some instances. This force came in the form of strikes and secondary boycotts and other means of leveraging the union strength at the companies that the Teamster's were attempting to Unionize.
By 1952 though, Jimmy Hoffa had set his sights higher. He wanted more than what a state wide teamster's representative's job offered. He was going to run for a National post. and did so at the 1952 IBT (International Brotherhood of Teamster's) convention in Los Angeles, California, Jimmy was selected as the National Vice President.
Jimmy Hoffa had become a leader in the Unions. A force to be reckoned with.
Jimmy Hoffa tells his story In his own words in this book Hoffa: The Real Story describes his life as no one else has. Filling in some of the gaps in his life and explaining some of his choices and why he made them.
Evaluation: This is the real story in Jimmy Hoffa's own words. Available in Hardcover and Paperback. Grab one before they are gone.
In 1957, Hoffa tries for the Presidency of the Union
The Teamster's get a new President
Hoffa's boss and current President of the International Brotherhood of Teamster's, David Beck was under indictment. Beck had been asked to appear before the John Little McClellan-led: U.S. Senate Select Committee on Improper Activities in Labor or the Management Field.
The hearings were held in March of 1957. In responding to the Senator 's and others questions, Beck took the fifth amendment 140 times. Later that year, at a trial held in Seattle, Washington, Beck was subsequently convicted and imprisoned on fraud charges.
That conviction opened the door to Hoffa for the Presidency. Jimmy Hoffa won the Presidency of the International Brotherhood of teamster's in 1957, at their convention in Miami Beach, Florida. His election however, was not without controversy, as even though he had secured the Presidency of the Union? There was still trouble ahead for Jimmy Hoffa.
Besides his Union being in the spotlight himself, Jimmy Hoffa had caught the eye of another Federal Department.
Hoffa -- IBT President - The Union surges forward under his leadership
You don't just find these anywhere. In a time gone by and and an era gone mad with power by many....James R. Hoffa stands out because there is more to his legacy.
Evaluation: I include this, as it truly is a one of a kind article. If you want something no one else has? Buy a piece of history.
His election in 1957 was the beginning of the end
His win in 1957 by no means guaranteed his re-election in 1960. But Hoffa won re-election handily. For the next three years, he continued his efforts to expand his union. By 1964, he had succeeded in his career long goal of uniting nearly all of the over the road truck driver's Nationally. The ramifications of that were monumental.
That meant that in North America, ALL union driver's were now united under one single national master freight agreement. This single achievement may have been Jimmy Hoffa's finest moment in his lifetime dedicated to union activity. Heady from the success of the 'over the road' trucker's agreement?
It was during this time that the person who Jimmy had caught the eye of? That person was the Attorney General of the United States and had watched Hoffa since his ascendancy to the Presidency in 1957. The Attorney General had decided to now go after Hoffa in much the same manner as they had gone after Dave Beck a few years before.
Robert Kennedy (Attorney General of the United States) was the man who was responsible for pursuing Hoffa for all of those years. (1957-1964) Beginning with the hearings held in 1957 in which Dave Beck, (the then head of the International Brotherhood of teamster's) had been convicted.
All through this period, Hoffa, along with his responsibilities as Union President, was facing an unrelenting onslaught of investigations and hearings. What it amounted to, was an incredible amount of pressure and personal strain from the Justice department. He was under investigation (it seemed) for anything and everything, and was continually on trial, or launching appeals of convictions.
Each time Jimmy Hoffa was acquitted or caused the investigation to be quashed for insufficient evidence? The government simply created a new indictment and continued their unrelenting pursuit.
By 1964, it was over.
The federal Government had finally found something that would stick. They had done their job. They finally won a case against Jimmy Hoffa after spending millions and millions of Taxpayer Dollars to do so. Jimmy was finally going to prison.
Was he convicted on anything to do with the Unions?
Nope. Robert Kennedy's Justice Department never found anything that would stick. The funny thing, after all those years of trials and indictments, the ONLY THING Bobby Kennedy could convict him of, was of attempted bribery of a Grand Juror. For which he received eight years.
For Bobby Kennedy, that single conviction launched his political career.
He loses all of his appeals
After his conviction in 1964 , it was revealed that the case against him had resulted from an earlier case. The test Fleet case. In that trial, Jimmy Hoffa had been implicated by one of his associates, a Louisiana Teamster. The Justice Department never found anything on their own, to convict Jimmy Hoffa.
This man, the Louisiana Associate? He was named Edward Grady Partin. Mr. Partin had gone to the FBI with the information that subsequently led to Hoffa's conviction with reference to loans made from the Teamster's Pension Fund.
Later in 1964, battered and beaten from seven years of surveillance and more than four years of indictments, depositions, and trials, Hoffa was finally convicted of Union Business. His conviction was for fraud. Fraud for the improper use of the Teamster's pension Fund. That trial, held in Chicago, resulted in a five year sentence that was to run consecutively with his eight year bribery conviction.
When Robert Kennedy finally stepped down as Attorney General in 1964, he did so ONLY after the successful 'bribery' conviction of Jimmy Hoffa. Even after all of the years of pursuit, the only thing he could get on Hoffa was 'bribery.' Through all of this, there was a mutual dislike between these two men.
Robert Kennedy however.....used that publicity of the trial as momentum and as a stepping stone to announce his candidacy for United States Senator from New York, a race he won easily.
Jimmy Hoffa spent the next three years appealing his conviction from 1964. He pursued his appeals all of the way to the Supreme Court. But........... was ultimately unsuccessful. The machinery of the Federal Government had closed down all avenues open to Jimmy Hoffa and by 1967....Jimmy Hoffa was going to prison.
In March of 1967, Jimmy Hoffa entered the Lewisburg Federal Penitentiary in Pennsylvania. However, prior to entering prison he appointed Frank Fitzsimmons as the acting President of the International Brotherhood of teamster's. The move only made sense, as Frank had been a Hoffa loyalist and ally since 1932.
Both lived in Detroit and both had been members of the Local 299. Fitzsimmons in fact, owed most of his positions in the IBT's organization to Jimmy Hoffa's influence. Who better to represent him while he spent his time in prison?
Little did Jimmy know at that time, Frank would turn on him in the years ahead.
Released from Prison
In an odd twist of fate, the man to save Jimmy Hoffa was not a Union member, but another Federal employee. An employee of the same Government that had convicted him.
In December of 1971, after serving less than five years of his 13 year sentence, Jimmy Hoffa was released from Lewisburg Federal Prison. Released after his sentence was commuted by none other than President Richard M. Nixon. The sentence was commuted to time served.
If you think about it, you realize that President Nixon did not come to the decision on his own. You see, in the 1972 Presidential elections, the International Brotherhood of Teamster's endorsed the G.O.P candidate. Strange you say?
Stranger yet......in previous elections, the International Brotherhood of Teamster's had always endorsed Democrat Candidates. It must be mentioned here though, that they had endorsed Nixon earlier....... in his 1960 run against John F. Kennedy. Which brings us back to the dislike of one another, between the Kennedy's and Hoffa.
But that is a story for another day.
What Happened At That Lunch Meeting?
Who "Disappeared" him?
Jimmy Hoffa disappeared sometime in the afternoon of July 30, 1975 from the parking lot of the Machus Red Fox Restaurant. He was never heard from again. The restaurant was even in an affluent suburb of Detroit and Hoffa believed he was safe going there to meet two Mafia leader's of the time. Anthony Provenzano and Anthony Giacalone. The restaurant is pictured at the right.
Provenzano a Union Leader from New Jersey (which is in direct violation of the law: Mafia member's could not be in positions of leadership) Tony was quite close to Hoffa and had been his vice President in 1961. So Jimmy felt he had nothing to worry about.
When Jimmy didn't come home that night, his wife reported him missing. Police investigators found his car at the restaurant where his wife said he went for a meeting. But they did not find Jimmy. nor any indication as to what happened to him. The police then brought in both Provenzano and Giacalone and decided that their alibi's were strong enough to prove they were not anywhere near the restaurant.
Over the years, the case has been investigated and studied by many law enforcement agencies, including the FBI. None....have EVER turned up any conclusive evidence as to what happened to Jimmy Hoffa. He was legally declared dead in 1982 to enable his family to recover the 1.8 million dollar trust that had been set up for Hoffa by the union.
Every few years, another aging alleged Mafioso comes forward on his deathbed with information as to what happened to Jimmy Hoffa.
Numerous Mafia "Hitmen" have also come forward over the years with very plausible stories as to how he was killed and where his body ended up, including Frank Sheeran (a notable hit man who even wrote a book about it) None of these reports however, have EVER proved credible.
In the newest release of "I know where Jimmy Hoffa is, (as told by a reputed Mafia Captain Anthony Zirelli), the Mob's master plan was ... "put Hoffa in a shallow grave" . "Then, they were going to take him from there to Rogers City in upstate. There was a hunting lodge there that was going to be the location of his final burial.
Then, according to Mr. Zarelli, the plans to move Jimmy Hoffa's body fell through and Hoffa's body remained somewhere?
Will we ever know what happened to Jimmy Hoffa? Probably not. But that alone will not discourage the public's insatiable need to know.
Nor will it deter any of the aging alleged Mafioso all wanting their "15 minutes of fame" before they die.
Jimmy Hoffa was declared legally dead on July 30, 1982. His disappearance is listed in Time's Top Ten Famous disappearances. Much of the material for this story in fact, came from interviews and reporting that is widely available today. In reality, it's hard to not pick up a book, a magazine or even a newspaper without some story about Jimmy Hoffa or those related to his story. Much of what has been written sounds like fiction, but it is all true. (except for where he is, that is something unknown as of this writing). There is also the un-redacted report prepared by the FBI and is called the Hoffex memo. In it, they discuss their investigation in detail
The popularity and the 'myth' of Jimmy Hoffa remains. He was a contemporary figure whose life, union activities, trial, incarceration, release and then disappearance, have been well documented and indeed, he seems larger than life to this day. In many respects, his life and disappearance stand alone and no one needs to embellish that story any more than it was.
Now that he is gone, he will forever remain larger than life in our minds.The characters listed here were all real people in and around his life. Some good, some bad, you decide which. As for Jimmy Hoffa himself? in spite of it all, I still believe Jimmy was a simple and honest man who somewhere along the line, lost his way.
A man who for many reasons became caught up in whatever drove him down the road he was on and he became lost. His beginnings were humble and genuine. I also believe he really cared for the plight of the working man. We will never know if he could have made a difference in the Unions after his release from prison.
His disappearance signaled an end. An end with no way of connecting the dots.
Hoffa's disappearance came at a riveting time in our society. The Vietnam war was just ending. A President, two major Civil rights leader's and a Presidential candidate had been slain. Another President had been driven from office in disgrace. To quote statements made by many at that time in our lives?
"America's innocence had been lost."
As time passes, we think less and less about the Jimmy Hoffa story or about his disappearance. That is, until one day....a new story appears and it all comes right back. Whatever happened to Jimmy Hoffa? Will we ever know? You decide.
The final chapter of the Jimmy Hoffa life and story...............awaits. Maybe even from another Anthony Zerelli.