From serious to saucy, some Jimmy Hoffa’s theories
Detroit The FBI’s confirmation last week that it was searching a location near a New Jersey landfill as a possible burial site for former Teamsters boss Jimmy Hoffa is the latest development in a search that began when he disappeared in 1975.
A number of theories have emerged about Hoffa since he was reported missing, although many are linked to versions of the books. From serious to saucy, here are some of the best ones:
Theory: Hoffa was murdered on the orders of alleged New Jersey gang member Anthony “Tony Pro” Provenzano. His body was “cut into small pieces, shipped to Florida and dumped in a swamp.”
Who Said: Self-described mafia killer Charles Allen, who served time with Hoffa and was involved in the Federal Witness Protection Program, told the story before a US Senate committee in 1982.
The result: The FBI did not find enough evidence to support the claim and questions were raised about Allen’s attempt to sell the story to make money.
The theory: Hoffa’s most famous burial is probably under Section 107 of the Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
Who brought it up: Donald Francos who described himself as “Tony the Greek” hitter in a 1989 Playboy interview.
The result: The FBI found nothing to support the claim nor bothered to show up when the stadium was demolished in 2010.
“When we learned this information, we got over it, but we were all convinced in the end that this guy wasn’t credible,” FBI agent Jim Kosler said at the time. “We were able to prove to our minds that what he was telling us could not happen because either he could not have been there or he was in prison at the time.”
Theory: Hoffa was kidnapped by “federal guards or federal agents,” taken to a nearby airport and dropped from a plane, possibly in one of the Great Lakes that surrounds Michigan.
Who brought it up: Hoffa’s former assistant and strong arm Josef Franco in the 1987 book “Hoffa’s Man”.
The result: Other than what Franco said, there was no support for his claim.
A Chicago Tribune review of the book described it thus: “Former New York Times reporter Richard Hammer, who helped Franco with the book, writes frankly in the introduction that the stories have a ‘ring of truth.’ Perhaps, but they also stink of something else.”
Theory: Hoffa was murdered by ally Frank Sheeran once in a Detroit home. Key parts of the narration became the basis for the 2019 movie “The Irishman”.
Posted by: Sheeran.
The result: Bloomfield Township police tore up the home’s floorboards in 2004, but the FBI’s crime lab concluded that the blood found on them was not Huffa.
Theory: A New Jersey gang beat up Richard “Iceman” Kuklinsky who killed Hoffa in Michigan, drove the body to a scrapyard in New Jersey, sealed it in a 50-gallon barrel and set it on fire. He then dug up the body and put it in the trunk of a car that was sold as scrap metal.
Who put it up: Kuklinski, who argued in his 2006 book, “The Ice Man: Confessions of a Mafia Contract Killer,” that he was paid $40,000 for the murder.
The result: The former head of organized crime investigations for the New Jersey Department of Criminal Justice told The Record of Bergen County, New Jersey, that he doubted the prosecution.
“They took a body from Detroit, where is one of the largest lakes in the world, and drove it to New Jersey? Come on, said Bob Puccino.
Theory: Hoffa was murdered and his body buried under a swimming pool in Hampton Township in Oakland County.
Who brought it up: Richard C. Powell, who was living on the property and was serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole for the 1982 murder in Saginaw County.
The result: The police used an excavator to demolish the pond and dig beneath it in 2003, although no trace of Hova was found. At one point, the police brought Powell to the scene in handcuffs and handcuffs. Anne Bay County District Attorney Joseph K. Sheeran told the Bay City (Michigan) Times that Powell “had absolutely no connection to Hoffa” and that the convict only wanted a few moments of fame.
Theory: Hoffa’s killers buried him under the 73-story Renaissance Center in downtown Detroit.
Who brought it up: Marvin Elkind, who described himself as a “driver and an asshole for mob bosses,” in the 2011 book Weasel: A Double Life in the Mob.
The result: the building, home to the headquarters of General Motors, stands up and the claim is not taken seriously.
Theory: Hoffa was buried in a makeshift grave under the concrete slab of a barn in the town of Oakland, 25 miles north of Detroit.
Posted by: Famous Mafia Captain Tony Zerelli at “Hoffa Found” website. Zerelli was in prison for organized crime when Hoffa went missing, but claims to have been informed of Hoffa’s whereabouts after his release.
The result: in 2013 the FBI and police spent two days digging at the site that no longer had a barn, but found nothing.
The theory: Hoffa’s body was delivered to the Jersey City landfill in 1975, housed in a steel barrel and buried about 100 yards away at government property located down an elevated highway.
Who brought it up: Journalist Dan Moldea, who has written extensively on the Hoffa saga, as a result of interviews with Frank Capola. Capola, who died in 2020, says his father owned the landfill and buried the body.
Result: to be determined. The FBI obtained a search warrant to conduct a survey of the site, which it completed last month and is analyzing the data. The agency did not say if it had removed anything from the site.
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