Friday, February 3, 2023

From serious to obscene, some of Jimmy Hoff’s theories

DETROIT (AP) – The FBI’s confirmation last week that it viewed the site near the New Jersey junkyard as a possible burial site for former Teamsters boss Jimmy Hoffa is the latest in a search that began after his disappearance in 1975.

Since he was reported missing, a number of theories have emerged about Hoffa, although many are linked to book releases. Some of the best, from serious to rude:

Theory: Hoffa was killed on the orders of alleged New Jersey Mafia suspect Anthony “Tony Pro” Provenzano. His body was “shredded into small pieces, sent to Florida and thrown into a swamp.”

Who put it forward: Self-proclaimed mafia assassin Charles Allen, who served with Hoffa in a prison sentence and a federal witness protection program, told this story to a US Senate committee in 1982.

Result: The FBI never found enough evidence to support this claim, and questions were raised that Allen was trying to sell the story to make money.

Theory: Probably the most notorious of all, Hoffa was buried under Section 107 of the Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

Who put it forward: Self-styled hitman Donald “Tony the Greek” Francos in a 1989 Playboy interview.

Result: The FBI found nothing to support this claim and didn’t bother to show up when the stadium was demolished in 2010.

“When this information got our attention, we tried to challenge it, but in the end we were all convinced that this guy was unreliable,” FBI agent Jim Kossler said at the time. “We were able to prove to our minds that what he was telling us could not happen because he either could not be there or was in prison at the time.”

Theory: Hoffa was kidnapped by “federal marshals or federal agents,” taken to a nearby airport, and dropped off a plane, possibly in one of the Great Lakes surrounding Michigan.

Who put it forward: Former Hoffa aide and forte Joseph Franco in the 1987 book Hoffa’s Man.

Result: apart from Franco’s words, his statement was not supported by anything.

The Chicago Tribune book review states: “Former New York Times reporter Richard Hammer, who helped Franco with the book, frankly writes in the introduction that there is ‘some truth’ in the stories. Maybe, but they smell of something else. “

Theory: Hoffa was killed by former ally Frank Sheeran at a Detroit home. Key parts of the narrative formed the basis of the 2019 film The Irishman.

Who put it forward: Sheeran.

Result: Bloomfield police tore the floorboards in the house in 2004, but the FBI forensic lab concluded that the blood found on them did not belong to Hoffa.

Theory: New Jersey hitman Richard “The Ice Man” Kuklinski killed Hoffa in Michigan, took the body to a junkyard in New Jersey, sealed it in a 50-gallon barrel and set it on fire. He later dug up the body and put it in the trunk of a car that was sold for scrap.

Who put it forward: Kuklinski, who claimed in his 2006 book The Ice Man: Confessions of a Contract Mafia Assassin that he received $ 40,000 for the murder.

Result: A former head of the New Jersey Criminal Justice Department’s Organized Crime Investigation Division told The Record of Bergen County, New Jersey, that he doubted the claim.

“They took a body from Detroit, where they have one of the largest lakes in the world, and took it back to New Jersey? Let’s go, ”said Bob Bookchino.

Theory: Hoffa was killed and his body buried under a swimming pool in Hampton, Oakland.

Who put it forward: Richard S. Powell, who previously lived in the area and was serving a life sentence without parole for the 1982 murder in Saginaw County.

Result: Police used a backhoe to demolish the pool and dig beneath it in 2003, although no trace of Hoffa was found. At one point, the police brought Powell to the scene in handcuffs and shackles. Then Bay County attorney Joseph K. Sheeran told the Bay City, Michigan Times that Powell “had nothing to do with Hoffa at all” and that the convict just wanted a few minutes of fame.

Theory: Hoffa’s killers buried him under the 73-story Renaissance Center in downtown Detroit.

Who put it forward: Marvin Elkind, the self-proclaimed “chauffeur and thug for mafia bosses” in the 2011 book Weasel: A Double Life in the Mafia.

Result: The building that houses General Motors’ headquarters stands still, and the claim has never been taken seriously.

Theory: Hoffa was buried in a makeshift grave under a concrete slab of a barn in Oakland, about 25 miles north of Detroit.

Who put it forward: Famous Mafia Captain Tony Zerilli in the online post “Hoffa Found”. When Hoffa disappeared, Zerilli was in jail for organized crime, but he claimed to have been informed of Hoffa’s whereabouts upon his release.

Result: In 2013, the FBI and police spent two days excavating a site that no longer had a barn, but found nothing.

Theory: Hoffa’s body was taken to a Jersey City landfill in 1975, placed in a steel drum, and buried about 100 yards away on state territory under an overpass.

Who put it forward: Journalist Dan Moldea, who has written extensively about the Hoffa saga as a result of an interview with Frank Kappola. Kappola, who died in 2020, says his father owned the landfill and buried the body.

Result: to be determined. The FBI has received a search warrant to conduct a site survey, which it completed last month and is analyzing data. The agency did not say if it removed anything from the site.

Nation World News Desk
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