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The Mystery of Jimmy Hoffa's Disappearance

What Happened To Him ?

Jimmy Hoffa

The day after Jimmy Hoffa's disappearance, his car was found in the parking lot of the Machus Red Fox restaurant in Bloomfield, in the suburbs of Detroit. The investigation of the police, then of the FBI, establishes that he went there on July 30, 1975, to meet there two notorious characters of the mafia, Anthony Giacalone, known as “Tony Jack”, and Anthony Provenzano, known as “ Tony Pro ”. People who saw Jimmy Hoffa that morning said he looked nervous, as if something was bothering him, and several witnesses saw him at the restaurant, saying he looked like he was waiting for someone. Around 2:45 p.m., a car leaving its parking space at the restaurant almost hit a truck and the truck driver told the police that he recognized Jimmy Hoffa sitting in the back seat, but that he did not know any of the other people in the car. It was a brown Mercury belonging to Joe Giacalone, the son of Tony Jack, who declared having lent it to Charles O'Brien, known as “Chuckie”, a close relative of the family of Jimmy Hoffa. O'Brien denied having been behind the wheel of the car or seeing Jimmy Hoffa that day. His alibi also made it possible to account for his movements and verify his statements.

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A fatal encounter with the mafia

Tony Jack and Tony Pro both claimed to be unaware of a meeting with Jimmy Hoffa and were able to prove where they were on the day in question. We found fingerprints of Chuckie O'Brien inside the car, as well as a hair of Jimmy Hoffa in the back seat. DNA analyzes performed in recent years have shown that the hair was his. They do not prove, however, that O'Brien and Jimmy Hoffa were in the car at the same time, or that O'Brien was in the car when he left the restaurant. Even if we know what had happened, the police and the FBI do not have enough evidence to charge someone. Jimmy Hoffa having gone to a meeting with the mafia and having never been seen again, it does not take a genius to understand that he was murdered. It is not enough to know what happened, it must be able to prove it in the courts and, in the absence of a body, it is not even possible to say with certainty that he died , let alone who killed him. Thus, the issue of the mystery surrounding the disappearance of Jimmy Hoffa does not even consist in discovering who killed him, but why, and what became of the body.

Teamsters President

Jimmy Hoffa - Teamsters president

Coming from a modest background, Jimmy Hoffa quickly climbed into the hierarchy of the Teamsters, the union of American truck drivers - although never having driven a truck - thanks to his sense of organization and his combative nature. In 1957, he became its president and, although he is now remembered for his corruption and his links with the mafia, he won numerous victories which enabled the improvement of working conditions and the rights of employees. Thanks to him, the Teamsters, which until then had been a relatively minor player, became the largest union in America, with 1.5 million members. If he had not already established links with the mafia itself, the size of the pension fund would have attracted his attention anyway. In the 1960s, it was estimated to be worth a billion dollars. In addition to being involved in the simple hijacking, union officials are using the pension fund to bribe officials and pay the mafia to intimidate anyone standing in their way. Mafiosis are on the personnel register, including Tony Pro, who, although he has never worked an honest honest once in his life, is vice president of Teamsters in Union City, New Jersey.

Imprisoned for fraud and corruption

In addition to attracting the attention of the Mafia, the Teamsters are the target of Robert Kennedy, the principal adviser of the McClellan Committee, responsible for investigating racketeering within professional organizations. Kennedy pursued Jimmy Hoffa for years before finally picking up his man in 1964. Jimmy Hoffa was sentenced to 13 years in prison for corruption and fraud. After appealing, Jimmy Hoffa was imprisoned in 1967. He appointed his loyal supporter Frank Fitzsimmons acting president of the union. Coincidentally, Tony Pro is serving a sentence in the same prison as Jimmy Hoffa and, after first getting on with each other, they get angry. The subject of the disagreement: the Teamsters will pay a pension to Jimmy Hoffa, but not to Tony Pro.

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Off-side

Machus Red Fox

Jimmy Hoffa is released after only five years in prison, his sentence having been commuted by President Richard Nixon, provided that Jimmy Hoffa respects the ban on holding office in the union for five years. While Jimmy Hoffa waits for this period to expire, Fitzsimmons continues to exercise the role of union president. He turns out to be a much easier interlocutor for the mafia than Jimmy Hoffa. Fitzsimmons does what the Mafia demands, while Jimmy Hoffa has always wanted to negotiate. His pugnacious character has also alienated several prominent personalities within the mafia, notably Tony Pro - both came to blows during an organized meeting to, on the contrary, calm their relations. Also, when in 1975, the end of his suspension approached and Jimmy Hoffa wanted to return to his position with the Teamsters, the bigwigs of the Mafia were not the most enthusiastic. The meeting at the Red Fox restaurant was allegedly negotiated by Tony Jack in order to ease tensions and, perhaps, to tell Jimmy Hoffa once and for all that the mafia leaders do not want him to return. At some point, they apparently changed their minds and decided to permanently ban him.

For his book I Heard You Paint Houses, Charles Brandt interviewed Frankie Sheeran known as “the Irishman”, a notorious hired killer of the mafia, who was in Detroit the day when Jimmy Hoffa disappeared, in company of the mafia chief of Pennsylvania, Bufalino Russell, one of the most influential figures in the Mafia in America at the time. Sheeran said he had to accompany Jimmy Hoffa to the meeting to make sure nothing happened to him, but Bufalino told him the day before not to go. Sheeran knew exactly what it meant and was also well aware that if he had warned Jimmy Hoffa, he would have been next on the list. Jimmy Hoffa is there but, Tony Pro and Tony Jack not arriving, he gets into a car driven by his old friend Chuckie O'Brien, whom he trusts, and who perhaps tells him that the place of the meeting has changed. But, instead of leading him to the two mobsters, O'Brien delivers Jimmy Hoffa to his murderers.

Jimmy Hoffa's body buried under giants stadium ?

Over the years, there have been lots of stories about what happened to Jimmy Hoffa's body. The most famous rumor is that it was buried under the New York Giants football stadium, built at the time of his disappearance. Marvin Elkind says “the weasel”, a henchman from the Renaissance Center in Detroit. We will probably never really know where it ended. One thing is certain, however: if you play too much with fire, you always get burned.

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