Entries in Jimmy Hoffa (3)


Jimmy Hoffa Said to Be Buried in Vacant Lot Outside Detroit

MPI/Getty Images(DETROIT) -- His body has never been found. Since Jimmy Hoffa disappeared in 1975 there have been countless tips about the whereabouts of his body, all of them dead ends. But now new information from the reputed underboss of the Detroit Mafia could lead to a break in the case.

Tony Zerilli, who the FBI believes was one of the key figures in the city's Mafia, told longtime Detroit reporter Marc Santia, now with WNBC in New York, that he believes Hoffa is buried in a vacant lot in the northern part of Oakland County, Michigan, about 30 miles from where Hoffa was last seen at The Red Fox restaurant in suburban Detroit over 37 years ago.

"The master plan…that I understood was that they were going to put him in a shallow grave here," Zerilli told Santia. "Then they were going to take him from here to Rogers City upstate. There was a hunting lodge and they were going to bury [him] in a shallow grave, then take him up there for final burial. Then, I understand…it just fell through."

Hoffa, who had headed the powerful International Brotherhood of Teamsters union, disappeared in July 1975. He was 62 and had spent nearly five years behind bars.

At the time of Hoffa's disappearance, Zerilli -- who has denied being involved in the Mafia -- was in jail. Now 85, Zerilli is releasing a book on March 1, but Dan Moldea, author of The Hoffa Wars, says Zerilli should still be taken seriously.

"Zerilli was the underboss of the Detroit Mafia. His father Joe was the boss of the Detroit Mafia at the time Hoffa disappeared. Therefore anything that happened in Detroit at that time had to be checked by Joe -- so his father clearly knew about what happened with Hoffa. Now, Tony was in jail at the time, but did he receive some information? I'd say it was very likely, especially once he got out," Moldea told ABC News in a phone interview Monday.

"He's 85, but he sounds cogent and credible. The question is how much does he really know and how credible is what he says? He's been persona non grata in the Detroit underworld for a long time. A lot of mob guys blamed him for some information that leaked out and got some people in trouble. I guess they didn't whack him because of his father. But now, the consequence of this guy being alone and broke has made him decide to talk," Moldea said. "If he really is telling the truth about this, then I say pay him the money. His book comes out on March 1 and we'll know by then if he's telling the truth or not."

Moldea said the fact that Zerilli is talking at all is a surprise.

"The Detroit family is a very powerful family. I never even imagined that you would get one of these real families that control the Detroit mob to ever talk about this, so this is very interesting, to say the least," Moldea said. "He's either going to come out of this a national phenomenon or looking like a clown. I'm hoping that he's right."

"When you've got the underboss of the Detroit Mafia whose father was the boss of the Detroit Mafia, that's a real interesting witness," he added.

The FBI field office in Detroit declined to comment on the case, citing it as an ongoing investigation.

The new information from Zerilli is only the latest in a long line of tips in the search for Hoffa. Last September police in Roseville, about 20 miles north of Detroit, dug up a driveway. In 2009 FBI agents dug up a lumberyard in the city, prompting speculation that the excavation was a search for Hoffa. Three years earlier, in May 2006, there was a search for Hoffa at a farm in the town of Milford which became known as "The Big Dig."

None of the searches yielded anything.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Teamsters Boss Jimmy Hoffa Is Still Missing

Siri Stafford/Thinkstock(ROSEVILLE, Mich.) -- Wherever Jimmy Hoffa is, he's not under a driveway in Roseville, Mich.

The mystery of what happened to the controversial Teamsters boss lives on as Roseville Police Chief James Berlin confirmed on Tuesday that no signs of human composition were found after the driveway was dug up last Friday.

Authorities were acting on a so-called "credible tip" that the remains of Hoffa, who disappeared without a trace in July 1975, might be buried on the property.

However, soil samples tested by the forensic and anthropology department at Michigan State University turned up zilch.

While most everyone assumes that Hoffa vanished under nefarious circumstances, no one has ever been accused of bumping off the powerful union leader, who was 62 when he was last seen outside the Detroit-area Machus Red Fox restaurant on July 30, 1975.

For years, it was speculated that Hoffa was buried around the end zone at the former Giants Stadium in New Jersey.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Police Search for Jimmy Hoffa's Body in Michigan Driveway

Comstock/Thinkstock(ROSEVILLE, Mich.) -- "Where is Jimmy Hoffa's body?" is a question that has spawned thousands of theories. Now, one Michigan police chief believes a break in the famous cold case could be close at hand.

James Berlin, the police chief in Roseville, Mich., a town about 20 miles north of Detroit, says his department will take soil core samples from under the driveway of a home in the area this Friday after "credible" information recently surfaced.

"We received information from an individual who saw something," Berlin told the Detroit Free Press. "The information seemed credible, so we decided to follow up on it."

"We do not know if this is Jimmy," he said.

Hoffa, the union boss who headed the powerful International Brotherhood of Teamsters, disappeared in July 1975. He was last seen outside "The Red Fox" restaurant in suburban Detroit. Hoffa was 62 at the time and had recently spent nearly five years behind bars.

Berlin told the Free Press that Michigan's Department of Environmental Quality, in a ground scan of the Roseville driveway last week, discovered "an anomaly" that set the stage for this Friday's return visit to the site, a development confirmed to ABC News by the department's spokesman, Brad Wurfel.

"Our staff weren't told what or who they were looking for. What they knew was they were down there to do a scan," Wurfel said. "What they came up with was some anomalies relatively close to the service."

"The ground scan," Wurfel said, "is like a sonar unit you'd use on your boat to go fishing. It sends down a signal and reports back up based on interruptions. It shows you the earth's natural layers as horizontal lines and it'll show you the break in those lines where something is buried. So we were called to help out last Friday and all they really told us was they needed the ground slab over a concrete slab, looking for things below."

"We'll be back Friday to help them again," he said.

Berlin did not respond to messages left by ABC News, but a representative from his department said Berlin would be addressing the media "at a later date."

In 2009 FBI agents dug up a Detroit lumberyard, prompting speculation that the excavation was a search for Hoffa. Three years earlier, in May 2006, an unsuccessful search for Hoffa at a farm in the town of Milford became known as "The Big Dig."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio