Jimmy Hoffa - Disappearance of Jimmy Hoffa
1,879 pages of FBI files dealing with the disappearance of Jimmy Hoffa..
James Riddle Hoffa was born on February 13, 1913 in Brazil, Indiana. It is ironic that his middle name was Riddle, considering that the mystery concerning his fate has become an American legend. After Jimmy Hoffa's father, a cool miner, died, Hoffa left school to go to work in a Detroit warehouse. At the age of twenty he organized a strike of dock workers at the Kroger Grocery and Baking Company warehouse in Detroit. Hoffa quickly rose through the ranks of the Teamsters union by the skillful use of strikes, boycotts, and sometimes less lawful means to archive the objectives of the union. When teamsters' president Dave Beck went to prison, Hoffa became president of the union in 1957. By 1964 Hoffa and the Teamsters union brought nearly all American truck drivers under a single national master freight labor agreement. Jimmy Hoffa was convicted of attempted bribery of a grand juror in 1967 and was sentenced to fifteen years in prison. In 1971, President Richard Nixon commuted his sentence on the condition that he not participate in union activities. Hoffa was planning to sue to gain the right re-enter union activities and to regain his place in the Teamsters.
On July 30, 1975, Jimmy Hoffa planned to meet Anthony "Tony Jack" Giacalone, a reputed mob enforcer for the Detroit La Costa Nostra and New Jersey Teamster boss Anthony "Tony Pro" Provenzano of Union City, New Jersey, at Machus Red Fox restaurant on Telegraph Road in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. Hoffa believed Giacalone had set up the meeting to help settle a feud between Hoffa and Provenzano. At 2:15 p.m. Hoffa phoned his wife Josephine, telling her that no one showed up for his meeting. This is the last time Hoffa was heard from. In 1975, the FBI said in a memo that the disappearance was probably connected to Hoffa's attempts to regain power within the Teamsters union. In 1982 Jimmy Hoffa was declared legally dead.
In September of 2001 the Detroit News reported that the FBI made a DNA match between a hair from Hoffa with one found in a car driven by Charles "Chuckie" O'Brien on July 30, 1975. Chuckie O'Brien was a long time friend of Hoffa. O'Brien was taken in by Hoffa as a child when O'Brien's father died when he was six years old. Many considered O'Brien and Hoffa to have been like father and son. O'Brien says the car he was driving, a 1975 Mercury Marquis Brougham, was borrowed from Joe Giacalone, the son of Anthony Giacalone. O'Brien says that he borrowed the car to deliver a frozen salmon to the home of Robert Holmes, then president of Teamsters Local 337.
Files dates from 1975 to 2002, and contain approximately 1,200 discernable memos.
Highlights from the files include: Files showing that in 1990 the FBI took a strong interest in Detroit area meat packing plants. Files show that the FBI checked out every meatpacking plant in the Detroit area. Files indicate an examination of a gun in Pittsburgh in 1990. The files show that the FBI interviewed more than a dozen people in late 2001 and 2002, pursuing leads in Florida, Indiana, Maryland, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Kentucky. Documents chronicle the contention between Jimmy Hoffa and Anthony Provenzano. Details about Hoffa's activities in the days before his disappearance. FBI files tells of Jimmy Hoffa's growing disenchantment with Chuckie O'Brien and O'Brien's increasing devotion to Anthony Giacalone. FBI files showed that on August 4, 1975, O'Brien stunned then-Teamsters President Fitzsimmons by showing up at Fitzsimmons' office. Statements from an informant about Jimmy Hoffa's attorney Frank Ragano. Documents shows the Bureau's interest in a 7/24/92 airing of the television tabloid show "Current Affair", in which a man, whose identity was cloaked, claimed to be a mafia hitman and says he was present when Jimmy Hoffa was killed. The FBI was able to identify, interview, and give a polygraph exam to the man. Documents indicate a high power conference took place in April 2001 to discuss the status of the case and prosecutorial strategy. Files indicate physical surveillance dealing with the case as late as May 23, 2001.
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