The curious disappearance and death of Jimmy Hoffa
Jimmy Hoffa, a man with a colorful life and disappearance to match it. He somehow managed to be both a hero and a villain– a wonderful showcase for the duality of man. Hoffa was born in 1913 to a father who worked in coal mines, this fact would end up shaping most of his life.
Due to his father’s work Jimmy Hoffa always felt a solidarity with blue collar workers and started standing up for them as early as his teens. When he worked at a grocery store while growing up he would lead a strike, which would ultimately catch the attention of a union named the Teamsters.
Hoffa joined the union and used his charm and leadership skills to climb the ranks– making it to president of the union by 1957. In 1964 the Teamsters Union was reported to have over 1.5 million individual members. Jimmy Hoffa was a man of the people.
Or was he? Despite his noble work, Hoffa made connections with the Mafia, and used the union to work with them. Leaders of the union took part in embezzlement, racketeering, and extortion under the command of Hoffa.
In 1957 he was sentenced to thirteen years in prison for attempted bribery and obstruction of justice. However, in 1971 Hoffa’s sentence was commuted by President Nixon. The union welcomed their leader, Hoffa, back with open arms.
In the summer of 1975, July 30th to be specific, Jimmy Hoffa was seen waiting outside a Detroit restaurant waiting for his friends. This was the last time anyone saw him. His friends never showed that day, and had alibis too.
It seemed clear to investigators Hoffa hadn’t left the dining establishment on his own because his car was still in the parking lot– unlocked. Some people believe the friends Hoffa was waiting for never intended to meet him, but told him they would so they could have someone pick him up and kill him. These friends were Mafia members afterall.
The favorite theory for why Jimmy Hoffa was killed is that he was working on an autobiography, which meant he was likely going to reveal information about his ties with the Mafia. This, of course, could not be allowed, and is considered to be the motive for the Mafia wanting him killed.
Over the years the investigation would have false confessions, red herrings, and dead ends. To this day people still search for the remains of Jimmy Hoffa, it’s not doubted by very many he was killed on July 30th.
Hoffa was declared legally dead in the year of 1982. Even if Jimmy Hoffa had disappeared of his own accord (possibly to escape the fate of a Mafia murder), he would be one-hundred and seven years old by now– meaning it’s almost impossible for him to still be alive if he hadn’t died in ‘75.
The FBI worked the investigation on and off over the decades, and they’re still known to occasionally dig in various sites in the hopes of finding the man’s remains. Though, it should be noted many sources claim Jimmy Hoffa was cremated.
By 2006 the FBI declared they were confident they knew what had happened to Hoffa. In fact, the FBI had been fairly certain since 1989, but they couldn’t have said so or prosecuted the case, because it would have revealed sensitive information including informants.
An FBI report from the Jimmy Hoffa investigation has been released stating a belief Hoffa had been murdered by the Mafia, not for his rumored autobiography, but because his continued leadership in the Teamsters Union may have been jeopardizing the mob’s control over the union’s pension fund.
While the FBI seems to know who did it, to this day the public had no answers. The most likely theory is that a contract killer named Frank “The Irishman” Sheeran (and yes, he is related to Ed Sheeran) killed Jimmy Hoffa.
There are eye witness accounts saying Frank, a friend of Hoffa’s, and a man named O’Brien took Hoffa to a house in Detroit and shot him twice behind the ear. A DNA test even confirmed Hoffa’s hair had been found in O’Brien’s car.
The problem is this only proves he had been in his friend’s car at some point, but not necessarily the day of his disappearance.
As of now, the only hope the public has at answers are for the FBI to declassify whatever is still being withheld from the investigation, and/or for someone to find what’s left of Jimmy Hoffa’s body. To this day, Jimmy Hoffa’s son runs the Teamsters Union.