Authorities Still Haven’t Found A Shred of Evidence on Jimmy Hoffa

It was the 7th of July, 1961, when union elected James Riddle Hoffa as the president of the Teamsters for a second time. July was also the month he disappeared, but a few years later, in 1975.

Despite speculation, we still do not know who killed Jimmy Hoffa or where they put his remains. Speculation leans towards organized crime, which might include corrupt government officials, but only one thing is clear about James Hoffa’s death.

The only assumption everyone agrees on is that he’s dead, that he has been dead since 1975. Whoever killed him, made sure nobody would ever find the answers to the questions surrounding his disappearance.

Humble Beginning

Young Hoffa | Pinterest

Life began for James Hoffa in 1913, on February 14, in Brazil, Indiana. They moved to Detroit when little Jimmy was 11-years-old. He started working at age 14 to support the family, laboring.

One of Hoffa’s early job was in the grocery business, where they overworked and underpaid him. So, he and his associates organized, trying to form a union When he finally quit that fight in 1932, it was to join the Teamsters.

The young, enthusiastic Hoffa quickly took a leadership role in the Teamsters Union, as if he was born to do it. He was only 20 years old when he organized a labor strike in Detroit, Michigan.

From that moment forward, his reputation grew an advocate for worker’s rights. People near Hoffa said of his character that he was as a charismatic, but a talented individual. The Teamsters tended to agree.

At the time, the Teamsters were a growing union, but in time they controlled about 90 percent of the road freight for the United States. They were a perfect match for each other.

Light Side

Hoffa could command a crowd, no doubt. He spoke with passion, moving crowds to action. Outside of his charismatic attitude, Hoffa was a man of action. He wasn’t a politician.

Jimmy Hoffa worked tirelessly both behind the scenes and in the limelight to fight for Teamster’s rights. Throughout the 1930s and 40s, he worked endlessly to drive membership in the Teamsters.

By 1952, it was those Teamsters who elected him as the vice president of the union. By 1958, they made him the President.

For a time, his popularity wasn’t only with the Teamsters. Businessmen and politicians also saw Hoffa as the man who could negotiate terms that made everyone win, but he had his share of enemies too.

Dark Side

Hoffa’s connection to the mafia was deep. In short, they owned Hoffa, forcing him to live a double life. There was Hoffa, the public persona, and then there was Hoffa the long arm of the Mafia.

In March of 1964, Hoffa went down for bribery, jury tampering, and fraud. That July they further convicted him of misusing union pension funds.

By 1967, despite his efforts to fight the convictions, he went to prison for a proposed 13 years, but people in power wanted him out.

It’s still a mystery why, in 1971, President Richard Nixon commuted Hoffa’s sentence, freeing him from jail. Sure, he banned Hoffa from union leadership until 1980, but Nixon cut seven years off Hoffa’s sentence, one he was serving for crimes he actually did commit.

An otherwise free man, Hoffa simply worked behind the scenes with the Teamsters. Nixon had to know that would happen.

Mysterious End

The Mafia used Hoffa to move contraband around the nation via his network of freight. They also leveraged union pensions to build and grow Las Vegas. At the same time, the Mafia was also feeding intel to the FBI about Cuba and Fidel Castro.

In short, there were a lot of eyes and ears on Hoffa’s work, the Teamsters, the Mafia, and the Feds. He was a man who could make a lot of problems for a lot of powerful people.

Recently declassified documents show that some of the feds were riding dirty at the time, so it could have been them. There is no hard evidence to support this theory, of course, nothing other than accusations about dirty cops. Sometimes, some good guys do bad things.

One claim, made by Frank Sheeran, Hoffa’s old friend who was a professional killer for the mob, insists he shot Hoffa the back of the head twice in a house in Michigan. Authorities have since investigated the house where he supposedly shot Hoffa and found blood evidence on the floor boards, but it wasn’t Hoffa’s.

In 2012, an anonymous call to the Roseville, Michigan police led them to a spot where the called claimed Hoffa died. Supposedly they would find his body there too, but they found nothing.

As recent as 2013, acting on a lead from a reputed gangster, authorities searched another site in Michigan with no results. Either someone moved Hoffa’s body, as part of the plan or he was never there.

The last place anyone saw James Hoffa alive was outside a restaurant in Michigan. He was there to meet a New Jersey crime figure, but Hoffa was the only one who showed up. Authorities only found Hoffa’s car in the parking lot of the restaurant.

Every lead about Hoffa only solicits more questions than answers. Why did Nixon commute his sentence? What did Hoffa have on the feds? Why did they, whoever they are, finally decide Hoffa had to go? Was he about to spill some beans?

The answer to those questions, by design, went away with James Hoffa’s life. We will likely never know.

Sources: pbs.org, history.com