By Kendall McElroy
For those with interest in true crime and/or mob history, the story of the Jimmy Hoffa cold case is infamous for its mysterious nature and ties to the underground mafia justice system. James Riddle Hoffa, born Valentines Day, 1913 in Brazil, Indiana, stood to become one of the most controversial labor organizers of his time.
Hoffa’s rise to the top began when he left school at 14 to begin a career as a warehouseman for Kroger. During his time with Kroger, the shoddy job security, abusive management, and low wages inspired his labor-organizing ventures in the 1930’s. Within the same decade, Hoffa had been elected chairman of the Central States Driving Council and within the next two years after this election, he had become president of the Michigan Conference of Teamsters. Around ten years later, Hoffa was elected as international vice president of the Teamsters, before successfully succeeding Dave Beck as the sole international president.
Hoffa stood to become revered throughout the trucking industry as an experienced and resilient bargainer and businessman. The work Hoffa put into centralizing the administration in trucking union offices and the role he played in creating the first ever national freight hauling agreement made the Teamsters the largest labor union in the U.S.
However, Hoffa’s record was anything but spotless. He was well known for associating with alleged figures in organized crime and his repeated prosecutions by the government. That was until 1967 when he was arrested and sentenced to 13 years at a federal prison in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania for conspiracy, fraud, and jury tampering. Despite his predicament, Hoffa held onto his position of International President of the Teamsters until 1971, until Pres. Nixon revoked his ability to participate in union activity until 1980. Nevertheless, Hoffa disputed this in court and, despite losing the case, allegedly continued his work to keep his union position until his disappearance.
July 30, 1975, Hoffa was last seen in the parking lot of the Machus Red Fox Restaurant in the Bloomfield suburbs of Detroit. It’s said that, after an ongoing dispute with well known mafia figureheads, Hoffa had arrived at the restaurant to meet with reputed mob enforcers Anthony “Tony Jack Giacalone and Anthony “Tony Pro” Provenzano. However, after being witnessed getting into his car, he was never seen or heard from again.
Hoffa’s body was never found, and after years of investigation his case eventually went cold. Nevertheless, a new lead has been revealed. Interviews given by a, Frank Cappola, who regails that as a teen, his father and himself worked in a PJP Landfill in New Jersey. In 2008, while Cappola senior was dying, he explained that Hoffa’s body had been delivered to the landfill in 1975, then was buried in a steel drum with other trash and barrels. Before his death, in 2020, Frank Cappola signed his father’s story to Fox Nations, Dan Moldea, who had written extensively about the Cappola’s story and the mystery behind Hoffa’s disappearance. Repeated excavations of the landfill site as well as other places under suspicion of being Hoffa’s burial site, to no avail.