A deathbed confession may offer a breakthrough in the case of disappeared union boss Jimmy Hoffa, one of the 20th century’s most famous cold cases.
A worker at the former landfill in northern New Jersey said he helped bury Hoffa’s body underground in a steel drum at the site, according to The New York Times . Last month, the F.B.I. obtained a search warrant for an old dump in Jersey City where the Teamster boss was said to be buried after his disappearance in 1975.
“On October 25th & 26th, FBI personnel from the Newark and Detroit field offices completed the survey and that data is currently being analyzed,” spokesperson Mara Schneider said in a written statement on Friday.
Agents arrived to conduct a site survey underneath the Pulaski Skyway, on a patch of “dirt and gravel the size of a Little League diamond,” reports the Times, adding “the steel drum is said to be buried about 15 feet below ground, in the shadow of countless millions of drivers who have passed it by.”
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Dan Moldea, a journalist who has written about Hoffa since before he disappeared and is considered a foremost expert on the subject, tells the Times the New Jersey site is “100 per cent” credible.
“A very prominent person disappeared from a public place 46 years ago and was never seen again, he said. “This case has to be solved.”
The latest quest is reportedly tied to interviews a man named Frank Cappola gave to Moldea and Fox Nation before he died in 2020. Cappola recalled his father Paul, who also worked at the site, meeting with mysterious men who arrived in a black limousine and informed him Hoffa’s remains would be delivered soon and where to bury them.
His father told him later in life that he buried Hoffa in a separate location at the site, which was larger than 80 acres, along with bricks, dirt and other barrels.
This case has to be solved
The FBI received tips close to the time of his disappearance that Hoffa was buried at the landfill, furthering credibility of the confession.
Hoffa’s star fell following his conviction for jury tampering in 1964, for which he served time from 1967 to 1971, at which point he was pardoned by President Richard Nixon. His relationship with the mafia grew fraught in the years leading up to his disappearance on July 30, 1975. Leaders were reportedly upset he was trying to regain control of the Teamsters.
Hoffa was last seen arriving at a meeting with estranged friend Anthony “Tony Pro” Provenzano and a mobster at the Machus Red Fox restaurant in Bloomfield Township, MI, but they never appeared. Witnesses said they last saw Hoffa at the parking lot getting in the back of a car and being driven away. He was 62.
Hoffa was declared legally dead in 1982. Failed searches for his body have included digs in rural Michigan, under a swimming pool and even under the floorboards of a house in Detroit.