Detroit, Michigan (JFK+50) Forty years ago yesterday, July 30, 1975*, James Riddle Hoffa**, head of the Teamsters Union, , disappeared here in the Motor City after last being seen in his car in the parking lot of the Machus Red Fox Restaurant located on Telegraph Road in Bloomfield Township.
According to John Wisely of the Detroit Free Press, Mr. Hoffa called his wife, Josephine, at 2:15 Wednesday afternoon telling her that he had been "stood up" by two mobsters he had been scheduled to meet. Those racketeers were Anthony Giacalone and Tony Provenzano.
Jimmy Hoffa was never seen in public again. John Wisely calls the disappearance "one of the most enduring mysteries of the 20th century."
Hoffa's daughter, Barbara Crancer, does not believe the mystery will ever be solved because all suspects in the case are deceased. Investigators also believe no one will ever be charged for the crime.
Mr. Hoffa became president of the Teamsters Union in 1957 but had been the target of government investigations during the 1960s for his associations with organized crime.
Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, frustrated with failures of the Justice Department to prosecute Hoffa, launched a full scale attack on organized crime including the Teamsters. Jimmy Hoffa reportedly said when he was told of President John F. Kennedy's assassination....
"Well, Bobby Kennedy is just another lawyer now."
*Our original posting on this event, July 31, 2011, was from www.history.com/ which gave the date of Hoffa's disappearance as July 31, 1975. That date is incorrect. The Detroit Free Press and other sources give the date as Wednesday, July 30, 1975. JFK+50 has corrected that error for today's post.
**James Riddle Hoffa (1913-1975) was born in Brazil, Indiana but his family moved to Detroit in 1924 where he would spend the rest of his life. JRH began work in a grocery store and rose in the ranks of organized labor. He became VP of the union in 1952 was president from 1958 to 1971.
JRH was convicted of attempted bribery of a grand juror in Chattanooga, TN and sentenced to prison. President Nixon authorized Hoffa's release in 1971 on the condition that he would not participate in union activities for 10 years. JRH was declared officially dead on July 30, 1982.
"40 years later, Jimmy Hoffa mystery endures," by John Wisely, Detroit Free Press, July 30, 2015, www.freep.com/
RFK listens to Jimmy Hoffa