June 23, 2019 — The Michigan State Police searched a property in Hillsdale County, Michigan for the remains of iconic slain labor leader Jimmy Hoffa last week. The search is the latest in a long line of digs and property surveys hoping to unearth the bones of the former Teamsters union boss and mob associate, missing for almost 45 years, and finally crack what has been called America’s most famous unsolved mystery ever.

What MSP did or didn’t find when they let cadaver dogs loose on a piece of property located in southern Michigan once owned by a member of the Detroit mafia Thursday or if they will be reappearing for more probing of the property in the future, is unknown at this time. The identity of the member of the Tocco-Zerilli crime family linked to the property has yet to be divulged by authorities. Hillsdale County is a two-hour drive from Detroit.

Hoffa disappeared from a Bloomfield Township restaurant parking lot on July 30, 1975 on his way to a mafia-style “sit down” with Detroit mob Chief Anthony (Tony Jack) Giacalone and New Jersey mob capo Anthony (Tony Pro) Provenzano. Once allies and close friends, Hoffa and Provenzano were feuding over Teamster insurance benefits Hoffa received during a prison stay not afforded to Provenzano while behind bars at the same Lewisburg, Pennsylvania federal correctional facility in the late 1960s.

The fiery, brash and outspoken Hoffa gave up the Teamsters presidency as a means of getting sprung early from his 10-year sentence for fraud, bribery and jury tampering via a commutation from U.S. President Richard Nixon. Upon his release from prison in 1971, Hoffa became intent on reclaiming his post atop the union despite the same mob benefactors responsible for installing him in the job in the first place now opposed to his return to power.

With the Teamster election looming on the horizon in 1976, Hoffa knew he had to squash his beef with Tony Pro if he was going to be successful in his re-election bid. Provenzano, a high-ranking member of the Genovese crime family, controlled the union’s entire voting block of delegates on the east coast. Tony Giacalone, Hoffa’s contact in the Detroit mafia dating back to the 1950s, was allegedly in charge of arranging the details of the Hoffa hit. Related to Tony Pro by way of marriage, Tony Jack brokered the fake sit down at the Machus Red Fox restaurant just outside of Detroit as a means of getting the cautious and sly Hoffa out in the open and able to kill.

Hoffa was declared legally dead in 1982 and nobody has ever been arrested in the case. Provenzano died of cancer in 1988 serving time in prison on an unrelated racketeering and murder conviction. Giacalone passed away from liver failure in 2001 under federal indictment and awaiting trial.

Very few, if any, people with first hand knowledge of Hoffa’s kidnapping and execution remain alive today. Retired New Jersey mob soldier Stevie Andretta, who reported to Tony Provenzano in the Genovese crime family and investigators believe could have played a role in the “clean up” portion of the hit is still around. So is Hoffa’s surrogate son and former Detroit mob crony Chuckie O’Brien, who some claim was the man driving the car that took Hoffa to his slaughter. The car itself, a 1975 maroon-colored Mercury Marquis owned by Tony Jack’s son “Joey Jack,” is the lone piece of physical evidence the FBI has collected in what is still described as an open and ongoing investigation. The younger Giacalone is a reputed capo in the modern day Detroit mob.

In just a few months, acclaimed movie director Martin Scorsese will release a film titled The Irishman about Hoffa’s murder told from the prospective of a Delaware Teamsters boss and Pennsylvania mob hit man named Frank (The Irishman) Sheeran. The highly-anticipated mega-budget Netflix feature stars Robert DeNiro as Sheeran and Al Pacino as Hoffa and is scheduled to drop in October.

Sheeran told author Charlie Brandt that he was the shooter in the Hoffa hit during the final months of his life in 2003. Investigators view Sheeran’s confession with extreme skepticism. Brandt wrote the best-selling 2004 book I Heard You Paint Houses based on Sheeran’s life and relationship with Hoffa which Scorsese adapted into a film.

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