January 11, 2020 — A decade after Detroit mobster Anthony (Tony Pal) Palazzolo might have killed Teamsters chief Jimmy Hoffa, he was allegedly involved in another, less publically scrutinized gangland murder conspiracy. Palazzolo lost his bout with stomach cancer last year at 76. He served as the Detroit mafia’s consigliere in the final years of his life. Besides federal investigators believing Tony Pal was on the hit team that infamously took out Hoffa, they suspect he took part in the 1985 Harold (Harry Mack) Macairz slaying as well. Neither murder has ever resulted in any arrests.

Macairz popped up dead in the trunk of his Mercury Grand Marquis on Detroit’s near eastside on May 9, 1985. The 56-year old Harry Mack was a policy lottery boss who worked under the banner of the Tocco-Zerilli crime family’s Corrado crew, specifically capo Dominic (Detroit Fats) Corrado, dying of cancer at the time of the killing. The mob braintrust in Motown decided Macairz had to go when they caught him stealing, according to informants.  

Hoffa disappeared on July 30, 1975 from a Bloomfield Township, Michigan restaurant parking lot in the midst of a feud with the mafia over his desire to reclaim the Teamsters union presidency he had relinquished five years earlier to get out of prison by way of a White House pardon. With the backing of the Detroit mob and Chicago Outfit, Hoffa rose to power in the Teamsters in 1950s and grew the labor union to monolithic heights before being busted for fraud, bribery and jury tampering.

In recent years, the FBI has zeroed in on Palazzolo as the “doer” in the Hoffa murder, per sources. Former Detroit mob underboss Anthony (Tony Z) Zerilli told the FBI that Palazzolo killed Hoffa in a 2012 debriefing. Palazzolo himself was caught on a fed wire in 1992 speaking of his role in Hoffa’s execution, bragging to an undercover Canadian cop that he had stuffed Hoffa’s dead body down a sausage auger inside his longtime headquarters at the Detroit Sausage Company located in the city’s historic Eastern Market. Early on in the investigation, the FBI fielded tips that Hoffa’s body was buried on property owned by Tony Pal in Taylor, Michigan.

After the Hoffa hit, Palazzolo’s status in the mob increased, first being awarded control of racket territory in Windsor, Ontario, then being promoted to capo over the Detroit mob’s Downriver crew and finally ascending to the organization’s No. 3 post. Tony Pal started his career in the mafia as a driver and bodyguard for Greektown capo Peter (Bozzy) Vitale. Along with Fats Corrado, Vitale co-owned Central Sanitation in Hamtramck, a place some federal investigators think Hoffa’s body was incinerated at. Central Sanitation burned down less than three years later.

The Harry Mack hit was part of a rash of Detroit mob murders that occurred in 1985 linked to gambling business consolidation effort and preparing a new induction class, among other things. Weeks after Fats Corrado died that June, his brother-in-law, Motor City mafia button man Peter (Fast Pete) Cavataio, was found tortured and shot to death in a garage in the Delray section of Southwest Detroit.

The Cavataio slaying has never been solved. Even though Tony Pal is gone, federal authorities in Michigan believe there are others still alive and active in organized crime circles that played a role in the Harry Mack hit.

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