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    Paper: The Buffalo News
    Title: JIMMY HOFFA'S FAMILY FIGHTING TO FIND OUT THE END OF THE STORY
    Date: October 15, 1989

    TEXT:

    JAMES P. HOFFA is restless and cannot sleep, so he paces.

    There is something in the night that hangs like a thick, secretive fog; but as Hoffa looks from a window, he sees the sky is clear outside his in-laws' cottage on the banks of the Boardman River south of Traverse City, Mich. He is struck by the unexpected brilliance of a bright, fat moon and the deep shadows it paints on the dirt road running past the cottage.

    Usually, he sleeps easily here, and he doesn't know why tonight is different. He senses the coming of a storm, distant rumblings of thunder in a cloudless sky. Something about the night is haunting. It's too bright for the night, but too late for the sun.

    Hoffa finally wrestles himself to sleep. But the telephone next to his bed rings early and shatters the morning of July 31, 1975. As Hoffa, the only son of former Teamsters boss James R. (Jimmy) Hoffa, listens to his mother's frantic voice, a heavy knot tightens in his chest, making it difficult to breathe.

    "What do you mean he didn't come home last night?"

    Moments later, the telephone rings at Barbara Ann Crancer's home in suburban St. Louis. Crancer, Jimmy and Josephine Hoffa's only daughter, is planning to spend the day at a hospital where her husband is scheduled for surgery following a car accident two days earlier.

    "I need you here," her mother says.

    Crancer immediately books a flight; packs a suitcase; checks on her husband at the hospital; delivers Lucky, the family's German shepherd, to the kennel; and makes arrangements for in-laws to care for their 12-year-old daughter. By 1 p.m., the whirlwind of misfortune, obligation and uncertainty has swept her onto a plane bound for Detroit.
    <SCRIPT><!--D(["mb","\u003cbr /\> That afternoon, both Hoffa children arrive at the family\'s Lake Orion cottage on the shore of Square Lake, where as youngsters they paddled canoes, fished and romped on the firm, sprawling carpet of grass. Later, it was where the family would escape turbulent courtroom sagas and the heat of summer. Under the towering shade trees, there always seemed to be a soothing breeze and solace.\u003cbr /\>\u003cbr /\> By the time Jim Hoffa arrives at the cottage, his mother is hysterical and at the same time weary from staying up all night awaiting her husband.\u003cbr /\>\u003cbr /\> As word of his disappearance gets out, the media begin arriving at the cottage in big motor homes, setting up camp at the end of the driveway. Photographers with long lenses scan for movements at the two-story frame cottage, looking for any hint of a break in the story.\u003cbr /\>\u003cbr /\> Initial reports say Hoffa, 62, is believed to have vanished from a meeting at the Machus Red Fox Restaurant in Bloomfield Township, Mich. The names of men -- most of them linked to organized crime -- surface. With time, there would be more names, but names only. No one would ever be charged.\u003cbr /\>\u003cbr /\> Dr. George Mogill, the family physician, is called to the cottage and sedates Josephine Hoffa, who is sobbing and hysterical.\u003cbr /\>\u003cbr /\> The phone rings incessantly: friends, relatives, reporters, weirdos. So another telephone line is installed in case there is a legitimate ransom call.\u003cbr /\>\u003cbr /\> They wait.\u003cbr /\>\u003cbr /\> The call never comes.\u003cbr /\>\u003cbr /\> Were there a field of dreams for her father -- some way she could bring him back to life for just a moment -- Barbara Crancer would ask Jimmy Hoffa what happened to him, who killed him and whether he wanted her to avenge his death in the courts. And she would tell him that his children and their families are well and happy, just as he would have wanted.\u003cbr /\>\u003cbr /\> But in real life there is no such field, and in real life there is not always justice. Fourteen years have done nothing to make Crancer and Jim Hoffa forget that someone got away with murdering their father.\u003cbr /\>",1]);//--></SCRIPT>
    That afternoon, both Hoffa children arrive at the family's Lake Orion cottage on the shore of Square Lake, where as youngsters they paddled canoes, fished and romped on the firm, sprawling carpet of grass. Later, it was where the family would escape turbulent courtroom sagas and the heat of summer. Under the towering shade trees, there always seemed to be a soothing breeze and solace.

    By the time Jim Hoffa arrives at the cottage, his mother is hysterical and at the same time weary from staying up all night awaiting her husband.

    As word of his disappearance gets out, the media begin arriving at the cottage in big motor homes, setting up camp at the end of the driveway. Photographers with long lenses scan for movements at the two-story frame cottage, looking for any hint of a break in the story.

    Initial reports say Hoffa, 62, is believed to have vanished from a meeting at the Machus Red Fox Restaurant in Bloomfield Township, Mich. The names of men -- most of them linked to organized crime -- surface. With time, there would be more names, but names only. No one would ever be charged.

    Dr. George Mogill, the family physician, is called to the cottage and sedates Josephine Hoffa, who is sobbing and hysterical.

    The phone rings incessantly: friends, relatives, reporters, weirdos. So another telephone line is installed in case there is a legitimate ransom call.

    They wait.

    The call never comes.

    Were there a field of dreams for her father -- some way she could bring him back to life for just a moment -- Barbara Crancer would ask Jimmy Hoffa what happened to him, who killed him and whether he wanted her to avenge his death in the courts. And she would tell him that his children and their families are well and happy, just as he would have wanted.

    But in real life there is no such field, and in real life there is not always justice. Fourteen years have done nothing to make Crancer and Jim Hoffa forget that someone got away with murdering their father.
    <SCRIPT><!--D(["mb","\u003cbr /\> The FBI thinks it knows what happened but refuses to reveal the contents of case number HQ 9-60052, the Hoffa files, which fill four four-drawer file cabinets. Detroit FBI spokesman John Anthony said that the case remained open and that making the information public would jeopardize the investigation.\u003cbr /\>\u003cbr /\> &quot;We believe that we know -- with very few exceptions -- who, how, what, when, where and why it happened,&quot; Anthony has said. &quot;Our interest in this matter is still to have a successful resolution. . . . That\'s what we hope to accomplish. It\'s not going to be easy. It\'s going to require cooperation from people directly responsible.&quot;\u003cb r /\>\u003cbr /\> Crancer also wants a successful resolution of the case, and at first the reasoning behind the bureau\'s refusal to show her the files seemed logical. She did not want to stand in the way of justice, as lethargic as justice seemed.\u003cbr /\>\u003cbr /\> But with no apparent progress in the investigation, the FBI\'s reasoning grew thinner. Frustrated and angry, she filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit in St. Louis against the Department of Justice in February. The suit was filed on the family\'s behalf. A judge\'s decision is pending. The Detroit Free Press is also seeking access to the FBI files.\u003cbr /\>\u003cbr /\> She wants to do what her father would expect her to do. He was a fighter; now the battle belongs to his children. &quot;I don\'t think the words \'I can\'t\' ever entered his mind,&quot; she says. &quot;I use that as a motto. I never say, \'I can\'t.\' I say, \'I\'ll try.\' &quot;\u003cbr /\>\u003cbr /\> And so she\'s trying. Crancer began work on the lawsuit after her brother mailed to her a clipping from the Lansing (Mich.) State Journal. The Jan. 25, 1987, copyrighted story quoted a woman who said that on the day Jimmy Hoffa disappeared, she watched him climb into a black Lincoln Continental with three men at the Machus Red Fox.\u003cbr /\>\u003cbr /\> In a subsequent story, the woman denied being an eyewitness, but Crancer wondered as she read whether she really had seen her father. Fed up with years of trying to solve a puzzle with missing pieces, she decided it was time to take the government to court.\u003cbr /\>",1]);//--></SCRIPT>
    The FBI thinks it knows what happened but refuses to reveal the contents of case number HQ 9-60052, the Hoffa files, which fill four four-drawer file cabinets. Detroit FBI spokesman John Anthony said that the case remained open and that making the information public would jeopardize the investigation.

    "We believe that we know -- with very few exceptions -- who, how, what, when, where and why it happened," Anthony has said. "Our interest in this matter is still to have a successful resolution. . . . That's what we hope to accomplish. It's not going to be easy. It's going to require cooperation from people directly responsible."

    Crancer also wants a successful resolution of the case, and at first the reasoning behind the bureau's refusal to show her the files seemed logical. She did not want to stand in the way of justice, as lethargic as justice seemed.

    But with no apparent progress in the investigation, the FBI's reasoning grew thinner. Frustrated and angry, she filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit in St. Louis against the Department of Justice in February. The suit was filed on the family's behalf. A judge's decision is pending. The Detroit Free Press is also seeking access to the FBI files.

    She wants to do what her father would expect her to do. He was a fighter; now the battle belongs to his children. "I don't think the words 'I can't' ever entered his mind," she says. "I use that as a motto. I never say, 'I can't.' I say, 'I'll try.' "

    And so she's trying. Crancer began work on the lawsuit after her brother mailed to her a clipping from the Lansing (Mich.) State Journal. The Jan. 25, 1987, copyrighted story quoted a woman who said that on the day Jimmy Hoffa disappeared, she watched him climb into a black Lincoln Continental with three men at the Machus Red Fox.

    In a subsequent story, the woman denied being an eyewitness, but Crancer wondered as she read whether she really had seen her father. Fed up with years of trying to solve a puzzle with missing pieces, she decided it was time to take the government to court.
    <SCRIPT><!--D(["mb","\u003cbr /\> Jim Hoffa is confident he knows what happened to his father, but he wants to see the files for confirmation. &quot;I\'m not going to go into any details. I can\'t prove anything,&quot; he said. &quot;I can\'t name names, but I think in my mind, I know what happened. . . . We feel as the family we have the right to that information. We\'re not interested in publicizing it. We will enter into an agreement to not tell anybody. We just feel we have the right to know.&quot;\u003cbr /\>\u003cbr /\> He believes his father was killed to block his return to office in the Teamsters. Hoffa was contesting a provision of his 1971 prison commutation by then-President Richard Nixon that barred him from office in the international until at least 1980.\u003cbr /\>\u003cbr /\> While Hoffa\'s lawyers had lost at the trial court level, they were optimistic about their prospects of winning an appeal. Jim Hoffa says a ruling on the appeal was imminent, and there has been speculation that whoever ordered Hoffa killed believed the court was going to rule in Hoffa\'s favor. But Hoffa disappeared, and the court never issued a decision in the case.\u003cbr /\>\u003cbr /\> Even now, when Jim Hoffa drives past the Machus Red Fox restaurant in his white 1989 Lincoln Mark VII, he wonders about his father\'s disappearance. He never stops, and he has not been in the restaurant since the day his father vanished.\u003cbr /\>\u003cbr /\> There are other reminders not as easily avoided. The past 14 years haven\'t always been kind to the Hoffa name, which has surfaced in reports on organized crime.\u003cbr /\>\u003cbr /\> &quot;The fact is that some of these people held union office,&quot; Hoffa said. &quot;My father certainly couldn\'t do anything about that. Some of these people were employers, owning trucking companies, and I don\'t think the record shows he was involved in any organized crime. Anyone in a position like he was in certainly would have to meet these people from time to time, but as far as being controlled? Absolutely not.&quot;\u003cbr /\>\u003cbr /\> Since his disappearance, there also have been unkind barbs. When Jim Hoffa checks into a hotel, and the desk clerk spouts, &quot;They finally found you, huh?&quot; or &quot;Where\'ve ya been?&quot; he doesn\'t laugh. And when Crancer sits in front of the television and hears one of those guess-what-I-found-in-the\u003cwbr /\>",1]);//--></SCRIPT>
    Jim Hoffa is confident he knows what happened to his father, but he wants to see the files for confirmation. "I'm not going to go into any details. I can't prove anything," he said. "I can't name names, but I think in my mind, I know what happened. . . . We feel as the family we have the right to that information. We're not interested in publicizing it. We will enter into an agreement to not tell anybody. We just feel we have the right to know."

    He believes his father was killed to block his return to office in the Teamsters. Hoffa was contesting a provision of his 1971 prison commutation by then-President Richard Nixon that barred him from office in the international until at least 1980.

    While Hoffa's lawyers had lost at the trial court level, they were optimistic about their prospects of winning an appeal. Jim Hoffa says a ruling on the appeal was imminent, and there has been speculation that whoever ordered Hoffa killed believed the court was going to rule in Hoffa's favor. But Hoffa disappeared, and the court never issued a decision in the case.

    Even now, when Jim Hoffa drives past the Machus Red Fox restaurant in his white 1989 Lincoln Mark VII, he wonders about his father's disappearance. He never stops, and he has not been in the restaurant since the day his father vanished.

    There are other reminders not as easily avoided. The past 14 years haven't always been kind to the Hoffa name, which has surfaced in reports on organized crime.

    "The fact is that some of these people held union office," Hoffa said. "My father certainly couldn't do anything about that. Some of these people were employers, owning trucking companies, and I don't think the record shows he was involved in any organized crime. Anyone in a position like he was in certainly would have to meet these people from time to time, but as far as being controlled? Absolutely not."

    Since his disappearance, there also have been unkind barbs. When Jim Hoffa checks into a hotel, and the desk clerk spouts, "They finally found you, huh?" or "Where've ya been?" he doesn't laugh. And when Crancer sits in front of the television and hears one of those guess-what-I-found-in-the<WBR><SCRIPT><!--D(["mb","-basement jokes, it stabs like a knife.\u003cbr /\>\u003cbr /\> &quot;It\'s not funny. . . . It\'s just sick, and it startles you,&quot; she said.\u003cbr /\>\u003cbr /\> The family and friends put up a $300,000 reward for information leading to Hoffa\'s whereabouts, but it went unclaimed despite countless letters and telephone calls. Many of the tips described dreams or psychic visions; others were nothing more than lies. The reward was withdrawn more than a decade ago.\u003cbr /\>\u003cbr /\> Josephine Hoffa was spared the cruelty and the gnawing uneasiness of the last nine years. In 1980, she died of a heart attack while hospitalized for cancer. The Lake Orion cottage was sold in 1983.\u003cbr /\>\u003cbr /\> Jim Hoffa now is 48 and lives in Troy, Mich. Crancer is 51 and lives in the St. Louis suburb of Ladue. Both are lawyers, the first members of either side of their family to graduate from college. Hoffa\'s specialty is labor law; Crancer is a legal adviser for the Division of Worker\'s Compensation in St. Louis.\u003cbr /\>\u003cbr /\> The family has not yet held a memorial service for their father, and that, in a way, is what their lawsuit is all about. They are seeking to write the last chapter to their father\'s story, so they can finally bury their dead.\u003cbr /\>\u003cbr /\> The Jimmy Hoffa who ruled the International Brotherhood of Teamsters had the eyes of a warrior and fists that struck like torpedoes. He seemed bigger than his 5-foot-5 rock-ribbed frame would allow, especially when he became president of the international and wore like a velvet cloak the power some say obsessed and, finally, consumed him.\u003cbr /\>\u003cbr /\> If you took a swing at him, you better know how to duck or run or smear ice cream on your face and ask for a piggy-back ride. The only people who bossed Jimmy Hoffa around were children.\u003cbr /\>\u003cbr /\> &quot;You never saw my dad in pajamas or a robe unless he was sick,&quot; said Crancer. &quot;He would be up around 6 or 7. He hopped right out of bed, went right into the shower and got dressed. Then he\'d read the paper in the living room, have breakfast in the kitchen. Sometimes he\'d take us to school on his way to work. Then we wouldn\'t see him again until he came home for dinner.&quot;\u003cbr /\>",1]);//--></SCRIPT>-basement jokes, it stabs like a knife.

    "It's not funny. . . . It's just sick, and it startles you," she said.

    The family and friends put up a $300,000 reward for information leading to Hoffa's whereabouts, but it went unclaimed despite countless letters and telephone calls. Many of the tips described dreams or psychic visions; others were nothing more than lies. The reward was withdrawn more than a decade ago.

    Josephine Hoffa was spared the cruelty and the gnawing uneasiness of the last nine years. In 1980, she died of a heart attack while hospitalized for cancer. The Lake Orion cottage was sold in 1983.

    Jim Hoffa now is 48 and lives in Troy, Mich. Crancer is 51 and lives in the St. Louis suburb of Ladue. Both are lawyers, the first members of either side of their family to graduate from college. Hoffa's specialty is labor law; Crancer is a legal adviser for the Division of Worker's Compensation in St. Louis.

    The family has not yet held a memorial service for their father, and that, in a way, is what their lawsuit is all about. They are seeking to write the last chapter to their father's story, so they can finally bury their dead.

    The Jimmy Hoffa who ruled the International Brotherhood of Teamsters had the eyes of a warrior and fists that struck like torpedoes. He seemed bigger than his 5-foot-5 rock-ribbed frame would allow, especially when he became president of the international and wore like a velvet cloak the power some say obsessed and, finally, consumed him.

    If you took a swing at him, you better know how to duck or run or smear ice cream on your face and ask for a piggy-back ride. The only people who bossed Jimmy Hoffa around were children.

    "You never saw my dad in pajamas or a robe unless he was sick," said Crancer. "He would be up around 6 or 7. He hopped right out of bed, went right into the shower and got dressed. Then he'd read the paper in the living room, have breakfast in the kitchen. Sometimes he'd take us to school on his way to work. Then we wouldn't see him again until he came home for dinner."
    <SCRIPT><!--D(["mb","\u003cbr /\> It was back in 1956, while he still was president of Local 299 in Detroit and a year before he would become general president of the international, that Jimmy Hoffa met the man who was to become his lifelong nemesis. &quot;A fellow with a big mop of brown hair,&quot; Hoffa wrote in his second autobiography, &quot;Hoffa, the Real Story,&quot; published shortly after he he disappeared.\u003cbr /\>\u003cbr /\> His name was Robert Kennedy, and he walked uninvited into a meeting Hoffa was having with union stewards. Kennedy &quot;started to push past me into the office,&quot; the book states. &quot;I don\'t push easily.&quot;\u003cbr /\>\u003cbr /\> Hoffa tossed Kennedy out of the room, starting a shoving match that would last more than a decade. In 1967, Jimmy Hoffa went to prison; Kennedy was killed the following year.\u003cbr /\>\u003cbr /\> From his book:\u003cbr /\>\u003cbr /\> &quot;I\'m writing this book because I\'m going to have my say, and I\'m damned well going to say what I think.\u003cbr /\>\u003cbr /\> &quot;They put Robert Kennedy on a pedestal just because he was shot. They call him a legend. For what? Somebody said it right when they called him \'the runt of the litter.\'\u003cbr /\>\u003cbr /\> &quot;OK, so I didn\'t like him. Like him? Hell, I hated the . . . He was a parasite who had to work for the government because he wouldn\'t have known how to make an honest living . . . &quot;\u003cbr /\>\u003cbr /\> The family maintains Jimmy Hoffa was railroaded into prison on charges of mail fraud and jury tampering, the result of a personal vendetta launched by Bobby Kennedy.\u003cbr /\>\u003cbr /\> &quot;You have to remember that here you had a very young, rich person who had everything handed to him all his life -- money, power, position, jobs -- and for the first time, he ran into somebody who didn\'t necessarily get out of his way,&quot; Jim Hoffa said. &quot;My father was a very strong, outspoken person. My father stood up to him.&quot;\u003cbr /\>\u003cbr /\> As they did before his disappearance, Hoffa\'s children continue to defend their father. They always have stood at his side, right where Crancer was as they were leaving the courtroom in Chattanooga, Tenn., the day her father was convicted. He looked at her and said: &quot;Don\'t let \'em see you cry. If you\'re going to cry, wait \'til we get back to the hotel.&quot;\u003cbr /\>",1]);//--></SCRIPT>
    It was back in 1956, while he still was president of Local 299 in Detroit and a year before he would become general president of the international, that Jimmy Hoffa met the man who was to become his lifelong nemesis. "A fellow with a big mop of brown hair," Hoffa wrote in his second autobiography, "Hoffa, the Real Story," published shortly after he he disappeared.

    His name was Robert Kennedy, and he walked uninvited into a meeting Hoffa was having with union stewards. Kennedy "started to push past me into the office," the book states. "I don't push easily."

    Hoffa tossed Kennedy out of the room, starting a shoving match that would last more than a decade. In 1967, Jimmy Hoffa went to prison; Kennedy was killed the following year.

    From his book:

    "I'm writing this book because I'm going to have my say, and I'm damned well going to say what I think.

    "They put Robert Kennedy on a pedestal just because he was shot. They call him a legend. For what? Somebody said it right when they called him 'the runt of the litter.'

    "OK, so I didn't like him. Like him? Hell, I hated the . . . He was a parasite who had to work for the government because he wouldn't have known how to make an honest living . . . "

    The family maintains Jimmy Hoffa was railroaded into prison on charges of mail fraud and jury tampering, the result of a personal vendetta launched by Bobby Kennedy.

    "You have to remember that here you had a very young, rich person who had everything handed to him all his life -- money, power, position, jobs -- and for the first time, he ran into somebody who didn't necessarily get out of his way," Jim Hoffa said. "My father was a very strong, outspoken person. My father stood up to him."

    As they did before his disappearance, Hoffa's children continue to defend their father. They always have stood at his side, right where Crancer was as they were leaving the courtroom in Chattanooga, Tenn., the day her father was convicted. He looked at her and said: "Don't let 'em see you cry. If you're going to cry, wait 'til we get back to the hotel."
    <SCRIPT><!--D(["mb","\u003cbr /\> But there were times when even Jimmy Hoffa could not hold back tears. His son remembers March 7, 1967, the day his father prepared to leave his Washington apartment, and his family, for the Lewisburg (Pa.) Federal Penitentiary.\u003cbr /\>\u003cbr /\> &quot;We got up early in the morning, because he had to report to the federal courthouse,&quot; Jim Hoffa said. &quot;We all drove from my father\'s apartment down to the international (Teamsters) building, and of course everybody was there. All his supporters, everybody was crying because he was going away. There was one secretary who was in tears, saying, \'What are we going to do without you?\' He said, \'This organization will go on. It\'s a great organization. I\'ll be back.\' He said his goodbyes, and then it came time to go down and get in his car. . . . I remember he cried. He gave me a big hug and a kiss, and he was gone.&quot;\u003cbr /\>\u003cbr /\> Jo Hoffa, her health and spirit fading, couldn\'t get out of bed the day her husband left for prison.\u003cbr /\>\u003cbr /\> During her husband\'s imprisonment, Jo Hoffa traveled and met with various groups to keep the Hoffa name before the public, setting the stage for his return to power in the Teamsters. It was a role she forced herself to accept. Josephine Poszywak grew up poor and never adjusted to fame. Sometimes, she would say she wanted to put a bag over her husband\'s head when they went out in public so no one would recognize him.\u003cbr /\>\u003cbr /\> On Dec. 23, 1971, Bob Crancer greeted his father-in-law as Hoffa strode from prison. From Lewisburg, they flew to Detroit to pick up Jim Hoffa, then it was on to Barbara\'s place in St. Louis, where Christmas, a house full of people and a ham dinner waited.\u003cbr /\>\u003cbr /\> Following his release, he spent most his time seeking prison reforms and seeking a path back to the union throne.\u003cbr /\>\u003cbr /\> But Jimmy Hoffa was fooling himself as he fought back to lead the Teamsters, according to lifelong friend Robert Holmes, the former top-ranking Teamsters official in Michigan.\u003cbr /\>",1]);//--></SCRIPT>
    But there were times when even Jimmy Hoffa could not hold back tears. His son remembers March 7, 1967, the day his father prepared to leave his Washington apartment, and his family, for the Lewisburg (Pa.) Federal Penitentiary.

    "We got up early in the morning, because he had to report to the federal courthouse," Jim Hoffa said. "We all drove from my father's apartment down to the international (Teamsters) building, and of course everybody was there. All his supporters, everybody was crying because he was going away. There was one secretary who was in tears, saying, 'What are we going to do without you?' He said, 'This organization will go on. It's a great organization. I'll be back.' He said his goodbyes, and then it came time to go down and get in his car. . . . I remember he cried. He gave me a big hug and a kiss, and he was gone."

    Jo Hoffa, her health and spirit fading, couldn't get out of bed the day her husband left for prison.

    During her husband's imprisonment, Jo Hoffa traveled and met with various groups to keep the Hoffa name before the public, setting the stage for his return to power in the Teamsters. It was a role she forced herself to accept. Josephine Poszywak grew up poor and never adjusted to fame. Sometimes, she would say she wanted to put a bag over her husband's head when they went out in public so no one would recognize him.

    On Dec. 23, 1971, Bob Crancer greeted his father-in-law as Hoffa strode from prison. From Lewisburg, they flew to Detroit to pick up Jim Hoffa, then it was on to Barbara's place in St. Louis, where Christmas, a house full of people and a ham dinner waited.

    Following his release, he spent most his time seeking prison reforms and seeking a path back to the union throne.

    But Jimmy Hoffa was fooling himself as he fought back to lead the Teamsters, according to lifelong friend Robert Holmes, the former top-ranking Teamsters official in Michigan.
    <SCRIPT><!--D(["mb","\u003cbr /\> The world did not stand still while Hoffa was in prison, said Holmes. Times changed. Labor laws changed. And Hoffa changed.\u003cbr /\>\u003cbr /\> &quot;You\'re only on top once,&quot; mused Holmes. &quot;Why he wanted to come back, I don\'t know.&quot;\u003cbr /\>\u003cbr /\> When Jimmy Hoffa disappeared in 1975, Jo Hoffa wilted like a flower approaching winter. &quot;She just kept getting thinner and thinner, and I\'d say, \'You have to eat, Mom,\' and she would say, \'No, I don\'t feel like eating,\' &quot; Jim Hoffa said. The handsome, stylish woman who had stood proud next to her husband at the podium during rousing Teamsters conventions had withered to a spiritless 84 pounds when she died in 1980.\u003cbr /\>\u003cbr /\> &quot;You always felt that you could pick the phone up and call her up. I had that feeling for a couple years after she died,&quot; Jim Hoffa said. &quot;Even to this day, when I go by the cottage, I get a funny feeling.&quot;\u003cbr /\>\u003cbr /\> It was similar to the disbelief many Teamsters nursed for years following Hoffa\'s disappearance. Someday, somehow, they thought, he would return. When he left for prison, Jimmy Hoffa promised, &quot;I\'ll be back,&quot; and they held him to it.\u003cbr /\>\u003cbr /\> &quot;When they went to the \'76 convention, a year after he disappeared, they believed that Hoffa would walk in, and they\'d tear the place down,&quot; Jim Hoffa said. &quot;They believed that was the plan, and at the key moment, the doors would open and he would walk down the main aisle.&quot;\u003cbr /\>\u003cbr /\> But when the anticipated moment arrived, there was no resurrection. Hoffa didn\'t walk through the doors and, for those who had believed, a sigh of reality settled in like Casey\'s last at-bat.\u003cbr /\>\u003cbr /\> &quot;Jimmy Hoffa will go down in history as one of the great labor leaders of this country,&quot; his son said. &quot;And I think that\'s going to be the ultimate measure of him.&quot;\u003cbr /\>\u003cbr /\> Yet, the unsolved mystery means an ultimate measure of Jimmy Hoffa still is impossible, and his life story has no ending, something his children hope to find within the FBI files. Someday, his children say, they will have a memorial service for their father, a gathering of relatives and remaining friends -- many already have died.\u003cbr /\>\u003cbr /\> There likely will be a few stories about this son of a small-town coal worker who climbed to the top of the largest labor union in the country. Maybe a few toasts, a few laughs. And maybe, if there are any left, a few tears.\u003cbr /\>\u003c/div\>",0]);//--></SCRIPT>
    The world did not stand still while Hoffa was in prison, said Holmes. Times changed. Labor laws changed. And Hoffa changed.

    "You're only on top once," mused Holmes. "Why he wanted to come back, I don't know."

    When Jimmy Hoffa disappeared in 1975, Jo Hoffa wilted like a flower approaching winter. "She just kept getting thinner and thinner, and I'd say, 'You have to eat, Mom,' and she would say, 'No, I don't feel like eating,' " Jim Hoffa said. The handsome, stylish woman who had stood proud next to her husband at the podium during rousing Teamsters conventions had withered to a spiritless 84 pounds when she died in 1980.

    "You always felt that you could pick the phone up and call her up. I had that feeling for a couple years after she died," Jim Hoffa said. "Even to this day, when I go by the cottage, I get a funny feeling."

    It was similar to the disbelief many Teamsters nursed for years following Hoffa's disappearance. Someday, somehow, they thought, he would return. When he left for prison, Jimmy Hoffa promised, "I'll be back," and they held him to it.

    "When they went to the '76 convention, a year after he disappeared, they believed that Hoffa would walk in, and they'd tear the place down," Jim Hoffa said. "They believed that was the plan, and at the key moment, the doors would open and he would walk down the main aisle."

    But when the anticipated moment arrived, there was no resurrection. Hoffa didn't walk through the doors and, for those who had believed, a sigh of reality settled in like Casey's last at-bat.

    "Jimmy Hoffa will go down in history as one of the great labor leaders of this country," his son said. "And I think that's going to be the ultimate measure of him."

    Yet, the unsolved mystery means an ultimate measure of Jimmy Hoffa still is impossible, and his life story has no ending, something his children hope to find within the FBI files. Someday, his children say, they will have a memorial service for their father, a gathering of relatives and remaining friends -- many already have died.

    There likely will be a few stories about this son of a small-town coal worker who climbed to the top of the largest labor union in the country. Maybe a few toasts, a few laughs. And maybe, if there are any left, a few tears.

    <SCRIPT><!--D(["mi",0,5,"1123dee491d69d8 9",0,"0","infoweb@newsban k.com","infoweb@newsbank. com","infoweb@newsbank.co m",[[],[["me","fireangeldancer@gma il.com","1123dee491d69d89 "]],[]],"Apr 29",["fireangeldancer@gmail.co m"],[],[],[],"Apr 29, 2007 11:21 AM","Requested NewsBank Article","",[],0,,,"Sun Apr 29 2007_11:21 AM","On 4/29/07, infoweb@newsbank.com \u003cinfoweb@newsbank.co m\> wrote:","On 4/29/07, \u003cb class\u003dgmail_senderna me\>infoweb@newsbank.com\ u003c/b\> <infoweb@newsbank.com> wrote:","newsbank.com",,, "","",0,,"\u003c200704291 521.l3TFL3325146@s025b\>" ,0,,0,"In reply to \"Requested NewsBank Article\"",0]);//--></SCRIPT>

  2. #12
    mattwingo Guest

    Default hmmm

    Quote Originally Posted by Missouri Mule View Post
    I'm going from memory on this but O'Brien would argue that Hoffa was in the car and therefore it would be expected that Hoffa's hair would be there. However, Hoffa was reported to have said he hadn't seen O'Brien in many years but that would just be hearsay since he can't be called to the witness stand.

    This reminds me of the case in Ozark Missouri where the murdered wife's husband received the death penalty and then upon retrial a letter that was in her safe deposit box was ruled inadmissable because she wasn't alive to testify to its authenticity. He walked free.
    I wonder why they couldnt find someone to attest that if it was a safety deposit box and only she and the bank had the key that it was reasonable to believe it was hers. Then either have a graphologist examine the letter and her signature on file plus other identifiable writings. Surely someone had seen her write before. Seems the log should show when she put it in the box and they 2nd key holder could attest as witness she put it there. They have different rules of evidence there than Texas. Hmmm

  3. #13

    Default Re: Jimmy Hoffa

    http://www.livingstondaily.com/artic...land-Twp.-farm

    Dan Moldea, author of "The Hoffa Wars," told the Detroit News a handgun that an ex-convict claims was used to kill former Teamsters boss Jimmy Hoffa has been given to the FBI by a family member of Hoffa's union rivals.

    Moldea told the News that ex-convict Ted Lee Stall also said he witnessed Hoffa's burial at a farm in Hartland Township on Clyde Road and U.S 23.

    Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton said Stall is a "flim-flam artist."

    According to the Detroit News, the gun given to the FBI belonged to Rolland McMaster a Teamsters official who died in 2007. McMasters was suspected by Moldea of having a role in Hoffa's disappearance.
    The Hartland Township farm is owned by Stan Barr, a trucking executive, who in 1975 was called before the Federal Grand Jury that investigated Hoffa's disappearance the Detroit News article said.

    At the time of Hoffa's disappearance, the farm was owned by McMaster. The Hartland Township Farm is about 12 miles away from the Milford Township farm previously owned by McMaster where in 2006, FBI agents searched for Hoffa's body according to the Detroit News.
    Hoffa was last seen outside the Machus Red Fox Restaurant in Bloomfield Township on July 30, 1975.

  4. #14

    Default Re: Jimmy Hoffa

    Hoffa and Shergar Mysteries continue to remain elusive!


    http://www.sundayworld.com/top-stori...emain-illusive

    The battle to solve America’s biggest mafia mystery continues as the search for the remains of corrupt union Boss Jimmy Hoffa draws blanks after an explosion of tips from covert sources and Mafia insiders.
    The disappearance of the Teamster’s boss is part of mafia mythology and has perplexed investigators for generations since 1975. Many tips, leads and hints have been followed up and chased to no avail bringing a fascinated public back to the favourite theory that gangster Union boss is buried at the famous Wrigley Field, baseball stadium in Chicago.
    The recent suggestion from a former Detroit Crime boss claimed that his body lay under water in a wooded are of Oakland County, Michigan but that proved to be fruitless. Now investigators are returning to the early theory and putting the hallowed baseball turf back in the frame.
    Tony Zerilli, a longtime mafia boss was believed to have been a credible witness has a book coming out on March 1st and is still in jail and fans of the mafia saga are hoping that answers to the Hoffa mystery will be resolved.
    Zerilli has long maintained that he was not involved in the disappearance of the union boss in 1975 where he was last seen at The Red Fox Restaurant in suburban Detroit. Like the hunt for Shergar, this mystery looks like it will never be solved. If it is not solved within the next ten years it is likely that the important answers will never be found.
    Sunday World reported how Hoffa's long time friend Frank 'the Irishman' Sheeran confessed to the murder in his book 'I heard You Paint Houses' which is to be turned into a movie by Martin Scorcese starring Goodfellas legends Robert de Niro and Joe Pesci, as well as Al Pacino.

  5. #15

    Default Re: Jimmy Hoffa

    Tampa holds clues in mystery of Hoffa’s disappearance

    http://tbo.com/news/politics/tampa-h...ance-20150710/

    TAMPA — Mention Jimmy Hoffa to Chris Ragano and the first thing he’ll think of is the fiery leader of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters who clashed with the Kennedy family and buddied up with the Mafia before he disappeared 40 years ago, on July 30, 1975.
    Next, Ragano thinks about Hoffa’s thumbs.
    A Tampa family law attorney, Ragano is son of the late Frank Ragano — the Tampa lawyer best known for keeping the word “alleged” attached to crimes linked to the late Tampa crime kingpin Santo Trafficante Jr.
    Frank Ragano was also Hoffa’s legal counsel and friend.
    The union leader would visit the Ragano home when they lived in Miami. Sometimes he showed off his strength, doing pushups with his thumbs while a young Chris Ragano sat on his back.
    “He had unbelievable strength,” said Ragano, 45.
    When Hoffa failed to return home on day in 1975, Frank Ragano was one of the first people a worried Josephine Hoffa called, Chris Ragano said.
    Frank Ragano immediately suspected his friend was dead and the body would never be found, his son said.
    Frank Ragano once told his son there is a rule among Sicilian gangsters: If someone hurts their bottom line, the response has to hit the culprit and then hurt his family financially, too.
    Without a body, Hoffa was a missing person for seven years before he was declared dead, July 30, 1982. His family couldn’t collect benefits until then.
    Hoffa loved the power that came with his position as leader of a union representing 90 percent of the unionized ground transportation industry nationwide, Chris Ragano said.
    He resigned as a condition of a pardon issued by then-President Richard Nixon. But he hoped to win back his old office, Ragano said, maybe by agreeing to inform on his mob friends.
    “Jimmy was going to be a whistleblower,” Ragano said. “And he was really a man who was just obsessed with telling all. He was an egomaniac.”
    Until Frank Ragano died in 1998, he insisted his friend would never be seen again and claimed this belief was validated during a conversation he had in 1987 when Trafficante told him, during a drive on Bayshore Boulevard, that the northern syndicate killed Hoffa for running his mouth.
    “He often told me how much he missed him and wished he was still around,” Chris Rogano said.

    Hoffa’s wife signed over the rights to her husband’s life story to Ragano, his son said, because she trusted him to uphold the Teamster leader’s image.
    When “Hoffa” with Jack Nicholson was made without the estate’s permission, Chris Ragano said, his father sued the producers.
    “They settled out of court. And you’ll notice my father is listed as a technical advisor in the credits.”
    Ragano’s most famous link to Hoffa was the lawyer’s claim that the Teamster president had him deliver a note to Trafficante suggesting the murder of President John F. Kennedy because of the campaign by his brother, Attorney General Robert Kennedy, to end organized crime and expose the Teamster connection.
    Ragano said Trafficante confessed him on that same Bayshore Boulevard drive that he was connected to the assasination.
    Trafficante’s family has dismissed the story, saying Trafficante was in a Miami hospital that day.
    “It’s always hard to tell what is true and false about Ragano,” said Tampa mob historian Scott Deitche, who has authored several books on organized crime. “He said a lot and then when he died his stories made it onto the Internet and became a real part of history, whether true or not. Even after he died, rumors he didn’t start sprung up.”
    Take for instance the one that surfaced in 2013, about a former employee of Tampa’s Palma Ceia Golf and Country Club overhearing Ragano, Trafficante and New Orleans Mafia kingpin Carlos Marcello discussing plans for Bobby Riggs to throw his famed battle of the sexes tennis match in 1973 against Billie Jean King.
    “Absolutely untrue,” Chris Ragano said.
    Why would his father have spoken openly on the Kennedy assassination but keep secret a rigged tennis match?
    Ragano was first recruited as Trafficante’s legal counsel in 1954 after he represented local organized crime members in an illegal gambling case.
    Ragano, his son said, was Trafficante’s type of attorney — Sicilian, an Italian speaker, an Ybor City native.
    Their two families also had a history that dated to their childhoods. On the request of Frank Ragano’s father, the elder Trafficante — Santo Sr. — is said to have ordered the beating of his sister’s abusive husband.

    It was through Trafficante that Frank Ragano would later add Marcello and Hoffa to his client list.
    Over the years, Ragano also provided legal counsel for celebrities Burt Reynolds, Liberace and Rocky Marciano, but his son said most of his time was spent defending his three infamous clients.
    “Hoffa needed someone to defend him against the ‘Get Hoffa Squad,’” Chris Ragano said. “That alone kept my father busy.”
    The Get Hoffa Squad was the name of a team formed by Robert Kennedy.
    Hoffa purportedly used Mafia muscle to force other unions to fold so his Teamsters could control more territory. In return, the Mafia was loaned money illegally from Teamster pension funds.
    When Trafficante or one of his associates wanted a loan, Ragano brokered the deal, Ragano said in a 1992 “60 Minutes” interview.
    “Jimmy was a workaholic,” Chris Ragano said. “He would not stop working until Bobby — ‘Booby’ as Jimmy called him — and his team turned off their lights at the Justice Department.”
    Hoffa and Ragano worked together so much, they became like brothers.
    “My father affectionately called him ‘Marteditsu,’ which meant ‘Little Hammer.’”
    During the “60 Minutes” interview, Ragano said, “I love him for many reasons, warts and all I loved him and I was aware of all the warts which included kickbacks.”

    He said then Hoffa was “my kind of guy” because he wore his feelings on his sleeve.
    Ragano also admitted he crossed the line professionally by becoming too personally connected to his clients. Their enemies became his, he said, as seen in his willingness to deliver the message suggesting a Kennedy assassination and later celebrating news of the murder with Trafficante.
    Ken Larsen, a former undercover vice detective for the Tampa Police Department, said Ragano may have gone after Trafficante’s enemies in Tampa, too.
    On a few occasions, Ragano met with Larsen’s boss to tell him secrets about the local underworld. But the boss — vice Sgt. Richard Cloud, gunned down in a 1975 organized crime hit — was skeptical.
    “Ragano would give him information but Cloud wasn’t buying it,” Larsen said. “He felt Ragano was trying to use him, feeding him information for selfish purposes, such as wanting a competitor of a client looked at.”

    Try as he might, Ragano couldn’t keep his friend Hoffa out of prison.
    In 1967, the Teamster leader began serving a 13-year sentence for jury tampering, attempted bribery and fraud. Nixon pardoned him in 1971 on the condition he resign as head of the Teamsters and stay away from the union until 1980, when his prison term would have ended.
    Ragano, in his “60 Minutes” interview, said Nixon was also swayed by a secret $1 million campaign gift.
    Hoffa was not content with freedom alone.
    He wanted back in as Teamster president and was still popular enough to have won election.
    Former members of organized crime syndicates have said publicly over the years that their bosses didn’t want Hoffa back, that successor Frank Fitzsimmons was easier to work with and even more generous with the pension fund.
    Hoffa lost a court bid to revoke Nixon’s order.
    Whether he then offered to serve as an informant, as some accounts say he did, remains unknown.
    Hoffa last was seen 40 years ago this month at a Detroit restaurant, for what was to be a “peace meeting” with Detroit and New Jersey mobsters.
    His wife told investigators he called her around 2:30 p.m. to say they never showed up.
    She never heard from him again.

    In the interim, many theories arose about what happened to him.
    One says he was killed by Frank “Irishman” Sheeran, Hoffa’s friend and a fellow Teamster. Late in his life, Sheeran — who died in 2003 — claimed he murdered Hoffa after serving as his hit man for a number of years.
    “Others point the finger at Detroit mobster Tony Zerilli,” said author Deitche. “And most now think his body was compacted in a car in a Detroit junkyard so it will never be found.”
    In 2013, Zerilli directed investigators to property in a suburb of Detroit where he said Hoffa was buried. But after three days of digging, overseen by the FBI, they gave up.
    From time-to-time, Chris Ragano said, someone he represents through his family law firm asks if he is related to the infamous “Mob Lawyer,”
    When he says yes, the follow up question is often the same: “Where is Hoffa buried?”
    “They’ll never find it,” Ragano said. “That was the intent.”

  6. #16

    Default Re: Jimmy Hoffa

    Eric Shawn Reports: How Frank Sheeran killed Jimmy Hoffa

    http://www.foxnews.com/us/2016/07/30...mmy-hoffa.html

    killed Jimmy Hoffa



    By
    Published July 30, 2016


    It all started, and ended, on this day 41 years ago.
    It was a hot July afternoon, nearly 92 degrees, when Teamsters president and labor icon Jimmy Hoffa is said to have opened the rear door of a maroon 1975 Mercury in the parking lot of the Machus Red Fox restaurant in Bloomfield Hills, Mich. and climbed in.
    He was never seen again.
    The FBI has expended countless resources in the ensuing decades in the hopes of finally solving this enduring American mystery with no success.
    But I believe, based on my 2004 investigation, that Frank Sheeran did it.
    "Suspects Outside of Michigan: Francis Joseph "Frank" Sheeran, age 43, president local 326, Wilmington, Delaware. Resides in Philadelphia and is known associate of Russel Bufalino, La Cosa Nostra Chief, Eastern Pennsylvania," reads the 1976 HOFFEX memo, the compilation of everything investigators knew about Hoffa's disappearance that was prepared for a high level, secret conference at FBI headquarters six months after he vanished.
    Sheeran, known as "The Irishman," told me that he drove with Hoffa to a nearby house where he shot him twice in the back of the head. Our investigation subsequently yielded the corroboration, the suspected blood evidence on the hardwood floor and down the hallway of that house, that supports Frank's story.
    No one who has ever boasted about knowing what really happened to Jimmy Hoffa has had their claims tested, scrutinized, and then corroborated by independently discovered evidence ... except Frank.
    He is also the only one of the FBI's dozen suspects who has ever come forward and talked publicly about the killing, let alone admitted involvement.
    Every other claim that you have ever heard about, from Hoffa being buried in the end zone of Giants Stadium to being entombed under a strip of highway asphalt somewhere, came from people who were never on the bureau's list of people suspected of actual involvement.
    For that reason, Frank stands alone.
    Six weeks after Hoffa disappeared, Frank, along with the other suspects, was summoned before the Detroit grand jury investigating the case. He took the Fifth.
    When I met him in the spring of 2001, Frank freely talked.
    My meeting with Frank was arranged so that I could take his measure, and he mine, for a possible in-depth investigation, interview and news story about his claims. He was accompanied by his former lawyer Charlie Brandt, the author of Frank's then-proposed biography, which tells the Hoffa story. Charlie had been able to spring Frank from a Mafia-related federal racketeering prison sentence, and for that reason was taken into Frank's confidence.
    It would be three years before the book, "I Hear You Paint Houses: Frank 'The Irishman' Sheeran And Closing The Case On Jimmy Hoffa" would be published by Steerforth Press, and before the first of my many news stories about Frank, and our investigation, would air on television.
    Frank's story is this: He and others were ordered by the Mafia to kill Hoffa to prevent him from trying to run again for the presidency of the Teamsters union. Hoffa had resigned after serving prison time for jury tampering, attempted bribery and fraud convictions. Frank picked Hoffa up at the restaurant, accompanied by two others, to supposedly drive Hoffa to a mob meeting. When they walked into the empty house together, with Frank a step behind Hoffa, he raised his pistol at point-blank range and fired two fatal shots into his unsuspecting target, turned around and left. He said Hoffa's body was then dragged down the hall by two awaiting accomplices, and that he was later told Hoffa was cremated at a mob-connected funeral home.
    Frank had an imposing, old-school mobster way about him that even his advanced years -- he was 80 at the time of our first meeting -- did not betray. His menacing aura was also not diminished by a severe case of arthritis that crippled him so badly that he hunched over when he slowly walked with two canes, struggling to put one foot in front of the other.
    I found Frank tough, determined, steely.
    As I listened to his matter-of-fact recounting of what he said went down at that house, and giving such detail, I remember thinking what he was saying could actually be true.
    Here's why:
    There is no doubt that Frank was a close confidant of Hoffa, someone who Hoffa trusted. And Hoffa didn't trust very many people.
    Frank was both a top Teamsters Union official in Delaware and an admitted Bufalino crime family hit-man, a top aide to the boss himself.
    The FBI admits that Frank was "known to be in Detroit area at the time of JRH disappearance, and considered to be a close friend of JRH," as the HOFFEX memo states.
    Hoffa's son, current Teamsters President James P. Hoffa, told me in September 2001 that his father would have gotten into the car with Frank. He said that his father would not have taken that ride with some of the other FBI suspects whom I mentioned.
    In the book, Frank says that he sat in the front passenger seat of the car as a subtle warning to Hoffa, who habitually sat there. He felt a deep friendship and loyalty to Hoffa, yet knew what his own fate would be if he failed to carry out the lethal order from his mob masters. So he sat in the front seat hoping Hoffa would realize something was wrong. Hoffa did not.
    The FBI did find "a single three-inch brown hair...in the rear seat back rest" of that car that matched Hoffa, and three dogs picked up "a strong indication of JRH scents in the rear right seat."
    I asked Frank if he remembered how to get to the house where he said he killed Hoffa. I thought finding where Hoffa was shot, and investigating everything about the house, could be key to the case. Frank rattled off the driving directions from the restaurant and described the house's interior layout.
    Killers may not remember an exact address of a murder scene, but they never forget how they got there and what they did when they arrived.
    "Sheeran gave us the directions," Charlie wrote in the book. "This was the first time he had ever revealed the directions to me. His deepened voice and hard demeanor was chilling, when, for the first time ever, he stated publicly to someone other than me that he had shot Jimmy Hoffa."
    A year after our meeting, Charlie and Frank drove to Detroit to try to find the house, and when they did Frank pointed it out to Charlie. They did not go inside.
    Three years later, in 2004, Charlie, Fox News producer Ed Barnes and I first set foot into the home's foyer, looked around the first floor and saw that Frank's description fit the interior to a tee.
    Ed and I arranged with the homeowners to take up the floorboards in the foyer and hallway and remove the press-on vinyl floor tiles that they had put down over the original hardwood floors when they bought the house in 1989.
    We hired a forensic team of retired Michigan state police investigators to try to find any blood evidence. They sprayed the chemical luminol on the floors, which homicide detectives routinely use to discover the presence of blood.
    We found it.
    The testing revealed a specific pattern of blood evidence, laid out like a map of clues to the nation's most infamous unsolved murder. Little yellow numbered tags were placed throughout the first floor foyer and hallway, to mark each spot where the investigators' testing yielded positive hits.
    The pattern told the story of how Hoffa was killed.
    The greatest amount of positive hits were found right next to the front door, where Hoffa's bleeding head would have hit the floor.
    Seven more tags lined the narrow hallway toward the rear kitchen, marking the drops that perfectly mimic Frank's story of Hoffa's lifeless body being dragged to the kitchen by the two waiting accomplices, who then stuffed it into a body bag and carried it out the back kitchen door.
    We arranged for the Oakland County prosecutor's office to remove the floorboards for DNA testing by the FBI, though Oakland County Prosecutor David Gorcyca cautioned that it would be "a miracle" if Hoffa's DNA was recovered.
    I knew those odds. A DNA hit was beyond a long shot.
    Experts told me that such tiny samples of genetic material, degraded by the passage of 29 years and exposure to air and the elements under a homeowner's heavily trafficked floor, would likely not provide enough material to result in a DNA match.
    The FBI lab report says that chemical tests were conducted on 50 specimens; 28 tested positive for the possible presence of blood, and DNA was only recovered from two samples.
    The FBI compared what was recovered to the DNA from a known strand of Hoffa's hair. One sample was found to be "of male origin," but it was not determined from whom. The other result was "largely inconclusive."
    Was I disappointed that a DNA match was not possible? Yes. Was I surprised? No. Did I think this disproved Frank's claim? No.
    Think about it.
    What are the chances of any random house in America testing positive for blood traces from more than two dozen samples, in the exact pattern that corroborates a man's murder confession?
    What would luminol reveal under your home's floor?
    There are other reasons to believe why Frank's scenario fits.
    The house was most likely empty on the day Hoffa died. It was built in the 1920's and owned for five decades by a single woman, Martha Sellers, a teacher and department store employee. By the summer of 1975, Sellers was in her 80s, and not living there full time. Her family told The Detroit News and Free Press that she had bought another home in Plymouth, Mich., where she would move permanently the next year.
    Frank says that a man he called "a real estater" lived in the house. The Sellers family remembered that boarder, who they recalled resided in an upstairs bedroom. He was described as "a shadowy figure...who would disappear. He never said more than a few words and they know nothing about him, not even his name."
    It is quite possible that "the real estater," was the link between the house and the Detroit mob, providing an empty house as needed, when Sellers was absent, for whatever purpose — including using it as a Mafia hit house to murder Jimmy Hoffa.
    The FBI clearly believed Sheeran had credibility. Agents visited him in his final years in an unsuccessful attempt to secure his cooperation.
    While we were conducting our investigation in Detroit in 2004, the FBI, I was told, had tried to find the house even before we aired our story.
    And the views of those closest to Jimmy Hoffa, his son and daughter, seem especially relevant when assessing Frank's credibility.
    Not only did James P. Hoffa confirm that his father would have driven off with Frank, but his sister, Hoffa's daughter, Barbara Crancer, wrote Frank a poignant letter begging him to come clean about their father's fate.
    In the one-page handwritten note dated March 5, 1995, she wrote:
    "It is my personal belief that there are many people who called themselves loyal friends who know what happened to James R. Hoffa, who did it and why. The fact that not one of them has ever told his family -- even under a vow of secrecy, is painful to me..."
    She then underlined: "I believe you are one of those people."
    Crancer confirmed to me that she wrote that letter.
    Sadly for the Hoffa family, Frank never directly honored her request. When I sat with him, he said that his No. 1 priority was not to go back to "college," meaning prison. He decided that the best way to avoid that possibility, while also revealing his story, was to share his secrets for the book and my reporting.
    Frank died on Dec. 14, 2003. He was 83.
    While authorities no doubt will continue to respond to more tips, as they should, I believe that we already know what happened to Jimmy Hoffa.
    Frank described the most precise and credible scenario yet to be recounted, and the evidence that we found in the house backs up his confession.
    In the four decades since, Hoffa's life and legacy as a pivotal part of the American labor movement has been overshadowed by his disappearance. But it seems clear that organized crime bosses did not want him to resume the mantle of the Teamsters presidency, and went to the ultimate length to prevent his return.
    Today Hoffa's union, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, represents 1.4 million workers and continues to be headed by his son. Last year, a milestone was marked in its attempts to shed any specter of possible organized crime. Federal Judge Loretta Preska approved the Department of Justice and union agreement that will end the U.S. government oversight of the Teamsters that has lasted for more than 25 years.
    U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said at the time that the union had made "significant progress" in "ridding ... the influence of organized crime and corruption," though he cautioned that "the threat ... persists."
    Hoffa called it "an historic agreement ... our union is committed to the democratic process, and we can proudly declare that corrupt elements have been driven from the Teamsters."
    Sadly, it was those corrupt elements that took the life of his father as he tried to take back his union.
    "Jimmy Hoffa raised millions of workers and their families out of poverty and into the middle class,” noted the Teamsters Union in a statement to Fox News.
    “He gave his life while fighting to remove corrupt elements from the union and return power to the members. This tragic anniversary is particularly difficult on his family who lost a father and grandfather much too soon. They want nothing more than to have the closure that they so deserve."
    Frank’s story will soon be told in a major motion picture, “The Irishman,” starring Robert De Niro as Frank, directed by Martin Scorsese and produced by Irwin Winkler. Tribeca Films, in association with Paramount Pictures, will bring this story to the big screen in 2018. Al Pacino, Joe Pesci and Harvey Keitel are also reported to also have roles, uniting the legendary actors of the mob movie genre in one film.
    Follow Eric Shawn on Twitter @EricShawnTV
    Eric Shawn is a New York-based anchor and senior correspondent for FOX News Channel (FNC). He anchors "America's News Headquarters" on Saturdays at 6 pm and Sundays from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. and 4 p.m to 5 p.m ET. and "Sunday Morning Futures with Maria Bartiromo." He anchors frequently during the week on the Fox News Channel and reports on politics, terrorism, and foreign affairs. Shawn has provided live coverage from both the Democratic and Republican National Conventions since 1992 and anchored convention coverage this summer. In 2004 he led the Fox News investigative team that uncovered new evidence in the murder of Jimmy Hoffa, based on the claims of hit-man Frank Sheeran.
    Last edited by Starless; 08-01-2016 at 08:36 AM.

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