James Riddle "Jimmy" Hoffa (February 14, 1913 - on or about July 30, 1975) was a noted American labor leader with ties to the Mafia. As the President of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters from the mid-1950s to the mid-1960s, Hoffa wielded considerable influence. He is also well-known in popular culture for the mysterious circumstances surrounding his still-unexplained disappearance and presumed death.
Latest News: Jimmy Hoffa still dead
Police checking out Hoffa tip in Detroit suburb. Investigators will take soil samples from the ground beneath a suburban Detroit driveway after a man told police he believes he witnessed the burial of missing Teamsters leader Jimmy Hoffa about 35 years ago, police said Wednesday. Roseville Police Chief James Berlin said his department received a tip from a man who said he saw a body buried approximately 35 years ago and "thinks it may have been Jimmy he saw interred." "We are not claiming it's Jimmy Hoffa, the timeline doesn't add up," Berlin said. "We're investigating a body that may be at the location." Hoffa was last seen on July 30, 1975, outside a suburban Detroit restaurant where he was supposed to meet with a New Jersey Teamsters boss and a Detroit Mafia captain. His body has not been found despite a number of searches over the years. http://news.yahoo.com/police-checking-hoffa-tip-detroit-suburb-220952299.html
Breaking news, Mr. Hoffa still dead
No Hoffa, but $160,000 for barn
The U.S. Justice Department paid $160,000 to the owners of a Milford Township horse farm to replace a barn the FBI removed last summer in a fruitless search for the remains of former Teamsters boss Jimmy Hoffa, records released under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act show.
The FBI paid another $65,000 to excavators, anthropologists and other contractors involved in the two-week search, the records released to The Detroit News show.
The $225,000 price tag for the search does not include salary or travel costs for what the FBI said at the time was 40 to 50 agents involved in the dig.
The search at the Hidden Dreams Farm brought a horde of media, curiosity-seekers and souvenir hawkers to nearby Milford last May. The cost is controversial because Hoffa disappeared nearly 32 years ago, on July 30, 1975, and it is unlikely anyone could still be successfully prosecuted for his apparent murder.
"The way the economy is, I just don't like seeing them spending money on things like that," said Mark Johnstone, a Redford Township dental technician.
"Most of the players in that whole situation are long dead."
Still, solving the notorious crime remains a priority for the FBI. The agency director, Robert Mueller, said during a visit to Detroit in December that the FBI will continue to follow leads in the case, and he believes the FBI will solve it.
The biggest expense, to replace the barn, is described in a May 23, 2006, letter to the Hidden Dreams Farm from a Justice Department official in Washington, D.C. The FBI was to pay the owners of the farm $160,000 upon demolition of the barn. The amount is "based upon reconstruction estimates for the barn," the letter said.
The owners of the Hidden Dreams Farm, Tina Lessnau and Paula Messier, have not commented throughout the search and would not comment for this story, a man who answered the phone at the farm said Tuesday.
Hoffa's daughter, St. Louis administrative law judge Barbara Ann Crancer, said she and the rest of the Hoffa family appreciate the continued efforts to solve the case.
- Costs of Hoffa dig
- Barn replacement: $160,000
- Excavation: $24,741
- Portable horse stalls: $18,270
- Electrical: $7,445
- Anthropology services: $5,418
- Storage: $750
- Portable toilets: $680
- Other charges: $8,000
"We always appreciate the fact that they never give up," she said.
Dawn Clenney, a Detroit spokeswoman for the FBI, said Tuesday the costs are in line with expectations.
"We knew that we were going to have to replace the barn if we took it down," Clenney said. "We've got to make the people whole." As for the contractor costs, "we had to have professional people who knew what they were doing come in to assist us," she said. "We didn't want to be there any longer than we had to and disrupt their lives and their business."
Clenney said no overtime or additional labor costs were associated with the search.
"The agents would have been working on something else if they had not been working on that, and they have to be paid," she said. The tip to dig up the horse farm came from former Hoffa associate Donovan Wells, who was an inmate at a federal medical prison in Kentucky serving a 10-year sentence for marijuana trafficking. Although the search turned up nothing, the U.S. Attorney's Office granted Wells an early release in January, citing his poor medical condition.
"To this day I don't know that any of us know how solid that lead was, but it didn't appear to be all that substantial," said U.S. Rep. Joe Knollenberg, R-Bloomfield Hills, who had expressed concern in May about the mounting cost of the search. Wells could not be reached for comment Tuesday.
Update: Mr. Hoffa still deceased
October 20, 2006 Mr. Hoffa is still dead.
Hoffa was born in Brazil, Indiana, the son of a poor coal miner. His father died when he was young and Hoffa could not stay in school. Hoffa moved to Lake Orion, Michigan to work in a warehouse. He developed a reputation as a tough street fighter who always stood up for his fellow workers against management. Because of this, Hoffa was fired from his warehouse job and hired as an organizer for Local 298 of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT). He and other IBT organizers conflicted with management in their organizing efforts throughout Detroit. Hoffa additionally used organized crime connections to shake down an association of small grocery stores, leading to his first criminal conviction, for which he paid a fine. After he rose to a leadership position in Local 298, Hoffa continued to work with crime syndicates in Detroit, using the threat of labor trouble to induce business to use a mobster controlled clothier (Friedman and Schwarz, 1988).
He was a natural leader who was upset at the mistreatment of workers. In 1933, age twenty, he helped organize his first strike of "swampers", the workers who loaded and unloaded strawberries and other produce on and off delivery trunks.
Hoffa details withheld by FBI
The FBI on Friday released a heavily redacted version of the affidavit it recently used to get a warrant to search a farm for the remains of ex-Teamsters President Jimmy Hoffa.
In the 40-page affidavit, the FBI completely blacked out 12 pages and partially blacked out 23 others.
The document was released partly in response to a motion filed by the Detroit Free Press. The newspaper argued in court filings there is no good reason to keep the affidavit's contents secret and the public has a right to know what it says.
The FBI spent an estimated $250,000 and nearly two weeks in May digging and searching and demolishing a barn at a farm in Milford Township once owned by Hoffa associate Rolland McMaster, who is now 92. They found nothing.
Free Press lawyer Herschel Fink described the release of the redacted document as "a meaningless gesture that changes nothing."
It's obvious the informant referred to in the affidavit is 75-year-old convict and former Hoffa associate Donovan Wells, whose identity has been widely reported in the Detroit media, Fink said, yet the FBI even redacted Wells' name in the material it released.
Update: Mr. Hoffa still deceased
September 20, 2011, by all reports, Mr. Hoffa is still dead.
The FBI launched a search for the body of former Teamsters President James R. Hoffa Wednesday in an Oakland County farm field after agents from the organized crime squad in Detroit obtained a search warrant from a federal judge Tuesday.
An undisclosed FBI source offered information about Hoffa's whereabouts in recent weeks that was deemed credible and detailed enough to mount a search. FBI Special Agent Dawn Clenney confirmed the search began today with a team of agents and the Bloomfield Township police.
The search is "in connection with the ongoing investigation into James Riddle Hoffa's disappearance. for evidence of criminal activity that may have occurred under prior ownership," Clenney said, reading from a prepared statement. She said it was based on one of numerous leads the FBI has received and declined to say if the search would continue into the night.
The search could take several days.