The More Things Change…..A Jimmy Hoffa Murder Investigation Timeline (1975-2019)

The FBI has been searching for Jimmy Hoffa’s remains for 44 years. Nobody has ever been arrested for the biggest mob hit of the 20th Century, but the feds continue to investigate it vigorously four and a half decades later. Ever since the Teamsters boss vanished from a Bloomfield Township, Michigan restaurant parking lot on the afternoon of July 30, 1975 on his way to meet a pair of powerful mobsters (Detroit mafia street boss Tony Giacalone and New Jersey mafia capo Tony Provenzano) to discuss his intention of taking back the union’s presidency (a job he held for 13 years, gave up during a prison stint and one members of organized crime didn’t want him returning to), the U.S. government has spent hundreds of millions of dollars of resources and man hours trying to find answers. This is what they’ve found out: The Jimmy Hoffa Investigation Timeline (1975-2019) July 30, 1975 – Former Teamsters president Jimmy Hoffa, 62, disappears on his way to a meeting with powerful mafia captains, Anthony (Tony Jack) Giacalone out of Hoffa’s hometown of Detroit and Anthony (Tony Pro) Provenzano out of New Jersey and the Genovese crime family. He’s last seen outside the Machus Red Fox restaurant in Bloomfield Township, Michigan at around 2:45 p.m. getting into and driving away in a 1975 maroon-colored Mercury Marquis, believed to be owned by Tony Jack’s son, Joseph (Joey Jack) Giacalone. Hoffa was promised a chance at squashing a beef with Provenzano whose support he needed to win back the Teamsters presidency in 1976. July 31, 1975 – Jimmy Hoffa’s green-colored Pontiac Grand Ville is found by his close friend and mob associate Louis (Louie the Pope) Linteau sitting in the Red Fox parking lot. August 2, 1975 – The FBI steps in to take over the Hoffa missing person’s and homicide probe from the local police. August 8, 1975 – The FBI obtains a search warrant for Joey Giacalone’s car and finds fingerprints belonging to Hoffa’s surrogate son, Chuckie O’Brien on a soda bottle and a slip of paper inside. O’Brien admits taking possession of the vehicle from Joey Jack the morning of July 30, but denies any involvement in Hoffa’s demise. August 9, 1975 – The FBI confiscates Joey Giacalone’s car. The 1975 Mercury Marquis is the only piece of substantial physical evidence ever collected by authorities in the high-profile inquiry. Today, the car sits in the garage storage unit of the Detroit FBI office. August 21, 1975 – The FBI confirms dogs detected Hoffa’s scent in the backseat and trunk of Joey Giacalone’s Mercury Marquis. September 2, 1975 – A Federal grand jury is convened in Detroit to explore bringing homicide charges in the Hoffa case. March 21, 1978 – Genovese crime family soldier Salvatore (Sally Bugs) Briguglio is shot to death in New York’s Little Italy by two masked assailants. Briguglio served as Tony Provenzano’s right hand man and one of his main assassins and considered by many a prime suspect and suspected triggerman in the Hoffa hit. July 30, 1981 – Detroit mob soldier Carlo Licata dies suspiciously in his Bloomfield Township home, referred to in local underworld circles as “The House on the Hill.” The Licata residence, located less than a five minute drive from the Red Fox, was known for hosting meetings between Jimmy Hoffa and Tony Giacalone and some FBI agents believe Hoffa was killed there. Licata was found with two gunshot wounds to the heart on the six-year anniversary of Hoffa’s disappearance, a death officially ruled a suicide. Licata’s dad was deceased Los Angeles mob boss Nick Licata and married to the sister of then Detroit mafia don Giacomo (Black Jack) Tocco. July 30, 1982 – Jimmy Hoffa is declared legally dead on the seven-year anniversary of his disappearance. June 22, 1982 – East coast mob enforcer-turned-FBI informant Charlie Allen claims Tony Provenzano set the Hoffa hit into motion and Hoffa’s body was “chopped up” and “thrown into a Florida swamp” in testimony before the United States Senate. Allen told legislators he was recruited by Hoffa to kill his successor as Teamster president Frank Fitzsimmons. February 1989 – St. Louis Judge Barbara Crancer, Jimmy Hoffa’s daughter, takes the FBI to court for the release of her father’s murder file and eventually wins ruling to turn over documents related to the probe. The U.S. Attorney’s Office enters an appeal and gets to postpone delivery of file to the Hoffa family. June 18, 1989 – Retired Detroit FBI chief Kenny Walton does an interview with the Detroit News and states bluntly he knows who killed Hoffa and how they did it, however the Bureau could never indict anyone in the case in his tenure as head of the feds Motown office (1985-1988) due to the intelligence coming from confidential informants instead of future witnesses in court. September 20, 1989 – East coast mobster-turned-FBI informant Donald (Tony the Greek) Frankos, the former driver and bodyguard for Tony Provenzano, who had died a year earlier of a heart attack in prison, claims he killed Hoffa and buried him under a goal post at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. August 5, 1993 – The U.S. Court of Appeals reverses the decision of the lower court demanding that the FBI fork over their files on the Hoffa murder to his family. November 2000 – The FBI conducts a meeting in Detroit to discuss re-ramping up Hoffa investigation. February 23, 2001 – Detroit mob street boss Tony Giacalone dies of kidney failure awaiting trial under indictment for federal racketeering. Authorities believe Giacalone planned the details of the Hoffa hit and had his younger brother and fellow mob capo Vito (Billy Jack) Giacalone represent him on the job itself. March 2001 – Through DNA testing, the FBI matches hair on a brush Hoffa once used and a strand found in Joey Giacalone’s car, leading to a high-priority get-together of current and former investigators aimed at arriving at a consensus of where to go with the Hoffa probe. March 2002 – The FBI refers the Hoffa case to state prosecutors requesting that authorities in Oakland County, Michigan look into bringing murder charges against those longtime suspects still alive. August 29, 2002 – Prosecutors in Oakland County announce DNA evidence not conclusive enough to bring charges. November 2002 — Retired corrections officer Mike Yarbrough informs the FBI he saw Hoffa buried by the Provenzano crew at the Renaissance Center construction site in downtown Detroit the morning after he disappeared. The “Ren Cen” is the centerpiece of the Motor City skyline and the concrete was being poured in the construction of the multi-tower building the week Hoffa went missing. Yarbrough told investigators he saw Joey Giacalone’s Mercury Marquis at the scene of the burial. The FBI never informed the Oakland County Prosecutor of Yarbrough’s claim. July 16, 2003 – Acting on a tip from imprisoned murderer Richard Powell, Oakland County Sherriff’s Department deputies search an underground pool in Hampton Township, Michigan looking for evidence of Hoffa’s murder, specifically a syringe and briefcase. December 14, 2003 – Retired east coast mob hit man and regional Teamsters president, Frank (The Irishman) Sheeran from Delaware, gives a deathbed confession taking responsibility for being the triggerman in the Hoffa hit. Sheeran worked for Pennsylvania mafia bosses Russell Bufalino and Angelo Bruno and was close friends with Hoffa. May 8, 2004 – Police evidence units from Bloomfield Township, Michigan dig up floorboards in the Northwest Detroit home Frank Sheeran said he shot Hoffa to death in but fail to find any DNA match. March 5, 2006 – Notorious east coast hit man Richard (The Iceman) Kuklinski gives a deathbed confession claiming he killed Hoffa, chopped him up and put him in a Toyota bound for Japan and to be sold as scrap metal. May 17, 2006 – Acting on a tip from convicted drug dealer Don Wells, the FBI starts digging for Hoffa’s remains at Hidden Dreams Ranch in Commerce Township, Michigan, the former residence of Hoffa’s Teamster ally-turned-enemy Roland (Big Mac) McMaster. In the year leading up to Hoffa’s homicide, McMaster headed a union goon squad tasked with disrupting the Hoffa re-election campaign. May 30, 2006 – After almost two weeks at the site, the FBI calls off the Hidden Dreams Ranch dig without finding anything. July 2008 – Former Jewish Canadian mobster Marvin (The Weasel) Elkind, Hoffa’s driver and bodyguard on his trips to New York in the 1950s, claims in interviews for a coming book that Tony Giacalone told him and others that Hoffa was buried underneath the Renaissance Center in downtown Detroit. February 19, 2012 – Retired Detroit mob underboss Vito (Billy Jack) Giacalone dies of natural causes. Some investigators think Billy Jack was the triggerman in the Hoffa hit since he was unaccounted for by his normal FBI surveillance unit the day Hoffa vanished. September 18, 2012 – Local police dig up the floor of shed in Roseville, Michigan looking for Hoffa under a residential driveway to no avail. The property was once owned by a bookie who had worked for the Giacalone brothers throughout the 1970s and located in the same neighborhood where feared Giacalone strong arms Bernard (Bernie the Hammer) Marchesani and Frank (Frankie the Bomb) Bommarito lived. June 17, 2013 – Acting on a tip from shelved Detroit mob underboss Anthony (Tony Z) Zerilli, the FBI digs at a farm in Oakland Township, Michigan once owned by Detroit mafia don Jack Tocco, Zerilli’s first cousin. Tocco and Zerilli had been feuding since a 1990s racketeering indictment ensnared them both and drove a wedge between the former best friends that eventually resulted in Zerilli voluntarily going to the FBI and implicating Tocco, acting boss of the crime family in 1975, in Hoffa’s slaying. Joe Zerilli, Tony Z’s dad, was boss at the time and allegedly signed off on the hit. June 19, 2013 – Despite calling it the biggest break in the case in decades, the FBI ends the dig at the old Tocco farm within 48 hours without any success. June 20, 2013 – A confidential source tells the FBI that Hoffa was strangled to death by Tony Provenzano, while Tony Giacalone and Chuckie O’Brien watched on in Joey Giacalone’s car and then his body disposed of by being put through a wood chipper in Inkster, Michigan. Giacalone and Provenzano were related via marriage and O’Brien had long looked at Giacalone as a father figure. July 30, 2015 – The undisputed “Godfather” of Hoffa case research Dan Moldea reveals that deceased Genovese crime family soldier Ralph (Brother) Moscato admitted to him in an interview before he passed away that he and childhood friend Sally Bug Briguglio buried Hoffa’s body at Moscato’s trash dump in Jersey City, New Jersey after it was transported to the Garden State from Detroit in a truck owned by Moscato’s Gateway Transportation. July 12, 2017 – Dan Moldea reveals a source of his once closely linked to Moscato ties New Jersey Genovese wiseguy Vinnie Ravo to Hoffa burial at Moscato’s landfill alongside Moscato and Sally Bugs.

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