Hunt for Jimmy Hoffa’s remains comes up empty, again

Oct 3, 2012, 12:16 PM | Updated: 1:58 pm
This undated photo shows Teamsters Union President James R. Hoffa, left, stands with Anthony Provenzano, right, and fellow union members during Hoffa's visit to New Jersey. A self-described mafia murderer who served prison time with Hoffa told a U.S. Senate committee that the teamsters boss was killed at Provenzano's orders. (AP File Photo)
(AP File Photo)

Yet another attempt to find America’s most famous missing person has come up empty.

Hoffa has become a punch-line, or rather, his remains have. They’ve even showed up in films like Jim Carrey’s “Bruce Almighty,” where a newscaster’s divine powers are used to uncover Hoffa’s body “complete with a birth certificate and a set of dental records.”

Theories about Hoffa’s final resting place include being entombed in the fabric of the General Motors headquarters building; rotting on the bottom of Lake Superior; or buried under parts of the old Giants football stadium. As a child growing up in New Jersey, I always wanted to believe he was under the stadium. It’s a pride of place thing, I guess.

In reality, nobody knows where he is and for over three decades finding Hoffa has become a macabre game of “Where’s Waldo.”

Many don’t even remember who he was. For those who don’t know: Jimmy Hoffa was a big name back in the late 60’s and 70’s as a national Teamsters Union boss who made that union one of the most powerful in the world. He also had ties to “La Cosa Nostra,” (the mafia.) He did time for jury tampering and fraud and after being pardoned by President Nixon in 1971 he tried to stage a return to power.

Then he vanished. His son told the national media Jimmy left for an appointment at a Detroit-area restaurant on Wednesday, July 30, 1975. He called home a little while later then nothing. Hoffa told others that he was meeting two men at the restaurant, one a member of one of New York’s Five Families, possibly to patch up a dispute.

The police found his car, but no Jimmy. They’ve been looking ever since. They spent $250,000 to tear down a Detroit area barn and combed the grounds. No Jimmy.

They tore up the floorboards of a house once owned by an associate of Hoffa’s and found blood. A DNA matching test came up negative. No Jimmy.

The TV show “MythBusters” went over Giants Stadium with ground imaging equipment but came up empty after testing a number of locations linked with Hoffa; the end-zones, seating section 107, the 50-yard line, and a “bump” on the field at the 10 yard zone that many people said was Jimmy’s grave. No Jimmy.

In the latest Hoffa-hunt, investigators last week converged on the driveway of a suburban home in a Detroit suburb. Police had gotten a tip that the house had been owned by a minor-Mafia figure back in 1975 and neighbors saw him digging there the day after Hoffa disappeared. They drilled down and took soil samples and Tuesday, the results came back negative.

Still, no Jimmy.

It’s getting ridiculous. Like Geraldo Rivera opening “Al Capone’s Vault” live on TV and finding nothing but a stop sign and several old gin bottles in the walled up room.

Maybe he’s alive, who knows? Let’s not forget that James Hoffa’s real middle name was “Riddle.” Maybe we should have seen this coming.

What I do know is we should have told the feds Jimmy was buried under the Seattle Viaduct. Then they would have dug it up for free.

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Hunt for Jimmy Hoffa’s remains comes up empty, again