It’s been almost 40 years since the disappearance of Teamsters boss Jimmy Hoffa, and since then the urban legend has continued to spew theories and rumors about where his body was buried
— if not disposed of in some other way.
One hunch has him dumped in the Florida Everglades as a meal for the alligators, while another says he rests beneath one of the end zones at Giants Stadium in New Jersey.
Now a reputed former Detroit crime boss claims he really knows what happened to Hoffa’s remains. Tony Zerilli, 85, who was released from a federal prison in 2008 after serving six years on racketeering and extortion charges, says he’s certain Hoffa was buried in a suburban Detroit field about 20 miles north of the restaurant where he was last seen in July 1975. Hoffa reportedly met with another Teamsters boss and an organized crime member that day, and was never seen again.
Hoffa was declared legally dead in 1982, but his case remains open. The investigation has generated thousands of pages of documents gathered from interviews, wiretaps, and surveillance, but despite the government’s best efforts to get to the bottom of Hoffa’s disappearance, what really happened to him remains a mystery.
As gleaned from the theories and rumors, here are the top three locations of Hoffa's final resting place:
In an interview with Playboy magazine in the late '80s, self-described mob hit man Donald ("Tony the Greek") Frankos started the rumor that Hoffa was buried in the concrete foundation of Giants Stadium in New Jersey. The west end zone jokingly became the "Jimmy Hoffa Memorial End Zone," and an unexplained bump on the 10-yard line has further fueled the Hoffa folklore. FBI officials said at the time they didn’t believe the lead was credible, but the story lived on, spawning a 2004 episode of Discovery Channel's "MythBusters." Hosts Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage used ground-penetrating radar to investigate, but found no evidence of a body. Giants Stadium has since been demolished, replaced by the new MetLife Stadium in 2010.
Another ex-mobster who thought he had the key to Hoffa's disappearance gave an interview to a Florida newspaper in 1985, in which he alleged that Hoffa was shot with an electric stun gun, stuffed into a steel drum, and dumped in a swamp in the Florida Everglades. A common variation on this theme says Hoffa was ground up and fed to the alligators.
Under a horse farm in Michigan:
Authorities came close to an answer in 2006 when FBI officials, archaeologists, anthropologists, and cadaver dogs were brought in to dig up an area at a horse farm in Milford, just outside Detroit. Sources said the land used to be owned by a former Teamsters official, but no one knows where the tip came from. The search went on for two weeks and cost more than $250,000 only to end in another disappointment.
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