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  • Writer's pictureDominic Konareski

Hoffa In New Jersey: How The Disappearance Of Jimmy Hoffa Led To Multi-Decade Giants Stadium Rumor

Jimmy Hoffa was a staple in the late 1950s and all throughout the 1960s, which is kinda weird to think about since the one of the most powerful and influential figures in American history is relatively unknown by the youth of today.

Serving as President of the Teamsters from 1957 to 1971, Hoffa would come under multiple criminal investigations and would later have a 13 year prison sentence (8 years for bribery, 5 years for fraud).

Despite being in prison, Hoffa intended and did end up continuing running the Teamsters through Frank Fitzsimmons, who was appointed as caretaker president and was a Hoffa loyalist. 

It didn’t take Fitzsimmons long to distance himself from the jailed Jimmy Hoffa.

Fitzsimmons also decentralized power within the IBT's administration structure, forgoing much of the control Hoffa took advantage of as union president. The dismantlement aggravated Hoffa, this is where the fall of Jimmy Hoffa could truly be seen.

Hoffa would step down from Teamsters presidency in June of 1971, giving Fitzsimmons full reign.

On December 13th, 1971, U.S. President Richard Nixon commuted Hoffa’s prison sentence, which would make Hoffa a free man. 

Once out of prison, Hoffa looked to regain control of the Teamsters.

Hoffa's plans to regain leadership were met with opposition from several members of the Mafia. One standout member was friend-turned-foe Anthony Provenzano, who had been a Teamsters local leader in New Jersey and a national vice-president of the union during Hoffa's second term as its president. 

Provenzano became an enemy of Hoffa after a reported feud when both were serving time in federal prison at Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, in the 1960s

Hoffa par-took in several attempts in the early 1970s to get Provenzano’s support. Provenzano refused and even threatened Hoffa by reportedly saying he would kidnap and eviscerate his grandchildren. 

Hoffa also started being very vocal about the mafia and the ties the Teamsters had with them. This created tension and worry from higher ranking members. Several ‘peace’ meetings were made, but they all ended with Hoffa’s increased push to regain control.

Jimmy Hoffa disappeared on July 30th, 1975, with his car found at Detroit’s Machus Red Fox Restaurant. Hoffa was supposed to have a meeting with Provenzano and Anthony Giacalone, an alleged kingpin in the Detroit Mafia. 

Hoffa called his wife between 2:15 and 2:30 and was very aggravated that the two were late for the meeting. He would tell his wife that he would be home around 4:00 to grill steaks. 

The FBI speculates that Jimmy Hoffa got into a different car under his own will around 2:45-2:50, and was driven to a different location. One witness reported that they saw Hoffa in the backseat of a maroon “Lincoln or Mercury” with three other people.

The primary piece of physical evidence obtained in the investigation was a maroon 1975 Mercury Marquis Brougham, which belonged to Anthony Giacalone's son Joseph. The car had been borrowed earlier that day by Hoffa’s foster son Charles "Chuckie" O'Brien to deliver fish. On August 21, police dogs identified Hoffa's scent in the car.

Both Giacalone and Provenzano denied that there was ever supposed to be a meeting with Hoffa and with not no arrests were ever made for Hoffa’s disappearance. 

Jimmy Hoffa was declared legally dead as of July 30th, 1982. 

Hoffa's body was rumored to be buried in Giants Stadium. At the time of Hoffa’s disappearance Giants Stadium was being constructed in the Meadowlands (East Rutherford, New Jersey). That would’ve meant that Hoffa’s body would’ve had to travel roughly 600 miles. 

In a 2004 episode of the Discovery Channel show MythBusters, "The Hunt for Hoffa", the locations in the stadium in which Hoffa was rumored to be buried were scanned with a ground-penetrating radar. It was intended to reveal if any disturbances indicated a human body had been buried there, but no trace of any human remains was found.

Giants Stadium was demolished in 2010. No remains of any kind were found, putting to rest the rumors of Hoffa being there.

The Giants Stadium rumor was just one of many different speculations on where his remains could be. It is definitely one of the more stretched-out ones when it comes to realism.

If Hoffa was found in Giants Stadium then it would’ve been one of the most wackiest and dark stories in New York sports history.

It is widely speculated that Jimmy Hoffa was cremated.

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