Buried Treasure: "A new take on the Hoffa mystery"

Automatic TRANSCRIPT

The July thirty thousand nine hundred seventy five Jimmy Hoffa went to meet somebody in the parking lot of suburban Detroit restaurant and was never seen again Hoffa had once been one of the most powerful union bosses in the country the former leader of the teamsters and his disappearance and presumed murder prompted a massive nationwide f. b. i. investigation that lasted for decades and was never resolved now a new book shed startling light on on the case it was written by an author with the most improbable of windows into what may have happened Jack Goldsmith Harvard law school professor and former top the Justice Department official who stepfather was for years the FBI's chief suspect in the case Hoffa's longtime right hand man Chuckie O'Brien Goldsmiths Book is a sweeping story that encompasses HOFFA's rise to power his bitter feud with Bobby Kennedy and his ties to the mafia bosses across the country but most of all it is a tale of goldsmiths up and down relationship with O'Brien an enigmatic figure the author called that and we'll talk to Goldsmith and explore the still lingering mysteries about Hoffa's disappearance on this episode of buried treasure because people have gotta know whether or not their president's across well I'm not a crop I told the American American people I did not trade arms for hospital my heart to my best intentions still tell me that's true but the facts and the evidence tell me it is not I did not have sexual relations with that one there will be no lies we will honor the American people with the truth and had nothing else we are now joined by Jack Goldsmith professor of law at Harvard University former Assistant Attorney General in charge of the office of Legal Counsel and the author of in Hoffa's shadow auto a stepfather a disappearance in Detroit and my search for the Truth Jack Welcome to skulduggery thanks for having me so I gotta say there are not not a lot of books that blow me away when I read them but yours certainly did I've known you for years in your many iterations at Harvard and before that it justice but I had no idea that your stepfather was Chuckie O'Brien chief suspect in the murder of Jimmy Taufa yes he was he became my stepfather when I was twelve years old he married my mom's six weeks before Jimmy Hoffa disappeared I didn't have any idea who Jimmy Hoffa was when when he came into my life he had been kind of hanging around for three or four months he and I were very very close we've grown very close in the few months just before the Hoffa disappearance and then suddenly on July thirtieth nineteen seventy five this thing happened and it just embellish our lives so because our audience and smae not remember or have read about some of the many characters in the book let's just sort of take some time and you know go through it who was was Jimmy Hoffa and why was he such an important influential figure in the nineteen fifties sixties and into the seven rice so Hoffa was does the best known and most consequential Labor leader as you're saying the nineteen fifties and sixties and unlike today this is the time when labor unions were very important and very powerful title he led he was the president of the teamsters union per decade starting in nineteen fifty seven but for a decade before that he was from Detroit had built a power base in the middle of the country he was a truly brilliant labor organizer Labor bargainer and Labour leader he brought many the hundreds of thousands of people from the lower classes to the middle classes with much better benefits he was widely widely admired by people in the union that was the the the good side of Jimmy Hoffa and it was a great side the other side of Jimmy Hoffa he is that he was corrupt by any measure he didn't much care about the law and and he basically view the laws just to get around when he wanted to achieve something he had criminal associations going back to his earliest days in labor including being really starting in the nineteen forties with organized crime I in Detroit and then around the country some of his arrangements organized crime we're kind of necessary adjustments due due to the fact that the mob controlled the unions he was trying to reach in various parts of the country and other parts of it had to do with his the extensive loans he gave from the teamsters pension fund to basically finance Ma projects most famous Las Vegas before we go onto some of the other characters I just want to dig in a little bit deeper on Hoffa because corrupt Acti- organized crime but seems to me that you make the case in your book that unlike other corrupt Labor leaders who were stealing from the pension engine funds living high off the Hog Hoffa actually was driven by power I'm sure but also wanting to help working Americans absolutely so he was getting his piece on the loans he was getting he was getting side deals on everything that was involved he had a my stepfather chucky estimates many many tens of billions of dollars in cash stored and a lot of places and and I'm sure he's right about that but you're right he did not live a fancy life he spent literally nearly all of his waking hours seven days a week literally working on the Union and he used that money as you say to enhance his power but also to enhance the power of the union he was whether it was buying off politicians or buying off judges or paying someone to help him win a Labor contract or whatever it took he was not using that money I said crop I said conventional corruption objectively he was breaking the law all over the place and paradoxically he he had a kind of strict personal moral code he was a highly moralistic he didn't drink he didn't smoke you didn't gamble and he didn't like people who did but I I gotta say using the teamster pension fund to dole out loans to mobsters to finance Las Vegas Casinos that sounds pretty corrupt to me and you just wonder yeah I mean we're we're teamster members who are so loyal to him were they even aware of this and when it became public you know were they outraged yes there's a story by a Adraskand who was the longtime well regarded Labor reporter for the New York Times and at the height of the McClellan committee stuff in the late fifties when Bobby Kennedy was really going after Hoffa and basically exposing a lot of this stuff raskin went to local to ninety nine in Detroit this big story he basic interviewed a couple of hundred people and he said all but two said we don't care about that stuff we laugh off a because he's done so much for us in the story I kept coming across over and over in my research was that members would say yeah we know he's getting some on the side but we don't care because he's with us that he's helping us and he can do it every once with that's so let's talk about Bobby Kennedy because he plays such an important role in this story he's at that point his brother John Kennedy is the senator from Massachusetts he's he's the chief counsel to this Senate Committee the Mcclellan Committee investigating corruption in the unions and he hates Hafa he develops a vendetta and wants to get him at all costs tell us the story of how that developed his animosity Hoffa and how that that extended all the way into when he becomes attorney general in the Justice Ambaum Hoffa hated him just as much backed by so bobby Kennedy was barely out of law school he was in his thirty s when he got a job as the chief investigator for this committee that was looking into Labor racketeering and it was actually bobby's idea and he kinda hi and he was looking for a cause he was influenced by the Commission in the early fifties which had elevated him to the vice presidential candidate in the nineteen fifty six election. I think that's right yeah anyway bobby had seen how that type of hearing could raise the profile he wanted to raise his brother's profile he wanted to raise zone profile he was looking around for an issue issue and he's stumbled onto labor racketeering and once he saw found it and once he discovered Hoffa and what he was about he immediately became attracted to it because Kennedy was a highly moralistic guy he from the beginning thought Hoffa was this evil guy unambiguously evil he never saw the good side of offer that we just discussed cost so they started going after each other even before the hearing began in early nineteen fifty seven they were at dinner together that was arranged for them to meet one another and and they took an immediate dislike to one another each each one of them Hoffa represented the things that bobby hated most you know corruption lack of education education a criminal and Hoffa thought that bobby was everything he ate most rich on educate overeducated never dirty his hands handed it really made him mad because Bobby Kennedy was a boost guy is off it would say so he thought it was hypocritical on top of it and bobby went after him hard early on in these hearings he's very famous hearings in the fifties and for for years who after Hoffman these hearings and he really broke every rule in the book and Herbs and congressional hearings and he but he wasn't able to put off away well we're the rules in the book that Bobby Kennedy broke when he was investigating some of them were legal rule some of them were ethical rules also for example he would you don't see this anymore he went when these when the Prophet did not take the fifth he was one of the few people who didn't take the fifth but everybody body else took the fifth and by the way Hoffa advise them all take the fifth especially the teamsters and Kennedy would literally make fun of them for taking the fifth he would call them babies and wimps and things like that for taking the fifth so he was kind of abusing their implication of of their constitutional rights he was in bed with journalists leaking stories to the journalists were loved bobby then and of of course hated the teamsters hated the mob so he was leaking in advance what he was going to prove and it in you know in a way that seemed wrong at the time he was abusing the tax process he was looking through tax records and away he wasn't supposed to at one time he leaked it in violation of relevant criminal law he was pretty pretty much out of control now Hafa was a bad guy and the TV for bad guys so there were two side. I'm not saying that this wasn't something to go after but bobby was sure of his caused both in the fifties and when he became attorney general and we didn't care about the rules I want to pick up on that because you write about once he becomes attorney general. RFK is abusing the the surveillance powers of Justice Department and the FBI spying on Americans and you raise the point that the problem is in our law enforcement system one is when you investigate the man not the crime and that that's what he was doing what I want to ask you about and I said this before the show started this the book is brilliant on many many different levels and one is your own personal involvement in this story and I want you to talk about how Chuck O'Brien story intersects intersects with your personal store your professional story at the Justice Department and that gets into this whole question surveillance right so when I was a kid in teenager is still under Turkey's influence completely he would always rail against Bobby Kennedy hated Bobby Kennedy and he would tell me that Kennedy and I didn't really understand what he was talking about at the time the Kennedy went after tournament all these illegal things to him in the fifties and sixties and who's doing illegal surveillance that it was breaking the law but getting away with it he called it back up and Chucky Chucky went back up eh was that when the government investigates you for violating a law that they violate the law themselves and no one cares because it's the government and no one's GonNa enforce the law against them and he also told me that there's all this illegal surveillance against them that there was what he called a famous Supreme Court case in which he won he said I didn't take seriously as a teenager I remember it and I didn't take it seriously when I went to law school and I didn't pursue it but I did stumble upon it when I was working in the Justice Department as as head of oh well see I I was working on this program and in connection with that and this is this is her first donald onto to to this entire episode I was reading Fourth Amendment cases to try to get up to speed on the fourth amendment because I knew something stellar wind program. Being the this Justice Department's domestic wiretapping right and and this thing fell in my lap and it was my job to the head of O. L. C. had to approve the program's legality every six weeks and it had a lot of problems and I was trying to figure out the problems uh-huh and what I could do to save the program anything and in the middle of doing that I was reading these fourth amendment cases and I was reading a famous case in the late sixties and I came across to citations -tations one was O'Brien versus United States and the other one was Hoffa versus the United States. This is a very stressful of my life when I was doing this and I was just shocked when I saw that look at brand of the cases read them they were cases about Hoffa and O'Brien and my stepfather and they did involve illegal surveillance especially if Turkey was clear in his case by during by the Kennedy Justice Department and FBI in the early sixties there was a case where chucky spring court ruled of that they had legally surveilled him in violation of his right to counsel because they listened to a conversation with his lawyer and the Supreme Court vacated the conviction so when I I read this in the middle of doing my own work on seller wind it was discombobulating for a lot of reasons first of all I was shocked Chucky was right about that he was in the large right right about that second of all it I pointed me to this whole world of really massive illegal surveillance that was going on in the fifties and sixties especially with regard regard to microphones as opposed to our tapping it was clear in the microphone case third of all the bugs in the microphone case where as you explained explain the book we were more egregious because that involved basically they were black bag jobs where the FBI would illegally without warrants enter somebody's home implant implant or offices and plant bugs in their office actually have to break into the home depot the bugs they needed to do that and and they were doing that for years under under J Edgar Hoover under Jabber Hoover approved by one of the interesting things that I discovered was approved by the Justice Department with these awful opinions these really conclusively Blue Serie Not really serious legal opinions that basically blessed this also the supreme court starting really in the forties but in the fifties and sixties made it very clear that this was US legal and with the Justice Department blessing hoover just kept doing it until it became public in the nineteen in the middle of the six. I think we should emphasize that you're discovering this at exactly at the same time that you're reviewing justice weapon legal opinions authorizing the torture program and weren't wire-tapping wire-tapping which we're also not on really solid found and yes and to make a long story short it became it wasn't crystal clear to me when I was in the Justice Department apartment but it started to crystallize became much clear later when I was talking to Chuck and researching the book this was basically what I was experiencing with justice -partment opinions that were opportunistic to put it mildly in justifying a secret surveillance program was exactly what chuck was complaining about correctly at turned out as as I discovered in in an incredible details discovered was going on in the fifties and sixties and really going back before that so I was in the middle of something that was very much like what he described the Justice Birmingham in doing for a long time and it really hit home to me and there's another very kind of moving another very moving dimension into this story which is you had been estranged from your stepfather when you were younger but I think already may be going to college you learning about Chunkys archies involvement in criminal activities and corruption and he didn't approve of it it was embarrassing to you you're also eventually rising up your career we are and so you stopped talking to him basically we were very close when I was in high school when I went to college and Law School I began to grow apart from him and I basically blew him off I would just decided that for a whole bunch of reasons including my career about to put to find a point on it that I needed to separate myself from him because this was the guy who he did have serious MoD associations he was the guy who committed a lot of crimes he was the leading suspect in the disappearance and I was partly worried about my career partly worried about my safety and partly I just grew to think it's not something I admire so I blew him off and then we reconciled as you're suggesting after I left the Justice Department and the process S. that I began to reconsider him when I discovered literally literally when I discovered this O'Brien versus the United States citation in the middle of stellar wind and then very very stressful episodes I went through and the government really stressful I thought about chucky the whole time it's not like I changed my ideas on a dime but when I got out and and I would just view the world differently frankly and over the next six months I thought about a whole lot of things and I eventually asked him for forgiveness for basically blowing them off with no oh great reason he was a wonderful father to me for blowing off for twenty years and he accepted me back into his life without question we've been very close over since Mr Very briefly explain why that period was so stressful particular what a man named David Addington says your we're going to dredge up old quote I guess I I guess I use it in the Book Fair Enough Okay Yeah so look it was as I came up on especially the warrantless wiretapping stuff and the interrogation black site stuff in the middle it had been going on for a couple of years had been all legally vetted it had been all legally approved and there was no one there's some people that were questioning the warrantless wiretapping south there was no question the the other the interrogation stuff and I got there and not just on my own with help of others it became very apparent that these things were very deeply Leila's laud awed now they also were deemed to be the two most important intelligence programs going on in the government there were absolutely vital to keeping al Qaeda at bay into keeping the country safe Dave so when I started to question the legal basis for it you can imagine the anger and disruption concerned causing the government. You're referring to a quotation Asian from David Addington who was the Vice President's Council Cheney's counsel and basically when I I let him know about what we'd concluded about the Donald chart-topping program he said something to the effect of if you rule that way you'll have the blood of the one hundred thousand people who die in the next attack on your hands and let me say I don't alling David was I don't Dave it was being candid that's the way he saw the world he wasn't actually this is something that people to understand about it he wasn't trying to pressure me he was describing realities frankly frankly he didn't have to say that for me to understand that those were the stakes that's the way we saw the stakes that's why it was so stressful there are so many roads we can go down with this Ah Interview but I should point out just to buttonhole this that in spite of Addington quote you stood your ground you said that these warrantless was wire tapping program was not legally justified part in in part and it led to a big blow up in which a number of top then then Justice Department officials backed you up threatened to resign led by James Comey who was the deputy attorney general at the time time and Robert Mueller who is the director of the FBI exactly right names that we are well familiar with today they're even more famous in let's get back to the HOFFA store okay because the Kennedy Justice Department goes after him relentlessly indicts him multiple times Kennedy is of course assassinated in nineteen sixty eight but HOFFA is by that point already convicted he's been jail prisoner went to prison in sixty seven sixty seven and Richard Nixon becomes president nine hundred sixty nine Hoffa wants out of jail and you tell this this fascinating story about an apparent payoff the livered by none other than your stepfather Chuckie O'Brien from the mob to some unidentified person at the Madison Hotel in Washington but you leave the strong impression this was a payoff to do the Nixon White House to get Hafa out of jail yeah by the way it wasn't from the mob it was Hoffa's cash that was one of the things that so let let me just tell the story and I'll tell you why included in the book so there have been long been rumors and a lot of people have claimed that there were payoffs and a lot of people claim they made the payoff off to someone in the Nixon administration and they're about eight different versions of the story to get out of jail or to impose the condition on Hoffa or to keep coughing in jail they're all these rumors as I talked about in the book the White House the Hoffa monopoly died the hop investigators drilled this to the ground the Watergate investigative journalistic ground they couldn't figure out where this rumor came from what the basis for it was financially we where the money came from Chucky told me he ended one of the stories that he told me over seven years and I got to got pretty good Italian when he was telling the truth and when not he basically told me several times exactly the same way of the time when Frank Fitzsimmons who was the president of the teamsters seated Hoffa who succeeded hopper hopper put him there basically and it was under enormous pressure I talk the chapter I think is one of the most amazing book for what I dug up in the next archives and the machinations that the Nixon White House was brilliant and brilliantly corrupt in in getting maximum leverage in terms of finance and political help in exchange for doling out legal papers basically pardons and non-prosecution and things like that in any event chucky claims I believe him that he picked up this large briefcase that he said a million dollars in it from Fitzsimmons his office and two hours later took it to the Madison Hotel to the fifth floor and the guy opened the door and he said he put it in there and walked away and I wasn't sure whether whether whether to include this in the book is there were a lot of things that didn't include in the book because I just wasn't sure they were credible and I tried to corroborate everything one way or another I eventually included looted this story up because I believed it because there are little tidbits of corroboration in terms of the timing when Chucky said it happened in terms of him saying that the money came from from Hoffa a there was an informant who had said the same thing in a way that truck you didn't know but the thing that really made me believe it was when he regretted telling me about it one of the things chucky struggled with and are seven years of conversations was talking about things that he did that were legal or things he thought he wasn't supposed to talk about and this wasn't us what he would call us a Sicilian secret wasn't something that Omerta covered because it was about Hoffa but one day after we were discussing this he got really upset when he told me the story the thirteenth time he got really upset and he got upset because he became clear he thought he had told me a secret he wasn't supposed to he said he wished that Uncle Tony the Anthony Jack Alani who assist kind of consider area on these things so to speak he said he wished he were there's who could ask him about it and when he came deeply to regret it an extremely genuine way is when I really thought yeah he's telling me the truth well now the sort of backdrop to this and that gives it some sense of reality is is from the Nixon tapes which you quote liberally from it's clear that the Nixon White House knows that Fitzsimmons who's succeeded Hoffa does does want Hoffa out of jail because his members want that yeah right that's something he could deliver it to deliverables to coin a phrase he can provide for the the teamster members but he doesn't want Hafa to return to the teamsters right because he's like in his life playing golf but as ah does the Nixon administration because Fitzsimmons is completely in the bag for them and delivering a lot of money and a lot of political support so it was both the Nixon White House and Hoffa's successor assessor Fitzsimmons who wanted they both wanted out but they didn't want him to back in the Union and Fitzsimmons and got got the teamsters endorse Nixon for reelection in it was just pretty extraordinary union the biggest union in the country right so the Nixon White House is trying to placate Fitzsimmons but they WANNA put restrictions on getting Hoffa out of jail they'll commute the sentence but with a condition the condition is that he can't return to labor as a leader in the labor movement until nineteen eighty which was basically cough abused a death sentence this was citing seventy one he was in his sixties by then almost sixty you would have been it would have been re would have basically met ten more years him not being in the Union which Nixon bought with plenty the time for him to get all the benefiting needed Simmons so there was this condition it took on by the way the condition there's so many characters we've heard for the book was was actually the the idea of John Dean the mic Nixon White House have been trying to figure out how to do this in a lawful way and they had all sorts of theories that was actually Dean who came who who wasn't involved in the part of this thing but he was the person in the White House counsel who was in charge of pardons and he talked to the pardon attorney why don't we just put a condition on it and so John Sunday came up with the idea and when it was the condition that in a very indirect way Hoffa's killing believe because when Hoffa gets Tattoo jail and seventy one he's desperate to get his union back it was his whole life he wanted it back but Simmons who double crossed him but he couldn't get it back because of this condition and he he tried every trick he thought he brought a lawsuit he tried to pay everybody off he tried to pay off the border paroles he couldn't get rid of the condition and when he realized I'm jumping ahead in the story but when he realized he couldn't get rid of this condition that Nixon imposed to kind of placate fitzsimmons he eventually just kind of I think lots mind and he started saying threatening to close enough yet right sending is to is to the moments ties basically hop knew everything right right he was involved in the stuff and he basically knew all the secrets about the mob in the union and he said he's going to expose it all and I asked truckee with crazy did did he know the consequences chucky says he just hated him and so much he was being irrational I think it's pretty clear from the context that he was going to bring himself down and everybody else down to so it was a conference suicide mission I think so by the way as a constitutional law professor Hoffa was challenging the conditions put on the commutation of sentence did he have an argument or did was the Nixon White House John Dean arranged commutation with conditions nations was that constitutional so Leonard Dean was Nixon's lawyer and he he actually mix you may have sorry Leonard Name was Hoffa's lawyer in this case they sued aimed radical warrior directly right and they sued the Justice Department and Nixon so the law was definitely on the government side and I the memo have the oil CMO and there was an oil cm memo there was the pardon attorney's my mouth there's a lot of precedent for this kind of thing Benin actually mates brilliant arguments but he lost in the district court art I tried very hard the case had been argued in the court of Appeals Nixon was telling everyone he was GonNa win and Attorney General is going to pardon him all of these things relies part of the mob that he was coming up sorry apologized Hoffa was telling everyone that he was GonNa win this case we don't know what they would have done because after he died ride the case went away I actually tried to all the judges and their clerks I really tried to figure out what the rule is pretty clear that Hoffa was not going to win that he was gonna not going to be able to get back into Labor so Jack we want to get into office disappearance why chucky was the lead suspect and what you learned what you think really happened before we do that I want to talk about one of the people in your book who I think is really one of the most fascinating characters and the whole book that Sylvia Pa- Gano who Sylvia Pagano so they've begun Ghana chucky his mom she was from Kansas City which is where chucky was born she was basically in in the family that was the Detroit crime the Kansas Enza city crime family she grew up in these neighbourhoods she knew all the top guys in Kansas City her grandfather was an old timer in Kansas City so oh and she was this incredibly charming hardworking forceful and opportunistic woman chunkys father left thermostat circumstances and she moved to Detroit Kentucky six years old where she becomes very tight with she got her first job through the Kansas City family with the leaders of the Detroit it crime family and then she becomes close friends with all of them she also becomes close with Jimmy Hoffa and she is actually the person person who introduced top to the the Italian syndicate I try to pinpoint the date and the episode in Nineteen Forty One I'm pretty sure right about that and she was also a go-between between for decades between Hoffa and the mob some of these illegal surveillance tapes in the sixty s make quite clear some of these conversations how vitally consequential Sylvia was too convincing Hoffa to make these loans to the mob so she was very consequential she was also a labor organizer in the early years she was very consequential in implement coffee she took care of Hoffa's wife and she helped raise his children she was she was a go-between with the mob and not just in Detroit she introduced introduce tough at Anthony Provenzano in early twenty pro and so she was this remarkable woman an era when there weren't a lot of women who were going to hang on the edges of the outfit he calls them this is incredibly forceful hard-nosed but but you you also learn much later on that she she and Tony Jack alone actually steal from Hoffa right they actually go into his safe and steal money and that was devastating waiting to chuck so I learned a lot of things I got all the transcripts from these illegal bugs from the government and I learned a lot it was it was really amazing mazing background I kind of filling in these characters were those all in in Fbi there now that have been there now all available on the web if you know where to look but the I. Vault Fault No it's Mary Farrell Vision that is very Farrell Foundation is this amazing organization that collects stuff related to the assassinations originally JFK okay RFK MLK and it turns out that all these bugs were collected all these transcripts were collected as part of the House investigation into the Kennedy assassination asked nation in the eighties and they made their way from there somehow or another to the Mary Farrell Foundation where you can download them now you know where to look so anyway yes so among the other stories that these transcripts tell is that I'll try to be brief but Sylvia was in addition to being the go between cream between Hoffa the mob for the loans was also the main caretaker for hop his wife Josephine who is very sick mentally mental health issues and physical health issues and over time Sylvia who really loved I think love Josephine also grew extremely frustrated she was basically this woman was dumped in her lap and Hoffa was so busy that he wasn't Sylvia became angry about the relationship and yes at one point this is all laid out on the on the transcripts first of all Joe's does theme of having an affair with a Detroit low level mob mob member this all goes fine Hoffa was this all becomes clear on the tapes it caused a bit of a rift in the Detroit family it also becomes clearly the Jackal Onis Anthony and his brother veto where and with Sylvia's help tried several times to Rob Hoffa's home one in Washington Washington and he had a little apartment in Miami and they finally succeeded in breaking into the Miami apartment so and Chucky was of course in the middle of all this because he was very close to half very close with Momberg I'm very close with Jack alumnae and it was the first time that he had ever these twin loyalties he had towards the mob and towards Hoffa came into conflict and he hated it and and the next time that happened was during the disappearance so let's get to the disappearance as we were discussing awfully gets out of jail after this presumed payoff that chucky he delivered and when he can't get back into his old teamster roll roll he turns on Frank Fitzsimmons Simmons who had succeeded him and begins to talk about his ties D- fitzsimmons ties to the mob which pisses off Fitzsimmons and the various mobsters who were is really the monsters Ben Simmons was a weak sister he wasn't going to do anything to offer the real danger it wasn't and it wasn't just the Detroit mob it was the entire country I mean I try to explain this is some of the news in the book about the Hobbit experience at least the early parts yeah it it was a huge deal around the country the entire leadership the Italians indicate across the country their heads on fire and they didn't know what to do and and so yes they were going crazy because they thought Hoffa was basically talking to the government or threatening to about all these relationship so let's get to the disappearance and the connection between the mob getting pissed off about what Hoffa is saying and the events in which he is presumably murder so it's August thirtieth nineteen seventy five papa was supposed to have a meeting at the restaurant called the Mockus Red Fox in a in a suburb of Detroit and he thinks he's going to have a meeting with this man Anthony Jack Loney who was along with Hoffa chunkys other father figure wisey meeting we don't really know why he's meeting with them Jack Aloni has been for months much more than has been known until until I wrote this book for months Jackie Looney has been talking to hop on to try to get him to calm down and he wasn't threatening with anything but he was trying to assuage him so the last time they had met was the Saturday before this Wednesday meeting and there was a note at Javier has left in his house meeting Carney Jack. TGI At democracy red box it was speculated that this was some kind of a climactic meeting which Hoffa thought his threats were finally going to work and he was going to receive the blessing of of the the mob to basically get his job back if you get out underneath this condition it's speculated that that's what was going to happen it's meeting and that's what Chucky what's going to happen at this meeting he basis have offered was wouldn't have gone to this meeting under these circumstances if he didn't think he was going to solve all his problems chucky know about the meeting he says he did not know about the meeting meeting but he he I don't think he didn't know about him and he had known any talk we talking about talks about this in the book he had known about the prior meetings he had known about that that Kentucky to back up a second he had spent many years after half get out of jail out half basically lived at his cottage a smaller all of the college cottage on a lake outside of Detroit and Chucky has spent years with Hoffa out there after the disappearance and he knew he was witnessing Hoffa kind of losing losing his mind making all these threats there was freaking me out and he was he knew about the Jack Alana's efforts and others every down he knew about all that stuff but he did not know about the ones you're telling Jack low never shows up Jacqueline does not show up Papa gets there two o'clock the last contact he has has he he calls this guy named Louis Lintao at three thirty saying jacqueline he didn't show up I'm going home that's the last piece of evidence we have about what happened to Jimmy Hoffa after that there's literally not a single piece of evidence about what happened to him he disappeared and all right so tell us why chucky becomes the primary suspect and then tell us what you think happened so chucky becomes there were very good reasons why he became the primary suspect he he annhave had had a breach the Thanksgiving before so they had they only spoken once in seven or eight months that beach had to do with your mom it did but they were they were having difficulties that they were going through the worst period of their of their basically thirty five year relationship then but it was also a time when my mom who had known Chucky Kentucky had a crush on her decade earlier and she basically reached out to him at that time just after Chucky it had this terrible episode with off over Thanksgiving and basically basically chucky falls in love with my mom decides this is my out I'm in this terrible situation between the mob and Hoffa none of it's good for me I wanNA get Outta here and so my mom comes is back into his life and he basically parachute out of a whole Hoffa Jack Loney Detroit San Ticket job down in Florida yeah to the plan must get a job done in Florida and this is where we we were planning to move in the weeks before disappeared so chucky the reasons he was considered a suspect in the case and there were good reasons were he was it would take too long to explain why but he was driving a car in the suburbs in the general area we're Hoffa disappeared there's so many amazing circumstances that point to him the very parking lot were Hoffa disappeared chucky was there the morning that his parents that's where he typically got his his ride to work they didn't have a car because he was broke he was also there the next morning for the same ride he happened to be in that neighborhood driving a car by the leading the suspect Anthony Jacqueline his son Chuckie was driving a car in that neighborhood it was thought at the time I think I'd debunked this but it was thought at the time that there was this unaccounted accounted for amount of time where chuck whereabouts weren't known it was speculated at the time that Chuckie is one of the few people that hoffa would have voluntarily gotten in a car with there was supposedly blood in the back seat of the car chuckie claimed he was delivering a frozen leaking salmon which seems very spicy it were but in fact it was his back was frozen salmon and there was no none of Hamas blood is in the car but dogs at the time picked up off his set in the car car and there was a hair found in the car that was later identified as being office for all those reasons they also James James Hoffa Hoffa son hated chucky and pointed the finger at him at the beginning of the FBI for all these they'd had no other leads they literally they had all this they were being bombarded with information informants and speculation nation but the only the lead they really had was Jackie and they came down on him very hard and you eventually conclude that it wasn't isn't chucky that he was not there that he was telling the truth about that and then you spend years trying to help clear his name I want to get to that but before four we do you also reach some conclusions about what you think did happen well the conclusions I reached about what did happen are based entirely on what I learn from talking to the current and former FBI officials who worked the case over decades and former attorneys case over decades I was bit of a journalist let's on this and I was triangulating this person tells me this I'd learned a little bit about Your Business This person tells me this negative information I bring up with that person who tells me a little more I kind of put it together and I basically figured out that through informing information and electronic surveillance starting in the nineteen nineties at about the same sometime when there were all sorts of reasons why the FBI came to believe that wasn't jockey there independent reasons why the circumstantial case against him fell apart and at about the same time that that happened and they through these two means informants and electronic surveillance gathered information this is all learned that pointed to the person who picked up with Vito Jack alumnae who was anthony's brother someone Hoffa new well someone who had been going to these meetings with off about solving his problems and and the person that the government thinks did it I didn't name them in the book I'm not GonNa name I'll tell you I'll tell you why and you tell me if you think is a good idea it was a low at the time a low level basically lieutenant in the Detroit mob who quickly rose to prominence and became a big shot the Detroit mob after the disappearance he was never linked to the disappearance until very late until just a couple of years ago I actually stumbled across they actually interviewed Wtma stumble across his three Oh to back from seventy five and it's a one paragraph they never suspected him but he's still alive he died in January died so why not the reason yeah I didn't name him it's because you tell me if this is a good idea or not of

Coming up next