Dec 25, 2011 34 Comments ›› Pat Dollard
The disappearance of Teamsters union boss Jimmy Hoffa remains one of America’s most enduring mysteries.
But now, nearly four decades after Hoffa vanished, his driver has claimed he knows where he is buried – and how he got there.
Marvin Elkind said Hoffa was killed by a mob enforcer and buried in the foundations of the towering General Motors’ HQ in Detroit, Michigan.
‘It was his own people who did it,’ Mr Elkind said in excerpts of a new book published in the New York Post, adding Mafia member Tony Jack insinuated he was responsible.
The startling claim comes 36 years after Hoffa, who led the labour union for 13 years, vanished while on his way to meet two mobsters he knew well, Anthony Provenzano and Tony Jack – real name Anthony Giacalone.
The Renaissance Center was under construction when he disappeared.
Mr Elkind explains how, during a Teamsters conference in 1985, he was among a group of men walking from the city’s Omni International when the Center came into view.
Tony Jack nodded toward the tower’s base and said, ‘Say good morning to Jimmy Hoffa, boys’, Mr Elkind alleges in The Weasel: A Double Life in the Mob by Adrian Humphreys.
He also describes the rush to build the Renaissance Center following the disappearance of Hoffa – and claims the body was buried in wet cement.
‘There was a mad rush to get the concrete poured,’ the New York Post quotes the book as saying.
Hoffa was declared legally dead July 30, 1982, when he would have been 69.
He was a union stalwart, serving as its General President from 1958 to 1971 and playing a key part in its growth and development.
During his term as its leader, membership surged to more than 1.5 million members, becoming the largest single union in the country.
As well as a role as Jimmy Hoffa’s driver, Mr Elkind had careers as a loan collector, a boxer – and a police informant.
He was working as a busboy in a Toronto restaurant frequented by Jimmy Hoffa’s crew when he was poached as a driver.
Mr Elkind initially said he didn’t want the job, but he was told: ‘Nobody’s asking you.’
He began testifying against the mob when police discovered he’d worked with a con man. They gave him an ultimatum – tell or be charged.
The book, by Canadian reporter Adrian Humphreys, follows his life.
It takes its title from Mr Elkind’s nickname, The Weasel, which he claims was his boxing moniker – rather than to do with his snitching.