WATCH: ‘Hoffa’ -- the rise and fall of the iconic labor leader

WDIV’s Steve Garagiola investigates the notorious labor leader’s disappearance

True-crime lovers won’t want to miss Local 4′s one-hour special, “Hoffa,” hosted by veteran WDIV journalist Steve Garagiola.

It chronicles the rise and fall of the iconic labor leader, Jimmy Hoffa.

  • Watch the full video above.

History has its villains and heroes and sometimes one man is both. Hoffa’s story is complicated. He created stability and strength in America’s workforce. He also made enemies in the U.S. government, while at the same time making friends with some of the most notorious gangsters of the time. He was a man of the people, but also a man who wanted power over everything else.

“Once you start looking into Hoffa, you find yourself down a rabbit hole of dark tunnels. You look at the Teamsters Union and end up at Richard Nixon, Bobby Kennedy and the JFK assassination. All of these roads lead us back to Hoffa’s obsession with power,” said Garagiola.

Hoffa’s disappearance is one of the most infamous unsolved crimes of the 20th century. He lived most of his life in Detroit and was last seen 20 miles north of the city. Interest in what happened to Hoffa has never waned, and the mystery only deepens as the decades pass. Recent projects, including a Martin Scorsese film on the subject, are sparking a new wave of theories, investigation, and excitement about what seems to be the ultimate cold case.

“We are uniquely positioned to tell the stories like the disappearance of Jimmy Hoffa because of our extensive reporting and archival footage on the topic. We have reported on this story since day one and few media outlets have the library of material, and institutional knowledge of this historical event,” said News Director Kim Voet.

WDIV-Local 4 has told the Hoffa story in pieces since 1975 and has an archive full of raw interviews and news reports over the last four decades.

In addition to the primetime special, WDIV-Local 4 and Graham Media Group released the first episode of the new five-episode podcast of Season 4′s “Shattered: Hoffa.

“Producing a serialized podcast enables us to tell a much more complicated, nuanced story that’s relevant to both our local broadcast audience and an international “Shattered” podcast audience,” said Vice President and General Manager Marla Drutz.

The first three seasons of “Shattered” have garnered nearly 3.5 million downloads with audiences from 170 countries. Season 1 investigates the 2010 disappearance of three brothers in Morenci, Michigan. Their father said he gave the brothers to an underground organization. Seven years later, the boys’ whereabouts is not known. Season 2 takes listeners through the life of Richard Wershe, Jr., aka “White Boy Rick,” the youngest ever FBI informant turned drug dealer. Season 3 investigates the heartbreaking and riveting story about Michigan’s Oakland County Child Killer case that is still unsolved 40 years later.

The first episode of the Shattered: Hoffa podcast premiered Tuesday, Dec. 3, and a new episode will be released every Tuesday for the next month. The entire series will be available for free on Apple Podcasts, or your preferred podcast listening platform. The “Hoffa” primetime special airs tonight at 10 p.m. on Local 4.

Listen to the trailer for “Shattered: Hoffa” here.

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