DETROIT – When you hear the name Jimmy Hoffa, you probably think of the former Teamster boss’ iconic disappearance, but his story is much more than a murder mystery.
It’s about power, loyalty, betrayal, organized labor and organized crime. It’s a story about how far people will go to get what they want.
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 back to Hoffa’s obsession with power.
There was nothing he wouldn’t do to have it, and hold onto it, and once he lost everything, how far would he go to get it back?
“Jimmy Hoffa was a complicated guy. He was driven by a sincere desire to bring a better life to the members of his union, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. But Hoffa was also driven by relentless ambition, greed, and an obsession with power. To understand the life and death of Hoffa, we travel back to humble beginnings, where a tyrannical sets young Hoffa in motion.”
“The Teamsters Union was always considered to be a somewhat rough-and-tumble operation, and Jimmy Hoffa was the poster boy for what the Teamsters Union was supposed to be. He was short, aggressive, pugnacious, wouldn’t back down from anybody, was willing to do whatever he thought he had to do to increase his own power, and to a large extent, to benefit the members of the Union, but he was not unwilling to sit down with the devil.” - Keith Corbett, former Chief of the Organized Crime Strike Force for the United States Attorney’s Office
"In some ways, the relationship between Jimmy Hoffa and Bobby Kennedy was simple. Hoffa saw a spoiled rich kid. Kennedy saw a corrupt racketeer. An aide to JFK described it best. He Called their rivalry a ‘blood feud,’ driven by hate on both sides.”
After being released from prison, Hoffa began his fight to regain his power. The Mob wasn’t on board.
One question has prompted FBI searches and conspiracy theories for over forty years; where is Jimmy Hoffa’s body? In May of 2004 police pulled up floorboards in a Northwest Detroit home, but found nothing. In 2012, they dug up a backyard in Roseville, Michigan -- nothing. In 2013, acting on a tip from mobster Tony Zerilli, the FBI dug on a farm on Buell Road in Oakland Township. Why have there been so many seemingly credible tips and where else should the FBI be looking?
Episodes 1-5 of Shattered: Hoffa are available now wherever you listen to podcasts. This season is hosted by Local 4′s Steve Garagiola.
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.