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45 years later, Jimmy Hoffa case remains unsolved

Teamsters boss went missing in 1975

A close-up of James Hoffa
A close-up of James Hoffa (Getty file photo)

DETROITThis article originally appeared in the Morning Report newsletter. Sign up to receive this at your email inbox right here.


Today marks 45 years since former Teamsters boss Jimmy Hoffa was reported missing from an Oakland County restaurant.

Since that day, hundreds of thousands of man hours and millions of dollars have gone into sorting through countless tips, while trying to crack the case of Hoffa’s disappearance.

There is no evidence that Hoffa was ever killed. Officially, this remains a missing person’s case. The investigation remains open, still active. New tips come in every month or two at Detroit’s FBI field office.

New attention was brought onto the case last year when Martin Scorsese “The Irishman” was released, telling one man’s story of what happened to Hoffa. Although many parts of the film have been picked apart by experts, there’s no doubt it probably generated some new tips.

The Hoffa story is one of the biggest unsolved cases in U.S. history, and surely in Michigan history. Read back on some of the tips -- and what experts think happened.

And, if you’re into podcasts, Local 4′s “Shattered” series covered the Hoffa story last year. You can listen to it wherever you get your podcasts -- or listen to it right here.

‘What you hear in this car stays in this car:’ The inside story from Hoffa’s driver -- watch:

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

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.

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