State Police With Cadaver Dogs Searched In Michigan This Week For Jimmy Hoffa

Almost 45 years later, and the tips apparently still keep a-coming.

Hoffa with his chief lieutenant Frank Sheeran.

Michigan law enforcement yesterday morning used cadaver dogs to search for the remains of James Riddle Hoffa, the (very) appropriately named one-time Teamsters boss who abruptly disappeared off the face of the earth in 1975.

Detectives with the Michigan State Police, forensic anthropologists, and a K-9 handler with dogs trained in alerting to the presence of cadavers searched a parcel of land in Hillsdale Township.

They didn't find him.

The source of the tip was an unidentified woman who inherited the land when her father passed away. She claims to have family ties to the American Mafia.

Hoffa, who had been president of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, disappeared from a Bloomfield Township restaurant on July 30, 1975. He was declared legally dead in 1982. The case went cold, with sporadic tips sending investigators on multiple search efforts over the years.

Search scene yesterday.... Source: Hillsdale Daily News

Hoffa and friends are poised to get another big screen retelling of their stories later this year courtesy of acclaimed filmmaker Martin Scorsese. 

The Irishman is due this fall and stars Robert DeNiro, Joe Pesci, Harvey Keitel, and Bobby Cannavale. It's based on the book I Heard You Paint Houses by Charles Brandt which purports to tell the story of union strong-arm/Hoffa confidant Frank (The Irishman) Sheeran.

Shortly before dying in 2003, the labor union official confessed to killing Hoffa. Sheeran told Brandt how he had lured Hoffa into an empty house and then shot him twice in the back of the head. A second crew then disposed of the body, he claimed.

Anthony (Tony Pro) Provenzano, the Genovese capo who was a key suspect in Hoffa’s 1975 disappearance, should figure prominently in the film.

Pesci plays Russell Bufalino, the Sicilian-born former boss of the Northeastern Pennsylvania crime family. Harvey Keitel plays Sicilian boss Angelo Bruno, the Philadelphia don blasted with a shotgun in 1980. And Bobby Cannavale plays Philly wiseguy Felix (Skinny Razor) DiTullio, the killer who taught Nicodemo (Little Nicky) Scarfo how to kill.

De Niro plays Sheeran, who also claimed he killed Crazy Joe Gallo. The film takes place primarily in the 1970s, but includes multiple flashbacks to earlier decades.

Did Sheeran really kill Hoffa, is the question.

Sheeran clearly was haunted by something related to his longtime pal, and it's not difficult to imagine he possibly played some offstage role in the murder. (Or perhaps he faulted himself for not getting revenge for Hoffa. It's very easy to speculate...)  Sheeran's claims of having actually pulled the trigger, however, are generally not accepted as credible.

But as we've said: why let that mystery detract from what will hopefully be one of the greatest mob films in decades.?

Daughter's Thoughts
Sheeran's daughter certainly believed her father was responsible for Hoffa's murder.

Dolores Miller discussed how she found the newfound interest in her father bittersweet.

"I suspected my father was behind Jimmy's death but I never asked him directly," she said. "My mother disagreed. She said he and Jimmy were as thick as thieves but my gut instinct told me otherwise."

Frank Sheeran's daughter Dolores.

She said of her father: "He was always dressed like something out of Gentlemen's Quarterly. He had 200 designer suits, 100 pairs of shoes. Then there was his jewellery..."

Of Hoffa she said: "I remember my father phoning to say Jimmy had disappeared from outside a restaurant in Detroit.

"I asked him where he had been and he said a wedding in the same area. I made a comment about the coincidence but he brushed it off.

"He was among the top suspects and the FBI put him in prison time and again, hoping he'd crack. But he never did.

"Then towards the end of his life he told me he wanted absolution. I remember saying he had to be truly sorry for the things he'd done in the past, that if he had his time again he wouldn't do the things he'd done.

"He said he was sorry and I drove him to the church to confess. He seemed much happier after that."