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FBI Searches Former Landfill In Relation to Jimmy Hoffa’s Disappearance

Clare Fitzgerald
Photo Credit: Bettmann / Getty Images

The FBI has announced it recently conducted a search of a former New Jersey landfill in relation to the 1975 disappearance of Jimmy Hoffa. The investigation into what happened to the former Teamsters labor union leader has been ongoing for over four decades.

Bridge spanning across a snow-covered path

Area in Jersey City, New Jersey where Jimmy Hoffa’s body is believed to be buried. (Photo Credit: Andrew Lichtenstein / Getty Images)

The search occurred between October 25 and 26, 2021 on private property beneath the Pulaski Skyway bridge. According to the New York Times, it was a “site survey” conducted with radar equipment to determine if the site should be properly searched for Hoffa.

Speaking with CNN, FBI Special Agent Mara Schneider remained tight-lipped regarding the specifics of the search, saying: “On October 25th & 26th, FBI personnel from the Newark and Detroit field offices completed the survey and that data is currently being analyzed. Because the affidavit in support of the search warrant was sealed by the court, we are unable to provide any additional information.”

Jimmy Hoffa staring with his mouth open

Jimmy Hoffa in court on charges of bribery, 1957. (Photo Credit: Bettmann / Getty Images)

The renewed search was prompted by the 2020 deathbed confession of Frank Cappola, who claimed “unidentified people” charged him and his father with burying the former union leader in 1975. According to Cappola, who was just 15 years old, “a black limousine” drove onto their property and its occupants spoke with his father.

While the young Cappola didn’t understand it at the time, his father told him just before his death in 2008 that he’d been told Hoffa’s body would be delivered to the PJP Landfill in Jersey City, New Jersey. Cappola’s father then used an excavator to dig the burial plot just outside the landfill’s limits, after which the steel barrel was placed in it, along with 15 to 30 other chemical drums. It was then the hole was capped with a mixture of dirt and brick.

FBI agents visited the landfill in 1975, but at the time didn’t know where to dig. Eight years later, it was deemed an environmental disaster site after chemical fires began to burn underground. Once the chemical barrels causing the fires were removed, the dump was converted into a green space.

Snow-covered grass blocked off by a chainlink fence

Area in Jersey City, New Jersey where Jimmy Hoffa’s body is believed to be buried. (Photo Credit: Andrew Lichtenstein / Getty Images)

Jimmy Hoffa’s disappearance is one of the most famous unsolved mysteries in American history. Over the course of his career as the Teamsters labor union leader, he held a lot of power, especially over elections. In 1967, he was removed from the labor movement after he was sent to federal prison for fraud and jury tampering.

He was pardoned by President Richard Nixon in 1971, on the condition he not re-enter the labor union movement until 1980. However, he disregarded this and tried to regain control, a move that angered his rivals.

On the day of his disappearance – July 30, 1975 – 62-year-old Hoffa was scheduled to meet with New Jersey mob boss Anthony “Tony Pro” Provenzano and Detroit boss Anthony “Tony Jack” Giacalone. He was reportedly last seen outside the Machus Red Fox restaurant in Michigan.

It’s believed Hoffa was killed by his enemies over his planned Teamsters comeback. He was legally declared dead in 1982.

Jimmy Hoffa sitting in a chair

Jimmy Hoffa during his arraignment on extortion charges, 1946. (Photo Credit: Bettmann / Getty Images)

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FBI investigators are currently reviewing the information gathered during the survey. From there, a decision will be made as to whether or not the site will be excavated.