One of metro Detroit’s most notorious alleged mobsters is being laid to rest with a memorial service at 10 a.m. Tuesday at St. Thecla Catholic Church in Clinton Township.
Vito “Billy Jack” Giacalone, of Clinton Township, died Sunday of natural causes. The alleged Detroit mob captain was 88.
Many believe he could have taken the secret of where Jimmy Hoffa is buried with him.
Hoffa, the former head of the Teamsters who was trying to reassert control, told a relative on the day he disappeared that he was meeting Anthony Giacalone, Vito Giacalone’s brother, at the Machus Red Fox restaurant in Bloomfield Township.
Hoffa was never seen again.
Reported mob captain Anthony “Tony Jack” Giacalone, died of cancer in 2001 while awaiting trial on 14 criminal charges, including racketeering, conspiracy and extortion. Anthony Giacalone was questioned numerous times by investigators, but was never charged in Hoffa’s disappearance and presumed death.
“The mystery of his (Hoffa’s) fate has produced a wealth of speculation. Many people believe that Mr. Giacalone held a key and carried it to his grave,” according to the New York Times at the time of Anthony Giacalone’s death.
Could Anthony Giacalone have shared the secret with his brother? They were reportedly closely tied together in the mob business.
“He was the only primary Detroit mob member unaccounted for on the afternoon of Hoffa’s passing,” said local mob expert and author Scott Burnstein. “He lost his surveillance in the morning and wasn’t picked up again until the evening…The FBI believes he’s one of the handful of people who had first-hand knowledge of the Hoffa assasination.”
Vito Giacalone was released from prison in July 2004, after serving time on a racketeering conviction. Vito Giacalone also served three years in the early 1990s after being convicted of hiding $410,000 from the IRS.
The Giacalones were snared by a massive FBI investigation that began in 1979 with the goal of “driving a stake into the heart of the mob in Detroit.” The Detroit News reported the FBI investigated for 17 years before bringing indictments in 1996 against the Giacalones; Jack W. Tocco, the convicted boss; Nove Tocco; Anthony Corrado and his nephew, Paul Corrado; and Anthony Zerilli.
During the 1950s and 60s, Congressional committees named Black Bill Tocco and both Giacalone brothers as being top echelon mob leaders in the Motor City, according to Burnstein.