Reporting Charlie Langton
ROSEVILLE (Talk Radio 1270) Will Jimmy Hoffa’s remains turn up under an unassuming driveway in suburban Roseville, Mich. — or is this a case of “another day, another futile search for Hoffa’s body?”
“Motor City Mafia” author and Detroit mob expert Scott Burnstein thinks there’s no way the Mafia left the Teamsters boss in a place where he could be recovered after he disappeared from a Bloomfield Hills restaurant in 1975.
But the government isn’t so sure. In fact, they’ve spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in the decades-long hunt for Hoffa, according to inside sources. The 2006 Milford farm dig alone cost $250,000, sources said, and before that, in 2003, the feds excavated a swimming pool and the surrounding area a few hours north of Detroit. They subsequently tore apart a home where Hoffa’s blood reportedly stained the floorboards.
And the search is on again, with plans to dig up a soil sample Friday in the backyard drive of a Roseville house that a tipster said could be Hoffa’s final resting place. The man who convinced police to dig up another site for Hoffa is reportedly dying of cancer and came forward with information about men dragging black bags around the yard the night Hoffa disappeared.
A Michigan Department of Environmental Quality scan of the driveway reportedly turned up an “anomaly,” leading to the dig. Experts are going to bore small holes about 6 feet deep to test for the DNA of human remains.
“I’ve talked to several high-level members of organized crime families (about this),” Burnstein said Thursday during an appearance on the Charlie Langton Talk Radio 1270 show. “And a very highly placed member made a comment, ‘If we had to do it all over again, we would have left him in the middle of Telegraph Road.’”
Burnstein said current members of the local Mafia believe it’s “really detrimental” to have the spotlight shined on them every few years when another Hoffa tip comes in. If his body was left in a public place at the time of his killing, “in 2012, we wouldn’t be hearing about it,” Burnstein said.
Burnstein hypothesizes Hoffa was incinerated through Tri-County Sanitation or Central Sanitation, which he said were both connected to the Mob during Hoffa’s time, or was disposed of in a former mob-connected fat-rendering plant in Detroit that burned down shortly after Hoffa’s disappearance.
“It was just very odd that right after Jimmy Hoffa disappeared, it burned down,” Burnstein said.
Caller Lance had a different perspective, saying, “Even if they do find the body, then what? It’s a waste of taxpayer dollars, it’s ridiculous .”
Burnstein added even if Hoffa’s body is found the chances of bringing criminal charges against anyone are slim to none. Most of the mob leaders of his day are dead.
Burnstein noted, however, the neighborhood of 12 Mile and Gratiot where police are digging Friday was the home base of notorious mob enforcer Bernard “The Hammer” Marchesani, who was operating at the time of Hoffa’s disappearance. Marchesani was convicted of federal extortion charges, led the feds on a multi-year manhunt, and was later captured, escaped, and was the subject of a nationwide manhunt.
He was eventually captured in 1986 and died in prison of stomach cancer in 1998.
“He was a very well-respected enforcer, so I believe his possibly living there at the time of the murder led to these theories (about Hoffa),” Burnstein said.
So maybe they’ll find a different body under the driveway? “There could be a body down there, but I doubt it’s Jimmy Hoffa’s,” Burnstein said.
He added: “The general belief that we’re going to somehow unearth Jimmy Hoffa, I don’t think it’s realistic, his body has been long disposed of.”