Possible Jimmy Hoffa Burial Site ID’d, Labor Boss Helped Fund Las Vegas Casinos 

Posted on: January 30, 2021, 11:48h. 

Last updated on: January 30, 2021, 07:24h.

Two veteran journalists have pinpointed a spot in New Jersey where they say former labor leader James R. Hoffa could be buried. Decades ago, Hoffa helped secure Teamsters loans for casino construction in Las Vegas. 

Jimmy Hoffa
James Hoffa, right, talks with Robert Kennedy, counsel for the Senate Rackets Investigating Committee, in Washington, D.C. on Aug. 21, 1957. Two reporters recently located a potential Hoffa burial site. (Image: Associated Press)

Fox News anchor and reporter Eric Shawn wrote on the network’s website Friday that radar identified “large buried pieces of curved metal” where Hoffa might have been buried in a 55-gallon steel drum. The dump site is in Jersey City beneath the Pulaski Skyway. The skyway, opened in 1932, connects Jersey City and Newark.

Shawn and investigative reporter Dan E. Moldea appear together at the parcel in the fourth episode of Riddle: The Search for James R. Hoffa. The episode aired Friday on the Fox Nation subscription site. Moldea, author of the 1978 book The Hoffa Wars, is considered the nation’s top expert on the former Teamsters Union president. 

Hoffa disappeared from the parking lot of the Machus Red Fox restaurant in suburban Detroit on July 30, 1975. He was set to meet with two Mafia leaders to resolve differences. The meeting never took place.

No one has been held criminally responsible in Hoffa’s disappearance. The 2019 Martin Scorsese movie The Irishman contends Hoffa friend Frank “The Irishman” Sheeran shot the 62-year-old labor leader to death on orders from the Mafia. Others believe New Jersey Mafia hit man Salvatore “Sally Bugs” Briguglio was the killer.

The disposal of Hoffa’s body has been a mystery for decades. Some believe he was cremated in Detroit or dumped in the ocean. Years ago it was rumored he was buried at Giants Stadium in New Jersey. Based on sources and years of research, Moldea has said the body was taken from Detroit to New Jersey and buried in a 55-gallon drum.

Next Step

In the episode that aired Friday, the two journalists interview Frank Cappola, who said his father, Paul Cappola Sr., buried the former Teamsters leader at the New Jersey dump. Cappola said more than a dozen steel drums were piled on top of Hoffa’s before being covered with dirt.

The dump once was connected to the Genovese crime family, according to Shawn. Mafia leaders reportedly were upset with Hoffa for trying to regain control of the union after a prison term for jury tampering and pension fund fraud.

The news network hired Ground Penetrating Radar Systems in searching for barrels at the spot Cappola identified. The search revealed curved metal “that could indicate steel drums arranged on top of each other,” Shawn wrote.

A dig at the site can’t take place without approval.

“Since it is against New Jersey state law for Fox Nation to dig up the site, we are awaiting law enforcement action to take the next step to determine if what we found could finally end the mystery of what happened to Jimmy Hoffa,” Shawn wrote.

Mob-Connected Casinos

Several Las Vegas casinos benefitted from Teamsters loans that Hoffa arranged. Jeff Burbank, a journalist and author, has noted that many casinos receiving Teamsters loans were connected to crime families.

“A major source of Hoffa’s power was his control of the union’s Central States Pension Fund, which loaned tens of millions of dollars to a slew of Nevada casino projects—many operated by people with ties to organized crime—and other developments, mostly in Las Vegas, from the 1950s to the 1970s,” Burbank wrote.

The 1995 movie Casino looks at the Mafia influence at Las Vegas resorts toward the end of this period. 

Over the years, many hotel-casinos from the Mafia era, including the Sands, have been demolished.