Jimmy Hoffa: no visible sign of remains, but forensics lab to weigh in
Jimmy Hoffa may be buried under a work shed in Roseville, Mich., a tipster said. The investigation hasn't found any remains yet, but the search for Jimmy Hoffa continues.
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Following a tip suggesting that a body might have been buried there decades ago, local investigators drilled 10 feet below the surface Friday morning to retrieve core soil samples. There were no visible signs of remains, but the soil samples will be analyzed by a forensics lab at Michigan State University in East Lansing. If test results show human remains, excavation would start next week.
Not that local police actually expect to find Mr. Hoffa's remains beneath the concrete-floored shed in Roseville, Mich. “We aren't saying it's not Jimmy Hoffa. We're just saying the odds are very remote,” James Berlin, police chief of Roseville told the Detroit News.
Hoffa disappeared on July 30, 1975, and was last seen outside a restaurant in suburban Oakland, Mich. A key figure during the heyday of the labor movement, Hoffa was convicted in of jury tampering and fraud before being pardoned by President Nixon. The many unknowns surrounding his disappearance have added to his legend, with the National Museum of Organized Crime & Law Enforcement in Las Vegas featuring a section on Hoffa conspiracy theories, for instance.
The case has become larger than life because of the public’s “fascination with unsolved crimes, particularly murder cases where the body has never been found,” says Adam Gershowitz, a professor at William & Mary Law School in in Williamsburg, Va. “And the statute of limitations usually does not run out on murder cases, so there’s always the prospect that finding the body could lead to a new whodunit and a trial.”
The mystery also proved a glimpse of underground crime organizations from a different era, says Tod Burke, a criminal justice professor at Radford University in Virginia
“Nowadays, organized-crime people are more likely to speak [to authorities] – to turn against their own,” says Professor Burke. The Hoffa era was a time “when you didn’t do that. You kept your mouth quiet and it stayed within the family."