The disappearance of Jimmy Hoffa is one of the country's great mysteries. The labor union leader was last seen in the parking lot of the Machus Red Fox Restaurant in Bloomfield Township, about 26 miles from Roseville where the current investigation is happening. Both towns are affluent suburbs of Detroit, where Hoffa was active as a labor leader, as well as tampering with juries, bribery, fraud, and possible embezzlement.
Is Hoffa's body buried in a Michigan back yard?
Police drill for evidence outside a suburban Detroit home
In the latest move, police have drilled for core soil samples, looking for trace evidence of a corpse. The drilling is happening beneath what is now a garden shed with a concrete pad in the back yard of a family which has reportedly been very cooperative with police requests. (Imagine learning that Hoffa might be buried in your own back yard! That's fodder for a lifetime's worth of Thanksgiving dinner conversations.)
Thanks to a new tip, police were led to the scene of an alleged body burial. Could it be Jimmy Hoffa? Is there a body buried in the location at all, much less that of the missing mobster?
The tipster apparently never claimed that the body in question was that of Jimmy Hoffa. However, the timing of the sighting, which happened at about the time the Teamsters boss went missing, in combination with the location - Roseville, Michigan - led police to suspect that it could be Hoffa.
The tipster in question is described as a "former gambler" who used to do business with a man who had ties to a man who was supposed to meet Hoffa on the day of his death. (We're already three steps removed from Hoffa at this point.)
Police and federal officials have dug for Hoffa's body before. In 2004, they pulled up the floorboards of a Detroit home to search for blood, in the wake of a biography in which the subject claimed to have shot Hoffa himself. In 2006 the FBI tore down a horse ban in response to "a fairly credible lead." The disappearance of Hoffa has galled the FBI for nearly 40 years at this point.
And of course, those of us who are old enough remember the spectacle of the live televised dud that was Geraldo's much-hyped "Opening Jimmy Hoffa's Tomb" special. Not to mention the urban legend that Hoffa is buried in the end zone of the Giants stadium in New Jersey.
The FBI has sent samples to a lab for processing, and reportedly will be releasing the results on Monday.