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[00:00:04]

July 30th, 1975. Not a cloud in the sky in Pontiac, Michigan, wildlife called peacefully across the lakes until a plane hummed over the horizon, startling them. The craft flew so low it nearly skimmed the surface of the Great Lakes.

[00:00:23]

Inside were three men, all dressed for business, all armed with guns, badges and the same stern look on their faces. As they stared at the man across from them, the handcuffed man returned their stare, trying to appear apathetic.

[00:00:42]

He looked rather unassuming in a dark polo and slacks, yet his hands shook like a man in serious trouble. He told the federal officers his wife was waiting for him at home. He'd promised to cook her steaks. She'd worry if they took too long, one agent replied.

[00:01:01]

I'm sorry to say, but your wife may be dining alone.

[00:01:06]

The other agent pulled the door of the plane open. They forced the unassuming man towards the edge and taunted him, saying, You've got to love that view. Before he could respond, one of the agents shoved the man. He plummeted through the air toward Lake Michigan, landing with an unforgettable splash.

[00:01:27]

The former captive would never be seen again. Welcome to Conspiracy Theories, a cast original every Monday and Wednesday, we dig into the complicated stories behind the world's most controversial events and search for the truth. I'm Carter Roy. And I'm Molly Brandenberg. And neither of us are conspiracy theorists, but we are open minded, skeptical and curious. Don't get us wrong.

[00:02:04]

Sometimes the official version is the truth, but sometimes it's not.

[00:02:09]

You can find episodes of conspiracy theories and all other precast originals for free on Spotify or wherever you listen to podcasts to stream conspiracy theories for free on Spotify, just open the app and type conspiracy theories in the search bar.

[00:02:25]

This is our second episode on Jimmy Hoffa, the former president of the Teamsters Labor Union who disappeared on July 30th, 1975. Throughout his career, Jimmy Ropen, the Union into Illicit Business Ventures and gave money to the mob, combine his role as a union leader with his high up mob connections. And the U.S. government wanted him gone.

[00:02:50]

Last time we covered his rivalry with Senator Bobby Kennedy and Hoffa schemes to bribe President Nixon to release him from prison. But not long after he got out, Jimmy Hoffa disappeared off the face of Detroit. Today, we'll look at the conspiracy theories surrounding Hoffa's disappearance. First off, conspiracy theory number one, Jimmy Hoffa was killed by federal agents who wanted to ensure Frank Fitzsimmons maintained the role of Teamster president conspiracy theory number two, Jimmy Hoffa was murdered by serial killer and mafia hit man Richard The Iceman Kuklinski.

[00:03:31]

At the time, Kuklinski was known for making people disappear.

[00:03:35]

And conspiracy theory number three, Jimmy was killed by his longtime friend and associate, Frank the Irishman Shearin, who was sent by Mafia Don Russell Bufalino to keep Jimmy quiet.

[00:03:52]

We have all that and more coming up. Stay with us. To this day, no one has been convicted for Jimmy Hoffa's mysterious disappearance in 1975 over the years. The FBI narrowed their search to nine suspects, all of whom were involved with either the Teamsters or the Mafia. Yet each of them plead the fifth when brought before a grand jury. The lack of evidence makes the death of Jimmy Hoffa one of the most notorious cold cases in history. And it doesn't help that his body was never found, not for lack of trying.

[00:04:33]

Tips on Jimmy Hoffa's missing corpse led the FBI on a wild goose chase across the country.

[00:04:39]

Mafia hit man Donald Toney, the Greek Francos claimed that New Jersey mafia dismembered Jimmy and buried him in the end zone of Giants Stadium.

[00:04:50]

Anonymous tips suggested that Tony Pro and his associate, Salvatore Briguglio, murdered Jimmy and ground him into pieces. Then they scattered him in the Florida Everglades.

[00:05:03]

But there was one eyewitness testimony that led to new suspects, not the Mafia nor the Teamsters, the federal government. Which brings us to conspiracy theory. Number one, Jimmy was killed by federal agents, perhaps on orders from a former president.

[00:05:25]

The theory starts with a man named Joseph Franco, Franco was a former aide and strong arm for the Teamsters for over 30 years. He was closely tied to the Mafia, but he also worked intimately with Jimmy Hoffa.

[00:05:40]

Franco was called to testify before the grand jury twice regarding Jimmy Hoffa's disappearance. Franco claimed he was worried about exposing the truth. He didn't want anyone to come after him, so he never told the jury what he saw and stayed silent about what he witnessed that July afternoon until 1987 when Franco published his book, Hoffa's Man.

[00:06:08]

Franco's story went something like this on the day of Jimmy's disappearance, Franco happened to be at the same shopping center as the matches Red Fox Restaurant, where Jimmy was set to meet the two Tonys. Franco said he was there on personal business. It's unclear if that meant Franco was there for the meeting or it was completely unrelated.

[00:06:30]

Leaving the strip mall, Franco noticed Jimmy standing by his green Pontiac in the parking lot. By Franco's estimation, Jimmy had probably just phoned his wife and was headed back to the car.

[00:06:43]

Franco didn't have time to approach before a black Ford felted pulled up beside Jimmy. According to Franco, two federal marshals or federal agents stepped out of the vehicle and flashed their badges.

[00:06:57]

Jimmy talked to them for a moment and then climbed into the Ford's back seat without protest. The car exited the law down Telegraph Road around 245 p.m..

[00:07:09]

Franco hopped in his own car and pursued them to the small Pontiac Oakland Airport. This was a public use airport that housed private planes.

[00:07:19]

But Franco didn't have clearance to follow the Ford inside the gates of the airfield. Franco waited and watched for a while. It's not clear how long. Could have been 10 minutes, maybe a couple of hours. But Franco insists the Ford LTG never exited back onto the main road. He says the only way Jimmy could have left the airport was by plane.

[00:07:44]

And since Jimmy was never seen again, Franco insists the feds were responsible for his disappearance. In fact, he believes government agents may have pushed Jimmy out of the plane over the Great Lakes. After a decade long rivalry with the federal government, it's not hard to see why they may have wanted Jimmy out of the picture. And at the time of his disappearance, Jimmy was threatening to expose the shady practices of current Teamster President Frank Fitzsimmons. Fitzsimmons allowed the Mafia to withdraw vast sums of money from the union's pension accounts.

[00:08:25]

At the same time, Fitz was making regular contributions to Richard Nixon's campaign.

[00:08:32]

Now, Hoffa had done a similar thing, allowing Mafiosos to borrow money from the Teamsters to build casinos. That's how he wound up in jail and he'd been involved with donations to Nixon to get back out of jail. But Fitzsimmons had successfully kept his mob ties a secret.

[00:08:52]

This grew more complicated because Nixon and Fitzsimmons were publicly aligned as well. The two appeared on television together on more than one occasion.

[00:09:02]

On their relationship wasn't a secret. If Fitz's ties to the mob came out, it could be detrimental to Nixon's career, perhaps even send him to jail. But there are a few holes here, like the fact that Franco waited until 1987 to publish his account and Jimmy's son, James P. Hoffa, publicly denied the claims and Franco's books and said that if Franco was truly a witness, then he should have come forward 12 years prior.

[00:09:36]

Franco did admit that he was afraid of challenging the feds at the time. He said he was worried he'd get whacked or sent to prison. And in 1987, Franco said he'd take a lie detector test if he was granted federal immunity. He also said he could identify one of the federal agents he saw that day if a photo was provided.

[00:09:59]

Franco also defended his argument by hinting that other great leaders of this period may have been assassinated by the government. We've covered a few of these previously, but conspiracy theories suggest that the CIA hired Lee Harvey Oswald to kill John F. Kennedy and Bobby Kennedy's assassin was allegedly a victim of government mind control.

[00:10:24]

Even Martin Luther King Jr. was thought to be assassinated by the FBI.

[00:10:29]

Still, the FBI wrote off Francos claims since they came out so many years after Jimmy Hoffa's disappearance.

[00:10:38]

They never searched the Great Lakes for Jimmy's body, probably because they felt the accusations were unsubstantiated or because they were directly involved in the disappearance.

[00:10:49]

Still, Franco never could provide proof of what he saw that day. As far as we can tell, he never took a lie detector test, nor did he get to validate his theories with photos of former agents. Which leads us to the biggest plot hole in Franco's theory. Nixon had already resigned. By 1975, when Jimmy went missing, he resigned in 1974 after the disgrace of Watergate. So why would Nixon care about Jimmy exposing his ties to the mob at that point?

[00:11:23]

And how would he have sway over federal agents?

[00:11:28]

Let me remind you, Nixon used former CIA and FBI agents in the Watergate scandal. So it's possible he also used former agents to threaten or kill Jimmy Hoffa.

[00:11:41]

President Ford pardoned Richard Nixon, which meant he couldn't be indicted over the scandal. But if word got out that he received dirty money from the mob via Fitzsimons and use that to fund Watergate, that could have led to an even larger mess.

[00:11:57]

Did Nixon have the motive? Sure. But the resources probably not. It seems like Francos story was nothing more than a publicity stunt. So on a scale of one to 10, with 10 being very likely and one being very unlikely, I'd give this theory a two out of 10, I'd give it a three.

[00:12:20]

Now, the sticking point for me is the connection to Nixon and Watergate. We know what Nixon was capable of and how far he'd go to get what he wanted. I wouldn't put it past him to attempt to have Hoffa eliminated to save his own skin. That said, there were far more bloodthirsty individuals with motive to put a hit on Jimmy Hoffa, including a known serial killer.

[00:12:46]

Coming up next, the infamous serial killer, Richard The Iceman Kuklinski. History, politics, true crime, the new Spotify original from podcast has it all.

[00:13:02]

Hi, I'm Carter and I am thrilled to tell you about the new series, Very Presidential with Ashley Flowers.

[00:13:09]

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[00:13:54]

These presidents may have run, but they most certainly can't hide.

[00:13:59]

Follow very presidential with Ashley flowers free on Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts.

[00:14:09]

Now back to the story, according to his friend and fellow Teamster, Joseph Franco, Jimmy Hoffa was lured into a vehicle by federal agents in 1975. Franco claims he tailed the agents to a private airfield where he believes Jimmy was put on a plane, then dropped into the Great Lakes, never to be seen again.

[00:14:34]

But there's little evidence to suggest this was true. And President Nixon, the only government figure with a motive to kill Jimmy, had already resigned from office.

[00:14:46]

But our second theory takes a more sinister turn.

[00:14:50]

In July 1975, Jimmy Hoffa was meeting Mafiosos Tony Pro and Tony Jacques at the matches Red Fox Restaurant. Jimmy and Tony Pro had been fighting since prison, and the meeting was to settle their differences. Jimmy needed Tony Perot's support if he was going to be re-elected as Teamsters Union president.

[00:15:14]

Officially, the duo never showed, and Jimmy got into another vehicle around 245 p.m., but that vehicle may have held both Tonys as well as their hit man.

[00:15:27]

Which brings us to theory number two, notorious serial killer and mafia hit man Richard The Iceman Kuklinski killed Jimmy Hoffa. Kuklinski was a monstrous man, he was six foot five and weighed 300 pounds, he had no distinct way of killing his victims. He was careful to never use the same weapon twice. His tools ranged from handguns and grenades to ice picks, chainsaws, hunting knives and crowbars.

[00:16:01]

He even admitted to shooting a motorist with a crossbow just to try out the weapon. He says his most creative weapon was a nasal spray bottle filled with cyanide, his favorite victims loudmouths and those who angered him.

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But he had no problem killing at random.

[00:16:23]

At 18, Kuklinski sold pornographic videos to the Gambino crime family. He built a friendship with mobster Roy Demayo. DiMaggio had Kuklinski help with small crimes at first, like petty theft. But Kuklinski told Demayo that his dream job was to kill for a living.

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So one day, Demayo pointed out a victim at random.

[00:16:48]

A man was walking his dog down the streets of New York when Kuklinski shot him in the head without hesitation.

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After that, Kuklinski became the main hit man for multiple tri state area crime families, including the Genovese family, which Tony Pro was a part of the Mafia named Kuklinski the Ice Man, because he would often store bodies in industrial grade freezers, then dispose of them later. This made it harder for a time of death to be determined and harder for detectives to solve the crime.

[00:17:23]

But Kuklinski also dismembered bodies, tossed them in lakes or lit them on fire in a 55 gallon oil drum. Essentially, he knew how to cover up a dead body.

[00:17:39]

As for how we know about this, Kuklinski happily bragged about his exploits to authors and psychologists. Over the years, he took credit for almost 200 different deaths in the early 2000s. Journalist Philip Karlo spent six weeks interviewing the Iceman in prison. Carlow published Kuklinski stories in his book The Iceman Confessions of a Mafia Contract Killer in 2006.

[00:18:08]

Among Kuklinski, many violent confessions was the kidnap and murder of Jimmy Hoffa.

[00:18:15]

By 1975, Kuklinski had been working as a hitman for East Coast Mafia families for almost 15 years. Yet Kuklinski didn't know much about Jimmy Hoffa. The two had never met.

[00:18:29]

In Carlos book The Iceman, Kuklinski says the order to kill Jimmy came from Tony P., who we can assume and Tony Pro, allegedly mafia Don Russell Bufalino had permitted Tony Pro to execute the hit. So Tony Pro offered Kuklinski 40000 dollars to do the job, or roughly one hundred and ninety thousand dollars today.

[00:18:53]

Kuklinski prefer to work alone, but agreed to work with a team for this specific hit. He could tell it was important.

[00:19:02]

Kuklinski only referred to the others as Gabe, Sal and Tommy, but they were likely fellow Mafia members Gabrielle and Salvatore, RIGOLIZZO and Thomas on Drita.

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According to Kuklinski, the four men and Tony Pro arrived in Detroit around midmorning on July 30th, 1975, the day Jimmy went missing. Later that day, the men drove to the matches Red Fox Restaurant. Jimmy Hoffa was waiting outside when they arrived.

[00:19:38]

Allegedly, Tony Pro got out of the car and chatted with Hoffa in the parking lot for a moment. Then he walked Hoffa back to the car. Tony Pedro got in the front seat and Jimmy Hoffa got in the back with a crowbar in his hand. Kuklinski waited for his signal. After a couple of miles, Tony PRONATED and Kuklinski knocked Jimmy unconscious.

[00:20:03]

Kuklinski then drew a hunting knife and positioned it at the base of Jimmy's skull. He thrust the knife directly into Jimmy Hoffa's brain. The group pulled over at a nearby rest stop and put Jimmy's corpse into a body bag that he then threw him into the trunk of the car.

[00:20:22]

Tony Pro wanted to take Jimmy's body back to New Jersey so they could put some distance between the crime and the evidence. Kuklinski volunteered to drive the body back while the others took a bus home.

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Kuklinski arrived in New Jersey that night and went straight to a mob owned junkyard in Newark. He put Jimmy's body in a 50 gallon drum and doused it with gasoline. Kuklinski says he welded the drums shut and burned it for 30 minutes before burying it in the junkyard.

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Later, Kuklinski heard that Sal Briguglio had been talking to the feds. It was just a rumor. But as a precaution, Kuklinski returned to the junkyard and dug up the drum. He placed the drum in the trunk of an old car and took the car to a junkyard. It was then smashed into a two by four foot cube in a compressor. Kuklinski believes Jimmy's compacted remains were then sold with a scrap metal to Japan.

[00:21:25]

The detail that Kuklinski used to describe Jimmy's murder was extremely chilling, and Kuklinski claimed to have known Jimmy's biggest rival, Tony Pro, since they were kids.

[00:21:39]

But Kuklinski was known for exaggerating, Philip Carlo had 240 hours of audio recordings from Kuklinski, many of his stories became more gruesome and twisted as the tapes went on. Former FBI agent Robert Garity said that Kuklinski story about Jimmy was the, quote, most embarrassing one to date and quote, He dismissed the killer as a fantasist. And it didn't help that Kuklinski couldn't keep his stories consistent. The number of deaths he claimed responsibility for ranged between 30 and 200 still.

[00:22:18]

Officer Patrick Kane, who arrested Kuklinski in 1986, believed that Kuklinski was responsible for Jimmy Hoffa's death. He was quoted saying, who is a more likely candidate to do this than him? Despite that, it wasn't until he was interviewed for Carlos 2006 book that Kuklinski finally took credit for Jimmy's death.

[00:22:42]

And he seems like the kind of man who loved to sound his own horn on the fact that he waited so long to take credit for this famous murder is a bit suspicious. He'd had multiple interviews before Karlo, including some with HBO.

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What seals it for me is there's no evidence other than Kuklinski confession. It's a compelling tale, certainly, and it matches the known facts, but there's no proof. So as far as believability goes, I'm giving this theory a three out of 10.

[00:23:18]

I have to write this one a little bit higher. Kuklinski likely murdered more people than he was accused of. I don't think all of his stories are true, but he makes himself seem like a professional. And he had some pretty creative ways to get rid of evidence and dead bodies for that. I'll give this one a five out of 10. He's more than capable.

[00:23:40]

And there's a confession. One thing is obvious. Many people had a vendetta against Jimmy Hoffa, particularly Tony Pro and Russell Bufalino. If anyone had the motivations and resources to quietly take care of the problem, it was the Italian mob. They may not have contracted the Iceman, but they could have cut deeper by pushing one of Jimmy's only friends to execute. They hit. Coming up next, we'll look at Frank, the Irishman, Sharon. Now back to the story.

[00:24:21]

On July 30th, 1975, Jimmy Hoffa waited outside the matchless Red Fox Restaurant for Tony Pro and Tony Jack to arrive.

[00:24:30]

But according to I Heard You Paint Houses by Charles Brandt, Jimmy Hoffa was expecting a third person that day, Frank the Irishman Shearin. Which brings us to our third and final conspiracy theory. Frank, the Irishman, Sharon received orders from Russell Bufalino to kill Jimmy Hoffa.

[00:24:54]

Towering at six foot four, Sharon was an intimidating presence. At age 21, he enlisted in World War Two. There, he got his first taste of the dark side, participating in revenge killings and mass executions. When Sharon returned to Pennsylvania, he worked as a truck driver. He got married, had kids, but he had a hard time supporting them. So he took up additional work as a nightclub bouncer and he engaged in petty theft.

[00:25:25]

In 1955, Sharon was on his usual trucking route when his vehicle broke down. By coincidence, Russell Bufalino saw him pulled over and helped repair it. From then on, Bufalino took Sharon under his wing and hired him to act as muscle for the Sicilian mob.

[00:25:45]

Bufalino got Shearin back on his feet. He paid the Irishman well to intimidate enemies and make a few hits. He even connected Shearin with Jimmy Hoffa so that Sharon could join the Teamsters and secure his stake in the pension fund.

[00:26:01]

Sharon was a smart man who knew his place. He never asked questions. He knew when to keep his mouth shut, and he had a stomach for crime, which is why he was perfect for mob hits.

[00:26:17]

Though there are rumors of other mafiosos killing Jimmy Hoffa, Sheeran's story in I Heard You Paint Houses is one of the most popular. It even inspired Martin Scorsese's 2009 film The Irishman. According to Shearin, Jimmy had gone mad just a few weeks before his disappearance.

[00:26:38]

Jimmy was so desperate to regain his position as Teamsters Union president, he was willing to expose the Mafia to the government. If he did this, it would hurt the Mafia's access to the Teamsters pension fund, which the Mafia had been stealing from for years. They had taken billions to invest in their casinos in both Las Vegas, Nevada and Havana, Cuba.

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Unfortunately, Jimmy made the mistake of confiding in sharing Shiran like Jimmy.

[00:27:09]

But Sheeran's loyalties were with Russell Bufalino. Shiran and Bufalino tried to warn Jimmy not to follow through with his threats. He had to keep the Mafia's secret, but Jimmy didn't listen. Something had to be done to keep him quiet. On July 29th, 1975, a day before he disappeared, Jimmy Hoffa asked Frank Sharen to join them at the meeting with Tony Pro and Tony. Jack Shearin agreed to be there, but when he asked Bufalino for permission to attend the meeting, Bufalino told him to hang back.

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Shearin knew Jimmy was in trouble. His fears were confirmed when Bufalino told Sharon the plan Shearin would personally carry out the hit.

[00:28:01]

On Wednesday, July 30th, 1975, Sharon claims he and Bufalino got in the car with their wives and drove to Port Clinton, Ohio. They were all headed to Bufalino daughter's wedding in Detroit. On the way, they stopped at a diner. The women had coffee while Bufalino claimed they had a small errand to run. Sharon would meet back up with them.

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Later that night, Bufalino drove Sharon to a private airport where he boarded a small plane in under an hour. He was in Michigan, where an empty car was waiting for him. Keys in the ignition. Sharon drove to a brown shingled, an occupied home in the Detroit suburbs.

[00:28:45]

When he walked in, Salvatori, Briguglio and brothers Thomas and Steven on were waiting.

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Briguglio told Shearin that Chuckie O'Brien, Jimmys foster son, was also joining them. But Checky was running late, delivering fresh water salmon to a Teamster official.

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The problem was Chuckie was driving Tony Jack's son's car, a burgundy Mercury Marki. According to Shiran, they wanted to use this car for the hit because it was familiar to Jimmy. It's unclear why Shiran felt this way, but it may be because Chuckie borrowed the car often and Chuckie was one of the few people Jimmy felt he could trust. So if Jimmy saw a familiar car, he was more likely to get inside.

[00:29:34]

When Chucky arrived, Briguglio and Sharon got in the car. Chuckie wasn't informed of the hit, but he was part of the plan. Jimmy wouldn't resist getting in the car if he saw Chuckie there. Together, they drove to the matches Red Fox Restaurant and arrived around 245 p.m..

[00:29:55]

Jimmy was calling his wife Josephine when they arrived, when Jimmy made his way back to his green Pontiac, Chuckie pulled up beside him. Jackie apologized for being late and Jimmy yelled at him, What are you even doing here?

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Briguglio informed Jimmy that he was an associate of Tony Prose. Frustrated, Jimmy yelled, the Tony Pro stood him up. Bystanders were staring. So Sharon spoke up. He told Jimmy that Bufalino wanted to meet with him.

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Jimmy got in the car and continued arguing for the few miles back to the house there. Jimmy and Sharon got out while Bergoglio and Chucky drove away in the Mercury marquee. Jimmy walked up to the front door with Shearin. Following close behind, Jimmy opened the door to the empty living room. No Bufalino, no mafia, no witnesses.

[00:30:53]

Realizing he had left his gun in his Pontiac, Jimmy panicked and turned sharply, bumping into Shiran. Jimmy tried to shove past Shearin to get to the door, but he was unsuccessful. Sharon shot Jimmy twice in the head. Sharon dropped the gun on the floor, got in his car and drove back to the airport. He boarded the private plane and flew back to Port Clinton, Ohio, that night to rejoin Bufalino and his wife for the wedding.

[00:31:23]

Sharon says the Andrena Brothers cleaned up the house and put Jimmy in a body bag. Bufalino told Sharon they took Jimmy to a funeral parlor, but Sharon never confirmed if that was the truth.

[00:31:38]

Following a few anonymous tips, the FBI searched all the Mafia owned funeral parlors in Detroit for Jimmy's ashes. They found nothing, but they did find Jimmy's hair in the trunk of that Mercury marquee. However, according to Sharon, Jimmy was never in the trunk.

[00:32:00]

The FBI also searched the house where they hit supposedly took place. And while they did find blood, it didn't match Jimmy's.

[00:32:09]

Still, this story gave the FBI enough to question nine men they believed were involved in the disappearance before a judge.

[00:32:18]

They were Anthony, Tony, Pro, Provenzano, Steven and Thomas, Andrena Russell Bufalino, Salvatore and Gabriel Briguglio, Chuckie O'Brien, Anthony Tony, Jack Giacalone and of course, Frank the Irishman Shearin.

[00:32:38]

They were all represented by Jimmy's former attorney, Bill Bufalino.

[00:32:45]

Every one of them pleaded the fifth Shiran even pleaded the fifth when asked if the prosecutors yellow pin was yellow.

[00:32:53]

Since the feds had no concrete evidence for a conviction, they offered immunity to anyone who came forward with information about Jimmy's death or otherwise. They wanted to put these men in prison for something, especially if they were going to get away with killing Jimmy Hoffa.

[00:33:11]

In 1976, charges rolled in. Sal Briguglio and Tony Pro were indicted with murder charges while Tony Jack was convicted of tax fraud. Russell Bufalino was found guilty of extortion and the Andrena Brothers and Gabe Briguglio were charged with labor racketeering, meaning they exploited union workers for profit. Then in 1982, 62 year old Sharon was found guilty of 11 instances of labor racketeering. He was sentenced to 32 years in prison. Chuckie O'Brien was cleared of suspicion. By July 30th, 1982, the U.S. government finally declared Jimmy Hoffa dead.

[00:33:58]

Most of those men remain suspects, and Jimmy's case remains open today.

[00:34:05]

Sharon's story is accepted by some as a confession, but others close to Jimmy, like his foster son Chuckie O'Brien, discredit Sharon's account as a work of fiction. Chuckie claim that Sharon was known to be a pathological liar and shouldn't be trusted.

[00:34:24]

Jack Goldsmith, Checky stepson, claimed Sharon's story was by far the greatest depiction of a false charge against my stepfather. Goldsmith worked for years to clear his stepfather's name.

[00:34:38]

But let's consider the source here. Perhaps Chucky, the one person who wasn't charged with the crime, is just trying to protect himself. Of course, he's not going to admit to his involvement or say Sharon's story is true. It's also important to note that, Frank. Sharon denied involvement with Jimmy's murder for years. In 1995, Sharon claimed that Salvatori Briguglio had killed Jimmy Hoffa. He didn't confess anything until he wrote his book, which wasn't published until 2004, a year after he died.

[00:35:15]

Either way, he lied at some point, notably in early publishing deal before I heard you paint houses was thrown out. Sharon was caught forging documents for the book, including a fake letter from Jimmy. The letter was supposedly from the 70s, but forensics determined it was written in the 90s and called it laughable forgery.

[00:35:38]

It's clear Sharon was capable of a lie, but the question is, was he doing it to protect himself and the men he was loyal to? Or was he just another person trying to make a buck off of the Jimmy Hoffa conspiracy due to the lack of evidence and the fact that most of the suspects are now dead will have to form our own conclusion. Which is why we're giving this a seven out of ten, even if it wasn't Sheeran who pulled the trigger, the events described seem like a plausible final chapter in Jimmy Hoffa's life.

[00:36:16]

Jimmy upset the mob and the mob is, well, mob. If someone was a threat, they took care of it. Sure. And happened to be one of their most loyal hitmen. And he was close to Jimmy Hoffa.

[00:36:29]

I agree. The most plausible theory points to Frank Sheeran. But unfortunately, after 44 years of searching for Jimmy Hoffa's remains, there may never be a conclusive end to his story. His family may never get the closure they deserve. His body may never be found. His true story never told. But one thing's for certain. Karma caught up with the duplicitous union leader. If he'd kept his dealings with the mob, the federal government and the Teamsters above board, he never would have gone to that final lunch at the matches Red Fox Restaurant.

[00:37:09]

And as the old Sicilian proverb goes, to kill a dog, you don't cut off its tail, you cut off its head. Thanks for tuning in to conspiracy theories, we'll be back Monday with a new episode, you can find all episodes of conspiracy theories and all other cast originals for free on Spotify. Of the many resources we used, we found. I heard you paint houses by Charles Brandt in Half a Shadow by Jack Goldsmith and The Iceman by Philip Carlo.

[00:37:52]

Helpful to our research, not only to Spotify already have all of your favorite music, but now Spotify is making it easy for you to enjoy all of your favorite Parkhurst originals, like conspiracy theories for free from your phone desktop or smart speaker to stream conspiracy theories on Spotify. Just open the app and type conspiracy theories in the search bar.

[00:38:14]

Until then, remember, the truth isn't always the best story and the official story isn't always the truth.

[00:38:23]

Conspiracy Theories was created by Max Cutler and is a podcast studio's original. Executive producers include Max and Ron Cutler, Sound Design by Dick Schroder with production assistance by Ron Shapiro, Carly Madden and Joshua Kern. This episode of Conspiracy Theories was written by Taylor Bright with writing assistance by Maggie Admirer and stars Molly Brandenberg and Carter Roy. It's the most powerful position in American politics and arguably the world, but behind the oath to preserve, protect and defend, lie, dark secrets supposed to leave some legacies in disgrace.

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Don't forget to check out the new Spotify original from past very presidential with Ashley Flowers every Tuesday through the 2020 election. Host Ashley Flowers shines a light on the darker side of the American presidency, exposing wildly true stories about history's most high profile leaders.

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To hear more follow. Very presidential with Ashley flowers free on Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts.