At their Nov. 16 meeting, Dexter Rotary Club hosted a breakfast with special guest speaker retired FBI Agent Greg Stejskal who told the packed house of the historic photo he took in the 1970’s of a secret mob meeting in the Dexter area at Timberland Game Ranch.
You can read Agent Stejskal’s fascinating Dexter story here.
During the Q & A time at the end of his presentation, Agent Stejskal was asked what the FBI thought had happened to Jimmy Hoffa. At the time Hoffa disappeared, the Mafia owned Timberland Game Ranch on North Territorial and there were rumors the former Teamster’s president had been buried there.
I emailed Agent Stejskal asking him to elaborate a bit on the explanation he gave at the Rotary breakfast. Here is his reply:
“In summer of ’75, it wasn’t too long after I arrived in Michigan from new agents training that Jimmy Hoffa was abducted. The FBI actually didn’t have jurisdiction if it were a abduction/murder so we characterized it as a kidnapping. The timeline we developed was that Hoffa went to the Machus Red Fox restaurant planning to meet Anthony Giacalone. Giacalone was a “capo” in the Detroit family & the liaison w/ the teamsters.”
Note: “Capo” is a rank in the Mafia for a member of the crime family who heads a “crew” of soldiers and has major influence and social status in the organization.
“Giacalone never intended to meet Hoffa, but instead made a showing of creating an alibi at the Southfield Athletic Club. When Giacalone didn’t show up at the appointed time, Hoffa called his wife from a pay phone at a nearby hardware store. (Hoffa never went into the restaurant.) Hoffa asked his wife if Giacalone had called as he was late for their meeting.
“Witnesses later saw Hoffa talking to some men in a car matching the description of Anthony Giacalone Jr.’s car. Jr. had loaned the car to Chuckie O’Brien earlier the same day. O’Brien was Hoffa’s “adoped” son, not sure it was a legal adoption through the courts. Hoffa was seen getting into the car never to be seen again. (Two scent dogs indicated Hoffa had been in Giacalone Jr.’s car.) The car was impounded by the FBI.
“Although we know why Hoffa was murdered & generally by who, we don’t know how or what was done with the body. The prevailing opinion in the FBI was that the body was destroyed as quickly as possible. The mob guys knew without a body, it would be extremely hard to make a murder case. It would seem they were right.”
Agent Stejskal mentioned to the group at Rotary that the Mafia owned incinerators at the time that could have easily destroyed the body. Dispelling rumors that have circulated for years, such as the one regarding Hoffa’s body buried at Timberland, he added that the Mob certainly wouldn’t have buried the body somewhere, leaving it where it could be found.
Just what exactly happened to Jimmy Hoffa remains one of the great American mysteries with just enough vague information to allow conspiracy theorists to create a myriad of entertaining explanations.
“There was a book that came out a few yrs ago, “I Heard You Paint Houses.” in the book the author claims Frank Sheeran a self-proclaimed hit man for the mob made a death bed confession that he killed Hoffa. There are many discrepancies in the book. It’s a good story, but most probably false. However, Martin Scorsese is making a movie from the book w/ Robert DeNiro & Al Pacino. Most people will probably think that’s what happened.”