Asked his thoughts about “The Irishman” — the new Martin Scorsese movie that depicts the 1975 disappearance and presumed murder of the onetime Teamsters boss Jimmy Hoffa — U.S. Attorney Matthew Schneider said on Monday that he anticipated new developments in the case.
“I will talk about this, but not now,” said Schneider , who has seen the movie. “I have a lot of thoughts about it.”
In fact, Schneider offered a comment that could give Hoffa sleuths something to look forward to.
“It’s unresolved. I have my own theories. There will be more to come on this,” he said.
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When asked about the movie’s accuracy — it has been described as “great filmmaking, but bad history” — Schneider noted that the topic is “something that I’m very interested in.”
He also highlighted the case’s longevity and connections to Hoffa’s living relatives.
“We’ve got our own files on this case. In fact, that’s our case, but, look, it’s been 44 years. This summer will be the 45th anniversary of the disappearance of Mr. Hoffa. Mr. Hoffa’s children are still with us, children, grandchildren, relatives … so this is a case we still take very seriously,” Schneider said.
Hoffa was last seen outside what was then the Machus Red Fox restaurant in Bloomfield Township, Michigan. He called his wife, Josephine, from a nearby pay phone to say that he’d been stood up for his lunch with mobsters. He was never seen in public again.
The main theory presented to a grand jury was that the mafia killed Hoffa to prevent him from disclosing mob infiltration of the Teamsters, including its tapping into the union’s pension fund to finance its rackets.
Hoffa had resigned from the Teamsters presidency after going to prison on charges of jury tampering, conspiracy and fraud. In 1965, a federal jury in Chattanooga, Tennessee, convicted Hoffa of conspiring to accept illegal payments from a trucking company and later of trying to funnel a $10,000 bribe to the son of one of the jurors.
But after President Richard Nixon commuted his sentence, Hoffa was out of prison and angling to return to power. By that time, the mob had formed a relationship with Hoffa’s successor, Frank Fitzsimmons, and didn’t want Hoffa’s return to jeopardize it.
Investigators theorize that the mob ordered the hit on Hoffa to protect its interests.
On the 40th anniversary of Hoffa’s disappearance in 2015, Hoffa’s daughter, Barbara Crancer, told the Free Press that the family doubted the case would ever be solved because so many of the main suspects were dead.
“I guess it won’t be solved,” said Crancer, a retired judge. “It would be a comfort to find his body, but I don’t think we will.”
A leading Hoffa expert, author Dan Moldea, recently made national news by presenting new evidence in the case.
Moldea said a former New Jersey landfill known as “Brother Moscato’s Dump” may hold the grave of the former Teamsters boss.
Moldea has been covering Hoffa since before he disappeared and wrote the book “The Hoffa Wars” in 1978, based on dozens of interviews with key figures in the case. He said a new lead brings together the correct cast of characters, the right timeline of events and information from other interviews he has done in his decades of researching the case.
Contributing: John Wisely. Follow Eric D. Lawrence on Twitter: @_ericdlawrence.