by Joyce Tremel
Well, not exactly.
I read an article a few days ago about the FBI stopping a bank robbery in Fayette County last Thursday. The man who was arrested, William James Hoffa Jr. admitted that he also robbed another Fayette County bank on Christmas Eve. For the second robbery, Hoffa recruited a getaway driver, who in turn told the feds Hoffa's plans.
All this is pretty standard stuff and probably would have just gotten a passing reference in the newspaper. What made it newsworthy is that William James Hoffa Jr. claims to be related to long-missing Teamsters boss Jimmy Hoffa.
I never knew much about Jimmy Hoffa other than the fact that his body was never found. He went missing in 1975, the year I graduated from high school. The only thing on my mind that year was who was buying the beer for the party at Clair's house on Friday night. If you asked me about Hoffa back then I would have said, "Who?"
My inquiring mind did a little research this week. From what I've read, there doesn't seem to be a whole lot of difference between organized labor and organized crime. At least there wasn't back then. Hopefully, things have changed. Hoffa's dealings with organized crime are well documented and he spent time in a federal penitentiary for fraud and jury tampering until he was pardoned by Richard Nixon in 1971. Authorities believe Hoffa's disappearance was connected to his efforts to regain power.
As recently as 2006, the FBI along with forensic experts and anthropologists did an extensive search and investigation at a horse farm thirty miles from Detroit, Michigan. Theories abound as to the whereabouts of Hoffa's body. One says his body is mixed into the concrete used for the New York Giant's stadium. Another says he's buried in a gravel pit in Michigan owned by his brother, William. (The father of William the bank robber?)
Unsolved cases like this fascinate me. I can't help wondering what really happened. I'm pretty sure if I was a detective instead of a writer, an open case would drive me nuts. At least when I write about murder, my detective always solves the crime. How about you? If you were writing a disappearance like Hoffa's into your novel, how would you solve it?