Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Hoffa Murder Solved

I know who killed Hoffa - and where

Jimmy Hoffa might be buried on a horse farm. But the FBI agent in charge of the suburban Detroit dig that ended this week should have known before he put shovel to dirt that it wasn't this one. And there's a man alive who knows exactly what was done with Hoffa's body.When now deceased Teamster and Mafia associate Frank Sheeran - Hoffa murder suspect from day one - confessed to me during five years of taping that he shot his friend and mentor at 17841 Beaverland St. in Detroit, the man had everything in this life to lose. His lawyers advised him if he continued to allow me to interview and tape him, he would be indicted.At times Sheeran expressed fear of how he would look to: Jimmy's kids, his own daughters and grandchildren and his former Mafia colleagues. But Sheeran's overriding fear was of God. On his last tape - six weeks before his 2003 death at 83 - he and I said a Hail Mary and Our Father.Subsequently, Sheeran's confessions were corroborated.Two years ago, when Special Agent in Charge Dan Roberts - the man behind this dig - took over the Detroit FBI office, I offered Sheeran's tapes to him. He didn't take me up on the offer. To this day, Sheeran's tapes, with relevant evidence not disclosed in my book, remain ignored.The scene of the crime, 17841 Beaverland St., also remains largely ignored. It had three patches of floor with blood seized by local cops. Analysis found 30 spots of blood too old for DNA analysis and one spot with DNA likely from a 4-year-old boy who more recently injured his head.The pattern of old blood fit Sheeran's confession.Ten months before this latest dig, Bob Garrity, retired Hoffa case agent in charge from 1975 to 1978, said about Sheeran in a Detroit Free Press interview: "Why would he say he did it if he didn't? There was no reason for him to lie."As for "the bones," Sheeran told me he was told Hoffa was cremated, but added: "I do know that this detail was none of my business and anybody who says they know ... except for the cleaner, who is still alive, is making a sick joke."That cleaner, the guy responsible for disposing of the corpse, is now 68 and living in Las Vegas. His name is on Sheeran's tapes and in Bob Garrity's 1976 report with the original suspect list. To date, the man has always taken the Fifth.But it's only by digging deeper into his recollections - not making holes in dirt under horse farms - that anyone will find Hoffa.If, that is, there is any Hoffa left to find.Brandt, the author of "I Heard You Paint Houses," is former chief deputy attorney general of Delaware.

Originally published on June 1, 2006.

(C) 2007. Charles Brandt


MarkintheCar said...

Mr. Brandt,

I’m assuming by the lack of activity that you don’t check this blog very often. I am hoping that you will see this as I’ve looked all over the internet in hopes of finding a way to reach you. I just wanted to thank you so much for writing “I heard you paint houses…”. I received it as a Christmas gift in 2006 from my wife after hearing you on the Howie Carr show in Boston (I added it to my list that day). Well then it sat around, I lent it to my grandmother who couldn’t put it down and was done within a week. She called it “a real page turner” and raved about it. Well after remodeling my house and doing all of the day to day grind type of stuff I knew that I had a well earned vacation coming up. I decided I was taking your book with me to Jamaica. I was looking forward to reading your book and I must say it was the best decision I made on that vacation. I couldn’t put it down. My wife kept telling me to put it down and come do something or talk to her or do something else. Her book wasn’t nearly as interesting. It became a running joke between us. I loved it. I have lent it to my friend and he loves it as well. His only complaint is that it still smells faintly of my suntan lotion! The one barometer I use when judging just how good a tv show, movie, or book is- How disappointed I am that it’s over. When HBO’s The Wire ended I was crushed, just as I was when I was done with your book because all of my new friends- Frank, Russell, Jimmy, and Tony Pro were all gone. I do have a couple of questions for you though as they weren’t addressed in the book-

What happened to Frank’s cufflinks, $3 piece ring, and gold watch after he died? Was he buried with them? Given to friends?
Is there any plans for a movie? If so who would YOU choose to play Frank, Russell, and Jimmy?

Thanks again for a great book and an even better vacation!

Charles Brandt said...

Thank you, Mark and your grandmother, for your kind words. Frank's watch, cufflinks and ring were given to his grandson, a mortgage broker and a recent member of the U.S. Rugby team which played Russia on ESPN.
There is a movie deal in the works, but I'm not free to talk about it yet. Charlie Brandt