The author is an investigative journalist who has specialized in organized crime and political corruption since 1974. He's written 10 books including "The Hoffa Wars, The Rise and Fall of Jimmy Hoffa."
By Dan Moldea
Saturday, July 30 is the 47th anniversary of Hoffa’s murder which I have investigated since the crime was first announced.
This column is less about what happened in 1975 and more about what has transpired in the past few weeks.
On July 21, the New York Times and the Associated Press broke the news that in early June the FBI conducted a second court-authorized search for Hoffa’s unmarked grave in the alcove under the Pulaski Skyway in Jersey City near the PJP Landfill, aka “Brother Moscato’s Dump.”
To my chagrin, the FBI announced that it had neither recovered nor discovered any evidence that Hoffa was buried at this location.
To be clear, this is the same site that I have been promoting for the past three years since September 2019 when I was shown the location by Frank Cappola who told me that his father had buried Hoffa in that alcove.
But even in the aftermath of this massive disappointment, I still believe:
►That Ralph Picardo told the FBI the truth in November 1975 when he said, among other things, that he believed that Jimmy Hoffa’s body was buried at Brother Moscato’s Dump.
►That Genovese-Mafia soldier Phillip “Brother” Moscato told me the truth during our many exclusive interviews between 2007 to 2014 when he said that “Picardo basically had it right,” adding that Hoffa was, indeed, buried at his dump.
►That Frank Cappola told me the truth during our thirty-plus hours of interviews between September 2019 and his death in March 2020 when he said that his father, Paul Cappola, a co-owner of the landfill, had buried Hoffa on the orders of his partner, Brother Moscato, near PJP. At my request, Cappola executed a sworn declaration on October 7, 2019, detailing what his father told him. Frank also offered to take a polygraph test.
►That the ground-penetrating radar examinations (GPR) conducted by reputable civilian companies arranged separately by members of my team and by Fox News with me present were performed in good faith. These revealing GPR examinations provided what appeared to be corroboration for what Frank Cappola had told me. The GPR results were the principal reasons for our high confidence that Hoffa was still buried in the alcove.
►That the FBI and federal prosecutors, in good faith and upon the strength of this evidence, executed two affidavits in October 2021 and June 2022, detailing that evidence, and then submitted those sworn statements to the federal court in New Jersey. Shortly thereafter, the FBI obtained sealed search warrants from a federal judge, who noted that “probable cause” existed that Hoffa’s remains might be in the alcove under the Pulaski Skyway.
To be clear, I would have been negligent if I had ignored all this evidence. This, by far, was the best lead I have ever seen in my 47 years of investigating this 47-year-old murder case.
Upon receipt of its latest warrant, the FBI, in good faith, conducted an extensive search of the site and based on that evidence, came to its tragic conclusion that Hoffa was not there.
In the recent reports of both the New York Times and the Associated Press, I was quoted, insisting that the FBI might have missed the exact location of Hoffa’s unmarked grave. Specifically, the Times reported:
Mr. Moldea said that . . . a recent ground-penetrating-radar investigation by a private company found disturbances and apparent objects below the surface of the soil that were near where the F.B.I. searched, but not the same spots. He said that data has recently been forwarded to the F.B.I.
“I’m more than happy to accept this verdict,” [Moldea] said . . . , “but there is one lingering issue that I believe remains unresolved. This is a stone left unturned.”
We are currently trying to resolve this dispute to the satisfaction of everyone involved.
But, regardless of how this plays out, I still believe that Hoffa is or was buried at or near PJP in Jersey City after his 1975 murder in Detroit . . . and that we just can’t find him.
Also, regarding those who are now accusing me of having a blind spot as to the role of the Detroit underworld in the murder conspiracy, I remind everyone that no one, living or dead, has spent more time than I have investigating the Detroit labor racketeer, Rolland McMaster, for his role in the transport of Hoffa’s body via Gateway Transportation, as well as McMaster’s direction of the Local 299 violence that preceded Hoffa’s disappearance.
That aside—as promised if this search by the FBI was unsuccessful—I must say that the failure of this effort will be mine and mine alone. The members of my loyal production team are blameless.
Be assured that none of us requested or accepted any money from any media organizations during the past three years of this investigation. We agreed that we would do nothing until Hoffa’s remains were recovered and positively identified by the FBI.
In short, we have not opened an empty vault at anyone else’s expense.
Thank you for your time and attention during this extraordinary process.
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