Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Opinion: Why the FBI Searched Farm for Hoffa Remains

In 2004, a former prosecutor (Charles Brandt) published a blockbuster book I Heard You Paint Houses : Frank "The Irishman" Sheeran and the Inside Story of the Mafia, the Teamsters, and the Final Ride of Jimmy Hoffa. The former prosecutor had obtained FBI suspect Frank "the Irishman" Sheeran's deathbed confession in Hoffa's murder. According to Sheeran, he shot him in the head twice and his body was taken from the prearranged safe house to an incinerator not far from the Machus Red Fox Restaraunt outside Detroit, where Hoffa, 62, was last seen in July 1975.

The New York Times bestseller book was largely overshadowed by the press's concentration on the 2004 election cycle. One reviewer said, "... I grasped the clear and simple meanings of JFK's assassination, Ramsey Clark's appointment, and Hoffa's disappearance. They all ring true, as only an insider could have known them."

It seems that Brandt's page-turning, taped account of Hoffa's murder included intriguing background information about the JFK assassination. No one, not the author, the publisher nor Amazon.com hyped this connection, however.

If the FBI had found remains in its recent horse barn dig about 20 miles from Hoffa's last sighting, Sheeran's details would be impugned - not just Hoffa's murder, but the juicier, incidental tidbits from the JFK assassination. All would be discredited.

The search by 40 FBI agents, forensic experts, evidence technicians, bulldozers and cadaver dogs lasted nine days. Yet, as members of congress have pointed out, if remains had been found (the search has now been called off), what purpose for this great expense would be served. Who yet living could be charged? After 30 years, nobody.

Obviously then, the purpose of the latest FBI bungle was otherwise: to totally discredit Sheeran on the embarrassing JFK connections (besides the New Orleans mob). When you read the book, you may ask yourself questions about the "Quiet Don" Russell Buffalino. Who, in high places, was he taking orders from? This is the usual police blotter type stuff, and comes nowhere close to answering the real question.

Described as a "perfect gentleman," Bufalino might fit in at an afternoon tea party. Were his overbosses U.S. politicians, perhaps? Mums the word; Rosario Alberto "Russell" Bufalino, the Quiet Don, died in 1994. Hmmm.


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