Vanished Hoffa still fascinates after almost 40 years
By Todd Leopold, CNN
updated 5:15 PM EDT, Fri September 28, 2012
(CNN) -- His middle name was Riddle, and that's what his whereabouts have been for the last 37 years.
Maybe, the story went, Jimmy Hoffa was disposed of under the old Giants Stadium in New Jersey. Or perhaps he was buried in a Michigan horse farm. One colleague said his body had been incinerated. Still another theory was that he was taken to a Florida swamp as alligator food.
Or, as one person said at the time of his disappearance, he wasn't dead at all. He'd taken off to South America in the company of a go-go dancer.
To date, none of these theories have panned out. But wherever the truth may lie, one thing is for certain: Jimmy Hoffa -- former Teamsters leader, convicted felon, Kennedy enemy and alleged mobster cohort -- hasn't been seen since July 30, 1975.
On Friday, police again looked for the union boss, who was declared dead in 1982, under the driveway of a house in Roseville, Michigan, just outside Detroit. A tipster told police that a body was buried at the spot around the same time the Teamsters head disappeared. Police found no "discernible remains" in the search, police Chief James Berlin said.
It's a disappearance that has held on to the public's imagination far longer than Hoffa was in power -- a testament both to Hoffa's high profile and the power of mystery, says pop culture expert Robert Thompson of Syracuse University.
"In this world of enlightenment and science and blogs and the Internet, there are still a few mysteries," he says, ticking off the Loch Ness monster and the questions surrounding the Kennedy assassination as other examples.