DESPERATE BARGAIN: Why Jimmy Hoffa Had to Die by Lester Velie

DESPERATE BARGAIN: Why Jimmy Hoffa Had to Die

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Jimmy Hoffa may make an improbable Dr. Faustus, but that's how Velie casts him in this reconstruction of what happened to the vanished Teamster boss. Hoffa's ""desperate bargain"" with the devil involved selling his soul--and lending Teamster muscle and pension funds--to the Mafia. In return he insured his flamboyant role as one of Labor's most effective power brokers. But when Hoffa was jailed in a pension fraud case, the power--and eventually the Presidency--of the International Brotherhood passed to Frank Fitzsimmons who, according to the author, specialized in arranging sweetheart contracts (Hoffa was enough of a union man to shy away from this ignominy) for the mob and who had no intention of allowing Jimmy to resume his fiefdom once he was sprung from Lewisburg. The fix was in and Chuck Colson was the chief fixer. Jimmy was silenced--Velie's suspects are a bunch of particularly loathsome New Jersey hoods--because he knew too much and might, just might, blow the whistle on someone as he fought to regain his office. Velie's scenario of what actually happened on July 30, 1975--when Hoffa went to lunch at Detroit's Manchus Red Fox Restaurant and was never seen again--is necessarily conjectural but his conjectures are those of the Justice Department's Task Force on Organized Crime and they centex around Brother Moscato's Dump in the Jersey swamplands. Velie manages to trace Hoffa's organized crime connections all the way back to Capone-gang thugs and tells all in appropriately thumping fashion.

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 1977
Publisher: Reader's Digest--dist. by T. Y. Crowell