A man convicted of crimes in connection with Detroit’s organized-crime family claims to know where Teamsters boss Jimmy Hoffa’s body was buried in 1975. Anthony Zerilli, 85, told New York’s NBC 4 that Hoffa was buried in a Michigan field about 20 miles north of where he was last seen on July 30, 1975.
“I’m as certain as I could possibly be,” Zerilli told the station. “If I had money, I’d like to bet a big sum of money that he’s buried (there).”
Zerilli said the plan was to bury Hoffa in a shallow grave, then move his body to a different location. The latter part of the plan fell through, and his body was left in Oakland County, Michigan.
In an interview with CNN on Monday, former U.S. attorney and chief of the Eastern District of Michigan’s Organized Crime Strike Force Keith Corbett said there are very few people, if any, who would be more likely to know about Hoffa’s disappearance than Zerilli.
“Tony Zerilli was in a very high position within the Detroit organized crime family for decades,” Corbett said. “This is a man who would have been in the know about all matters, especially what happened to Jimmy Hoffa.”
Vanished Hoffa still fascinates after almost 40 years Corbett, who prosecuted Zerilli in several cases in the 1980s and ’90s, says Zerilli was the head of the Detroit organized crime family from 1970-1975, but was in prison himself when Hoffa disappeared.
In 2005, Zerilli was sentenced to 71 months in prison for racketeering and extortion. He was released in 2008. In his interview with NBC 4, Zerilli denied playing any part in Hoffa’s disappearance, and said Hoffa did not deserve what happened to him.
“If I wasn’t away (in prison) I don’t think it would have ever happened,” Zerilli told the station. “That’s the only thing I can tell you.” The FBI declined to comment on Zerilli’s claims.