According to Frank Sheeran, Jimmy Hoffa was considered loveable by Sheeran’s daughters, while the girls steered a wide berth around the Sicilians. After Hoffa’s disappearance, the daughters suspected their father’s involvement in the killing and broke off contact. The film does a masterful job exploring the family dynamics and I find it strange some suggest it’s too long and should have ended with the hit, and not spent so much effort on the collapse of the assassin’s family. Those critics are missing the point.
But the film does fail to explore the crucial Hoffa-JFK assassination connection even though it does have a cameo of David Ferry, the CIA operative who worked for Carlos Marcello’s lawyer. And the film does indicate JFK was passing notes to Sam Giancana through a mutual mistress, but fails to mention Momo’s hit man John Roselli fired the first shot at JFK, hitting him in the throat.
Sheeran was introduced to Hoffa as a house painter (hit man) who did carpentry (disposed of bodies), but there was nothing in the film about Hoffa ordering any hits even though Sheeran would have been the logical choice to carry one out. Maybe that info was left out intentionally by Sheeran, or maybe Hoffa did have a sense of karmic consequences.
Had Sheeran refused to kill Hoffa, he felt sure he would have been whacked for turning down the mission, and it was clear Hoffa’s fate was sealed in any event. So no need for both of them to die. That was his logic.
The Kennedy brothers may have changed after the mantle of power was placed on John. Or maybe it was the LSD Mary Meyer gave them both that turned them into peaceniks. Their father was part of the Irish mob, as opposed to the Jewish or Sicilian, but in reality, all mobs are capable of doing business or going to war. Hoffa became the primary target of a Kennedy war. But later, after JFK was killed, he provoked the ire of the CIA.
Bobby got his political teeth cut under the tutelage of Roy Cohn, chief investigator for Senator Joe McCarthy, who launched the fictitious Red Scare. It’s interesting the Communist movement in America was spearheaded by John Reed, who turned out to be an intelligence agent, although that realization (first uncovered by Antony Sutton) has not yet penetrated very far. For the most part, the American Communist Party was run by CIA counterintelligence under James Angleton, who also occupied the crucial Israeli-Vatican seat. While shaking down and setting-up Reds, Cohn also defended major organized crime figures in New York.
The first Congressional attempt to infiltrate organized crime was the Kefauver hearings, which explored the Sicilian brotherhood. It was a conspiracy theory at the time that the Sicilians had a national organization, something only taken seriously by the public for decades. Eventually Congress became compelled to investigate the rumors and that turned into the OJ trial of its day as the hearings were shown on live television. RFK did many withering Cohn-style interrogations that mocked the elderly godfathers, creating the impression for some RFK was a spoiled brat.
Congress failed miserably to penetrate the secret society because nobody talked beyond taking the Fifth, although a few Democrats did jail time after it was uncovered they’d taken “loans” from suspected crime bosses. The Teamster connection with the Sicilians was probed, and Dave Beck, head of the Teamsters, was forced out for taking a similar $300,000 interest free loan, and that’s how Jimmy Hoffa took over the Teamsters.
A decade later, the Valachi hearings finally proved the existence of a national Sicilian commission, while the heads of the five families in New York were identified. But a month later, JFK was assassinated by a CIA/mob hit squad, and RFK was soon just another lawyer. And Hoffa mysteriously disappeared shortly after bribing his way out of jail.
Apparently, the CIA and crime bosses had been working together for years, and while Hoover’s FBI had remained focussed on rooting out commies while denying the existence of any organized crime, the CIA was running the commies while the Sicilians were collecting photos of Hoover getting blowjobs. But since Hoover was also taking bribes and cooperating, there was no need for the CIA or the Sicilians to ever use those photos.
These matters were made more complex when Jimmy Hoffa switched parties, refusing to back JFK for president. Since Hoffa was influential and urging brother Teamsters to also vote for Nixon, and since the Teamsters were the biggest union in the country, this was a serious concern. The Democratic party had already been stung by negative perceptions post Kefauver. Hoffa was viewed as one of Kennedy’s biggest obstacles in capturing reelection. That and the challenge of winning the state of Texas, home to Big Oil and John Birchers, two elements joined at the hip that were revolting against JFK’s pivot toward world peace.
Hoffa may have even worked with RFK on removing Beck through exposing that unpaid loan. But Hoffa broke longstanding Teamster tradition by supporting a Republican. So when RFK became Attorney General, he immediately initiated a campaign to destroy Hoffa. At one point around 50 grand juries were investigating every aspect of Hoffa’s life, and it drove Hoffa crazy.
Hoffa was the most popular and powerful labor leader in the country, and made sure his union got the most favorable contracts, and he delivered the best pension plan. That billion dollar pension fund was also the cookie jar deployed to transform Las Vegas into the greatest gambling center in America. The Sicilians never needed any banks when they had the Teamster Pension Fund at their disposal.
Hoffa shared the same lawyer as Carlos Marcello and Santos Trafficante, the senior leaders of the Southern wing of the Sicilian men-of-honor society. Upon hearing the news of JFK’s death, Hoffa cheered. Soon, however, he was in jail due to efforts he took to protect himself against those grand juries, having been convicted of jury tampering.
The head of RFK’s “get Hoffa squad” was Walter Sheridan. Hoffa viewed RFK as a spoiled Ivy League trust funder and his pissing war with Kennedy had only resulted in Hoffa’s incarceration.
While Hoffa was in jail, Jim Garrison launched an investigation into the JFK assassination, prodded by Hale Boggs, the Warren Commission member from New Orleans, and sole dissenter of the single bullet theory. “There’s no way one man shot up Jack Kennedy that way,” said Boggs before disappearing in a mysterious airplane crash.
Garrison was being viciously ridiculed in the national media, and the spearhead on the attack was none other than Walter Sheridan, who was now a producer for NBC. While others attempted to divert the spotlight upon Marcello and Trafficante, Garrison remained convinced only the CIA and Pentagon had the capabilities to control key elements in the plot and coverup. Because of Roselli’s involvement, Giancana had to be consulted in advance.
Hoffa was quoted something along the lines of: “Garrison is a smart man. Anybody who thinks he’s a kook is a kook themself.”
If Hoffa had been involved in the assassination, it’s unlikely he would have supported Garrison. Hoffa was not a mobster, but a labor leader who understood the reality of life on the street where everyone plays dirty when they can get away with it.
Playing dirty in those days involved bullets, bombs and illegal wiretaps. The government was doing it, the mobsters were doing it, and Hoffa had the best wiretapper in the business doing it, and he collected some tapes documenting both Kennedy brother’s sexual affairs, including one with Marilyn Monroe. But Hoffa never used those tapes against them.
It’s certainly possible that by speaking out in support of Garrison, Hoffa excited the players inside the Sicilian-CIA connection to action since they both had serious concerns the hit might someday unravel. So when Russell Bufalino explains to Sheeran that “the big boys” have decided Hoffa’s fate, Sheeran responds Hoffa is a big boy.
“Not that big,” replies Bufalino.