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Vito Giacalone, suspect in Hoffa case dies at 88

Feb. 22, 2012 at 1:16 PM   |   Comments

Vito Giacalone, Noted Detroit Mobster, Dies at Age 88: MyFoxDETROIT.com

DETROIT, Feb. 22 (UPI) -- Vito Giacalone, a reputed mob enforcer in Detroit and suspect in the disappearance and presumed death of Jimmy Hoffa, has died at 88.

Giacalone, nicknamed "Billy Jack," was the younger brother of Anthony "Tony Jack" Giacalone, who died in 2001, The Detroit News reported Wednesday. The elder Giacalone was to have met with Hoffa on the day the former Teamsters president vanished in 1975.

Giacalone died Sunday. A funeral mass was held Tuesday at St. Thecla Church in Clinton, Mich., where he lived.

With an arrest record that began in the 1940s, Giacalone was one of the last survivors from the glory days of the Detroit Mafia. He was also one of the last people who may have known what happened to Hoffa.

"He might have known what happened and may have taken that to the grave with him, but I never expected to get anything out of him," said Keith Corbett, former head of the federal Organized Crime Strike Force in Detroit. "He wasn't going to talk."

Dan Moldea, author of "The Hoffa Wars," said Billy Jack tended to "operate under the radar," while his brother was flamboyant and glamorous. While Tony Jack owned hundreds of custom-made suits, Billy Jack wore jeans.

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