EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - As the story goes, former Teamsters boss Jimmy Hoffa has attended every event at Giants Stadium since 1976, buried in a final resting place somewhere under the west end zone.

As former Giants punter Sean Landeta once joked, "It gives a whole new meaning to kicking into the coffin corner."

More than 20 years after a self-described mob hit man set the rumor mill in motion with an interview in Playboy magazine, the question lingers: Is the answer to one of the enduring mysteries of the 20th century buried beneath the stadium - and about to be buried even deeper when the stadium is demolished this spring?

To one former law enforcement official who investigated the case in the 1980s, there is no mystery. The FBI considered the Giants Stadium tale "a dead issue" by the time Playboy printed its interview with Donald "Tony the Greek" Frankos in late 1989, according to retired FBI agent Jim Kossler.

"What he was telling us couldn't have happened because he either couldn't have been there or he was in jail at the time," he said.

Frankos claimed mob leaders tried to dissuade Hoffa from retaking control of the Teamsters after his release from prison, but Hoffa refused and allegedly threatened to tell authorities about mob infiltration of unions.

Hoffa was last seen in a restaurant parking lot outside Detroit on July 30, 1975. Frankos claimed Hoffa was killed in Michigan by members of the Westies on the orders of Genovese crime family boss Anthony "Fat Tony" Salerno. His body was cut up in Michigan, driven to New Jersey several months later and buried in the concrete foundation of the sprouting Giants Stadium, Frankos said. He even claimed to know what area of the stadium: Section 107, in the corner of the west end zone. The story grew legs and provided fallback fodder for headline writers and sports columnists. Competing theories about Hoffa's final repose have surfaced. Three times authorities searched properties in Michigan only to come up empty. Another story had Hoffa's body incinerated in Hamtramck, Mich. Still others had him buried in Florida.

Giants Stadium is being demolished as the Giants and Jets move next door. Vincent Parziale, whose company, Gramercy, is performing the demolition, said no one contacted him about digging under Section 107. The FBI says it has no plans to oversee the demolition.

Once demolition is complete, the 13-foot bowl in the ground where the field sits will be filled in and turned into a parking lot - perhaps finally burying one part of the Hoffa mystery, says Gramercy vice president Frank Gramicizia. "If he's down there, he's going to be down there deeper," Gramicizia said.

Latest videos