News

Tocco, believed to be longest-serving U.S. mob boss, dead

Tocco, believed to be longest-serving U.S. mob boss, dead

JACK TOCCO:FBI agents in South Florida arrested without incident four of the Detroit La Cosa Nostra organized crime figures from Detroit, Mich., Thursday, March 14, 1996. This is a file photo of Jack Tocco. Photo: Associated Press/Jeffrey Boan

By Brendan O’Brien

(Reuters) – Jack Tocco, believed to be the longest-serving mob boss in the United States and the last living person with first-hand knowledge of the circumstances surrounding the death of Jimmy Hoffa, has died aged 87.

Tocco, who died on Monday, was the godfather in Detroit for 35 years, longer than any current godfather in the country, according to Scott Burnstein, an author and expert on organized crime in the city.

“He is one of the last, if not the last, link to the golden era of the American Mafia,” he said.

Since the 1930s, when Jack Tocco’s father and uncle founded the Mafia in Detroit, a Tocco has led the mob in the city, Burnstein said.

With his passing, the leadership shifts from a boardroom, white collar gangster to blue collar leadership. “It’s a huge changing of the guard,” he said.

Tocco, known as “Black Jack,” owned a race track and a business that provided linen to local hotels. He was convicted of federal racketeering in 1998 and sentenced to two years in prison, according to Burnstein.

Burnstein said Tocco had probably been the last person alive with first-hand knowledge of what happened to former Teamster President Jimmy Hoffa, whose disappearance has remained unsolved since he was last seen in 1975.

“With Tocco dying, any first-hand knowledge of that infamous crime goes to the grave,” he said.

(Reporting by Brendan O’Brien in Milwaukee; Editing by Alan Raybould)

Recent Headlines

12 hours ago in Local

Driver not guilty in deadly Ferndale crash

image

Two Windward High School students killed, two others seriously hurt when SUV hit them last June

23 hours ago in Local

Western State Hospital builds fence to keep patients from escaping

hospital, healthcare, medical, doctor

Nearly 200 involuntarily committed patients at Western State Hospital walked away from the mental facility since 2013... even though at some point... they were considered a danger to themselves or others

23 hours ago in Local

Demonstrators set up homeless camp outside of Bellingham City Hall

homeless

The makeshift homeless camp was meant to send a message to city leaders about breaking up homeless camps.

2 days ago in Local

Reasons determined for plane crash last July

Autumn Veatch

Their teenage step-granddaughter, Autumn Veatch of Bellingham, was the only survivor of the crash.

2 days ago in Local

Bellingham Schools’ Superintendent “walks in the shoes” of LGBTQ students

bellingham-high-school

"Walks in the Shoes" helps Baker get a better understanding of what his staff and students experience in the district.