Dan E. Moldea, author of The Hoffa Wars and Confessions of a Guerrilla Writer,
on the 40th anniversary of the disappearance of Jimmy Hoffa
July 30, 1975
NEW: Thursday, July 30:
DEM on Gang Land News: What happened to Jimmy Hoffa?
Where was he killed? Who killed him? Where was his body disposed?
On Gang Land News
Biographical Sketch of Dan E. Moldea, Author and Independent Investigative Journalist
The Hoffa Wars:
Teamsters, Rebels, Politicians and the Mob (1978)
The Hoffa Wars, published by Paddington Press in August 1978, chronicled the rise and fall of former Teamsters general president Jimmy Hoffa. In this book, according to the Associated Press, Moldea was the first to present the case that Hoffa and two Mafia figures--Carlos Marcello of Louisiana and Santo Trafficante of Florida--were involved in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. A year after Moldea's work was published, the U.S. House Select Committee on Assassinations came to the same conclusion in its final report. In January 1992, Frank Ragano, the attorney who represented Hoffa, Marcello, and Trafficante, confessed that he was a principal in the Hoffa-Marcello-Trafficante murder plot against the president. Newsweek also credited the first reporting on this matter to Moldea, "who made the Teamsters-JFK-Ragano link in his 1978 book, The Hoffa Wars."
Moldea also revealed new details about the CIA-Mafia plots to murder Cuban premier Fidel Castro, as well as excerpts from his exclusive interviews with the men identified by the FBI as Hoffa's killers, including Salvatore Briguglio, the alleged triggerman. Further, the book explained the turbulent history of the rank and file reform movement within the Teamsters Union.
A blatant attempt to suppress Moldea's book--detailed in a June 29, 1978, New York Times article--was unsuccessful. Times literary writer Herbert Mitgang wrote, "Publishing lawyers said that the attempted delay of the Moldea book was one of the first examples of [a] possible loss of independence--with implicit censorship--where there is a conflict on a controversial nonfiction book."
Despite the controversy, The Hoffa Wars was selected by the Book-of-the-Month Club and syndicated by the New York Times. The book was published in mass market paperback by Grosset and Dunlap in September 1979 after three hardcover printings. It has also been translated into French, Italian, and Japanese. Retitled, The Hoffa Wars: The Rise and Fall of Jimmy Hoffa, the book was re-released in January 1993.
Commenting on The Hoffa Wars, the Chicago Tribune described it as being "as extensively researched a volume as one is likely to come across in the field." The Wall Street Journal wrote, "Mr. Moldea's view of [the Hoffa] wars, which reached its greatest intensity when Robert Kennedy was Attorney General, may explain not only Mr. Hoffa's disappearance but the assassination of John Kennedy as well." The Washington Post stated, "If Moldea were a prizefighter, he would be a kind of Rocky Graziano. He never, never quits punching. Moldea never relents." New York magazine wrote that it was "passionate, detailed, and coherent. . . .The superiority of the Moldea book lies in the inherent drama of the unfolding history." The Christian Science Monitor called it, "well-documented, detailed, and terrifying." The Village Voice said that the book was "a fascinating inside history of the union, its triumphs and corruption." The Houston Post stated that The Hoffa Wars was "definitive and will likely serve as the touchstone for all future speculation and books exploring Hoffa's fate." Convoy, the voice of the Teamsters' rank and file reform movement, added, "Moldea provides a very valuable contribution. He helps explain the rank and file tradition for today's reform movements. He understands that tradition, because he's no outsider to it."
Chapters, articles, television appearances, and kudos
DEM: Chapter One of The Hoffa Wars
DEM: The Playboy magazine excerpt of The Hoffa Wars
DEM: "My afternoon with Jimmy Hoffa's alleged killer"
DEM: The Lineup (Open Road Media, July 28, 2015): "What Really Happened to Jimmy Hoffa"
DEM on the rise & fall of Jimmy Hoffa (1978): Part One and Part Two
DEM on the 40th anniversary of the murder (July 28, 2015)
DEM's 1979 letter to the editor of the New York Review of Books about Hoffa and the JFK murder
The JFK Murder and Hoffa, Marcello, and Trafficante: Crediting The Hoffa Wars for saying it first
DEM in the Washington Post about the movie, Hoffa: "Tales of Hoffa: Why Does Hollywood Make Thugs Into Heroes"
DEM: On Rolland McMaster and Frank Sheeran
DEM: The Lineup (Open Road Media): "What really happened to Jimmy Hoffa?"
Respected mobology scholar Andy Petepiece's review of I Heard You Paint Houses by Charles Brandt
DEM on Anthony Zerilli and the 2013 search for Hoffa's body (CNN)
The FBI on Jimmy Hoffa
DEM excerpts on Facebook from Confessions of a Guerrilla Writer
about the Jimmy Hoffa disappearance
Chapter 10: The goon squad
Chapter 13: A guerrilla writer in New York
Chapter 16: Back in Detroit
Chapter 18 (a): A surprise witness at the grand jury
Chapter 18 (b): The day after the December 4, 1975, grand jury
Chapter 24: My lunch with Hoffa's alleged killers
Chapter 28: "Who is Frank Sheeran?"
Chapter 32: "I think my dad knew Jack Ruby"
Chapter 35: Briguglio and I get whacked
Chapter 40: Helping TDU and PROD make peace
Chapter 147: Frank Sheeran's conflicting confessions
Chapter 148: Not a distinction without a difference
Chapter 149: "They're digging at a farm in Wixom"
Chapter 150: "It's going to be a great day tomorrow"
Other DEM Facebook posts about Jimmy Hoffa
July 30: DEM on the 40th anniversary of the disappearance of Jimmy Hoffa with new information about the murder scene and disposal of the body
July 28: DEM on MSNBC, two days before the 40th anniversary
July 15: Introduction by Jonathan Kwitny to the 1993 reprint of The Hoffa Wars
June 5: DEM at The Mob Museum to speak on a symposium about Jimmy Hoffa
April 28: DEM on Jim Neff’s book, Vendetta
April 16: DEM on Killing Jimmy Hoffa, a documentary by Al Profit and Scott Bernstein
March 3: The Hoffa Wars as a 2015 updated eBook, published by Open Road Media
December 3: Robert De Niro at the Authors Dinner Group on December 2, 2014
September 24: DEM on the 50th anniversary of the Warren Report
July 22: DEM on Frank Sheeran
July 16: DEM on the death of Jack Tocco, the former boss of the Detroit Mafia
February 18: DEM on the death of Phillip "Brother" Moscato
November 18: DEM on the 50th anniversary of the JFK murder
July 30: DEM on the 38th anniversary of Jimmy Hoffa's disappearance
I have often said that the New York Times created me as an author. This is the article—written by Herbert Mitgang, then the NYT’s chief book critic, and published on June 29, 1978—that made it so. It details my battles with Steven Brill, who was publishing a rival book about the Teamsters, and his publisher, Simon & Schuster, which blatantly attempted to suppress my book from publication.
After I alleged that Frank Sheeran was involved in the murder conspiracy against Jimmy Hoffa in my 1978 book about Hoffa, I received this letter from Sheeran's attorney, threatening me with litigation. . . . From 2001 to 2003, Sheeran made a series of confessions--although there was a problem distinguishing the truth from his conflicting versions of events.