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

in Local

New Illinois Schools Chief Says Funding Fix Could Take Years

Tony Smith

Smith also says charter schools should be part of the mix.

in Local

Debate in General Assembly over Civics Class Requirement

Illinois General Assembly

Bill also passed to use e-learning in Illinois schools during inclement weather.

in Local

Autism Programs Hopeful Lawmakers Will Come to Their Rescue

autism

Providers say some programs may not survive if funding is not restored.

in Local

DeWitt Co. Settlement OK’d in Dispute to Put Toxic Waste Over Aquifer

water

DeWitt county has approved a settlement with a landfill company.

in Local

Kankakee Co. Sheriff Describes Security Lapses that led to Inmate Escape

inmate_exiting_kamron_taylor

Sheriff Tim Bukowski says investigators found no inmate count had been done.