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 Entertainment

This weekend in entertainment history

In this film publicity image released by 20th Century Fox, the character Neytiri, voiced by Zoe Saldana, left, and the character Jake, voiced by Sam Worthington are shown in a scene from, "Avatar." The film was nominated Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2010 for an Oscar for best picture. The 82nd Academy Awards will be presented on March 7.

A look back on some of Hollywood's most notable headlines.

in Entertainment

If regular people picked the Oscars, ‘American Sniper’ would win

In this image released by Warner Bros. Pictures, Kyle Gallner, left, and Bradley Cooper appear in a scene from "American Sniper."

If ordinary Americans voted for the Academy Awards, the portrait of a sharpshooter in the Iraq war, would be the best picture winner.

in Viral Videos

Elders play Grand Theft Auto V

20-overlay2

They have no problem shooting people, but they refuse to run a red light!

in Entertainment

Regina Hall almost became a nun

reginahall

The "Think Like a Man" star missed out on becoming a nun because some of her "numbers" were too high.

in Music

Gibson gives away guitars with ‘golden tickets’

gibson

The Great Gibson Grab will raise money for the Wounded Warrior Project.