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 Sports

INSTANT REPLAY: The week’s best sports photos

cavaliers

A look back at some of the week's biggest plays in sports and the moments you may have missed.

in Sports

This weekend’s sports schedule

hockey

Here's a look at some of the big sporting events taking place this weekend.

in National

Making headlines this week

AP141543910901_5

A look back at some of the big stories and the headlines you may have missed.

in Sports

Sepp Blatter wins re-election as FIFA president

FIFA president Sepp Blatter speaks during a press conference in Marrakech, Morocco, Friday, Dec. 19, 2014. FIFA will not reopen the vote for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, and will publish at least some of the confidential report into the bidding process, Blatter said Friday.

Sepp Blatter's FIFA re-election came despite demands that he quit in the face of a major bribery scandal.

in Sports

WATCH: Preserving Muhammad Ali’s childhood home

15-overlay7

An effort is underway to restore the Louisville home where the boxing legend grew up.