Jimmy Hoffa's remains have eluded police for decades, but a person described as a "main character" in the disappearance of the mobster may be able to solve the mystery. Tony Zerilli, 85, is a former gangster who says he has information about where Hoffa was buried.
"I'm dead broke. I got no money. My quality of life is zero," Zerilli told NBC 4 New York. "What happened to Hoffa had nothing to do with me in any way, shape or form. They accused me while I was away. If that's not an alibi I don't know what the hell an alibi is."
Zerilli was serving time in a Las Vegas prison when he learned of Hoffa's death in 1975. Hoffa famously told friends he was going to meet two men at a restaurant in Detroit but was never heard from again. The two men he was supposed to meet were both members of the mafia and allegedly held a lot of power in New Jersey and Detroit.
"Organized crime was involved in the disappearance of Jimmy Hoffa," former U.S. Attorney Keith Corbett told NBC. "Clearly when [Zerilli] returned, he would've been a person, based on his position in the hierarchy, who would have been able to learn the facts and circumstances surrounding the disappearance of James Earl Hoffa."
"If I wasn't away, I don't think it ever would've happened, that's all I can tell you. I would've done anything in the world to protect Jim Hoffa. All this speculation about where he is and he's not … They say he was in a meat grinder. It's all baloney," Zerilli said.
He told NBC that Hoffa was actually buried in a shallow grave in a field about 20 miles away from the restaurant where he was last seen.
"Once he was buried here, he was buried and they let it go," Zerilli explained. "I'd just like to prove to everybody that I'm not crazy. And it means a lot to me. What happened, happened while I was in jail. And I feel very, very bad about it and it should never have happened to Jim Hoffa. He didn't deserve what happened to him."
The last time officials searched for Hoffa, they were led to a Roseville, Michigan driveway. However, after digging and taking soil samples, no evidence of Hoffa's body, or any human remains, was found. The news was a relief to homeowner Patricia Szupunar.
"To think that for 24 years we may have been walking or driving over a dead body… can you even imagine? I'm looking forward to everybody going home," Szupunar told the Associated Press.
Theories of what happened to Hoffa have consumed the American public for years, with several conspiracy websites and books being published. Nothing has ever panned out, though, but with Zerilli's latest charge, officials could be making another attempt at solving the mystery.