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Despite All the Hype, The PBS Show on The Jimmy Hoffa Disappearance Didn’t Crack the Case

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com 

DETROIT — As we thought would be the case, the PBS show Tuesday night on Jimmy Hoffa — “Who Killed Jimmy Hoffa?” –  didn’t crack the case as the pre-show hype suggested it might. And it certainly didn’t leave you feeling as if you knew what really happened to the Teamster boss.

It was entertaining, but a little cheesy, particularly for a PBS production.

Greg Stejskal on the right.

Retired FBI Agent Greg Stejskal, who was interviewed in the show, told ticklethewire.com after the show that he thought it was full of “a lot of speculation” and “I thought pretty far fetched as far as some of the connections they made.”

“There’s a lot of information there,” he said. “But I thought they took a lot of literary license making things fit together that didn’t necessarily fit together and basically ignored things that would have argued otherwise.”

The PBS website hyped the upcoming show:

For decades, investigators have searched for clues about what happened to Hoffa and why. Was he murdered? If so, who wanted him dead? After serving prison time for conspiracy and fraud, Hoffa was pardoned by President Richard Nixon. What interest did the White House have in Jimmy Hoffa?

Recently declassified government files reveal shocking evidence of corruption at the highest levels. Interviews with a former mob lawyer, a murder witness, and an FBI agent are among the sources History Detectives unearth as they track Jimmy Hoffa’s final hours and answer the question: “Who killed Jimmy Hoffa?”

The show gave a lot of weight to a death bed confession of Frank Sheeran, a friend of Hoffa who was described as a hitman. Sheeran said he killed Hoffa at a home in Detroit.

Stejskal said the FBI investigated and was dismissive of his claims.

It also talked about President Richard Nixon possibly taking mob money, something that had reported in the past.

David Ashenfelter, a former Detroit News and Detroit Free Press reporter, and a Pulitzer prize winner, who was interviewed in the show, told ticklethewire.com:

David Ashenfelter

“I think Jimmy Hoffa’s disappearance remains a mystery. I found the archival footage very interesting. I enjoyed the program.

“I thought they covered all of the major leads and brought a younger generation up to date on one of the biggest mysteries of the 20th Century,” he added. “But as it always turns out in the Hoffa mystery, we don’t know much more than we knew when the FBI wrote the Hoffex Memo six months after Jimmy Hoffa vanished.”

 


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FBI May Investigate Death of Staten Island Man Placed in Chokehold by NYPD

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is considering launching its own investigation into the death of a Staten Island man who died after he was placed in a chokehold by police, The New York Post reports.

The bureau also is “monitoring” the investigation by the New York Police Department.

George Venizelos, the chief of the FBI’s New York office, spoke with NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton about the death.

Eric Garner, 43, died of cardiac arrest after an undercover cop put him in a chokehold. A video shows Garner struggling to say he can’t breathe but police sustained the hold.


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80th Anniversary: Death of Gangster John Dillinger Helped Lead to Creation of FBI

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Gangster John Dillinger was the fed’s first Public Enemy Number One.

It was June 22, 1934, and Dillinger was wanted for at least 12 bank robberies, four police department robberies and the murder of a police officer. Outside the Biograph Theater in Chicago, agents from the Department of Investigation of the Justice Department shot and killed Dillinger after he reached for a gun, Reason recounts.

The nationally publicized capture catapulted J. Edgar Hoover and his “G-Men” into heroes, prompting Congress to approve the creation of the FBI.


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Federal Monitor to Review Newark PD After Numerous Violations Found

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A federal monitor will investigate and review the Newark Police Department after the Justice Department found that officers routinely violated the constitutional rights of its citizens, The Star-Ledger reports.

The DOJ reached an agreement over the federal monitor with the city of Newark.

A three-year review of the police department found troublesome problems with officers who ignored the rights of residents.

“The people of Newark deserve to be safe, and so do the thousands who come here,” New Jersey U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman said.

“They also need to know the police protecting them are doing that important — and often dangerous — work while respecting their constitutional rights.”
Newark will become the first city in New Jersey to come under the overnight of a federal watchdog.


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TSA Denies Allowing Undocumented Immigrants to Board Planes without Proper ID

tsa.gov

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A union representing Border Patrol agents charge that the TSA is allowing undocumented immigrants to board American planes without a passport or other official identification, Fox News reports.

TSA strongly denies claims that the TSA is allowing immigrants to board planes with a “Notice to Appear” in lieu of proper identification.

“This is the dream of every terrorist in the world,” Shawn Moran, vice president of the union, told Fox News. “There is no way of knowing who is on board the jetliners.”

Fox News says Judicial Watch, a conservative watchdog group, confirmed immigrants were boarding planes without proper ID.

“TSA is letting them go around security,” the source told Judicial Watch. “No picture ID, just a slip of paper.”

The TSA says it’s not true.

“These reports are false,” the TSA said in a statement. “A Notice to Appear, issued by the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR), is not an acceptable form of ID at the TSA checkpoint.”


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Columnist: Texas Wasting Time Sending National Guard Troops to Mexico Border

By EJ Montini
Arizona Republic

In a wildly popular political move Texas Gov. Rick Perry announced that he will deploy about 1,000 Texas National Guard troops to the Mexico border, a decision that will cost the state about $12 million a month. Perry also has said that he would commit $1.3 million each week to the state’s Department of Public Safety to assist in border security.

It’s a bold, expensive step, but the border hawks will love it.

There’s only one problem.

It makes no sense.

The Perry plan might have a grain of practicality if the people crossing the border actually wanted to evade capture.

But it’s just the opposite.

Any number of news reports have pointed out that the overwhelming majority of kids involved in the massive wave of unaccompanied child migrants from Central America crossing into the United States are not trying to elude the border patrol.

Instead, they want to be caught.

To read more click here.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

 


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Omaha Columnist Interviews Retired FBI Agent Greg Stejskal About the Hoffa Disappearance

 Editors Note from ticklethewire.com: Greg Stejskal served as an FBI agent for 31 years and retired as resident agent in charge of the Ann Arbor office. He is also a columnist for ticklethewire.com

Greg Stejskal

 
By Michael Kelly
World-Herald columnist

Omaha native and retired FBI agent Greg Stejskal recently returned to the scene of a famous crime: the disappearance of Jimmy Hoffa.

Stejskal, who worked on the case of the missing former Teamsters Union president, was interviewed for the PBS program “History Detectives” at the Red Fox restaurant in suburban Detroit, where Hoffa was last seen.

The ex-agent is curious as to whether the “History Detectives” turned up something new. The “Who Killed Jimmy Hoffa?”documentary airs at 9 tonight.

Says PBS: “Recently declassified government files reveal shocking evidence of corruption at the highest levels.”

To read more click here. 

Listen to his interview below on WDET in Detroit.


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USA Today Investigation: ATF Drug Stings Targeted Minorities

By Brad Heath
USA Today
WASHINGTON — The nation’s top gun-enforcement agency overwhelmingly targeted racial and ethnic minorities as it expanded its use of controversial drug sting operations, a USA TODAY investigation shows.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has more than quadrupled its use of those stings during the past decade, quietly making them a central part of its attempts to combat gun crime. The operations are designed to produce long prison sentences for suspects enticed by the promise of pocketing as much as $100,000 for robbing a drug stash house that does not actually exist.

At least 91% of the people agents have locked up using those stings were racial or ethnic minorities, USA TODAY found after reviewing court files and prison records from across the United States. Nearly all were either black or Hispanic. That rate is far higher than among people arrested for big-city violent crimes, or for other federal robbery, drug and gun offenses.

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