It was a dark winter night, the shades were tightly drawn and when the porch light flicked on and the door opened a crack, I introduced myself and asked if he knew what happened to Hoffa.
"Did you drink before coming here or are you just high from something?" the homeowner replied.
Gabe Briguglio, who was known as "Gabe Bugs," is now in his 80's, but in 1976 he made it to suspect number five on the FBI's famed "Hoffex Memo" list, the detailed, confidential 1976 bureau report about the legendary labor leader's disappearance.
"Gabriel Gabe Briguglio, age 36, bother of Sal, trusted associate of Tony Pro, reported by Newark sources to be involved in the actual disappearance of JRH [James Riddle Hoffa]," reads the description.
Reports at the time said that Briguglio and the other Hoffa suspects all took the fifth before the Michigan grand jury probing the Hoffa case, choosing to remain silent about what spiraled into the greatest mystery in American history.
Federal investigators have long believed that it was Briguglio's brother, Salvatore 'Sally Bugs' Briguglio, who organized the murder, on behalf of New Jersey Genovese Crime family capo Anthony Provenzano, who had a long personal feud with Hoffa over Hoffa's bid to return to the Teamsters Union presidency and money.
Sal was gun downed gangland-style on Mulberry Street in Manhattan's Little Italy three years after Hoffa vanished. It was thought he was about to flip and cooperate against Tony Pro.
A 1976 Department of Justice Organized Crime Strike Force report said that "Briguglio was given the actual assignment and, thereafter, he notified the interested parties of its successful completion on the evening of 7/30/75," just hours after Hoffa was last seen alive standing in the parking lot of the Machus Red Fox restaurant in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan.
The third episode of the Fox Nation investigation series reporting on Hoffa's disappearance, "Riddle: The Search For James R. Hoffa," reveals new information and claims about where Hoffa's body may have ended up.
Multiple sources have told Fox Nation that after Hoffa was shot by "Sally Bugs" in Detroit, his body was transported back to New Jersey in a metal drum and buried, first in a Jersey City dump, and then possibly moved.
We were told that the Teamster's leader's remains were stuffed into a drum and buried at the dump. Some suspect that the remains were then moved, after one of Provenzano's hoods flipped and spilled the beans to the FBI four months after Hoffa was entombed. The bureau searched for Hoffa in the dump for months but came up empty.
The latest episode of our series, which you can stream on Fox Nation, is titled "Briguglio's Swimming Pool." The program first focuses on the dump, and the claims of Frank Cappola, whose father was a co-owner of the landfill. Coppola said that it was his father who accepted Hoffa's remains and then buried him in the dump in the metal drum. Coppola said that he believed the remains are still there, overlooked by investigators so many years ago.
Our investigation also examines the claims that Hoffa may have been buried under the swimming pool at 'Sally Bug's' lakeside vacation home in Sherman, Connecticut or is under the pool behind Gabe's old house in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
Various residents of East Rutherford told us about the house and the decades-long town suspicions that Hoffa had been buried under the pool. We were told that men were mysteriously seen pouring concrete -- at night -- over the entire small backyard behind the house and then were seen digging and putting in a pool right after Hoffa vanished.
I asked Gabe if Hoffa is buried under either the pool behind his former residence or under his brother's pool.
His response was typical, streetwise, New Jersey humor.
"Did you drink before coming here or are you just high from something?" he asked.
"I know who you are, I got nothing to say to you," Gabe said.
I received the same reception from the other remaining Hoffa suspect, Stephen Andretta, at his New Jersey front door too.
The possibility that Hoffa's crypt may be under the deep end has never been fully answered by authorities but was considered.
A 1976 Justice Department memo, reads, "An informant advised a strike force attorney in Newark that Briguglio had borrowed a backhoe around the time of Hoffa's disappearance. Subsequent investigation revealed that [redacted] had constructed a concrete swimming pool on Briguglio's Sherman property during the summer of 1975. ... This information prompted speculation that Hoffa's body may have been buried around the swimming pool."
Our examination of the building permit at the Sherman buildings department revealed that the construction permit was issued for 1974, the year before Hoffa vanished.
Nevertheless, the homeowner who bought the house from "Sally Bugs" in 1976, the year after Hoffa was last seen, told the FBI that he thought Hoffa's remains could be there.
"The present owner has also speculated that Hoffa's body may be buried under the pool which has been cracked and cannot hold water," said the report.
Despite those suspicions, the Feds apparently never proceeded to find out if Hoffa is there.
"No decision has yet been made about the swimming pool. The recovery of the body would add great momentum to the inquiry. The downside risks of a fruitless digging are, however, quite troublesome."
Fox Nation attempted to ask the current homeowners for permission to use ground-penetrating radar to examine what is under their pools. We contacted Master Locators, A GPRS Company, in Glen Mills, Pennsylvania to arrange for their equipment to do just that.
"Human bone varies in the way it was interned," Crystal Gardener, the Master Locators project manager explained. She was optimistic that if Hoffa's remains are there, we would find them.
"If it was the only metal barrel in there it should sing out of the data, big time," Crystal said.
The owners of 'Sally Bug's" former home in Sherman did not respond to our requests to scan their pool. The owners of "Gabe Bug's" former house in East Rutherford would only agree to let Fox Nation conduct a ground-penetrating radar examination of their backyard and pool for a substantial fee and other requests.
For now, both pools remain covered but await a possible follow up by authorities.
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