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February 2012


How to Become a Bounty Hunter

One of Detroit’s Best Known Mobsters Who was Questioned in Hoffa Case Dies at Age 88

By Allan Lengel

DETROIT — Vito “Billy Jack” Giacalone, one of best known Detroit mobsters, whose criminal career spanned many decades, and who was questioned in the Jimmy Hoffa disappearance in 1975, died Sunday at age 88.

The Detroit News reported that the family held a funeral mass on Tuesday at St. Thecla Catholic Church in Clinton Township, a suburb north of Detroit.

Authorities suspected that Giacaoline and his brother Anthony knew what happened to Hoffa. But they never expected the guy snitch.

“He might have known what happened and may have taken that to the grave with him, but I never expected to get anything out of him,” Keith Corbett, former chief of the U.S. Attorney’s Organized Crime Strike Force in Detroit told the News “He wasn’t going to talk.”

 My Encounter With Vito Giacalone

By Allan Lengel
I remember mobster Vito “Billy Jack” Giacalone’s icy stare in federal court.It was the 1990s. I was a reporter at the Detroit News and Giacaoline had just been sentenced for some IRS charge. As he was walking to the elevator, I went up to him and said: “Mr Giacaoline, would you care to comment?” He gave me an icy stare.I got the message.A short time later, before he went off to prison, I worked on a profile piece on him for the paper. I called his attorney to see if he would comment.

His attorney said he’s sure he didn’t want to. I said, I know, but the paper wants me to ask.

His attorney said he’s on the golf course, I’ll call him. The attorney called me back and said: “He doesn’t want to comment.”

I responded: “What did he say?” His attorney said: “He’s not happy you’re doing the story.”

I figured he wouldn’t be thrilled.

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