The disappearance and murder of Jimmy Hoffa has been on the tip of everyone’s tongues who loves mafia media, criminology, or unsolved cases. Actually, it’s been on anyone minds with an intrigue towards mystery, and that includes those us here at GPRS. Whether you have experience working in a union or are simply someone familiar with the story, you’ve heard the history and legend of Jimmy Hoffa, the crime and intrigue, but also the incredible movement he created for unions in the Detroit area. And if you’re a construction worker you’ve probably pondered the question, “What if I found a dead body while digging?” What happens when we combine both to create a story of betrayal, mystery, and secrets?
First, Ground Penetrating Radar Systems, or GPRS, is a subsurface contracted inspection business that utilizes radar technology to observe and inspect underground facilities including, but not limited to: utility lines, sewer pipes, concrete reinforcement, and basically anything that lurks underneath the ground that needs to be marked before beginning a construction project. With over 70,000 projects completed in 2019, and offices in over 50 markets, GPRS has established itself as the go-to subsurface solutions firm with over 300 Project Managers spread across the United Sates. But what does this have to do with Jimmy Hoffa?
Don’t worry I’m getting there.
Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Jason Schaff, told me a funny story involving GPRS and Jimmy Hoffa. As Schaff states, “As all people with GPR field experience can attest to, the most common question asked of me on job sites was always, ‘do you think you could find Jimmy Hoffa with that thing’”? As funny as that sounds, he explains that specific joke was the most talked about on any job site. What if you could find one of the most desired dead bodies in US history? For years I was wishful thinking that a company like GPRS would be brought in to find the deceased body of a former union president killed by the Mafia. Even typing that sentence doesn’t seem real to me, but crazier things have happened…right?
Fast forward to the present, and GPRS has been hired to do just that. The funny aside on job sites has become a reality when FOX News teamed up with GPRS and our radar technology to track down the missing body of Jimmy Hoffa.
Why now? How, after so many years of speculation, were we able to pinpoint a possible location for the body of Jimmy Hoffa. Those answers lie with Frank Coppola, son of late mob associate Paul Coppola Sr., who according to him, “helped get rid of the body of Jimmy Hoffa.”
“He couldn’t fit in the drum boy first, feet first. They had to turn him and put him in headfirst,” Frank Coppola explained to Fox Nation. Here he describes how his father pushed the remains of Jimmy Hoffa into a steel drum when the body was delivered to him at his mob connected New Jersey dump days after Hoffa went missing outside Detroit (source).
After, Paul Coppola St. dug a 12-foot-deep hole with an excavator, dumped the drum containing Hoffa’s remains into the pit, and then piled more than one-dozen additional steel drums on top of Hoffa’s, before filling up the hole to conceal the evidence. “Fox Nation hired Ground Penetrating Radar Systems, a nationwide company that uses radar technology and high-frequency electromagnetic radio waves that reflect objects underground, to search for any evidence of buried barrels. The radar revealed numerous curved shapes, like half-moon objects on top of each other, that GPRS Project Manager and specialized radar technician Steve Psihoules told us are pieces of metal, along with a delineated underground pack of dirt, indicating that a pit had at one time been dug and then filled in.” (source link).
This is where GPRS comes into the fold. Psihoules indicated that there were clear metal anomalies buried underneath the ground, as well as indicated that the dirt had been disturbed, showing something was buried in the location. Random underground barrels, or the remains of Jimmy Hoffa?
But why GPRS? That’s the question I’d be asking after reading the Fox article. Out of all the subsurface companies, out of all the tech, why hire GPRS? Simply, our state-of-the-art radar technology has the capability to detect everything, and anything, underground. However, our success goes beyond just simple equipment. It’s our world-class training center at the GPRS Training School, where we teach Subsurface Investigation Methodology or “SIM.” SIM represents requirements for training, equipment and methodology – the reason for GPRS’s accuracy rate of over 99.8%. This guarantees that our Project Managers, and field workers, have both the skills and tools to perform any complicated job. Although, on a regular workday, our Project Managers are using Video Pipe Inspection (VPI), mapping concrete reinforcement or marking underground utilities, this shows that GPRS has the capability to accomplish much more. Not to brag, but this just further showcases the immense impact that a company like GPRS brings to a project, whether that’s uncovering a dead body or ensuring a safe construction site.
For example, authorities and individuals enamored by the case have tried for years to discover the body of Jimmy Hoffa. An open case since 1982, the journey to find the body of Jimmy Hoffa has led to multiple attempts to excavate his body and discover his final resting place. In 2013, there was an extensive search in Oakland County, Michigan, working from information presented by Tony Zerilli, FBI and state officials spent 3 days searching for the remains. Nobody was ever found, and the search was called off. Over the years, strenuous theory after strenuous theory, people could only suspect, where does he lie?. What was the missing link in the case? Well, we’ve already answered that question— GPRS. Much like how in the construction business, calling 811 seems like a good idea, and while it’s a sensible first step, observing the details above ground only paints half the picture. 811 locates utilities on public property, GPRS does public and private property. We locate pipes from the surface but also can document the interior condition of pipes with our Video Pipe Cameras. Like in the Jimmy Hoffa situation, they needed someone who could complete the picture, and detect objects under the ground, to finally discover the much-needed evidence to complete the picture. Using our radar technology, GPRS may have potentially solved a decade old mystery. By searching underground, we were able to detect the metal anomalies indicating barrels that could possibly lead to where Jimmy Hoffa was supposedly buried.
GPRS isn’t Sherlock Holmes, nor are we starting a new criminal investigation TV series (although that’d be pretty cool). We’re just regular average joes who show up to work every day, and help our clients uncover their own mysteries. We might not be locating dead bodies underground in our usual workday, but we are locating utility lines and weak points, that help protect our clients from unwanted damages and injuries. It’s not extravagant, or covered nationwide, but it’s honest work that impacts each and every person who hires GPRS as their subsurface contractor. Every mystery deserves to be discovered, let GPRS cover the ones you don’t think about.
Did we actually find the body of Jimmy Hoffa? We don’t know for sure. But that’s not really the point is it? The point is a media conglomerate like Fox Nation entrusted GPRS to aid them in their search to find the elusive Jimmy Hoffa. Want to know the epic finale? Stay tuned, keep up with the story, and see if GPRS truly helped find the remains of the most sought-after body in US history.