Giacomo “Black Jack” Tocco the longtime boss of the Detroit Mafia passed away of natural causes in an unexpected bit of mafia news. Tocco took power of the mob in Detroit back in 1979 and was the longest tenured mafia boss in the country. He was known as a very low key old school style boss who was more intelligent and business savvy then he was violent. Tocco was born into the mob with his dad William “Black Bill” Tocco being one of the founding fathers of the crime family. Black Jack operated behind the scenes and was able to avoid many of the pitfalls of a mafia boss staying out of jail for the majority of his career, except for a 1998 conviction on racketeering charges resulting in an 11 month stay in prison.
Giacomo “Black Jack” Tocco
Tocco was long considered a suspect in the disappearance of Jimmy Hoffa and then was directly implicated in his disappearance by former Detroit Mafia underboss and his first cousin Anthony “Tony Z” Zerilli. Acting on information supplied by Zerilli the FBI dug up plots of farmland once owned by Tocco back in 2013 hoping to recover Hoffa’s remains.
Zerilli claimed that mob underlings informed him that Hoffa was taken out to the property beaten to death with a shovel and buried there. Tony Z was also convicted in 1998 along with Tocco and the two had a falling out which eventually led to him cooperating with the FBI in 2012 leading to the search in 2013. But the dig came up empty and no remains of Hoffa were discovered.
Jack Tocco was one of the last remaining links to the mafia of old the Golden Era or the American Mafia of the 60’s through the early 80’s. The Detroit Mafia has just recently began moving into a new era with new leadership but Giacomo was truly one of the last Godfathers.
For more information on the history of the Mafia in Detroit check out Motor City Mafia: A Century of Organized Crime in Detroit (Images of America) and other great mafia titles by author Scott M. Burnstein.