Martin Scorsese’s ‘The Irishman’ deals with a lot of important historical events, as well as some deeply philosophical themes, all within a gangster movie. However, the incident that stands out is Jimmy Hoffa’s disappearance. It is something that has plagued authorities even to this date, and with advanced DNA testing methods, if the FBI has some breaks in the case, they are not telling it to others.
Hoffa immediately comes across as a larger than life character, played to perfection by Al Pacino. You can see how he has mob ties but tries to be fair in his dealings. His charisma and bravado are clear when an assailant tries to take a shot at him, only for Hoffa to turn it into a lesson about how one should charge at someone who has a gun, while you should run from someone with a knife. It is also the scene where we are first introduced to Charles ‘Chuckie’ O’ Brien, who Hoffa calls his son. ‘Breaking Bad‘ fans must have been glad to see Jesse Plemons in the role. Ultimately, Chuckie ends up playing an instrumental role in Hoffa’s disappearance, which might lead you to ask where he is currently.
We have got you covered as we tell you about where Chuckie O’ Brien is now.
Who is Chuckie O’Brien and Where is He Now?
Chuckie O’ Brien was apparently close to Jimmy Hoffa’s biological son, James Hoffa when his father died at the age of 6. Ultimately, Jimmy took Chuckie under his own wing as a foster son. However, Chuckie’s own step-son, Jack Goldsmith, who has done his fair bit of research, as evident in the memoir, “In Hoffa’s Shadow: A Stepfather, a Disappearance in Detroit, and My Search for the Truth”, has claimed that Chuckie and Hoffa started to grow close when the former was 9 years old. Notably, it is believed that Chuckie’s mother facilitated Hoffa’s mob connections, and introduced Chuckie to Hoffa.
Sylvia Pagano, the mother, had serious enough mob ties to land Chuckie a job as a truck driver. Underworld lore suggests that Chuckie’s Irish American father died on the picket lines next to Hoffa, while some accounts suggest that his father abandoned him, and might not even have been Irish. Interestingly, people believe that Chuckie O’Brien’s character was the inspiration behind Tom Hagen, in ‘The Godfather‘, who was also an Irish boy taken in by an authoritative figure.
Coming back to O’Brien’s link in Hoffa’s disappearance, the FBI listed him as a suspect, although Sheeran himself stated in his account that he did not believe O’Brien was guilty. He might have driven Hoffa to the fatal meet but didn’t know the violence that would befall him. As for Chuckie, he has denied that the car he drove had Hoffa in it. Notably, the maroon Mercury was borrowed from the son of mob boss Anthony Giacalone, who was a suspect as well. Chuckie’s act of cleaning the car soon after Hoffa’s disappearance was damning, but nothing concrete could be proved.
Currently, he is 85 years old and lives in Boca Raton, Florida. He has had several health issues in recent years, a lot of which is related to his diabetes. Goldsmith spoke about Chuckie’s relationship with Hoffa, saying, “…when Hoffa became president of the union in 1957, when Chuckie was just, I think, 23 years old, he asked Chuckie to basically be a special assistant. And from that point on, from 1957 until Hoffa went to prison in 1971, Chuckie was basically always at Hoffa’s side.” O’Brien is married to Brenda, and the couple has children and grandchildren. Brenda is from Tennessee and posts about her songwriting career, as well as about Chuckie’s struggles with health issues.
As for Chuckie, he has claimed to be innocent in the disappearance of Jimmy Hoffa and keeps a framed picture of his wife and Hoffa on his desk, since he was close to the man. Notably, he has been banned from contacting the Teamsters due to his alleged mob ties. Chuckie has lamented these allegations, believing his family gets the brunt due to suspicions. Goldsmith has said of his stepfather, “He was an amazing guy. He had a very firm sense of right and wrong, and he taught us right from wrong in a way that had a huge impact on my life. The main thing I can say about him was that, despite all of his troubles, he spent all of his time, every second of his free time devoted to me and my two brothers and just everything we did.”
Where Are Jimmy Hoffa’s Biological Children?
Jimmy Hoffa also left behind two biological children, upon his disappearance. He had a son and a daughter. Sheeran’s wife Josephine could not live without knowing what happened to her husband, and died, in 1980 at the age of 62. Hoffa’s son and daughter, Frank Hoffa and Barbara Crancer inherited the $1.2 million estate that he left behind.
James literally followed in his father’s footsteps and is the general president of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. You can read his official biography here. Barbara is a retired Missouri judge. She used to idolize her father and fought to have information regarding his disappearance revealed under the Freedom of Information Act Requests. James, too did his bit, having grown up on picket lines and union meetings. He has tried to keep his father’s name and legacy alive but has expressed frustration at being denied closure. Notably, in 1982, he asked a court to declare his father legally dead.
One thing that ties all of Hoffa’s children together seems to be a sense of unifying hopelessness that the case of Jimmy Hoffa’s disappearance will never be solved.
Read More: Where is Peggy Sheeran Now?