Walter Sheridan

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Walter James Sheridan (20 November 1925[1] - 13 January 1995)[2][3] was an investigator for various agencies of the US government. He is best known for his role in the prosecution of Jimmy Hoffa, on which subject he published a book in 1972.


Sheridan was born in 1925 in Utica, New York.[3][4] During World War II, he served in the US Navy's Submarine Service,[3] and according to some sources worked for the Office of Naval Intelligence.[5] After the war he benefited from the G.I. Bill, graduating from Fordham University in 1950.[1]


Sheridan joined the Federal Bureau of Investigation, resigning after four years over J. Edgar Hoover's focus on anti-Communism.[4] As Sheridan later put it, "Hoover was more interested in guys who were Communists for 15 minutes in 1931 than he was in guys who were stealing New Jersey."[1] He was then a National Security Agency investigator for three years.[1][4]

Sheridan was an investigator for the United States Senate Select Committee on Improper Activities in Labor and Management, recruited to its staff by Robert F. Kennedy in 1957.[1][2] He was a regional coordinator for John F. Kennedy's 1960 presidential campaign, and a coordinator for the Robert F. Kennedy presidential campaign, 1968.[4] After Robert Kennedy was appointed Attorney General in 1961, Sheridan became a special assistant to Kennedy working as the effective chief of a team investigating Hoffa and the Teamsters.[3] From 1965 to 1970, he was a NBC News special correspondent, producing documentaries on crime and gun control among other issues;[4] his unit received a Peabody Award for work on the 1967 Detroit riot.[3] Sheridan also covered the 1967 prosecution of Clay Shaw by Jim Garrison, and in 1967 produced an hour-long special for NBC on the assassination of John F. Kennedy.[6]

In the 1970s and 80s, he was a principal aide to the United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary and the U.S. Senate Labor and Human Resources Committee.[4]

In fiction[edit]

Sheridan is among those portrayed in the film Thirteen Days, which is about the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis.

In Movies[edit]

Sheridan is mentioned in the documentary The JFK Assassination: The Jim Garrison Tapes (1992) pertaining to his work on the 1967 NBC hour-long special about the assassination of John F. Kennedy.[7]


  • The Fall and Rise of Jimmy Hoffa, Saturday Review Press, 1972. ISBN 978-0841502024