«I Heard you Paint Houses» are the first words Jimmy Hoffa ever spoke to Frank «the Irishman» Sheeran. To paint a house is to kill a man. The paint is the blood that splatters on the walls and floors. In the course of nearly five years of recorded interviews Frank Sheeran confessed to Charles Brandt that he handled more than twenty-five hits for the mob, and for his friend Hoffa. Sheeran learned to kill in the U.S. Army, where he saw an astonishing 411 days of active combat duty in Italy during World War II. After returning home he became a hustler and hit man, working for legendary crime boss Russell Bufalino. Eventually he would rise to a position of such prominence that in a RICO suit then-U.S. Attorney Rudy Giuliani would name him as one of only two non-Italians on a list of 26 top mob figures. When Bufalino ordered Sheeran to kill Hoffa, he did the deed, knowing that if he had refused he would have been killed himself. Sheeran’s important and fascinating story includes new information on other famous murders, and provides rare insight to a chapter in American history. Charles Brandt has written a page-turner that is destined to become a true crime classic.
Review«Pre-production of the movie ’The Irishman’ is moving ahead. That’s the name currently given to the film based on Charles Brandt’s book, ’I Heard You Paint Houses.’ It’s a compelling, can’t-put-down account of the life of Philadelphia-area mobster Frank Sheeran.»
—Delaware News Journal
«Is Sheeran believable? Very . . . and ‘I Heard You Paint Houses’ is a very enjoyable book.»
«A page-turning account of one man’s descent into the mob.»
—Delaware News Journal
«Sheeran’s confession that he killed Hoffa in the manner described in the book is supported by the forensic evidence, is entirely credible, and solves the Hoffa mystery.»
— Michael Baden, M.D., former Chief Medical Examiner of the City of New York
«I’m fully convinced — now — that Sheeran was in fact the man who did the deed. And I’m impressed, too, by the book’s readability and by its factual accuracy in all areas on which I’m qualified to pass judgment. Charles Brandt has solved the Hoffa mystery.»
—Professor Arthur Sloane, author of Hoffa
«One of Sheeran’s virtues was his gift as a storyteller; one of his flaws was his tendency to murder, in mobster jargon, ‘to paint houses.’ . .. Sheeran acknowledged that he was the one who killed the Teamsters boss. . .. On July 30, 1975, Hoffa disappeared. Sheeran explains how he did it, in prose reminiscent of the best gangster films.»
— Associated Press
«Told with such economy and chilling force as to make The Sopranos suddenly seem overwrought and theatrical.»
—New York Daily News
«Brandt’s book gives new meaning to the term ‘guilty pleasure.&rs…
From the Inside FlapHEARD YOU PAINT HOUSES is a fascinating account of a dark side of American history. The book’s title comes from the first words Jimmy Hoffa ever spoke to Frank «the Irishman» Sheeran. To paint a house is to kill a man. The paint is the blood that splatters on the walls and floors.
Frank Sheeran lived a long, violent, passionate life. As a boy he took on older kids in bar fights so his dad could win free beer. During World War II he was a highly decorated infantryman with 411 days of active combat duty and a willingness to follow orders. «When an officer would tell you to take a couple of German prisoners back behind the line and for you to ‘hurry back,’ you did what you had to do.» He became a hustler and hit man, working for legendary crime boss Russell Bufalino and eventually becoming one of only two non-Italians on the FBI’s famous La Cosa Nostra list. He was also a truck driver who was made head of the Teamsters local in Wilmington, Delaware, by his good friend Jimmy Hoffa. When Hoffa disappeared on July 30, 1975, Sheeran became a leading suspect, and every serious study of the Hoffa disappearance alleges that Sheeran was there.
For the first time the Irishman tells all — a lifetime of payoffs (including hand-delivering bags of cash to Nixon’s attorney general John Mitchell) and manipulation (supporting Joe Biden’s election to the Senate with a Teamster action) — for the book that would become his deathbed confession. He died on December 14, 2003.
Sheeran also provides shocking new information on notorious mob hits: Joseph «Crazy Joey» Gallo — blown away as he celebrated his forty-third birthday in New York’s Little Italy; Salvatore «Sally Bugs» Briguglio — long suspected of being a player in the plot to kill Hoffa. And offers new insights to the crusading of Robert Kennedy and the death of John F. Kennedy.
This historic account is based on interviews of Frank Sheeran by Charles Brandt, who researched, cross-checked, and illuminated what Sheeran told him and turned it all into a gripping narrative that is sure to become an instant true crime classic.