About This Book
Soon to be a NETFLIX film directed by Martin Scorsese, starring Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Joe Pesci and Harvey Keitel, and written by Steven Zaillian.
Updated with a 57-page Conclusion by the author that features new, independent corroboration of Frank Sheeran's revelations about the killing of Jimmy Hoffa, the killing of Joey Gallo and the murder of JFK, along with stories that could not be told before.
"I heard you paint houses" are he 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 Sheeran 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, the Irishman 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 including those of Joey Gallo and JFK, and provides rare insight to a chapter in American history. Charles Brandt has written a page-turner that has become a true crime classic.
Born and raised in New York City, Charles Brandt is a former junior high school English teacher, welfare investigator in East Harlem, homicide prosecutor, and Chief Deputy Attorney General of the State of Delaware. In private practice since 1976, Brandt has been president of the Delaware Trial Lawyers Association and the Delaware Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates. He has been named by his peers to both Best Lawyers in America and Best Lawyers in Delaware. He is a frequent speaker on cross-examination and interrogation techniques for reluctant witnesses. Brandt is the author of a novel based on major cases he solved through interrogation, The Right to Remain Silent. He is also the co-author of Joe Pistone's Donnie Brasco: Unfinished Business and of Lin DeVecchio's We're Going to Win This Thing: The Shocking Frame-Up of a Mafia Crime Buster.
“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
“Sometimes you can believe everything you read.” — William “Big Billy” D’Elia, successor to Russell Bufalino as godfather of the Bufalino crime family
“My source in the Bufalino family . . . read I Heard You Paint Houses. All the Bufalino guys read it. This old-time Bufalino guy told me he was shocked. He couldn’t believe Sheeran confessed all that stuff to [Brandt]. It’s all true.” — New York Police Department organized crime homicide detective Joseph Coffey
“If the made men Brandt rubbed up against during his five years with Sheeran suspected what Sheeran was confessing to him on tape, they’d both have been promptly whacked.” — Joe Pistone, retired FBI deep undercover agent and the author of Donnie Brasco
I Heard You Paint Houses “gives new meaning to the term ‘guilty pleasure.’ It promises to clear up the mystery of Hoffa’s demise, and appears to do so. Sheeran not only admits he was in on the hit, he says it was he who actually pulled the trigger — and not just on Hoffa but on dozens of other victims, including many, he alleges, dispatched on Hoffa’s orders. This last seems likely to spur a reappraisal of Hoffa’s career. . . . Sheeran is Old School, and his tale is admirably free of self-pity and self-aggrandizement. Without getting all Oprah about it, he admits he was an alcoholic and a lousy father. His business was killing people, and . . . he did it with little muss, fuss or introspection.’’ — Bryan Burrough, author of Public Enemies, in The New York Times Book Review
“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.’ . . . Although he professed his loyalty to Hoffa – he said on one occasion, ‘I’ll be a Hoffa man ‘til they pat my face with a shovel and steal my cufflinks’ − 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
“I Heard You Paint Houses is the best Mafia book I ever read, and believe me, I read them all. It’s so authentic.” — Steven Van Zandt, featured actor, “Silvio Dante,” in The Sopranos and musician in Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band
“Told with such economy and chilling force as to make The Sopranos suddenly seem overwrought and theatrical.” —New York Daily News
“Is Sheeran believable? Very . . . and ‘I Heard You Paint Houses’ is a very enjoyable book.” —Trial Magazine
“A page-turning account of one man’s descent into the mob.” —Delaware News Journal
“A terrific read.” —Kansas City Star