I Heard You Paint Houses

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I Heard You Paint Houses
AuthorCharles Brandt
CountryUnited States of America
PublisherSteerforth Press
Publication date
Media typePrint (hardcover & paperback), E-book, audio cassette, audio CD, Audible Audio Edition, Amazon Kindle
LC ClassHV6446.B73 2004

I Heard You Paint Houses: Frank "The Irishman" Sheeran and Closing the Case on Jimmy Hoffa is a 2004 work of narrative nonfiction written by former homicide prosecutor, investigator and defense attorney Charles Brandt that chronicles the life of Frank Sheeran, an alleged mafia hitman who confesses the crimes he committed working for the Bufalino crime family.

The title is in reference to, according to Sheeran, the first conversation he had with Hoffa over the phone, where Hoffa started by saying, "I heard you paint houses"—a mob code meaning: I heard you kill people, the "paint" being the blood spatter from the gunshot.[1]

Later editions of the book contain 71 pages of back matter largely detailing independent corroboration of Sheeran's confessions that came to light after the book was first published.

Sheeran's supposed confessions to killing Jimmy Hoffa and Joe Gallo have been disputed by "The Lies of the Irishman", an article in Slate by Bill Tonelli,[1] and "Jimmy Hoffa and 'The Irishman': A True Crime Story?" by Harvard Law School professor Jack Goldsmith, which appeared in The New York Review of Books.[2] Chip Fleischer, the book's publisher, wrote a reply to Tonelli's piece, also published in Slate, calling the magazine's decision to run the article with a title he claims is not supported by the facts "irresponsible in the extreme, not to mention damaging."[3]


The book is the basis for the 2019 film The Irishman, which was directed by Martin Scorsese and starred Robert De Niro as Frank Sheeran.[4]


  1. ^ a b Tonelli, Bill (August 7, 2019). "The Lies of "The Irishman"". Slate. Retrieved August 7, 2019.
  2. ^ Goldsmith, Jack (September 26, 2019). "Jimmy Hoffa and The Irishman: A True Crime Story?". New York Review of Books. Retrieved September 26, 2019.
  3. ^ "The Publisher of I Heard You Paint Houses Responds to "The Lies of the Irishman"". Slate. August 16, 2019. Retrieved December 2, 2019.
  4. ^ Bell, Breanna (July 31, 2019). "Martin Scorsese's 'The Irishman' Trailer Teams Robert De Niro, Al Pacino and Joe Pesci". Variety. Archived from the original on July 31, 2019. Retrieved July 31, 2019.

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