I HEARD YOU PAINT HOUSES by Frank "The Irishman" Sheeran and Charles Brandt
Sheeran learned to kill in the U.S. Army, where he saw an astonishing 411 days of active combat duty during World War II. After returning home he became a hustler and a 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 twenty six top mob figures. When Bufalino ordered Sheeran to kill Hoffa, the Irishman did the deed, know that if he had refused he would have been killed himself.
But.....there's a lot more in this book than the story of what happened to Jimmy Hoffa. There's many other figures you have probably heard of, many incidents of history, and many, many things you probably never heard of.
So, here's a bit to whet your appetite for this book........
"....you don't do a hit on a man in front of his family. But the thing is, that's the way Gallo did it to Colombo. Right there in front of his family; they turned the man into a vegetable. So that's the way it was going to be for Crazy Joe.
.....he was out celebrating his birthday, drinking and getting careless.....No doubt people were buying him drinks to make sure he stayed put. Then, when the people figured we'd be getting there soon, they would have called it a night and slipped out. Meanwhile he would have champagne and drinks lined up for him to finish and whatever food he had.
Crazy Joe Gallo had to feel somewhat safe and comfortable in Little Italy. You're not supposed to do any hits in restaurants in Little Italy because a lot of the people are silent partners in the restaurants, under the table. And it's bad for the tourist business in Little Italy. Plus tourists might not know how to be good witnesses, and they might not have sense enough to tell the cops that there were eight midgets about three feet tall and they all had masks on.
The bartender and the waitresses in a place like this would already know enough not to see anything.
I walked in the Mulberry Street door. A split second after I turned to face the Table, Crazy Joey Gallo's driver got shot from behind. Crazy Joey swung around out of his chair and headed down toward the corner door. He made it through Umberto's corner door to the outside. Crazy Joe got shot about three times outside of the restaurant not far from the corner door. He had no chance of making it. (When you do a hit on a guy, we say he "went to Australia.") Crazy Joey Gallo went to Australia on his birthday on a bloody city sidewalk."
No one would have suspected Frank Sheeran of killing Hoffa. They were best friends. Hoffa had helped Sheeran "climb up the ladder". But the mob knew that the only way Hoffa could be killed was by someone he trusted. And he trusted Frank Sheeran.
If you love reading about the Mafia, if the old stories fascinate you, then this is a book you absolutely must, must read. Frank tells stories that will leave your mouth agape and your mind whizzing in astonishment. You will be surprised and amazed, and you will not want to put this book down until you've gotten to the very last page. And then you'll wish there was more.
Note: This really is a fascinating read. And here's a little something extra to think about while on this topic. A few years ago I was at a conference and an FBI agent was a guest speaker. While in conversation after his speech I just had to ask him if the Mafia was still around in the U.S., (since when the FBI arrested John Gotti it was heralded as the end of the organization). His answer.....a smile and a very slight nod of the head. So, take that answer any way you want.