We talk about confessed mafia hitman Richard Kuklinski in this two parter. In part one we dive deep into his traumatic childhood and early life. Including some of his crimes. Or alleged, crimes... Trigger warning: This particular episode talks about child rape, adult rape, child abuse, animal abuse, animal murder and includes some of the racial slurs that Richard had to endure during his time growing up in jersey city. If that bothers you or is triggering please skip this episode because this is a tough one.
Richard Kuklinski - Wikipedia
The iceman and the psychiatrist: HBO
The Iceman Tapes
Richard Kuklinski - Crime Museum
The iceman confessions of a mafia contract Killer- Philip Carlo
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Richard kuklinski's mother Anna McNally, great up in an orphanage called "the sacred heart" on Erie and 9th street. Anna's father died of pneumonia and her mother was killed after she was hit by a truck on 10th street. She was described as very pretty with milky white skin and large almond shaped eyes. The sacred heart orphanage was a catholic ran orphanage that used fear and sadistic torture to put the fear of God into the children who stayed there. She was beaten and treated like a servant every day. She was only 10 when she was raped by a priest. Which affected her innocent empathetic mind and turned her into a detached cold adult.
At 18 she was a legal adult and was no longer able to stay at the orphanage. So she joined a convent and planned to become a nun and serve the lord. The church had a dance that hosted both male and female guests. Which is where she met Stanley kuklinski her future husband. And left the convent.
Stanley kuklinski fell in love with Anna and was very persistent in trying to woe her, his persistence paid off because they were married three months later in July of 1925. He worked as a Braverman for the Lackawanna railroad. They rented an apartment that was described as a "cold-water flat in a two story clapboard house on Third street" according to confessions of a mafia contract killer by Philip carlo.
Stanley was an alcoholic and was very quick to anger. Anna figured out pretty quickly that Stanley was a jealous, possessive and abusive man. He would regularly accuse her of being a tramp and a whore. She just kinda dealt with the accusations and acted as if they weren't happening.
In 1929 she gave birth to her first child, Florian. She intentionally had gotten pregnant because she thought having a child would get him to focus more on the children and family unit and less on her. But to her dismay, Stanley had gotten even more abusive then he was before. He even accused Anna of sleeping with another man while he was away at work. Claiming Florian wasn't his child. He didn't care for Florian and even began beating him for every single little thing he did. Like when he would cry, or want attention, or if he wet the bed. And of course Anna couldn't help her child because he would beat her also.
Stanley started raping Anna when she didn't want to have sex. During a rape she conceived another child. She gave birth on April 11th 1935 to Richard kuklinski. This new baby angered Stanley even more than before because they were poor enough all ready and he couldn't find enough money to feed everyone. Especially with his drinking problem. He had a thing for whiskey.
To blow off steam he would have affairs with other women he would meet in bars and come home smelling like cheap perfume with lipstick on his collar. When he would come home he would beat the boys because he was unhappy or because they had done something small to piss him off. So of course, Richard and Florian were terrified of their father . They both were quiet and always in fight or flight mode. Walking on eggshells constantly. Stanley would beat them with a black belt he wore all the time. If Anna tried to stop the merciless beatings he would beat her down with the belt and rape her afterwards. Stanley got off on violence. It literally made him hard and he would want to have sex after committing violence against the boys or Anna.
Richard quoted that " when my father -father that’s a joke- came home and I said 'hello',, he'd say hello by slapping me across the face"
Eventually he had started wrapping his fist with the belt and punching his sons in the
head with it. He hit then so hard he would knock them out cold regularly and Richard would pee his pants at the sight of his father. And one night he started punching Florian in the head with his belt wrapped fist so badly that he killed his son. Stanley made Anna lie to friends and family. Saying that Florian had fallen down the stairs and banged his head. Richard was five when he had lost his brother to his father's tirades. He didn't see the beating, so his mother told him that Florian was hit by a car and died.
Because Stanley was afraid he would be investigated he stopped beating Richard for a little while but started back up again months later. Richard hid inside after the beatings because they were so brutal that he was covered in giant welts and cuts. His mother wouldn't let him go to school in fear that Stanley would be prosecuted and Richard would be removed from the home.
Richard became a target of bullying on the regular. On one occasion Richard escaped the beating by the local Boys and ran home. Stanley had seen Richard flee and when he came inside Stanley hit him across the face with a belt and told him "no kid of Mines gonna be a chicken shit" . One of the children's fathers came out of the house when Richard went back to fight the bullies and pushed Richard because he was winning the fight. Stanley came outside and confronted the bully’s father. Then punched him so hard he knocked him out cold on the sidewalk
After this incident Richard drew into himself and became a loner. With Richard being so poor he was an easy target. He wore ripped clothes that were dirty and frayed. He was skinny and malnourished because his parent didn't have enough money for food. Soon the kids would start calling him a dumb pollock. Which was normal in the city at the time because there were always feuds between the polish, Italian and Irish.
Anna gave birth to Richard's sister Roberta and soon after gave birth to a son Joseph who later in life would also become a murderer. Because Anna kept having children Stanley started bringing home women from the bar and having sex with them in the home openly. In front of Anna and her children. When Anna would complain about the women he was bringing home he would beat her with his bare fists and kick her. After one of those beatings Richard tried to defend his mother but Stanley had hit him so hard he was knocked out for half of the night and when he awoke he had a large welt on his head and couldn't remember who he was for hours.
Stanley soon ran off with a polish woman abandoning his wife and his 3 children. Which forced Anna to work two jobs to make ends meet. Anna put Richard into a catholic school but he had a hard time reading because of his dyslexia. Because of this he was regularly hit with a metal ruler causing his fingers to bleed. Anna was forceful with Richard, really wanting him to become an alter boy, thinking that if he had the guidance of the lord he wouldn't become like his father. But soon after he became an alter boy, a priest made some advances towards Richard by making inappropriate comments about
Masturbation and steered clear of the priest.
Richard was soon thrown out of the catholic school when a nun accosted Richard. He called her a cunt and threatened to hit her if she ever touched him again. An angry priest came in and slapped Richard in his face and drug him by the ear into his chamber where he beat Richard with a whole ass Bible. When he had gotten home his mother also beat him for disobeying the school staff.
Trigger warning, I’m about to talk about animal abuse. So please, if that is triggering fast forward through this part.
Richard didn't know how to deal with all his pent up rage for his father and the bullies around town and in school. So he took to torturing and killing animals. He would capture cats, tie their tails together and throw them over clotheslines to watch as they savagely ripped one another apart. He threw stray cats down into the incinerator and lit a match. Watching them try to claw their way back up and out. He would watch them run around on fire and talked about a time a cat almost had gotten out and he had to shove it back in and close the door. He would kick stray dogs off of roofs of apartment buildings to their deaths. And he also would cover stray dogs in gasoline and set them on fire. He would sometimes use clubs and pipes to beat dogs and cats to death. He also tied dogs to busses and watched them run out of energy and be drug to their deaths on the pavement.
With no money and no food, Richard began stealing food to eat. Taking cakes and cookies from delivery trucks and also stealing meat and fruits from railroad boxcars. Richard's stealing and acting out was really getting under Anna's skin. While she was a victim of Stanley's beatings, her own trauma had gotten the best of her. She had a knack for corporal punishment as well. She would hit Richard in the head with anything she could grab. Usually using broomsticks, shoes, pots and pans. Often knocking Richard out.
She managed to get them into subsidized housing in jersey city and it was a huge step up from where they were living. The new apartment had all new updated appliances and everything was brand new. But with the new place came some new bullies in the neighborhood. There was a gang led by Charley lane. Charley was a few years older than Richard, a foot taller and a bit stickier than him. The gang took to beating Richard daily.
Because Richard had no friends and his brother was gone, Richard would steal true crime magazines from the local stores and immerse himself in violence. He mainly read them to see how these people were caught. He would often read by the Hudson River. That was his quiet place. With his dyslexia, he didn't enjoy reading but the nature of what he was reading about kept him captivated. He even fantasized about killing people while reading these books. Killing those who had done him wrong.
When he was 13 he had enough of the neighborhood boys bullying and even his mother wanted to call the police and report the abuse because it had gotten so bad. The neighborhood Richard grew up in, however, had its own rules. The rules of the streets. Kick a fair one, and whatever you do, don't rat. It didn't help that during this time the mafia was huge in the next town over in Hoboken. That's where the de Cavalcante crime family ran the streets. They were the inspiration for the sopranos ( which I didn't know)
So Richard devised a plan to get back at Charley and the boys. He waited outside of the apartment building Charley lived in. He had a two foot long wooden dolly he took from a hall closet and put it up his jacket sleeve. It was freezing out in January and he stood there until his fingers started to go numb until he saw Charley walking to the apartment building. He saw Richard standing there and started calling him a dumb pollock, telling him he was going to beat him if he didn't get out of the way. Richard then proceeded to beat him in the head with the wooden dolly. Charley hit the ground and Richard kept beating him until he stopped moving. It was a rage beating. He didn't mean to kill Charley, just to scare him but he lost control of himself. He panicked and didn't know what to do. So he ran to the parking lot across the street and stolen a Pontiac. Drove it back to the building and loaded Charlie's body into the trunk. He notices a hatchet in the trunk and drove around for two hours until he reached southern nj. Somewhere in the wooded pine Barron's. He stopped on a small bridge. He put Charley's body on the ground and returned with the ax. He knocked out all of Charley's teeth and then chopped off his finger tips where he planned on disposing of them later for identification purposes. He made sure he had no ID and he had stolen all of the money in Charley's pockets before throwing him into a frozen lake. His body had broken the ice and fell inside. He had driven back to jersey city and felt really good that Charley was dead.
In the next few days Richard hunted down and beat all of the people who did him wrong. Using two by fours, bats and knives. He stopped going to school and started hanging in pool halls and bars. He liked playing pool and started making money as a pool shark. Taking bets on games. Soon the word was out not to mess with Richard kuklinski. Anytime anyone stepped to him he would fight back with extreme violence. He even followed three guys home after they pissed him off. He came back 3 days later and snuck into their apartments, stabbing them in the night.
Soon Richard formed a gang called "coming up roses" with five guys who he committed robberies and stick ups with. All of them were from abusive homes with alcoholic fathers. He even tattooed the gang’s name on his arm as an homage to brighter things to come. He bought a 38 revolver, which was his first gun, him and his gang would use it for target practice by the Jersey City waterfront.
Richard committed his second murder after a night of playing pool. A man named Doyle who was a violent drunkard cop started verbally abusing Richard in the bar. Richard took the verbal beating and put down his pool cue... he walked outside and waited patiently for Doyle to come out. When Doyle had gotten into his car he had fell asleep. Richard came back with a can of gasoline and doused the inside of the vehicle with gasoline and lit a match. His temper was calm but violent and he never forget anyone who wronged him. Even for the smallest indiscretions.
At this time Richard was coming into himself. He was tall with high cheekbones and big almond shaped eyes. Even with his disposition to be violent, a lot of women flocked to him, because he had a shyness about him. He dated a lot of older women. In Confessions of a contract Killer, Philip Carlo described Richard as looking like a young Jimmy Stuart. He started dressing to impress the women that would try to pick him up and he met an older woman named Linda. She was 25 and he was only 16 when she let him live with her. She was a complete Nymphomaniac and demanded sex multiple times a day. It was said that Richard was kinda hung so she was obviously hungry for that big dick energy.
At this point he started hating his mother and visited her less and less. This all started when he caught his mother having an affair with the neighbor, who was married. He said the sight of this guys hairy ass plunging into his mother made him sick. He thought of her as a whore and a hypocrite from that moment on, mainly because of all the jesus bullshit she would ramble on about, and how she had preached to him how bad sex was. Also around this time, his sister was having promiscuous sex with people in the neighborhood and his brother Joseph was getting into fights and punching teachers. So he was more than obliged to get the fuck out of dodge. But even though Richard hated his mother he started questioning whether Stanley was his real father. They looked so different from one another that it seemed like his mother was lying. He came to his mothers rescue though, once he found out that stanley was sneaking over to Anna’s place once in a while. He had roughed her up. Richard followed him home and stuck a 38mm in his face and told him to stay the fuck away from his mother. So part of him still felt protective over her even with the hatred he had for who she was.
Richard still harbored anger for not killing his father after all these years and was quoted as saying, “ Stanley was a first grade, sadistic prick. He shouldn’t have never been allowed to have children. A thousand times if once I wondered why I didn’t kill him. If I had to do it over, I would’ve done the job right for sure.”
Richard started gambling like crazy. He was playing cards and going to the racetrack mainly. He would walk around with rolls of cash and spend it just as fast as it was coming in. He even started buying really bright suits in pink and yellow loud colors. Decked out in these suits the gang would make their rounds around the local bars and to dance halls. If a dude made a comment about his suits he would instantly assault them with knives. Eventually word got around town and no one said a word to him about his suits again. Richard started drinking whiskey and went in a little too much and just like his father he was violent and belligerent. Anyone who would get in his way would end up stabbed or bludgeoned and in the hospital.
Richard’s reputation proceeded him and in the coming months word had gotten around to Carmine Genovese ( who was part of the De Cavalcante crime family). His knick name was “Meatball” because of his stature and he had heard about the coming up roses gang a few times before over the years but started paying attention when Richard was pretty much running the streets. Richard and the gang were invited over to Carmine’s home to have dinner, spaghetti and meatballs, which was his signature recipe. He told the boys how he liked what he was hearing about them and was going to give them an opportunity to make some real money. He told them about a guy in Lincoln park and gave them his picture. He told the boys that this guy “ had to go” and they passed around this black and white picture at the table. They finished dinner with Carmine and headed out.
Later on that night they met at The Final Round in Hoboken to discuss the terms of the contract. Richard was a bit nervous but John Wheeler said he would pull the trigger. They had gotten into johns car and Richard decided to drive. They were packing a 32 revolver and found the marks house. As they were deciding how to do it, the mark walked right out of the front door and got into his car. John froze and couldn’t do it because he was caught off guard and the mark drove off. They followed the Lincoln to a traffic light and John took aim. Fortunately, for the mark, john couldn’t keep his hands steady and had gotten so nervous he put down the gun and the Lincoln drove off again.
Richard was so annoyed he said he would do it then. He took the gun from John and they waited in the rain while the mark went inside of a bar. After a while he started walking out when Richard exited the car and slowly walked up to the man. He pulled out the pistol and stuck it right up against the marks head and pulled the trigger.
They went to carmine’s place the next day and Richard asked him if he had seen the papers. Carmine couldn’t believe Richard killed the man and gave them each 500 bucks for a job well done. At this point the coming up roses gang and Richard now were a real part of organized crime. Carmine trusted Richard and the gang now because they committed a murder. In most crime families once you commit murder for them that’s the ultimate trust because you now can do serious jail time for it. They knew coming up roses wouldn’t rat because they were now part of La Cosa Nastra (OUR THING).
Carmine started giving the boys plenty of work and they were rolling in cash. No matter what job it was because not all jobs given to the boys were murder contracts. Regardless of what the job was they had gotten them done. One of the non-murdery jobs was high-jacking trucks. Carmine had inside information about times an places they would be all over new jersey. So the boys would get where they needed to be to carry out the robberies and high-jackings. Carmine always received half of the earnings and the other half was split between the rest of the crew.
Inside the trucks were goods that could be sold for cash. Some of the items included were furniture, razors, appliances, albums, clothing and jewelry. Even sometimes, they would take caviar and other food items. But even with all the cash they were making they gambled it all away. Richard took his older girlfriend, linda, to Las Vegas and he gambled his money away there because he wasn’t as fond of the racetrack like the other guys. He went frequently to Las Vegas shows and had a real fan-boy mentality for Liberace. He loved his shows.
Coming up roses wasn’t the suave criminals we see in movies. They had dumb luck quite a few times. Including the biggest score they had. Carmine hired the boys to take on the Armored Truck Company and steal the cash. He even went as far as giving them the combo to the alarm system and locking system. So you would think they wouldn’t fuck that one up…. But think again.
They broke through the wall and made it look like someone from outside broke into the building because Carmine didn’t want it to look like someone on the inside had given them the information about the safe filled with cash and gold bullion. They blew up the safe after they opened it and emptied its contents into an armored truck. They didn’t think about the weight of the gold and coins being tossed into this truck and when they tried to pull off with the booty they hit the curb and blew out all four back tires. Of course it made a HUGE bang and anyone could have heard that because the tires exploded from the weight. There was a near by abandoned warehouse they tried to drive the truck to but it just wouldn’t make it with blown out tires. So they went back to the armored truck company and stole two more trucks and split the load between the trucks. They did make it out of there unscathed by police but could have easily had gotten caught with the amount of time they spent trying to fix their mistake. They had gotten away with about 2 mil in gold and money. Carmine was given a million and the boys split the other million.
Richard pissed his portion away in Vegas again because he said he didn’t care about money. That it was for spending. And that he did. He even called himself a dumb kid, when he thought back to that time, and said “ I didn’t know any better- but boy, did I have a ball”.
The coming up roses gang made a fatal mistake by getting too greedy and thinking they were safe because the mafia was on their side. Two of the gang members, Jack an John, thought it would be cool to stick up a card game that was sponsored by a member of the De Cavalcante family. One of the guys in the card game recognized John even though he had his face covered with a bandana. He alerted one of the Soldiers of the de Cavalcante family, Albert Parenti. Since Richard wasn’t a part of the stick up, Albert found Richard and had a one on one consultation with him regarding his fellow gang members. They went to Phil’s, a little local bar and Albert confronted Richard about the stick up.
Albert told Richard he knew he wasn’t involved in the robbery, or they wouldn’t be talking. He also told Richard that the two guys had to go. Richard offered to pay every single penny back to the De Cavalcante family, but Albert wasn’t buying into that. He told Richard it wasn’t the money that he cared about. The problem was that these guys had no loyalty and were loose ends. They could no longer be trusted and that Richard was responsible for them. So they had to go. Richard pleaded with Albert one more time to try to save the lives of his only real friends but Albert was firm that the job had to be done.
Richard didn’t waste any time, because he knew the family would be looking for him if he didn’t carry out the job. He tracked down Jack and shot him in the back of the head so he didn’t see it coming. He just left him there where he dropped and then he headed out to find John. Richard found John leaving his girlfriends apartment and shot him dead in the street. Again, leaving him where he dropped also. He wanted the murders to hit the papers so that the De Cavalcante family knew he carried out the hits for sure.
The Jersey City police tried to figure out what happened to the boys but there were no witnesses or leads. They knew they were from the bad side of town and the case went cold. No one ever heard anything about it again.
In 1954 richard was 19 and after killing Jack and John, word had gotten around on the streets. The other 2 members of coming up roses avoided Richard like the plague because they thought they were next. Soon though, Richard started avoiding them when he heard the two remaining members were taking up with heroin. They were full blown drug addicts and to Richard drug addicts were weak and vunerable and not to be trusted. He started hanging by himself and became quite a loner. Taking walks alone and hanging by the river.
Richard took the ferry off of the river to Manhattan one day and was walking downtown along the river. It was the shittier part of town where you would see a lot of homeless people who used drugs and people who were on the fringes of society. One of the homeless men approached Richard asking him to give him some money. When Richard told him no, he had gotten really nasty about it and wouldn’t leave Richard alone. He followed him demanding that he give him some cash. The homeless man called him a mother fucker and Richard turned around and stabbed the man twice in the chest, killing him. He waited until he was completely dead, wiped the knife on his pants and just up and walked away. Like nothing even happened.
After this incident, Richard started frequenting that section of Manhattan. He started using it as a type of practice for killing. Mainly killing homeless people but was adamant that he would never kill any women. Just men. As if that made his crimes more palatable. It happened so frequently that the police were just choking it up to homeless people killing each other.
During his time in “murder school” as he called it, he practiced knife work and openly spoke about what he had done. He practiced stabbing into the back of the head and up through the brain, inverted slicing across the throat, cutting through the corraded arteries of the throat, and windpipes. He noticed that knife work was sloppy though and he would get blood on his clothing which wasn’t good when trying to leave the scene.
So he started practicing shooting victims. He learned that shooting people above the ear or under the jaw was the easiest way to kill someone without having to use multiple shots from the gun. He also thought that an icepick was a good weapon because you could stick it through the eye socket into the brain cleanly or through the ear canal and reach the brain with the same efficiency.
During one of his murder school romps in west Manhattan he saw a group of guys walking into a bar. One of the men complained that he had to urinate. His friends went in without him and he walked over to a trash can and started relieving himself. Richard snuck up behind him and wrapped a rope around his neck. Richard spun around so they were back to back and he leaned forward and let the weight of the man do the killing for him. He basically hung him and when the man went completely limp he dropped him where he lay. When speaking about this incident he said he waited until the man finished urinating to kill him. Saying “ at least he died with an empty bladder”
Richard said once he didn’t have a problem with gay men but it was apparent that even gay men weren’t safe from Richards wrath of fury. When Richard left a bar on grove street one night a man leaving a local gay bar saw him. The man propositioned Richard and he told the man no thanks. Unfortunately the gay man was pushy and followed Richard telling him “ you know you want to, come on big guy.” Richard was frustrated and kept walking and the man kept following him until Richard picked up a cobblestone right off the street and hit him so hard that his brains left his skull and sprayed onto a store window.
Richard started traveling to other places to kill, like Hoboken, Newark and Rhode Island but soon went back to Manhattan because the towns were a lot smaller. People paid more attention to those areas and you couldn’t conceal yourself in the population.
People just kept dying and the cops didn’t care at all. Mainly because the people Richard killed were “the less dead”. The police chief was quoted as saying “ let em kill each other” to the detectives in the 10th precinct. So it was apparent that Richard wasn’t going to get caught anytime soon. The cops didn’t give a shit and rarely investigated the deaths of these victims.
Carmine was picked up on Gambling charges so Richards money source dried up for a while. He started working a job unloading trucks and a guy named Tony Pro gave Richard little jobs to do so he didn’t run out of work.
During this time Linda had become pregnant with a child and wanted to marry Richard. He was not happy about the pregnancy and didn’t love linda. They fought often and Richard took after his father and beat linda without any qualms if she annoyed him. He asked her to get an abortion but she wouldn’t. He was so angry about this that he punched her in her stomach to try to abort the baby himself but the baby didn’t die and kept growing. He tetter tottered between buying her gifts and being really nice to beating the ever loving shit out of her and you never knew when it was coming. Eventually he gave in and married linda for the sake of the baby.
When linda had finally given birth to her baby boy, Richard was none-the-thrilled. He didn’t go to see the birth or visit Linda when she was in the hospital. He told linda the child wasn’t his and was indifferent to the child. Unfortunately for Richard linda became pregnant again shortly after. Linda didn’t fight Richard on these topics, nor did she even question his line of work. She pretended she was blind to whatever Richard did because she was afraid he would hurt her or go into a violent rage. Just like his father, Richard was physically abusive. To the point that he even admitted he could have killed women with his tempers but didn’t want to and couldn’t control his anger. He even stated that he would never hurt children and would never hurt a woman “ on purpose”.
To solidify that point he talked about the time he caught a small child being raped by two men. He heard the child screaming as the two men forced the child to commit falacio on the one man while the other was committing sodomy on the child. He shot and killed both the men and saved the little boy. The boy thanked him and he left them there where they lay.
His claims of not hurting women on purpose were about to be negated however when his brother joe told Richard that his wife Linda was laid up in a hotel with another man. Richard went to the motel and kicked the door down. He saw linda in the bed with this man engaging in koitus. He broke every single bone in this mans body then turned his blind rage onto linda. He grabbed her breast and she fought him tooth and nail until he knocked her unconscious. Richard then sliced off both of her nipples and left her there like that. He left linda after that and rarely seen his children.
In 1956, Richard was hanging out at Rosie’s bar shooting pool against a big bald headed man. The man kept getting more agitated by the minute and started bad mouthing Richard and his two buddies. He even resorted to calling him a Pollock and then threatening the three men. He then called Richard gay for wearing his colorful suit using slang that I will not repeat on here ( ie the F word) Richard became furious but just calmly ceased his game play. He walked up to the man and hit him in the head with the pool cue, completely breaking it in two pieces. The man hit the ground, while Richard and his friends were on their way towards the front door. When suddenly, the man was boxing him and getting tons of shots in. With his stances and how tough he was, Richard thought this man might have been a trained boxer.
Richard was having such a hard time fighting this man that he had Richard on his back on top of a pool table. That is until Richard grabbed the cue ball and smacked him in his skull with it. He pretty much knocked him out cold at that point and the boys and him headed out of the front door into the cold night. Richard was pretty injured but he jumped into his Chevy and started heading back to Jersey City. When out of no where a car had cut him off and stopped him dead under a bridge between 15th and 16th streets. The bald headed man he fought in the bar had gotten out of the car with his two friends sporting some heavy looking pipes and started heading for Richards car. He pulled a gun from out from under his seat and shot all three men dead.
Too many people had seen Richard fighting with the man in the bar so he knew he had to get rid of the bodies. He drove the three men in the trunk of their own car, down to the waterfront. Walked back to get his car and drove it down to the waterfront, right next to their car. He then loaded the bodies into his own trunk and drove to Bucks County Pa. He remembered some caves he found while exploring the area in the woods and tried to find them again. When he finally located the caverns he went back to the car and carried the three bodies back to the edge of the cave and threw them in one by one. They were so deep he knew no one would ever find them there. He then drove back to their car in jersey city and pushed their car into the river and watched it sink to the bottom.
The police didn’t question Richard even though he was the last one to see those men alive but the streets knew about Richard killing those three men. Word had gotten around the area but no one had proof and no one was going to confront Richard Kuklinski about it.
Richard was given another contract when Carmine was finally out of jail. He wanted Richard to kill a used car salesman and gave him a photograph and his place of employment. He told Richard he wanted the mark to suffer and that he had to bring some kind of proof that the mark did indeed suffer. Carmine even suggested bringing back a hand or some fingers to show his friend.
Richard headed over to the used car lot and sat there watching and stalking the target. Seeing how often customers went shopping for cars. What employees were there at what times and what were the busiest times and the slowest times. When he was finally confident on his notes he waited until it was slow and then headed onto the car lot to see if he could get the mark to try to sell him a vehicle. The salesman was happy to help Richard and Richard asked the man if he would let him test drive a particular car. They both jumped in and took it for a ride. Richard parked his car around the block and pulled up next to his vehicle. He told the salesman that he was going to check under the hood to make sure everything was running fine. The salesman had gotten out of the car to join him. Richard waited until the salesman was distracted and he struck the man in the head with a jaw breaker. Which apparently is a piece of led wrapped in leather.
He tied the man up and threw him in the trunk. Richard took him down to the pine barrens where he dumped Charley Lanes body. When he had gotten to the desolate pine barrens he took the salesman from the trunk of his car and tied him by his neck to the trunk of a tree. Tying the rope as tight as he could around the mans throat that he would slowly asphyxiate. He told the salesman that he was given orders to make him suffer and watched as the man wet himself and pleaded for his life through his grunts. The salesman started crying as Richard returned from the car with an axe and proceeded to break the mans knees and ankles. He then proceeded to cut the mans fingers off one by one. Once Richard was convinced the mark had suffered enough, he proceeded to hack his head off with the axe.
He returned to carmine with the severed head and collected his earnings. When carmine had seen with his own eyes the suffering Richard had put the car salesman through he was so pleased he told Richard that if he was Italian he would have sponsored him. Which was a huge compliment coming from a mob member. Carmine took the severed head to show his friend the lengths the contract killer had gone for him.
Carmine thanked Richard by making him his lead collector and enforcer. He would send Richard all over the place to collect on debts or rough people up to get the money back. Sometimes he would even send Richard to kill them. It wasn’t a surprise for the men who borrowed money off of Carmine to see Richard coming to collect. They knew if they borrowed money off of Carmine it was to be repaid by the date given or else it ment your life. Including De Peti, who owed Carmine a substantial amount of money and gave him ample time to get it. When he didn’t Richard was hired to collect it from him in Chicago. The man took him on a wild goose chase for the money over a two days period. Trying everything he could from sending a man after Richard at a bar, to trying to escape out of a hotel window the next night. When Richard called Carmine a third time to tell him what De Peti’s next excuse was for, Carmine said to wait a little longer until the money comes then do whatever you want with the man. Richard finally ordered De Peti at gun point to get the money owed to Carmine. He gave Richard the cash from his place of business and Richard shot him anyway for being annoying. One of the dancers at De Petis exotic dance club told law enforcement the last person they seen was a large man leaving the office. Which was vague and didn’t give investigators much to go on.
It was said that Richard kept two guns and a knife on him in the book confessions of a mafia contract killer but I also saw a documentary of the same name that Richard quoted the kept 3 guns on him and a knife. So im not sure if it was a typo or if Richard told multiple stories of what weapons he kept with him on any given day. He said he kept one in each pocket for protection, that way he always had a gun handy in case of trouble.
There was a man with the nickname Motorboat that Richard used to buy illegal guns from. Richard used to like having different caliber weapons on him to confuse police. He may shoot the same man with two different weapons so it looked like the hit was carried out by two different men. Motorboat drove a big ass boat of a car. A Lincoln continental, the trunk filled with hand guns, silencers and rifles. He was also a mechanic and made compressors for the guns he sold. Whenever Richard needed a gun he was a phone call away. He would just drive up wherever Richard was and deliver a trunkload of choices.
At this point Phillip Marable solicited Richard to do some work for the Genovese Crime Family. He invited Richard to have dinner with him at Bella Luna. Phillip owned the restaurant, which was in Hoboken NJ. He asked Richard if he knew George west and proceeded to tell him he had a problem with George for sticking up his runners and “didn’t want him around anymore”. He slipped Richard a white envelope filled with cash and gave him a picture of George. This was a good opportunity for Richard so he started looking for George right away. He traveled from bar to bar searching for him. He even staked out his house but kept missing him. Richard was searching for George for over 9 days and by dumb luck happened to be doing an errand for Carmine and spotted George eating a sandwich on a bench. He almost slammed into the car in front of him because he was dumb struck. When George finished up his sandwich and made his way to the car, Richard pulled up and popped him numerous times with a 22. Then got out of the vehicle to see if he was dead. Unfortunately he wasn’t and there was blood shooting out of his neck. So he shot him in the head to finish the job. He knew he was supposed to do more than that but because he missed George so many times he just wanted to get the job done.
Phillip Marabel was pleased with Richard and gave him numerous contracts over the next year.
By this time Richard was about 24 years old and it was 1959 when his drinking and gambling problem was really getting out of hand. It was out of hand before but never to this level. He kept getting into fights at bars and kept killing men. One night at the Pelican Lounge he had gotten into an argument with a man in the bar. The man punched Richard square in the face and he was livid. He walked out of the bar and waited for the man when the bouncer asked them to take it outside. As soon as the man had walked up to the curb Richard was standing at, he stabbed the man with such force that the blade went into his chin and up into his brain. Killing him instantly. Richard left but when the police finally came “ no one knew anything.”
At orchid bar in union city, a bouncer had thrown Richard out of the bar because he was being belligerent. The bouncer kicked him in his ass and spit on him as he was throwing him out. Richard was wasted and knew he would lose a fight so he came back to finish the job when he was sober. He waited for the bar to close and when the bouncer was walking to his car, Richard grabbed a hammer and asked the bouncer if he remembered Richard. As soon as he retorted, Richard smashed his skull in so hard that the hammer went through his skull and into his brain. Richard spit on the man and walked away.
It was at this point him and his brother would have a falling out. Word on the street was that his brother Joseph was gay. Richard was in such disbelief he had to see for himself. There was a gay bar in the neighborhood that one man told him his brother was hanging out at. Richard walked in and looked around the dance floor. On the otherside of the room he did see joseph kissing another man. Richard went to order a drink and when he looked back, Joseph was gone. He looked all over the club for his brother and went into the mens room. That’s where he saw two sets of legs under the stall door. He heard his brothers voice and knew he was in there with another man. He kicked the bathroom stall door open and saw his brother performing fellacio to another man. He was so enraged he knocked Joseph and the other man out cold and left the bar. He didn’t speak to his brother for many years after the incident. Because of his rage though, he went looking for a kill to substitute the rage he was having for his brother. He drove to Manhattan and killed a man for “asking him for directions in a belligerent tone.”
Richards life was starting to unravel at an intense speed. He kept going to the west side of Manhattan to murder people for no reason. His gambling and alcoholism was out of control. He was pissing away all of his money and the man who had gotten him into organized crime, Carmine Genovese, was murdered by someone. Everyone knew it was mob related because he was executed in his kitchen cooking dinner. Richard needed money and spoke to Tony Pro who gave him a strait job at a Trucking company in North Bergen. He kept his eyes peeled for goods that would come in on the trucks as a way to make some extra cash.
By the spring of 1961 Richards murder count was allegedly a little over 65 men and this was the year he met Barbara Pedrici. His future wife and mother of his other children.
Barbara’s mother and father were both from Italy. She was into art and wanted to go to art school but her mother wouldn’t allow her. She brow beat Barbara by telling her it would lead no where in life, it was a waste of money, that it was her job to have children and get married. Her mother even offered to buy Barbara a car if she agreed not to go to college. Barbara was an only child and didn’t get along with her mother. Her parents divorced when she was two and was brought up by her aunt and her grandmother. They were both very supportive of Barbara and gave her the things she wanted and needed in life unlike her mother who was very cold and distant.
Barbara was popular and had a sarcastic tone of voice with a dry sense of humor. She was very attractive and loved music, shopping and going to the movies with friends. She led a sheltered life and was a virgin.
Barbara rode along with her friend Lucille as she responded to an ad for a secretary at the trucking company. The manager saw Barbara waiting in the lobby and told her she looked like his daughter. She wasn’t sure how to respond to that but he took a liking to Barbara and offered her a job. She first encountered Richard at the soda machine and he said hi to her but it was nothing out of the ordinary. They ran into each other again at the loading port and again it was just hi, bye, nothing weird.
But when the manager saw them talking to each other he approached Richard and told him to stay away from Barbara. He asked to see him in his office and ended up firing Richard for just saying hello to her. She felt so bad about the fact that the manager fired Richard for nothing she said she wanted to take him to get some coffee to make up for it. Richard agreed and they met up soon after.
He picked her up at five when he came to get his check. They went out and he was a perfect gentleman. He opened doors for her and seemed kinda timid. She was a little turned off because she thought she could control him. Her first impression was that he was too easy and not tough like the guys she typically liked. They sat and talked and he drove her home.
Reflecting back on asking Richard to coffee that night, Barbara said, “ That was the worst mistake I ever made, I should have run for the hills but instead I walked outside like a lamb to the slaughter.”
They had gone out quite a few more times and Richard was on good behavior. He wasn’t pushing the issue of sex or kissing at first and he even came to meet her family. They were uneasy about Richard, Something about him they didn’t trust. Her Aunt Sadie hired a private detective to find out about Richard because Barbara and him were hanging out more and more.
Richard viewed Barbara as a woman as pure as the virgin snow. He was still married to his previous wife but told Barbara he was in the middle of a divorce. He thought of most women as whores but not Barbara. After many dates and dinners with Barbaras family, she eventually let Richard kiss her. He showered her in flowers and thoughtful gifts. She was so accustomed to him just showing up that she eventually started falling for him.
He started poking fun at her saying she wasn’t a virgin and that she was lying to him. Trying to get her to prove him wrong. The more she resisted the more he wanted her. She finally gave in and had sex with Richard in a motel room in Jersey City. She proved she in fact was a virgin and the deal was sealed at that moment. He was going to marry her, that was his intention and nothing was going to stop that from happening.
The private detective found out about Richards gambling, player mentality, that he was involved in organized crime and that he had hurt people bad. He found out about Richards violent temper and that he highjacked goods for money. He confronted Richard but Richard was adamant that his intentions for Barbara were pure and that no one was going to get in his way. When confronted with the information the private detective had, Barbara was in denial. She made excuses for Richard and his marriage. Telling her aunt that Richard said he was in the middle of a divorce and that he wasn’t going to be married much longer. She reassured her aunt that her and Richard were just dating and weren’t getting married or anything. No one was really reassured by either of their accounts.
Once Christmas came, Richard came over to celebrate with Barbara’s family. He had never seen the type of love Barbara’s family had shown each other and Richard. He was so moved by all the gifts, the food and the tenderness that he went outside to cry alone. Barbara found him outside and gave him a huge hug and comforted him. After Christmas Barbara’s family accepted Richard and Richard was going to try to be a part of Barbara’s family whether Barbara liked it or not. Up until New Years Richard wouldn’t let Barbara out of his sight. He isolated her from her friends, from dating anyone else and was being so possessive that Barbara felt trapped. She was 19 and thought she had her whole life a head of her and didn’t want anything too serious.
One night Richard wanted Barbara to go to Sylvia’s bar with him, a local hangout in Hoboken. She wasn’t really feeling it but went anyway. She wasn’t a drinker or really into pool but did it to make Richard happy. When they had gotten there Richard introduced Barbara to Sylvia, the owner of the establishment. Sylvia was so rude to Barbara she demanded they leave which prompted a serious conversation she would have with Richard. One she would never forget.
Barbara tried to let Richard down easy a few days later. While they were in the car she told him she wanted to see her friends and she felt a bit smothered. That she wanted to see other guys and wanted to take it easy with Richard. As she was telling him all of this, rage filled inside of him and he pulled a knife out from under his seat and held it behind Barbara as she was breaking it off with him. Then he jabbed it into her shoulder, stabbing her with the blade. She screamed and saw blood running down her arm. When she asked why he would do that he said that it was a warning. When she said she was going to tell her family about this he told her coldly, I will kill your entire family how about that?
The next day he showed up at her work with flowers and was acting all sweet. He told her all the bullshit narcissists say when they are losing control “ I just cant lose you. I couldn’t handle it. Lets try, I love you, I wanna marry you”… but soon after Richard was becoming more and more physically abusive and threatening. Sometimes he was sweet and tender but he had no reservations about beating, hitting, kicking or slapping Barbara. She soon became pregnant but didn’t want to marry Richard and tried to leave without telling him. She took out all of her savings and moved to Florida, to her fathers house.
When Richard found out Barbara left NJ he lost it. He kept showing up at her mothers house asking where she went. Her mother didn’t tell him but he kept coming back. One day she told Richard that he was still married and that Barbara was a good girl. So Richard said he would divorce his wife if he had the money to pay the lawyer to write the papers. Barbara’s mother then offered up the money to make sure it was finalized and promised to tell him where Barbara was only after he had gotten a divorce. And of course he did.
He eventually moved to Florida and had shown up unannounced at Barbaras fathers home. He showed Barbara the divorce papers and that he was sorry. That he would be a good father and that he wanted to be with Barbara. She took him back again because of fear and she had felt kinda sorry for him. She had gotten him a job and soon after they were married by the justice of the peace. But the honeymoon was so short lived when he caught Barbara having a cigarette outside of her fathers house. He told her she wasn’t to smoke and she had to do what he said. So he told her she couldn’t come to bed and made her sit on the stool all night in the cold. She stayed up freezing all night because Richard told her if she got up off the stool he was going to kill her father in front of her. She lost the baby the next day. In total Barbara lost 4 babies because of Richards abuse.
They moved back to NJ in 1962 and they stayed at her mothers house until they got back on their feet. Barbaras uncle Tony had gotten Richard a job at he 20th Century Delux film lab in Manhattan. Because money was tight he had started bootlegging the films and selling them on the streets for extra scratch. Richard was taking out his stress on Barbara again and was now beating the ever loving shit out of her in front of her mother and aunt. He explained that beating your wife was part of the normal order of things. It had gotten to be too much for the family and Barbara wanted a place of their own.
They moved to an apartment in west new York. The beatings continued to the point that he had fractured her ribs, broke her nose and blackened her eyes regularly. Barbara still stood up for herself because she was always an independent person who had no qualms about telling Richard how she felt about it. In comparison to his size she was tiny. Tiny but courageous. She lost her third baby because Richard beat her throughout the pregnancy and the baby was still born at 5months. She hated Richard at this point but was so afraid to leave because she knew he was serious about killing her family. She stopped having sex with him and he started raping her if she didn’t want to have sex. She became pregnant again and this time he promised not to beat her while she was pregnant, nor hit the children, to only hit her after she had given birth.
They moved again to cliffside park and money was really tight but Richard still wasn’t trying to go back to the criminal lifestyle because he had promised Barbara that he wouldn’t. This was short lived though because he decided to pull off a truck heist with a couple of buddies. Unfortunately, things went awry and he ended up shooting 2 men during the heist but ended up finishing the job and getting the money. The two murders were never linked to Richard and the police had no clues to who had done this.
Merrick was born in 1964 and he was so elated because he wanted a daughter. He thought having a boy would take the attention off of him because he would have to compete with another male for Barbara. Merrick had health problems though and was always in and out of the hospital which made things tighter with money. Piling hospital bills and Richard still working a regular job made it almost impossible to get by. That’s when Richard decided to pull off another heist. A truck load of Casio watches. He found a buyer and agreed on the price. They stole the load and drove it back to the buyer. Unfortunately, the buyer lowered the amount of money he was going to pay Richard saying that he wasn’t going to pay him the 75000 he was originally going to pay and lowered it to 55000. So Richard shot him and the two men unloading the truck. He found another buyer and sold the whole lot. When the police found the men they thought it was mob related and Richard was never questioned about this murder either.
Richard needed more cash so he went into business with his coworkers making and selling x rated movies. He met Anthony Argrila who was part of the Gambino crime family. Anthony and Paul Rothenburg decided to buy the entire lot of films off of Richard. After that deal, Richard kept selling to the Gambino crime family. He was making pretty good money too bootlegging porn.
Richard pulled off another heist and paid a farmer to stash the truck in his barn. When Richard and his crew found a buyer they came back to pick up the truck. The farmer said he didn’t know what happened to the truck but it wasn’t there anymore. This is when shit gets real. Richard starts torchuring the man because he wont tell him where his truck went. He ties him to a tree and gets a flare from his car. He puts the lit flare under the mans foot and burns it until the bones are sticking out asking him over and over again where his truck was. This farmer was adamant he didnt know where it was. So he took the flare to the other foot and burned all of the skin off of his other foot and still he farmer said he didn’t know where the truck went. He took a second flare to the mans testicles and burned the skin and jeans off of him and this is when the farmer finally tells him his friend down the street has it on his farm. They then drive to the other farm to find the truck and this guy says he doesn’t know where it is. When they threatened him though, he gave it up pretty quickly after they pistol whipped him.. They took the farmer back to the other farmers farm and then shot both men dead so there weren’t any witnesses.
It was after this heist that Richard bought Barbara a home in west new York.
Richard was still getting into to trouble and murdering people. One night Richard had gotten arrested after getting into an altercation with two men his brother owed money to. Joseph Richard and the two men ended up in a jail cell together and Richard contacted an attorney. The attorney informed Richard that the police in New York City were so corrupt that if he had 3000 dollars he could take care of his offenses. Richard called John Hamil and had him bring the 3 grand to his lawyer. After his attorney paid off the Judge he dismissed his charges and let him go free. That day he told his brother Joseph he would never help him out of a jam again.
Soon after Joseph would get himself into some serious trouble. On september16th 1970 at 12:30am a dog was howling and barking, keeping the neighborhood awake. A few of the neighbors called the police because of the incessant barking. That’s when they found the body of a 12 year old girl named Pamela Dial.
Pam was a strait A student at St Anne’s parochial school and lived a block or two away from Joseph and Anna Kuklinski. She loved her dog named Lady and they were inseparable. Pam knew Joseph from the neighborhood and thought he was attractive. It was approximately 11pm when she left the house to find her dog lady. She didn’t tell her parents she was leaving that night. When she located lady she started on her way home with the dog. That’s when she ran into Joseph Kuklinski. They were friendly so they chatted as they walked along. Joseph asked if Pam wanted to be alone with him, Joseph was 25 years old. Pam didn’t know what she was agreeing to and sheepishly went with him up to the top of a four story building to hang out alone. When they had reached the roof Joseph was stinking of alcohol and tried to get pam to have sex with him. She refused, so he forcefully sodomized her and strangled her to death. When he was finished he grabbed her and threw her off of the top of the building. Her dog was freaking out and barking. He was having trouble trying to catch the dog but when he finally did he threw the dog off of the roof and lady landed next to Pam’s dead body. The dogs legs were broken and Lady was crying and barking.
A witness said they had seen joseph talking to pam the night before and they went to Anna’s home and arrested Joseph. When anna called Richard he couldn’t believe what he was hearing. He had to see for himself. He drove up to the Police station and spoke with Joseph. He admitted to killing and Raping 12 year old Pamela Dial. When Richard asked Joseph why he did it, Joseph said “ because she wanted it.” Richard was sick about it because even though he was a serial killer he had a twisted moral code never to kill women and children. He was disgusted with his brother and vowed to never speak to him again. Joseph was convicted and given a life sentence that he would serve in Trenton’s state Prison.
Richard kept printing porn films and was getting fronted money for the x rated films from Argrila and Rothenburg. Richard kept making excuses to the Gambino crime family as to why he didn’t have the money. Behind the backs of the Gambino family he started making his own movies and used Argrila’s money to fund these porn films. He hired producers and film girls to make the movies and was promising a lot of money to a lot of people and not delivering. Richard was making a lot of enemies.
Richard longed to be a mafia guy but knew he would never be part of them because he wasn’t Italian. That’s when he decided to start his own gang. He was the boss and he gathered 4 other men to be apart of this criminal enterprise: Al Rinke, Gary Smith, Danny Deppner and Percy House. Richard met these guys, over the years, from frequenting Phil Solimene’s store. The 5 of them formed a burglary ring. They broke into houses all over NJ and stole everything they could carry. They even had stolen cars right from peoples garages. They would let Phil Solimene sell the goods and then he would split the profits with the gang.
Percy House was the foreman of the gang but none of them had so much as a highschool education. That left Richard to be the brains of the group. They all feared Richard because around town he had a reputation of being a murderer.
1. On September 25th 1983 the body of Louis Masgay was discovered near a town park in Orangetown, New York, with a bullet hole in his head. Masgay disappeared over two years earlier on July 1st 1981. That was also the day he went to meet Richard to purchase a huge quantity of blank videocassette recorder tapes.
After shooting Masgay, Richard stored his body in a freezer for months before dumping his body. His body was found wrapped in plastic garbage bags, which kept it partially frozen when it was found. The rockland County medical examiner found ice crystals inside of the body on a warm September day. Which gave off some red flags that his time of death couldn’t really be determined.
Investigators realized that Masgay was wearing the same clothes his family described him wearing when he went missing the year before. The discovery of this particular victim is how Richard had gotten the nick-name “the ICEMAN”.
Masgay ran a variety store in Forty Fort, Pennsylvania. He was a frequent customer of Phil Solimenes and often played cards at Phil’s “store front”. Masgay once bought a huge score of blank videos from Phil and Richard and he wanted some more. He began peskering Richard about the tapes. He was relentless and wouldn’t let it go. Masgay showed up at the store asking Phil to call Richard to set up this deal. Richard said he would be there in an hour. Richard came to Phils store with a 22 caliper pistol and surprised Masgay when he was on the john. Shot him right there in the bathroom.
Phil and Richard put Masgay’s body into black trashbags and jimmied open the panel in Masgay’s car. There they fount 95,000 dollars for the video tapes. They split the money down the middle and put Masgay’s body into the van. They took his body to a warehouse in North Bergen and threw him down a well. Put a tire over top of the body and poured cement down into the hole. Richard drove Masgay’s van to the turnpike and left it there.
Phil had a big mouth and told Percy House all about the murder of Masgay, and how Richard also killed George Malliband. The game of telephone ensued and before they knew it over 12 people knew about both murders.
2. George Malliband’s body was discovered on Feb 5th 1980, partially in a 55-gallon drum, near Chemitex chemical plant in Jersey city. Malliband was found with the tendons severed in his leg. Appearing that they were severed to try to fit his body into the drum. Unfortunately it did not work however because the drum was found with Malliband’s leg handing out of the barrel.
When investigators started questioning those close to Malliband, they discovered that
Richard was meeting with Malliband to make a deal on some Video tapes, and that
Malliband was carrying around $27,000 dollars to purchase said tapes. When Malliband’s
brother was interviewed, he told investigators exactly that.
Now that you get a picture of Richard’s alleged gang related activities and grandiose stories of murder and mob ties, lets talk about how Richard came to the attention of Investigators. An informant, one of Richard’s gang members, informed on Richard saying that he could help investigator Pat Kane connect Richard to the burglaries in NJ. He was caught robbing a home by the owner and when arrested he was singing like a canary.
Kane took the informant to all the houses they robbed and wrote down every single address. The informant, over a two day period, pointed out 43 houses. Kane knew his work was cut out for him because he had to check these addresses against the burglaries in these areas that had been committed. The informant seemed to be a good lead because he knew some of the items stolen from the homes. The informant named all the members of the gang and they were able to find an arrest Percy House. None of the other gang members could be located so Kane started building a file on Richard.
Kane started noticing that Richard was the last person seen with the victims of 5 unsolved homicides. It raised more than an eyebrow, in headquarters. So Kane and other investigators put together a task force they called “operation Iceman”.
The ATF decided to get involved at one point to prosecute Richard for sales of fire arms and goods protected by the US government. ATF special Agent Dominick Polifrone went undercover for an 18 month sting to apprehend Richard.
So lets talk about some of the unsolved murders that police were linking Richard too….
1. Paul Hoffman was a 51 year old pharmacist who occasionally browsed “the store” in Paterson, NJ. What the store was, was a storefront with a back room to make back deals on stolen goods. Hobbman hoped to make some profits off of Tagamet ( which was a popular drug at the time for threating peptic ulcers) so he could sell them at his pharmacy at full price. He thought Richard could get access to this drug and begged him to make Hoffman a deal.
According to Associates of Hoffman, he was last seen on April 29th 1982. He was last seen leaving to meet Richard… His body was never recovered.
2. Gary Smith was a part of Richard’s gang of bandits. Things were getting hot with law enforcement and Richard was becoming paranoid. Smith vocalized that he was going to stop committing burglaries and go strait. Richard was in fear that his gang members would start squealing on him, especially Smith.
So Richard was catching wind of all of the heat on him and his boys. Richard decided to tell the boys to rent a motel room in North Bergen, NJ to lay low.
When Smith’s guard was down, he left the motel to visit his daughter. Little did smith know that he was fed a hamburger laced with Cyanide prior to his leaving. When Richard and the boys realized the cyanide was slow to work, Daniel Deppner decided to strangle him with a Lamp Cord. Daniel’s sister Barbara was supposed to bring a car to move Smith’s body. Unfortunately she never returned that night with the car.
Richard and Daniel put smith’s body in between the mattress and the box spring of the motel room and just left. Motel staff never noticed the body and Motel guests kept complaining of a smell coming from the room. It took 4 whole ass days for the motel manager to investigate the smell and when he flipped the mattress up, he found Smith’s decomposing body, on top of the box spring.
3. Daniel Deppner moved into an apartment in Bergenfield, NJ to hide out. This apartment was one that Rich Patterson owned (Fiancé of Richard’s daughter Merrick). Patterson was away, at the time, but Richard had the keys to the apartment and decided to let Deppner hide there. When Patterson had come home, he discovered a bloody carpet in his house. Richard asked Patterson to help dispose of Deppner’s body.
What he told Patterson was a little far fetched but he went along with it anyway. Richard told Patterson that Deppner was a friend in trouble with law enforcement. That someone had broken in and killed him over the weekend. That it was best to dump the body to avoid trouble with the police. They brought Deppner’s body to a wooded area of West Milford, NJ and dumped it.
On May 14th 1983, Deppner’s body was discovered by a cyclist riding on Clinton Road. He saw vultures surrounding an area and when he checked it out he saw some green garbage bags. Upon closer examination he realized these were human remains. When medial examiner’s viewed the body of Daniel Deppner they surmised that he had been poisoned by cyanide, because his skin had red blotches all over it. His stomach contents showed he had partially digested food and burnt beans inside. Which told the medical examiner that he had a home cooked meal. Deppner’s body was only found 3miles from the ranch where Richard and the family went horseback riding.
ATF special agent Dominick started his undercover sting operation in 1985. Kane and Dominick worked with Phil Solimene, a close long time friend and associate of Richards. The buffer of having Phil helped Dominic get close to Richard. Dominic presented himself to Richard as a mafia connected associate and started out trying to buy a hand-gun muffler combo from Richard. He had shown up to the meeting wired and recorded every conversation he had with Richard.
In some of the recordings Richard talked about a guy he kept in a freezer for two and a half years, that he preferred poison to more messier options and how he killed a man once with a cyanide hamburger. At this point he asked Dominick if he could get him some pure cyanide from his mafia connections.
Dominick told Richard he wanted to hire him to murder this rich Jewish cocaine dealer and recorded Richard talking about how he would do it. Richard also bragged about his plans to kill a couple of rats. In which he was referring to (Barbara Deppner and Percy House)
On December 17th 1986, After a lot of work on Dominick’s part, he met with Richard to give him the Cyanide he promised Richard for the hit. Undenounced to Richard, the hit was going to be on another undercover officer. Dominick gave Richard the cyanide and then Richard went for a walk. He took the cyanide and gave a little bit to a stray dog. He used some hamburger as bait. Nothing happened to the dog because the cyanide was fake. Richard became extremely suspicious of Dominick and decided not to murder the mark. Instead, Richard went home and was arrested at a roadblock the police set up, two hours later.
During the arrest, his wife, Barbara flipped out. She interfered with the arrest and she was charged with disorderly conduct. In the vehicle, police found a firearm under the seat Barbara was sitting in, on the passenger side. She was then also charged with possession of a firearm.
Richard was charged with 5 murder counts and six weapons violations, as well as attempted murder, robbery, and attempted robbery. It was discovered that Richard had huge sums of money hidden in Swiss bank accounts and a reservation to fly there. He was held on 2 million dollar bail and was forced to surrender his passport.
At a press conference, NJ state attorney General said, that the motive for the murders was “profit” and that he set up individuals for business deals, they disappeared, and the money ended up in his hands.
In trial, Percy House and Barbara Deppner testified against Richard. Atf Special agent Dominick also gave opposing testimony about Richard. The case was prosecuted by Deputy Attorney General Robert Carrol. Richard was represented by a public defender. Richard’s lawyer used the defense that he was just a scary looking guy but had no history of violence in his past. That he was just talking tough to Dominick in their meetings and that it was all lies pretty much. The defense said that Deppner was solely responsible for the murder of Gary Smith. The defense also argued that House and Deppner were given immunity for turning on Richard which made them not reliable.
In March of 1988, jurors found Richard guilty of murdering Smith and Deppner, but found the deaths were not proven to be by Richards conduct, meaning he wouldn’t face the death penalty. He was sentenced to 60 years in prison.
After the trials, Richard pled guilty to the murders of Masgay and Malliband, in which he was sentenced to two more life sentences to be served consecutively. Richard also confessed to killing hoffman but prosecutors decided not to go to trial because they had a weak case and additional life sentences wouldn’t have impacted Richard’s life at all. Just with the other 4 he would be dead before he served them all.
As part of Richards plea bargain, his wife’s charges were dropped and his sons marijuana charge was dismissed. He was incarcerated in Trenton state prison.
Unfortunately for his family, they were broke. The bank accounts were seized, and Barbara urged Richard to go on television because HBO and other shows were promising a lot of money to talk to him. So, during his incarceration he granted interviews to prosecutors, psychiatrists, criminologists, and writers. Television producers from HBO made three televised documentaries known as the Iceman Tapes, in 1992,2001 and 2003.
During the last of the three documentaries, the iceman and the psychiatrist, Dr Park Dietz diagnosed him as suffering from Anti-social personality disorder and paranoid personality disorder. Anthony Bruno and Philip carlo wrote biographies of his life and a portion of the profits went to Richard’s wife Barbara.
NOW THIS IS WHEN I DROP A TWIST ON YOU…
In various interviews Richard claimed to have murdered up to 100 people and in others he claimed to murder shy of 200 people. During this podcast I brought up some of those confessions he made, including killing people with numerous weapons, picking off homeless people and feeding some people to rats in caves. Most of these claims were in Carlos book and in the three part docuseries made by HBO.
Police Authorities throughout the country tried to corroborate cases that Richard claimed to have been a part of but none of them were true. None could be corroborated and some were strait up lies. In 2020, Dominick Polifrone said,” I don’t believe he killed two hundred people, I don’t believe he killed a hundred people, Ill go as high as 15… Maybe”
Richards claims that he was a mafia contract killer working for the five families of NYC as well as the DeCavalcante family of NJ were all killed by other people. In fact, most of the mob related people were interviewed and none of them even knew who Richard was. Former Colombo family, Michael Franzese called Richard a “pathological liar” and said, “I spent 25 years in that life, on the street. I never heard his name mentioned once. NOT ONCE”
Richard’s claims to have dumped bodies in the caves of Bucks County PA were refuted, when investigators said no human remains were ever found in those caves. No blood, no bones, nothing. The Philadelphia inquirer noted in 2013 that the caves have a lot of visitors and no remains were discovered. Also Local cave enthusiast Richard Kranzel also stated “ the only rats I’ve encountered in caves are cave rats and they are reclusive and shy creatures, and definitely not fierce as Kuklinski claims”.
Richard also claims to have stored a corpse in a Mister Softee truck for two years and investigators doubt that is even true. The Mister softee truck was linked to Robert Prongay who was murdered in 1984, shot multiple times in the head, and discovered inside his mister softee truck. The motive of his murder wasn’t believed to be robbery. Richard claimed that prongay taught him how to use poisons to commit murders. Prongay was an ex-military man who went bad, allegedly. Richard claimed it was prongay who told him to freeze the body of Masgay to confuse the time of death. Richard remains the prime suspect in the Prongay death, but no charges were ever filed because of lack of evidence.
One of the claims Richard made was killing Gambino crime family member, Roy Demeo. Author Jerry Capeci, who had written about the mafia family doubts that even happened or that Richard was even telling the truth about having close ties to the mafia family. Most sources close to Roy Demeo claim it was other mafia members who killed Roy. That it was definitely not Richard.
In a 2001 HBO interview Richard said he killed NYPD officer Peter Calabro. He was ambushed and shot dead by an unknown gunman on March 14th 1980. Calabro was a crooked cop who had connections to the mafia. Investigators believe the Gambino family was responsible for the murder of Calabro and the death of his wife. However, after Richard’s claims, Bergen County Prosecutors office decided to proceed with the case even though they thought the confession was bogus. In Feb 2003, Richard was charged with Calabro’s murder and received another sentence of 30 years.
Richard claimed to have waited on a snow-covered road for Calabro to drive by. That he laid in a snowbank and blocked the road with the van, watching from underneath the van for the car to approach. He claimed he shot Calabro with a shot gun and his car crashed. Richard claimed he was paid by the Gambino crime family soldier Sammy “the bull” Gravano. Even though Gravano was offered no additional jail time to confess to the murder for hire, he rejected the plea bargain and the charges were dropped after Richard’s death in 2006.
Another outlandish tale that Richard confessed to was the murder of Jimmy Hoffa. Hoffa was a Teamster union president. At first he didn’t claim any involvement to Hoffa’s disappearance but later claimed he did. Richard stated that he was part of a 4 man kidnap team. They grabbed Hoffa in Detroit and Richard killed him in the car by stabbing him with a hunting knife. He said he drove Hoffa’s body from Detroit to a NJ junk yard and placed his body in a drum. He then claimed he set it on fire then buried it in the junkyard. Later dug it up and placed it in the trunk of a ar. Then had the car compacted into a cube and it was shipped off to Japan to be used to make a new car.
Deputy Chief Bob Buccino said “they took a body from Detroit, where they have one of the biggest lakes in the world, and drove it all the way back to new jersey? Come on. ” we didn’t believe a lot of the things he said”. Robert Garrity stated that Richard’s admission to killing Hoffa was a Hoax and that Richard was never a suspect in Hoffa’s disappearance.
With all the claims and lies Richard dumped all over these documentaries, its hard to say how many people he killed. Even the boy he said he killed at 15 doesn’t seem to exist. So I would have to call Richard Kuklinski a confession killer. I do believe he was probably guilty of 15 murders. I do not believe he was apart of the mafia. I do know he sold porno tapes to them but he was not involved with them. He was a low level crook who committed grand larceny and murder. Was he the most prolific serial killer the world has ever heard about? No.
In fact, the entire story of his crimes could all be bullshit. This is coming from the mouth of the only person alive to tell the tale. Police think he’s a liar and I do too. There are situations where the mafia had nothing to lose when connecting Richard to mafia hits. They never even acknowledge him even when they were ratting on each other. To them he would have been a nobody. So, to connect him to the crime families would have been nothing. They said they never even knew who he was.
Also his claims to have dismembered bodies in the Gemini lounge were refuted when police investigators said they had been watching the Gemini lounge for years… YEARS… and never seen his car there ONCE. Nor did they ever see him coming and going from the Gemini Lounge.
As far as his brother goes, Richard finally talked to him in prison, but only to say hi and bye.
I believe the guilt of leaving his family with nothing was enough for him to confess to the murders of so many people. I believe his lies are what made money for his wife. I really believe he did it for his family. BUT, I do not believe about 90 percent of his claims.
AND that’s the story of “the iceman”
If you want to check out more about the iceman, check out the HBO specials on him: The Iceman and the Psychiatrist and the Iceman Tapes. Also, there’s a good book I read about him called Confessions of a Mafia contract Killer by Philip Carlo (he edited his book numerous times to keep up with what was true and what wasn’t) but its still a good read.
The iceman and the psychiatrist: HBO
The Iceman Tapes
Richard Kuklinski - Crime Museum
The iceman confessions of a mafia contract Killer- Philip Carlo