Richard Kuklinski was a hit man who worked for the mafia in New York from the 1960s all the way to the 1980s. He had a long and “prosperous” career working for the mafia. According to many people around, he was known to have a quick temper which would flare up. He would also beat people in rage and kill them.
His brutal attention is what brought Richard to the attention of the mafia. They hired him as a contract hit man. Kuklinski was chosen because of his ability to kill a random, innocent target without remorse.
Here are some brutal facts about the infamous predator killer.
Born into a abusing family
You can say the writing was on the wall for Richard. He was born in 1935 to a world of poverty and abuse. His father Stanley beat his wife and their children. When he was only five, his father beat his eight-year old elder brother to death.
His father Stanley had a penchant for punching the little boy in the back of the head whenever he was drunk or in a bad mood.
Richard had zero fondness for his mother, considering her a broken woman and refer to her as “cancer”.
He was a teenager when he committed his first murder
Richard was only 13 years old when he committed his first murder. Bullied growing up in school, in the streets, and at home, things culminated when he beat his childhood bully to death.
Richard went with the intention to get the kid off his back. But he couldn’t stop hitting him. By the time Kuklinski stopped, Charley Lane was not moving. Richard would then pull out all his teeth and cut off the fingertips so the body couldn’t be identified.
He got the idea from reading crime magazines. Richard quickly developed a reputation as someone not to mess with.
Killing a police man
Richard was 16 when he committed his first premeditated murder. He killed a police man named Officer Doyle. Why? Because the officer made fun of him during a pool game.
So, Richard set the man on fire and watched him burn alive. How is that for a sociopath?
Killing for sport
As a young man, Richard also killed homeless men for sport. He provoked fights with people around the Upper East Side of Manhattan. That killer hobby began when a homeless man accosted him for money and wouldn’t take no as an answer. Kuklinski would then stab him and leave him dying in the gutter.
Richard said he enjoyed walking past the dead body on his way back home afterward. It gave him a sense of accomplishment.
Shooting a random person with a crossbow
There is so much evidence about the psychopath of Richard Iceman Kuklinski. Here is another one. At one point, he shot a random motorist with a crossbow just to see how it worked.
Richard found a new weapon on the side of the road. He then politely called over a stranger. But then shot him in the eye with the weapon.
When asked why, the Iceman said he wanted to see if the crossbow worked. This murder is the best proof why they called him the Iceman. He was so cold-hearted.
Born Without Fear
The Iceman was not only a sociopath, he had other predispositions. Psychologist found out he was born with a genetic predisposition to fearlessness. In other words, he was scared of nothing.
Forensic psychologist Dr. Park Dietz explained, “Richard rarely experiences anything that begins to resemble nervousness or fear. It takes extreme things to make him have a sense of impending danger. Normal people get fearful about a wide variety of things and would be beside themselves with the kinds of experiences he had on a weekly basis”.
According to the doctor, had he were able of feeling fear, he could not have done the things he did.
The Mafia called him The Devil Himself
Mobsters who feared the Iceman called him “The Devil Himself”. He never had a problem discussing his brutal methods even with the mafia bosses.
He listed firearms, hand grenades, ice picks, crossbows, and more methods of killing.
The Family Man Façade
While he was going around and killing people for the mafia, Richard retained the family man façade. He was married to Barbara Kuklinski and had two sons, David and Richard Jr. from his previous wife Linda.
He met secretary Barbara Pedrici at work, and then divorced his first wife. The undercover agent who arrested him said, “Richard never socialized, gambled, or messed around with other women. He lived for his wife and kids”.
But Barbara says he was not the family man people thought he was.
His wife was the only surviving victim
Richard even tried to kill his wife Barbara at one point. When she didn’t want to date him anymore, he stabbed her in the back.
Then she got pregnant, and to protect her honor, her family insisted to marry him. Once they were married, he would beat Barbara so often that she had three miscarriages before their first child was born.
The most terrifying thing about Kuklinski was his methodical approach to killing. Once he had agreed on the fee, nothing would stand in his way.
According to attorneys, “He is not a serial killer. He is not a drug-crazed wild man running around with a machine gun. He doesn’t think, he doesn’t gamble, all of these things which many persons who are involved in murder are motivated by. He is a predator on human beings”.
Threatening his children
While beating his wife, Richard would tell his children that if he ever accidentally beat his wife to death, he would have to kill them too.
Richard would go to great lengths not to beat his children. Sometimes he would punch himself in the face until he passed out.
Richard had many methods of execution, but he got more and more creative. His favorite ways were cyanide poisoning and feeding people alive to his warehouse full of rats.
He would slip cyanide poisoning into people’s sandwiches, or just inject them with a syringe. He also practice a move he called The Tree. He would tie a rope around a person’s neck and throw them over his shoulder, effectively hanging them until dead.
A Movie about Him
In 2013, the movie The Iceman was released. It tells the story of Richard, a contract killer who kills for pleasure and personal gain.
In the movie, his family abandons him and moves away when he is arrested, same thing that happens in reality.
Michael Shannon portrays Richard, and the movie also stars Ray Liotta as Roy Demeo, Winona Ryder as Deborah Kuklinski, James Franco, Chris Evans, Ehud Bleiberg, David Schwimmer, and more.