Richard Kuklinski, also known as Iceman was an independent hitman for the mafia. The Italian mafia only inducts Italians. Richard was Polish which is why he never actually joined the family. However he was still one of their most effective assets.

Richard was born to parents Anna and Stanley. His father was so abusive, he killed his first son and his mother simply watched. Her only intervention was to pray to God to deliver them from that situation, according to Richard himself.

Richard first killed when he was thirteen. Richard was a young, shy boy with an inferiority complex who had been abused by many; the Catholic church he attended, the boys in the neighborhood who called him names and his father. So when Charley, one of the boys, called him a “Polack”( insult for Polish), he retaliated in rage. He hit him until the boy stopped moving. And then realizing he was dead, he got rid of the body.

His rage would eventually lead him to becoming a serial killer, sometimes killing people who so much as argued with him, especially when he’d been drinking.

His faith in religion dropped when on top of his mother’s inaction, he found her sleeping with the married man, next door. That ended it for him.

By the time he was nineteen, he’d formed his own gang and was drawing the attention of the mafia. Carmine Genovese, a man who would become his mentor, brought him into the contract business. During their first job, John Wheeler, who was the trigger man froze. So Richard took the gun, calmly walked to the target and shot him. That was the first time he was referred to as the Iceman, because of how cool he was whilst killing. However, the name became used more often because he was known to kill with an icepick.

Since then, Richard killed many. None of them were women, some on contract and others for pleasure. Most of them were homeless people who wouldn’t be missed so the police didn’t bother to investigate. His contract killings however had no witnesses, so they couldn’t be traced back to him.

He was even forced to kill two of his closest friends including John Wheeler when they dared to rob the mafia. It was either them or him and them.

He later married a woman named Linda and had three children with her. Somewhere along the line their relationship became strained. It isn’t hard to attribute this to his own strained relationship with his mother. And it didn’t help matters when his younger brother told him that his wife was cheating on him with Sammy, a man he played pool with.

He burst into the hotel and beat the man to a pulp. Then he “taught” his wife a lesson. He cut off her nipples.

Iceman was evidently a very disturbed individual, someone who internalized the violence around him and lashed back at the world.

Apart from his uncle Micky, every adult he knew was cruel to him. And yet I have no doubt that many will be fascinated by his dark deeds and troubled background. Not that I’m judging. Instead, stories like these remind me that each of us have darker natures within. Psychologists after all, say everyone is capable of becoming a psychopath. Reading such stories sometimes causes me to grapple with my own darker tendencies and work at making sure I don’t become famous for the wrong reasons.

After all, everyone, put in the right circumstance, can become a Hitler or an Iceman.



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