"There are two Richards, and I never knew who would be walking in the door. He could be generous to a fault, or the meanest man on Earth."
-Barbara Kuklinski, Richard's wife
"I felt nothing inside for any of them. Nothing. They had it coming and I did it. The only people I ever had any kind of real feelings for were my family. Those others, nothing. Sometimes I wonder why I'm like this, feel nothing inside...I wish someone could tell me. I'm curious."
Richard Leonard Kuklinski was born on April 11, 1935 to Stanley Kuklinski and Anna McNally Kuklinski. He was the second of four children his parents would eventually have. He had an older brother named Florian. Richard would have a younger brother, Joseph, and then a younger sister named Roberta. Florian would be killed by Stanley Kuklinski when Richard was still a child by accidentally hitting him too hard on the head. Richard's parents told the police that Florian had fallen down the stairs and hit his head. Barbara Kuklinski would tell Richard that Florian had been hit by a car. After Florian's death Barbara and Richard would become targets of Stanley's physical abuse.
Richard's brother Joseph would eventually be convicted of raping and murdering a twelve-year-old named Pamela Dial. He would be given a life sentence and sent to Trenton State Prison, where Richard would eventually be sent too.
Richard Kuklinski was eventually arrested on December 17, 1986, for the murders of five men. On December 18 he was charged in the New Jersey Supreme Court on 19 felony offenses. A jury would eventually find him guilty on all charges. He would eventually be given two life sentences. On May 25, 1988 Richard pleaded guilty to 2 charges of murder in order to have a gun charge against his wife and drug charges against his son thrown out.
Throughout his life before prison, Richard Kuklinski claimed to have committed a number of interesting murders. None of these could be proven. Some of the murders he claimed to have committed included:
-Richard claimed to have been contracted by Gambino crime family member Sammy Gravano for his killing of NYPD detective Peter Calabro. Gravano personally gave Richard the shotgun to use for the killing. Gravano didn't tell Richard that the man he was about to kill was a police officer. Richard would find out the day after he committed the crime. Gravano was charged but the charges were dropped when Kuklinski died before he could testify.
-He claimed to have been involved in the murder of Jimmy Hoffa. According to him Hoffa's body was put into a 50-gallon drum and buried in a junkyard. The drum was later dug up and smashed in a car compressor and then sold to a Japanese company as scrap metal.
-Richard claimed to be a part of the hit team that took out Bonanno crime family boss Carmine Galante. According to him he was the one waiting inside the restaurant and was the first to shoot Galante and his bodyguard.
-He claimed that he took several men to caves in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. He claimed that he took pictures and videos of his victims being eaten alive by rats. None of these videos and pictures were ever recovered. Richard claimed he showed some of the films to the men who had asked for the killings.
-Richard claimed to have helped kill Gambino Boss Paul Castellano. He said that he shot and killed Castellano and his bodyguard.
Richard Kuklinski died on March 6, 2006 at 1:03 a.m. at St. Vincent's Hospital in Trenton, New Jersey. The charge against Sammy Gravano for his involvement for the murder of Peter Calabro was dropped. Richard left behind a wife, Barbara Kuklinski, and three children, Merrick, Christin, and Dwayne Kuklinski.
Source: The Ice Man: confessions of a Mafia contract killer by Philip Carlo
Published by St. Martin's Press ©2006; by Philip Carlo