Richard Kuklinski was one of the hitmen and criminals of his time who virtually did everything bad in the books, ranging from narcotics, arms, money laundering, and hijacking, as well as a contract killing of people. He was not satisfied doing it small or quietly but expanded the frontiers of his operations which eventually led to his inevitable downfall and arrest.
Kuklinski was associated with some American Mafia families like the DeCavalcante and Gambino. He boasted to have killed more than 200 persons in his lifetime, though he was convicted for the murder of 6 persons.
Richard Kuklinski Biography
Richard Kuklinski was an American criminal and hitman born on the 11th of April, 1935 at Trenton, New Jersey. His full given name was Richard Leonard Kuklinski and he hailed from the Polish and Irish descent. Kuklinski grew up in the 4th street, New Jersey City, in a very abusive home with an alcoholic father that whooped his ass at every given opportunity and a high handed mother, also known to beat the crab out of him. Though he was raised as Catholic by his mother, he later rejected the way and doctrines of Catholicism.
As a teenager, he was said to have been very cruel to domestic animals in his neighborhood, such as cats and dogs, sometimes tying their tails together and watching them fight, or throwing them into incinerator watching them till they became consumed in the fire. It, therefore, did not come as a surprise to many when the troubled young man chose crime as a way of life and career path.
Criminal Activities and Crime Style
He beat Charley Lane, a teenage gang leader who mercilessly bullied him, to death in 1949 just when he was 14 years old. By the time he was in his 20s, he had gotten into association with Gambino crime family with other gangsters like Roy DeMeo, committing crimes from the petty ones, to big organized crimes, intimidating people with his huge physique and perfecting his expertise in the murder of the person of interests.
After 30 years of rolling with the crime family, he finally broke out on his own, to profit solely for himself through criminal activities and solely took up killing contracts for the mafias. He started playing fast games on his contracts such as double-crossing his clients.
He soon met his waterloo with the discoveries of some people he had murdered such as Gary Smith, his former partner in crime whose decomposing body was seen under the bed in a York Motel in New Jersey; Daniel Deppner, Louis Masgay, etc. Richard Kuklinski also confessed to the killing a New York Police Detective, Peter Calabro on the instruction of the Gambinos’ for which he got 30 years jail sentence. Richard was not like other serial killers. He lived a normal life as everyone else and he did not do drugs, women or alcohol like most of his associates.
Richard employed different methods for executing his kills ranging from the use of knives, tire iron, lamp wires, clubbing, fire, explosives, guns, asphyxiation, and his most favorite then, the use of cyanide because of its ability to stay undetected in toxicology test. He disposed of his victims by feeding them to cave rats, freezing their bodies in industrial freezers for years to hide the time of death, use of 55-gallon oil drums, dismembering of body parts, and also burials. Despite his ruthlessness, he never killed women and children.
Other Family Members – Parents and Siblings
Richard was born to a Polish alcoholic father, Stanislaw Stanley Kuklinski and an Irish mother, Anna McNally. His father was a brakeman in Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad. He also had an older brother, Florian and two younger siblings; Roberta and Joseph. Florian died at the age of eight from the wounds he received from the severe beatings by his father. Joseph was later convicted for the rape and murder of a 12-year-old girl in 1970.
Family – Wife, Daughters, Son
Richard was a family man who was faithful in catering to the needs of his family whom he adored very much. He was married twice, first to a woman nine years older than he was and their union had two sons while his second marriage was to Barbara Pedrici whom he met in the warehouse where he worked. They got married in 1961, and have 2 daughters and a son together. The names of this children are Richard Jr., David, Merrick, Christin, and Dwayne.
Other Facts About Richard Kuklinski – Books, Death
A three-part documentary was made and aired in 1992, 2001 and 2003 respectively by the HBO about the crime life of Richard Kuklinski. Anthony Bruno, a writer, after his several interviews with Richard wrote a book entitled The Iceman: The True Story of a Cold-Blooded Killer from which a film was adapted in 2013 with Michael Shannon acting as Richard Kuklinski.
He confessed to knowing what happened to Jimmy Hoffa, who disappeared without a trace in 1975 during one of the numerous interviews which he granted. He claimed the labor leader was burnt and his ashes put into a drum that was initially buried but later shipped out in a compacted car to Japan for fear of being discovered after one of the accomplices of the murder was apprehended by the law enforcement agency.
Richard was diagnosed with an incurable disease while in prison in October 2005 and transferred to the St. Francis Medical Center where he suffered a cardiac arrest that led to his death on March 5, 2006. He died at the age of 70 and his body was cremated and the ash was said to be given to his daughter, Merrick.