Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Ice Man: Confessions of a Mafia Hitman


Source Google Video


Source Google Video

Richard Kuklinski, the Ice Man, is a self-professed Mafia contract killer. He claims to have killed approximately 100 people. He has gained enormous notoriety through two documentaries, including the one linked above. The two-part HBO documentary led to a lucrative book deal. However, the majority of his claims are unverifiable, including his links to organized crime.

Kuklinski was convicted of two murders in court; and sentenced to two life sentences. In court, he confessed to two other murders. Apart from these four murders, all of whom were close criminal associates of Kuklinski, there is only circumstantial evidence of his guilt. In some of the mob-related murders he claims as his own, evidence strongly implicates other men. The two documentaries and his biography are very fuzzy on details pertaining to murders other than the four mentioned earlier. He made his initial interview in 1991-1992. He returned to fame ca. 2002 when he intimated that ke killed Jimmy Hoffa, a rumor he dispelled later. Incidentially, the Hoffa reference came out around the same time as his biography was supposed to be published.

Although he is popularized as a serial killer, the prosecutor who convicted him made it clear that Kuklinski was not a serial killer because the four confirmed murders to his credit were all clearly business-related. Aside from his own biography, there are few, if any, books on organized crime that even mention him. However, Kuklinski was a criminal, and a murderer. His story, if not entirely accurate, does reveal the personality of a murderer.

Resources:

In the Library:
  • Demaris, Ovid. The last Mafioso : the treacherous world of Jimmy Fratianno. New York: Times Books [WorldCat]
  • Brandt, Charles. "I Heard You Paint Houses" : Frank "The Irishman" Sheeran and the inside story of the Mafia, the Teamsters,and the Last Ride of Jimmy Hoffa. Hanover, N.H. : Steerforth Press. [WorldCat]
On the Web:

  • Nathanson Center (York University) [Link]
  • Gang Rule [Link]