Richard Kuklinski, aka "the Ice Man," will go down as one of the most vicious killers in history.
Responsible for well over 200 murders, he is the man who claims a direct link to the killing of Jimmy Hoffa and he is one of the reasons for John Gotti's rise to power. the wife of one victim referred to him as "the devil." Yet behind every monster, even the most cold-blooded ones, there lies a human story.
After 240 hours of face-to-face interviews with Richard Kuklinksi and even more time spent with Kuklinski's family, Philip Carlo reveals all in The Ice Man. He led a double life: professional assassin and devoted family man. As described by his wife Barbara, Richard was two people. At times he was a model father that would return home with a car full of groceries and presents, and at other times he was a monster, frequently subjecting Barbara to abuse and leaving their children to watch in horror. But despite even his worst moments at home, his family never knew of his other life as a top hitman contracted by the bosses of east coast crime families.
On the day Richard was arrested, the police found not one single weapon in the house. His family never knew of the nights he would meander into Manhattan's Upper West Side and brutally kill whatever panhandler stepped in his path. In short, Richard Kuklinksi may have been one of the greatest enigmas ever.
PRAISE FOR THE ICE MAN
'A stomach-turning account of the multiple atrocities committed over 43 years by Richard "The Ice Man" Kuklinski' - Publishers Weekly
This stomach-turning account of the multiple atrocities committed over 43 years by Richard "The Ice Man" Kuklinski as sadistic a killer as most readers would ever want to encounter in print seems like more of an as-told-to than an independent journalistic narrative, though Carlo says that he verified Kuklinski's accounts where possible. But rather than critically assess Kuklinski's largely self-serving tales of his roles in such major mob killings as those of Jimmy Hoffa and Gambino boss Paul Castellano, Carlo (The Night Stalker) seems to accept them. Instead of applying objective insight into how such a murderer who researched methods that would prolong his victims' suffering came to be, the author presents instead chapter after chapter of Kuklinski summarily killing criminals he was hired to eliminate or randomly gunning down someone on the street to test out a new weapon. By disregarding the questions raised by Mafia experts such as Jerry Capeci about Kuklinski's credibility, Carlo has fumbled an opportunity. Sloppy errors (e.g., Rudy Giuliani served as U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, not the Eastern District) also detract from the book, which ends with a bizarre invitation to the reader to write to Kuklinski at the Trenton State Prison.