The Iceman: Confessions of a Mafia Hitman

The Iceman: Confessions of a Mafia Hitman

2001, Crime  -   43 Comments
Ratings: 8.30/10 from 174 users.

The Iceman is an appropriate title for this pair of HBO specials, because the words of former Mafia enforcer Richard Kuklinski will chill you to the bone.

Speaking in the monotonous drone of a man who has numbed himself with remorseless brutality, Kuklinski was first interviewed in 1991, five years after receiving consecutive life sentences for multiple murders.

Specializing in the tidy use of cyanide, Kuklinski lived a double life, like the fictional hitmen in The Sopranos and Road to Perdition, passing as a "businessman" and devoted husband and father. He describes numerous killings in graphic detail, expressing nearly tearful regret only when lamenting the deception of his family.

A vicious product of child abuse, Kuklinski was visited again by HBO in 2001, but this shameless redundancy was an obvious attempt to capitalize on the Sopranos phenomenon. Fascinating as a firsthand record of Mafia killing, these otherwise unsavory interviews serve little purpose beyond morbid exploitation.

Directed by: Arthur Ginsberg

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43 Comments / User Reviews

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  1. Cyndee

    He is the only hit man that could get around Dave Morgan of Las Vegas Nevada. Morgan killed my sister, his ex wife , partners in business and has never been prosecuted because of age and no evidence. No Bodies no evidence . The Ice Man hands around that murdered s neck . Too bad he s dead. Morgan is still alive. id like to see Dave Morgan go up against him if he was still alive as they are so much alike. Stalking are both Fortes of theirs. I still have to live knowing that Bastard Morgan took my sister and many others.

    1. brenda

      I am so sorry for your loss.

  2. Wayne

    Ever since Iceman aka Richard there's been others that's been just as bad the man needed some prayers help him

  3. Wayne

    Iceman loved his family didn't give a shit about others around him .if it came down for the family believe I'll be talking to ya in another comment.

  4. Blaice

    Okay, about an hour and 50 minutes in hes talking about blowing a guys head off that is in a car. Meanwhile, he is on a bike, on a street, pulling out a shotgun, and shooting this dude's head off? How in the hell does no one see/hear this? Where do you stow a shotgun safely—concealed—on a motorcycle? His stories seem fabricated to some degree to say the least.

    The animal section really pissed me off too. This guy had a terrible past, but he is a real POS.

    1. Babyiceman

      If you think you can’t ride a motorcycle and a shotgun maybe in a back pack or under he’s clothes ,keep in mind that he’s a big person ,and actually shooting people while on a motorcycle is actually better and you have more chances on getting away ,,you probably dint grew up on the streets and haven’t experience much of this type of lifestyle ,but I can tell you that I doubt that he’s making that up and is very much possible and better to do a hit on motorcycle then a car ,your in and out so fast even if you can’t hide the shotgun that good ,your not gona be around that scene for no more then a few minutes ,by the time someone realizes you have a shotgun ,you mite be already on your way out ,disappearing from everyone

  5. morrisseyowesmemoney .

    He didn't enjoy what he did, he just became accustomed to doing it as a job. For what he did as a civilian on the orders of a paying client, some would call another a war hero if he was a soldier following the orders of a superior. He was someone that learned how to deal with the act of killing, not someone who was destined to perform the act.

    1. Sharon Ramella-Innamorato

      Not really. The majority of people he killed was before he was a hitman. He was a textbook sociopath.

    2. Bruce

      I agree totally. His father didn’t help any!

  6. Glen Dooer

    Violence is heredity like a lot of other mental issues such as religion, gambling, child abuse some one needs to keep an eye on his children.
    The sooner we pour heap of $$$$ in to how the mind works the better and sooner will will have peace.

    1. Torbjörn Wiren

      wont happen as it was never ,meent to be,when ever,the two sides of everything man/woman warm/cold you always end up to go to the other side ! cause you think one is better than the other ,sun is better than moon,and so on,find the middle path,peace/war,heaven/hell,find out where we are what we are,if you want to go to Canada first you have to know where you are etc good/bad luck!!!??? stay clear of Want so you can see why you get,and then ,ask your heart what it whant and Never let go !,You alreddy now have what it takes,go on

    2. Laurdess Valentino

      Violence is heredity? Dumbest thi...wait its horst manure. We call it bull $#!t where I am from

    3. I broke the law because my family did

      Good thing ignorance is not contagious

  7. Gustavo

    He just did what he learned at home. A violent father, a violent mother and religiosity in the middle of everything... the result: a serial killer.
    There are thousands like him and way many incubating with the same elements.

  8. brittany nelson

    lol, he killed random people too. everyone says they like him for "taking out bad guys" well, in the documentary he killed a random guy as "audition" for being a hit man. So which is it, folks?!

  9. YMCA_99

    He should be told to not to do it again and let home to his family...

  10. Ryan Moore

    i think deep down hes sorry 4 all the people he killed and his family obviously meant everything to him

  11. Trevor LeFiles

    I love learning. Life is the best teacher.

  12. Jordee

    There's a strange disconnect between watching a man you know has committed horrific crimes while at the same time being strangely drawn in and finding likeable traits about him.

    1. Torbjörn Wiren

      We all have everything inside ,and thats scary,but not if we take responceebillty !

    2. Sha


  13. the555hit

    15 mins of fame ho hum here we go again.. So happy to go on camera with all this stuff, dissembling the smirking pride.. 'look mum, stone cold killer ..and celebrity too!" Thanks Home Box Office, purveyor of coffins, putting once again the quality into violence, the violence into quality. You're clever bastids but ultimately you're on the side of the violence in people, helping it along, watching it grow.. By the way HBO did you ask Gandalfi to model his Tony on this guy? Some of the similarities of look and gesture are downright spooky. Not that we should confuse a mafia capo with a hitman. If you've come up by a hard path think of those you've taken slights from and wonder if you wouldn't like to taste what it was like for this guy who took an iron bar to his tormenters one time and for all. So up to a point he commands respect and a coward's envy but his Henry-the-serial-killer capacity for random murder spells the death sentence he should have suffered and didn't. And wouldn't he somehow just have enjoyed that too? Thanks again HBO, you took one nasty, admittedly intelligent , unrepentant serenely peacocking piece of s***, made up his face, put him in a leisure suit under nice lights and let him explain himself to our hankering ears and have all the ladees cream their knickers over this good and charming family (psychopath) man putting the lights out for bad guys everywhere (plus the odd unfortunate occasional collateral damage but hey.. it wasn't your random daddy he blew the brains out of was it? ). Oh yeah, child abuse. A mr. Brian Wilson came out of that one pretty damaged too but instead of going around popping crossbow bolts into peoples' foreheads he got to write some of the best music around -- so enough fkn excuses --- there's always a choice and it's the right of no one to take away the choice (life) of another.

  14. GoughLewis

    I thought this a great doc. He has a charm, but a man you would never want to know personally. Like knowing Tony Soprano. Stone cold killer. Killed a man randomly with a crossbow once, just to see if it would actually work. He thought this was funny. He murdered for the mob crime families, more than 200 people.

    "He boasted: "I beat them to death for exercise." He was called "the Ice Man" by New Jersey's Organised Crime and Racketeering Bureau investigators because he froze some of his victims, before dumping them so that forensics teams could not tell when the murder took place. For an additional price, Kuklinski would torture victims for hours, then leave them half-alive to be eaten by rats."

    Seriously, this doc will haunt you.

    Another Doc on The Iceman is "The Iceman Tapes: Conversations With a Killer" This is absolutely chilling.

  15. madcat

    This man is a wonderful example of a sociopathic antisocial individual. I saw this documentary about a decade ago, and I have never forgotten it. This is the reason I am watching this again~ I needed a subject for a paper I need to write for Abnormal Psychology. The assignment requires an infamous person in history that demonstrates characteristics of maladaptive behavior, or personality disorder. I see in previous comments that some believe he is a, "fake". Really? I think maybe this persons perception is not quite up to par. This documentary clearly demonstrates characteristics of an individual with no conscious and no remorse. He also demonstrated narcissistic traits.

  16. Richard

    I believe him. Of course he stretches it a little like any criminal. What I don't get is if he's so worried about his family and what they think of him, then why is he acting so stone cold for the camera?

  17. suppahtime

    AWESOME doc. I loved it..I had no idea there was a book, so now I need to find that for sure..Highly recommended !

  18. Lord Bob Fates

    Dead, and taking it up the @ss in Hell.

  19. MIchael22541

    Hello Amigos!

  20. celticwarrior

    another comment of mine edited and deleted from your comment page,what is it with you people who run this site,only replys that you agree with are allowed is that it,maybe you should say this at the start so i wont be wasting my time watching docs and leaving the posts.

  21. celticwarrior

    just finished reading the book and watching the docs on the iceman and i am finding it hard not to like this guy,truly one of the most intriging men to have roamed the streets of the messed up usa..r.i.p big rich.

  22. Phil

    amazing to watch and try to understand, not the image as seen in the movies, just like the killers who roamed the streets of Belfast in the 70's different cause, same attitude to the value of life

    1. Declan Walsh

      Yea the murders who roamed the streets of Belfast where there British Army

    2. haha

      and your "fellow" men. Timothy.

  23. Philip M Koenig

    I grew up in New Jersey around the time that this "wack Job" serviced the surrounding tri-state area, NY, PA, and NJ. The fact that the typical television observer of our era finds this clown capable blows me away. After spending five minutes in front of the box watching this c@#$ I realized right away that all I was seeing was another countless version of “hype it to the max TV” with an i@#$% who is fantastically well suited for this roll.

    If you really liked this show than you should stay up late on any given weekend and watch MSNBC’s boon to reality television called “Predator”. There you can watch Boy Scout Chris Hanson of MSNBC and a twisted bunch of kids with way too much time on their hands called “Perverted Justice” observe as pervert after pervert enter a set-up to meet with under age girls/boys that they wish they were going to have a date with.

    One show of predator was more than enough for all of us to realize we have a big problem. However, 16 versions of the show and countless re-runs made it more than obvious what MSNBC was really up to. Suffice it to say it wasn’t community service as Chris Hanson so dearly likes to portray him and the program. It was a wallet filling carnival show just like Iceman.

    I’m ashamed to admit I watched as much of these two shows as I did, it just proves that crap sells. In real life this poor slob the Iceman may have gotten lucky and unfortunately killed a couple of people. But other than that I think he’s just another poor soul that had bad parents a bad education and a bad case of very low self esteem. You will never convince me or for that matter anyone with half a brain that this guy killed over 100 people. Thank God he died before the cops gave him another chance to run his mouth and amuse us all in the guise of closing the books on past homicides.

    But please, don’t let me blow your image of the big mafia hit-man, enjoy, enjoy.

    Phil from Maine

    1. GoughLewis

      Did you watch the Documentary, or turn it off ten minutes in?

  24. Charles B.

    Truly chilling!

  25. Sadie the Celt

    @ Ali
    Yes Ali I agree with you. did you happen to notice that when he was being interviewed ( and assessed ) by the renouned Park Dietz he seemed to show his vulnerabilty? he tried to cover it with his usual brave facade, but I thought I could see more, Im no expert - he made his choices, but I think he lived to regret them

  26. Ali

    He had a will to support his family and nothing is better than 'will' to pave a way, which was created for him. Many people do what they have to, if it's stealing, killing or starving as a student to climbing the corporate ladder. The goal is similar, money, but the trick is balancing all the components of our lives. He fed his financial life and family life richly, but socially, mentally and spiritually he was deprived from his parents who didn't love him. He inherited a hate for the weakness of his fellow man (bullying, etc.) which we all hate and handle in less extreme ways. One baby step lead to another, which ultimately landed him in a much worse place than prison. He's at an extreme loss for his beautiful family, which was all he had. Now he really has nothing again, just like what he grew up with, no family, no love.

  27. Jacm

    The Iceman was a fake, yes he killed people but he wasn't involved in all the hits he claims he was involved in. It's been proven he lied about taking part in the Galante hit and a few others so how many more could he be lying about.

  28. Willis

    I haven't read the book but I have to say that this doc is superb. I'm not sure if it is the right section but thanks for the link. I love this website.

  29. Tania

    I also read the Iceman Book and could not stop reading it till I had finished!!! Absolutely amazing!!! So very sad for his family who had no idea about his double life!!!Also very sad to watch his reaction to how he feels about betraying them..They were the only thing he loved in his miserable life.
    The documentaries really were really well done and were not biased in any way...
    Im just glad I didnt have anything to do with him!!!!!!

  30. CJ

    I have just finished the book and couldn't put it down. It is very intense and you wonder what he will do next. After I got done with the book I had to see the HBO specials for myself. They were well done and show us a inside look at a serial killer. CJ

  31. Zincinfesteddoomchild

    I have just finished reading the book and could not put it down. For a non book reader i found it enthralling and chilling but also i have also thought of him as a new hero of mine, although dead he will remain in my mind forever on.Zinc