Disturbing Details About The Childhood Of The Iceman Killer, Richard Kuklinski

When Richard Kuklinski was born on April 11, 1935, he entered into a brutal world that helped shape him into the blood-thirsty killer he became. By the time federal agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms caught Kuklinski in 1986 — during what they'd named "Operation Iceman" because of the killer's penchant for storing his victims in freezers — he'd claimed to have killed more than 100 people as a freelance Mafia hitman. He would eventually die in prison serving consecutive life sentences for six murders, including that of an NYPD detective.

Kuklinski's childhood gave him the start he needed for his chosen career. His mother, Anna McNally, grew up in an orphanage where a priest raped her and nuns beat her. She married Stanley Kuklinski, hoping for a better life only to find he was an abusive alcoholic who regularly beat her. When they had children, they too became his victims.

A brutal beginning

In 1941, Stanley Kuklinski beat his eldest son, Florian, to death and told the police the boy had fallen down the stairs. Richard Kuklinski was only 5 at the time and was so afraid of his father that the mere sight of him made him wet his pants. His father would beat him for this again and again in an endless cycle before eventually abandoning the family. But life with his mother was no better. She also beat her children. "My mother was cancer." Kuklinski recounted in "The Ice Man: Confessions of a Mafia Contract Killer." "She slowly destroyed everything around her. She produced two killers; me and my brother, Joe."

In 1970, his brother Joseph Kuklinski, 25, lured a 12-year-old girl to a rooftop after kidnapping her dog. He raped her and then threw her off the roof along with the dog, killing them both. He died in prison in 2003. His brother, Richard, also pursued a violent path that began with torturing neighborhood animals and soon escalated.

Richard Kuklinski started young

Richard Kuklinski claimed he committed his first murder in 1948 when he was just a teenager. He beat a neighborhood bully to death with a wooden pole. The boy, along with his gang, had been tormenting Kuklinski, a skinny, awkward teen with no friends. He then got rid of the body. Kuklinski would eventually grow to be 6 feet, 5 inches, weigh 300 pounds, and would kill again and again.

While working at a photo lab, he began selling bootleg pornographic films to the Gambino crime family and eventually began acting as a freelance contract killer for the organization. "He killed with guns, poison, bats, knives, strangulation, his fists, ice picks, screwdrivers, hand grenades, and even fire," Bob Carroll, who was New Jersey deputy attorney general in the 1980s, recounted in "The Ice Man." "We've never seen anything like him. Truth is, we've never even heard of anything like him." Kuklinski died in 2006 at age 70.