In anticipation of the upcoming movie on Richard “the Ice Man” Kuklinksi, I am compiling a list of claims made in the Anthony Bruno and Philip Carlo books and then presenting the facts. While some of what he has told people is true, much of it is nonsense.
Richard Leonard Kuklinski was born April 11, 1935 in New Jersey to Stanley and Anna Kuklinski. He had an older brother, Florian, and a younger brother Joseph (1944–2003).
BRUNO: Growing up, Richard’s father was a brakeman for the railroad company and his mother worked for Armour meat packing.
FACT: According to the 1940 US Federal Census, Stanley Kuklinski was a laborer in a factory (not more specifically outlined). Anna Kuklinski was not employed. They lived at 210 Fourth Street in Ward 3 of Jersey City. The Louis Palazzo family (with five kids) lived in the same house. Palazzo was a watchman for the WPA.
BRUNO: In 1949, 14-year old Richard stole a crate of Manischewitz wine from the back of a truck in Jersey City, New Jersey.
FACT: This cannot be proved or disproved. However, a production site opened in Jersey City, New Jersey, in 1932, so the possibility is certainly there.
BRUNO: Also in 1949, Richard beat another boy to death with a pole and left his body near an incinerator that could apparently be seen from the Kuklinski’s apartment window. The boy is only named “Johnny” by Bruno, but is identified as roughly the same age as Richard (they were confirmed Catholic the same day) and is presumably Italian (he has an uncle “Mario”).
FACT: George Malliband, 42, of Huntingdon, was killed on January 31, 1980 when he met Kuklinski to buy some blank video tapes. He was shot repeatedly and stuffed in a 55-gallon drum. He had $27,000 on him.
BRUNO: Louis L. Masgay, 50, of Forty Fort, Pennsylvania went to meet Kuklinski on July 1, 1981 in Little Ferry, New Jersey. Masgay was going to pay a large amount of money (at least $45,000) for a large supply of blank videocassettes. He did not return home. Several days later, his black 1980 Ford Carry Van was found in Rochelle Park, New Jersey. In September 1983, Masgay’s body was found in a wooded area off Causeland Mountain Road in Orangetown, New York. The body was trussed with tape, wrapped in 15-20 garbage bags. Masgay was shot once in the back of the head.
FACT: Bruno is accurate. Louis Masgay, 50, was born on April 11, 1931 in Plymouth, Pennsylvania to Walter and Frances Masgay. At the time of his death, he was from Forty Fort, which is located near Wilkes-Barre, and he had been shot once in the back of head. His body was in Orangetown and discovered in September 1983. The money he had brought was apparently $95,000.
BRUNO: A Corvette was stolen from the Willowbrook Mall in Fairfield, New Jersey on December 21, 1981. It was in the possession of Gary Smith, until found by police in February 1982. In March, the same car was stolen a second time, and traded for a 1964 Corvette with a man in Bloomfield, New Jersey.
BRUNO: On April 29, 1982, Paul Hoffman met Kuklinski at a diner in Cliffside Park and then went to his garage to buy $25,000 worth of Tagamet. Kuklinski shot him under the chin with a .25 pistol and then beat him with a tire iron.
FACT: Pharmacist Paul Hoffman of Cliffside Park was last seen April 29, 1982. He had $22,000 with him, and his body was never found.
BRUNO: Kuklinski fed Gary Smith a cyanide-laced hamburger. When he did not die fast enough, Kuklinski strangled the semi-conscious man. On December 27, 1982, Smith’s body was found decomposing in Room 31 of the York Motel.
FACT: Gary Smith of Highland Lakes, New Jersey was found stuffed in a platform bed at a motel on December 27, 1982.
FACT: Robert Joseph Prongay was born on December 30, 1945 and died on Friday, August 10, 1984 at age 38. He lived in North Bergen, New Jersey. He was not married or had any children, and was the son of Robert J. and Sarah Prongay.
Richard died March 5, 2006.