The Iceman Tapes: Conversations with a Killer

Published on 3rd April 2017 by

Richard Kuklinski was an American contract killer who was convicted for 5 murders, carried out on the behalf of organized gangs in return for a fee, he earned the nickname ‘the Iceman’ due to his usual method of freezing the body of a victim in order to make it impossible for forensic scientists to ascertain the time of death. Kuklinski carried out hits on behalf of Newark’s DeCavalcante crime family and New York’s Five Families.

Although convicted for just five murders, Kuklinski himself claims to have been responsible for anywhere between 100 and 250 murders.  Some people doubt those claims, other believe them, the police are confident that at least “several dozen” murders in their case files are linked to Kuklinski. In this 1992 American Experience episode, The Iceman Tapes: Conversations with a Killer, Kuklinski is interviewed about his life in crimes from behind the walls of the prison that he was serving two consecutive life sentences.

In 2001 a second interview was carried out by HBO, The Iceman Confesses: Secrets of a Mafia Hitman, in which he makes some shock confessions about unsolved murders. A third and final interview was screened in 2003 in which Kuklinski allows himself to be analysed by a psychiatrist for The Iceman and the Psychiatrist.


Philip Carlo’s 2008 biographical book The Ice Man: Confessions of a Mafia Contract Killer was a US and UK bestseller and one of the best selling true crime books ever published, the 528 page book is essential reading for anybody with a keen interest in criminology and the psychology behind those who are prepared to kill. It is available in paperback, hardback, and kindle editions.

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