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Extended Audio Sample The Ice Man: Confessions of a Mafia Contract Killer, by Philip Carlo Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (2,146 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Philip Carlo Narrator: Michael Prichard Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Top Mob Hitman. Devoted Family Man. Doting Father. For thirty years, Richard “The Iceman” Kuklinski led a shocking double life, becoming the most notorious professional assassin in American history while happily hosting neighborhood barbecues in suburban New Jersey.

Richard Kuklinski was Sammy “the Bull” Gravano’s partner in the killing of Paul Castellano, then head of the Gambino crime family, at Sparks Steakhouse. Mob boss John Gotti hired him to torture and kill the neighbor who accidentally ran over his child. For an additional price, Kuklinski would make his victims suffer; he conducted this sadistic business with coldhearted intensity and shocking efficiency, never disappointing his customers. By his own estimate, he killed over two hundred men, taking enormous pride in his variety and ferocity of technique.

This trail of murder lasted over thirty years and took Kuklinski all over America and to the far corners of the earth, Brazil, Africa, and Europe. Along the way, he married, had three children, and put them through Catholic school. His daughter’s medical condition meant regular stays in children’s hospitals, where Kuklinski was remembered, not as a gangster, but as an affectionate father, extremely kind to children. Each Christmas found the Kuklinski home festooned in colorful lights; each summer was a succession of block parties.

His family never suspected a thing.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Carlo effectively tells the life story of the family man who spent thirty years as a professional killer, while hosting barbecues in suburban New Jersey.”

    New York Post

  • “The spine-chilling story of Richard Kuklinski…readers will become so engrossed in the details that they’ll forget that this is a true story. Highly recommended for readers of true crime.”

    Library Journal

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Barbara Szczepaniak | 2/17/2014

    " couldn't put it down, but morbidly descriptive in details of what happened "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Duck | 2/15/2014

    " This book gives incredible insight into the mind of a mafia hitman who just may be one of the most prolific serial killers that you may have never heard of. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Robertos Joannides | 2/10/2014

    " This is an interesting book about a cold hearted assassin and if your into crime stories this is a great book as it gives great insight to both how he felt ,his family's issues and how he behaved. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Greg | 2/5/2014

    " This book, or audiobook in my case, has been a very interesting read. Richard Kuklinski ranks quite high on my list of people who scare me to death. This man took brutally murdering people to a completely different level. Something that blew my mind multiple times throughout this book was Kuklinski's "morals". The same man who wouldn't think twice about killing someone, was also the same man who would protect children, and to a lesser extent women. Kuklinski's willingness to kill in the name of an abused child will always confuse my thoughts of him. He is undeniably one of the worst individuals in American history, but I found myself feeling horrible for him. This feeling stemmed mainly from the abuse that he suffered as a child. Although this isn't an excuse for what he has done, it isn't hard to tell why he turned out the way he did. My only real complaint with this book was the authors need to re-explain things that had been previously touched on. The constant reminders of how Kuklinski terrorized his family or how he wouldn't kill women or children became frustratingly obnoxious at times. Besides that minor complaint, I thoroughly enjoyed every page of this book. EDIT: I actually came back and downgraded this book from a 4-star to a 3-star. My reasoning behind this is because of its inaccuracies. After doing a little research I found that a lot of what Kuklinski claimed was absolute Bull***t. I still give it a 3-star, and may eventually change it back to a 4-star, because it was a very interesting and entertaining read. Kuklinski is still a psychopath, but not nearly as "impressive" as he or Philip Carlo claim. "

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About the Author

Philip Carlo (1949–2010) was the bestselling author of Gaspipe, The Butcher, and The Night Stalker, which chronicles the brutal career of serial killer Richard Ramirez. Carlo grew up in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, amidst the world’s highest concentration of Mafia members. When he was sixteen, he was shot in the head in a gang war, and while recuperating, he read voraciously, discovering the magic of books for the first time. His intimate knowledge of Mafia culture—their walk and their talk—helped him become a successful crime writer. He died in 2010 from ALS.