I really like this video. The interviewee, Richard Kuklinski, also called 'The Iceman', tells without drama and without adding unnecessary or untruthful details(1*) about his work as hit-man for the mafia. Much of his testimony is about his emotional life which he is fully aware is different from that of normal people in essential ways. Everything Kuklinski says is exactly how I've experienced the same things.
So for me it was a very nice experience listening to and watching Kuklinski talk. And I know he is telling the truth, about killing, about observing someone dying and the details concerning making it happen - and about his emotional life, how they are different from other people's and some he has never experienced.I know, because he is describing my experiences and my emotions.
This in itself just blew my mind because I've heard others - others who fit the psychopath profile - speaking with honesty, but usually there are several discrepancies as well as differences from how I experience things, and I don't remember anybody who didn't once give in to the temptation of adding some "less true" details to something they describe, especially when they know they have the listener's attention and get carried away.
But not Kuklinsky. Kuklinski is certainly different, at least in the interview above here.
I can understand why he got his nick name 'The Iceman'. And I could see - especially at the beginning of the interview - that he was aware that he had a reputation to maintain. But it soon became apparent to me that the real man is nothing like 'ice' and nowhere near unemotional - yes, of course, from the perspective of a normal person he no doubt seems emotionless, but then so do many other psychopaths. Besides, unlike many psychopathic killers, including mafia hit-men, Kuklinski does not get a kick out of creating a show for the public frightening the interviewers and making themselves seem as scary and heartless as they are capable of. Kuklinski calmly tells us the truth, smiling or laughing only when it comes naturally. I can think of plenty of individuals that I've met for whom a reputation as being unemotional would be more fitting.
Some things I quickly noticed about Kuklinski are that he's intelligent and relaxed in his awareness that he has nothing to prove. I recognized his quiet authority from own experience in my interaction with people, also during incarceration, in how his interviewer behaves towards him. And I also recognized in him someone who is overall a friendly guy - when he can afford to be so - and there was that "lightness of heart" that I know so well and which I think of as a piece of my boyhood that somehow stayed with me in spite of the hardships of life.
I can tell that Kuklinski used to love to laugh - one of my own little childish things that also have lingered. It is a trait not all psychopaths have, but it has been noticed throughout more recent history and we see it captured for the future in cartoon magazines and movies in the form of 'maniacal' villains who will laugh a hideous evil laughter whenever he kills someone innocent, and the movie-goer knows he is present in a scene even when we still can't see him because we are alerted by his 'insane laughter'. There is some truth to this stereotype, and I remember having had laughing fits when I was a kid and a young teen. I can recall it having happened at least twice as an adult too, though it wasn't when I was killing (then again, my experience with killing people is rather limited, being that I have killed 'only' three people in total, two of which I took at the same one event).
I believe Kuklinski has earned the nick 'The Iceman' in part because he became part of the mafia - an unusual achievement for a psychopath because the mafia is a highly social structure, both in regard to work and private/family life. I think it has to do with his intelligence and what I would call his maturity, and Kuklinski became widely known in the mafia connected underground, criminal and otherwise, because he had that much coveted ability to stay calm under pressure - yet a trait of his that I recognize on a personal level - also when things get heated around his own private-, social-, & working-, life, and all of which are intertwined more or less as being one and the same thing when you're member of a mafia family.
This brings me to the one area where there is a clear and big difference between Kuklinski and myself, and it is this: Kuklinski shamefully admits that he on more than one occasion did physically abuse his wife - and not just that, he did it in front of his children. Now considering the easy access he had to get aggressive outlets it seems needless to abuse your own treasured family too. I think that this part of Kuklinski's life actually most likely were a symptom of the constant frustration that it must have been for him to always have to be readily available for social interaction, both for his co-mafia members and co-workers, for his bosses, and for his family. I can think of no other reason why someone who otherwise seems to be not entirely unlike myself would behave like this, and when I think of this as the reason it makes a lot of sense.
In the interview I bring here, this man who is considered so tough, so unemotional that he has been given the nick name 'The Iceman', along with the reputation that comes with such a nick, did show an interest in learning, learning about himself, about life and humanity as such, and about what made him so different from almost everybody else, an interest sincere enough to entice him to not back down from telling the world about things which to people within his criminal, macho and antisocial community around the world, are sure to be considered weaknesses...
This man Richard Kuklinski, also called 'The Iceman' and considered by experts to be a very dangerous psychopathic murderer, with a very high score on the PCL-R, has the ability to spend 45 min. telling and volunteering sensible information about himself, and to during that time not once tell a lie!, something most of the same experts - who call Kuklinski a severely psychopathic individual - habitually and repeatedly claim that no psychopath will ever do, that psychopaths aren't be capable of doing... it's a statement which has brought more damage to the very research of the psychopath minority than we can even measure at this time.
- I know Kuklinski told you the truth, because he told you about me!
- I know that when Kuklinski told you there have been times where he would feel nervous and somewhat uncomfortable while watching people die under certain circumstances he was telling you the truth, because he told you this truth about me!
- I know that he told you the truth when he told you about what you will observe when watching a person die (an expression of what looks like some kind of surprise, and the final expression you will see is a "blank" stare, as if the person is looking at nothing - not unlike how people look when they are 'lost in their own thoughts' or just "absent" for a short moment - provided the kill isn't carried out swiftly, in which case people don't have time to change their expression), because he told about me!
(Part 2.) will follow tomorrow.