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The Iceman: The True Story of a Cold-Blooded Killer Audio CD – Audiobook, Unabridged

4.1 out of 5 stars 117 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Richard Kuklinsky, son of a brutal, alcoholic father who came home only infrequently and a mother who vented her resentment on her children, grew up to be an efficient mass murderer. By the time of his trial in 1988 at age 53 he had killed upwards of 100 men by shooting, stabbing, choking or poisoning them. Kuklinsky, a New Jersey family man with two daughters and a son, was finally brought to justice through the efforts of Special Agent Dominick Polifrone of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, working with the New Jersey Attorney General's Office and the New Jersey State Police. The "Ice Man" will not be eligible for parole until he is 111 years old. Bruno ( Bad Blood ) has done an excellent job of re-creating the tension and stress Polifrone experienced in fulfilling his risky undercover assignment. Photos not seen by PW.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Kirkus Reviews

Smoothly written bio of a lone-wolf executioner for the mob. In his first nonfiction book, mystery author Bruno (Bad Moon, 1992, etc.) puts his writing talents to white-knuckle use with a tight focus on a killer with no human feelings except toward his wife and three sons. Kuklinski--who'd used derringers, shotguns, baseball bats, tire irons, knives, ice picks, and his bare hands to kill--had been dubbed ``The Ice Man'' by the New Jersey Police after it was discovered that the body of one of his victims had been stashed for two years in an ice-cream truck owned by a friend of the killer's known as ``Mr. Softee.'' A genius at assassination when he wasn't serving kids popsicles, Mr. Softee had schooled the Ice Man in the use of cyanide, a car- bomb invention called the ``seat of death,'' and other exotic methods of murder. Cyanide proved to be Kuklinski's first love: It was quiet and discreet--you could walk by your victim, spray his face with the poison while pretending to sneeze, and he'd be dying even as he crumpled to the sidewalk. Bruno details how Dominick Polifrone, a cop who grew up with the wiseguys in Hackensack, goes undercover and gets in with the cagey Kuklinski. The hit man wants cyanide and a rich Jewish kid to sell coke to, and Polifrone wants to record Kuklinski proposing murders. As cop and killer play cat and mouse, and the bartering goes bad, the danger of Polifrone being shot at any moment is torqued tighter and tighter by Bruno. Finally, Kuklinski is caught and tried: It's determined that he's committed approximately one hundred murders, including that of Roy DeMeo, a killer so dangerous that he intimidated even John Gotti. A fast-paced, suspenseful re-creation of how a vicious killer was run to ground. -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.; Unabridged edition (August 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1455159662
  • ISBN-13: 978-1455159666
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.7 x 5.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (117 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,187,441 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Chris Frost on January 24, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is probably one of the best true crime books I've ever read. Anthony Bruno does a wonderful job of keeping the reader hooked, as he tells the stories of killer Richard Kuklinski and ATF agent Dominick Polifrone. Because he's telling both of their stories, it may seem like he bounces around a bit, but I think he did a wonderful job of keeping the points of view separate, and therefore reducing any potential confusion. If you like true crime stories, you won't be able to put this one down until you're finished.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I previously read The Ice Man by Philip Carlo, but I found this book on Richard Kuklinski by Anthony Bruno to be the better of the two. Bruno's book was written prior to the death of Kuklinski in a New Jersey prison, and its main focus is on the plan to get Kuklinski to incriminate himself with his dealings with an undercover police officer named Dominick Palifrone, aka Dominick Provenzano, so they could arrest him for the murder of several individuals. Yes, the book does provide some details in the victims of Richard Kuklinski, and we are introduced to a psychopath named Roy DeMeo. Despite his explosive temper which left his wife in constant fear Kuklinski was a faithful family man who doted on his children. The problem was his family never knew which version of husband and father would avail itself. For his part Officer Dominick Palifrone had to juggle his two identities as husband and father on one hand and a profanity-laced mafia man on the other. He got the two personalities mixed up one day while home for dinner when, to the horror of his wife and kids, he asked to have someone pass him the ----- potatoes.

Kuklinski was bullied as a child and after accidentally killing his childhood tormentor he was determined never to be bullied again. Philip Carlo did a good job with his book entitled The Ice Man, but his differed from Bruno's book in that Carlo covered the entire life of Kuklinski's crime. In addition it included some fictitious murders that Kuklinski was supposedly a part of, namely the murder of Paul Castellano and James Hoffa. Probably some others as well.

Since both of the books on The Ice Man were about a vicious murderer I don't want to say I enjoyed them, but they certainly were riveting reads. However, I did find the book on The Ice Man by Anthony Bruno to be more factual. It was written, however, before the death of Richard Kuklinski.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This account of the Iceman is concise and deals mostly with the events leading to his arrest. It briefly touches on Kuklinski's early years, family life, and other criminal activities both proven and unproven. But a more detailed account of those facets of Iceman lore can be found in the new book by Philip Carlo. This book sticks to the facts without any hyperbole.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is the title of the New York Times article (2/21/03, page B1) about the current criminal charges leveled at serial killer Richard Kuklinski whose exploits Anthony Bruno wrote so brilliantly in THE ICE MAN (Dell, 1994).
Today Kuklinski now stands accused of the 1980 shotgun slaying of NYPD Officer Peter Calabro. In 1999 a reviewer here was critical of THE ICE MAN because author Bruno wrote about "the undercover agents who sought to bring [Kuklinski] down because the cops are always the stereotypicals. Big Yawn!"
The lives of police officers may be a big yawn to that person, but hopefully not to the majority. I applaud Anthony Bruno for recognizing & recounting just how much of themselves police officers put on the line to bring the likes of Kuklinski to justice... It is as fine a read today as it was 9 years ago. Like a fine wine, maybe even better.
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By LG on February 13, 2008
Format: Paperback
I have read both the Philip Carlo book about the Ice Man and Bruno's book. I also read Bruno's comments on CrimeLibrary regarding Philip Carlo's book. I know for a fact that Carlo spent over 200 hours interviewing Kuklinski at Trenton State Prison; I know for a fact that Bruno ONLY interviewed the Iceman once. Carlo's book on the IceMan is a deep profound look at every aspect of the Iceman's life, detailing his tortured childhood, the many murders he committed, the love he felt for his wife Barbara, daughters Merrick and Chris... and his son Dwayne. I was so emotionally moved by Carlo's book that I cried at the end. Carlo not only captures the essence of the IceMan, but the nuts and bolts that drove him. Conversely, Bruno's portrayal is woefully inadequate-- centers more on Dominick Polifrone than on the IceMan. I know for a fact that Lt Pat Kane pursued Kuklinski for five years before Polifrone even heard the name Richard Kuklinski. Bruno attacks Carlo's book because he wrote what IceMan told him regarding the murder of Jimmy Hoffa, Roy DeMeo and the Iceman's involvement in the killing of Castellano. To my knowledge,and I've researched this thoroughly, there is no definitive audio or video proof about any of those three murders, to indicate that the Iceman lied about anything. When one looks at the HBO specials on the IceMan I think you see a sincere honest, very rare killer-- the same thing Carlo saw during his interviews with Kuklinski at Trenton State. Carlo's book was a New York Times best seller for a reason.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a book for anybody who is interested in the darker side of the mind.

Richard Kuklinski is the apocryphal bullied kid who rises to be the one holding the gun. Starting from his teen years he finds the power that derives from holding someone's life in your hands utterly irresistible. His methods are as varied as the men he kills.

His icy demeanor makes him a favored killer for the Mafia, who often require him to kill someone in a specific manner to send a message to others. It is these killings that make up the most chilling part of the book; one has to wonder, is it really possible to take someone else's life like that?

It has to be said that given a different home and background, Kuklinski could well have turned out as a normal, productive citizen. But the beatings issued by his father to both Kuklinski and his kid brother could not have passed without seriously harming the children, and indeed, it was very close that the Iceman didn't kill his father more than once. His brother is in an asylum for the criminally insane.

If you are into true crime and the murderers of the Mob, you mustn't pass this one.

Very nicely done Kindle version too, no errors worth mentioning.

-Heikki Hietala, author of Tulagi Hotel
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