“My family never did anything like that.” And it wasn’t long before Richard returned to what he did best: killing men for money.
By the mid-Seventies, his reputation for cruelty and efficiency had spread across the United States, and he was kept in constant employment by the seven families of the East Coast Mafia: including the De Cavalcantes in New Jersey and the Gambinos, the Luccheses, and Bonannos in New York.
“And all of a sudden it was like, ‘I knew that,’” she says now.
“I knew he was a murderer.” Throughout their marriage, Richard Kuklinski had used the façade of the suburban family man – an usher at Mass every Sunday, barbecues by the pool in the summer, annual trips to Disneyworld – to conceal a litany of killing.
Young, inexperienced and credulous, Barbara believed him. I had never seen the ugly side of anything.” In fact, by the time Barbara had caught her first glimpse of true darkness in Kuklinski, he had already done things more terrible than she could possibly have imagined.