Criminal Minds FactCheck Episode 108

The Criminal Minds episode called 'Natural Born Killer' covered a hitman who loved murder so much that occasionally he'd kill people just for fun. He was based on one 'Richard Kuklinski', nicknamed 'The Iceman' based on his habit of freezing his victims for months at a time before dumping the bodies, so that the authorities would have no idea when the murders actually occurred.

A few of the show's details were dead-on - he was a popular hitman for the Italian mob who once fed a victim to large rats. As usual, though, the capture had nothing at all to do with profiling, profilers, or profilation. Mob cases like this one generally aren't that hard to solve - in mob circles it's generally common knowledge who killed who. The hard part is not in identifying the killers, it's in finding enough evidence to charge them with anything. While Kuklinski's involvement in dozens of murders may have been well-known anecdotally, only someone who actually paid him to commit a crime would have been able to testify against him in court.

He was finally caught when the FBI managed to get one of his associates to work as an informant. They had the man introduce Richard to an undercover FBI agent, who solicited him to commit a murder, while taping the details of the arrangement. After his arrest Richard was only too happy to walk to the authorities, authors, really anyone who would have him. He was famously proud of his murdering spree right up until he died in prison back in 2006.

It's worth noting that Richard's brother also received a life sentence, in his case for the rape and murder of a child. It's likely that the two had similarly abusive childhoods, as depicted in the episode of Criminal Minds.

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