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*****Everyone has heard of Wyatt Earp, Doc Holliday, and the James-Younger Gang. But most know very little about the man whose story intersects with them all. Cousin to both the Younger and James brothers, and for a time the chief antagonist of Wyatt Earp, this other man has been somewhat overshadowed in history. But those that have heard of Johnny Ringo know him as the fascinating figure that he was. He was a gentleman gunman who could spout Shakespeare, and who many writers romanticized as one of the deadliest gunfighters of the Old West. And to this day, only adding to the mystique of Johnny Ringo, is the fact that mystery surrounds his own death — a death as legendary as his mythic life.*****
I’m Darren Marlar and this is Weird Darkness.
Welcome, Weirdos – I’m Darren Marlar and this is Weird Darkness. Here you’ll find stories of the paranormal, supernatural, legends, lore, the strange and bizarre, crime, conspiracy, mysterious, macabre, unsolved and unexplained.
Coming up in this episode…
To his family and neighbors, Richard Kuklinski was the all-American man. To the mafia and his victims, he was the “devil himself” known as the Iceman killer. (The Mafia’s Most Prolific Hitman)
Wherever tragedies happen, urban legends settle. And for almost every urban legend, there is a road to take you there… a road often just as terrifying as the urban legend it takes you to. (Roads that Lead to Urban Legends)
We’ll look at the true story of a bar bouncer accused of killing his wife… which is odd, seeing as the incident took place before he killed a man while defending her honor. (A Broad-Shouldered Bully Was Wiener)
Extraterrestrials come in all shapes and sizes if you believe what you see on television, film, and even online in the fringe conversations of UFO enthusiasts. The most famous of the aliens are usually depicted in the very realistic, humanoid form… the Greys. But what exactly are the Greys? And is it possible they aren’t extraterrestrial at all? (What Are The Greys)
We’ll meet a man who has an amazing superpower. He is especially proficient at passing gas. (Mister Methane: The Gas Man)
A gentleman gunslinger who could quote Shakespeare, Johnny Ringo was a mythic gunslinger who died a mysterious death befitting his legend. (The Mysterious Death of Outlaw Johnny Ringo)
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STORY: THE MYSTERIOUS DEATH OF OUTLAW JOHNNY RINGO=====
Johnny Ringo was born John Peters Ringo on May 3, 1850, to Martin and Mary Peters Ringo in Washington, Indiana. He was the first child of a large family of five children and was related to both the infamous Younger and James brothers.
At 14, his family left for San Jose, Calif., but while crossing the country by wagon, his father was killed in a tragic accident. A letter published in the Liberty Tribune described the event in gory detail:
“[H]is shotgun went off accidentally in his hands, the load entering his right eye and coming out at the top of his head. At the report of his gun, I saw his hat blow up twenty feet in the air, and his brains were scattered in all directions.”
Still, the family was resilient, like most frontier folk, and made it to San Jose after a year-long stay at the Youngers’ home. But Johnny Ringo’s adolescent years between 1864 and 1870 are not well documented, though there is an unsubstantiated claim that he was a drunkard and juvenile delinquent that left his family and San Jose itself in 1869.
However, the San Jose Directory and Federal California Census, both of 1870, place him in San Jose and working as a farmer. Additionally, his sisters later reported that he left San Jose as part of a harvesting team sometime between 1870 and early 1871.
According to some accounts, Ringo’s delinquency came later when he was charged for discharging his firearm in a public square in Burnet, Texas. Then came the infamous Hoodoo War and the outlaw legend of Johnny Ringo only grew from there.
In September 1875, Johnny Ringo got caught up in the Hoodoo War, a blood feud that had started over cattle ownership between Germans living in Mason County, Texas and American-born residents of neighboring counties.
Ringo’s involvement was not over cattle but was instead the direct result of the slaying of Moses Baird and the serious wounding of George Gladden, both of whom were his close friends and had themselves gotten caught up in the bloodshed. Baird and Gladden had been tricked by local gambler James Cheyney into riding to Mason, only to be ambushed in an attack orchestrated by Mason County Sheriff John Clark.
On September 25, Johnny Ringo joined another seven men to avenge Baird’s death. When the men rode into Mason, Ringo and a man named Bill Williams separated from the party and headed for Cheyney’s home. There, they shot the gambler dead without warning.
Ringo and Williams then made for the home of another alleged collaborator in the ambush named Dave Doole. When they arrived, they shouted for Doole to come outside, but when he came to his front door armed with a gun, which scared Ringo and Williams off.
Both men then rode back to their party and publicly bragged over breakfast about killing Cheyney. According to a Texas Ranger report, either Williams or Ringo allegedly said that they had “made beef of Cheyney and if someone did not bury him he would stink.”
More killing followed four days later when other members of the party cut down three men. However, arrest warrants were not issued against Ringo for killing Cheyney.
Instead, he was arrested twice in December for other charges. The first arrest was for disturbing the peace in April when he fired his pistol in the middle of Burnet. But he was soon released after the $150 bond was posted.
The second charge was far more serious for Johnny Ringo. He and former Texas Ranger Scott Cooley were imprisoned for threatening to kill the Burnet County Sheriff and his deputy. Authorities were worried that their friends might try to bust them loose from prison and thus had them transferred to a prison in Austin.
On their way, Ringo received a bit of notoriety, exemplified by the Austin Statesman, which reported on Jan. 4, 1876 that Ringo “is said to have taken an active part in the Mason County War.”
But Ringo’s name was misspelled as “Ringgold” in the newspapers, which accounts for confusion over the outlaw’s identity since. The spelling may have arisen from translations in German newspapers as official records confirm his name was indeed John Ringo.
Either way, the Hoodoo War was now over, though tensions remained in Mason County for a few more years.
It wasn’t long before Ringo and Cooley were moved once again, first back to Burnet before being granted their request to stand trial in Lampasas County. Although they were both convicted and imprisoned for making threats against law enforcement, they appealed the sentence. But they did not want to wait until 1877 to have their case heard. Luckily, their cohorts agreed and broke them out of prison in May 1876. Cooley, however, reportedly died a month later.
Despite the media painting Ringo as a notorious outlaw on the run, he only evaded capture for a few months before once again being sent to prison in Austin. Surprisingly, his earlier appeal still went through, and the charges were reversed.
However, they were soon overshadowed by a charge of murder. His slaying of Cheyney had finally caught up with him — but this also came to naught when no witnesses were willing to testify against him.
Thus Johnny Ringo was released in May 1878, settling in Loyal Valley, Mason County a short time after. In November, Ringo went from outlaw to being offered a position as constable for Precinct #4 at Loyal Valley (though it is not known for certain if he took up the position).
Throughout 1879 and 1880, Johnny Ringo continued causing mayhem wherever he went, including shooting one man for wanting to drink beer instead of whiskey and holding a poker game at gunpoint in order to pocket the $500 held by the players.
In 1881, he was brought to Tombstone, Arizona to stand trial for the poker game incident but was more concerned about a rumor that he was involved in a recent stage robbery. He blamed legendary local lawmen Wyatt Earp and his gunfighting friend Doc Holliday for the rumor and all three men had a showdown on the streets of Tombstone. As tensions increased, the men started reaching for their sidearms, when a constable grabbed Ringo from behind and defused the conflict.
Nevertheless, the altercation made Johnny Ringo take a personal interest in the longstanding feud between the Earps and the infamous Clanton outlaws. While spending time in jail in 1882, he learned that Earp and his posse were planning to arrest the Clantons in Charleston, so Ringo organized for his bond to be quickly processed and on release immediately set off for Charleston to warn the Clantons.
But Earp’s brother James saw Ringo leave Tombstone and was aware of his plan. He wrote an affidavit calling Ringo an “escaped prisoner” intending to thwart the arrest of a U.S. Marshal. Because of the affidavit, a second posse led by J. H. Jackson pursued Ringo. However, they were intercepted by Ike Clanton, and Ringo was informed of the warrant for his arrest.
Johnny Ringo then went back to Tombstone where he was placed on trial. But once again witnesses refused to testify, and Ringo was let free.
From there, the situation in Tombstone only grew worse. Morgan Earp was shot dead by an unknown assailant in March 1882. Many believed Ringo was the culprit, but records from the time dispute this. Furthermore, testimony in The Tombstone Epitaph stated Ringo wanted no more part in the feud.
Ringo’s time in Tombstone was dramatized in the 1993 movie “Tombstone”, starring Kurt Russell< Bill Paxton, and Sam Elliott, with Ringo being played by actor Michael Biehn.
Meanwhile, Earp and his posse had more troubles when they were accused of killing outlaw Frank Stilwell and thus fled Tombstone.
The next day, Sheriff John Behan gathered men, which included Ringo, to capture the Earp posse.
By then, Earp and his party had killed a Mexican named Florentino Cruz, who some believe was Indian Charlie, one of the killers responsible for Morgan Earp’s death. Back in Tombstone, it was reported that Earp had shot dead Curly Bill Brocius in the Whetstone Mountains. And because Brocius was the most notorious outlaw in the area, his death overshadowed Earp’s killing of Stilwell and Cruz.
In any event, in April 1882, Earp and his men fled Arizona. A month later, Johnny Ringo himself also left Tombstone, exonerated from all indictments amid the back-and-forth swarm of lawmen and criminals in the area. But despite his good fortune, Johnny Ringo was found dead just two months later.
Much speculation surrounds the July 13, 1882 death of Johnny Ringo. Many believe he committed suicide. The facts seem to support it, but many people point to some inconsistencies in the way the body was found that may suggest foul play.
Sightings in Tombstone and the nearby town of Galeyville state that Ringo looked depressed and was drinking heavily before his death. The last time he was seen was around July 11, which is roughly when he left Galeyville. Three days later he was discovered with his back to a tree, clutching a .45 caliber Colt in his right hand, apparently dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
It seemed pretty cut and dry, but some people both at the time and in the years since have looked at the evidence and believe instead that Johnny Ringo was murdered.
Speculation revolves around the number of cartridges found in his gun, possible lack of powder burns on his hands (suggesting he may not have fired a gun himself), the position of his hat on his head, and admissions from his contemporaries, including Wyatt Earp, to his murder.
But all these lines of inquiry are flimsy at best. Jack Burrows, the author of the 1987 biography “John Ringo: The Gunfighter Who Never Was” and David Johnson in his book “John Ringo: King of the Cowboys” have weighed the evidence and concluded that Johnny Ringo most likely committed suicide — an unusual end for a legendary outlaw of the Old West.
Wherever tragedies happen, urban legends settle. And for almost every urban legend, there is a road to take you there… a road often just as terrifying as the urban legend it takes you to. (Roads that Lead to Urban Legends)
But first… We’ll look at the true story of a bar bouncer accused of killing his wife… which is odd, seeing as the incident took place before he killed a man while defending her honor. (A Broad-Shouldered Bully Was Wiener)
These stories and more when Weird Darkness returns!
STORY: A BROAD-SHOULDERED BULLY WAS WIENER=====
Billy Wieners was the night watchman and bouncer for the saloon in the Theatre Comique in St. Louis. He was a large man—“a great burly, broad-shouldered bully,” said the Cincinnati Commercial Tribune. In January 1877, he was under bond for attempting to kill his wife. It might’ve been better had he not been out on bond and just stayed in jail until his court date – it would’ve saved his neck. Literally.
Billy Wieners was quite fond of whiskey. He was drunk on the night of January 29 when he was working as a bouncer at the saloon. Despite being out on bond for the attempted murder of his wife, Wiener apparently had a little chivalry in him as well. He overheard the assistant barkeeper, A.V. Lawrence, make disparaging remarks about Wieners’s wife to the Head Barkeeper. Wieners responded, drawing his revolver and threatening to kill Lawrence.
A.V. Lawrence, alias Lawrence Mack, was known as a quiet, inoffensive young man, a short man of slight build. He was no match for Billy Wieners. A bystander stepped in to separate them, and Wieners agreed to go home. But before Wieners left, the altercation renewed, and Wieners struck Lawrence in the face with his fist. Lawrence picked up a soda bottle to hurl at Wieners, but before he could throw it, Wieners drew two pistols and fired one, hitting Lawrence in the neck. He died almost instantly.
Wieners was quickly arrested, and the following October, he was tried for first-degree murder. He was found guilty and sentenced to hang on December 14. As the judge pronounced the sentence, Wieners smiled pleasantly and seemed unconcerned, but later, he told reporters he would starve or kill himself before he would meet death on the scaffold. After five months of incarceration, Wieners had already lost 70 pounds.
Wieners received a stay of execution while his lawyer appealed the verdict before the Missouri Supreme Court. They alleged that the judge in Wieners’s trial did not instruct the jury regarding murder in the second degree. At issue was whether Wieners acted with premeditation and malice aforethought in killing Lawrence. Wieners’s attorney argued that he had acted in the heat of passion and should not be charged with first-degree murder. The Supreme Court upheld the original verdict. They summed up their lengthy ruling by saying, “We have carefully examined the record to find evidence tending to mitigate the offense of which the defendant was guilty but have failed to discover a circumstance to indicate it was other than deliberate murder.”
The hanging was rescheduled for February 1878. As Billy Weiners awaited his punishment, his sister Annie worked to have his sentence commuted to life in prison. She circulated a petition and met personally with Governor Phelps. While support for commutation was growing, the Governor would not commit himself.
Billy Wieners was hanged at 8:30 AM on February 1, 1878, in the jail yard in St. Louis in front of a small group of spectators, mostly reporters and attorneys. Wieners made a brief speech in which he admitted to killing Lawrence, but not in cold blood. He said he was crazed with liquor, and he warned all men against whiskey and bad associations.
STORY: ROADS THAT LEAD TO URBAN LEGENDS=====
Roads around the world are often the site of tragic accidents and death, then becoming the center of terrifying legends.
***In the city of Wildwood, St. Louis County, Missouri, lies Zombie Road, which stretches through a valley and ends near the Meramec River. Mostly unused since the 1950s, it became a popular hangout for teenagers who liked to party away from adult supervision. Zombie Road was also said to be the hunting ground for the “Zombie Killer”’ who stalked the place looking for young couples. These days, however, ghost hunters like to stake out the road in the hopes that they will catch a glimpse of the ghost of the wife of a local judge who was hit by a train nearby and died in 1876.
***The National Highway 33 or Ranchi-Jamshedpur NH33 in Jharkhand, India, looks like all the other highways in the country: busy. It runs from Arwal to Farakka and links Bihar and Bengal. There is a temple to be found at each end of the expressway, and it is said that those who travel along the highway must stop and pray at both locations to avoid a fatal accident. Between 2010 and 2013, a total of 245 people died in accidents on the Ranchi-Jamshedpur NH33, leading to rumors that the highway is cursed. Many drivers have also reported seeing the apparition of a tall lady in a white saree “patrolling” the road.
***South Africa has its fair share of haunted roads, with the most infamous being the N9 national route which passes through Uniondale, where you might just find the ghost of Maria Roux attempting to solicit a lift from you. The well-known Swartberg Pass in the Karoo links the towns of Prince Albert and Oudtshoorn and was built by hundreds of convicts in the late 1800s. Thirty of them died during a snowstorm, and it is said that as you drive past the spot of the tragedy, you will feel the temperature drop by several degrees—even in the middle of summer. At another spot on the mountain pass, a guard who accidentally shot himself still hangs around in plain sight. And when the wind blows a certain way, the plaintive cries of a family who died in a blizzard can be heard in the distance.
***In Annandale, New South Wales, Australia, a narrow street that runs parallel with a rail viaduct has earned itself the moniker of “The Street With No Name.” The bodies of murdered people, reportedly including six children, have been dumped here, which has led to an urban legend that says those who happen to find themselves on this street will likely experience fear, anxiety, and a sense of doom or foreboding. Too many of the murders have not been solved, which just adds to the air of desperation. It is also said that children and animals behave strangely whenever they are in the vicinity and that late-night visitors have heard disembodied footsteps, whispers, and unexplained noises. Those who believe in the presence of ghosts, are convinced that the souls of the murdered children cannot rest and are forever stuck in what is also called an “evil street.”
***A survey in 2020 revealed that one out of seven Brits has seen things of the paranormal variety while driving. It’s not surprising, really, as the UK is known for multiple haunted roads, including the A229 with its “Blue Bell Hill Bride” and the A696 where the spirit of a dead RAF officer lingers. Until the 15th century, wolves were plentiful in the farmland of the East Riding of Yorkshire, which is believed to be why there are so many werewolf sightings on the B1249 between Driffield and Staxton Hill. A truck driver was traveling along this road in the 1960s when a hairy creature with glowing red eyes tried to smash through his windscreen. The incident was detailed by the author, Charles Christian. In 2016, a young woman reported seeing a “dog bigger than her car, but with a human face” while driving along the road.
***The Karak Highway in Malaysia is dangerous in more than one way. It is prone to fatal accidents and is also the site where a horrifying creature is said to roam. The creature legend hails from a story about a couple whose car broke down on this highway. The husband got out of the vehicle to try and find help, and while he was gone, his wife fell asleep. She awoke to the loud sound of something banging on the roof of the car. Too scared to get out, she stayed put while the sound got louder and louder. Finally, just as she couldn’t take it anymore and was about to flee the vehicle, a police car pulled up. An officer approached her, telling her to exit the car via the driver’s side and walk toward him. As she did so, the officer told her to not look back. She couldn’t resist, however, and as she peered over her shoulder, she saw a huge creature on top of the car gripping her husband’s head between its claws and banging it against the roof. On the Karak Highway, there have also been sightings of a driverless yellow VW Beetle that overtakes other cars but then drives in reverse while staying in front and scaring the pants off motorists.
***Scotland is no stranger to spooky and fantastical tales. Not only are there creepy roads, but you will find hell hounds, loch monsters, and spectral beings that haunt traditional bridges and overpasses. The most haunted road in Scotland is said to be the A75 Kinmount Straight. It is on this road that brothers Derek and Norman Ferguson were driving when they saw a hen flying straight toward their windscreen. Then followed cats, dogs, and other animals. All the animals disappeared on impact with the windscreen. Truck drivers have had eerie experiences on the A75 as well, with one quitting his job after waking up one night to see an endless stream of apparitions passing by his truck. Motorists have also reported knocking people over who suddenly appear before them in the road, only for them to vanish after the shaken-up driver gets out of the car to help.
***Mount Misery and Sweet Hollow roads run parallel on Long Island. Also known as No Man’s Land, driving down either of these roads might see you running into a group of ghostly teenagers who followed through with a suicide pact years ago. Motorists have reported seeing the ghost of a child, who’d been killed in a hit and run, sitting on the overpass, as well as a policeman missing half of his head. Some have seen a man holding a basket containing severed heads. Another legend has it that a mental asylum once stood on Mount Misery Road and was burned down by a female patient. She also died in the fire and now wanders the road at night, still wearing her hospital gown.
***The half-faced girl of the Old Pali Road and the screaming ghost of Morgan’s Corner in Hawaii are just two of the creepy stories surrounding the roads here. There is also the woman who died in a car crash on Palani Road in the 1950s after catching her husband with another woman. To this day, there are rumors of her spirit standing in the middle of the road, causing drivers to crash as they try to swerve around her. While building the H-1 Highway in Oahu, construction workers unearthed the bones of ancient Hawaiians. This discovery came after several of the workers claimed to have seen the ghosts of Hawaiian warriors. This resulted in the highway taking seven years to complete because it became impossible to find people to keep working on the project.
***Thailand has many haunted roads to choose from should you be in the mood for ghost-hunting. First, there is the spirited Tha Chaom-Nong Chang Road, where headless ghosts and a playful female apparition with a penchant for sticking out her tongue roams. A two-lane road in Thonburi, Bangkok, called Chak Phra Road, is the site of a creepy legend about a husband who killed his pregnant wife. It is said that her spirit still cannot rest, and she haunts the road, hanging out in front of the Wat Taling Chan temple. Many taxi drivers refuse to use the road at night out of fear that they will encounter her ghost.
***And then of course there is Route 66 – one of the original highways in the U.S. Highway System. It was decertified in 1985, but some segments of it can still be traveled as part of the designated “Historic Route.” Along with the various tourist attractions that Route 66 has to offer, ghosts lurk around just about every turn in the road. The Missouri part of the route is known for the specters that haunt the Bethlehem Cemetery and the Bloody Hill Ghosts at Wilson Creek. In Oklahoma, apparitions float around in the Tulsa Little Theatre and the Gilcrease Museum. In Arizona, visitors can take a break from their road trip to do some sightseeing at the Navajo County courthouse, which is haunted by the only man ever hanged there. And in California, there is the haunted Georgian hotel to explore and the cheerfully named Suicide Bridge.
When Weird Darkness returns…
To his family and neighbors, Richard Kuklinski was the all-American man. To the mafia and his victims, he was the “devil himself” known as the Iceman killer. (The Mafia’s Most Prolific Hitman)
Plus, we’ll meet a man who has an amazing superpower. He is especially proficient at passing gas. (Mister Methane: The Gas Man)
These stories are up next.
STORY: THE MAFIA’S MOST PROLIFIC HITMAN=====
“Do you liken yourself to an assassin?” an interviewer once asked Richard Kuklinski.
“Assassin? It sounds so exotic,” the hitman replied with a hint of amusement and a small smile. Then his face turned serious. “I was just a murderer.”
“Just” was an understatement.
Richard Kuklinski, better known as “The Iceman,” was convicted of murdering six people, but he claimed to have killed hundreds — and the prosecutors didn’t doubt it.
Richard Kuklinski was born on April 11, 1935, in Jersey City to an aggressive alcoholic father and a stern religious mother, both of whom beat him regularly. His father’s beatings were so rough that they killed Kuklinski’s older brother, who authorities were told fell down the stairs.
Kuklinski took the violence he received and gave it back to the world. He tortured and killed neighborhood cats and stray dogs.
In the eighth grade, he dropped out of school, and that same year, at the age of 14, he beat the town bully to death.
The young misanthrope turned into a giant of a man, growing to be six feet, five inches tall and weighing almost 300 pounds.
Then, in the 1950s, Richard Kuklinski got involved with the mafia.
He ended up indebted to mob soldato Roy DeMeo, and when DeMeo sent men to beat him into coughing up his cash, Kuklinski’s stoic acceptance of the thrashing impressed the hardened Mafia man, who brought him on as an associate — after he paid up.
He became an all-purpose criminal, trafficking illegal pornography, staging robberies, and beating those who the mob felt needed a warning.
His knack for handling sticky situations and his ability to consistently pull in cash for the DeMeo crew earned him their respect. In time, it brought him to the attention of the Gambino crime family, of which DeMeo was a member.
Kuklinski wasn’t a professional killer at the time — only a recreational one. But that was all about to change.
Kuklinski’s reputation eventually spread to the elite of the organized crime world, particularly the notorious DeCavalcante family, who hired him for his first major gang killing.
He approached his new position with professional zeal, taking on extracurricular killings for research — and to satisfy his own craving for murder.
In 1954, he began to make periodic trips from New Jersey to New York City, prowling the Upper West Side of Manhattan for victims. Often his targets were people who annoyed him, someone he felt had slighted him in some small way. Other times he killed at random, just for the sake of killing.
His methods were as variable as his victim selection; he shot, stabbed, strangled, poisoned, or bludgeoned according to his mood. His weapon selection shifted constantly — a decision that prevented the police from suspecting the rash of deaths in the area were the work of one man. He used everything from ice picks and bare knuckles to hand grenades.
According to a statement Richard Kuklinski once made, a nasal-spray bottle filled with cyanide was his favorite.
Kuklinski continued to carry out assignments for DeMeo and the Gambinos, and his willingness to murder without hesitation disturbed even his criminal colleagues, who began to refer to him as the “devil himself.”
He had only two rules: no women and no children. Beyond that, anything was fair game.
On one occasion, Richard Kuklinski recalled preparing to kill a man who was begging and praying for his life. Kuklinski told the man he could have 30 minutes to pray to God to see if God would come and intervene.
“But God never showed up and he never changed the circumstances and that was that. It wasn’t too nice. That’s one thing, I shouldn’t have done that one. I shouldn’t have done it that way,” Kuklinski said.
It was one of the only times Kuklinski ever expressed remorse for his actions.
Kuklinski was particularly clever when it came to avoiding the authorities. He often removed the fingers and teeth of his victims to prevent their identification. He melted bodies in oil drums or left them in the back of junkyard cars to be crushed. Sometimes he’d throw them in the Hudson River or dispose of them in mine shafts.
His favorite trick was leaving his victims’ bodies in industrial freezers, then dumping them months or years later. When the police found them, the deceased would appear recently killed — and Kuklinski would never be suspected.
The technique earned Kuklinski his nickname: the Iceman.
At the time, the police thought it was homeless people attacking and killing each other. They didn’t suspect that there was a ruthless killer from New Jersey coming into the city to murder at random.
Even Kuklinski’s family never suspected what was going on.
In 1961, he married his wife, Barbara. She didn’t know that by the time they met, the man who doubled as the Iceman killer had allegedly already committed about 65 murders. The pair had three children together, and to their suburban New Jersey neighbors, they were the ideal all-American family.
They lived an affluent life. The children attended expensive private schools, and the family hosted barbecues in their backyard by the pool and took trips to Disneyland over the holidays. Kuklinski was an usher every Sunday at Mass.
When the police finally caught up with him, Barbara had no idea what her husband had done to break the law.
She did know, however, that he had a temper. Richard Kuklinski had bad days, and when he was out of sorts, he was abusive, beating Barbara badly enough to break her nose on one occasion. He always left bruises.
“I used to call it anger — it was way beyond anger. He was sick,” she would later say. Still, she claimed that she never suspected he was a killer. “I’ll be the first one to say, maybe I was naive, because I never saw anything like that, my family never did anything like that.”
For 25 years, Richard Kuklinski kept up the family-man facade by thoroughly compartmentalizing his life. He didn’t tell the criminals he worked with anything about his personal life, his family, or where he lived; he never socialized outside of work.
He stayed away from drugs and prostitutes, and he never bought what the mob was selling — he was an employee, not a client.
But in the 1980s, after 25 years of working as a hitman for the mafia, Kuklinski started his own crime ring — and he began to make mistakes.
His undoing was Phil Solimene, a local Mafia man and the closest thing Kuklinski had to a friend. Solimene helped the ATF in a sting operation and presented ATF agent Dominick Polifrone to Kuklinski as a prospective client.
Polifrone came to Kuklinski with a job, then recorded Kuklinski’s promise to murder in exchange for money.
It was the end of the road for the Iceman.
One day in 1986, unmarked cars surrounded Richard and Barbara Kuklinski on their way to breakfast. The cops pointed guns at their heads. Pat Kane, the lead investigator, approached a distraught Barbara in the midst of her confusion and said plainly, “He’s a murderer.”
He was charged with five murders the following day and in 1988 was found guilty of four of them. He was later convicted of two more and given consecutive life sentences.
Detective Pat Kane believed he killed as many as 300 men, saying, “He killed who he wanted, whenever he wanted.”
After his arrest, Kuklinski wasn’t shy. He gave interviews to prosecutors, psychiatrists, reporters, criminologists, and newscasters — anyone who wanted to talk to him.
He participated in two documentaries about his life and spoke candidly about the things he did and why. He claimed to have killed the notoriously corrupt Jimmy Hoffa, for which he was paid $40,000.
In a TV interview from prison, he said, “I’ve never felt sorry for anything I’ve done. Other than hurting my family. I do want my family to forgive me.”
After 25 years in prison, Kuklinski’s health started deteriorating. In 2005, he was diagnosed with incurable inflammation of the blood vessels and eventually transferred to the hospital, where Barbara would go to see him one last time.
In and out of consciousness, in a moment of clarity, Kuklinski asked doctors to revive him if he should flatline.
But on her way out, Barbara signed a Do-Not-Resuscitate form. A week before he died, they called her to see if she had changed her mind. She hadn’t.
Richard Kuklinski, the infamous Iceman Killer, died on March 5, 2006.
STORY: MISTER METHANE, THE GAS MAN=====
Mr. Methane is a world-renowned entertainer who, as the name suggests, has a very special talent when it comes to passing wind.
Of all superpowers one could have, farting at will probably sits near the bottom of everyone’s list, and yet one of the few people known to be able to control their flatulence has managed to build a career around this ability. Paul Oldfield, aka ‘Mr. Methane’, discovered his unusual talent for farting in his teenage years, and eventually managed to use it as a way to make living, traveling the world and showcasing his somewhat repulsive ability to the world. The Macclesfield-born Englishman currently holds the record for most farts released in one minute, but is also known for performing popular songs by farting, and various other revolting tricks.
Paul Oldfield discovered his superpower as a teenager while doing some yoga exercises with his sister. While attempting the lotus position, he realized that he could inhale and exhale through both ends of his body. Excited about his newly-discovered talent, the next day Paul let loose twenty rapid-fire farts in under a minute for a group of his friends.
But the farting superman didn’t become Mr. Methane until later on in his life. He originally trained to become a train conductor, and sometimes entertained his colleagues with his farting skills, but eventually decided there was more to life than waking up at 3 in the morning to drive a train, and went into the entertainment business.
In the late 1980s, Mr. Methane started performing as an opening act for a local music band, and subsequently traveled to New York, where he both impressed and horrified show hosts like Howard Stern with his farting ability. He has produced musical parodies of famous songs, including Phil Collins’ “In The Air Tonight“, and has made appearances on show’s like Britain’s Got Talent, and Germany’s Das Supertalent. Here is a partial recording of his performance on German television: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kaRZeuZDAVI.
If you’re not too winded, you can watch the full video by clicking the link in my show notes.
Dr Peter Whorwell, a renowned bowel specialist from Withington hospital in Manchester, by raising the diaphragm, Mr. Methane is able to suck air into the colon through an open sphincter, then close the sphincter before discharging the air. By moving the buttock cheeks, the entertainer has learned to alter the tone and pitch of his farts, allowing him to perform his unusual musical repertoire.
Mr. Methane’s story is similar to that of Le Pétomane (literally, the fart maniac), a 19th-century French entertainer who learned that he was able to suck air through his sphincter while swimming and then used this ability to build a career for himself in Paris.
In 2018, Mr. Methane contacted Guinness Records and asked to have his attempt at releasing the most farts in one minute be acknowledged. He aimed for 50, but reportedly managed a whopping 86 farts. This wasn’t his first attempt at getting his name into the world’s most famous record book. He had contacted them in 1990 as well, but back then his talent wasn’t something Guinness wanted to be associated with their brand.
“Hopefully I’ll get into the book this time as they are a lot more liberal. But there’s room for improvement, maybe I could do 100 in a minute,” the super-farter said.
Up next… Extraterrestrials come in all shapes and sizes if you believe what you see on television, film, and even online in the fringe conversations of UFO enthusiasts. The most famous the aliens usually depicted in the very realistic, humanoid form… the Greys. But what exactly are the Greys? And is it possible they aren’t extraterrestrial at all? (What Are The Greys)
That story, when Weird Darkness returns.
STORY: WHAT ARE THE GREYS=====
According to ufologists, The Greys are one of many different types of alien races that have, and are still visiting Earth.
The Grays are probably the most known alien species because they not only come to Earth and our solar system often, but abduct people and let them go leaving many witnesses to attribute to what they look like and what their agenda is here on Earth. When people ask “what do aliens look like” the Greys are the usual description they get.
There are two different types of Greys that visit Earth. The first seem to be the leaders and the most intelligent of the two.
They are approximately 5 to 8 feet tall, have large heads, large dark eyes, long skinny fingers arms and legs, have a small mouth, small ear holes, and have been reported to have 2 small nostrils. They are hairless and seem to communicate through some kind of telepathy with each other as well as humans.
The second are worker Greys that have been cloned to the bidding of the larger grays. They are much smaller than the other Greys at around 3.5 to 4.5 feet tall, stubbier fingers arms and legs, but are similar in other ways. (Same shaped head, eyes, ear holes, and small holes for nostrils).
They don’t seem to be as intelligent as the taller Greys and do much of the grunt work during probing and abductions while the taller Greys work on more scientific areas like collecting sperm and egg samples and working on genetic materials.
Other alien researchers have assumed that there may be other types of greys out there with many names. Much like there are different races of humans there are different races of aliens such as the Bellatrax Greys, Zeta Reticuli, GREY TYPE C, and more. As to date though these are the two types we can determine as true.
Many people have asked why aliens visit Earth and why they abduct people. Well there are a few different theory’s as to why they’re in our solar system.
The Greys come from the Zeta Reticuli 1 & 2, a binary star system visible from the Southern Hemisphere approximately 38 light years away. The star system consists of two stars one slightly smaller than our own sun in the Milky way and the other almost the same mass as our sun.
Both stars are much older than our own sun at around 8 billion years old and dying while our sun is in its middle age at 4.5 billion years old. Many people such as Betty and Barney Hill can confirm this is their home world as the Aliens during the abduction showed her and she drew a map afterwards which surprisingly was a real star system.
With the Grays sun dying and the resources on their planet depleted they have moved on looking at other planets to inhabit (Whether or not all the Greys have left is unclear).
The Greys have also been cloning themselves for generations which has damaged the genetic make up of their DNA. To fix the DNA issues they have been doing experiments on humans by trying to fill in the gaps of the damaged DNA with healthy human DNA.
This is one of the reasons they abduct humans and do experiments on them. Many people who have been abducted have reported having sperm taken from them as well as eggs from women.
It’s believed that they have thousands of alien human hybrids from these abductions that they watch closely to see if they have succeeded in their mission of fixing their dying race.
They have also had contact with high Government officials in the past and present. Some good and some bad such as what when down in Roswell at Area 51. When we went to the moon the aliens basically chased us off and told us not to return because they have bases on the moon where they do experiments and use as a jump off place when coming and going to Earth.
They have been controlling civilizations for centuries by acting as Gods, giving out technology, and using plain old fear. Some say that they even grow humans that can be controlled and place them in high offices to help keep us obedient.
Some alien researchers have theorized that the Grays aren’t from outer space at all and may simply be humans from the future that use time travel to visit which could explain a lot if you think about it.
Take the basic look of the Greys to start with. They look very similar to humans, but more advanced.
– Their heads are larger because of the increased size of the brain.
– They have grown taller and thinner over time just as we have over time.
– Their fingers are more slender and longer because of less physical labor and more use with computers and robotics.
– They have larger darker eyes from being exposed to sunlight remarkably less than we are normally used to and the use of computing equipment.
– A smaller mouth from not needing to speak because of the use of telepathy and moving from eating meat to smaller easier digestible “fuel”.
– No ears for the similar reasons of not needing the use of hearing as much.
– The skin of the aliens is a Gray from the mixing of races on Earth turning it into a plain gray mix.
Other things to consider that can be argued, but are still worth mentioning are the Gray aliens that visit us seem to have a great understanding of the different languages here on Earth.
Did they learn this over time while studying us or is it because it’s part of their past? The Grey space ships IE the flying saucers haven’t changed over time which could because they are all coming from the same point in the future just visiting different times.
When they abduct us and take our sperm and eggs they may be bringing them back to the future to help save our own dying race. We could be dying of a disease or some man-made virus or weapon gone wrong and the only way to save the human race is to bring back healthy DNA from before whatever happened to us.
It’s still a theory and most evidence points to extraterrestrials, but we’re not about to rule anything out until the truth is known. And once we find that, we’ll probably find that just as bizarre.
Thanks for listening. If you like the show, please share it with someone you know who loves the paranormal or strange stories, true crime, monsters, or unsolved mysteries like you do! You can email me anytime with your questions or comments at email@example.com – and you can find the show on Facebook and Twitter, including the show’s Weirdos Facebook Group on the CONTACT/SOCIAL page at WeirdDarkness.com. Also on the website, you can find free audiobooks I’ve narrated, watch old horror movies with horror hosts at all times of the day for free, sign up for the newsletter to win free prizes, grab your Weird Darkness and Weirdo merchandise, plus if you have a true paranormal or creepy tale to tell, you can click on TELL YOUR STORY – or call the DARKLINE toll free at 1-877-277-5944. That’s 1-877-277-5944.
All stories in Weird Darkness are purported to be true (unless stated otherwise) and you can find source links or links to the authors in the show notes.
“The Mysterious Death of Outlaw Johnny Ringo” by Kuroski for All That’s Interesting
“Roads that Lead to Urban Legends” by Estelle for ListVerse
“What Are The Greys” from Anomalien
“Mister Methane: The Gas Man” by Spooky for Oddity Central
“A Broad-Shouldered Bully Was Wiener” by Robert Wilhelm for Murder By Gaslight
“The Mafia’s Most Prolific Hitman” by Katie Serena for All That’s Interesting
Again, you can find link to all of these stories in the show notes.
WeirdDarkness™ – is a production and trademark of Marlar House Productions. Copyright, Weird Darkness.
Now that we’re coming out of the dark, I’ll leave you with a little light… “Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income. This too is meaningless.” – Ecclesiastes 5:10
And a final thought… “Laziness is a disease that can be cured, but only if you are willing to change your useless habits. Find inspiration get involved in something that has meaning.” – Norris Thomas
I’m Darren Marlar. Thanks for joining me in the Weird Darkness.