The Case Of Richard Kuklinski

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Richard Kuklinski was a hitman for the Genovese, Gambino and DeCavalcante crime families and was arrested in 1986 on multiple charges of murder, robbery, and illegal-weapons violations. There were two trials in which he was accused of murdering five people: Gary Smith, Daniel Depner, George Maliband, Louis Masgay, and Paul Hoffman. The first trial was for the murder of Gary Smith and Daniel Depner specifically. The prosecutors in this trial were trying to get Richard Kuklinski the death penalty but it was going to be a long shot because there was really only circumstantial evidence and close to no physical evidence that would link Kuklinski to the murders. They believed that Richard Kuklinski first attempted to kill Gary Smith by cyanide poisoning but it took too long so he got …show more content…

One piece of circumstantial evidence the prosecutors had to support this was that a Richard Patterson, the man that was to marry one of Kuklinski’s daughters, said that he had unknowingly helped Kuklinski move a corpse to be buried near where the family went horseback riding. This likely victim was Deppner who had been killed in his apartment a weekend earlier. With this information, detectives searched for blood in the apartment and found it underneath the cleaned carpet. Patterson also claimed that he saw Tupperware in Deppner’s apartment that he had seen before at Richard Kuklinski’s home which leads to believe that Kuklinski delivered food to Depner and that’s when he might have killed him. The prosecution also called Barbara Deppner to the stand and she knew about the two victims being hidden in hotels, and she said that her ex-husband told her that Kuklinski wanted to kill Smith. Barbara Deppner and her companion, the former foreman of the car-theft ring, Percy House, testified that Kuklinski had told him about both murders. However, this was all circumstantial evidence because it was just a “He said, she said”

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