Barracuda grew up in Boca Raton, Florida, the eldest of two brothers and a sister. His father was an alcoholic who, in the night before he abandoned his family, burned Barracuda's hand on a grill while telling him to be "hard as the motherfucking world itself." He got into a fight in elementary school where he shoved his thumbs into a classmate's eyes.
After castrating a would-be attacker while in a youth detention center, Barracuda was recruited by the U.S. Army. As a Green Beret, Barracuda's A-team helped the CIA install Leopoldo Luna, a South American dictator in the 1980s. According to his recollection, in another mission in Africa he engaged in cannibalism to prove his masculinity.
After leaving the service, he became a feared gangster. At one point he was arrested at the site of a gangland massacre. He had been snorting lines of coke off a decapitated head. He spent time in jail afterward where he struck a profitable partnership with Harry Ebbing, a corrupt and violent corporate CEO.