The last of the notorious Kray brothers died October 1st 2000 at the age of 66. Reggie Kray was finally released after spending 30 years in jail serving a life sentence. He was granted a "compassionate parole" by MP Jack Straw on August 26th 2000. Reggie who with his brother Ronnie ruled the London Crime scene in the 1950s and 60s was struck down with cancer and eventually this caused his death.
Charles and Violet Kray had three sons, including twins Ronnie and Reggie, living in the poor working class East End of London. Reggie was brought up in poverty along with his brother. The brothers were mostly known as “the twins” and in their childhood they were trained by a boxer who was in fact their older brother, who was 10 years their senior. However the boxing seemed to deepen their aggression and brutal streaks that they had possessed right from the start. From this aggression the twins were fined for using the newly attained skills for knocking out a milkman’s horse, and shortly after this their first arrest was for nearly beating a policeman to death.
The time came when the twins had to take their mandatory National Service and when they were 21 they were already AWOL, they took this time to start establishing themselves in the London Crime Scene, extortion and "protection" rackets being their most common way of living to start with. Eventually Reggie and Ronnie brought in their older brother Charlie (the guy who had taught them boxing) and then called themselves "The Firm". The Twins were always known for conducting themselves in the proper manner. For example they were always seen wearing expensive mohair suits and operating chic nightclubs, "Always like business men" one paper article reported.
The Double R
With success deeply embedded into the Krays' life, they often took solitude in their favorite club the Double R. Here The Twins took this haven for granted and spent a lot of time with Hollywood's best with stars such as Judy Garland attending often. The Twins were also often in pictures with Boxing Legends such as Sonny Liston and Joe Louis.
With their fame growing and growing, Reggie who was open about his bi-sexuality was reported to arrange meetings for a Labour MP and willing young men. In return for this, Reggie gained Political favors and social privilege. This only added to their cosmopolitan, class-ascending crooked image that they had built around themselves. However The Twins destroyed all this with a pair of brash and extremely public murders.
Strangely enough the murders were performed at almost identical times. Ronnie was the first. He shot George Cornell at point blank range in the Blind Beggar Pub, and this was because he made some damning remarks about Reggie’s homosexuality. A few minutes after Reggie stabbed Jack "the hat" McVitie countless times, the autopsy reported that Reggie had stabbed so hard that he had dislodges McVitie's organs.
Both the twins were sentenced to life sentences with a minimum of 30 years. This didn’t stop the firm operating however; Reggie continued all the business from inside his jail cell. Ronnie was committed to the Broadmoor Hospital for the Criminally Insane and died in 1995 after a long illness. Charlie Kray served 12 years for drug charges, which were imposed in 1997 and died at the age of 77.
When Reggie was released from jail he traveled to Norwich hospital. Reggie wanted to go out in style and although extremely week and ill he was moved to a hotel with his second wife Roberta. Here Reggie died in the honeymoon suit while in his sleep on October 1st 2000