history of The Krays has fascinated collectors for decades. RARE AND SIGNED
neither condone nor have opinion on the history of The Krays. Items available
for sale by The Krays are offered as pieces of ephemera for their historical value.
original KRAYS owned or hand written items are seldom seen nowadays, let alone
those coming direct from them personally. Here at RARE AND SIGNED we have a collection
of almost 100 individually hand written and signed original letters with
accompanying envelopes and
correspondence between the Krays along with other personal affects from The
CLICK HERE for a small
selection of the rarer pieces we have on offer from both Ronnie & Reggie
email info@rareandsigned for information on the full collection available for
sale including handwritten letters from just £10 each.
"Reggie" Kray (24 October 1933 - 1 October 2000) and his twin brother
Ronald "Ronnie" Kray (24 October 1933 - 17 March 1995) were the
foremost perpetrators of organised crime in London's East End during the 1950s
and 1960s. Ronald, commonly referred to as Ron or Ronnie, most likely suffered
from paranoid schizophrenia.
The Krays were involved in armed robberies, arson, protection rackets, violent
assaults including torture and the murders of Jack "The Hat" McVitie
and George Cornell. As West End nightclub owners, they mixed with prominent
entertainers including Diana Dors, Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland and politicians.
The Krays were highly feared within their social environment, and in the 1960s
they became celebrities in their own right, being photographed by David Bailey
and interviewed on television.
They were arrested on 9 May 1968 and convicted in 1969 by the efforts of a
squad of detectives led by Detective Superintendent Leonard "Nipper"
Read, and were both sentenced to life imprisonment.
Ronnie remained in Broadmoor Hospital until his death on 17 March 1995, but
Reggie was released from prison on compassionate grounds in August 2000, eight
weeks before his death in October from cancer.
The Kray twins became famous locally for their gang and the mayhem they caused.
They narrowly avoided prison several times and in early 1952 they were called
up for National Service with the Royal Fusiliers. They deserted several times,
each time being recaptured. When Inspector Leonard "Nipper" Read of
Scotland Yard was promoted to the Murder Squad, his first assignment was to
bring down the Kray twins. It was not his first involvement with Reg and Ron;
during the first half of 1964 Read had been investigating their activities, but
publicity and official denials surrounding allegations of Ron's relationship
with Boothby had made the evidence he collected useless. Read tackled the
problem of convicting the twins with renewed activity in 1967, but frequently
came up against the East End "wall of silence", which discouraged
anyone from providing information to the police. Nevertheless, by the end of
1967 Read had built up evidence against the Krays. There were witness
statements incriminating them, as well as other evidence, but none added up to
a convincing case on any one charge.
1968 the twins used a man named Alan Bruce Cooper who hired and sent Paul Elvey
to Glasgow to buy explosives for rigging a car bomb. Elvey was the radio
engineer who put Radio Sutch, later renamed Radio City on the air in 1964.
Police detained him in Scotland and he confessed he had been involved in three botched
murder attempts. However, this evidence was weakened by Cooper, who claimed to
be an agent for the United States Treasury Department investigating links
between the American mafia and the Kray gang. The botched murders were his
work, in an attempt to pin something on the Krays. Read tried using Cooper, who
was also being employed as a source by one of Read's superior officers, as a
trap for Ron and Reg, but they stayed away from him.
a Scotland Yard conference decided to arrest the Krays on the evidence already
collected, in the hope that other witnesses would be forthcoming once the Krays
were in custody. On 8 May 1968, the Krays and 15 other members of their
"firm" were arrested. Many witnesses came forward now that the Krays'
reign of intimidation was over, and it was relatively easy to gain a
conviction. The Krays and 14 others were convicted, with one member of the firm
being acquitted. One of the firm members that provided a lot of the information
to the police was arrested yet only for a short period. Out of the 17 official
firm members, 16 were arrested and convicted. The twins' defence, under their
counsel John Platts-Mills, QC, consisted of flat denials of all charges and the
discrediting of witnesses by pointing out their criminal past. The judge, Mr
Justice Melford Stevenson said: "In my view, society has earned a rest
from your activities." Both were sentenced to life imprisonment, with a
non-parole period of 30 years for the murders of Cornell and McVitie, the longest
sentences ever passed at the Old Bailey (Central Criminal Court, London) for
murder. Their brother Charlie was jailed for 10 years for his part in the
August 1982, under tight security, Ronnie and Reggie Kray were allowed to
attend the funeral of their mother Violet, who had died of cancer the week
before, but they were not allowed to attend the graveside service at Chingford
Mount cemetery in East London where their mother was interred in the Kray
family plot. The service was attended by celebrities including Diana Dors and
underworld figures known to the Krays.The twins did not ask to attend their
father's funeral when he died seven months later in March 1983: this was to
avoid the publicity that had surrounded their mother's funeral.
was eventually once more certified insane and lived the remainder of his life
in Broadmoor Hospital, Crowthorne, dying on 17 March 1995 of a massive heart
attack, aged 61. His funeral on 29 March 1995 was an enormous event with people
lining the streets.
was a Category A prisoner, denied almost all liberties and not allowed to mix
with other prisoners. However, in his later years, he was downgraded to
Category C and transferred to Norfolk's Wayland Prison.
officials at Broadmoor Hospital discovered a business card of Ron's, which
prompted an investigation that revealed the twins – incarcerated at separate
institutions – along with their older brother, Charlie, and another accomplice
who was not in prison, were operating a "lucrative bodyguard and
'protection' business for Hollywood stars". Documents released under
Freedom of Information laws revealed that officials were concerned about this
operation, called Krayleigh Enterprises, but believed there was no legal basis
to shut it down. Documentation of the investigation reveals Frank Sinatra hired
18 bodyguards from Krayleigh Enterprises in 1985
incarceration, Reggie became a born again Christian. After serving more than
the recommended 30 years he was sentenced to in March 1969, he was finally
freed from Wayland on 26 August 2000, at almost 67-years-old. He was released
on compassionate grounds as a result of having inoperable bladder cancer. The
final weeks of his life were spent with his wife Roberta, whom he had married
while in Maidstone prison in July 1997, in a suite at the Townhouse Hotel at
Norwich, having left Norwich hospital on 22 September 2000. On 1 October 2000,
Reggie Kray died in his sleep. Ten days later, he was buried alongside his
brother Ronnie, in Chingford cemetery.
brother Charlie Kray was released in 1975 after serving seven years, but
returned to prison in 1997 for conspiracy to smuggle cocaine worth £69m in an
undercover drugs sting. He died of natural causes in prison on 4 April 2000,
six months before Reggie's death.
then had a turf war with Islington's then infamous criminal twins, Brendan and
1960s, they were widely seen as prosperous and charming celebrity nightclub
owners and were part of the Swinging London scene. A large part of their fame
was due to their non-criminal activities as popular figures on the celebrity
circuit, being photographed by David Bailey on more than one occasion; and
socialised with lords, MPs, socialites and show business characters such as the
actors George Raft, Judy Garland, Diana Dors, Barbara Windsor and singer Frank