Reign of terror:1950's - 31/5/68
Motive: Money and to maintain their reputation.
1. Murder of George Cornell on the 9th March 1966 in the Blind Beggar pub in the East End of London.
2. Murder of Jack "the Hat" McVitie in November 1966 in a flat in Stoke Newington
3. Murder of Frank "Mad Axeman" Mitchell on 12/12/1966 in East Ham.
Method: Cornell and Mitchell were shot. McVitie would have been shot, but the gun misfired and so he was stabbed in the face, stomach and neck.
Sentence: Ronnie and Reggie were both sentenced to life with a minimum of 30 years for the murders of McVitie and Cornell. Their older brother Charlie was charged with 10 years for his part in the murders. At a later trial, Reggie was charged with harbouring Frank Mitchell, for which he got an extra five years.
Interesting facts:The Kray twins were greatly feared members of the underworld in their time. They ran their own protection racket, and committed fraud and blackmail. They shot several of their "friends" in the foot,and rammed a sword across another man's mouth. They employed their own "firm", a group of hard men, who did much of the dirty work for them
The murder of Cornell was committed at 8.30pm in the middle of a crowded pub. However, everyone was so scared of them, that they all denied witnessing the crime. At first, it was not the Kray's intention to murder Mitchell. The Krays arranged to help him escape form Dartmoor prison. This they did, and kept him in a flat in East Ham. To prevent him from becoming bored, they presented him with Liza, a nightclub hostess. He fell in love with her and decided to marry her. The twins decided he was becoming a liabilty, and so one night, they told him they were moving him to the country, and then they shot him in a van.
The mysterious thing about the deaths of McVitie and Mitchell is the whereabouts of the bodies. There have been various speculations as to where they might have beeen put - in the concrete of the Bow Road flyover, in the heating boilers of the local baths, in the boilers of Southwark power station, or they were cremated by one of the firm who was also a crematorium worker. A recent ITV documentary revealed that the bodies were possibly disposed of in the sea off Newhaven Harbour. This may be true, or it may just increase the level of speculation.
Ronnie Kray died on the 19th March 1995 and was buried 10 days later in Bethnal Green, the area he had once haunted. Reggie Kray died on 1st October 2000 and was buried alongside his brothers.
In association with amazon.co.uk Profession of Violence: The Rise and Fall of the Kray Twins by John Pearson
Profession of Violence: The Rise and Fall of the Kray Twins by John Pearson. If you want to buy this book, click on the book cover.