Reginald “Reggie” Kray (24 October 1933 – 1 October 2000) and Ronald “Ronnie” Kray (24 October 1933 – 17 March 1995) were identical twin brothers, and the foremost organised crime leaders dominating London’s East End during the 1950s and 1960s. Ronald, commonly referred to as Ron or Ronnie, suffered from paranoid schizophrenia.1 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 well-known names such as Diana Dors, Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland as well as politicians. This gave them a perceived respectability and in the 1960s they became celebrities in their own right, being photographed by the likes of David Bailey and appearing in interviews on television.
They were eventually arrested on May 9, 1968 and convicted in 1969 by the efforts of a dedicated squad of detectives led by Detective Superintendent Leonard “Nipper” Read, and were both sentenced to life imprisonment.
Ronnie remained in prison until his death on 17 March 1995, but Reggie was finally released from prison on compassionate grounds in August 2000, just weeks before his death from cancer.