10 shocking facts
1. Reginald and Ronald, aka “Reggie” and “Ronnie”, carved their names into the history of London’s East End, as two of the country’s most notorious gangsters during the 1960s.
2. The twins called a modest four-roomed Victorian terraced house on 178 Vallance Road home. It was located in one of the poorer areas of the capital and they lived here with their older brother Charlie, mother Violet and father Charlie Senior. The house is no longer there, as it made way for a set of new builds in the late 1980s.
3. Reggie and Ronnie were keen boxers throughout their teens, but their tendency to fight outside of the ring placed them on the wrong side of the boxing authorities and ended that dream.
4. The Kray’s were of Romany, Irish and Jewish heritage.
5. The twins first appeared at the Old Bailey in London at the age of 19 where an assault case was dismissed for lack of evidence. Ironically, they also made their final court appearance here when they were handed life sentences 16 years later.
6. In his early 20’s Ronnie’s uncontrollable paranoia and scary violent outbursts led him to being sectioned and certified insane.
7. The Kray’s mixed with the likes of music legends Frank Sinatra and Judy Garland under the guise of being nightclub owners in London’s upmarket Knightsbridge.
8. They are known for the murders of Frank Mitchell aka “The Mad Axeman”, George Cornell and Jack “The Hat” McVitie.
9. Both of the twins grappled to come to terms with their sexuality, Ronnie was homosexual and Reggie bisexual.
10. Much of Reggie’s relationship to Brigitte Bardot look-a-like Frances Shea remains a mystery, but what is known is that she died aged 24 soon after they married. She endured a tumultuous relationship with him, and an inquest at the time ruled that she had committed suicide.