ICONS OF EVIL. SERIAL KILLER OF MEN, AILEEN WUORNOS, THE DAMSEL OF DEATH

 

 Aileen Wuornos, nicknamed the Damsel of Death, spent 10 years on death row in Florida, after being convicted of killing six men when she worked as a prostitute on Florida’s highways in 1989 and 1990.

ABOVE IS A BRIEF INTERACTIVE INTERVIEW FOOTAGE OF HITCH-HIKING LESBIAN PROSTITUTE AND MAN HATER … AILEEN WUORNOS …. PRIOR TO HER EXECUTION…..INSANE?

ABOVE IS A BRIEF PICTORIAL INSIGHT INTO VARIOUS HANDWRITTEN AND SIGNED MURDERABILIA ITEMS FROM AILEEN WUORNOS HERE ON DISPLAY AT THE CRIME THROUGH TIME COLLECTION , LITTLEDEAN JAIL

US-born highway hooker and serial man-killer Aileen Wuornos was put to death for a nine-month killing spree spanning north and central Florida.

The trail started on 1 December 1989 when a policeman found Richard Mallory’s abandoned vehicle. Just 12 days later the shop-owner’s bullet-ridden body was found in the undergrowth in a secluded wood.

Below is a brief interactive  background insight into the the life and crimes of former lesbian prostitute and serial killer Aileen Wuornos who was executed October 9, 2002 by Lethal Injection in Florida .

 

‘Damsel of Death’ executed
Aileen Wuornos in 2001 and 1991 (pictures from AP)
Wuornos said she “seriously hates human life”
A woman serial killer convicted of the murder of six men has been executed in Florida’s state prison.Aileen Wuornos, 46, died at 0947 local time (1347GMT) in the prison at Starke, after being injected with a lethal cocktail of drugs, according to a spokeswoman for Florida Governor Jeb Bush.
Governor Jeb Bush
Governor Jeb Bush ordered the execution

Wuornos, nicknamed the Damsel of Death, spent 10 years on death row in Florida, after being convicted of killing six men when she worked as a prostitute on Florida’s highways in 1989 and 1990.

Her killings began with Richard Mallory on 13 December 1989, and ended in January 1991 when she was arrested in Daytona Beach, Florida.

She is thought to have killed eight men in total.

Wuornos originally claimed she had killed in self-defence, after being raped.

Click here to see the map of the killings

Several years later, she admitted planning the murders with robbery as her motive.

At her 1992 trial, State Attorney John Tanner described her as “a homicidal predator”.

“She was like a spider on the side of the road, waiting for her prey – men,” he said.

Rejecting appeals

In April this year Wuornos refused to go along with another appeal.

“I would prefer to cut to the chase and get on with an execution,” she wrote.

“Taxpayers’ money has been squandered, and the families have suffered enough.”

Wuornos became a celebrity, and books, a film and an opera were written about her case.

Last week, Governor Bush lifted a stay on her execution when a team of psychiatrists ruled that she was sane.

‘Election ploy’

Wuornos was abandoned by her mother as an infant, and her father was a convicted child molester who committed suicide in jail.

She became pregnant at 14, but had to give up the child.

In April, she wrote to the authorities: “I have hate crawling through my system.

“I’m one who seriously hates human life and would kill again.”

She is only the second woman to be executed in Florida after the re-introduction of the death penalty in 1976.

Opponents of the death penalty say her execution, and that of Rigoberto Sanchez-Velasco last week, are being used by Governor Bush to help his re-election prospects in next month’s poll for the post of governor.


Aileen Wuornos

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Aileen Wuornos

Aileen Wuornos mug shot
Background information
Birth name Aileen Carol Pittman
Also known as [1] Sandra Kretsch
Susan Lynn Blahovec
Lee Blahovec
Cammie Marsh Greene
Lori Kristine Grody
Born February 29, 1956[1]
Rochester, Michigan
Died October 9, 2002 (aged 46)
Florida State PrisonBradford County, FloridaUnited States
Cause of death lethal injection
Conviction 6 counts 1st degree murder
Killings
Number of victims: 7
Span of killings 30 November 1989–19 November 1990
Country United States
State(s) Florida
Date apprehended 9 January 1991

Aileen Wuornos (29 February 1956 – 9 October 2002) was an American serial killer who killed seven men in Florida between 1989 and 1990, claiming theyraped or attempted to rape her while she was working as a prostitute. She was convicted and sentenced to death for six of the murders and executed bylethal injection on October 9, 2002.

Childhood

Early Life

Wuornos was born as Aileen Carol Pittman in Rochester, Michigan, on 29 February 1956.[2] Her mother, Diane Wuornos, was 15 years old when she married Aileen’s father, Leo Dale Pittman on 3 June 1954. Less than two years later, and two months before Wuornos was born, Diane filed for divorce. Aileen had an older brother named Keith, who was born in February 1955. Wuornos never met her father, because he was in prison for the rape and attempted murder of an eight-year-old boy[2] when she was born. Leo Pittman was considered to be a schizophrenic, who was convicted of sex crimes against children,[3] was in and out of prison, and hanged himself in prison in 1969.[1][4] In January 1960, when Aileen was almost 4 years old, Diane abandoned her children, leaving them with their maternal grandparents, Lauri and Britta Wuornos, who legally adopted Keith and Aileen on 18 March 1960.[4]

At age 12, Wuornos engaged in sexual activities in school in exchange for cigarettes, drugs, and food. Aileen had also engaged in sexual activities with her own brother.[3] Wuornos claimed that she was sexually assaulted and beaten as a child by her grandfather. Aileen’s grandfather was an alcoholic. Before beating her, he would force her to strip out of her clothes.[3] In 1970, at age 14, she became pregnant,[5] having been raped by a friend of her grandfather.[3]Wuornos gave birth at a home for unwed mothers, and the child was placed for adoption.[4] A few months after her baby was born, Aileen dropped out of school[3] as her grandmother died of liver failure; and Aileen and her brother became wards of the court. When she was 15, her grandfather threw her out of the house; and she began supporting herself as a prostitute and living in the woods near her old home.[4]

[edit]Early criminal career

On 27 May 1974, Wuornos was arrested in Jefferson County, Colorado, for driving under the influence (DUI), disorderly conduct, and firing a .22-caliber pistol from a moving vehicle. She was later charged with failure to appear (FTA).[6]

In 1976, Wuornos hitchhiked to Florida, where she met 69-year-old yacht club president Lewis Gratz Fell. They married that same year, and the announcement of their nuptials was printed in the society pages of the local newspaper. However, Wuornos continually involved herself in confrontations at their local bar and eventually went to jail for assault. She also hit Fell with his own cane, leading him to get a restraining order against her. She returned to Michigan[7][8] where, on 14 July 1976, Wuornos was arrested in Antrim County, Michigan, and charged with assault and disturbing the peacefor throwing a cue ball at a bartender’s head.[9] On July 17, her brother Keith died of esophageal cancer and Wuornos received $10,000 from his life insurance. Wuornos and Fell annulled on July 21 after nine weeks of marriage.[10]

On 20 May 1981, Wuornos was arrested in Edgewater, Florida, for the armed robbery of a convenience store. She was sentenced to prison on 4 May 1982, and released on 30 June 1983.[11] On 1 May 1984, Wuornos was arrested for attempting to pass forged checks at a bank in Key West. On 30 November 1985, she was named as a suspect in the theft of a revolver and ammunition in Pasco County.[11]

On 4 January 1986, Wuornos was arrested in Miami and charged with grand theft autoresisting arrest, and obstruction by false information for providing identification with her aunt’s name. Miami police officers found a .38-caliber revolver and a box of ammunition in the stolen car.[12] On 2 June 1986, Volusia County, Florida deputy sheriffs detained Wuornos for questioning after a male companion accused her of pulling a gun, in his car, and demanding $200. Wuornos was found to be carrying spare ammunition, and a .22 pistol was discovered under the passenger seat she had occupied.[13]

Around this time, Wuornos met Tyria Moore, a hotel maid, at a Daytona gay bar. They moved in together, and Wuornos supported them with her prostitution earnings.[14] On 4 July 1987, Daytona Beach police detained Wuornos and Moore at a bar for questioning regarding an incident in which they were accused of assault and battery with a beer bottle.[15] On 12 March 1988, Wuornos accused a Daytona Beach bus driver of assault. She claimed that he pushed her off the bus following a confrontation. Moore was listed as a witness to the incident.[15]

After seeing Wuornos on television prior to her first trial, a 44-year-old born-again-Christian woman named Arlene Pralle felt compelled to contact Aileen. She claimed Jesus told her to do so. Pralle quickly became an outspoken advocate of Wuornos, speaking with her daily and claiming her innocence

[edit]Murders

  • Richard Mallory,[1] age 51, 30 November 1989—Electronics store owner in Clearwater, Florida. Wuornos’ first victim was a convicted rapist whom she claimed to have killed in self-defense. Two days later, a Volusia County, Florida, Deputy Sheriff found Mallory’s abandoned vehicle. On December 13, Mallory’s body was found several miles away in a wooded area. He had been shot several times, but two bullets to the left lung were found to have been the cause of death. It was on this murder that Wuornos would eventually be condemned.
  • David Spears,[1] age 43—Construction worker in Winter Garden, Florida. On 1 June 1990, his nude body was found along Highway 19 in Citrus County, Florida. He had been shot six times.
  • Charles Carskaddon,[1] age 40, 31 May 1990—Part-time rodeo worker. On 6 June 1990, his body was found in Pasco County, Florida. He had been shot nine times with a small-caliber weapon.
  • Peter Siems,[1] age 65—In June 1990, Siems left Jupiter, Florida, for New Jersey. On 4 July 1990, his car was found in Orange Springs, Florida. Moore and Wuornos were seen abandoning the car, and Wuornos’ palm print was found on the interior door handle. His body was never found.
  • Troy Burress,[1] age 50—Sausage salesman from Ocala, Florida. On 31 July 1990, he was reported missing. On 4 August 1990, his body was found in a wooded area along State Road 19 in Marion County, Florida. He had been shot twice.
  • Charles “Dick” Humphreys,[1] age 56, 11 September 1990—Retired U.S. Air Force Major, former State Child Abuse Investigator, and former Chief of Police. On 12 September 1990, his body was found in Marion County, Florida. He was fully clothed and had been shot six times in the head and torso. His car was found in Suwannee County, Florida.
  • Walter Jeno Antonio,[1] age 62—Police Reservist.[16][page needed] On 19 November 1990,[16][page needed] Antonio’s nearly nude body was found near a remote logging road in Dixie County, Florida. He had been shot four times. Five days later, his car was found in Brevard County, Florida.

[edit]Justice system

[edit]Apprehension and sentencing

On 4 July 1990, Wuornos and Moore abandoned Peter Siems’s car after they were involved in an accident. Witnesses who had seen the women driving the victims’ cars provided police with their names and descriptions, resulting in a media campaign to locate them. Police also found some of the victims’ belongings in pawnshops and retrieved fingerprints matching those found in the victims’ cars. Wuornos had a criminal justice record in Florida, and her fingerprints were on file.[4]

On 9 January 1991, Wuornos was arrested on an outstanding warrant at The Last Resort, a biker bar in Volusia County.[17] Police located Moore the next day in Scranton, Pennsylvania. She agreed to elicit a confession from Wuornos in exchange for prosecutorial immunity.[18] Moore returned with police to Florida, where she was put up in a motel. Under police guidance, Moore made numerous telephone calls to Wuornos, pleading for help in clearing her name. Three days later, on 16 January 1991, Wuornos confessed to the murders. She claimed the men had tried to rape her and she killed them in self-defense.[19][20]

On 14 January 1992, Wuornos went to trial for the murder of Richard Mallory. Prior bad acts are normally inadmissible in criminal trials; but, under Florida’s Williams Rule, the prosecution was allowed to introduce evidence related to her other crimes to show a pattern of illegal activity.[1] On 27 January 1992, Wuornos was convicted of Richard Mallory’s murder with help from Moore’s testimony. At her sentencing, psychiatrists for the defense testified that Wuornos was mentally unstable and had been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder. Four days later, she was sentenced to death.[20][21]

On 31 March 1992, Wuornos pleaded no contest to the murders of Dick Humphreys, Troy Burress, and David Spears, saying she wanted to “get right with God”.[1] In her statement to the court, she stated, “I wanted to confess to you that Richard Mallory did violently rape me as I’ve told you; but these others did not. [They] only began to start to.”[1] On 15 May 1992, Wuornos was given three more death sentences.[1]

In June 1992, Wuornos pleaded guilty to the murder of Charles Carskaddon; in November 1992, she received her fifth death sentence.[1] The defense made efforts during the trial to introduce evidence that Mallory had been tried for intent to commit rape in Maryland and that he had been committed to a maximum security correctional facility in Maryland that provided remediation to sexual offenders.[22] Records obtained from that institution reflected that, from 1958 to 1962, Mallory was committed for treatment and observation resulting from a criminal charge of assault with intent to rape and received an over-all eight years of treatment from the facility. In 1961, “it was observed of Mr. Mallory that he possessed strong sociopathic trends”.[22] The judge refused to allow this to be admitted in court as evidence and denied Wuornos’ request for a retrial.[20][22][23]

In February 1993, Wuornos pleaded guilty to the murder of Walter Gino Antonio and was sentenced to death again. No charges were brought against her for the murder of Peter Siems, as his body was never found. In all, she received six death sentences.[1]

Wuornos told several inconsistent stories about the killings. She claimed initially that all seven men had raped her while she was working as a prostitute but later recanted the claim of self-defense. During an interview with filmmaker Nick Broomfield, when she thought the cameras were off, she told him that it was, in fact, self-defense, but she could not stand being on death row—where she had been for 12 years at that point—and wanted to die.[24]

[edit]Execution

Wuornos’ appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court was denied in 1996. In 2001, she announced that she would not issue any further appeals against her death sentence. She petitioned the Florida Supreme Court for the right to fire her legal counsel and stop all appeals, saying, “I killed those men, robbed them as cold as ice. And I’d do it again, too. There’s no chance in keeping me alive or anything, because I’d kill again. I have hate crawling through my system…I am so sick of hearing this ‘she’s crazy’ stuff. I’ve been evaluated so many times. I’m competent, sane, and I’m trying to tell the truth. I’m one who seriously hates human life and would kill again.”[25] A defense attorney argued that she was in no state for them to honor such a request.[26]

Florida Governor Jeb Bush instructed three psychiatrists to give Wuornos a 15-minute interview. The test for competency requires the psychiatrist(s) to be convinced that the condemned person understands that she will die and for which crime(s) she is being executed. All three judged her mentally fit to be executed.

Wuornos later started accusing the prison matrons of abusing her. She accused them of tainting her food, spitting on it, serving her potatoes cooked in dirt, and her food arriving with urine. She also claimed overhearing conversations about “trying to get me so pushed over the brink by them I’d wind up committing suicide before the [execution]” and “wishing to rape me before execution”. She also complained of strip searches, being handcuffed so tightly that her wrists bruised any time she left her cell, door kicking, frequent window checks by matrons, low water pressure, mildew on her mattress and “cat calling … in distaste and a pure hatred towards me”. Wuornos threatened to boycott showers and food trays when specific officers were on duty. “In the meantime, my stomach’s growling away and I’m taking showers through the sink of my cell.”

Her attorney stated that “Ms. Wuornos really just wants to have proper treatment, humane treatment until the day she’s executed”, and “If the allegations don’t have any truth to them, she’s clearlydelusional. She believes what she’s written”.[27]

During the final stages of the appeal process she gave a series of interviews to Broomfield. In her final interview shortly before her execution she claimed that her mind was being controlled by “sonic pressure” to make her appear crazy and described her impending death as being taken away by angels on a space ship.[28] Wuornos said to Broomfield, “You sabotaged my ass, society, and the cops, and the system. A raped woman got executed, and was used for books and movies and shit.”[29] Her final words in the on-camera interview were “Thanks a lot, society, for railroading my ass.”[30]Broomfield later met Dawn Botkins, a childhood friend of Wuornos’, who told him, “She’s sorry, Nick. She didn’t give you the finger. She gave the media the finger, and then the attorneys the finger. And she knew if she said much more, it could make a difference on her execution tomorrow, so she just decided not to.”[31]

Wuornos was executed by lethal injection on October 9, 2002.[32] She was the tenth woman in the United States to be executed since the Supreme Court lifted the ban on capital punishment in 1976,[33] and the second woman ever executed in Florida. She declined a last meal and instead was given a cup of coffee. Her final statement before the execution was “Yes, I would just like to say I’m sailing with the rock, and I’ll be back, like Independence Day with Jesus. June 6, like the movie. Big mother ship and all, I’ll be back, I’ll be back.”[1]

[edit]After death

After her execution, Wuornos was cremated. Her ashes were taken by Dawn Botkins to her native Michigan and spread beneath a tree. She requested that Natalie Merchant‘s song “Carnival” be played at her funeral. Natalie Merchant commented on this when asked why her song was played during the credits of the documentary Aileen: Life and Death of a Serial Killer:

When director Nick Broomfield sent a working edit of the film, I was so disturbed by the subject matter that I couldn’t even watch it. Aileen Wuornos led a tortured, torturing life that is beyond my worst nightmares. It wasn’t until I was told that Aileen spent many hours listening to my album Tigerlily while on death row and requested “Carnival” be played at her funeral that I gave permission for the use of the song. It’s very odd to think of the places my music can go once it leaves my hands. If it gave her some solace, I have to be grateful.[34]

Broomfield later stated:

I think this anger developed inside her. And she was working as a prostitute. I think she had a lot of awful encounters on the roads. And I think this anger just spilled out from inside her. And finally exploded. Into incredible violence. That was her way of surviving. I think Aileen really believed that she had killed in self-defense. I think someone who’s deeply psychotic can’t really tell the difference between something that is life threatening and something that is a minor disagreement, that you could say something that she didn’t agree with. She would get into a screaming black temper about it. And I think that’s what had caused these things to happen. And at the same time, when she wasn’t in those extreme moods, there was an incrediblehumanity to her.[35]

56th murderer executed in U.S. in 2002
805th murderer executed in U.S. since 1976
10th female murderer executed in U.S. since 1976
2nd murderer executed in Florida in 2002
53rd murderer executed in Florida since 1976
2nd female murderer executed in Florida since 1976

Summary:
Between December 1989 and September 1990, the bodies of several men were found murdered along the highways of northern and central Florida, including Richard Mallory, Dick Humphreys, Troy Burress, David Spears, Walter Gino Antonio, Peter Siems, and Charles Carskaddon. Items belonging to Mallory and Antonio were pawned near Daytona Beach and the alias names used were traced to Wuornos through thumbprints left on the pawn shop cards. Wuornos confessed to the murder of all six men, claiming that she was picked up by the men when she was working as a highway prostitute, and shot them in self defense after they attempted to sexually assault her. Wuornos was convicted of the murder of Richard Mallory after a jury trial in Volusia County and was sentenced to death. At trial, the State was allowed to introduce similar crimes evidence about Wuornos’ commission of several other murders. While on death row, it was discovered that Mallory had previously served time for Attempted Rape. Wuornos pleaded no contest to the murders of the other 5 men and was sentenced to death in each case.

Within two weeks of her arrest, Wuornos and her attorney had sold movie rights to her story. Investigators in her case did likewise. The case resulted in several books and movies, and even one opera on the life of “America’s first female serial killer.” Wuornos’s father, Leo Dale Pittman, was a child molester and a sociopath who was strangled in prison in 1969. Wuornos was pregnant at age fourteen. Shortly thereafter, she dropped out of school, left home and took up hitchhiking and prostitution. Wuornos had a prior conviction for armed robbery in 1982.

 

Final Meal:
Wuornos declined the traditional last meal, which could have been anything she wanted for under $20, and instead was given a cup of coffee.

Final Words:
“I’d just like to say I’m sailing with the rock, and I’ll be back like Independence Day, with Jesus June 6. Like the movie, big mother ship and all, I’ll be back.”

 

THE MASTERMIND BEHIND THE GREAT TRAIN ROBBERY (1963) BRUCE REYNOLDS FUNERAL 20TH MARCH 2013

R.I.P BRUCE REYNOLDS

NICK REYNOLDS DEVOTED SON OF HIS FATHER BRUCE , HIS BOYS , FAMILY , FRIENDS , ACQUAINTANCES AND MANY OTHERS SAY FAREWELL TO ONE OF THE MOST ICONIC FOLKLORE FIGURES IN BRITISH MODERN HISTORY AT ST BARTHOLOMEW THE GREAT CHURCH, SMITHFIELDS , LONDON, UK . 

FOLLOWED UP BY THE WAKE IN HIS HONOUR HELD AT THE KING’S HEAD PUB , KINGSLAND ROAD , LONDON. 

ON A PERSONAL LEVEL I  WOULD WISH TO ADD THAT IT WAS A GREAT DAY AND A GREAT SEND-OFF AND FURTHERMORE ALL THOSE THAT WERE THERE THROUGHOUT THE DAY AND EVENING HAD A FANTASTIC TIME . 

BELOW IS THE ORDER OF SERVICE FRONT COVER  , VARIOUS PERSONAL IMAGES TAKEN ON THE DAY AND THROUGHOUT THE EVENING BY OUR OWN ALWAYS LOYAL FACEBOOK ADMIN GEEZER………….. JULES,  AS WELL AS SOME OTHER PRESS USED FEATURES AND VIDEO ETC RELATING TO BRUCE REYNOLDS AND HIS LIFE……../

DSC_1868NICK REYNOLDS AND HIS SONS SAY THEIR LAST FAREWELLS TO BRUCE 

Nick Reynolds kisses his father, Bruce Reynolds coffin as it leaves  the church  at   Bruce Reynolds the Great Train Robbery masterminds funeral, London, UK

FOR MORE OF OUR IMAGES TAKEN BY JULES PLEASE VISIT

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10151359471518457.1073741834.597178456&type=1

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10151360319213457.1073741835.597178456&type=1&notif_t=like

 

 

Two fingers to you all: Frail and wheelchair-bound, Ronnie Biggs, 83, makes a feeble gesture of defiance at the funeral of one of his train robber pals

  • The former criminal mastermind Bruce Reynolds died in his sleep last month aged 81
  • Reynolds referred to the train robbery as ‘his Sistine Chapel’, says his son Nick
  • Brains behind £2.6million robbery of mail train with 16 accomplices
  • Jailed for 25 years for role and later wrote of experiences in memoir
  • Fellow gang member Ronnie Biggs attended private funeral in city of London

 

Even half a century later, he speaks of it as ‘an adventure’.

Ronnie Biggs might be a pathetic figure in a wheelchair these days but he still has fond memories of the Great Train Robbery and his 36-year flight from justice.

An engine driver coshed on the skull with an iron bar. A life on the run. A circle of friends including gangsters, hard-men, thugs and petty criminals.

Scroll down for video

Ronnie Biggs
Ronnie Biggs

Partner-in-crime: Ronnie Biggs makes an obscene gesture as he attends the funeral of Bruce Reynolds, the mastermind behind the Great Train Robbery

Event: Hundreds of mourners attended the service which took place at St Bartholomew the Great, in LondonEvent: Hundreds of mourners attended the service which took place at St Bartholomew the Great, in London
Gathering: Around 200 people attended the funeral of Bruce Reynolds in the city of London today
Bruce Reynolds

Colourful life: Bruce Reynolds, left, was the brains behind the Great Train Robbery (pictured in 1963 right)

Notorious: Mourners comfort each other outside the church. The funeral was very well attendedNotorious: Mourners comfort each other outside the church. The funeral was very well attended

Biggs said farewell to one of them yesterday – and found the strength to raise two fingers for the cameras.

Frail, 83, and unable to stray far from medical care, he made a rare public outing from his nursing home to join mourners at the funeral of his old pal Bruce Reynolds, fellow ex-fugitive and so-called ‘mastermind’ of the 1963 robbery.

In a tribute read out on his behalf, Biggs told a 200-strong congregation: ‘It was Bruce who set me off on an adventure that was to change my life, and it was typical of Bruce that he was there at the end to help me back from Brazil to  Britain. I am proud to have had Bruce Richard Reynolds as a friend. He was a good man.’

Well-known associate of the Kray brothers Freddy Foreman (centre) leads a group of mourners to the funeralWell-known associate of the Kray brothers Freddie Foreman (centre) leads a group of mourners to the funeral, including former celeb and football agent Eric Hall (right)
Respects: Mourners at the funeral of Bruce Reynolds who was jailed for 25 years for his part in the Great Train robberyRespects: Mourners at the funeral of Bruce Reynolds who was jailed for 25 years for his part in the Great Train robbery
Underworld: Self-styled gangster Dave Courtnay who was jailed in the Eighties for attacking five men with a meat cleaver at the funeraUnderworld: Self-styled gangster Dave Courtney, who was jailed in the Eighties for attacking five men with a meat cleaver, at the funeral

A mourner makes a display of his underworld connections at the funeral of Bruce ReynoldsA mourner makes a display of his underworld connections at the funeral of Bruce Reynolds
Eastenders actor Jamie Foreman - the son of former gangster Freddie Foreman - attended the funeral
Bobby Welch arriving

EastEnders actor Jamie Foreman – the son of former gangster Freddie Foreman, left, and another of the surviving Great Train robbers Bobby Welch, right

NICK REYNOLDS: GANGSTER’S SON WHOSE BAND FOUND FAME WITH THE SOPRANOS THEME TUNE

Nick Reynolds’ band, Alabama 3, was founded at an Acid House party in Brixton, London, in 1995, when members agreed that a fusion of country music with acid house was a possibility.

They were signed to Geffen Records for a million dollars which, in their words, was spent: ‘ on ‘various contraband items and with the rest we made an over-produced, brilliant situationist masterpiece called ‘Exile on Coldharbour Lane’

They achieved international fame when the producers of The Sopranos, a hit TV series about a Mafia family living in the U.S., chose their track ‘Woke Up This Morning‘ for the show’s opening credits.

That tune, written by band member Rob Spragg,’bought someone a swimming pool, but it sure wasn’t any of us…’, they claim.

Their music has also appeared in a number of films including Gone in 60 Seconds and A Life Less Ordinary.

That ‘good man’ was part of the gang that needlessly attacked train driver Jack Mills and left him bleeding in his cab.

Although Mills died seven years later from cancer, his family maintains the trauma never left him, insisting the blow contributed to his early death.

The robbery netted more than £2.6million in used bank notes, around  £40million in today’s money and the biggest of its kind.

Despite the unnecessary brutality, it captured public imagination for decades, spawned a succession of films and books, and earned leading gang members dubious celebrity.

Hence, other names from the past joined Biggs yesterday for the private church service in St Bartholomew The Great in the City of London.

Among them were former Kray brothers’ henchmen Freddie Foreman, known as ‘Brown Bread Fred’ for the assistance he gave in disposing of one of the twins’ high profile victims; fellow member of ‘The Firm’, Chris Lambrianou; and self-proclaimed gangster Dave Courtney.

Yesterday Courtney said of Reynolds: ‘He was a real class act.

‘He used to wear the cravat and everything. He was a monarch for naughty people. The Great Train Robbery – that was the big one for him. He always used to call it his Moby Dick.’

Reynolds, an antique dealer nicknamed ‘Napoleon’, boasted that he wanted to pull off a crime that would go down in  history and make him rich.

He succeeded in one of those ambitions – but was broke by the time he was arrested five years later in Torquay after returning to Britain from a  succession of hideouts in Mexico and Canada.

He was convicted and sentenced to 25 years in jail. In the 1980s he was jailed again, for drug dealing.

He died in his sleep on February 28, aged 81, a few months before the 50th anniversary of the robbery.

It might have been hailed as one of the most audacious of the 20th century, but Reynolds, the service was told, was not looking forward to celebrating it. In his 1995 memoirs, he labelled it ‘a curse’ that followed him for the rest of his life.

Yesterday his son Nick described his father as ‘a romantic, a true adventurer… a journeyman who chose a lunatic path and paid the price.’

He added: ‘He was an artist at heart and although he referred to the train robbery as his Sistine Chapel, his greatest triumph was in reassessing himself and changing his attitude about what is important in life.’

Having left the church to the strains of Let’s Face the Music and Dance, guests were invited afterwards to remember Reynolds at an East End pub.

Biggs
A note left at the funeral of Bruce Reynolds

Biggs was joined by a number of associates of Reynolds. A note (left) placed by a mourner at the funeral of Bruce Reynolds

Nick Reynolds' leads his family into the service where tributes and readings were madeNick Reynolds’ leads his family into the service where tributes and readings were made
An ailing Ronnie Biggs shakes Nick Reynolds' hand after an emotional service
Dave Courtney

An ailing Ronnie Biggs (left) shakes Nick Reynolds’ hand after an emotional service, while self-styled gangster Dave Courtney turns up with a toy train

Nick Reynolds performs with his band Alabama 3 during his father's funeralNick Reynolds performs with his band Alabama 3 during his father’s funeral
A statement read out on behalf of Ronnie Biggs described Bruce Reynolds as a 'true friend'A statement read out on behalf of Ronnie Biggs described Bruce Reynolds as a ‘true friend’
Flowers left by well-known associate of the Kray brothers Freddie ForemanFlowers left by well-known associate of the Kray brothers Freddie Foreman
A tribute from Reynolds' deputy Gordon Goody was also read out at the serviceA tribute from Reynolds’ deputy Gordon Goody was also read out at the service

Emotional: Tributes were read out by Bruce Reynolds' son Nick and his friend and fellow robber Gordon GoodyEmotional: Tributes were read out by Bruce Reynolds’ son Nick and his friend and fellow robber Gordon Goody
The coffin leaves St Bartholomew the Great church followed by mourners in the City of London Great church in the City of LondonThe coffin leaves St Bartholomew the Great church followed by mourners in the City of London
Nick Reynolds paid tribute to his father describing him as his best friend and greatest inspirationNick Reynolds paid tribute to his father describing him as his best friend and greatest inspiration
Ronnie Biggs, centre, said he was 'proud' to count Bruce Reynolds as a friendRonnie Biggs, centre, said he was ‘proud’ to count Bruce Reynolds as a friend
Arrest: Reynolds being taken away by police in November 1968 after spending five years on the runArrest: Reynolds being taken away by police in November 1968 after spending five years on the run
Family: Reynolds, left, with his wife Frances as well as fellow robber John Daly and his wife BarbaraFamily: Reynolds, left, with his wife Frances as well as fellow robber John Daly and his wife Barbara
Jim HusseyGang: Reynolds, centre, with his accomplices Buster Edwards, Tom Wisbey, Jim White, Roger Cordrey, Charles Wilson and Jim Hussey in 1979
Heist: The train which was targeted by the robbers pictured soon after the crimeHeist: The train which was targeted by the robbers pictured soon after the crime
Scene: The bridge where the bandits held up the train and attacked its workersScene: The bridge where the bandits held up the train and attacked its workers
Carnage: Inside a carriage of the mail train in the aftermath of the robbery in 1963Carnage: Inside a carriage of the mail train in the aftermath of the robbery in 1963
Cash: Detectives search through sacks of banknotes which were stolen in what was then a record robberyCash: Detectives search through sacks of banknotes which were stolen in what was then a record robbery
Investigation: A policeman picks up the train driver's hat from the railway tracks near the ambush siteInvestigation: A policeman picks up the train driver’s hat from the railway tracks near the ambush site
Father and son: Reynolds with his son Nick, an artist who is a member of the band Alabama ThreeFather and son: Reynolds with his son Nick, an artist who is a member of the band Alabama 3

THE FUNERAL OF BRUCE REYNOLDS: A CONGREGATION OF MURDERERS AND ASSORTED VILLAINS

THE MEAT CLEAVER MAN

Dave Cortney (left) and Chris Lambriano attend the funeral of Bruce Reynolds, the mastermind behind the Great Train Robbery of 1963 at St Bartholomew The Great Church in Smithfield, LondonDave Cortney (left) and Chris Lambriano attend the funeral of Bruce Reynolds, the mastermind behind the Great Train Robbery of 1963 at St Bartholomew The Great Church in Smithfield, London

Dave Courtney, 54, (pictured left – speaking to Chris Lambrianou, right) claims to have been shot, stabbed and had his nose bitten off. He also says he’s had to kill to stay alive.

The underworld hardman, who was jailed in the Eighties for attacking five men with a meat cleaver, is said to have been a debt collector for the Kray twins.

In this role, he cultivated a reputation for using the knuckleduster. He claims he was the model for Vinnie Jones’s character in the 1998 film Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels. However, it’s been suggested that he’s embellished his past so his books sell better.

THE KILLER TURNED CHRISTIAN

Chris Lambrianou, 75, was involved in the attempt by the Krays to muscle in on Birmingham in the 1960s – but failed to wrest control of the city’s bars. He was handed 15 years in prison for his part in the 1967 murder of Jack ‘the Hat’ McVitie.

Lambrianou later turned to religion and after his release he moved to Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire, to live a quiet life.

BROWN BREAD FRED
Freddie Foreman – aka ‘Brown Bread Fred’ – was a key associate of the Krays. Now 80, he was linked to the 1960s killings of ‘Mad Axeman’ Frank Mitchell and Tommy ‘Ginger’ Marks.

Foreman (right) has admitted he was asked by the Krays to kill  Mitchell. He shot him in the back of a van and had his body dumped at sea.

Marks was killed for arranging the shooting of Foreman’s brother George. Foreman was jailed for ten years in 1975 as an accessory to the killing of McVitie and served six years from 1989 for his role in the 1983 £7million Security Express robbery.

Biggs
Biggs

Notorious: Ronnie Biggs, pictured left at the time of the robbery and right in 2011, is the best-known of the gang after escaping from prison and spending decades on the run

Injuries: Jack Mills, driver of the train which the gang targeted, after being beaten by the robbersInjuries: Jack Mills, driver of the train which the gang targeted, after being beaten by the robbers
Police: Jack Slipper, left, and Gerald McArthur, right, were two officers intimately involved with the investigation
Gerald McArthur

Police: Jack Slipper, left, and Gerald McArthur, right, were two officers intimately involved with the investigation

Audacious thieves who shocked the nation: Where the Great Train Robbers ended up

By James Rush

Ronnie Biggs
Jim Hussey

Ronnie Biggs (left): The most famous of the train robbers, even though he played a minor role as a contact for the replacement train driver. He is best known for his escape from prison in 1965 and living as a fugitive for 36 years. He voluntarily returned to the UK in 2001 and spent several years in prison. During this time his health rapidly declined and on August 6, 2009, he was released from prison on compassionate grounds.

Charles Frederick (Charlie) Wilson (right): The treasurer whose role was to give the robbers their cut of the haul. He earned the nickname ‘the silent man’ after he was captured because he refused to say anything during his trial. Jailed for 30 years but escaped after four months. Was captured in Canada four years later and served another ten years in jail. Moved to Spain in 1978 where he was shot and killed by a hitman on a bicycle in 1990.

Jim Hussey
Roy James

Ronald ‘Buster’ Edwards (left): Fled to Mexico after the robbery but gave himself up in 1966. After nine years in jail he became a familiar figure selling flowers outside London Waterloo. Killed himself in 1994 at the age of 62. He was played by singer Phil Collins in the 1988 film Buster.

Roy James (right): The chief getaway driver left a fingerprint at the gang’s farm hideout and was caught following a rooftop chase. He moved to Spain after serving 12 years of a 30 year sentence. He was jailed again for six years in 1993 for shooting his wife’s father and hitting her with a pistol, and died soon after being released, at the age of 62.

1
Jim Hussey

Tommy Wisbey (left): One of the ‘heavies’ of the gang, Wisbey was there to frighten the train staff. Was jailed for 30 years and released in 1976 before being jailed for another ten years in 1989 for dealing cocaine. After being released he lived in north London, where he suffered a number of strokes.

Jimmy Hussey (right): ‘Big Jim’ died last year after apparently making a deathbed confession claiming he was the gang member who coshed the train driver. He was sentenced to 30 years for the robbery. After he was released in 1975 he eventually opened a restaurant in Soho after working on a market stall. He was convicted for assault in 1981. He was then jailed for seven years, eight years later, for a drug smuggling conspiracy, along with Wisbey.

1
1

Roger Cordrey (left): Was jailed for 20 years after being arrested in Bournemouth. He was caught after renting a lock-up from a policeman’s widow. His sentence was reduced to 14 years on appeal. The florist returned to the flower business after he was released in 1971 and moved to the West Country.

Jimmy White (right): The ‘quartermaster’ for the robbery. The former Paratrooper was caught in Kent after being on the run for three years and was sentenced to 18 years, He moved to Sussex after being released in 1975.

1
1

Douglas Gordon Goody (left): Was released in 1975 after being sentenced to 30 years in jail. After being released the hairdresser moved to Spain to run a bar.

John Daly (right): Reynold’s brother-in-law was arrested after his fingerprints were discovered on a Monopoly set linked to the case, but was acquitted when he successfully argued this did not prove he was involved.

Bobby Welch: Was also jailed for 30 years and released in 1976. The nightclub boss was left crippled after an operation on his leg went wrong. After being released from jail he became a gambler and a car dealer in London.

Brian Field: The solicitor was used to make the arrangement to buy the farm hideout used after the robbery. Jailed for 25 years, which was later reduced to five. He later died in a motorway crash in 1979.

Bill Jennings: The criminal who was hired to decouple the carriage with the cash in it was never caught and brought to justice.

Four other people were believed to be involved in the heist, but have never been identified. They include ‘The Ulsterman’, a key figure whose real name is a complete mystery.

R.I.P. BRUCE REYNOLDS …………….. IN MEMORY OF THE ADMIRAL

TRUE CRIME AND MUCH MUCH MORE ON DISPLAY HERE AT THE CRIME THROUGH TIME COLLECTION , LITTLEDEAN JAIL , FOREST OF DEAN , GLOUCESTERSHIRE,UK.

R.I.P. BRUCE REYNOLDS …………….. IN MEMORY OF THE ADMIRAL

Bruce Reynolds, mastermind behind the Great Train Robbery and inspiration for Michael Caine’s ‘Harry Palmer’, dies aged 81

  • Bruce Reynolds robbed £2.6million mail train with 16 accomplices
  • Jailed for 25 years for role and later wrote of experiences in memoir
  • Passed away peacefully in his sleep yesterday morning
  • The haul, which would be worth £40million today, was never fully recovered
  • Reynolds considered inspiration for Caine’s 1965 depiction of fictional spy Harry Palmer in film The Ipcress File

Bruce Reynolds, the crook regarded as the mastermind of the Great Train Robbery, died yesterday aged 81.

His death after a short illness came months before the 50th anniversary of the 1963 heist in which a gang escaped with a then record £2.6million – about £40million in today’s money.

A career criminal who enjoyed the high life and drove an Aston Martin, Reynolds was a notorious jewel thief and housebreaker who formed the 17-strong gang which held up the Royal Mail travelling post office in Buckinghamshire as it ran between Glasgow and London.

Mastermind: Bruce Reynolds, who organised the Great Train Robbery, has died aged 81
Ill health: Reynolds, pictured in 2007, was apparently ailing for some time before his death

Mastermind: Bruce Reynolds, who organised the Great Train Robbery, has died aged 81

Arrest: Reynolds being taken away by police in November 1968 after spending five years on the runArrest: Reynolds being taken away by police in November 1968 after spending five years on the run
Family: Reynolds, left, with his wife Frances as well as fellow robber John Daly and his wife BarbaraFamily: Reynolds, left, with his wife Frances as well as fellow robber John Daly and his wife Barbara
Reynolds was considered the inspiration for Michael Caine's 1965 depiction of fictional spy Harry Palmer (above) in the film The Ipcress FileReynolds was considered the inspiration for Michael Caine’s 1965 depiction of fictional spy Harry Palmer (above) in the film The Ipcress File

Nicknamed Napoleon, he bought his shoes at Lobb, his shirts from Jermyn Street and his suits in Savile Row  and was considered the inspiration for Michael Caine’s 1965 depiction of fictional spy Harry Palmer in the film The Ipcress File.

After the robbery, using a series of aliases and a false passport, Reynolds went on the run in Mexico and Canada for five years with his wife and young son before returning to Britain when the cash ran out.

Justice eventually caught up with him in Torquay in 1968.

When Tommy Butler, the Flying Squad detective who arrested him there, said: ‘Hello, Bruce, it’s been a long time’, Reynolds replied: ‘C’est la vie’. The last of the robbers to be caught, Reynolds was sentenced to 25 years in jail.

He was released on parole in 1978 and moved, penniless, into a tiny flat off London’s Edgware Road.

In the 1980s he was jailed for three years for dealing amphetamines.

Gang: Reynolds, centre, with his accomplices Buster Edwards, Tom Wisbey, Jim White, Roger Cordrey, Charles Wilson and Jim Hussey in 1979

Gang: Reynolds, centre, with his accomplices Buster Edwards, Tom Wisbey, Jim White, Roger Cordrey, Charles Wilson and Jim Hussey in 1979

His wife Frances, who had changed her name to Angela, died a couple of years ago, and he lived out his last years in Croydon, south London.

In his memoirs, written in 1995, he said the Great Train Robbery proved a curse which followed him around and no-one wanted to employ him, legally or illegally. ‘I became an old crook living on hand-outs from other old crooks,’ he said.

His musician son Nick Reynolds, whose group Alabama 3 produced The Sopranos theme tune Woke Up This Morning, yesterday announced the death of the Great Train Robber.

Heist: The train which was targeted by the robbers pictured soon after the crime

Heist: The train which was targeted by the robbers pictured soon after the crime

Record: The haul, worth over £40million in today's money, was the biggest robbery in British history

Record: The haul, worth over £40million in today’s money, was the biggest robbery in British history

‘He hadn’t been well for a few days and I was looking after him,’ he said. ‘I really can’t talk at the moment. I can confirm that he has passed away and he died in his sleep.’

The robbery went on to be the subject of several films and books, with a tawdry glamour attaching itself to the notorious crime – even though the train driver was violently attacked and all the robbers eventually caught.

No guns were used, but driver Jack Mills was coshed and left unconscious by an unidentified assailant, suffered constant headaches for the rest of his life and died in 1970 from leukaemia.

Scene: The bridge where the bandits held up the train and attacked its workers

Scene: The bridge where the bandits held up the train and attacked its workers

Carnage: Inside a carriage of the mail train in the aftermath of the robbery in 1963

Carnage: Inside a carriage of the mail train in the aftermath of the robbery in 1963

More than £2million of the gang’s haul was never recovered.

Seven of the gang, including its most infamous member Ronnie Biggs, were given 30-year sentences in 1964 after judge Edmund Davies called it ‘a crime which in its impudence and enormity is the first of its kind in this country’ and said he hoped the length of the sentences would ‘ensure that it is the last of its kind’.

Biggs lived as a fugitive in Brazil for 36 years after escaping from Wandsworth Prison before finally returning to Britain to face jail in 2001.

Aged 83, he was released on ‘compassionate grounds’ in 2009, has suffered a series of strokes and is now so frail he is unable to speak.

Cash: Detectives search through sacks of banknotes which were stolen in what was then a record robberyCash: Detectives search through sacks of banknotes which were stolen in what was then a record robbery

Investigation: A policeman picks up the train driver's hat from the railway tracks near the ambush siteInvestigation: A policeman picks up the train driver’s hat from the railway tracks near the ambush site

Father and son: Reynolds with his son Nick, an artist who is a member of the band Alabama ThreeFather and son: Reynolds with his son Nick, an artist who is a member of the band Alabama Three

Yesterday Biggs’s son Michael said: ‘Regardless of whatever mistakes Bruce made in his life, Bruce was a very, very kind person who was a true gentlemen who made many friends in his life. Bruce was my father’s closest friend, they met in borstal when they were 13.

Biggs’s son claimed: ‘He was very old school. He was absolutely against violence and deeply upset about what happened in the Great Train Robbery.

‘He believed that if you are going to be a criminal then be one but don’t go mugging old ladies. The attack on the driver was something that did upset everyone involved.’

Leonard ‘Nipper’ Read, the Scotland Yard detective who successfully pursued the robbers, said: ‘It really is the end of an era. It was certainly a well-organised operation and Reynolds was the pioneer.’

Biggs
Biggs

Notorious: Ronnie Biggs, pictured left at the time of the robbery and right in 2011, is the best-known of the gang after escaping from prison and spending decades on the run

Injuries: Jack Mills, driver of the train which the gang targeted, after being beaten by the robbersInjuries: Jack Mills, driver of the train which the gang targeted, after being beaten by the robbers

JACK SLIPPER
Gerald McArthur

Police: Jack Slipper, left, and Gerald McArthur, right, were two officers intimately involved with the investigation

Audacious thieves who shocked the nation: Where the Great Train Robbers ended up

By JAMES RUSH

Ronnie Biggs
Charles Wilson

Ronnie Biggs (left): The most famous of the train robbers, even though he played a minor role as a contact for the replacement train driver. He is best known for his escape from prison in 1965 and living as a fugitive for 36 years. He voluntarily returned to the UK in 2011 and spent several years in prison. During this time his health rapidly declined and on August 6, 2009, he was released from prison on compassionate grounds.

Charles Frederick (Charlie) Wilson (right): The treasurer whose role was to give the robbers their cut of the haul. He earned the nickname ‘the silent man’ after he was captured because he refused to say anything during his trial. Jailed for 30 years but escaped after four months. Was captured in Canada four years later and severed another ten years in jail. Moved to Spain in 1978 where he was shot and killed by a hitman on a bicycle in 1990.

Buster Edwards
Roy James

Ronald ‘Buster’ Edwards (left): Fled to Mexico after the robbery but gave himself up in 1966. After nine years in jail he became a familiar figure selling flowers outside London Waterloo. Killed himself in 1994 at the age of 62. He was played by singer Phil Collins in the 1988 film Buster.

Roy James (right): The chief getaway driver left a fingerprint at the gang’s farm hideout and was caught following a rooftop chase. He moved to Spain after serving 12 years of a 30 year sentence. He was jailed again for six years in 1993 for shooting his wife’s father and hitting her with a pistol, and died soon after being released, at the age of 62.

Tommy Wisbey
Jim Hussey

Tommy Wisbey (left): One of the ‘heavies’ of the gang, Wisbey was there to frighten the train staff. Was jailed for 30 years and released in 1976 before being jailed for another ten years in 1989 for dealing cocaine. After being released he lived in north London, where he suffered a number of strokes.

Jimmy Hussey (right): ‘Big Jim’ died last year after apparently making a deathbed confession claiming he was the gang member who coshed the train driver. He was sentenced to 30 years for the robbery. After he was released in 1975 he eventually opened a restaurant in Soho after working on a market stall. He was convicted for assault in 1981. He was then jailed for seven years, eight years later, for a drug smuggling conspiracy, along with Wisbey.

Roger Cordrey
Jimmy White

Roger Cordrey (left): Was jailed for 20 years after being arrested in Bournemouth. He was caught after renting a lock-up from a policeman’s widow. His sentence was reduced to 14 years on appeal. The florist returned to the flower business after he was released in 1971 and moved to the West Country.

Jimmy White (right): The ‘quartermaster’ for the robbery. The former Paratrooper was caught in Kent after being on the run for three years and was sentenced to 18 years, He moved to Sussex after being released in 1975.

Roy James
Family: Reynolds, left, with his wife Frances as well as fellow robber John Daly and his wife Barbara

Douglas Gordon Goody (left): Was released in 1975 after being sentenced to 30 years in jail. After being released the hairdresser moved to Spain to run a bar.

John Daly (right): Reynold’s brother-in-law was arrested after his fingerprints were discovered on a Monopoly set linked to the case, but was acquitted when he successfully argued this did not prove he was involved.

Bobby Welch: Was also jailed for 30 years and released in 1976. The nightclub boss was left crippled after an operation on his leg went wrong. After being released from jail he became a gambler and a car dealer in London.

Brian Field: The solicitor was used to make the arrangement to buy the farm hideout used after the robbery. Jailed for 25 years, which was later reduced to five. He later died in a motorway crash in 1979.

Bill Jennings: The criminal who was hired to decouple the carriage with the cash in it was never caught and brought to justice.

Four other people were believed to be involved in the heist, but have never been identified. They include ‘The Ulsterman’, a key figure whose real name is a complete mystery.

RONNIE BIGGS … THE GREAT TRAIN ROBBERY 1963 ….

RONNIE BIGGS POLICE MUGSHOT Ronald Biggs

Ronald Arthur “Ronnie” Biggs is an English criminal, known for his role in the Great Train Robbery of 1963, for his escape from prison in 1965, for living as a fugitive for 36 years and for his various publicity stunts while in exile

Mary Berry ( full name Mary-Rosa Alleyne Berry) at the Gloucester Quays, Food and drink festival 2013, Friday

16TH JULY 2013 – RONNIE BIGGS WITH ANDY JONES FROM THE CRIME THROUGH TIME COLLECTIONMary Berry ( full name Mary-Rosa Alleyne Berry) at the Gloucester Quays, Food and drink festival 2013, Friday Mary Berry ( full name Mary-Rosa Alleyne Berry) at the Gloucester Quays, Food and drink festival 2013, Friday Mary Berry ( full name Mary-Rosa Alleyne Berry) at the Gloucester Quays, Food and drink festival 2013, Friday Mary Berry ( full name Mary-Rosa Alleyne Berry) at the Gloucester Quays, Food and drink festival 2013, Friday Mary Berry ( full name Mary-Rosa Alleyne Berry) at the Gloucester Quays, Food and drink festival 2013, Friday

ABOVE ARE A  FEW PHOTOGRAPHS TAKEN DURING A RECENT PRIVATE VISIT WITH RONNIE BIGGS AT HIS NURSING HOME RETREAT ( 16TH JULY 2013 ) . CERTAINLY ON FORM DURING THE VISIT AND ENJOYING THE GREAT BRITISH SUNSHINE !!

———————————————————————————————————

VARIOUS PICTORIAL SLIDESHOW, VIDEO FOOTAGE, PICTURES AND NEWSPAPER REPORTS COVERING THE PRESS CONFERENCE FOR RONNIE BIGGS’S NEW AUTOBIOGRAPHY BOOK LAUNCH “ODD MAN OUT: THE LAST STRAW” HELD AT THE SHOREDITCH HOUSE , LONDON ON THE 17TH NOVEMBER 2011 . THE EVENT WAS ATTENDED BY MANY PHOTOGRAPHERS AND JOURNALISTS EAGER TO ASK RONNIE LOTS OF QUESTIONS DESPITE HIS CLEAR DISABILITY IN BEING UNABLE TO VOICE HIS ANSWERS . RELIANT SOLEY ON HIS SON MIKE AND HIS SPELLBOARD

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

RONNIE BIGGS …THE GREAT TRAIN ROBBER USING HIS SPELLBOARD AT HIS BOOK LAUNCH … NOW ON DISPLAY AT LITTLEDEAN JAIL ALONG WITH VARIOUS OTHER GREAT TRAIN ROBBERY MEMORABILIA ITEMS .

THE SPELLBOARD USED BY RONNIE BIGGS AT HIS BOOK LAUNCH AND NOW ON DISPLAY AT THE CRIME THROUGH TIME COLLECTION HERE AT LITTLEDEAN JAIL

RONNIE BIGGS WITH AJ BACKSTAGE AT HIS BOOK LAUNCH PRESS CALL .

ALSO PICTURED HERE WITH HIS SPELLBOARD USED BY HIM DURING THE DAY AND NOW ON DISPLAY AT THE CRIME THROUGH TIME COLLECTION HERE AT LITTLEDEAN JAIL

RONNIE BIGGS SAT WITH AJ DURING PRESS CALL , PICTURED HERE LOOKING AT HIMSELF PICTURED WITHIN THE LITTLEDEAN JAIL TOURISM LEAFLET.

A J CHATTING TO LEGENDARY DJ (AND SON OF BLUES GUITARIST LEGEND JOHN MAYALL) GAZ  MAYALL  AKA GAZ’S ROCKIN BLUES

OUR … CRIME THROUGH TIME  @ LITTLEDEAN JAIL FACEBOOK ADMIN JULES SEEN HERE LOOKING AS IF HE’S JUST ABOUT TO CLOBBER RONNIE BIGGS AT THE BOOK LAUNCH …

  • Ronnie Biggs: I’ll be remembered as a loveable rogue

guardian.co.uk, Thursday 17 November 2011 20.29 GMT

Ronnie Biggs at a press conference in London to launch his book
Ronnie Biggs at a press conference in London to launch his book. Photograph: David Levene

Ronnie Biggs said he would be remembered as Britain’s “loveable rogue” as he made an appearance in public. The 82-year-old Great Train Robber said he was proud of his achievements, despite remorse for his crimes.

Unable to physically speak after several strokes, Biggs responded to questions at a press event to publicise his book, Odd Man Out: The Last Straw by pointing to a word and letter board. Asked how the country perceived him, he spelled out “loveable rogue”.

His son, Michael, speaking on his behalf at the east London event, said Biggs had no regrets about voluntarily returning from Brazil in 2001 to face justice for the 1963 robbery.

He had been working on the book since he was released from jail on compassionate grounds in 2009, the family said.

Biggs is unable to walk or talk. His son described how he developed a life-threatening chest infection every three or four weeks. “This is probably the first and last time he is holding a press conference.”

Launching his book, Biggs expressed sorrow over the fate of Jack Mills, the driver of the robbed mail train, who died in 1970 having never made a full recovery after being coshed. But when asked whether any proceeds from the book would go to Mills’s family, the ex-fugitive’s son said: “That has not been discussed yet.”

The book updates Biggs’s 1994 autobiography and has chapters covering his return to the UK, his time in prison, his release on compassionate grounds and his life since.

He Biggs first suffered a stroke in 1998 and has been admitted to hospital several times since returning to Britain.

Biggs was a member of a gang that made off with £2.6m from a Glasgow to London mail train. He was sentenced to 30 years, but escaped from Wandsworth prison, south London, in a furniture van 15 months later and spent more than 30 years on the run, living in Spain, Australia and Brazil. Biggs says in the book that he is a “very different man to the one who went on the run from HMP Wandsworth back in July 1965”. “Not only are there many, many more miles on the clock, but also there is the damage done to my body and soul by the strokes and other health problems that should have killed me already; and may have already done so by the time you get around to reading this,” he writes.

“I lay no claim to having been a perfect man who has led a faultless life, and never have, but I am a better man for the experiences of the past 50 years, a period in which I spent over three-quarters of my life trying to honestly maintain my family and myself as best I could.

“It has been said by those who don’t know me – and who have never met me – that I have no regrets, but that simply isn’t true. I have always regretted the hurt I caused by my actions, and especially to my own family and friends.”

BELOW SHOWS PICTURE FROM PORTUGESE NEWSPAPER WHICH ALSO SHOWS  OUR JULES (ADMIN) IN ACTION …..THE LARGER THAN LIFE (OR THE OTHER SNAPPERS) CHARACTER SEEN HERE ON THE FRONT ROW