THE GREAT TRAIN ROBBERY 50TH ANNIVERSARY …. 8TH AUGUST 2013

5O YEARS ON ….. HERE’S A BIT MORE INTERACTIVE MATERIAL , AND VIDEO FOOTAGE ETC RELATING TO THIS NOW TIMELESS AND ICONIC GREAT TRAIN ROBBERY 133369598__01_437849c N0045611362061783055A train-robbers-2136249

Police investigation into the Great Train Robbery is commemorated on 50th anniversary of infamous crime

Detectives who investigated the Great Train Robbery were praised for solving the ‘crime of the century – 50 years after the infamous heist took place.

Eighteen retired Buckinghamshire Constabulary investigators and backroom staff were reunited at Eynsham Hall in Witney, Oxfordshire.

They received commendations on the eve of the £2.6 million robbery’s 50th anniversary from Thames Valley Police chief constable Sara Thornton.

Twelve of the robbers were jailed for a combined total of more than 300 years after they stopped the Glasgow to Euston overnight mail train, which was carrying huge numbers of used bank notes, as it passed through the Buckinghamshire countryside close to Cheddington on August 8 1963.

Praised: John Woolley (left) and Keith Milner who worked on the case of the Great Train Robbery at a ceremony where they received commendations from current Thames Valley Police Chief Constable Sara Thornton Praised: John Woolley (left) and Keith Milner who worked on the case of the Great Train Robbery at a ceremony where they received commendations from current Thames Valley Police Chief Constable Sara Thornton

 

Anniversary: A cake made to mark the 50th anniversary of the Great Train RobberyAnniversary: A cake made to mark the 50th anniversary of the Great Train Robbery

 

Well done: Keith Milner, who worked on the case of the Great Train Robbery, at a ceremony where he received a commendation from current Thames Valley Police Chief Constable Sara Thornton at Eynsham Hall, Witney, OxfordshireWell done: Keith Milner, who worked on the case of the Great Train Robbery, at a ceremony where he received a commendation from current Thames Valley Police Chief Constable Sara Thornton at Eynsham Hall, Witney, Oxfordshire

Evidence: A Monopoly board used by the robbers in their hideout and some notes stolen from the train were on show at last night's celebrationEvidence: A Monopoly board used by the robbers in their hideout and some notes stolen from the train were on show at last night’s celebration

Keith Milner, now 78, was the duty detective at Aylesbury on the night of the robbery.

Then aged 28, he was woken by a call at 5am letting him know there had been a burglary near Cheddington.

‘I said “what’s gone?” and they said “a train”,’ he explained last night.

 

 

‘An early call generally meant a long day and this was no exception. In those days we got dressed – suit, collar and tie – and off we went.’

After first collecting evidence on the railtrack, Mr Milner spent nine months attached to the investigation as the officer in charge of exhibits.

He was instrumental during the subsequent court case and worked shoulder to shoulder with Scotland Yard legends such as Leonard ‘Nipper’ Read, later responsible for bringing down the East End gangland empire ruled by the Kray twins.

Infamous: Detectives pictured at the scene near Cheddington following the most notorious heist of the 20th century, The Great Train RobberyInfamous: Detectives pictured at the scene near Cheddington following the most notorious heist of the 20th century, The Great Train Robbery

Manhunt: Police Superintendent Malcom Fewtrell of Buckinghamshire Constabulary C.I.D. is pictured (left) with Detective Gerald McArthur (right) of Scotland Yard investigating the mail train robberyManhunt: Police Superintendent Malcom Fewtrell of Buckinghamshire Constabulary C.I.D. is pictured (left) with Detective Gerald McArthur (right) of Scotland Yard investigating the mail train robbery

 

Looking for clues: Investigators are pictured examining the train after the robbery 50 years agoLooking for clues: Investigators are pictured examining the train after the robbery 50 years ago

 

Investigation: Police offfered a £10,000 reward for information on the robbery. Their investigation eventually saw 12 gang members jailed for a combined total of more than 300 yearsInvestigation: Police offfered a £10,000 reward for information on the robbery. Their investigation eventually saw 12 gang members jailed for a combined total of more than 300 years

Closing in: Detective Superintendent Gerald McArthur is pictured searching for clues in the grounds of the suspects' hideoutClosing in: Detective Superintendent Gerald McArthur is pictured searching for clues in the grounds of the suspects’ hideout

John Woolley was a 25-year-old PC who had been on the job for four years when he discovered Leatherslade Farm, the abandoned hideout the men had used after committing their crime.

Now 75, he explained how he was sent to the property to investigate ‘suspicious comings and goings’ after police received a tip off.

Among items officers found at the scene was a Monopoly set which the robbers had used to kill time, playing with real £5 notes taken from their loot.

The original board game was on display last night at the commendation ceremony after it was discovered by TV’s Antiques Roadshow.

‘I just happened to be at that place at that time,’ Mr Woolley said at the ceremony.

‘What I did any of my colleagues could and would have done and perhaps done better.’

Asked about robber Ronnie Biggs, the former policeman said: ‘He is perhaps one of the robbers who got some enjoyment, some satisfaction, out of his share of the loot.

‘He did, for a while, live the high life in Brazil, no doubt about that.

 

How the scene of the infamous Great Train Robbery looks today

Success: The investigation led to 12 of the robbers being caught and jailed for their role in the crime. Here three of the suspects are pictured being led away from Linslade Court with blankets over their headsSuccess: The investigation led to 12 of the robbers being caught and jailed for their role in the crime. Here three of the suspects are pictured being led away from Linslade Court with blankets over their heads

 

Clues: Police officers look pleased with themselves as they load evidence from the gang's hideaway into police carsClues: Police officers look pleased with themselves as they load evidence from the gang’s hideaway into police cars

 

Breakthrough: Police stand guard outside Leatherslade Farm at Oakley in Buckinghamshire, used as a hide-out by the Great Train RobbersBreakthrough: Police stand guard outside Leatherslade Farm at Oakley in Buckinghamshire, used as a hide-out by the Great Train Robbers

 

Wanted: Police issued mugshots of the men wanted in connection with the robbery in the weeks that followed including this one of Buster Edwards and his wife JuneWanted: Police issued mugshots of the men wanted in connection with the robbery in the weeks that followed including this one of Buster Edwards and his wife June

Hunted: Mugshots of Bruce Reynolds (left) and Roy James (right) were also issued by detectives in the aftermath of the £2.6 million robberyHunted: Mugshots of Bruce Reynolds (left) and Roy James (right) were also issued by detectives in the aftermath of the £2.6 million robbery

‘But he was finally arrested, he is now a very sick man and I’m surprised that he is making all these comments after we have been told time and time again that he is hardly able to speak.

‘Good luck to him, but he is a sick man.

‘Me? I’m still surviving, I shall be going home tonight to my home to my supper – he won’t.’

Mr Woolley also said he had been saddened to learn of Reynolds’ death and recalled how the criminal mastermind had even sent him a Christmas card one year.

Chief Constable Thornton said: ‘The coverage in the newspapers and the discussion is always about the offenders in this notorious crime.

‘I wanted to balance that by thanking the police officers and police staff who played a very important role in making sure that those men were brought to justice 50 years ago.’

Scene guard: Police officers are pictured at Leatherslade Farm hideout shortly after it was discovered by officersScene guard: Police officers are pictured at Leatherslade Farm hideout shortly after it was discovered by officers

 

Evidence: Items seized from Leatherslade Farm, including a Monopoly set used by the gang, are picturedEvidence: Items seized from Leatherslade Farm, including a Monopoly set used by the gang, are pictured

 

Hiding place: Police eventually found £35,000 stashed in the walls of a caravan owned by Great Train Robber James WhiteHiding place: Police eventually found £35,000 stashed in the walls of a caravan owned by Great Train Robber James White

Train driver Jack Mills rests at home after the robbery

No regrets: Ronnie Biggs, whose Interpol notice is pictured (left) said recently that his only regret in connection with the robbery is that train driver Jack Mills (right) and the families of those involved suffered

Two of the robbers, Charlie Wilson and most famously Biggs, escaped jail, with Biggs spending more than 30 years on the run after returning to Britain in 2001 to face arrest.

He was eventually freed in 2009 on ‘compassionate grounds’ by then Justice Secretary Jack Straw.

The mastermind behind the gang, Bruce Reynolds fled to Mexico and later Canada following the crime but returned to the UK and was jailed for 25 years in 1968.

He served 10 years before his release and died back in February.

Two police officers who were involved in the investigation will attend tonight’s event alongside serving Thames Valley Police officers at Eynsham Hall in Witney, Oxfordshire.

Keith Milner was a detective at Aylesbury at the time of the robbery, while John Woolley was a PC and discovered Leatherslade Farm, where the men hid after committing the crime.

Memories: Retired Chief inspector John Wolley is pictured sharing a laugh with Bruce Reynolds, the mastermind behind the crime on the 40th anniversary of the heist ten years ago Memories: Retired Chief inspector John Wolley is pictured sharing a laugh with Bruce Reynolds, the mastermind behind the crime on the 40th anniversary of the heist ten years ago

Mastermind: Bruce Reynolds at Oakley Village Hall, Buckinghamshire, during a village fete on the 40th anniversary of the robberyMastermind: Bruce Reynolds at Oakley Village Hall, Buckinghamshire, during a village fete on the 40th anniversary of the robbery

Last month Biggs insisted he was proud to have been part of the gang.

He is currently being cared for in a north London nursing home and said he has few regrets about the crime that made him a household name.

Biggs, who cannot speak and communicates through a spelling board, said: ‘If you want to ask me if I have any regrets about being one of the train robbers, my answer is, “No!”.

‘I will go further: I am proud to have been one of them. I am equally happy to be described as the “tea-boy” or “The Brain”.

‘I was there that August night and that is what counts. I am one of the few witnesses – living or dead – to what was The Crime of the Century.’

But although he is proud to have been involved in the headline-grabbing crime, he admitted he does have some regrets.

Half a century on: The scene of the Great Train Robbery near Cheddington, Buckinghamshire, todayHalf a century on: The scene of the Great Train Robbery near Cheddington, Buckinghamshire, today

 

‘It is regrettable, as I have said many times, that the train driver was injured,’ he said. ‘And he was not the only victim.

‘The people who paid the heaviest price for the Great Train Robbery are the families. The families of everyone involved in the Great Train Robbery, and from both sides of the track.

‘All have paid a price for our collective involvement in the robbery. A very heavy price, in the case of my family.

‘For that, I do have my regrets.’

A new book has been published to mark the 50th anniversary – The Great Train Robbery – 50th Anniversary – 1963-2103, and is said to explain first-hand the complete story of the robbery.

Both Biggs and Reynolds, who died in February, contributed to the book, which has been written by Reynolds’ son Nick, along with Biggs’ autobiographer Chris Pickard.

Mr Reynolds and Mr Pickard said the book was an aim at ‘setting the record straight’, and putting right any inaccuracies in a tale that has become folklore.

Advertisements

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

1960’s SLEAZE AND SCANDAL REVISITED HERE AT THE JAIL-THE PROFUMO AFFAIR

‎1960’S REVISITED AT LITTLEDEAN JAIL – CHRISTINE KEELER & THE PROFUMO AFFAIR
Our many diverse collections here also includes an insight into our endless array of Politicians behaving badly, caught with their trousers down and of course as always …apparently on the fiddle with their expenses etc.
On display here we have various personally signed ephemera , memorabilia etc pieced together within an intriguing montage from the likes of John Profumo, Christine Keeler , Mandy Rice-Davies and Stephan Ward .

See more interactive video footage below relating to one of Britain’s most infamous scandals

Profumo Affair

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Profumo Affair was a 1963 British political scandal named after John ProfumoSecretary of State for War. His affair with Christine Keeler, the reputed mistress of an alleged Russian spy, followed by lying in the House of Commons when he was questioned about it, forced the resignation of Profumo and damaged the reputation of Prime Minister Harold Macmillan‘s government. Macmillan himself resigned a few months later due to ill health.

Profumo’s relationship with Keeler

Christine Keeler—the iconic Lewis Morley image, taken in May 1963, became an instant national talking point when a stolen copy was published by the Sunday Mirror, adding yet more fuel to the fire under Profumo. As the scandal intensified, it was endlessly republished.[1]

In the early 1960s, Profumo was the Secretary of State for War in Harold Macmillan‘s Conservative government and was married to actress Valerie Hobson. In 1961, Profumo met Christine Keeler, a London call girl,[2] at a house party at Cliveden, the Buckinghamshire mansion owned by Lord Astor. Many years later Profumo would claim, in discussion with his son, David, that he had met Keeler previously at a night club in London called Murray’s and “probably had a drink with her.”[3] Also present at the Cliveden party were Profumo’s wife and the fashionable osteopath, Dr Stephen Ward, a long-standing acquaintance of Keeler. The relationship with Keeler lasted only a few weeks before Profumo ended it. However, rumours about the affair became public in 1962, as did the allegation that Keeler had also had a relationship with Yevgeny “Eugene” Ivanov, a senior naval attaché at the Soviet embassy in London. Given Profumo’s position in the government and with the Cold War at its height, the potential ramifications in terms of national security were grave, and this, along with the adulterous nature of Profumo’s relationship with Keeler, quickly elevated the affair into a public scandal.

Exposure of the affair

In 1962, Keeler became involved in an altercation with her former live-in lover Johnny Edgecombe. When she announced the end of their relationship, a confrontation followed 10 days before Christmas 1962. Edgecombe attempted to force his way into Stephen Ward’s flat where Keeler was staying and fired several shots at the doorlock. Meanwhile, Keeler had become involved with a Jamaican drug dealer named Aloysius “Lucky” Gordon. When that relationship ended Gordon attacked her with an axe and held her hostage for two days. Keeler turned to Edgecombe for help and in the ensuing fight between him and Gordon, the latter received a knife wound to his face. Fearful of reprisals from Gordon, Edgecombe asked Keeler to help him find a solicitor so that he could turn himself in. She refused and instead told him that she intended to give evidence against Edgecombe in court for wounding Gordon. As a result of her refusal, Edgecombe hatched a plot to murder Keeler. Three months later, when she failed to turn up in court for Edgecombe’s trial, previous press suspicions boiled over and the affair became front page news with headlines like “WAR MINISTER SHOCK”.[4]

Announcement in Parliament

In March 1963, Profumo stated to the House of Commons that there was “no impropriety whatever” in his relationship with Keeler and that he would issue writs for libel and slander if the allegations were repeated outside the House.[5] (Within the House, such allegations are protected by Parliamentary privilege.) However, in June, Profumo confessed that he had misled the House and lied in his testimony and on 5 June, he resigned his Cabinet position, as well as his Privy Council and Parliamentary membership.

Peter Wright, in his autobiography Spycatcher,[6] relates that he was working at the British counter-intelligence agency MI5 at the time and was assigned to question Keeler on security matters. He conducted a fairly lengthy interview and found Keeler to be poorly educated and not well informed on current events, very much the “party girl” described in the press at the time. However, in the course of questioning her, the subject of nuclear missiles came up, and Keeler, on her own, used the term “nuclear payload” in relation to the missiles. This alerted Wright’s suspicions. According to Wright, in the very early 1960s in Britain, the term “nuclear payload” was not in general use by the public, and even among those who kept up with such things, the term was not commonly heard. For a young woman with such limited knowledge to casually use the term was more than suspicious. In fact, Wright came away convinced that at the very least there had been an attempt by the Soviet attaché (perhaps through Stephen Ward) to use Keeler to get classified information from Profumo.

Lord Denning released the government’s official report on 25 September 1963, and, one month later, the prime ministerHarold Macmillan, resigned on the grounds of ill health, which had apparently been exacerbated by the scandal. He was replaced by the Foreign Secretary, the Earl of Home, who renounced his title to become Sir Alec Douglas-Home. However, the change of leader failed to save the Conservative Party’s place in government; they lost the general election to Harold Wilson’s Labour a year later.

Stephen Ward was prosecuted for living on the immoral earnings of prostitution and he committed suicide in August. He was defended by James Burge QC (who was later the basis for John Mortimer‘s character Rumpole of the Bailey). Keeler was found guilty on unrelated perjury charges and was sentenced to nine months in prison.[7] Profumo died on 9 March 2006.

The Profumo Affair in film and theatre

The relationship between a senior politician and a prostitute[2] caught the public imagination and led to the release of a number of films and documentaries detailing the event. The Danish film The Keeler Affair[8] was released in 1963 followed in 1989 by the British film Scandal. The musical A Model Girl premiered at The Greenwich Theatre on 30 January 2007.[9] In theatre Hugh Whitemore‘s playA Letter of Resignation, first staged at the Comedy Theatre in October 1997, dramatises the occasion when Harold Macmillan, staying with friends in Scotland, received a political bombshell, a letter of resignation from Profumo, his war minister. Edward Fox portrayed Macmillan. [10][11]

The Profumo Affair in popular music

INTRIGUING DOCUMENTARY INSIGHT INTO THE LIFE AND TIMES OF THE NOTORIOUS KRAYS

TRUE CRIME AND MUCH MORE HERE AT THE CRIME THROUGH TIME COLLECTION  AT  LITTLEDEAN JAIL , ROYAL FOREST OF DEAN , GLOUCESTERSHIRE , UK ……

INCLUDES PERSONAL ITEMS , ARTWORK, HANDWRITTEN LETTERS AND TOOLS OF THE TRADE FROM THE KRAY TWINS AND THEIR FIRM

DO COME VISIT AND SEE FOR YOURSELVES THE UK’S ONLY BLACK MUSEUM OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

RONNIE AND REGGIE KRAY

Kray twins

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Kray Twins:
Ronald & Reginald Kray

The Kray twins, Reginald (left) and Ronald (right), photographed by David Bailey
Born 24 October 1933 (both)
Hoxton, London, England
Died Ronnie:
17 March 1995 (aged 61)
Broadmoor Hospital, Slough, England
Reggie:
1 October 2000 (aged 66)
Norwich, Norfolk, England
Alias(es) Ronnie & Reggie
Charge(s) Murders of George Cornell and Jack “The Hat” McVitie
Penalty In 1969 both were sentenced to life imprisonment, with a non-parole period of thirty years.
Status Both deceased
Occupation Gangsters and club owners
Spouse Reggie:
Frances Shea (m. 1965–1967)
(her death)
Roberta Jones (m. 1997–2000)
(his death)[1][2]
Ronnie:
Elaine Mildener (m. 1985–1989)
(divorced)[3]
Kate Howard (m. 1989–1994)
(divorced)[4]
Parents Charles Kray and Violet Lee-Kray

Reginald “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.[5] The Krays were involved in armed robberies, arson, protection rackets, violent assaults including tortureand the murders of Jack “The Hat” McVitie and George Cornell. As West End nightclub owners, they mixed with prominent entertainers including Diana DorsFrank SinatraJudy 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.

Ronnie and Reggie Kray were born on 24 October 1933 in Hoxton, East London, to Charles David “Charlie” Kray, Sr, (10 March 1907 – 8 March 1983), a scrap gold dealer, and Violet Lee (5 August 1909 – 4 August 1982).[6] Reggie was born roughly 10 minutes before twin Ronnie. Charlie and Violet already had a six-year old son, Charlie Jr, (9 July 1926 – 4 Apr 2000).[7] A sister, Violet, born 1929, died in infancy. When the twins were three years old, they were struck down with diphtheria and recovered. Ron almost died from a head injury suffered in a fight with his twin brother in 1942.[edit]Early life

In 1938, having previously lived in Stene Street, Hoxton, the Kray family moved to 178 Vallance Road, Bethnal Green. At the start of the Second World War, Charlie Kray Senior was called up into the army, but went into hiding travelling the country as a trader and avoiding the law.

The twins first attended Wood Close School in Brick Lane and then Daniel Street School.[8] They were always trouble; people who knew them were too scared to say anything.

The influence of their grandfather, Jimmy “Cannonball” Lee,[9] led both boys into amateur boxing, which was at that time a popular pursuit for working-class boys in the East End. An element of rivalry between them spurred them on, and they achieved some success. They are said never to have lost a bout before turning professional at the age of 19.

[edit]National Service

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.

While absent without leave, the twins assaulted a police officer who had spotted them and was trying to arrest them. They were initially held at the Tower of London (they were among the very last prisoners ever kept there) before being sent to Shepton Mallet military prison in Somerset and gaoled for a month awaiting court-martial. They ended up being gaoled in the Home Counties Brigade Depot gaol in Canterbury, Kent. Their behaviour there was so bad that in the end they were given a dishonourable discharge from the service; for the last few weeks of their imprisonment, when their fate was a certainty anyway, they tried to dominate the exercise area immediately outside their one man cells. They threw tantrums, upended their latrine bucket over a sergeant, similarly dumped a dixie (a large camp kettle[10]) full of hot tea on a guard, handcuffed another guard to the prison bars with a pair of stolen cuffs, and burned their bedding. Eventually they were discharged, but not before escaping from the guardhouse and being recaptured by the army one last time. The escape was executed when they were moved from a one man cell to a communal cell and they assaulted their guard with a china vase. Still, once recaptured and while awaiting transfer to civilian authority for crimes committed during their most recent period at large, they spent their last night in Canterbury drinking cider, eating crisps, and smoking cigarillos courtesy of the young National Servicemen who were acting as their guards.

[edit]Criminal careers

[edit]Nightclub owners

Their criminal record and dishonourable discharge ended their boxing careers. As a result, the twins turned to crime. They bought a run down local snooker club in Bethnal Green, where they started several protection rackets. By the end of the 1950s, the Krays were involved in hijackingarmed robbery and arson, through which they acquired a few clubs and other properties. In 1960 Ronnie Kray was incarcerated for 18 months on charges of running a protection racket and related threats, and while he was in prison, Peter Rachman, the head of a violent landlord operation, gave Reggie the Esmeralda’s Barn, a nightclub in Knightsbridge. This increased the Krays’ influence in the West End of London, with celebrities and famous people rather than East End criminals. They were assisted by banker Alan Cooper who wanted protection from the Krays’ rivals, the Richardsons, who were based in South London.[11]

The twins then had a turf war with Islington’s then infamous criminal twins, Brendan and Daniel Gallagher.

[edit]Celebrity status

In the 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 lordsMPs, socialites and show business characters such as the actors George RaftJudy GarlandDiana DorsBarbara Windsor and singer Frank Sinatra.

“They were the best years of our lives. They called them the swinging sixties. The Beatles and the Rolling Stones were rulers of pop music, Carnaby Street ruled the fashion world… and me and my brother ruled London. We were fucking untouchable…” – Ronnie Kray, in his autobiographical book, My Story.[12]

[edit]Lord Boothby and Tom Driberg

The Krays also came into the public eye when an exposé in the tabloid newspaper Sunday Mirror alleged that Ron had had a sexual relationship with Lord Boothby, a UK Conservative Partypolitician.[13] Although no names were printed, Boothby threatened to sue, the newspaper backed down, sacked its editor, apologised, and paid Boothby £40,000 in an out of court settlement.[14] As a result, other newspapers were less willing to uncover the Krays’ connections and criminal activities.

The police investigated the Krays on several occasions, but the twins’ reputation for violence meant witnesses were afraid to come forward to testify. There was also a political problem for both main parties. It was neither in the interests of the Conservative Party to press the police to end the Krays’ power lest the Boothby connection was again publicised and demonstrated, or those of the Labour Party because their MP Tom Driberg was also rumoured to have had a relationship with Ronnie.[15]

[edit]Frank Mitchell

The Blind Beggar pub in 2005

On 12 December 1966 the Krays assisted Frank Mitchell (nicknamed “The Mad Axeman”)[16] (not to be confused with Frankie Fraser – known as “Mad” Frankie Fraser, and contemporaneous, but allied with the rival Richardson gang) in escaping from Dartmoor Prison. Ronnie Kray had befriended Mitchell while they served time together in Wandsworth prison. Mitchell felt the authorities should review his case for parole, so Ronnie felt he would be doing him a favour by getting him out ofDartmoor, highlighting his case in the media and forcing the authorities to act. Once Mitchell was out of Dartmoor, the Krays held him at a friend’s flat in Barking Road. However, as a large man with a mental disorder, he was difficult to deal with and the only course of action was to get rid of him. His body has never been found and the Krays were acquitted of his murder.[16] Freddie Foreman, a former member of The Firm, in his autobiography Respect claimed that Mitchell was shot and the body disposed of at sea.

[edit]George Cornell

Ronnie Kray shot and killed George Cornell in the Blind Beggar pub in Whitechapel on 9 March 1966. Ronnie was drinking in another pub when he heard that Cornell was in the Blind Beggar. Taking Reggie’s driver John “Scotch Jack” Dickson and Ian Barrie, his right-hand man, he then killed Cornell. Just before Cornell died, he remarked “Well look who’s here.” There had been a confrontation at Christmas 1965 between the Krays and the Richardsons at the Astor Club, when Cornell, an associate of the Richardsons, referred to Ronnie as a “fat poof“. However, Ronnie denied this and said that the reason for the killing was because he gave him and Reggie threats. The result was a gang war between the two, and Kray associate Richard Hart was murdered at Mr. Smith’s Club in Catford on 8 March 1966. Ronnie avenged Hart’s death by shooting Cornell. “Mad” Frankie Fraser was taken to court for Hart’s murder but was found not guilty. A member of the Richardsons claimed that he saw him kicking Hart. Cornell was the only one to escape from the brawl in top condition so it is likely that Ronnie thought that he was involved in the murder. Owing to intimidation, witnesses would not co-operate with the police.[17]

[edit]Jack “the Hat” McVitie

The Krays’ criminal activities continued hidden behind their celebrity status and “legitimate” businesses. In October 1967, four months after the suicide of his wife Frances, Reggie was alleged to have been encouraged by his brother to kill Jack “the Hat” McVitie, a minor member of the Kray gang who had failed to fulfil a £1,500 contract paid to him in advance by the Krays to kill Leslie Payne. McVitie was lured to a basement flat in Evering Road, Stoke Newington on the pretence of a party. As he entered, Reggie Kray pointed a handgun at his head and pulled the trigger twice, but the gun failed to discharge. Ronnie Kray then held McVitie in a bearhug and Reggie Kray was handed a carving knife. He stabbed McVitie in the face and stomach, driving it deep into his neck, twisting the blade, continuing as McVitie lay on the floor dying.[18] Several other members of The Firm including the Lambrianou brothers (Tony and Chris) were convicted of this. In Tony’s biography, he claims that when Reggie was stabbing Jack, his liver came out and he had to flush it down the toilet. McVitie’s body has never been recovered.

[edit]Arrest and trial

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.[citation needed]

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.

Early in 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. See pages 215–222 and pages 250 and 279 of ‘Nipper Read, the man who Nicked the Krays’, by Leonard Read with James Morton. Time-Warner paperbacks, London, 1992. ISBN 0-7515-3175-8.

[edit]Conviction and imprisonment

Eventually, 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,[19] 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-MillsQC, 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.”[20] 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.[21] Their brother Charlie was jailed for 10 years for his part in the murders.

[edit]Imprisonment

On 11 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.[22] 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.

Ronnie was eventually once more certified insane and lived the remainder of his life in Broadmoor HospitalCrowthorne, dying on 17 March 1995 of a massive heart attack, aged 61. His funeral on 29 March 1995 was a huge event with people lining the streets.

Reggie Kray 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 toNorfolk‘s Wayland Prison.

In 1985, 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.[23]

During 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.[24] 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.

Elder 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.[25]

[edit]Personal lives

Despite negative cultural attitudes of the time, Ronnie was openly bisexual, evidenced by his book My Story and a confession to writer Robin McGibbon on The Kray Tapes where he states, “I’m bisexual, not gay. Bisexual.” He also planned on marrying a lady called Monica in the 1960s but was arrested before he had the chance. This is mentioned in Reggie’s book Born Fighter.[26] Reggie once had a one night stand with Barbara Windsor,[27][28] whose EastEnders character Peggy Mitchell was reputedly based on Violet Kray (e.g. her matriarchy over two thuggish sons)[citation needed].

In an interview with author John Pearson, Ronnie indicated a strong identification with Gordon of Khartoum, explaining: “Gordon was like me, ‘omosexual, and he met his death like a man. When it’s time for me to go, I hope I do the same.”[29]

[edit]Controversies

This section contains weasel words: vague phrasing that often accompanies biased or unverifiable information. Such statements should be clarified or removed(January 2011)

Some[who?] believe the Krays’ sentences were harsher than deserved and that they were made an example of.[30] The Kray twins were tried as separate, responsible adults, although it was argued[by whom?] that Ronnie dominated his brother and was a paranoid schizophrenic.[5]

There was a long-running campaign, with some minor celebrity support, to have the twins released from prison, but successive Home Secretaries vetoed the idea, largely on the grounds that the Krays’ prison records were both marred by violence towards other inmates. The campaign gathered momentum after the release of a film based on their lives called The Krays in 1990. Produced by Ray Burdis, it starred ex-members of Spandau Ballet brothers Martin Kemp, who played the role of Reggie, and Gary Kemp, who played Ronnie.

Some[who?] argue that Reggie’s several attempted murders, and the murder of Jack McVitie, were carried out as a result of Ronnie’s prompting, and to show that he was equal to Ronnie’s earlier murders. Reggie wrote: “I seem to have walked a double path most of my life. Perhaps an extra step in one of those directions might have seen me celebrated rather than notorious.”[31] Others, however, point to Reggie’s violent prison record when he was being detained separately from Ronnie and argue that in reality, the twins’ temperaments were little different.

Reggie’s marriage to Frances Shea in 1965 lasted eight weeks, although the marriage was never formally dissolved. An inquest came to the conclusion that she committed suicide in 1967,[32] but in 2002 an ex lover of Reggie Kray came forward to allege that Frances was actually murdered by a jealous Ronnie. Bradley Allardyce spent three years in Maidstone prison with Reggie and explained, “I was sitting in my cell with Reg and it was one of those nights where we turned the lights down low and put some nice music on and sometimes he would reminisce. He would get really deep and open up to me. He suddenly broke down and said ‘I’m going to tell you something I’ve only ever told two people and something I’ve carried around with me’ – something that had been a black hole since the day he found out. He put his head on my shoulder and told me Ronnie killed Frances. He told Reggie what he had done two days after.”[33]

When Ronnie spent three years in prison, Reggie is said to have turned the “firm” around, putting it on a sound financial footing, and removing many of the more violent and less appealing aspects, if not actually turning it legal. Some[who?] speculate that without his brother, Reggie could have turned the “firm” into one of the largest and most successful criminal organisations in Europe; however, the Kray business was always built on their reputation for savage violence, and it was Ronnie who was principally responsible. The twins were never able to cope well apart.[citation needed]

In 2009 a British television documentary, the Gangster and the Pervert Peer, was aired which revealed that Ronnie Kray was in fact a male rapist (commonly referred to in criminal circles as a “nonce case”). The programme also went on to detail his relationship with Tory Lord Bob Boothby as well as an ongoing Daily Mirror investigation into Lord Boothby’s dealings with the Kray brothers. [2]

[edit]In popular culture

This “In popular culture” section may contain minor or trivial references. Please reorganize this content to explain the subject’s impact on popular culture rather than simply listing appearances, and remove trivial references. (August 2011)

[edit]In film

  • Performance (1970), directed by Nicolas Roeg, featured a London gangster named Harry Flowers (played by Johnny Shannon) who surrounded himself with muscle magazines and rent boys; the character and his milieu were inspired by Ronnie Kray.
  • Villain (1971) starred Richard Burton as sadistic, homosexual London gang leader Vic Dakin, a character modelled on Ronnie Kray.
  • The Long Good Friday (1980) used the Kray Twins as inspiration for the protagonist Harold ShandBob Hoskins, who played Shand, reportedly received a letter from the Krays in prison congratulating him on his presentation of a London gangster in the film.

[edit]In literature

Many books address the Kray brothers’ reign including several written by one or both twins. Those most critically acclaimed include:

[edit]Books by the Kray brothers

[edit]Books by other authors

  • The Kray twins are mentioned frequently in Jake Arnott‘s first novel, The Long Firm (1999), wherein the main character, Harry Starks, is a fictional homosexual East End gangster in the 1960s who has a criminal career similar to the Krays’.
  • Carol Ann Duffy has written a poem entitled “The Kray Sisters”, in which she changes the story of the Kray twins into a women’s format. There are clear links to the original story, with characters in the poem such as “Cannonball Vi”, a clear mix of the twins’ grandfather and mother.
  • The Balvak Twins, who like the Krays, run organised crime in the West End, are recurring antagonists for Detective Sergeant Suzie Mountford in a series of police procedural novels by John Gardner. However, the Balvaks’ activities take place during World War II rather than the 1960s.
  • The Kray twins are mentioned in the second part of Tu Rostro Mañana, a novel by Javier Marías. One of the characters refers to them in order to explain why he carries a sword in his overcoat.
  • The Cult of Violence: The Untold Story of the Krays, by John Pearson (2002) – ISBN 0752847-94-5
  • The Profession of Violence: Rise and Fall of the Kray Twins, by John Pearson – First published in 1972 by Weidenfeld and Nicolson
  • In J.K. Rowling‘s Harry Potter series, the main villain, Lord Voldemort is so feared that most wizards and witches refer to him as “You-Know-Who” or “He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named”. According to Rowling, this was inspired by the Kray twins’ very names being taboo.[35]
  • The Kray twins feature many times in Addict by Stephen Smith, a book about Smith’s struggle with drugs.
  • Charlie Bronson, “Britain’s Most Violent Prisoner”, became a trusted friend of the Kray twins in prison and wrote The Krays and Me: Blood, Honour and Respect. Doing Porridge With the Krays. He also included a poem about the Krays on the last page of his workout book Solitary Fitness.
  • Ghoul by Michael Slade makes many references to the Kray twins as British police officers struggle to solve a slew of homocides in London.

[edit]In music

A number of artists mention the Kray twins in songs:

[edit]In radio

  • In episode 3 of the sixth series of Old Harry’s Game, titled “Murderers”, the Kray twins are part of a symposium of murderers called together by Satan in order to get some insight into a murderer’s mindset. In an unwise moment of anger, Thomas Crimp calls Ronnie a “big Cockney poof”, which begins an attack on Crimp by the Krays and turns into a free-for-all fight forcing Satan to call for back-up.

[edit]In television

  • Ronnie Kray had a mention in series 2, episode 6 of The Armstrong and Miller Show in the song, “When You’re Gay”.
  • The Comic Strip team did their take on the Krays with Alexei Sayle in the role of both twins as the Moss Brothers, Carl and Sterling, in Didn’t You Kill My Brother?
  • The long-running TV drama EastEnders has featured a gangland organisation called The Firm. The characters Ronnie and Roxy Mitchell are modelled on The Krays, hence their names. As Reggie is a male name, it was changed to Roxy for the EastEnders role of one of the Mitchell sisters.
  • Kate Kray – the ex-wife of Ronnie Kray – showed the glamorous yet restricted lives of women who married gangsters in the documentary Gangsters’ Wives.
  • The time-travelling hero of Goodnight Sweetheart has several passing encounters with the Kray twins as children in East-End London of the 1940s.
  • In episode 3 of the second series of the BBC programme Monkey Dust, a minor character who frequently marries criminals, has her surnames read out in a marriage ceremony to Ivan Dobsky. Two of these surnames are “Kray” (among surnames of other infamous criminals).
  • The Krays were the inspiration behind the Monty Python “Piranha Brothers” sketch. This sketch was rooted in fact; even the tale of nailing someone to the floor is based on the murder of Jack “the Hat” McVitie, who was pinned to the floor with a long knife. Inspector Leonard “Nipper” Read became “Superintendent Harry ‘Snapper’ Organs”.
  • In the TV series Top Gear, during a challenge to decide the best van, each presenter was timed to see how long he would take to be caught by a police car driven by The Stig. Here, James Maywas called James Kray in light of the comical criminal challenge.
  • The British TV series, Waking the Dead, featured a two-parter called “Deathwatch” in which the cold-case detectives investigated a murder related to a pair of East-End gangster brothers from the early 60s called the Suttons, who were clearly based on the Krays: one was described as psychotic and the photos used to depict them were similar to those of the Krays.
  • In 1991, a children’s TV puppet show called The Winjin Pom featured two crow siblings called Ronnie and Reggie (the “Crows”) who were always after the goodies to steal their magical camper van named after the show title, but always failed.
  • Association with (or former association with) the Krays is also seen as a sign of prestige in many social circles, or an indication of Cockney authenticity. This attitude was spoofed in the British television series The Young Ones with Robbie Coltrane as a bouncer claiming “…and I was at Violet’s funeral”, a reference to the twins’ mother.
  • Whitechapel II, a 2010 ITV drama series in which supposed descendants of the Kray twins copy their crimes.[38]
  • Hale and Pace, a UK comedy double act, regularly performs as ‘The Management’ where they dress in the black suit and tie style of bouncers. Their conversations are delivered in a monotone stereotypical East London gangster accent. Throughout the dialogue they both refer to each other as ‘Ron’.
  • On the Final episode of The Inbetweeners, Jay tells simon that his dad is playing Poker with Danny Dyer and The Krays, which Will says Aren’t The Krays dead.
  • Reginald Kray was mentioned in “Russell Brand’s Ponderland S02E03 Education” in a joke as comparison to a school truant’s mother.
  • In Only Fools And Horses the Driscall brothers are portraited as the Kray twins.

[edit]In theatre

  • Peter Straughan‘s play, Bones, features a character who claims to be Reggie Kray and begins to heavily influence the actions of the other characters.

[edit]In video games

  • In The Getaway, a gangster named Charlie Jolson says that he used to run London “with real men like Ronnie and Reggie”.
  • In The Getaway: Black Monday Danny introduces Arthur, the cleaner of the operation, saying “He used to work for the Krays ya know.”
  • Grand Theft Auto Mission Pack #1: London, 1969 features a pair of twin gangsters named Albert and Archie Crisp who are a reference to the Kray twins.
  • Privateer 2: The Darkening features a mission in which the player has to deal with a pair of gangsters named the Bray Twins.

[edit]In science and engineering

For many years the British Met Office in Bracknell ran a pair of Cray-1 supercomputers named Ronnie and Reggie.[39]

FOR GOODNESS SAKE …LET MICHAEL JACKSON REST IN PEACE

MICHAEL JACKSON BEING RUSHED FROM HIS RESIDENCE TO HOSPITAL  ON JUNE 25TH 2009 AFTER COLLAPSING

He didn’t even have time to close his eyes: The final indignity for Jacko as jury at doctor’s trial sees shocking deathbed picture

 

  • Jackson’s personal physician Dr Conrad Murray is charged with involuntary manslaughter
  • Prosecutor shows jury photo of singer on gurney after his death and plays disturbing audio of him slurring a month before death
  • Accuses Dr Murray of delaying call to 911 as he tries to revive Jackson
  • Defence claims that Jackson killed himself
  • First witness, choreographer Kenny Ortega, says Jackson ‘wasn’t right’ during rehearsals
  • Tour manager Paul Gongaware says Dr Murray initially demanded $5million a year to care for performer
  • Jackson’s parents and siblings Janet, La Toya, Tito, Randy and Jermaine in court
  • Woman stopped as she rushes towards Dr Murray in courthouse corridor
  • Millions around the world expected to watch trial

 

 

The highly anticipated trial into the death of Michael Jackson opened with an extraordinary moment yesterday as the prosecutor started his opening remarks by displaying a photo of the singer’s dead body.

As Dr Conrad Murray appeared before the jury charged with involuntary manslaughter over Jackson’s death more than two years ago, deputy district attorney David Walgren displayed the picture that appeared to show tape or tubing over Jackson’s face.

But the doctor’s attorney Ed Chernoff told the jury it was the singer who caused his own death by swallowing a ‘perfect storm’ of drugs.

‘He died so fast he did not even have time to close his eyes.’ he said.

Outside the Los Angeles courthouse, fans of the King of Pop faced supporters of Dr Murray waving placards and banners at each other and passers-by. Inside, the whole Jackson family made their way into court for what has been billed as the trial of the century.

 

This photo of Michael Jackson stretched out on a gurney was shown to the jury on the opening day of the trial. His personal physician, Dr Conrad Murray, is charged with involuntary manslaughter

This photo of Michael Jackson stretched out on a gurney was shown to the jury on the opening day of the trial. His personal physician, Dr Conrad Murray, is charged with involuntary manslaughter

Landmark trial: Dr Conrad Murray, right, is charged with the involuntary manslaughter of Michael Jackson
Landmark trial: Dr Conrad Murray, right, is charged with the involuntary manslaughter of Michael Jackson

The trial of Dr Murray, right, will be followed by millions around the globe and TV bosses are expecting the biggest ever ratings for a court hearing

Later, the prosecution played a tape of a healthy-looking Jackson giving his last ever performance – a rehearsal of his hit Earth Song – recorded a day before he died.

The lights in the courtroom were turned off and the singer was shown on a screen performing the track at rehearsals at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, just hours before he passed away.

Jackson’s mother appeared to be in tears watching the clip.

 

‘Michael Jackson’s death was a homicide,’ Los Angeles deputy district attorney David Walgren told the jury in opening statements.

‘The evidence will show that Michael Jackson literally put his life in the hands of Conrad Murray… Michael Jackson trusted his life to the medical skills of Conrad Murray.

‘The evidence will show that misplaced trust had far too high a price to pay… it cost Michael Jackson his life.’

But Dr Murray’s defence attorney Mr Chernoff told the jury that the singer caused his own death.

Dr Murray wiped tears from his eyes as Mr Chernoff said that the evidence will show that the singer swallowed eight, 2mg pills of Lorazepam and injected himself with a dose of propofol.

This ‘created a perfect storm in his body that killed him instantly,’ Mr Chernoff said.

Mr Chernoff said that Jackson, who was frustrated because he could not sleep and frustrated because his doctor refused to give him a drug that he wanted, ‘did an act that caused his own death’.

Emotional: The prosecution showed the court Jackson's last performance, a rehearsal of Earth Song, which appeared to bring his mother to tearsEmotional: The prosecution showed the court Jackson’s last performance, a rehearsal of Earth Song, which appeared to bring his mother to tears

Comparison: Prosecutors showed pictures of the singer before and after his death on June 25 2009Comparison: Prosecutors showed pictures of the singer before and after his death on June 25 2009

Visibly upset: Dr Murray breaks down and has to wipe away tears with a tissue as his defence attorney speaksVisibly upset: Dr Murray breaks down and has to wipe away tears with a tissue as his defence attorney speaks

Hearing: Dr Murray sits in the courtroom as he hears evidence in his involuntary manslaughter trial
Hearing: Dr Murray sits in the courtroom as he hears evidence in his involuntary manslaughter trial

Hearing: Dr Murray sits in the courtroom as he hears the evidence put forward in his trial

Disturbing audio: The prosecutor played Michael Jackson slurring and rambling over a month before his deathDisturbing audio: The prosecutor played a recording taken from Dr Murray’s iPhone of the singer slurring and rambling over a month before his death

DR MURRAY’S DEFENCE MISSPELL MICHAEL JACKSON’S NAME

Enlarge Michael JacksonAs Dr Murray’s defence attorney presented his opening statement, he put up a poster board with Michael Jackson’s name misspelt.

‘How did Micheal Jackson get to this point?’ read the first question on the chart shown behind Ed Chernoff.

The prosecution also made their own spelling mistake on the opening day of the trial. On a slide the word ‘pronounced’ was spelt without the second ‘n’.

‘He died so fast he did not even have time to close his eyes.’ Mr Chernoff said.

Jackson’s parents, his siblings Janet, La Toya, Tito, Randy and Jermaine were all at the courthouse in LA for the opening statements in the trial of the singer’s personal physician, who was the last person to see him alive.

In the prosecution’s opening statements, Mr Walgren insisted that the evidence will show that the ‘acts and omissions of Michael Jackson’s personal doctor Conrad Murray directly led to his premature death at the age of 50’.

Murray ‘repeatedly acted with gross negilience, repeatedly denied appropriate care to his patient Michael Jackson and that is was Dr Murray’s repeated incompetent and unskilled acts that led to Michael Jackson’s death on June 25, 2009,’ Mr Walgren said.

The prosecutor played disturbing audio recorded on Dr Murray’s iPhone of Jackson apparently under the influence of propofol a month before his death.

On the tape, Jackson sounded slurred and confused as he mumbled: ‘We have to be phenomenal… When people leave this show, when people leave my show, I want them to say, “I’ve never seen nothing like this in my life. Go. Go.”‘

Mr Walgren said the audio was evidence that Dr Murray knew what was happening to Jackson and should have discontinued ordering propofol.

Resting place: The bed where the singer was found deadResting place: The bed where the singer was found dead

Protests: Demonstrators gather outside Los Angeles Superior Court during the opening day of Dr Conrad Murray's trial in the death of pop star Michael JacksonProtests: Demonstrators gather outside Los Angeles Superior Court during the opening day of Dr Murray’s trial in the death of the pop star

Mr Walgren attempted to paint a picture of the days leading up to the singer’s death.

On June 19 ‘Michael showed up for his rehearsal and he was not in good shape, he was not in good shape at all,’ Mr Walgren said.

‘He had chills, he was trembling… he was rambling.’

Kenny Ortega, the choreographer of Jackson’s proposed This Is It tour, expressed concerns about Jackson, but Dr Murray allegedly told him and others that Jackson was ‘physically and emotionally fine’.

‘Don’t let it be your concern, I am the doctor,’ Dr Murray allegedly said.

The prosecutor also laid out the order of events from inside Jackson’s house on the night that he died.

Mr Walgren accused Dr Murray of failing to call 911 as soon as he realised that there was something wrong with Jackson.

Dr Murray listens intently as his trial gets under wayDr Murray listens intently as his trial gets under way

He said that an emergency call was not made until 12:20pm, at least 24 minutes after Dr Murray is believed to have discovered Jackson unconscious.

The prosecutors claimed that phone records showed that Jackson was left unattended for too long.

‘It will be clear that Conrad Murray abandoned Michael when he needed help,’ Mr Walgren said.

‘It was Conrad Murray’s gross negligence, it was Conrad Murray’s unskilled hands and his desire to obtain this lucrative contract of $150,000 a month that led Dr Murray to not only abandon his patient, but to abandon all principles of medical care.’

Singer Janet Jackson and Randy Jackson arrive at the courthouse holding handsSinger Janet Jackson and Randy Jackson arrive at the courthouse holding hands

On trial: Conrad Murray arrives at court in Los Angeles for the first day of his manslaughter trialOn trial: Dr Murray arriving for the first day of the LA hearing

MEDIC WAS ‘ADORED BY JACKSON CHILDREN PRINCE AND PARIS’

He is the man accused of neglecting and killing their father. But Prince Michael and Paris Jackson actually thought that Conrad Murray was a ‘godsend’ who really cared for him, it has been claimed.

It is thought Prince could be called to the stand to give evidence. Sources quoted by U.S. gossip website RadarOnline said the 14 and 13 year-old had a high opinion of Murray before he alleged killed Michael Jackson.

Only later did they change their mind and come to the conclusion he was a bad man. If there is evidence to back this up it could hamper the testimony that the boys reportedly want to give.

‘Prince and Paris adored Murray and thought he was a godsend for their father,’ the source said. ‘It was only after their father’s death that they formed a subsequent opinion of him. Both Prince and Paris could take the stand and wind up providing evidence which supports the doctor.’

Should Prince give evidence he will tell the jury of the moment he saw his father lying dead on his bed as Murray tried to revive him. But he will also be open to cross examination by the doctor’s defence team who could seek to look back at instances in the past where they got on.

Mr Walgren also showed images of Jackson’s bedroom to show how medical monitoring devices typically used when someone is under anesthesia were not there or appeared unused.

A blood pressure cuff was still in a box and an oxygen tank had no oxygen, Mr Walgren said.

But as the defence made their opening statements, Murray wiped away tears as Mr Chernoff described the doctor and Jackson as ‘friends first’.

‘Dr Murray is no celebrity doctor. He is a cardiologist. He literally saves lives. That’s who he is,’ Mr Chernoff said.

He said that on the day he died, Jackson had told Murray that he not slept for 10 hours and that if he did not sleep he would not be able to rehearse and would disappoint his fans.

Dr Murray agreed to give him a 25 mg injection of propofol mixed with lidocaine.

Mr Chernoff said that such a small dose would ‘dissipate in ten minutes’.

He said that the amount found in Jackson’s body, more than 100 mgs, was consistent with major invasive surgery and was administered by Jackson himself.

Jackson ‘self-administered an additional dose of propofol and it killed him like that, there was no way to save him,’ said Mr Chernoff.

His death was a tragedy, he added, but Murray is not responsible. Murray is ‘not perfect… but in this criminal court, we believe he is not guilty,’ he added.

The evidence:

  • Choreographer Kenny Ortega says Jackson ‘wasn’t right’ at rehearsals
'Not stable': Choreographer Kenny Ortega said Jackson was not right physically or mentally‘Not stable’: Choreographer Kenny Ortega told the court Jackson was not right physically or mentally a week before his death

Jackson’s choreographer and friend Kenny Ortega, the first witness called, testified that the singer was in bad shape physically and mentally less than a week before his death.

He said he sent an email to Randy Phillips, producer of the ‘This Is It’ concert, telling him that Jackson was ill, should probably have a psychological evaluation and was not ready to perform.

‘It’s important for everyone to know he really wants this,’ he wrote. ‘It would shatter him, break his heart if we pulled the plug. He’s terribly frightened it’s all going to go away.’

In response to the email, said Ortega, a meeting was called at Jackson’s house where Ortega clashed with Murray, who told him to stop playing amateur psychiatrist and doctor.

‘He [Murray] said Michael was physically and emotionally capable of handling all his responsibilities for the show,’ said Ortega. ‘I was shocked. Michael didn’t seem to be physically or emotionally stable.’

Within a few days, he said, Jackson had recouped his energy and was full of enthusiasm for the show.

On June 25, Ortega received a phone call from producer Paul Gongaware saying an ambulance had taken Michael to the hospital.

Gongaware called later and told Ortega: ‘We lost him.’

  • Dr Murray demanded $5million a year to be Jackson’s physician

Paul Gongaware, who was managing Jackson’s This Is It tour, said Dr Murray initially demanded $5million a year to be the singer’s personal physician.

Gongaware, who worked with Jackson on his Dangerous and History tours, told prosecutors the singer made the specific request to have Dr Murray brought on board.

‘He wanted to hire Dr Murray,’ said Gongaware who is AEG Live’s Co-CEO, adding that Jackson called his body a ‘machine’ that needed to be taken care of.

Demands: Tour manager Paul Gongaware said Dr Murray initially wanted $5m to be Jackson's physicianDemands: Tour manager Paul Gongaware said Dr Murray initially wanted $5m to be Jackson’s physician

Gongaware told the court: ‘I didn’t know Dr Murray at all – and we were going to London. My preference would have been to hire someone who was licensed there. Who knew what was going on.

‘I called Dr Murray – to try to make a deal with him. He wanted to do it. I asked him what he wanted. He said that he had four clinics that he had to close, in Houston, Las Vegas, San Diego and Hawaii; that he would have to lay off people – so he said he needed $5million a year to do that.

‘I told him there was no way that was going to happen. Michael couldn’t afford it. I ended the negotiations.’

Jackson then brought up the issue again. His assistant, Michael Amir Williams, called Gongaware to tell him.

‘I heard Michael Jackson in the car saying, “Offer him 150, offer him 150.”‘ Gongaware took that to mean $150,000 a month.

‘I called Dr Murray. I said to him I’m authorised to offer you 150 a month,’ Gongaware said. ‘He said, “No I really couldn’t do it for that”. I cut him off mid-sentence and said, “That offer comes directly from the artist.” Without missing a beat he said, “I’ll take it.”‘

Gongaware also revealed that there were so many fans clamouring for O2 tickets that Jackson could have sold out his 50-concerts in London twice over.

Gongaware said Jackson was initially contracted to play 31 dates at the arena, a number chosen because of his long-time rivalry with the artist Prince.

‘Prince did 21 shows at the O2 and Michael wanted to do ten more,’ said Gongaware.

He said 10 shows were initially put on sale and they ‘sold out instantly.’ The number of concerts was eventually re-contracted for 50.

‘More than  250,000 people were still in the queue after the 50 shows sold out. That would have been enough to sell out another 50 shows.’

  • Tape of Jackson’s slurred and confused words

Prosecutors played an audio recording of the pop superstar slurring his words and talking about his upcoming concerts.

Prosecutor David Walgren told jurors the audio from May 10 2009, over a month before Jackson’s death, was retrieved from Dr Conrad Murray’s cell phone.

Jackson’s voice was unrecognisable on the recording. He was speaking slowly and Walgren described the singer as highly under the influence during the conversation.

It was the first time the audio was disclosed or played in public.

‘We have to be phenomenal… When people leave this show, when people leave my show, I want them to say, “I’ve never seen nothing like this in my life. Go. Go,”‘ Jackson is heard saying.

‘”It’s amazing. He’s the greatest entertainer in the world. I’m taking the money, a million children, children’s hospital, the biggest in the world, Michael Jackson’s Children’s Hospital,”‘ the singer is heard rambling.

Walgren used the audio to bolster his point that Murray should have known better than to continue giving Jackson the powerful anaesthetic propofol, which was cited as a cause of Jackson’s death.

  • Propofol: ‘The drug that killed Jacko’

Central to the prosecution’s case is that Dr Conrad Murray administered a lethal dose of the drug propofol to Michael Jackson on the night he died and then left the room, during which time the singer stopped breathing.

They charge that Murray gave the star a lethal dose of the sedative, which the singer frequently used as a sleeping aid, calling it his ‘milk’ which he needed for his nightly battle with insomnia. But prosecutor David Walgren told the jury that propofol is ‘not a sleep aid or a sleep agent, it is a general anaesthetic’.

He continued: ‘It’s a wonderful drug if used by someone who knows what he is doing, who knows the dangers as well as the benefits.’ It should under no circumstances be given outside a hospital setting.

Dr Conrad Murray did not mention propofol to emergency room doctors at UCLA Medical Centre when asked what pop star Michael Jackson had been given, according to the prosecution.

Drug: Dr Conrad Murray today starts his trial for the wrongful death of Michael Jackson who died of Acute Propofol intoxicationProsecutors allege that Murray gave the star a lethal dose of the sedative, which the singer frequently used as a sleeping aid, calling it his ¿milk¿ which he needed for his nightly battle with insomnia

In his opening statement, Mr Walgren told the jury that between 6 April, 2009, and the day of Jackson’s death on June 25, Murray ordered enough propofol to give Jackson 1,937 milligrams a day.

The prosecution then focused on the uses and settings for which propoful should be used, noting that it is an ‘improper treatment of insomnia’. Mr Walgren mentions the correct equipment that should be utilised when administering propofol – which is done intravenously – and the complications that can arise when this does not happen.

Testimony: District deputy attorney David Walgren gives his opening statement for the prosecutionDistrict deputy attorney David Walgren gives his opening statement for the prosecution

Defence lawyers claim Murray had been trying to wean Jackson off propofol and gave him only a minimal dosage.

They claim the singer, desperate for sleep, swallowed an additional dose of the drug when his doctor was out of the room.

Their theory is based on evidence that a trace amount of propofol was found in Jackson’s stomach.

Medical witnesses may be asked to explain how it could have been found in his stomach, as ingesting it orally is almost unheard of.

The drug is used to reduce anxiety and tension, and promotes relaxation and sleep or loss of consciousness. Propofol provides loss of awareness for short diagnostic tests and surgical procedures, sleep at the beginning of surgery, and supplements other types of general anaesthetics. Long-term use of the drug can result in addiction. The steep dose-response curve of the drug makes potential misuse very dangerous without proper monitoring.

Side effects of the drug include: difficulty breathing, wheezing, fast heartbeat, palpitations, seizures, uncontrollable muscle spasm and swelling or extreme pain at the injection site.

  • Jackson’s final hours

Prosecutors say that Murray made a number of phone calls between 10:20 and 11:51am the morning of Jackson’s death. He is believed to have discovered the star unconscious at about 11.56am but he did not tell anyone to call 911 until 12.20pm.

During his last phone call – to a cocktail waitress who Murray regarded as his girlfriend – he suddenly became silent and the phone went dead.

‘This is likely the time Conrad Murray first noticed Michael Jackson’s lifeless body,’ prosecutor David Walgren said.

The cocktail waitress made a statement that Murray stopped responding to her and then five minutes later the phone went dead.

Revealed: The court was shown pictures from inside Jackson's home. The centre images shows the last jacket he wore on his bathroom floorThe court was shown pictures from inside Jackson’s home. The central image shows the last jacket he wore lying on his bathroom floor

It was not until 12.12pm that Murray called Jackson’s personal assistant Michael Williams and left a message saying: ‘Call me right away, please. Please call me right away. Thank you.’ When Mr Williams immediately called Murray back he told him: ‘Get here right away Mr Jackson had a bad reaction, he had a bad reaction’, according to prosecutors.

He had yet to call 911 at this point.

Mr Williams then called security guard Albert Alvarez to go and investigate and he said that when he entered Jackson’s room, he was lying on the bed and Dr Murray was administering CPR.

According to the prosecution, Murray then ordered the security guard to grab a bag while he started grabbing vials and a saline bag hanging from the IV stand to put inside the bag.

That bag was later found inside Jackson’s home.

The rented Los Angeles home where the singer was found unconsciousThe rented Los Angeles home where the singer was found unconscious

Prosecutors also say the doctor ordered someone to clean up signs that Jackson had been receiving a variety of medications, including propofol, and that he improperly monitored Jackson’s vital signs, performed inadequate CPR and did not inform emergency medical personnel that he had given the singer propofol.

A recorded conversation that Murray had two days after Jackson’s death was played where Murray can be heard saying that he gave his patient a small dose of propofol and then left him for 15 minutes to go to the bathroom.

‘Then I came back to his bedside and was shocked because he wasn’t breathing,’ he says in the audio recorded on June 27. Prosecutors allege that he was gone for a lot longer.

At 12.30, paramedics arrived at his home and treated Jackson for 42 minutes before transporting him to nearby Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center.

He arrived at 1.14pm and a team of doctors tried for more than an hour to resuscitate him. He was declared dead at 2.26pm with members of his family by his side.

  • Jackson ‘killed himself after doctor tried to wean him off drugs’
Accusation: Dr Murray's attorney said that Jackson had given himself the propofol that killed him (file picture)Dr Murray’s attorney alleges that Jackson had given himself the propofol that killed him

Dr Murray’s defence attorney said that Michael Jackson gave himself the drugs that killed him because the doctor refused.

Ed Chernoff told the jury that Jackson did not die because of Murray’s treatment, but because ‘Dr Murray stopped’ giving him the drugs he demanded.

He said that when Murray started working for Jackson, the singer was already using propofol and said he could only sleep if he was given it.

Jackson said he had always taken what he called ‘his milk’ while on tour.

The defence attorney said that Murray had administered the drug because he was concerned about the drug and believed that the singer would find a way to get it anyway.

He said that Murray was trying to wean Jackson off propofol at the time of he death and that he had refused to give it to the singer on the day he died because it was the third day of the weaning off process.

Mr Chernoff said that Jackson swallowed 8, 2 mg pills of Lorazepam and injected himself with a dose of propofol, while Murray was out of the room.

This ‘created a perfect storm in his body that killed him instantly,’ Mr Chernoff said.

Outside court: People both for and against Dr Murray gathered by the courthouse in Los Angeles
Outside court: People both for and against Dr Murray gathered by the courthouse in Los Angeles

Outside court: People both for and against Dr Murray gathered by the courthouse in Los Angeles

Fans: Michael Jackson impersonator Goward Horton poses for the media outside the courthouseFans: Michael Jackson impersonator Goward Horton poses for the media outside the courthouse

Millions of people around the world are expected to watch as the trial gives a glimpse into final days of the King of Pop.

Crowds of people gathered at the Los Angeles Superior Court where there was a lottery drawn for seats for the opening statements.

Supporters of both Dr Murray, 57, and Jackson are outside the courthouse with signs including, ‘Fair trial for Dr Murray’ and ‘Doctors are expected to heal not kill’.

A woman had to be stopped by court officers as she rushed towards Dr Murray as he walked in a courthouse corridor. She reportedly said she just wanted to speak to the doctor, it is not clear if she has been detained.

The list of potential witnesses includes his eldest children Prince Michael and Paris, who have reportedly said that they want to take to the stand to testify.

Sister: La Toya Jackson arrives with a sunflower during the opening day of Dr Conrad Murray's trial

Sister: La Toya Jackson arrives with a sunflower during the opening day of Dr Conrad Murray’s trial

Relatives: The Jackson Family, including mother Katherine Jackson and father Joe Jackson, arrive at the Criminal Courts Building in Downtown Los Angeles
In court: Michael Jackson's father Joe arrives for opening statements in the trial

Relatives: The Jackson Family, including mother Katherine Jackson and father Joe Jackson, arrive at the Criminal Courts Building in Downtown Los Angeles

Brother: Jermaine Jackson arrives during the opening day of Dr Conrad Murray's trialBrother: Jermaine Jackson arrives during the opening day of Dr Conrad Murray’s trial

RATINGS WINNER: MILLIONS TO WATCH TRIAL ACROSS GLOBE

People around the world are expected to watch as the public hears for the first time from Dr Murray what happened in the events leading to Michael Jackson’s death.

The trial is expected to be attended by Jackson’s high-profile family, including his parents and sisters Janet and La Toya, and stars such as High School Musical choreographer Kenny Ortega, who is expected to be the first witness to be called.

Cable news networks are hoping that the court proceedings will be a repeat of the Casey Anthony trial, which proved a ratings success.

News network HLN, which saw record ratings during the trial of the Florida mother, is planning similarly exhaustive coverage of the case, including analysis from Nancy Grace, who has been thrust into the spotlight.

Medical examiners have determined Jackson’s death at the age of 50 on June 25 2009, at his rented Los Angeles mansion was due to an overdose of the powerful anaesthetic propofol and sedatives.

Prosecutors say Murray caused Jackson’s death by giving him propofol as a sleep aid, and failing to monitor him properly.

Murray denies the charge of involuntary manslaughter but faces a prison sentence of up to four years if convicted.

His defence team is expected to argue that Jackson was addicted to various painkillers and sedatives and gave himself the fatal dose of propofol, possibly by swallowing it.

Ed Chernoff, the lead attorney for Murray, said in closed-door arguments on Monday that Jackson, 50, was ‘desperate’ around the time of his death.

‘We think that Michael Jackson was involved in certain acts that ended his own life,’ Chernoff said, according to a court transcript.

The trial is expected to hear testimony from the paramedics who transported Jackson to the hospital, medical experts, Jackson’s choreographer and Murray’s girlfriends.

Celebrity attorney Mark Geragos, who once represented Jackson and has closely watched the criminal case against Murray, said that Jackson’s 13-year-old daughter Paris might also be called to testify, in what would likely be one of the most dramatic moments of the trial.

Defence: Dr Conrad Murray's attorney J Michael Flannigan arrives at the Los Angeles Superior Court during the opening day of Murray's trialDefence: Dr Conrad Murray’s attorney J Michael Flannigan arrives at the Los Angeles Superior Court during the opening day of Murray’s trial

Their say: Paris and Prince Jackson, pictured with younger brother Blanket at their father's memorial service, want to give their account of the day their father diedTheir say: Paris and Prince Jackson, pictured with younger brother Blanket at their father’s memorial service, want to give their account of the day their father died

Trial: Supporters at the late pop star Michael Jackson hold signs outside Los Angeles Superior CourtTrial: Supporters at the late pop star Michael Jackson hold signs outside Los Angeles Superior Court

WHO IS DR CONRAD MURRAY?

Dr Conrad MurrayThe 57-year old physician, who was the last person to see Michael Jackson alive, has been charged with the involuntary manslaughter of the singer on June 25 2009.

The doctor was hired by Jackson for a reported fee of $150,000 as he prepared for his 50 date concert series in London.

The Grenada-born cardiologist, who was educated in the U.S., first met Jackson in 2006 when he treated one of the singer’s children in Las Vegas.

In May 2009, he took leave from his practice and wrote a letter to his patients saying he was leaving ‘because of a once in a lifetime opportunity’.

Murray declined to offer public comment following the death of Jackson, but in August last year posted a YouTube video in which he said ‘truth will prevail’.

‘She not only has things to say, but she can say it in a compelling way,’ Mr Geragos said. Paris Jackson was at the house when the singer stopped breathing.

Jackson’s children, Prince Michael, 14, and Paris, 13, have both reportedly told their grandmother Katherine of their desire to want to testify.

But a source close to the Jackson family revealed to RadarOnline that the children have warm recollections of the medic, which could help the jury clear the doctor.

They wrote: ‘Prince and Paris adored Dr Murray and thought he was a godsend for their father.

‘It was only after their father’s death that they formed a subsequent opinion of him. Both Prince and Paris could take the stand and wind up providing evidence which supports the doctor.’

What could be even more damaging to prosecutors, however, is if the children are cross-examined about their father’s long-term drug use.

‘Prince and Paris knew their dad relied on Dr Murray to survive and knew their father adored him,’ the source said.

‘Their comments could save him from jail because it would work well in the eyes of a jury.’

The insider told RadarOnline that Prince, if he testifies, will tell the court what he saw when he walked into his father’s bedroom in the middle of his doctor’s doomed attempts to revive him.

Worldwide interest: Journalists position themselves outside the courthouse as the trial begins in Los AngelesWorldwide interest: Journalists position themselves outside the courthouse as the trial begins in Los Angeles

Crowds: Demonstrators for and against make their case as the involuntary manslaughter trial for Dr Conrad MurrayCrowds: Demonstrators for and against make their case as the involuntary manslaughter trial for Dr Conrad Murray

Murray has insisted Prince Michael and Paris were bundled from the room after the star’s daughter burst into tears and screamed ‘Daddy’.

Their aunt LaToya, who believes her brother was unlawfully killed, has said it would be good for the children to, ‘Get what is inside them, out of them.’

‘She feels it is a way for them to release the hurt,’ the source told RadarOnline. ‘She believes her brother was murdered and what Prince Michael and Paris could tell the jury, would inevitably help convict the doctor.’

Prince Michael, Paris and Blanket were all included on a potential witness list passed out to the jurors in an attempt to ascertain their familiarity with the family.

Death: Jackson was preparing for a 50 date concert at the O2 in London when he diedDeath: Jackson was preparing for a 50 date concert at the O2 in London when he died

Home: Jackson went into cardiac arrest at this rented house in LAHome: Jackson went into cardiac arrest at this rented house in LA

First on the stand: High School Musical director Kenny Ortega, who was choreographing Jackson's 'This is it' tour is expected to be called todayFirst on the stand: High School Musical director Kenny Ortega, who was choreographing Jackson’s ‘This is it’ tour is expected to be called today

Also listed were siblings Janet, LaToya, Jermaine, Marlon, Rebbie, Tito and Randy as well as parents Katherine and Joe Jackson.

The case is one of a small but growing number of U.S. criminal prosecutions of doctors for alleged malpractice.

Mr Geragos said he believes prosecutors could have a difficult time winning a conviction – and that a hung jury with no conviction or acquittal is more likely.

‘Jurors are loathe to convict doctors in this type of a situation,’ Mr Geragos said, adding that many times jurors don’t want to second-guess doctors.

The responses of the 12-person jury to written questionnaires made public last week shows that none of them reported having a negative experience with doctors.

At the time of his death, Jackson was readying himself for 50 planned shows in London called ‘This Is It.’

The first prosecution witness is expected to be High School Musical director Kenny Ortega, the choreographer who was hired to stage the London shows and who was conducting rehearsals with Jackson in Los Angeles.

THE 12 PEOPLE THAT WILL DECIDE WHAT REALLY HAPPENED TO JACKSON

Juror No. 1: Mexican male, 51, U.S. Postal Service letter carrier, married father-of-five. A Michael Jackson fan who said he finds law enforcement officers, firefighters and doctors ‘always believable’.

Juror No. 2: Spanish female, 57, unemployed. Has served on five previous juries and closely followed the O.J. Simpson trial but said it did not affect her opinion of the criminal justice system. She does not consider herself a Jackson fan.

Juror No. 3: American male, 45, a partner in a management consulting firm. His wife is a former registered nurse, and both his brother-in-law and cousin are physicians. He has served on two previous juries, including a murder case in 1994.

Juror No. 4: American male, 32,  part-time bookseller and cashier. He served as a U.S. Army National Guard specialist as a telecom operator. His primary source of news is the Internet.

Juror No. 5: American female, 48, paralegal.  She watched the Casey Anthony murder trial ‘on and off’ because family members were interested was very interested but said it did not affect her opinion of the criminal justice system.

Juror No. 6: Cuban/Mexican male, 39, associate director of product management. He is an occasional reader of various Internet news and gossip sites. He considers himself a Jackson fan and owns various Michael Jackson, Jackson 5 and Janet Jackson CDs.

Juror No. 7: Mexican American female, 57, relocation representative in office management/customer service. She followed the Casey Anthony case and believes people of wealth or fame are treated differently in the court system.

Juror No. 8: Mexican male, 42, school bus driver. He believes Hollywood celebrities get away with crimes because of their status. He does not consider himself a fan of Michael Jackson but has a positive opinion of him.

Juror  No. 9: African American male, 54, television technical director. A Michael Jackson fan, he has served on two criminal juries and one civil jury.

Juror No. 10: English female, 43, international marketer but previously worked as a pathology/medical technician in a biochemistry lab.

Juror No. 11: Hispanic female, 36, customer service representative. She reads People magazine and TMZ.com and watches reality television. She was shot in a drive-by shooting in 1993.

Juror No. 12: American male, 54, retired animator now working as a teacher. He considers Michael Jackson a ‘gifted performer’ and has owned Jackson CDs and albums since he was a teenager.

Key players: The figures at the centre of the trial

Landmark trial: Dr Conrad Murray, right, is charged with the involuntary manslaughter of Michael Jackson

Dr Conrad Murray, defendant

A 58 year-old cardiologist who practiced in Las Vegas and Houston, Murray was hired as Jackson’s $150,000 a month personal physician roughly a month before the pop superstar’s death in June 2009.

Authorities contend Murray, who had financial difficulties before the singer’s death, administered a lethal dose of the anesthetic propofol mixed with other sedatives.

The doctor, who was never paid, has pleaded not guilty and faces up to four years in prison and will lose his medical license if convicted.

Chernoff

Ed Chernoff, defence attorney

A Houston-based defense attorney working his first high-profile case, Chernoff has been Murray’s primary defense attorney since shortly after Jackson’s death. He represented the doctor during a meeting with police during which Murray disclosed that he had given Jackson propofol. Prosecutors plan to use the statements against Murray during trial.

Chernoff has maintained that Murray did not administer anything to Jackson that should have killed him.

Walgren

David Walgren, prosecutor

A deputy district attorney in the major crimes division, Walgren is the lead prosecutor in the Murray case.

He has painted Murray as an incompetent doctor who initially tried to conceal that he had been giving the singer the anesthetic propofol without proper lifesaving equipment.

He was previously responsible for the district attorney’s effort to return director Roman Polanski to Los Angeles for sentencing in a three-decades old rape case. Switzerland eventually refused to extradite Polanski, which placed the case on hold.

Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson

Jackson’s death at age 50 in June 2009 stunned the world and gave the entertainer, posthumously, what he wanted – a comeback.

Hundreds of millions of dollars in debt at the time of his death and his reputation still tarnished by unproven child molestation accusations, Jackson’s estate has gone on to earn more than $310 million.

Jurors won’t hear about his shaky finances or references to his alleged drug abuse, but they will see footage of some of the singer’s final rehearsals and hear from some of the people were with him in his final days.

Flanagan

J Michael Flanagan, defence attorney

A Los Angeles criminal defence attorney who specialises in drunk driving cases, Flanagan also has the distinction of winning an acquittal for a nurse accused of improperly giving propofol to a patient who died.

He represented Britney Spears in a driver’s license case that was dropped after a jury deadlocked on the case, and has dealt with numerous scientific and testing issues related to Murray’s defense.

Pastor

Judge Michael Pastor

A well-respected Los Angeles Superior Court Judge since 1983, Pastor is one of several judges who presides over the most serious criminal cases in Los Angeles.

He has previously handled a drunken driving case against actor Jason Priestly and a case against a man accused of stalking Olympic gold medalist Shawn Johnson.

He has consistently that Murray’s trial will focus on Jackson’s final days and hours and has prohibited the doctor’s lawyers from introducing evidence about the singer’s addiction or financial woes.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2042463/Conrad-Murray-trial-Michael-Jackson-dead-body-picture-shown-jury.html#ixzz1ZFG5hoGp