The rise and fall of the Krays

As someone who knew 0% about the Krays I went in with open eyes and mind when watching Legend, of course Tom Hardy was a big plus! However the story was so gripping about the power these two brothers had over East London. The end of the film stated what happened to the twins in the present day, with both incarnated which led to both of their death, this led me to my dear friend Wikipedia… (I know I’m terrible) I use Wikipedia as a quick tool to see research and then delve deeper scouring around Waterstones or Amazon online.

This occasion led me in the tiny book section in HMV with my first purchase Kray book in hand, unaware of the incredible stories I was to read and embark on, seven purchased books on the twins later it’s safe to say I was gripped in this bizarre topic, each book served a different purpose and gave a different angle to both Reggie and Ronnie. The first by John Pearson was my first Kray book, the best buy in my opinion should you chose to read about the boy’s, it’s a detailed account from birth to their deaths in 1993 (Ronnie) and Reggie’s (2000). With the authors original notes about the trouble the book landed him in on the additional release in the 1970’s, the book was recommissioned after the film release.


My two recommendations for a Kray history!

The Krays clearly had a reputation… bit of an understatement! I chose to read the aforementioned book for a holiday read last summer, the beginning moments after take of the education began. Straight away a complete stranger sat next to me decided to chime in with his own opinion of them “The Krays were banned from Liverpool, both thought they could take over the city along with rest of the U.K” Now if there’s nothing worse than being interrupted reading a brand new book, its being interrupted with a opinion I didn’t ask for, I kindly smiled and thanked for his opinion yet I stated of  knowing anything about them! But this proves the theory to this day that after over 40 years these two men have such a influence on opinion that a stranger had to chime in with their view.

For anyone finding themselves reading about the Krays and wondering if this book was in some way exaggerated of the crimes and controversy surrounding the boys and the way the police and government allowed them to get away with such crimes. May I recommend reading the Krays autobiography even if you aren’t a huge fan, the book allows them to tell their tales from inside prison. At this stage Ronnie was locked up in Broadmoor, however it’s an indulging read with them both admitting to murder, the reasoning justified by them both. No regrets are shown, but the stories are fascinating and coated with humour from Ronnie. Is it wrong to find these things fun to read and enjoy?

Has anyone else been gripped by an event or history that learning by buying books has led them to this conclusion? Drop a comment in the box below!


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