UK - Another link to crime tradition passes: Kray firm rival Charlie Richardson dead

Discussion in 'Up to the Minute' started by wfgodot, Sep 25, 2012.

  1. wfgodot

    wfgodot Former Member

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    Hard to know where to put this one - it almost deserves a separate, as yet uncreated, forum: call it History of Crime, then branch off to History of Crime: London, and again, to History of Crime: London: East End. That would work.

    But it could also fall under Up to the Minute; the death in question - of Charlie Richardson - occurred last week. Or Celebrity and Entertainment News: the characters in question - particularly the Kray twins, Reg and Ron - mingled with onlookers and hangers-on like the Beatles, Judy Garland, Barbara Windsor and Diana Dors. Or Bizarre and Off-Beat News: names like George Cornell and the Blind Beggar pub and Jack (the Hat) McVitie, like Mad Frankie Fraser and Frank (The Axe Man) Mitchell, summon up something apart from what came before, and what was to come after. These diamond geezers, these hard men, are now ghosts of the East End and of southeast London, most of them, as distant from us now as that fellow called Jack who walked these same Whitechapel streets in the 1880s.

    So when one reads of the death of Charlie Richardson, one hears the bell toll for a range of names: Darby Sabini and Alf White; Jack Spot and Billy Hill. Whether they were ponces - "thieves' ponces," the Richardsons called the Krays - or lords of their manors or both, they were deadly ones, and of their time: when Frank Fraser joined the Richardson gang, it was compared to China acquiring the atom bomb.

    (all links above from Wikipedia)

    Charles Richardson (Daily Telegraph)
    Charles Richardson, who has died aged 78, was a criminal businessman and unrepentant gangster who, with his younger brother Eddie, corrupted detectives and terrorised the south London underworld of the 1960s; after a series of so-called “Torture Trials” — which, for the first time, shed light on the inner workings of British organised crime — he served a 25-year prison sentence before being released in 1984

    Charlie Richardson: Shrewd and ruthless leading figure of London's 1960s criminal scene (Independent)

    'Charlie Richardson was evil, he should have been tortured like his victims' (Independent)
    Sadistic gang boss, who died this week, is remembered by his former prison mate John McVicar

    Charlie Richardson obituary (Guardian)
    Notorious London gangster of the 60s jailed for 18 years after the 'torture trial'
     
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  3. badhorsie

    badhorsie Mouth operational, brain elsewhere...

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    Charlie Richardson made the Krays look like a pair of teddy bears
     
  4. wfgodot

    wfgodot Former Member

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    Reg maybe, but the Colonel? NEVER!! lolol.
     
  5. wfgodot

    wfgodot Former Member

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    Okay, the Richardsons were THE firm in London of the '60s - the Krays spent too much time in jail. But the Richardsons were not the stuff of myth. Legend has it (probably incorrectly, as legends tend to have it) that, when Ron Kray gunned down George Cornell in the Blind Beggar (for having called him "a fat poof," within the hearing of a Kray firm member), this '60s classic was playing on the jukebox - and with the kicker that the bullet struck said jukebox, causing the title lyric to repeat time after time after time, underscoring the darkness of the deed just done:
    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2eAxCVTMJ-I"]Walker Brothers - The sun ain't gonna shine anymore 1965 - YouTube[/ame]
    Further, I don't believe there has been a film based on the Richardson gang; there was a fine one based on the Krays. Here are its violent scenes - when Cornell and McVitie meet their ends:
    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q04VkFxlMNs&feature=relmfu"]the krays part 12 - YouTube[/ame]
     
  6. wfgodot

    wfgodot Former Member

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    Excellent news report highlighting the Kray twins and including some of the persons named above (Frank Fraser; John McVicar; and also the Met's Nipper Read, who brought them to justice) on the occasion of the Colonel - Ronnie Kray's - death:
    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ntzFqlV_lM"]Ronnie Kray (1933-1995) - YouTube[/ame]
    A short interview from Sky News with Charlie Richardson:
    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V1OSjxkqW14"]Charlie Richardson interview (London gang boss). - YouTube[/ame]
     
  7. wfgodot

    wfgodot Former Member

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    Reggie Kray's gangland funeral, probably the last of its kind:
    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AwfW-CMBIxk"]Reggie Kray's funeral - YouTube[/ame]
     
  8. wfgodot

    wfgodot Former Member

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    Neither the Krays nor the Richardsons committed the London-based '60s caper that is most remembered today; that crime would be the Great Train Robbery of 1963, pulled off by a firm assembled by mastermind Bruce Richard Reynolds. It was set to go off with no violence - the team carried no guns; it almost succeeded in that. Instead, two members of the Royal Train crew - from Glasgow bound for Euston Station - resisted, and were coshed. One man was severely injured.

    The Alabama 3 video relates the tale in song, with narration at the end by Reynolds:
    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BQqGuufyLlg&playnext=1&list=PL23D7A4D2ED8633F7&feature=results_video"]Alabama 3 - Have You Seen Bruce Richard Reynolds - YouTube[/ame]
    lyrics
    (one line reads, "wearin' scrubs"; it should of course read, "Wormwood Scrubs," the name of a prison; also, the movie in the video is Thomas Edison's "The Little Train Robbery," filmed in 1905)
     
  9. wfgodot

    wfgodot Former Member

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    Three from Richardson gang member Mad Frankie Fraser; the second is filmed on a London bus tour through the East End streets where these crimes proliferated:
    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-rhr8Vjzy8E"]The killing of George Cornell - YouTube[/ame]
    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ady24UrspI8&feature=related"]mad frankie fraser - YouTube[/ame]
     
  10. wfgodot

    wfgodot Former Member

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    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RDPaMBlwfHA&feature=related"]Mad Frankie Fraser Documentary Teaser #1 - YouTube[/ame]
     
  11. wishuwerehere

    wishuwerehere New Member

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    From the obit: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/sep/20/charlie-richardson

    Ugh. Evil and sadistic indeed!

    I see the writer of this article has his own colorful story.
    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/u...ve-been-tortured-like-his-victims-8163896.htm

     
  12. wfgodot

    wfgodot Former Member

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    Dartmoor prison turns to captivating tourists (Telegraph)
    Bogs, fogs, dogs and tales of celebrity convicts are
    helping to attract 30,000 visitors a year to Dartmoor Prison.

    the rest, with a video, at link above
     
  13. wfgodot

    wfgodot Former Member

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  14. wfgodot

    wfgodot Former Member

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    Incidentally - a couple times above, in that Alabama 3 video and in at least one of the others, the expression "doing one's bird" occurs. To do one's bird is an expression from cockney rhyming slang - which would have been used in many other ways by the people we speak of here; "bird" here refers to "bird lime," rhyming slang for "time." To do one's bird meant to do one's time in prison.
     
  15. wfgodot

    wfgodot Former Member

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    The Axe Man? Glad you asked. Frank doesn't have his own Wikipedia entry, and that's a crime.

    Here's Frank, at thekrays.co.uk.

    Yes, his nickname came after his escape from Broadmoor, an institution for the criminally insane, when he took a couple hostage and waved an axe around. Didn't hurt anyone but certainly scared them sufficiently to suffer nightmares for years, I'd think.

    Not sure if it says in the entry above, but, according to other sources, the Krays facilitated Frank Mitchell's escape from Dartmoor Prison first to draw attention to his request for a case review (which he did have coming), but their true motives were ulterior: they wanted the Axe Man in their employ eventually, in order to offset the Richardson gang's employment of Mad Frankie Fraser (see IP above; his joining the Richardsons tilted the power axis precipitously).
     
  16. wfgodot

    wfgodot Former Member

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    The Daily Mail's photo essay on Charlie Richardson & Co. Nice sidebar: "London's Gangland Undeworld of the 1960s":

    Death of a gang boss: Charlie Richardson known for pinning victims to the floor with six-inch nails dies aged 78
    much more at the link
     
  17. wfgodot

    wfgodot Former Member

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    I take it back. There was a film about the Richardsons, called, simply, Charlie, in 2004. It seems to have made little noise and to have sunk without a trace, the Richardson gang not having the elan, certainly, of the Kray firm.

    It can be viewed in its entirety here, on YouTube.
     
  18. wfgodot

    wfgodot Former Member

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  19. wfgodot

    wfgodot Former Member

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    Roy 'Pretty Boy' Shaw (Telegraph obit)
    Roy “Pretty Boy” Shaw, who has died aged 76, was an associate of the Kray twins and one of the East End’s
    most notorious villains; he served time for armed robbery before becoming a champion of the unlicensed boxing
    circuit, a successful businessman and co-author (with Ronnie Kray’s widow Kate) of a bestselling autobiography.
     
  20. wishuwerehere

    wishuwerehere New Member

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    From the above quoted article:

    Certified insane three times?
     
  21. wfgodot

    wfgodot Former Member

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    Quite possibly at the insistence of his attorneys, perhaps thus to lessen subsequent penalties.

    Still wish I'd had the opportunity to take Mad Frank's bus tour (see above).
     

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