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'