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 Ronald “Ronnie” Kray

Ronald “Ronnie” Kray

Hoxton, London Borough of Islington, Greater London, England
Death 17 Mar 1995 (aged 61)
Crowthorne, Bracknell Forest Borough, Berkshire, England
Burial Chingford, London Borough of Waltham Forest, Greater London, England
Plot B09
Memorial ID 3194 · View Source
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British gangster, he and his twin brother were organizers of a gang known for their illegal gambling, protection rackets, and murders in the North and East ends of London. Known to his friends as Ron or Ronnie, he was the dominant twin and would lead the gang. Born in East London, England, just minutes after his identical twin brother, Reginald, to Charles and Violet Kray, they were the second and third children, after their older brother, Charlie. Their father was called up for military service in 1939, when World War II broke out, but soon deserted and remained on the run for the next 12 years, during which time, the boys saw very little of him and were raised by their mother. The attended Daneford Street School, where they were considered average, but never provided the slightest trouble to any of the teachers. They were considered very cooperative and helpful. From their grandfather, the twins learned to box, becoming very successful amateur boxers. In 1951, they were drafted for Army service, and it is here that their troubles with authorities began. They deserted several times, and were recaptured each time. While AWOL, the twins assaulted a police officer, for which they were court-martialed and sent to an Army prison at Shepton Mallet in Somerset. There Ron began to show the first signs of mental illness, refusing to eat, suffering wild mood swings, sitting quietly only to break out in a violent frenzy, assaulting guards for no reason, and burning his bedding. Eventually they were given a dishonorable discharge and were released. Out of the Army, the two boys decided to buy a snooker club in Bethnal Green area of London, and began their life of crime. By the late 1950s, both men had become involved in hijacking, armed robbery and arson, as well as handling stolen goods and running protection rackets on betting shops. By the mid-1960s, the two were considered prosperous nightclub owners, and part of the swinging London scene, associating with popular celebrity actors and show-business personalities. Ron also had a homosexual friendship with Lord Boothby, a Conservative peer, which was exposed by the London tabloids. While police were learning of their criminal activities, it was their reputation for violence that guaranteed witnesses would not step forward. In 1966, Ron shot George Cornell in front of customers at the Blind Beggar Pub in the London east end, because George had called him a “fat poof.” While police were investigating this murder, he helped his brother, Reggie, murder Jack McVitie by holding him down while his brother stabbed McVitie over and over. For these murders, the twins were given life sentences, with a minimum time to serve of 30 years before eligible for parole. The twins’ elder brother, Charles Kray, was also convicted and sentenced to ten years for helping them dispose of McVitie’s body. While in prison, Ron was certified as paranoid schizophrenic and he lived out the remainder of his life in a mental institution for the criminally insane, where he died in 1995. His brother, Reggie, would be released on August 26, 2000, due to terminal cancer, and would die five weeks later. His older brother, Charlie, served seven years of his 10 year sentence, and was released for good behavior, only to be returned to prison in 1997 for trying to smuggle heroin. Charlie died on April 4, 2000, in prison, of natural causes. All three brothers are buried next to their parents.

Bio by: Kit and Morgan Benson

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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 17 Jul 1998
  • Find A Grave Memorial 3194
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Ronald “Ronnie” Kray (24 Oct 1933–17 Mar 1995), Find A Grave Memorial no. 3194, citing Chingford Mount Cemetery, Chingford, London Borough of Waltham Forest, Greater London, England ; Maintained by Find A Grave .