Ronnie Kray’s bizarre method for breaking brother Reggie out of prison unnoticed

The were the kings of the East End of London and some of the most famous criminals ever caught in Britain.

Throughout the 1960s, Ronnie and Reggie Kray sparked fear into the hearts of their rivals as they stayed on top of the pile with gruesome violence.

The mystique surrounded by the twins meant they mixed in celebrity circles and were even interviewed on TV in their own right.

Diana Dors, Frank Sinatra and Judy Garland were all classed among their friends – and they despatched their enemies quickly and brutally.

But the police at the time were not unaware of their actions and years before they were finally brought to justice for several of the murders they were responsible for, the brothers served time in jail.


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But as long as one of them was still on the outside, mere bars and walls couldn't hold the other.

Now, a new book, Krays: The Final Word, by James Morton, looks at how the two brothers always had each other's backs.

Back in 1956, Ronnie Kray was jailed for three years for wounding with intent.

It was just before the twins hit the big time and moved the front of their criminal empire into London's West End.

Ronnie, along with brother Reggie and other members of their crew, had been involved in a battle with another East End gang, The Streeters, and it had descended into extreme violence.


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He was sent to Wandsworth Prison but his mental health deteriorated while he was behind bars.

Ronnie was conviced that one of the men convicted with him, Bobby Ramsey, had called him a grass and gave him a severe beating.

Meanwhile, back in the East End Reggie was suspected of carrying out an attack on those he thought were responsible for purring his brother behind bars – although this was never proved.

And even with his brother inside, Reggie continued to build the twins' empire, obtaining the Double R, named after himself and hisbrother, and transformed it into an upmarket nightclub.

Initially, Ronnie managed well in prison but was then transferred to Camp Hill on the Isle of Wight, which was lower security but far from his beloved London.


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It was here that his mental health began to really suffer and he had a breakdown on Christmas Day, 1957, and had to be placed in a straightjacket.

By February 1958, Ronnie had been certified insane and transferred to Long Grove Mental Hospital in Surrey.

On medication, his condition improved but he now realised while he was in hospital the time didn't count against his sentence – and he wanted his freedom.

So the brothers came up with an ingenious rescue plan to bust him out.

On May 26, 1958, Reggie went ti visit his twin along with their older brother, Charlie.


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He claimed the twins were both in identical suits and shirts and went to the toilet together.

Reggie put on Ronnie's glasses and Ronnie walked out first with Charlie and out of the hospital.

When Reggie was sure his brother would have had enough time to flee the hospital, he too walked out.

He told guards Ronnie had gone to get him a cup of tea and also left the mental hospital.

Despite a call from the hospital to Reggie the following day, promising no questions would be asked if he brought his brother back immediately, Ronnie remained on the run for the next six months.

But while he was free, he wasn't taking his medication and his mental health soon began to deteriorate again.

After five months on the run, Ronnie was finally returned to prison and put back on medication.

By November he was declared sane and returned to Wandsworth, where he served the remainder of his five month sentence.

Ronnie and Reggie were finally arrested in 1968 and jailed for life in 1969.

  • Get £3 off  Krays: The Final Word  (RRP £14.99) with special offer code RB5 plus P&P. Call 01256 302 699 or order online at  mirrorbooks.co.uk . Free P&P on orders over £15

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