In the 1950s and 1960s, Ronnie and Reggie Kray ruled the London underworld as the most notorious crime bosses in the city’s history. Often romanticized in pop culture, the real Kray twins were violent and ruthless gangsters who left a legacy of fear and murder. This article explores Is Kray Twins Ronnie and Reggie Kray Alive? or Dead? Now.
Who are Ronnie and Reggie Kray?
Born in 1933 in London’s East End, Ronnie and Reggie Kray grew up in an impoverished environment turned violent by the Second World War. After a stint in prison together, the twins started acquiring nightclubs and bars in the West End during the late 1950s.
The brothers built a powerful criminal organization known as “The Firm” to run protection rackets, armed robberies, and other illegal activities. As their influence grew, they became celebrities through their ownership of fashionable nightclubs frequented by the rich and famous.
But behind the public image, the Kray Gang kept a stranglehold on London’s underworld through intimidation and violence. Their gang numbered over 600 at the peak of their power in the 1960s.
The Violent and Unstable Ronnie Kray
Ronnie Kray was regarded as the more unstable and openly violent of the twins. Prone to unpredictable outbursts of rage, sadism and mental illness, he committed numerous brutal murders to consolidate the twins’ power.
In 1966, Ronnie brazenly shot dead rival gangster George Cornell in a crowded bar in front of multiple witnesses. Terrified of reprisal, nobody would testify against him.
Ronnie also arranged the escape of Frank Mitchell, an inmate with a reputation for extreme violence, from Dartmoor Prison in 1966. This only added to the Kray Gang’s fearsome reputation.
The Calculating Reggie Kray
Reggie Kray was seen as the more thoughtful and business-minded twin. However, he too would resort to callous violence if needed to enforce the Kray Gang’s control.
In 1967, Reggie stabbed Jack “The Hat” McVitie to death at a party after McVitie failed to complete a contract killing for the gang. Like his twin, Reggie could be merciless when it came to preserving the Krays’ power.
While Ronnie was brazenly open about his homosexuality, Reggie took care to maintain a public image of masculinity and toughness expected of a gang leader. Both twins however shared a talent for strategically cultivating their celebrity status and connections.
The Beginning of the End
Detective Leonard “Nipper” Read was given the task of bringing down the Kray Gang in 1967. Faced with the notorious “wall of silence” protecting the twins, he carefully turned members into informants through immunity deals.
Leslie Payne, who testified about the Krays’ murder plots after falling out with them over profit shares, proved a key witness. On May 8, 1968, Read finally had enough evidence to arrest the Kray brothers along with 15 members of their gang.
Facing long sentences, many gang members now openly testified against the once-feared twins. The Kray Gang’s iron grip on London was broken for good.
The Kray Twins’ Conviction and Imprisonment
The trial of the Kray twins in 1969 was a media spectacle, with the public fascinated by their glamorous infamy. But despite attempts to intimidate witnesses, their criminal convictions were secured.
On March 5, 1969 both Ronnie and Reggie Kray were sentenced to life imprisonment, with a minimum of 30 years for their murders.
Reggie served his time in a lower security prison until his release in 2000. Ronnie was deemed clinically insane and sent to Broadmoor Hospital, where he remained until his death.
Where are Ronnie and Reggie Kray Now in 2023? Still Alive or Dead?
Ronnie Kray’s Death Behind Bars
Ronnie Kray’s mental health deteriorated rapidly in prison. Suffering from worsening paranoid schizophrenia, he descended into delusions of grandeur and violent fits.
Certified insane in 1979, he was transferred to Broadmoor Hospital. Here he remained until his death on March 17, 1995 at age 61, having spent over 26 years institutionalized. He died from a sudden heart attack.
Reggie was allowed out of prison briefly under heavy guard to attend Ronnie’s funeral. It would be one of the last times the twins were together after their decades of forced separation.
Reggie Kray’s Final Years and Death
Reggie Kray spent over 30 years behind bars, his power and influence diminished. After marrying twice while in prison, he was finally released on compassionate grounds in August 2000, aged 66 and suffering from terminal bladder cancer.
Reggie spent his few remaining weeks out of jail with his wife Roberta at a hotel in Norwich. He died just over a month later on October 1, 2000 from his bladder cancer.
Reggie was buried beside Ronnie at Chingford Mount Cemetery. His funeral featured large crowds of mourners and admirers.
Conclusion: The Krays’ Violent Legacy
Ronnie and Reggie Kray’s criminal empire dominated London’s underworld for much of the 1960s before their brutal reign was ended through imprisonment.
Both twins would die prematurely behind bars – Ronnie from madness and illness in Broadmoor, and Reggie from cancer just a year after tasting brief freedom again.
Their legend lives on in British popular culture, often romanticized as charismatic rogues. But few gangsters have left such a long shadow of fear and violence as the real Kray twins. Their ruthless criminality eventually caught up with them both.
So in summary, while they continue to fascinate the public imagination decades later, Ronnie and Reggie Kray have both been deceased for over 20 years. Their once mighty gang empire is now just a dark chapter in London’s history.
Where are Krey Twins Now – FAQs
1. Are the Kray twins, Ronnie and Reggie Kray still alive?
No, Ronnie and Reggie Kray are both dead. Ronnie Kray died in 1995 at age 61 while incarcerated. Reggie Kray died in 2000 at age 66 after being released from prison on compassionate grounds due to his bladder cancer diagnosis.
2. When did the Kray twins die?
Ronnie Kray died on March 17, 1995 at the age of 61. Reggie Kray died on October 1, 2000 at the age of 66.
3. How did Ronnie Kray die?
Ronnie Kray died of a heart attack in prison in 1995 at age 61. He had been incarcerated since 1969 for murder and had suffered from mental health issues while imprisoned.
4. How did Reggie Kray die?
Reggie Kray died of bladder cancer in 2000 at age 66 after being released from prison on compassionate grounds due to his terminal diagnosis. He had been imprisoned since 1969 for murder.
5. Where are the Kray twins buried?
Ronnie and Reggie Kray are both buried in Chingford Mount Cemetery in London. They have matching headstones baring their names and lives’ durations. They are buried just yards from each other.
6. Why were the Kray twins famous?
The Kray twins were infamous gangsters who ran an organized crime network called “The Firm” in London’s East End during the 1950s and 1960s. They were involved in armed robberies, arson, protection rackets, assaults, and the murders of Jack “The Hat” McVitie and George Cornell for which they were imprisoned.