Kate Kray, wife of one of the most notorious gangsters of London journals about her memories married to 1/2 of the Kray twins. Gold designer watches, Armani ties, bespoke suits, a clock that looks like a canary in a cage – and the bayonet he used on his victims.
Ronnie Kray was always suited and booted for my visits to see him in Broadmoor. All that was missing was the tiny pistol called a “mutt gun” he used to tuck in his sock.
The gun, like his gold watches, Armani ties and the bayonet he used on victims, are all going up for auction tomorrow.
They came into my possession shortly after I met Ron in 1988, and married him a year later. And despite our divorce they’ve remained with me after he died in 1995, aged 61, while serving a life sentence in the psychiatric hospital.
How did I come by all these things? I’ll always remember one associate, Charlie Clarke – who was later killed – dropping off a huge tea chest. It was full of Ron’s stuff from before he went inside in 1968. I used to have other gangsters come to my door with a box or case and say: “The Colonel said you had to have this.”
I guess it was Ron’s way of moving in with me, though he never expected to leave Broadmoor.
And mark my words, despite his treatment there the dark side never left him. “Never apologise, Kate,” he’d tell me. “Not when you wanted to do it.”
I remember the chill I felt when he told me he liked the look in George Cornell’s eyes as he shot him dead in the Blind Beggar pub in the East End.
There were also times I saw Ron in a rage, when the drugs controlling his schizophrenia needed topping up.
I first met him because his brother Reggie asked me to take Ron a letter in Broadmoor. Ron charmed me on that first visit and proposed on the second. We married there and he looked a million dollars. But Reggie was the most important thing in Ron’s life and some of the personal messages I delivered from one to the other are going up for sale too, along with more than 100 other items.
I know many will say I’m cashing in on a violent criminal – and he could be chilling –but I don’t see it that way. Recently I gave a talk after the Krays were chosen along with the likes of William Hogarth and Michael Faraday as among 32 Londoners who shaped the capital.
And like it or not, the Krays are part of London’s and Britain’s history. As long as the bayonet stays in its case I’ll be happy!