Detailed Kray dossier to be revealed in days after detective kept meticulous reports into their notorious crime empire | The Sun
A DETAILED Kray dossier is to be revealed in days after a detective kept meticulous reports into their notorious crime empire.
Detective Chief Superintendent Leonard 'Nipper' Read recorded everything as he tried to find evidence and witnesses willing to testify to the criminal actions of the nefarious brothers.
Ronnie and Reggie Kray were both notorious for their ruthless East End crime empire during the 1950s and 1960s.
In the early 50s the brothers started their gang, The Firm, which would shape their criminal activities.
Under The Firm umbrella they were involved in armed robberies, arson, protection rackets, assaults and murder over close to two decades.
When he first started investigating the infamous twins, Detective Read was met with a "wall of silence".
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However, by the end of 1967 , he had built up enough evidence against the Krays.
And on May 8, 1968, the Krays and 15 members of their gang were arrested.
Detective Read died of Covid in April 2020, aged 95, and his widow Pat, who also worked on the case, has now decided to put the never-seen-before documents up for auction.
The rare documents have been given a conservative estimate of £1,200.
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As well as Read's reports, the documents include court files and transcripts relating to two trials involving Ronnie and Reggie Kray.
The second trial was the longest and most expensive murder trial in British criminal history and a media sensation, with both receiving life imprisonment.
Read's documents include transcripts covering every day of the 39-day hearing, as well as his additional reports, statements and evidence.
In his reports to bosses, Read documents his efforts to bring the Krays to justice and his frustrations are very clear throughout.
He talks about attempts to tamper with witnesses and get juries dismissed.
From July 1964 he headed up a special squad at Scotland Yard to establish if the Krays were operating a protection racket against bookmakers, publicans and club owners in the East End.
Hew McCowan, owner of the Hideaway Club in Soho, eventually agreed to testify that the Krays had demanded protection money.
They were charged with demanding money with menaces and faced trial at the Old Bailey in March 1965 but not before they tried to buy off Mr McCowan through a mysterious man known only as "Johnnie" and tried to get the jury dismissed as they thought they looked "too intelligent".
They failed on both attempts but the jury could not agree on a verdict and when a second trial was held they were found not guilty.
Read's wife Pat, 84, said: "I was the first women detective constable on the Kray investigation. I was born in Hackney and brought up in the right area, I didn't know the Krays but I knew their names.
"It's where I met my husband, I was assigned to drive him around. I loved every minute of my time working on the case. I think he did a marvellous job.
"I had no idea he had kept it all until my brother and I had to go through his office. He kept a lot of stuff and stored things away.
"It will be interesting to see the sale. Everybody knows about the Krays and are still interested in them to this day.
"My husband thought they were bastards but he did like their mother."
Mark Wilkinson, from Sworders Auctioneers of Stansted Mountfitchert, Essex, said: "This is probably our best Out of the Ordinary sale.
"The documents relating to the Krays are fascinating – you just never see this type of document at public auction. And that provenance, to have it come direct from Read's estate is very exciting for us.
"These documents give more texture to the story of the Krays. I don't think the frustration Read felt at the time really came across, which you see in these documents.
"They have never seen the light of day before. The Kray twins have an enormous following, the most recent film was hugely popular and that time in London when they were running their organisation is an iconic time for the UK so that generates a lot of interest."
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Read was also a keen amateur boxer, which is how he got his nickname Nipper, and held several senior positions as a boxing administrator after he retired from the police in 1977.
Also in the sale is a boxing glove signed by Muhammad Ali, which comes with a photograph of Ali and Read together that was taken shortly after the iconic Rumble in the Jungle fight in 1974, which has an estimate of £500.
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