Reggie Kray: Ronnie died with no regret for killings

In his first interview since his brother's death, the ex-gangland leader talks to Jason Bennetto about the twins' violent past

The Kray twins had no regrets for the murders they carried out and would not have changed their lives given a second chance, Reggie Kray said yesterday in an interview with the Independent.

Kray, 61, also disclosed that he and his brother, Ronnie, who died of a heart attack 11 days ago, had a "premonition" that something bad was going to happen.

The gangland leaders were given life sentences in 1969 for killing Jack "the Hat" McVitie who was knifed to death. Ronnie was also convicted of the murder of George Cornell, whom he shot between the eyes in the Blind Beggar pub in the East End of London after being called a "fat poof".

Reggie Kray, the man whose words and deeds once terrorised the London underworld, said yesterday: "I have got no regrets, my brother didn't have any either. I have learnt over the years, as did Ron, that there are many people worse off than us. A lot of people have no choice but we did."

Speaking at Maidstone prison in Kent, in the first full interview since his brother's death, he added: "I would not change anything. You can't just select parts of your life and alter them. I know Ronnie would not have wanted to change anything as well.

"It does not mean to say that I enjoy the fact that I committed a murder but you can't select the parts of life that you do and don't want."

For much of the Sixties the Krays ruled large parts of the capital through extreme violence and fear.

Kray, whose body still looks tough and hard from his daily regime of cold showers and working out in the gym, still believes - despite 27 years in jail - that the twins were not evil.

"Ron and myself wrought some violence on different people, but we lived in a violent world and violence has been perpetrated on us as well. That was the way of life in the East End of London then.

"I've met people inside who have become part of my family - if I hadn't done what I did I would never have meet them. I feel I have been blessed."

Dressed in shorts, Reebok training shoes, a blue shirt, leather waistcoat and gold jewellery, he said he had been in almost daily contact with his twin brother, who was diagnosed a schizophrenic, until the day he died. They were allowed to speak on the telephone every Thursday and wrote almost every day. "He was okay when I spoke to him last, although we had a premonition that something was going to happen," he said.

But after being allowed out to see his brother's body last Thursday Kray said he knew he was at peace. "Being twins there's a certain amount of telepathy. I know he is at ease."

He said his concerns about the possibility of foul play in his brother's death had been resolved after he was sent the doctor's report that showed Ronnie died of a heart attack.

He has instructed his solicitor to investigate his brother's inquest, in which a coroner took three minutes to return a verdict of death by natural causes. Kray added: "If I'm not satisfied I will take action."

Staff at Maidstone jail said yesterday that Kray was now a model inmate. One officer said: "He's an elderly gentleman now. He's as good as gold - if every prisoner was like him there would be no problems here at all."

Yesterday, the prison authorities allowed a 12-strong group including Charlie Kray, his elder brother, and "Mad" Frankie Fraser, a former fellow inmate, into the jail to plan Ronnie's funeral tomorrow.

An audience with Reggie, page 17

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
Life and Style
techCould new invention save millions in healthcare bills?
Sport
David Moyes gets soaked
sport Moyes becomes latest manager to take part in the ALS challenge
Voices
A meteor streaks across the sky during the Perseid Meteor Shower at a wind farm near Bogdanci, south of Skopje, Macedonia, in the early hours of 13 August
voicesHagel and Dempsey were pure Hollywood. They only needed Tom Cruise, says Robert Fisk
News
peopleEnglishman managed quintessential Hollywood restaurant Chasen's
Life and Style
food + drinkHarrods launches gourmet food qualification for staff
Arts and Entertainment
Michael Flatley prepares to bid farewell to the West End stage
danceMichael Flatley hits West End for last time alongside Team GB World champion Alice Upcott
Life and Style
Horst P Horst mid-fashion shoot in New York, 1949
fashionFar-reaching retrospective to celebrate Horst P Horst's six decades of creativity
News
Members and supporters of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community walk with a rainbow flag during a rally in July
i100
Life and Style
Black Ivory Coffee is made using beans plucked from elephants' waste after ingested by the animals
food + drinkFirm says it has created the "rarest" coffee in the world
Arts and Entertainment
Jamie T plays live in 2007 before going on hiatus from 2010
arts + entsSinger-songwriter will perform on the Festival Republic Stage
Life and Style
food + drinkThese simple recipes will have you refreshed within minutes
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

SQL Developer (TSQL, SSRS, SSAS) Fund Manager - London

£45000 - £50000 per annum + Benefits: Harrington Starr: SQL Developer (TSQL, S...

Software Developer (JavaScript, TDD, Jasmine, Angular.JS)

Negotiable: Harrington Starr: Software Developer (JavaScript, TDD, Jasmine, An...

Front-End UI/UX Developer (HTML5, CSS, JavaScript, jQuery, Ang

£45000 - £50000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Front-End UI/U...

C#.NET Server Side Developer (C#, XML, WCF, Unit Testing,SQL)

£30000 - £40000 per annum + benefits+bonus+package: Harrington Starr: C#.NET ...

Day In a Page

All this talk of an ‘apocalyptic’ threat is simply childish

Robert Fisk: All this talk of an ‘apocalyptic’ threat is simply childish

Chuck Hagel and Martin Dempsey were pure Hollywood. They only needed Tom Cruise
Mafia Dons: is the Camorra in control of the Granite City?

Mafia Dons: is the Camorra in control of the Granite City?

So claims an EU report which points to the Italian Mob’s alleged grip on everything from public works to property
Emmys look set to overhaul the Oscars as Hollywood’s prize draw

Emmys look set to overhaul the Oscars as Hollywood’s prize draw

Once the poor relation, the awards show now has the top stars and boasts the best drama
What happens to African migrants once they land in Italy during the summer?

What happens to migrants once they land in Italy?

Memphis Barker follows their trail through southern Europe
French connection: After 1,300 years, there’s a bridge to Mont Saint-Michel

French connection: After 1,300 years, there’s a bridge to Mont Saint-Michel

The ugly causeway is being dismantled, an elegant connection erected in its place. So everyone’s happy, right?
Frank Mugisha: Uganda's most outspoken gay rights activist on changing people's attitudes, coming out, and the threat of being attacked

Frank Mugisha: 'Coming out was a gradual process '

Uganda's most outspoken gay rights activist on changing people's attitudes, coming out, and the threat of being attacked
Radio 1 to hire 'YouTube-famous' vloggers to broadcast online

Radio 1’s new top ten

The ‘vloggers’ signed up to find twentysomething audience
David Abraham: Big ideas for the small screen

David Abraham: Big ideas for the small screen

A blistering attack on US influence on British television has lifted the savvy head of Channel 4 out of the shadows
Florence Knight's perfect picnic: Make the most of summer's last Bank Holiday weekend

Florence Knight's perfect picnic

Polpetto's head chef shares her favourite recipes from Iced Earl Grey tea to baked peaches, mascarpone & brown sugar meringues...
Horst P Horst: The fashion photography genius who inspired Madonna comes to the V&A

Horst P Horst comes to the V&A

The London's museum has delved into its archives to stage a far-reaching retrospective celebrating the photographer's six decades of creativity
Mark Hix recipes: Try our chef's summery soups for a real seasonal refresher

Mark Hix's summery soups

Soup isn’t just about comforting broths and steaming hot bowls...
Tim Sherwood column: 'It started as a three-horse race but turned into the Grand National'

Tim Sherwood column

I would have taken the Crystal Palace job if I’d been offered it soon after my interview... but the whole process dragged on so I had to pull out
Eden Hazard: Young, gifted... not yet perfect

Eden Hazard: Young, gifted... not yet perfect

Eden Hazard admits he is still below the level of Ronaldo and Messi but, after a breakthrough season, is ready to thrill Chelsea’s fans
Tim Howard: I’m an old dog. I don’t get too excited

Tim Howard: I’m an old dog. I don’t get too excited

The Everton and US goalkeeper was such a star at the World Cup that the President phoned to congratulate him... not that he knows what the fuss is all about
Match of the Day at 50: Show reminds us that even the most revered BBC institution may have a finite lifespan – thanks to the opposition

Tom Peck on Match of the Day at 50

The show reminds us that even the most revered BBC institution may have a finite lifespan – thanks to the opposition