i Editor's Letter: The demise of a Sixties monster


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The Independent Online

Do speak ill of the dead. Not all  of them are good eggs. Twenty-three years after newspapers  first erroneously reported his death, when he was shot in the  head outside a nightclub, today Frankie Fraser will receive the obituary treatment.

He was an appalling human being, once known as Britain’s most violent man for his work as a gangland enforcer, Fraser the Razor, “The Dentist” in the so-called Richardson Torture Gang. He used to carry a pair of pliers in his top suit pocket as a warning to the loose-tongued. His CV includes 40 years inside, multiple attacks on guards, leading the Parkhurst Prison riots, beating up executioner Albert Pierrepoint in Wandsworth (“the best thing I ever done”). Our report of his demise runs here.

I’ve tired of the romanticism attached to these Sixties monsters – the Krays, the Richardsons and Fraser were sociopaths recast as working-class folk heroes. Maybe they did all love their mums. Bury them and forget them. They deserve nothing better.


The Prime Minister, the Deputy Prime Minister, Ed Miliband and the actress and human rights campaigner Angelina Jolie all come out today in support of our Christmas Appeal, Homeless Veterans. Thanks to all of you who have donated so far. More details on our campaign website



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