Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

The Other Kray's Geordie Links

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

The Other Kray's Geordie Links

Article excerpt

THE story of gangland twins Reggie and Ronnie Kray, their rise, and eventual fall, has been extensively documented.

During the 1950s and 60s, the pair ruled London's East End - and had widespread interests far beyond their native territory.

The reign of the Krays, and their gang, came to an end in 1969 when after one of the most high-profile trials in British legal history, Reggie and Ronnie received life terms for the murders of rival gangsters George Cornell and Jack 'The Hat' McVitie.

Even with pair behind bars, however, the legend of the twins would continue to grow and fascinate.

Three decades after the Krays' heyday, 16-year-old Steve Wraith, doing his GCSEs at school, picked up a copy of John Pearson's A Profession of Violence - the Krays' biography - and lives would change.

Wraith became a close friend and confidante to the twins during their final years of imprisonment.

But one factor which is often overlooked is the impact of the twins' elder sibling, Charlie Kray, and his involvement in the 'family business'.

Now, in his newly published book, Steve Wraith brings to light the tale of Operation Acid, and the investigation by Northumbria and the Metropolitan Police into Charlie, and the cocaine 'sting' which he fell for in 1996 affording a surprise ending to the Krays story.

Over the last 15 years Steve has released several books on the enduring phenomenon of the twins.

His first, The Krays: the Geordie Connection, was released in 2002 and updated as The Krays: Behind Bars, two years ago.

In 2013, The Krays: From the Cradle to the Grave was published, and a Freddie Foreman photo album added for good measure.

In Operation Acid, for the first time, Wraith brings Charlie Kray to the forefront of the story.

He says: "My relationship and subsequent friendship with Charlie was different, unique to that of the twins as he was a free man. …

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