A LIFETIME ON THE WRONG SIDE OF THE LAW
A GANGSTER OPENS THE FILES ON LEGENDARY KILLINGS
MAP OF BRITAIN
are the amazing cases that fascinated notorious gangster "Mad" Frankie
Fraser during his life of crime.
And they range from the brutal to the downright bizarre.
Now Fraser, 76, who studied the history of crime while behind bars,
has put together his own collection of grisy killings and crazy capers.
The book, called
Mad Frank's Britain (priced £18.99 from Virgin Books), is hard-hitting
Readers can order a copy for the special price of £16.99 including p&p
by calling 0870 0703203.
put out to grass
Sewell took a trip to Blackpool's Golden Mile the only rock he was interested
in was the sort that sparkles.
the raid on a seafront jewellers went wrong when the coppers turned
up. In the chase, one cop was shot in the leg, another in the chest.
And a third, Supt Gerald Richardson, got a bullet in the stomach while
tackling Freddie, who still managed to clamber into the boot of the
getaway car and made it back to North London.
But he was given away by well-known grass Philly Herbert, who once turned
in his own parents. What a son!
People fingers a strangler
who got away with murder later confessed to The People after the paper
said he was lucky to get off.
Harold Loughans was cleared of killing Portsmouth landlady Rose Robinson
after telling a jury he was missing a few fingers and didn't have the
strength to throttle her.
The likes of us villains shouldn't go near the libel courts, but Loughans
sued The People for throwing doubt on the verdict. But this time he
wasn't nearly so convincing and lost his case. Then, just before his
death, Loughans walked into The People's office and wrote out a confession.
WHEN I was in
Dartmoor jail they used to show us the film The Blue Lamp, in which
tearaway Dirk Bogarde shoots honest PC Dixon, to prove that crime is
But prisoner Harold Thirkettle never got to see the ending during one
screening in June 1961. Thirkettle, serving 12 years for man-slaughter,
was stabbed to death by inmate Matthew Nwachukwa, who had himself been
stabbed during the film for being a grass.
Nwachukwa got the knife out of his back and stabbed the two men nearest
to him, including Thirkettle. No action was taken - no one cared what
cons did to each other.
buried in garden
JOY Mayes doted
on her son Roderick but when he got hooked on drugs she smashed his
skull with an iron bootscraper to end his misery.
Her other son
Sean buried him in the back garden in Weston-super-Mare, telling pals
that bruv had gone to live with hippies.
years later, in 1995, Sean's dying of Aids and tells all.
they just couldn't hang
I WAS in Portland
jail, then a borstal, as a kid. In the punishment block there was a
name scratched on the wall - John Lee, also known as Babbacombe Lee,
the man they couldn't hang.
death for an axe murder, he became the only person who stood on the
trapdoor THREE times and it wouldn't open.
Lee was remarkably
calm throughout, but the prison chaplain was so spooked he walked off.
Lee was reprieved
and claimed God saved him because he was innocent.
weren't that crazy
I'D be rich
if I had a quid for every time I've heard about how the Krays came unstuck
when they tried to take over Manchester, or Leeds, or Newcastle.
The story goes how local villains banded together and gave the Krays
a beating, or the police put them on a train back to London. But it's
just not true.
For a start, Ronnie and Reggie - who killed a fair few villains - always
went by car. They DID go to Newcastle, taking Joe Louis and meeting
top people. But they never wanted to take over any patch outside London.
The North-East's had a lot of drugs crime. In the mid-90s cops seized
20 dealers after a 'tec from Glasgow's Gorbals posed as a addict in
a Blyth flat with a secret intercom and spy cameras. The cop later quit
due to ill-health after one undercover operation too many.
MARRIED volunteer Rita Fry met a grisly
end after falling in love with convicted killer Paul Beecham at Broadmoor
Beecham had put four bullets into his father,
another nine in his mother as well as shooting his grandparents in 1969.
But Rita, a member of Broadmoor's League of Friends, somehow had a soft
spot for the lonely lag.
During Rita's visits they kept holding
hands and kissing. It ended her marriage and he moved in with her when
he came out 10 years later. It went well until 1997 when one of Rita's
children called round and found Paul dead. Rita was nowhere to be seen.
But a month later cops found her under
the patio. He'd hit her on the head with a hammer and shot himself.
YOU can never
be too careful when you're buying a house. You never know what secrets
might be hidden there.
Margaret Bennett vanished from her home in Field Terrace Road, Newmarket,
in January, 1985. She was reported missing by her husband Frank.
He told the police that they'd had an argument and three days later,
when he came home from work, he found she'd gone - taking with her just
a suitcase and £25 in cash.
Three years later HIS body was found beside railway tracks at Welwyn
Garden City, Herts. It seemed he'd walked in front of a train but a
coroner returned an open verdict. It was another five years before the
cops dug up the patio in Field Terrace Road - and found nothing.
Then in 1995 this fellow decides to buy the house for thirty grand and
thinks he'd better check it out for rising damp.
Imagine his shock when he lifted the floorboards and found Margaret
had been buried there since she was murdered by her husband 10 years
who lost their heads
OVER the years
there's been a few heads rolling around in the East End of London and
Waddington was killed in a Greek restaurant in Barking, East London,
on Valentine's Day, 1984, someone chucked his head at the nick in nearby
And after Billy Moseley was killed in 1976 in "The Torso" case, his
head was kept in a deep freeze before turning up in a public loo at
Islington during the trial. They later found his torso in the Thames.
It reminds me
of the criminals in New York. When the Westies gang killed one of their
enemies in the Hell's Kitchen area, they took his head for a farewell
tour of the bars, giving it a drink and putting a cigarette in its mouth.
never had a chance
I heard of the Millennium Dome raid in November, 2000, I was full of
admiration - even though it didn't work. I thought "What a brilliant
But the more I read about it, the more I thought the gang needed their
brains testing. One of them had a brother-in-law for a copper. That's
Then it looked like they'd already done a dummy escape run across the
Thames. That means the coppers are bound to be on the lookout in the
The trouble with big jobs is there's too many in on them - wives, girlfriends,
and pals. In the Dome raid there had to be 20 or more in the know. That's
a good 15 too many.
Finally, if you're going to steal jewels you've got to bring someone
else in to sell to. And before you know it, half the jewellery trade
in London's Hatton Garden will hear about it.
The cops stalked a man and he went to the Dome. Next day they see someone
else at the place, and from there on they were dead meat.