HeadLine: DODGY DEALS,DEATH ..AND DIVAS
Daily Record, 06/01/2000, p33
by SHAUN MILNE
FOR more than three decades, the notorious Kray twins have been the
stuff of legend.
Gangsters in London’s East End still recall the bloody episodes of
their violent, murderous past.
Yet, confidential medical reports released by the Public Records Office
have revealed Ronnie and Reggie Kray were sensitive men who appreciated
artistic pursuits and the finer things in life.
The sword-wielding psychos portrayed in the film The Krays – for which
the identical brothers were paid £255,000 – in fact had strong leanings
towards classical literature and music.
But the two had severe anxiety complexes which could only be controlled
by a constant supply of prescribed drugs.
They had always presented themselves to doctors as cultured,
The Krays were sent down for a minimum of 30 years at the Old Bailey in
It was Dr Denis Leigh who judged them fit for trial.
In a five-hour interview with the two, he said Ronnie, who died in 1995
at a top security hospital, told him he had been a “very, very bad
Dr Leigh said in his notes Ronnie “liked classical music and singers
such as Callas and Gigli”.
He said: “He is fond of reading biographies and quoted those of Gordon
of Khartoum, Genghis Khan and Lawrence of Arabia.
“He says he is a friendly man, not bad tempered normally, a believer in
God but not a churchgoer.”
Of Reggie, who is still in Waylands Prison in Norfolk, he said:
“Mentally he was alert, friendly, pleasant, and indeed, charming.”
Ronnie was 34 when he met Dr Leigh in 1968. He was quoted in the report
as saying: “There is nothing wrong with me, I just have to take my
medicine, that’s all.”
He was treated with 25mg of Stemetil three times a day.
Ronnie had been receiving psychiatric treatment and taking
tranquillisers since 1957.
Diagnosed as schizophrenic at 22, he suffered a metal breakdown and was
twice admitted to psychiatric hospitals. Dr Leigh called his brother
Reggie a “nervous” boy who took Valium for “pressure on the forehead”.
His wife, Frances, had committed suicide a year before the interviews.
She was 23.
While neither one of the brothers ever spoke to the doctor about their
crimes, they were sentimental in their talk about family and friends.
Reggie showed Dr Leigh a photograph of his wife and a poem he had
written in her memory.
He described himself as a friendly, sociable type who was fond of the
outdoor life, horses and gardening, and reading romantic verse.
While Ronnie pored over photographs of his male boxing friends, his
country house and a pet donkey the family had kept called Figaro.
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