Search

Vandals daub east London grave of gangster Reggie Kray’s wife Frances

PUBLISHED: 15:20 10 October 2016 | UPDATED: 11:25 11 October 2016

Nieice Fran Shea cleaning Frances' grave

Nieice Fran Shea cleaning Frances' grave

Archant

Vandals have daubed the grave of Reggie Kray’s tragic wife Frances who committed suicide in the 1960s at the height of the Krays’ criminal empire in London’s East End.

Graffiti on Frances Kray's grave: Graffiti on Frances Kray's grave: "Remember Jack McVitie, George Cornell"

The graffiti referred to the two murder victims George Cornell and Jack McVitie which eventually brought the notorious Kray twins down in 1969 when they were jailed for Life at the Old Bailey.

Scrawled on the gravestone was: “Remember Jack McVitie and George Cornell.”

Now Frances’s niece, Frances Shea, is determined to find out who daubed the grave which has had to be professionally cleaned.

Frances—known as ‘Fran’ to the Shea family—had nothing to do with the murders or the Krays’ brutal reign of terror, her niece insists.

Frances Shea the bride in 1965Frances Shea the bride in 1965

“I am stunned that people would stoop to this level,” she tells Thursday’s East London Advertiser.

“Fran didn’t kill anybody. It hurts because this grave represents Fran and it’s the most disrespectful thing anyone could do.

“I just hope whoever did it will slip up and someone will know who this person is. Daubing a grave is diabolical.”

Cornell was a rival gangster shot dead by a psychopathic Ronnie Kray in the Blind Beggar pub in Whitechapel in March, 1966.

Frances Kray's grave... next to the Krays' family gravesFrances Kray's grave... next to the Krays' family graves

McVitie was a small time crook stabbed to death in a frenzied attack at a party in Stoke Newington by Ronnie’s twin Reggie Kray a year-and-a-half later—a few months after Frances had taken an overdose.

Frances was the brother of Franky Shea, associate and one-time driver of the Krays, and went to live with his family in a council flat off Murray Grove in Shoreditch after her marriage to Reggie broke down.

She committed suicide in her little niece’s own bedroom, something Frances Shea has had to grow up with and live with to this day.

“The abuse we get has been continuing for years,” her niece reveals.

Ron and Reg Krays' graveRon and Reg Krays' grave

“But nothing compares with loosing Fran when I was a child. I will live with her tragic death for ever.

“Daubing of her grave hurts. I have run the gauntlet of abuse for years after going public to try and tell her side of the story, but shall stand up and fight to humanise her name.”

Frances Kray died on June 7, 1967, more than four months before McVitie’s murder in a house in Evering Road on October 29 that year.

Cornell was brazenly shot in the head on March 9, 1966, by Ronnie in front of witnesses in the Blind Beggar, believing he couldn’t be touched by the law.

But the murders of Cornell and McVitie brought the Krays’ reign of terror to an end. Ronnie died in Broadmoor in 1995. Reggie died of cancer five years later, just days after receiving compassionate release.

All three are buried along with the Krays’ older brother Charlie and the Krays’ parents, Violet and Charlie Snr, in a family plot in east London’s Chingford Mount cemetery.

Latest East London News Stories

Wondering what the weather has in store for us this weekend? Watch our Met Office video forecast.

Yesterday, 16:44

Two suspected phone snatchers have been arrested following a police chase through east and south London which ended when their moped crashed with a van.

Yesterday, 12:00

A large drug dealing gang who peddled their wares on the streets of Tower Hamlets are due to be sentenced today.

Yesterday, 09:15

A drug-smuggling gun runner who stored cannabis and equipment used to prep cocaine in a house in Poplar has been jailed for 17-and-a-half years.

Thu, 18:24

All the students taking A-levels at Whitechapel’s Swanlea Secondary have passed.

Thu, 16:00

Two directors of a convenience store in Bethnal Green where one of the largest haul of illegal alcohol was seized in the borough have been banned from running their own companies.

Thu, 14:25

A man has been rushed to hospital after he was hit by a car in Mile End today.

Thu, 14:19

A student from Canary Wharf has secured a place at university for September - accompanied by her guide dog.

PROMOTED CONTENT

Are you a landlord looking for a fixed rental income, paid whether the property is empty or not? Steve Westley, general manager at estate agents Elliot Leigh, explains their Guaranteed Rent Scheme and how it takes the stress out of letting your property.

Newsletter Sign Up

East London Advertiser twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read news

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Docklands and East London Advertiser
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now