Sunday, 03 June 2001
In the recently published *book "Getting It Straight" by Freddie Foreman and Tony Lambrianou, I am elevated by them, beginning at Section 3, page 247, to the status of an underworld 'superstar'.
Tony even suggests that they should erect a memorial for me outside Wandsworth prison.
"Yeah, a statue of Frank throwing a petrol bomb at the gates", says Fred with, I am sure, a smile.
Good, clean fun, and it is appreciated.
Alas, ten pages later I 'fall from grace' in their eyes when they have 'a change of heart' and the 'superstar' is relegated to a fallen star.
What were my dreadful 'crimes' that brought about his very remarkable change?
In my latest book MAD FRANK'S DIARY, published by www.virginbooks.com , on the dates beginning 12th of January 2000 I condemned Freddie for appearing on that sordid TV programme where he gave details of how he murdered 'Ginger' Marks and Frank Mitchell.
The timing of the programme was at a crucial time when Reggie Kray was seeking parole. Reggie was both angry and dismayed, and he told me so.
Fred is too experienced a street person to believe that this error of judgement was due to a brainstorm of foolishness. It was far more serious than that.
Frank Mitchell was a well-liked and respected person in prison. His credentials were impeccable. He also has a devoted family. The details of how he died, and the names of those responsible for the actual shooting of him should have been kept out of the public domain, and allowed to rest with the man.
The names of those responsible for the demise of Frank was well known within the underworld inner circle, therefore, to broadcast it to the outside world after the passing of so many years, was ill considered, and very wrong.
To place Charlie Kray at the meeting where the final solution to Frank Mitchell was discussed was seriously out of order.
With The Establishment desperate to find any reason to keep Reggie locked up, this was a gift to them on a silver platter. Did Freddie never consider this, or is he that naive?
Freddie may be a man of various character features, but in no way is naiveté one of them.
If Charlie knew then, quite obviously, Reggie would have known, so he too was part of the conspiracy to murder Frank Mitchell.
It is also one of the many contradictions in the book.
Perhaps, in an attempt to try and make amends for a terrible error of judgement, Freddie says in the book that he only discussed the disposal of Frank Mitchell with Ronnie Kray, " Reggie or Charlie had nothing to do with the arrangements".
Later in the book Tony Lambrianou takes pains to correctly state that Charlie was a good and decent man, but in no way was he a violent man.
Therefore, why was it necessary to involve Charlie in the final solution to Frank Mitchell?
A Breach Of The Rules
When I, and others, were 'railroaded' on the fictional statements by fraudsters that led to the ridiculous 'Torture Trial' one of the police witnesses was Bennie Coulston, a well known South London con man and degenerate.
Freddie, and his brother George, knew Coulston well, and a firm message from them to the reprobate Coulston that he was not go into the witness box and tell lies to swear the lives away of the people in the media tagged 'Torture Trial', could only have helped.
No such message was sent.
Had the boot been on the other foot, despite any difference of opinion that I, or any one else involved in the 'Torture Trial', may have had with Fred, the message would have gone out loud and clear.
There is no compromise on such important matters of principle.
When Johnny Carter, who at the time ruled South London and was feared, took a liberty with me. I caught up with him and hurt him badly.
I despised Carter because he was a bully and a treacherous man. However, when he later had a row against another villain who was known to me, and this villain made a statement that would have resulted in Carter, probably, getting a five years sentence, I sent the prosecution witness, a positive message, and a nice few quid, not to pick Carter out on an identification parade.
He took the message to heart, the money to the bank, and Carter was not charged.
The English taxpayers were saved a hefty bill, Carter kept his freedom, the villain 'obliged' by Carter kept his dignity, and no one suffered. It was the correct thing to do.
There were many other instances where I, and many other people, gave this correct code help.
There are, and have been, villains who use the 'Old Bill' to fight their battles; Jack Spot tried to do. It is a lowlife and sickening tactic. In the case of Spot it ruined him, and he spent years in disgrace, a shadow of the man he once was.
A Friend In Need...
When my sister Eva, a great woman, mother and grandmother, was 'nicked' on a 'get-up' charge of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice in the nonsense 'Torture Trial', we were all locked up.
Eva had grown up in the same community as the Foreman family and Fred, and his family knew her well. I think it is fair to say they liked her, and respected her
Yet when she was 'nicked' did Fred try to get any help from his very close policeman friend Chief Detective Inspector Frank Williams, the number 2 policeman on our case?
He did not.
Eva went to prison for two years on a trumped charge that everyone in the inner circle of the underworld knew was a police fit-up because she had evidence that Bennie Coulston's statement, that had been put together by the police, was made-up of lies.
Two years in the '60's would be the equivalent of a four years sentence today because there was no parole, and only if you behaved yourself did you qualify for a 1/3rd remission on your sentence.
No one, especially a woman, is entitled to be treated like this.
Truth Or Fiction?
Fred, by way of an excuse, says in the book with Tony Lambrianou, that he never knew Eva was 'nicked'. No, that's not right he actually said 'we didn't know'. The question is who were the 'we'?
That's a double surprise because it is history that the first man in space was Yuri Gagarin, the Russian.
Apparently this cannot be true, because Fred, and the 'we' people must have been orbiting in space when the arrest of Eva made the headlines in the newspapers, and was plastered all over the front page of The South London Press, and on TV.
One headline I particularly remember was 'Grandmother On Conspiracy Charge in Torture Case'.
Even people in foreign countries knew that Eva had been 'nicked'.
Is Fred really asking us to believe that Chief Detective Inspector Frank Williams never mentioned it to him that Eva, the sister of Frankie Fraser, had been 'nicked' for conspiracy; and did no other person in North, South, East or West of the River Thames mention it to Fred on the telephone or in person?
There are some weird stories I am willing to believe, for instance, UFO's, but to believe that in the Foreman household for the length of time that Eva was arrested, remanded in custody, and finally convicted, that the TV, radio and telephone were all not working at the same time, that no newspapers were seen, and for the whole of this time he, and those closest to him, had a hearing problem, and were all suffering from deafness, I am sorry but that's stretching it too far.
Did Freddie Foreman have any influence with C/D/I Williams? Well, when Fred's good friend 'Buster' Edwards was 'nicked' for The Great Train Robbery. Williams went into the witness box and played down the role of 'Buster' to such a degree that 'Buster' received only 15 years while the others were sentenced to 30 years each.
Good luck to Buster, and well done, Fred, but compassion for Eva would not have been misplaced, and for good people a mandatory duty.
Billy Hayward who was against us in the row that took place at 'Mr. Smith's' and went to prison along with us for an alleged affray, was of a different class. When Billy heard that Eva was nicked he tried to do all that he could, and for this was respected.
Since this time a number of good people have eaten a great deal of porridge, and a lot of water has passed under the bridge. The passage of time often has the effect of allowing you to forgive, but there are some things you are unable to forget.
I suggested in my recent book that Fred should write a new book and call it 'Disrespect'.
Many years ago I had a passing encounter with 'Nipper' Read when he held the rank of sergeant, and there was no cause for complaint.
A few years back I met him again at a boxing show, Marilyn asked me to shake hands with him, I thought about the Kray Twins doing 30 years, and the other people, including Freddie Foreman, Tony Lambrianou who went to prison for long terms, and I could not bring myself to shake the hand of the policeman who prosecuted them.
A friend of mine that knows 'Nipper' much better than me has told me that he is a decent man. I have to admit that this is supported by the fact that there were no complaints by the twins, or Freddie Foreman, of any corrupt practices by 'Nipper' or members of his team, unlike the behaviour of the police in our case.
I wish those of us were involved in the 'Torture Trial', and the spin-off trials, had similiar just treatment.
In the TV programme when Fred admitted to the murders 'Nipper' Read was interviewed, and said that that Fred could have been an informer for Frank Williams for many years.
The Good, The Bad And The Very Ugly
There is no doubt that when Reggie and Ronnie were arrested there was a queue of their people outside 'Nipper' Read's office offering to turn Queen's Evidence. Even the 'big shot' Charlie Mitchell, who 'swallowed it' when challenged by Eddie Richardson, became a prosecution witness.
We never had this problem at the 'Torture Trial' despite tremendous pressure by the police not one of our people went crooked, and there were some tempting offers made by the infuriated corrupt cops involved in our case.
They thought the people around us could be frightened into doing that which the corrupt policemen told them.
When this failed they had to resort to manufactured evidence, lies and bribery.
They didn't know good people.
When Burt McCarthy, a very successful businessman and well known boxing manager, sat outside the infamous number one court with his brother Leslie while he waited to give evidence on behalf of Eddie Richardson, word reached senior officers that they were outside, they immediately rushed out of the court, and stood staring at the two McCarthy brothers, with violent body language that would have unquestionably intimidated lesser people.
Their belligerent stares were met full on by honest determination, and the police knew they were wasting their time. Burt went into the court, and gave his evidence, and was an impressive witness.
In a fair trial it would have been an enormous benefit to Eddie's case, but the trial was a charade, and an outrage. The result had been given a predetermined conclusion, and nothing would have been allowed to cause a change.
Nevertheless, for the people in the dock it was a great boost and it showed the crooked policemen that not all people are spineless.
At the Kray trial Freddie Foreman, Tony Lambrianou, his brother Chris, and some others, earned wide respect because they stood firm, and took their very harsh sentences like real men.
Empty Words Have No Meaning
In parts of the book recently written with Fred, Tony does himself no favours. Without supporting evidence he repeatedly appears anxious to agree with Fred - even when Fred is wrong.
Tony has never been acknowledged as one of the wisest of men, but surely he has more street-sense, if nothing else, and knows that statements that have no basis in fact are empty words.
In an attempt to discredit me Fred doesn't use evidence but. Instead, relies upon either his twisted interpretation of events that took place, or nonsense.
In one of the instances of 'buttering-up' to Fred, Tony accuses me of 'grassing' on my own sons merely because I happen to mention that they have been convicted of drug dealing.
Someone needs to tell Tony that you can't 'grass' a person by mentioning a crime for which he has already been convicted, and served his time. A conviction also means that it is a matter of public record.
Even policemen, 'screws' that know me and my worst enemies would immediately agree that I have a pathological hatred of 'grasses', and yet he wants people to believe that I have 'grassed' my own sons.
It is so pathetic that I will treat it with the contempt it deserves.
The Sensible Older Brother
Tony would put his mind to better use if he considered the implications of placing Charlie Kray at the meeting where it was agreed that Frank Mitchell was to be murdered.
I don't believe for one moment that Freddie Foreman meant in any way to involve Charlie in any conspiracy charge, but in legal terms he did just that.
To be guilty of conspiracy does not mean that you have to be at the scene of the crime. Fred should have sufficient experience of criminal law to know this.
There is no doubt that the brother of Tony, Chris Lambrianou has proved far shrewder since they were released from prison. Chris, I understand, does a lot of social and community work. He has forged a new life for himself, and seems to be content with his lifestyle. When he is interviewed on TV Chris comes across as a sincere and intelligent man.
Tony could learn from Chris.
Fred twists my offer to be a witness for the defence at The Kray trial, and going into the witness box, by suggesting it was made because I wanted to 'pal' up The Twins, and those with them.
Believe that, and you will really believe that that the cow did jump over the moon.
If anyone was scared it certainly wasn't anyone involved in the ludicrous 'Torture Trial' that I can assure you!
When I came out of prison after serving seven years for hurting Jack Spot, Ronnie and Reggie were very keen for me to join them, and their offers were very generous.
However, I decided to stay in South London with Charlie Richardson who is a very impressive man, with remarkable brainpower.
One of the more intelligent Kray 'firm' said, "It was like the Russians getting the atom bomb." I hope he had a smile on his face when he said it.
Years later Reggie repeated the comment to me.
Had it not been for fraudsters, liars and corrupt senior police officers, Charlie would have become a leading captain of industry. We became very close friends but were never business partners in any enterprise.
I always did what I had to do, and whether that pleased or displeased The Twins, or any other of the Chaps, was the last consideration.
When we were operating in the West End Fred and his firm asked to be allowed to operate in Soho in competition to a third party with whom we were doing business. He was refused permission, and that was the end of the matter.
Is that that the behaviour of someone who was scared?
I was not responsible for the events, in which Freddie Foreman was a principal player and that are the cause of the question marks. I just commented upon them. It is for others to judge the truth of my comments.
On The Question Of Truth
Roberta Kray, the wife of Reggie, was condemned in some quarters for allowing people from the outer circle to be the pallbearers of Reggie's coffin.
There was a lot of resentment, and if you believed the invective gossip Roberta was a wicked and ungrateful woman. Nothing could be further from the truth.
In his later years Reggie was a changed man, and his one big regret was that he did not meet Roberta when he was a young man. He was also very grateful to the many people from ordinary walks of life that had befriended him when he was in prison, and showed him compassion and sympathy.
To show his appreciation Reggie made his choice of pallbearers from these people, and gave strict instructions on who were to be his pallbearers. To ensure there were would be no mistakes he wrote his instructions to his 'brief', and that document is with the solicitor.
There are a number of people who owe an apology to Roberta. We shall see how many are manly enough to call her and apologise.
'Dodgy' Dave Courtney
In the book by Fred and Tony the name of 'Dodgy' Dave Courtney is mentioned.
Both the writers initially describe the 'Dodgy' character as a fun person.
Tony says. "He's a cheeky chappie."
Fred says, "You think Dave is gonna come out of the fridge when you open it."
Before the trial Freddie Foreman said that the jury was still out on 'Dodgy' Dave, "And that he hopes that he comes through the trial with no doubts or questions unanswered."
To all intents and purposes the jury has returned, and the most serious question has been answered that is unless it is considered that being a registered police informant is not serious.
After the case neither Fred nor Tony would make any further comment.
Why not? In view of their earlier comments and friendship with 'Dodgy' Dave they have a responsibility to make known their views when they are asked, unless, the message they are sending out is that silence speaks a great deal louder than an audible comment.
*Getting It Straight - Villains Talking by Freddie Foreman and Tony Lambrianou, published by Sidgwick Johnson.
Sunday, 03 June 2001
This is not a biblical fable, but is the true story of three young sons of different parents.
Two of the sons fall foul of the law, and are arrested. The other son grows up to be an intensely loyal male child who forms a deeply loving relationship with his father, and whose behaviour is of no interest whatsoever to the police.
The question is: Who are the parents of this intensely loyal and well-behaved son? Is he the offspring of:
(a) Two barristers-at-law. One of whom, the father, changed his profession and entered politics where he reaches the highest government office, while the mother becomes a top Queen's Counsel?
(b) A father who also enters politics, and becomes the Minister responsible for State law and order?
(c) A 'notorious' fugitive from justice following his involvement in a high profile robbery of money?
If you were a gambler where would you place your money? Would it be on (a), (b) or (c)?
Against all the perceived notions, if you had put your money on (c) and backed Michael Biggs, the son of outlaw Ronnie Biggs you would have backed the winner.
The Son Who Is The Best Friend
However, let us keep everything in perspective, the two errant sons are not threatening to become young 'Mad' Frankie Fraser's. They just acted a little foolishly, and hopefully have realised the errors of their ways, and will grow up to have the qualities of Michael Biggs. I wish them well.
Ronnie Biggs has not had the best of good fortune since he became involved in The Great Train Robbery, but he has been wonderfully blessed in having a son as loyal, dutiful and so openly honest as Michael.
Each time that Michael appears on television his sincerity and passionate love of his father is so impressive.
You would have to be as heartless as the notorious prison governor William Lawton, not to warm to this fine young man. Those people who are clamouring for their pound of Ronnie Biggs' flesh should look at their own children, and ask themselves the question: have I raised my children as well as that outlaw Ronnie Biggs, and would my children be as passionately loyal to me, as young Michael Biggs is to his father.
Biggs The Cavalier Robber
When Michael says that Ronnie Biggs was not a main player in The Great Train Robbery he is correct. In fact it was only by chance that Ronnie was involved.
It is well known by the main players in The Great Train Robbery, and I believe that Bruce Reynolds documented it in his book, that the reason that Ronnie became involved was because he once mentioned in passing that he knew a retired train driver.
When it was realised that the planned robbery would need the services of a train driver Bruce immediately thought of Ronnie, and his contact.
I believe Ronnie was employed on forestry work at the time, and when he was asked to introduce his train driver contact, and he agreed, he was invited, as a courtesy, to join in the robbery. It is now history that he agreed.
I have been reliably informed that when the train driver introduced by Ronnie could not drive the train with all the money on board, Ronnie and the redundant driver sat in a jeep while the robbery was carried out.
Now this is not a story to minimise the role of Ronnie as a Great Train Robber but is the truth as told to me, long before Ronnie returned to this country, by those on the robbery - and I sincerely believe it.
Those of you who may have read my first book will know that I was invited to take part in The Great Robbery. However, It came to my notice that not every one of the train robbers was happy at my being given an invitation. Some of them thought I would be too violent.
In fact I only used violence when there was no alternative but to reply to violence.
Nevertheless, I understood the concern of the people involved and there were no hard feelings. Every one of them was entitled to be happy with the choice of his comrades.
With hindsight I have to be grateful because had I been give 30 years I would have, probably, done ever day.
The Great Train Robbery Driver Died Of Natural Causes
Michael said recently on a TV programme that Jack Mills, the driver of the hi-jacked train on which was The Great Train Robbery money, died seven years later from leukaemia. A source at The Sun newspaper had told me that Jack Mills died from pneumonia, and I reported this in my previous Viewpoint.
As I am aware that Michael is very well informed on all the details of The Great Train Robbery, I am sure that he will be right, and that Jack Mills died from leukaemia.
The crucial factor is that whether it was leukaemia, or pneumonia, that caused the death from natural causes of Jack Mills, neither cause could be attributed to anything that took place at The Great Rain Robbery. To suggest otherwise would be completely refuted by medical opinion.
England owes it to a son like Michael Biggs, and there are other such devoted sons, to show compassion to his father, and stop this nonsense of keeping a very sick man, who is hardly able to walk unaided, in the top security prison in the country.
The place for Ronnie Biggs is where any seriously sick person should be, and that is in one of the better National Health hospitals.
The world is watching the Ronnie Biggs situation.
Those responsible for the farcical but, nevertheless, very cruel, incarceration of Ronnie Biggs, and who is no threat to any person, are mindless morons. They are a disgrace to England.
Where is the justice in allowing morons to jail a frail man in his 70's merely to gain revenge? As Michael Biggs has said his father cannot even shave him self.
Doctors are adamant that stress kills. There is no question that the stress being caused to Ronnie Biggs could prove fatal. If it does those responsible for causing the stress should be charged with unlawful killing.
To hide behind the claim that there are hospital facilities in Bellmarsh top security prison is arrogantly deceitful, and again takes us all for fools.
The place for a seriously sick man is in a hospital. No prison infirmary is able to match the medical facilities of a specialist hospital.
Politically Correct Madness
The final question is where are those organised groups that immediately surface to support those foreigners who come to this country to avoid charges of crimes against humanity, genocide, and other very serious crimes?
Oh, yes, I nearly forgot, Ronnie Biggs is an Englishman, and is therefore considered by many to be a second-class citizen. It is not politically correct, or politically advantageous, to be interested in the welfare of a man who, despite his enormous regard for Brazil, has chosen to return to his homeland to die.
If you agree that Ronnie Biggs should be in a hospital and not in a prison, please send your views to the Home Secretary Jack Straw. He could stop this shameful cruelty with one telephone call.
email them to firstname.lastname@example.org