Insight into notorious mobster Reggie Kray’s tumultuous sentence at HMP Long Lartin, where he set his own BED on fire

Notorious gangster Reggie Kray endured a tumultuous prison sentence at HMP Long Lartin, including setting his own bed on fire.

Kray, from Haggerston, East Londonspent 30 years in prison for murder and friends said he struggled with his mental health during his sentence.

Reggie Kray had a turbulent time at HMP Long Lartin


Reggie Kray had a turbulent time at HMP Long LartinPhoto credit: AFP
His friend Bernard O'Mahoney said he suffered a


His friend Bernard O’Mahoney said he suffered a “breakdown” in prisonPhoto credit: Channel 5

He spent less than a year at Long Lartin but reportedly made several attempts to end his life amid paranoia and depression.

Bernard O’Mahoney, an old friend of Kray’s, narrated channel 5: “Visiting Reggie Kray was an experience to say the least.

“He sat there drinking brandy, getting drunk, taking ecstasy pills and the prison guards never said anything.”

“He kind of collapsed there.”

In a documentary about Long Lartin, he added that Kray has never spoken openly about his mental health, but “certainly has a mental illness.”

Journalist and author Geoffrey Wansell revealed the details of the notorious criminal’s suicide attempts.

He said: “Reggie was disturbed during his time at Long Lartin, there could be no doubt about that.”

“In fact, he was particularly afraid that he was being poisoned and that his cell was bugged.”

Wansell explained that Kray tried to slit his wrists with the lenses of his glasses and also set his bed on fire by throwing lit toilet paper on it when he tried to end his life.

Reggie Kray and his twin brother Ronnie rose to prominence as nightclub owners in the early 1960s.

They have hosted celebrities from around the world including Frank Sinatra, Sir Cliff Richard and Dame Barbara Windsor.

However, their clubs were only part of the empire of The Firm, the organized crime group they led.

They had a brief alliance with the New York mafia in the mid ’60s and were also involved in a major political scandal.

In 1964, reports surfaced that Ronnie Kray, who later came out as bisexual, had entered into a sexual relationship with fellow Tory Lord Boothby and found him male prostitutes.

Homosexual activity was not decriminalized in the UK until 1969.

The original story was thwarted by a combination of legal action and alleged violence, but key claims were substantiated in a 2009 documentary.

Both brothers were imprisoned for a series of murders in 1969.

Ronnie had shot and killed a member of a rival gang named George Cornell in a Whitechapel pub in 1966, while Reggie had stabbed former corporate hitman Jack “The Hat” McVitie to death at a party in 1967.

Reggie rotated between different prisons before being released on pity grounds in 2000 after being diagnosed with inoperable bladder cancer.

He died at his home just a few months later at the age of 66.

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Ronnie, meanwhile, was held in maximum security prisons until 1979 when he was declared insane due to paranoid schizophrenia.

He was transferred to Broadmoor Hospital, where he remained until his death in 1995.

Journalist Geoffrey Wansell added that Kray was


Journalist Geoffrey Wansell added that Kray was “disturbed”.Photo credit: Channel 5
Along with his twin brother Ronnie, Kray rose to fame in the 1960s as a club owner and gangster


Along with his twin brother Ronnie, Kray rose to fame in the 1960s as a club owner and gangsterPhoto credit: Getty
Both brothers were imprisoned for two murders in 1969


Both brothers were imprisoned for two murders in 1969Photo credit: Getty


PaulLeBlanc is a Dailynationtoday U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. PaulLeBlanc joined Dailynationtoday in 2021 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing:

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