It has been over 50 years since The Kray Twins ran things in the East End of London, and almost 20 years since the last of the two passed away, but the legend of The Krays doesn’t die. In fact interest in the pair has continued to grow, helped in some part by the 2015 film Legend starring Tom Hardy.
Whilst the film industry will long be able to produce bigger and better movies about the pair, the various documentaries that have been made simply cannot be replicated. Most of the people who can claim to have been associated to the Kray gang have left this earth, and for that reason there are many documentaries which now serve as important historical references. Some of the best are featured on this page, all of which can be watched right here on DocumentaryVine.
TV presenter Fred Dinenage was the official biographer of The Krays and the editor and co-author of the bestselling autobiographical book ‘Our Story’ which was written by the twins. In this 2010 documentary Dinenage reveals that truth about the time he spent with both of the Krays and some of the details that they gave of their brutal crimes. The Krays personally chose Dinenage as their biographer, sending out warnings to anybody else who attempted to claim that they held rights. Watch here.
There have been dozens of documentaries about The Krays over the years, but most will focus solely on their criminal activities during their time on the streets prior to their eventual imprisonment in 1968. The reality is that both of the twins spent more of their adult life behind bars than on the streets. This documentary instead tells the story of their incarceration in prison, as well as Ronnie’s committal to Broadmoor the high security psychiatric hospital. Watch here.
A documentary profiling Ronnie and Reggie Kray, featuring interviews with numerous people who were in some way associated with them during their heyday as well as those who made a career out of trying to convict them. This documentary was included as a second VHS alongside the 1990 movie The Krays, and then later with the DVD release. There have since been many newer documentaries about The Krays but this one is of particular historical importance as it included contributions from people who are no longer around to tell their story. Watch here.
A highly controversial yet fascinating deathbed interview with Reggie Kray, conducted during his final days on earth as he lay in Norwich and Norfolk hospital soon after being released from prison on compassionate grounds. The interview is both the first and last time he gave a first hand account of his life the crimes committed by him and his firm. Including is an astonishing deathbed murder confession. The film was controversial as it was funded by the BBC to the tune of £280,000 and the producer had underworld connections himself. Watch here.
A fascinating documentary about a major British political scandal which was covered up by the establishment, it starts by displaying a set of photographs which show an unusual friendship between Conservative peer Lord Boothby and Ronnie Kray, as well as a Labour cabinet minister and a young boy. Rumours of the close relationship between major political figures and leading underworld figures reached Fleet Street but were never published in the newspapers due to collusion between the Labour Party and Tory Party to suppress it. Watch here.
The first episode of a two part documentary series by ITV, this episode focuses on the escape from prison of Frank ‘The Mad Axeman’ Mitchell who had befriended Ronnie Kray in prison in the 1950’s. Ronnie would later fund Mitchell’s legal fees when he was tried for attempted murder. In 1966 Mitchell escaped from prison and sparked a huge national manhunt, it was the Kray firm who had helped him break free and then hid him in a flat they owned on the outside. But Mitchell would cause great problems for the firm and they would have no choice but to murder him. Watch here.
The second episode of the ITV two-part series mentioned above (Unfinished Business was episode 1), featuring first hand accounts from various people who were in some way connected to the Kray firm. The film used extensive archive footage of The Krays which had never been broadcast before, as well as lots of archive footage of London from the 1950’s and 1960’s. Another documentary which could not now be replicated due to several of the contributors now having passed away. Watch here.