He spent 42 years behind bars before achieving a certain cult status in later life as an author, after-dinner speaker, television pundit and tour guide. These adverts enable local businesses to get in front of their target audience the local community. At 17 he was sent to Borstal for breaking and entering a hosiery shop in Waterloo and was then given a 15-month prison sentence for shopbreaking. [9], Fraser was an Arsenal fan, and his grandson Tommy Fraser is a professional footballer. On 26 November, Fraser died after his family made the decision to turn off his life-support machine. The youngest of five children, he grew up in poverty in the Elephant and Castle and Borough, areas teeming with moneylenders, prostitutes and backstreet abortionists. Fraser spent practically half his life behind bars. When Mason demurred, Fraser buried a hatchet in his skull, pinning his hand to his head. His funeral took place on December 18, 2014. [3][4], Frankie Fraser was born on Cornwall Road in Waterloo, London. He chose the latter because they had taken sides on behalf of his sisters husband, Tommy Brindle, who had received a heavy beating by the Rosa brothers from the Elephant and Castle. A witness changed his testimony and the charges were eventually dropped, though Fraser still received a five-year sentence for affray. The first came when he was in the army during the second world war, the second time when he was sent to Cane Hill psychiatric hospital in Coulsdon, Surrey, and the third when he was transferred from Durham prison to Broadmoor. Its clear she still had to feed her family by acting on the wrong side of the law Beezy said. The Kray twins (pictured) held The Forty Thieves member Eva Fraser in high regard. Once again, he was sent toprison, this timefor taking part in bank robberies. As a subscriber, you are shown 80% less display advertising when reading our articles. 'You name it, we nicked it,' he tells the . Fraser received seven years. To see all content on The Sun, please use the Site Map. We are no longer accepting comments on this article. Mad Frank (1994), which went on to sell around 100,000 copies, was the first in a successful series. At the age of five, he moved with his family to a flat on Walworth Road, Elephant and Castle. She liked to earn her own money and paid her own way quite something for a young woman in the 1930s and 1940s. The book upset some of those mentioned in it, and Morton was dismayed to arrive home one evening to find a message from Fraser on his answering machine, demanding to speak to him urgently. During the 1950s, Fraser's main occupation was as bodyguard to well-known gangster Billy Hill. At least two home secretaries considered Fraser the most dangerous man in Britain, an image which, in old age, he only half-heartedly sought to dispel. Newsquest Media Group Ltd, Loudwater Mill, Station Road, High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire. His decision to join the Richardsons rather than their rivals, the Krays, has been described as "like China getting the atom bomb". Frank Davidson "Frankie" Fraser, better known as "Mad" Frankie Fraser was born on Cornwall Road in Waterloo, London, he grew up in poverty and was the youngest of five children, Fraser and his sister Eva, whom he was close too, turned to crime at the age of 10, on several occasions during World War 2, Fraser would escape his barracks and deserting many a times. Fraser had no problem dealing with rival operators whose business was dented as a result. 'Mad' Frankie Fraser: Sweet dapper. During his time behind bars he was involved in violence and was a major instigator in the Parkhurst Prison riots in 1969. Both Fraser and Warren were given seven years for their acts of violence. In the 1950s he worked for underworld boss Billy Hill and carried out razor attacks on victims for 50 each. People shook his hand in the street, others kissed him or asked for his autograph and taxi drivers honked their horns. [22], Fraser gave gangland tours around London, where he highlighted infamous criminal locations such as The Blind Beggar pub. On the morning of Derek Bentleys execution at Wandsworth in 1953, he spat at the executioner Albert Pierrepoint and tried to attack him. "If you play by the sword, you've got to expect the sword as well," says his son. In August 1963, invited to take part in the Great Train Robbery, Fraser pulled out because he was on the run from the police. '", Frankie Fraser's Last Stand will be broadcast on the Crime and Investigation network on 16 June at 9pm, New TV documentary shows ex-gangland enforcer is far from mellowing with age and has few regrets about his life of crime, Original reporting and incisive analysis, direct from the Guardian every morning, Frankie Fraser has no regrets over his life of crime, which involved him being jailed for a total of 42 years for 26 offences. 'In fact, she was one of the people who spotted his talent for stealing after he pinched a cigarette machine from a hotel as a small boy. 'They didn't see anything wrong in it because these things were too expensive for most people to afford and shops had insurance. In 1996 he was cast as the gangleader Pops Den in the film Hard Men, which premiered at the London film festival. When caught by police she replied: 'I don't know anything about it.'. Please report any comments that break our rules. in development with Fraser's endorsement. ', As the photographs show, the women often wore beautifully designed hats , coats and dresses in order to fit in, known as 'putting on the posh'. When the police arrived, they found Hart lying under a lilac tree in a nearby garden. According to one of his sons, David, Fraser was unharmed but he did not inform on his assailant. ', The notorious gangster 'Mad' Frankie Fraser's sister Eva had risen through the ranks of the gang after joining in the 1930s. But after shoving their stolen goods into waiting cars the women would head back to the grotty slums of Waterloo and Elephant and Castle - where their 'queen' exchanged the expensive items for a generous weekly wage. [5][6][7][8] His mother was of Irish and Norwegian descent, while his father was half Native-American. Fraser earned his mad nickname during the second world war, when he managed to get himself out of military service by pretending to be mentally ill. To prove his unsuitability to the force, he assaulted a doctor before jumping out of the window at the Bradford assessment centre where he had been sent. Fraser in 1997 with his then girlfriend Marilyn Wisbey, daughter Of Great Train Robber Tom Wisbey (REX FEATURES). Notorious for high-speed getaways, she was eventually caught stealing lingerie and sentenced to hard labour in prison. A Gannett Company. Profile manager: Evelyn Wolff [send private message] There were further language difficulties. Both Fraser and Warren received seven-year sentences. Eva Brindle formerly Fraser. Prior to that he was a bodyguard to notorious gangland leader Billy Hill, where he took part in bank robberies and and carried out razor blade attacks - which earned him 50 a time. He received a further five years when, in 1970, he was acquitted of incitement to murder but convicted of grievous bodily harm after he had led the Parkhurst prison riot the previous year. Check your inbox or spam folder to confirm your subscription you will not receive any newsletters until your subscription is confirmed. Because of the type of person I am, he wrote, in the life I led, you learn to shrug off adversity better than people whove worked hard all their lives.. The views expressed in the contents above are those of our users and do not necessarily reflect the views of MailOnline. Photograph: Alex Segre/Rex. Aged seven, Ms Pitts was stealing milk and bread to provide food for her five siblings. inaccuracy or intrusion, then please Then they were turned over to Fraser. Join Facebook to connect with Frankie Fraser and others you may know. A bucket boy would offer to clean the bookies' blackboards with a sponge, for which they were obliged to pay the Sabinis. It was during this sentence that he was first certified insane and was sent to Cane Hill Hospital before being released in 1949. Fraser himself was accused of pulling out the teeth of victims with a pair of pliers. To evade discovery they posted the stolen items back to London or depositing a suitcase of loot at the railway station's left luggage office, to be collected later. Frankie Fraser belonged to a bygone era of crime and was cut from a different cloth than so many other gangsters of his generation. They worked department stores including Selfridges in teams of three or four during hoisting trips up to three times a week. On the night of March 7 1966 Fraser and Eddie Richardson were badly hurt in a brawl at Mr Smiths club in Catford, the incident that broke the Richardson familys grip on south London. Even decent folk were often only too happy to 'take a bit of crooked' to have something new. The Krays held Eva Fraser in high regard because of her role in the gang and during the 1940s and 1950s, and the Soho gang boss Billy Hill - brother of the fiery Maggie Hughes - was careful not to encroach too much on their territory because he respected their right to earn their own money, free from male interference. He undoubtedly had a wicked temper and a lack of empathy as seen in his capability for violence but he described that to me in terms of a soldier doing his job. In 1938, she was sentenced for stabbing a policeman in the eye with a hatpin. Updated November 28, 2014 2.43pmfirst published at 2.41pm Save Share While the award-winning TV show Peaky Blinders was inspired by the all-male Brummagem Boys gang from the same period, the Forty Thieves make some of even their escapades seem tame by comparison. His gangster boss Charles Richardson remembered him as one of the most polite, mild-mannered men Ive met but he has a bad temper on him sometimes. Morton was relieved that, rather than remonstrating, Fraser wanted him to write his life story. It has emerged that the former gangland enforcer, who has spent 42 years in prison for 26. Frank Davidson Fraser (13 December 1923 - 26 November 2014), better known as 'Mad' Frankie Fraser, was an English gangster who spent 42 years in prison for numerous violent offences. Before World War Two, if you got married you were expected to leave work and stay at home, Beezy said. The violent thugs, the Kray twins, held Eva Fraser in high regard because of her role in the gang and during the 1940s and 1950s and the Soho gang boss Billy Hill - brother of the fiery Ms Hughes - was careful not to encroach too much on their territory because he respected their right to earn their own money, free from male interference. The Sun website is regulated by the Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO), Our journalists strive for accuracy but on occasion we make mistakes. He was also tried in court in the so-called 'Torture trial', in which members of the Richardson Gang were charged with burning, electrocuting, and whipping those found guilty of disloyalty. Frankie Fraser was a south London gangster who knew no language but violence and spent half his life behind bars. But she was once caught stealing stockings and was sent to prison.. However, it was the during the 'torture trial' of the Richardson gang in 1967, that Frankie Fraser become notorious nationally. He had an ungovernable temper and an inability to think through the undoubted consequences of his proposed actions. 'My gran liked to go for tea at the Ritz, especially if she could pinch someone's fur coat from the cloakroom on the way out. Descendants . Fraser himself was charged with pulling out people's teeth with pliers and sentenced to 10 years in prison. The business came to an end in 1966 when a fight in a Catford night club, Mr Smiths, left a Kray associate, Dickie Hart, dead, and Richardson and Fraser, who was charged with Harts murder, in prison. A mugshot of Forty Thieves' Hughes, who was uncontrollable and dissipated by drink. He was a member of the Richardson gang or the 'torture gang', led by brothers Charlie and Eddie Richardson, and were widely feared in Londons underworld. The Richardson Gang was an English crime gang based in South London, England in the 1960s.Also known as the "Torture Gang", they had a reputation as some of London's most sadistic gangsters. It was a thief's paradise, Gor blimey! At signing sessions of his books he was always willing to be photographed pretending to extract a tooth with pliers brought by the fan. Many started as child lookouts. With the help of Hill and mafia interests, Fraser and Eddie Richardson established Atlantic Machines, a successful business placing one-armed bandits in clubs throughout Britain. ", The new documentary returns to this theme, suggesting he had a hard time in prison because there were no criminals in his family. One such member was Lilian Goldstein, who was known as the Bob-Haired Bandit. Fraser, he recalled, was more than capable of doing what he threatened. He may be in his 90th year but "Mad" Frankie Fraser is still causing mayhem. The women, who carried razors wrapped in lace handkerchiefs, were known for violent outbursts - including one furore that resulted in a woman blinding a police officer by stabbing him in the eye with her hatpin. 'It gave them a life they could never have afforded. She helped him sell on his loot. But when her brother Frankie was in prison, she helped to run his protection rackets in Soho and even sent her daughters to collect payments, as the police would not stop a child. Fraser was part of Britain's Underworld between the 1940s-1960's. He was a known associate of gangster Billy Hill throughout the 1950s. Fraser was the youngest of five children who were growing up in poverty - he first turned to crime at the tender age of 10, alongside his sister Eva. What officers didn't know then was that his crime spree would continue over a career spanning seven decades, and his offences only worsened. Fraser was the youngest of five children and grew up in poverty. During his time in prison, Fraser was involved in a number of riots and frequently fought with prison officers, fellow inmates and governors. "The Sun", "Sun", "Sun Online" are registered trademarks or trade names of News Group Newspapers Limited. After the war he was involved in a smash-and-grab raid on a jeweller's and was given a two year prison sentence. His parents never knew about his illegal activities, and if they ever suspected him apparently turned a blind eye, a habit . Various members were eventually caught, though and served their time in Holloway prison, where rations were meagre and they slept on boards. They also spoke, as Frank did, using the prison slang of a bygone era, which they had to translate for me. As he languished in jail, his sons David and Patrick and their older brother, Frank Jnr currently living quietly on the Costa del Sol carved their own careers as bank robbers and jewellery thieves in 1970s London. In 1941, Fraser was given his first taste of punishment when he was sent to borstal for breaking into a Waterloo hosiery store. By the 1950s, the gang were facing ever-present store detectives and had to rely more on disguises. [9] He was a resident at a sheltered accommodation home in Peckham. She helped support her young siblings by taking milk and bread from neighbour's doorsteps. Fraser, whose health has been deteriorating in recent years, turned to crime aged just nine when he and his sister, Eva, became petty thieves. According to Eddie Richardson, Fraser had Alzheimer's disease for the last three years of his life. His enduring nickname Mad Frank derived from his violent temperament which caused him to attempt to hang the governor of Wandsworth prison (and the governors dog) from a tree, and to be certified insane on three separate occasions. Frankie Frasers wife Doreen, with whom he had four sons, died in 1999. Fraser was placed into an induced coma, but just five days later, on November 26, 2014, Fraser passed away after his family made the decision to turn off his life-support machine. The gang probably had its roots in the Victorian slums around Seven Dials, near Covent Garden, infamous in Dickens's day. He then became involved in serious crime - and the war provided a perfect backdrop with the blackout, rationing and a shortage of police officers. At the age of five, he moved with his family to a flat on Walworth Road, Elephant and Castle. They would go through Selfridges department store in the West End and steal furs and expensive clothes. Eva (Fraser) Brindle. Author Beezy Marsh said: 'These women fought harder than the men and were feared by men and women in their communities. But little by little, over weeks and months of interviews, cups of tea and chats, their life stories emerged and with that came a fascinating insight into the Fraser family history and what really made Frank tick. On 21 November 2014, Fraser fell critically ill whilst undergoing leg surgery atKing's College Hospital,Denmark Hill. According to Fraser, it was they who helped him avoid arrest for theGreat Train Robberyby bribing a policeman. Underneath glamorous ensembles the women wore specially-adapted petticoats with hidden pockets or baggy bloomers with elastic at the knee. Though like Eva, she struggled to come to terms with the choice facing women to work or marry. It was during the war that he first became involved in serious crime, with the blackout and rationing, combined with the lack of professional policemen due to conscription, providing ample opportunities for criminal activities such as stealing from houses while the occupants were in air-raid shelters. She helped him sell on his loot. Over the last decade or so he was on the cabaret circuit and ran gangland tours of the East End, taking in such sights as the Blind Beggar pub, where Ronnie Kray shot dead George Cornell, one of the Richardson gang, in 1966. An unregenerate villain of the deepest dye, Fraser satisfied the public appetite for vicarious thrill-seeking with a series of self-exculpatory memoirs in the 1990s that launched him on a twilight career as a celebrity criminal. 679215 Registered office: 1 London Bridge Street, London, SE1 9GF. Frankie Fraser was born on Cornwall Road in Waterloo, London. Photograph: Crime and Investigation network. Fraser himself was accused of pulling out the teeth of victims with a pair of pliers. [13], It was in the early 1960s that Fraser first met Charlie and Eddie Richardson of the Richardson Gang, rivals to the Kray twins. Aged seven, Ms Pitts was stealing milk and bread to provide food for her five siblings. It sounds like the worst days of Prohibition in Chicago rather than London in 1956, complained Mr Justice Donovan, but words were wasted on Fraser. But his greatest moment of national notoriety came a quarter of a century earlier, during what the media billed as the Torture Trial (in fact a series of trials) in 1967 that became one of the longest in British criminal history. Her story has been told in The Queen of Thieves, written by author Beezy Marsh, which sheds a light on the lives of the girl gang that gained the respect of male criminals because of their lucrative and violent methods. Fraser was defended by a young solicitor called James Morton, who later became an author and wrote a history of Londons gangland in 1992. Fraser was the. Their loot would be stuffed into these 'hoister's drawers', allowing the women to leave the stores undetected. As an adult she was beaten by one of her boyfriends and the father of five of her seven children, Chris Hawkins, who was a fruit and vegetable seller in Hoxton. Editors' Code of Practice. 'The other side of the story involves these feisty women and it is perhaps more fascinating given the limited powers such working class girls had to earn a decent wage.'. On this release, he determined to write his memoirs. Fraser was just 13 when he was sent to an approved school for stealing 40 cigarettes. Following a trial at the Old Bailey in 1967, he was sentenced to ten years' imprisonment. David had perfected the prison whisper talking very quietly, in case he was overheard by the guards. Reporters claimed she was 6ft tall - despite police records from 1919 putting her at 5ft9in. Diamond's second-in-command Maggie Hughes was known as 'Babyface' for her sweet looks and made a habit of cheekily shouting back at the judge when she was sentenced to jail: 'It won't cure me! Beezy reveals how the girls father would beat their mother a big influence on their outlook. In the summer of 2013 it emerged that, at the age of 89, Fraser had been served with an Antisocial Behaviour Order (Asbo) after another incident, this time at his care home in Peckham, south London. Fraser was the youngest of five children who were growing up in poverty - he first turned to crime at the tender age of 10, alongside his sister Eva. When she married the father of five of her seven children, Chris Hawkins, he subjected her to cruel beatings - but quickly stopped following a warning from the Kray Twins. To inquire about a licence to reproduce material, visit our Syndication site. Always well turned out and ineffably polite and punctual, he had a large and appreciative audience, and one woman was so impressed she named her son after him. It spent six weeks in the Sunday Times top ten and held the coveted #1 Globe and Mail chart slot in Canada for three months. Police reveal more details, as man remains at large after brutal attack outside school, Interview with MP Neil Coyle after Commons suspension: Why the drinking has stopped having started in childhood, but the swearing wont, plus deliberately avoiding Labour leader Keir Starmer, Read our print products (Digital Editions). He later joined the notorious Richardson gang, formed by brothers Eddie and Charlie, and began carrying out more criminal activities. They didnt go to jail, they did bird or got a lagging. Hughes was famed for her red hair, a love of drink and a violent temper. Are you sure you want to delete this comment? [25] In June 2013, the 89-year-old Fraser was served with an anti-social behaviour order (ASBO) by police after a row with another resident. During the 1950s, Fraser's main criminal occupation was as bodyguard to well-known gangsterBilly Hill. His mother was of Irish and Norwegian descent, while his father was half Native-American. She was chauffeured in a Bentley and always wore a sable coat. Dubbed 'The Most Dangerous Man in Britain' by two Home Secretaries, Francis Davidson Fraser was born on the 13th of December 1923, and grew up in Waterloo, London.He and his sister, Eva started their life of crime at a young age, stealing from handbags and pickpocketing. She and her friends looked like film stars when they went out down the pub. [15] In 1966, Fraser was charged with the murder of Richard Hart, who was shot at Mr Smith's club in Catford while other Richardson associates, including Jimmy Moody, were charged with affray. Because of Frasers behaviour in jail over the years, he forfeited almost every day of his remission. The singer, 29, bared his chest and showed off his . Mad Frank: Memoirs of a Life of Crime appeared in 1994, with two further volumes following in 1998 and 2001. He emerged from jail in 1989 and has not been back since. But who were the gang's most brazen members? For further details of our complaints policy and to make a complaint please click this link: thesun.co.uk/editorial-complaints/, 'Mad' Frankie Fraser was a notorious English gangster, Funeral of South London enforcer, FRANKIE FRASER at Honour Oak Crematorium, Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO). This site is part of Newsquest's audited local newspaper network. Nevertheless his campaigns and, on the outside, those of Eva, did bring the attention of the general public to the unpalatable conditions in which prisoners served then their sentences. She got six months in jail, for stealing stockings from Bentalls in Kingston upon Thames. Fraser owed his success in the fruit machine business to Billy Hill, whose patronage Fraser courted when he attacked and almost killed Hills gangland rival Jack "Spot" Comer. But the victory was pyrrhic in many senses, because by the time he finally left prison the in mid 1980s, the world had changed and gangland had moved on. The notorious gangster 'Mad' Frankie Fraser's sister Eva had risen through the ranks of the gang after joining in the 1930s. The middle sister was Kathleen, who constantly aspired to make it as an actress, and make use of her striking good looks. Even the gangster 'Mad' Frankie Fraser, whose sister Eva was a leading light in the gang in the thirties and forties, spoke with great reverence about Alice Diamond. In the early half of the 20th century one queen, Diamond, regularly appeared in the press where she was once described as a 'tall and commanding figure with a cool demeanour'. He spent more than 40 years in prison. Joining the Forty Thieves was something of a right of passage for Eva Fraser. By Emer Scully and Beezy Marsh for MailOnline, Published: 10:41 GMT, 4 November 2021 | Updated: 13:07 GMT, 4 November 2021. Fraser treated his various brushes with death as an occupational hazard: his thigh bone was shattered by a bullet fired during the melee in Catford, and part of his mouth was shot away in an incident in May 1991 when someone botched an attempt to assassinate him outside a nightclub in Farringdon. Fraser was released in 1988 and almost immediately served a two-year sentence for receiving. In 1996, he played (his friend) William Donaldson's guide to Marbella in the infamous BBC Radio 4 series A Retiring Fellow. After Frasers release from the Spot sentence, he was courted by the Kray Twins and the Richardson gang. The Frasers were both contemporaries of the Hatton Garden heist gang members many of whom also came from south London and who operated on the same bank robbing scene and shared jail cells with the Fraser boys at some point. A ponce was someone who thieves looked down on, because they lived by taking a cut from someone elses earnings. Pictured, Marble Arch and Oxford Circus in the 1920s, Petite shoplifter Bertha Tappenden (right) stood just over 5ft 2in tall, but was convicted of inflicting grievous bodily harm on a man in Lambeth, after kicking down his front door and attacking him with razors and knives, to settle a score, aided by Diamond and another gang girl, Gertrude Scully (left). first protestant celtic player, anthony peeler family, monica sloan cause of death,