Ever since the Kray twins invited John Pearson to write their ‘official’ biography more than forty years ago, he has been obsessed with them. After they were jailed in 1969 for thirty years for murder, Pearson’s biography The Profession of Violence enjoyed a cult following among the young and was said to be the most popular book in H.M.’s prisons, after the Bible.
Ron died in 1995. Reg followed him five years later, and both of their funerals drew crowds on a scale unknown for film stars, let alone for two departed murderers. Since then, far from fading with their death, public fascination with the twins has never flagged. Their clothes and memorabilia are sold at auction like religious relics. Ron’s childlike prison paintings fetch more money than those of many well-known artists. And people still refer to them like popular celebrities. Why?
This is the question Pearson asked himself, and over the past three years he has been re-examining their history, unearthing much previously unknown material,