London street stuck in time 54 years after Krays killed man in gory payback

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Ronnie and Reggie Kray – or the Kray twins as they are more commonly known – are notorious gangsters who once held a reign of terror over the East End of London.

It's been 54 years since their influence subsided, but the residents of Evering Road in Stoke Newington have "never recovered" from the pair's brutal crimes.

Cathy Murphy, 57, lives in a basement flat where the gangsters murdered a man in cold blood, reports MyLondon.

In October 1967, Reggie Kray, with the help of his twin brother Ronnie, ruthlessly murdered one of their henchmen, Jack 'The Hat' McVitie.

The victim was viciously stabbed repeatedly in the face, chest and stomach in a violent struggle that required him to be held down during the attack.

Allegedly, the murder was "payback" for crossing the brothers too many times, including owing them money for the contract murder of their business manager Leslie Payne – that McVitie never carried out.

According to Cathy, who has lived on the street since 1995, property prices have been struggling to recover ever since.

"I think the murder reduced the value of properties in this area for a long time," said Cathy, who's lived on Evering Road since 1995.

"Property prices spiralled downwards and people in the area didn't want to be associated with it.

"We also used to have coach parties turn up outside the house with people from all over the world including China.

"Tourists would stop in front of the house and take pictures."

Cathy believes the attention had painted the area in a negative light.

"It's made us sort of stuck in time," she said. "The area has developed much slower than surrounding areas."

But Hunters Estate Agents in Stoke Newington have said these concerns are a thing of the past.

Agent Alex Christodoulou said: “The incident with the Kray twins on Evering Road in 1967 would have had a negative impact on the local property market at the time, due to the seriousness of the crime.

"However, in the last 20 years, property prices have increased substantially in the Stoke Newington area.

"The demand from first time buyers and for family homes has been one of the biggest contributors to the increase of property prices.”

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The Krays were born on October 24, 1933 and ruled over East London, committing murder, armed robbery, arson and assaults until they were imprisoned in 1969, aged just 35.

The murder of McVitie on Evering Road was the defining crime that led to their imprisonment.

Although Cathy's residence was once "completely torn down" and renovated to escape this monstrous history, the area has failed to rid itself of the stench of Kraydom.

"They still had to model the front of the house the same way as it was when the twins were here because the building's listed," Cathy said.

Before Jack 'The Hat' McVitie's death, he had acted as an enforcer and hitman for the twin gangsters and their clique.

Although never a permanent member of The Firm, he was allegedly regularly employed to commit savage crimes on their behalf, which included intimidation tactics and contract killings.

He failed to thrive in his lawless career and by 1967, McVitie had become a sloppy drunk and a drug addict. He was arrogant and abusive, and even begun threatening his infamous bosses.

Deciding enough was enough, on October 29, 1967 both Ronnie and Reggie invited McVitie to a party at 97 Evering Road, along with The Firm's underworld associates and family members.

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The Krays arrived at the party discreetly, and began clearing away guests before luring McVitie into their trap.

Reggie's initial plan to shoot McVitie upon entry to the party failed as his gun jammed. Instead, he opted to pounce upon McVitie with a knife and stab him to death.

The brothers quickly fled the scene and ordered their associates to dispose of the body immediately.

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Reports say the body has never been found.

Reggie was convicted of the murder and was sentenced to life imprisonment, while Ronnie was jailed for life at the same time for the murder of George Cornell.

He died in 1995, aged 61 at Wexham Park Hospital in Berkshire after suffering a heart attack at Broadmoor Hospital.

Reggie died in 2000 from bladder cancer.

  • Murder
  • Knife Crime
  • Crime
  • Gangs

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