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Tragic Story Of Frances Kray: Photos Of Gangster Reggie Kray With His First Wife Frances Shea In The 1960s

Frances Shea was the beautiful Irish girl from Bethnal Green, East London. Her father, Frank, had run the gambling at the Regency Club in Stoke Newington. And there, Frances met the infamous Kray twins. Ronnie Kray and Reggie Kray were foremost perpetrators of organized crime (gangsters) in the East End of London during the 1950s and 1960s.

Frances Shea met Reggie Kray when she was just sixteen. And after two years, Reggie proposed to her in 1961. However, Frances refused polity, considering herself to be too young for marriage because Reggie was 27 years old at that time. Even when Reggie Kray went to prison, he wrote several letters to her. After four years, He tried his luck again, and this time Frances Shea accepted. In 1965, despite the disapproval of her parents Reggie and Frances married at St. James’s Church in Bethnal Green. Even the priest refused to officiate the marriage, but the second priest accepted.

The couple planned their honeymoon in Athens, Greece. Two months after the marriage, Frances Kray left her husband and returned to live with her parents. She even attempted suicide by taking an overdose of barbiturates. Reggie refused to leave her alone, and by 1967, the reconciled as a couple but not yet living together. The couple even planned a second honeymoon in Ibiza in the summer of 1967, but that did not happen. Reggie Kray abused Frances physically and emotionally. On one occasion, he cut his hand and forced her to watch it drip blood. Reggie Kray’s brother Ronnie Kray was homosexual; even Reggie was claimed to be bisexual. After their death, documents revealed that they had an incest relationship. Despite this, Reggie Kray was married twice.

On the 7th of June, 1967, Frances Shea attempted suicide by overdosing sleeping pills and took her life. She did at the age of 23. Reggie Kray paid for her funeral, which included substantial floral displays, including one over six feet tall in the form of a wreath spelling out her name. Her parents told Reggie Kray that their daughter’s last wish had been to revert to her maiden name, but he insisted that she be buried under her married name and wear her white satin wedding dress. However, Mrs. Shea persuaded the undertaker to clothe the corpse in tights and a slip, so that as little of her body as possible would be in contact with the hated dress.

After a few months, Reggie Kray murdered Jack D. McVitie, and he was arrested the following year and received life imprisonment. Before his arrest, Reggie visited Frances grave several times. When he was allowed to attend the funeral of his brother Charlie, he visited her grave and kissed the tombstone.

#5 Reg Kray and Francis pose for a group photo with two unknown people, circa 1963, in Tangier, Morocco

#6 A dressed-down Reggie, in unbuttoned shirt and sandals, takes a walk with his wife Frances while holiday in November 1964 in southern Spain

#10 Reggie Kray and Frances Shea outside the Kray home in Valance Road after he and Ronnie are acquitted of all charges of demanding money with menaces, 5th April 1965

#11 Reggie Kray and Frances Shea outside the Kray home in Valance Road after he and Ronnie are acquitted of all charges of demanding money with menaces, 5th April 1965

#12 Reggie Kray and Frances Shea outside the Kray home in Valance Road after he and Ronnie are acquitted of all charges of demanding money with menaces, 5th April 1965

#17 Frances Shea and gangster Reggie Kray on their wedding day, Ronnie Kray on the left, April 20th, 1965

#18 Frances Shea and gangster Reggie Kray on their wedding day, Ronnie Kray on the left, April 20th, 1965

#19 Frances Shea and gangster Reggie Kray on their wedding day, Ronnie Kray on the left, April 20th, 1965

#22 Frances Shea and gangster Reggie Kray on their wedding day, Ronnie Kray on the right, April 20th, 1965

#23 Frances Shea and gangster Reggie Kray on their wedding day, Ronnie Kray on the right, April 20th, 1965

#24 Frances Shea and gangster Reggie Kray on their wedding day, Ronnie Kray on the right, April 20th, 1965

#37 Frances Shea and gangster Reggie Kray (third and fourth from left) with friends at a London nightclub, 1962

#41 (l-r) Johnny Squibb (very good friend of the Krays, particularly Reg), Reggie Kray and Frances Kray in Nov 1964 in Southern Spain

Written by Aurora Hale

I am a blogger, entrepreneur and small business coach. I'm an introvert and cat lover. My favourite hobbies are breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

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