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On This Day… The Murder Of Jack Mcvitie

Written by: George Chittenden : 27 Jul 2019

It was on this day, 29th Oct, back in 1967 when notorious gangsters and twin brothers Ronnie and Reggie Kray made a mistake that led to their downfall by murdering Jack ‘The Hat’ McVitie. McVitie was an associate of the Kray twins who had ruled the streets of London for years. Earlier that year Ronnie Kray had paid McVitie £500 in advance to kill ex-friend and business partner Leslie Payne, promising he would pay another £500 when the job was finished, amid fears that Payne was about to inform the police of his criminal activities. McVitie’s attempt to kill Payne failed, and rather cheekily he kept Ronnie Kray’s money.

The Kray twins

The Kray twins

McVitie was invited to a party in Evering Road in Stoke Newington, London on this day, 29th Oct. Reggie Kray, who was the most reasonable of the twins planned on shooting McVitie as soon as he walked into the party, however his gun jammed and instead he stabbed McVitie repeatedly in the face, chest and stomach during a brief but violent struggle. The twins quickly fled the scene and McVitie's body was deposited, wrapped in an eiderdown and left outside St. Mary's Church, Rotherhithe by Tony and Chris Lambrianou, and Ronnie Bender, who were minor members of the Kray twins’ firm. When the Krays discovered the whereabouts of the corpse, they ordered it to be immediately moved and McVitie’s body was never recovered. However, that didn’t stop Scotland Yard from arresting the twins for murder.

Jack ‘The Hat’ McVitie

Jack ‘The Hat’ McVitie

At the Old Bailey on 4 March 1969, both were found guilty of murder and sentenced to life imprisonment with a recommendation that they should each serve a minimum of 30 years. Ronnie Kray's murder conviction was for the murder of rival gangster, George Cornell, whom he shot dead in March 1966.

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