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The BBC's Terry Stiastny
"The making of a documentary about Reggie Kray has been controversial"
 real 56k

Sunday, 25 March, 2001, 02:27 GMT 03:27 UK
Kray's deathbed murder confession
Reggie Kray
Reggie Kray died of cancer last October
Gangster Reggie Kray confessed to a previously unknown murder on his deathbed, a BBC television documentary will reveal on Thursday.

The East End gangster admitted that he had committed one murder apart from that of Jack "The Hat" McVitie, for which he served nearly 33 years in prison.

Although he did not name the victim in the documentary, The Final Word, it is thought to be Edward "Mad Teddy" Smith, who has been missing since 1967.

Reggie Kray
Reggie Kray served 33 years behind bars for murder
Kray made the confession after inviting BBC cameras into the Norfolk and Norwich hospital a few days before he died of cancer last October.

Retired Detective Chief Superintendent Leonard "Nipper" Read, who arrested the Krays, said: "I should imagine that would be Teddy Smith - he suddenly disappeared."

During the one-hour documentary Kray refused to give a full apology for his violent behaviour.

He said: "It is very difficult to apologise in some cases but not in others.

"But I suppose if I've been a bit too violent over the years I make some apologies about it, but there's little I can do about it now, so again, it's no good reflecting back. It's pointless, negative."

'Vexation'

He said he murdered McVitie because he did not like him and thought he was "very uncouth and a vexation to the spirit".

Also interviewed on the programme are Reggie's widow Roberta, his barrister, John Platts Mills, QC, and a number of members of the Kray firm.

Ronnie and Reggie Kray dominated gangland crime in London's East End for more than a decade until the pair were arrested in 1968.

Reggie's widow Roberta
Reggie's widow Roberta is also interviewed
The trial of the twin brothers and their accomplices in 1969 was one of the longest and most expensive in British legal history.

Reggie was sentenced to life at the Old Bailey with a recommendation that he serve no less than 30 years.

He was officially released from prison on compassionate grounds by the Home Secretary, Jack Straw, in August 2000 after serving 33 years behind bars.

Kray spent his last days at a hotel in Norwich where he could fulfil his wish to die in a room with a view overlooking the river.

Kray's wife and former gangland friends Freddie Foreman and Jerry Powell were at his side when he died.

His older brother Charlie also died last year, while Ronnie died in 1995.

The programme will be broadcast on BBC One at 2100BST on 29 March.

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See also:

20 Mar 01 | UK
Reggie Kray's TV legacy
01 Oct 00 | UK
Last of an infamous trio
11 Oct 00 | UK
End of an era
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