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Esmeralda’s Barn: The Hijacked Casino (Part 1)

Esmeralda’s Barn: The Hijacked Casino (Part 1)

1960-1963 Twins, Reginald “Reggie” and Ronald “Ronnie” Kray, gained notoriety as powerful and murderous gangsters in London, England in the 1950s and 1960s. During their reign of terror, their involvement in organized crime included protection rackets, drug running, money laundering and even gambling. (The 2015 movie, Legend, which features actor Tom Hardy as both men, depicts their story.) By 1962, the Krays would own a casino, Esmeralda’s Barn, in the West End. Typical Shady Activity The events leading to it began when Reggie, the “more reasonable” of the two — Ronnie was a paranoid schizophrenic frequently off of his requisite medication — was serving a sentence in the prison at Wandsworth. Ronnie crashed a party to extort Peter Rachman, a West London extortionist himself who was profiting off of charging tenants exorbitant rental rates. Ronnie demanded Rachman pay him £5,000 (about $14,000 then, $114,000 today) immediately or he’d take over Rachman’s Notting Hill territory; Ronnie would have his own heavies force out, violently of course, Rachman’s rent collectors and take their place. Rachman gave Ronnie a check for £1,000 (about $2,800 then, $23,000 today). When Ronnie went to cash it the next morning, it bounced. He was irate; no one […]

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