In the 1960s, the Krays had London by the throat. Twins who grew up in the East End of the city, Ronnie and Reggie Kray quickly rose through the gangland ranks of postwar England to become the central figures in a swirl of violence that took in arson, hijacking, protection rackets, armed robbery, and murder. Their notoriety ballooned after they opened a nightclub, Esmerelda’s Barn, which allowed them to mix with the upper classes of British society. The Sunday Mirror printed vague insinuations about rumors of a sexual relationship between Ronnie Kray and Conservative politician Robert Boothby, who went on to successfully sue the paper for nearly $112,000 in damages.

After this, the media would no longer report on them. The government, perhaps unwilling to risk renewed interest in the Boothby connection, seemed to look the other way. The Krays claimed to have numerous corrupt informants within the police department and in higher levels of government. Their underworld empire was surrounded by a wall of silence. They had become untouchable.