Drugs suicide by Mrs Kray

By a staff reporter

“Barbiturates could be bought almost as easily as sweets on the London streets, Mr Ian Milne, the St Pancras Coroner, said yesterday, when he found that Mrs Reginald Kray, aged 23, had killed herself with an ‘enormous dose’ of phenobarbitone.

Mrs Kray, who was referred to by her maiden name of Frances Elsie Shea during the inquest, was the wife of one of the Kray twins. She was found dead at the home of her brother last week.

Mr Frank Brian Shea, of Wimbourne Court, Wimbourne Street, Hackney, E., told the Coroner that his sister had reverted to her maiden name when she went to live with him and his wife of three months before. She had hoped for a reconciliation with her husband.

Dr Julian Silverstone, consultant psychiatrist at Hackney Hospital, said Mrs Kray began psychiatric treatment in 1965. She was admitted to hospital in June 1966, and remained there until September the same year. He agreed with the Coroner that she had had a ‘personality disorder.’ Dr Silverstone said that in October last year she was admitted to St Leonard’s Hospital after an overdose of barbiturates. In January she was again admitted after being found in a gas-filled room. On the second occasion barbiturate poisoning was diagnosed.

Mrs Kray was married at Bethnal Green in April, 1965, soon after the Kray twins were acquitted at the Central Criminal Court of charges of demanding protection money from a Soho club owner.

Mr Reginald Kray was in court at the inquest, but did not give evidence.”

The Times, 1967

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