Ronnie Kray’s grisly autopsy saw brain removed – and go missing for 11 months

The Kray Twins were two of the most feared gangsters in the UK and January 7 marks the anniversary of the pair being kept behind bars on suspicion of running a London-wide protection racket.

Ronnie and his brother Reggie were both treated as celebrities after their organised crime in London and being owners of a nightclub, saw them mix with politicians and entertainers.

The notorious brothers were boxers in their early lives before joining going into national service, where they were thrown out after reportedly throwing tantrums and handcuffing a guard.

Ronnie and Reggie started their criminal organisation, The Firm, fairly late in life in their early 50s, committing several crimes through armed robberies, arson, protection rackets, assaults and murder over two decades.

The twins' criminal antics and celebrity status influenced a number of movies about their lives, including The Krays and Legend starring Tom Hardy.

But there was an incident with the death of Ronnie which saw his brain mysteriously removed.

The gangster passed away in prison in March 1995 from a heart attack but there was concern over why the decision was taken to take his brain.

The result meant that the notorious gangster could not be buried with the organ as its whereabouts were unknown for 11 months.

The Kray Twins were arrested and convicted for their crimes, which included murder, arson protection rackets and more, in 1969.

The were both given a life sentence with Ronnie dying of a heart attack in Broadmoor Hospital and Reggie being released in compassionate grounds in 2000 to see out his final weeks after being diagnosed with bladder cancer.

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Stephen Gold, who was a solicitor for the Kray Twins, looked into the issue of why the pathologist decided to remove Ronnie’s brain when it was already confirmed he had died as a result of a heart attack.

The issue of the brain removal even prompted former MP Harry Cohen to table two questions of the Home Office as to the reason Ronnie's brain not buried with his body and what consents were obtained for this to go ahead.

In his book Breaking Law and on his website, Mr Gold revealed how he got to the bottom of the truth.

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The brain had been sent from Wexham Park Hospital to a neuropathologist at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford and then sent back to Wexham Park Hospital.

Mr Gold wrote: “There does not appear to have been any good reason for removing the brain if not for research purposes and for that there was no consultation with relatives. And another matter. Although the pathologist maintains that the brain was sent to the John Radcliffe, the NHS Trust responsible for that hospital say to me that ‘the Trust did not receive the brain at any point.’

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“It maintains that it received only brain samples including blocks and histological slides but not the whole organ and that it received a referral from Wexham Park to provide a post-mortem neuropathological opinion on Ron in March 1996 which was after the brain had been returned.”

Mr Gold also shared his several attempts to learn more about the testing on Ronnie’s brain samples but he was denied by the Information Commissioner.

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It was revealed that Ronnie’s brain was later buried with his body several months later.

Mr Gold added: “I have established that the brain was released to the funeral directors E English & Son by Wexham Park Hospital at which the pathologist (now retired) was based 11 months after it had been removed. It was in a casket which was then buried in Ron's grave.”

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