Gangsters: The Torture Mob

Gangsters: The Torture Mob

Charlie Richardson, one of the last surviving crime bosses from the 1960s, has died at the age of 78. From their south London base, Richardson and his brother Eddie ran a vicious criminal syndicate that rivalled the Krays’ in east London. There were regular violent clashes as the gangs’ feuds over territory, extortion rackets and frauds spilled over in pubs and on the street.

The Richardson Gang was a 1960s group of criminals in South London, England. Less well remembered than their rivals the Krays, they nevertheless had a reputation at their peak as being some of London’s most infamous and sadistic gangsters. Also known as the ‘Torture Gang’, their “speciality” was pinning victims to the floor with 6-inch nails and removing the victims’ toes with bolt cutters.  Charlie Richardson (1934 – 19 September 2012) was born in Camberwell, south-east London. His younger brother Eddie was born in 1936, followed in 1940 by the youngest sibling, Alan. Charlie and Eddie turned to a life of crime after the departure of their father. Charlie invested in scrap metal while Eddie operated fruit machines (slot machines). These businesses were fronts for underworld activities which included fraud, racketeering, usury, theft, and stolen goods. Charlie was at one point arrested for receiving stolen goods but was acquitted through lack of evidence and, allegedly, with the help of a large “donation” to the Police Fund. Eddie would on occasion “suggest” that a pub landlord should buy one of his fruit machines. Failure to do so meant running the risk of having the pub vandalised. They preferred investing in fraud schemes known as “Long Firms”. A company would be set up by an acquaintance who was well paid for the prison term he would eventually serve. The company would conduct normal business for some months, building lines of credit and winning the trust of suppliers, eventually placing a very large order on credit. The goods would then be sold for cash, the money pocketed and the company and those involved in running it would suddenly disappear.


Added on: September 21st, 2012


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