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How far do the sources taken together support the view that 'it was mainly the media who turned the Kray Twins from villains into heroes'?

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Introduction

Rebecca Hayes Coursework How far do the sources taken together support the view that 'it was mainly the media who turned the Kray Twins from villains into heroes'? The title of this essay already assumes that the Kray Twins were villains and that they were actually seen as heroes. Not all of the sources say either, that the twins were villains, or that the Twins were heroes, some are objective. It could be said that the question is biased towards the twins. The British media often represented the East End of London as a somewhat 'glamorous' and 'trendy area'. Photographs, by David Bailey, showed young men dressed in 'stylish suits', 'narrow ties' and 'stovepipe trousers'. These quotes come from source 3. Later in the same source the author, Jones, the East End being one of the best and most prominent settings for thrillers and novels on which to be written. He describes the 'evil' of the East End and its 'poverty induced conditions' and how people lived their lives against a back drop of 'drunkenness, immortality, 'rape' and 'assault' and how gangs often ruled the streets. ...read more.

Middle

Even when the Krays were in prison they 'happily minded their notoriety' and there were 'Kray goodies' for sale. This comes from source 5, it shows that it wasn't only the newspapers that celebrated the Krays they, themselves, advertised their lives by openly selling memoirs including videos, t-shirts, autographed photos and Kray belt buckles. The title alone, of source 1, tells us that John Pearson was 'commissioned to write their biography'. This suggests that the Krays 'Firm' wasn't a very secret business and they wanted to publicise their criminality. Source 4 backs up ideas from source 3 (from a book about the twins called 'brothers in arms''). It compares the 'Mafia of Sicily' and the American 'Cosa Nostra', notorious organised criminal gangs, to the Krays and dismisses their serious behaviour, claiming they were only 'jack-the-lads'. Later on in the same source the author tries to justify the two murders the twins committed. Both the murder victims were described as being 'miserable, low-life street thugs'. The same source gives a list of all the crimes the twins were 'never charged or convicted' of including drug dealing, manipulation, corruption and terrorism. ...read more.

Conclusion

People describing it as a 'sad loss'. The source also has a sarcastic element, describing the Krays as 'delightful', 'lovely fellows' and as 'killers-killers who built an empire. 'Ron was a psychopath' where as Reg had 'some brains and abundant charm'. McLeod clearly biased towards one of the twins. McLeod also describes associates and friends of the twins as 'fools'. He clearly justifies the sentences they got saying a 'few years earlier...would have been hanged', a completely different opinion from source 3 'the heaviest prison sentence ever handed down by a British court of law'. Referring back to the question, most of the sources do suggest that that the media were responsible sensationalising crime, in general. There are certain sources, which certainly do glamorise the environment of the Krays. It shows what a 'sheddy' place they were surrounded by and the kind of people who lived around them source 3 really shows this. The Krays themselves were involved a lot in making themselves celebrities and publicising their criminal activity, they also had a way of manipulating the media into printing stories that happened. The statement is an exaggeration of the truth, but the media definitely played a part in advertising crime and making it 'trendy'. ...read more.

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