This is the amended epilogue from my first international bestselling book KILLER….
Throughout my life as an active villain, gangster or whatever else the police and press have labelled me, my first priority was to have money, and when I say money, I mean plenty of it. In my opinion, money is a very powerful thing. It can enable you to have practically anything you desire. Some people say that money cannot buy love or bring happiness, but my answer to that is, ‘give me a couple of million and I will show you just how happy it can make you.’
Ever since my youth, I craved the good things that life could offer, beautiful women, nice cars, good clothing, expensive jewellery, lavish holidays and, most importantly, a nice house, home and family. I would never have been able to have achieved or sampled these lovely things without money.
However, money does not come easily, and it was never just handed to me on a plate. I went out and committed some of the most serious offences and crimes in the country in order to have money; armed robberies on banks, security vans, hijacking lorries, safe breaking and many other serious crimes. I did it all, but at times it was a terrifying business. It certainly was not glamorous and I never got a kick out of it or excitement from it all. In fact, for me, it was the reverse. In a way, it was a means of support as well as a gamble. Every time I did one of those armed blags I was taking a risk and gambling. In fact, I was gambling with my life; my young life at that.
I was always fully aware that, if I was captured, then I would be facing a long time in prison – twenty years at least – or worse, still, I could have been ambushed by the armed-response police and been shot dead.
As I have previously stated, nowadays, if I was still at it (meaning into crime), I think I would find it difficult in comparison to how it used to be. I would just like to say to these young villains, and by that I am not referring to or talking about the low-life, degenerate scum and perverts who abuse women and children and hurt the innocent. Those types of pricks can go and fuck themselves. I am talking about the young villains of today who do still have decent qualities and principles of respect, which they have adopted from the old-school way of crime. Yes, these types of young grafters still do exist although there are not as many of them now, and it is to those kids that I would say, ‘before you go down that road, have a good think about it, because personally I think that these days the Police seem to have it all boxed off.’
Just look at the sophisticated computer systems and equipment that they have today, helicopters, high-tech cameras, armed-response teams and advanced forensics; such as DNA testing. They even have sensitive listening devices and bugging systems, as well as tracking devices; and these are only some of the things you are aware of. Police technology is far more advanced today. To sum it all up, in my opinion it is the end of an era.
The other side of my criminal life involved violence. I had to deal with violence along the way, I have never wanted it, but when it came, I had no choice but to use it and to use it in the best way I knew how. I have had many street fights throughout my life, and in some of those I have come off best and then there have been others where I have come badly unstuck and have myself taken some terrible beatings; but, then again, I have never professed or claimed to be a hard case. There is no shame or embarrassment if a man loses a fight. At least he can hold his head up high and say that he has had a go. You can always go back and have a straightener, but these days that is a very rare occurrence and in my opinion, straighteners do not exist anymore.
Everybody in and around the city of Liverpool who knows me will back me up when I say that I have never deliberately or intentionally gone out of my way and picked a fight with anybody. There have been many occasions when I have walked away from somebody with whom I have been arguing with over something trivial, such as getting pushed in a queue or a disagreement with another driver in a car. In these circumstances or situations, I have always been the one to apologise first; but do not misunderstand me, if a person went too far and took my apology as a sign of weakness instead of manners, or even if they overstepped the mark by laying their hands on me, then in my younger days, I would have defended myself to the hilt.
One thing I have always believed is that nobody, no matter who they are, should ever underestimate a person’s capabilities. Appearances, as they say, can be deceptive. And once you have a reputation, no matter what it is for, it is very hard to shake off.
I am fully aware that certain people and authorities have used this fact in order to associate me with a whole range of crimes. If I were to list everything I have ever done or been involved in or charged with, believe me, the list would be endless.
Again, do not misunderstand me, I am no angel and I was obviously involved in a wide range of criminal activities for a long time. During my life I have been charged with using and being in possession of firearms, as well as many other offensive and dangerous weapons. You name them, I have used them. I have also been charged for GBH several times, as well as threats to kill, attempted murders and murder. There have been numerous occasions when I was been questioned in relation to murders, which have been committed in and around the Liverpool and northwest area.
I can even go back to the early seventies when the murder squad came to see me over a killing which had taken place in Cumbria; a man was found dead in one of the lakes up there with both of his hands severed from his body. I have been taken to court and charged with the aforementioned offences but the only convictions I have are three GBHs, the last of them being in 1966 when I was given a three year jail sentence of which I served two. It was for violence against three police officers and the only violence that was committed against one of these police officers was three stitches in his little finger… now can you really call that a bad injury as a result of a serious act of violence? Did it really warrant the sentence that was handed down to me? I was given a year for each stitch. If that wasn’t an injustice then I don’t know what is!
And why have I never been convicted of these aforementioned offences? Well, it’s because a Liverpool jury has always believed in my innocence. But the Police on the other hand, have not and never will.
I am also aware that various people have branded me a killer. I would like to state that I am not a psychopath and would not get a thrill out of killing somebody just for the sake of it. I am not a callous or cold-blooded person. I too have feelings. I love my children and family and my true friends. However, I do believe that nearly every one of us, especially men have the killer instinct inside of us.
In 1998 when I was writing my autobiography KILLER the Home Secretary, Jack Straw, was urging the public not to turn a blind eye to crimes which are being committed and to ‘have a go’, meaning that you should go to the aid of somebody who is being attacked or who is a victim of the crime itself.
I have been having a go for years, going to the aid of the defenceless old people and women who have been the victims of violence and beatings by low-life scum. It is all very well for the Home Secretary urging people to have a go, but what guarantees does he give for protection? Just supporting a person goes to help someone who is being viciously attacked, mugged or raped, and accidentally killed the low-life scumbag who is committing the offence? The police would have no hesitation in charging him with manslaughter, if not murder, even if he was protecting his own family.
Finally, I am always being asked if crime pays. Well, that is easy to sum up isn’t it? Look at all of the old gangsters. For instance, the Great Train Robbers, poor bastards; the sentences they received were inhumane. Most of them ended up serving thirty years in prison and came out to fuck all!
Next, take say, Frankie Fraser, he has wasted almost forty years of his life behind bars, as have a fair number of his friends.
Then finally, there are the Krays, they got sent down when they were young men in their prime. They were caged up for over thirty years only to come out in boxes…dead.
Not forgetting the aforementioned had never hurt a child or a woman and yet they get these inhumane sentences.
Obviously, crime did not pay for all of these guys. Time and again you will hear the same old reasons or excuses, the ‘what ifs…’ and ‘but if only…’. Maybe it could have paid for all of these old villains, but they were all careless or made major mistakes somewhere along the line, like we all do sometimes.
To put your trust in somebody is a very big risk to take. It was true in those days and is even more so nowadays. I did, and came very badly unstuck. I was enticed and tricked from my home in broad daylight, then ambushed in a house by a gang of young drug-crazed scum. I was held for two days and tortured. But my ordeal was fuck all compared to what these perverted, sick bastards did to the ordinary, inoffensive families around the city – but that is another story!
Huyton, Liverpool, 2002
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