Frankie Fraser

Frankie Fraser

Francis Davidson Fraser (born 13 December 1923, and better known as "Mad" Frankie Fraser) is a former British criminal and gang member who has spent more than half of his life in prison for numerous violent offences.

Early life

Born in Lambeth, London to Canadian and Irish parents, Fraser was a deserter during the Second World War, on several occasions escaping from his barracks. It was during the war that Fraser first became involved in serious crime, with the blackout and rationing, combined with the lack of professional policemen due to conscription, providing ample opportunities for criminal activities. In 1941, he was sent to Borstal for breaking into a Waterloo hosiery store and was then given a 15 month prison sentence at Wandsworth prison for shopbreaking. Such were the criminal opportunities during the war, Fraser later joked in a television interview that he'd never forgiven the Germans for surrendering.


After the war, Fraser continued where he left off, and was involved in a smash-and-grab raid on a jewellers (for which he received a two-year prison sentence, served largely at Pentonville prison). It was during this sentence that he was first certified insane and was sent to the Cane Hill Hospital, London, before being released in 1949. During the 1950s his main occupation was as bodyguard to well-known gangster Billy Hill. He took part in more bank robberies and spent more time in prison. He was again certified insane while at Durham prison and this time sent to Broadmoor. Aware of the punishments for bad behaviour in that institution, Fraser uncharacteristically stayed out of trouble and was released in 1955. In 1956, the British mobster Jack Spot and wife Rita were attacked, on Hill's say so, by "Mad" Frankie Fraser, Bobby Warren and at least half a dozen other men. Both Fraser and Warren were given seven years for their acts of violence. Some of gang name included Albert "The Acid Man" Reading.

Richardson gang

It was in the early 1960s that he first met Charlie and Eddie Richardson, members of the notorious Richardson gang and rivals to the Kray twins. According to Fraser, it was they who helped him avoid arrest for the Great Train Robbery (in which he played no part) by bribing a policeman. Together they set up the "Atlantic Machines" fruit machines enterprise, which acted as a front for the criminal activities of the gang. In 1966 Fraser was charged with the murder of Richard Hart while other members including Jimmy Moody were charged with affray. The witness changed his testimony and the charges were eventually dropped, though he still received a five year sentence for affray. Fraser has always maintained that, while he fought with Hart, he didn't shoot him. He was also implicated in the so-called "Torture trial", in which members of the gang were charged with burning, electrocuting and whipping those found guilty of disloyalty by a kangaroo court. Fraser himself was accused of pulling out the teeth of victims with a pair of pliers. In the trial at the Old Bailey in 1967 he was sentenced to ten years imprisonment.


Fraser's 42 years served in over 20 different prisons in the UK were often coloured by violence. He was involved in riots and frequently fought with prison officers and fellow inmates as well as attacking various governors. He was one of the ringleaders of the major Parkhurst prison riot in 1969, spending the following six weeks in the prison hospital, owing to his injuries. Involvement in such activities often led to his sentences being extended. He was released from prison in 1985, where he was met by his son in a Rolls Royce.Fact|date=February 2007

In 1991 Fraser was shot in the head from close range in an apparent murder attempt outside Turnmills club in Clerkenwell, London. He has always maintained that a policeman was responsible.

Truth about shooting

Frank Frasers claims of shooting richard hart are false the truth behind the matter is, Fraser aproached a man named Bill Gardner who was in Mr Smiths with the Haywards, Fraser said to Gardner that there was going to be a fight between the Haywards and the Richardsons (to whom Frank was with) with this Bill Gardner ask Fraser "you tooled up Frank?" Fraser said no and Gardner took out a .38 pistol and said "well, i am" Fraser begged for Gardner not to shoot him and Bill lowered the gun and shot him in the thigh shattering Fraser's hip. The fight ensued and witnesses saw Fraser being dragged out the club were he was later found by the police in a garden yards from the club.

Later life

Now in his 80s, Fraser has become something of a celebrity, appearing on television shows such as "Operation Good Guys", "Shooting Stars", and the satirical show "Brass Eye", where he said Noel Edmonds should be shot for killing Clive Anderson (an incident invented by the show's producers) and writing a bestselling autobiography. In 1999 he appeared at the Jermyn Street Theatre in London in a one man show, 'An Evening with Mad Frankie Fraser' (directed by Patrick Newley), which subsequently toured the UK.

He also appeared as East End crime boss Pops Den in the feature film "Hard Men" (directed by J.K. Amalou), a forerunner of Brit gangster movies such as "Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels".

He now gives gangland tours around London, where he highlights infamous criminal locations such as the Blind Beggar pub. He lives in the Walworth area of London.

Frankie Fraser is also a big Arsenal FC fan, even though his grandson Tommy Fraser plays for Brighton and Hove Albion. His other grandson, James Fraser, has just signed a short-term contract with Bristol Rovers. Fraser also regularly praises his granddaughter, Amy Fraser, for being the first Fraser to go to a grammar school.

The Feature Film

Classic Media Entertainment a London based award winning production company headed by Tyrone D Murphy has secured the film rights to Mad Frank's life and a feature film production is currently in development. The Company has recently cataloged Frank's life in a series of compelling interviews at their London studios, although some of the interviews were at times heated the feature film production has Mad Frank’s full endorsement. Frank was quoted as saying "I'm glad someone has at last come along and is telling my story the way it happened" The feature is a 5M budget and principle photography is scheduled for mid 2009. is the official film website


*cite book | author=Fraser, Frank & Morton, James | title= Mad Frank's Diary: A Chronicle of the Life of Britain's Most Notorious Villain | publisher=Virgin Books | year=2000| id=ISBN 1852278749
*cite book | author=Fraser, Frank & Morton, James | title=Mad Frank: Memoirs of a Life of Crime| publisher=Time Warner Paperbacks | year=1995| id=ISBN 0-7515-1137-4

External links

* [ Mad Frankie Fraser's feature film Website]

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