Jimmy Moody

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Jimmy Moody
Born 27 February 1941 (1941-02-27)
Looe, Cornwall England
Died 1 June 1993 (1993-07) (aged 52)
The Royal public house, Hackney, East London
Other names Big Jim
Occupation Armed Robber, Reputed Contract Killer and Prison escapee
James "Big Jim" Moody

James Alfred 'Jimmy' Moody born in Looe, Cornwall on the 27 February 1941 to a mother who was a wartime evacuee from Camberwell, south east London. His father was killed during WW2 after his ship was torpedoed by a U-boat. Moody was a British gangster and hitman whose career spanned more than four decades and included run-ins with Jack Spot, Billy Hill, "Mad" Frankie Fraser, the Krays, the Richardsons and the Provisional IRA.

Moody was the number one enforcer for the Richardsons, did freelance "work" for the Krays, and became one of the most feared criminals to emerge from the London underworld all before he reached the age of 30. He was considered by many of his peers to be "the Hardest man in London". In the 1970s, Moody joined a team of criminals to form the Chainsaw Gang who went on to become that decade's most successful armed robbers. At this time he could be very blase about the nature of his work, for instance according to his biographer Wensley Clarkson, although he was a kind and devoted family man he often cleaned his shotguns on the kitchen table in front of his family and once even asked his wife to lend him her tights as a mask for a disguise.

Moody was convicted of manslaughter in 1967 for the killing of a young merchant navy steward. He was released in 1972, however he was sent in 1979 on remand to Brixton Prison to await trial for armed robbery.[1] His cellmate was Provisional IRA member Gerard Tuite. In 1980 the two men escaped and went on the run. Soon, his murderous skills were being put to use as he became a paid hitman for the Provos against their own. Moody did not care for politics, just a paid job and was never a member of the IRA or a republican sympathiser.

By the late 1980s, Moody realised he was in danger of overstaying his welcome in Ireland and, inevitably, the lure of London persuaded him to return home. He believed his reputation as a hired killer would keep him one step ahead of trouble - and the law. But the London he returned to was a very different place. Huge drug deals - mainly involving ecstasy and cocaine - rather than armed robbery were financing many criminals' lavish lifestyles. The stakes were higher and so were the profits. By the early 1990s, Moody's list of enemies read like a who's who of criminals from both sides of the water. Then there were the police, the Royal Ulster Constabulary and the British security services. Moody was shot dead in June 1993 in the Royal Hotel (now Royal Inn on the Park) in Hackney, East London by an unknown assassin.

Moody's family still remain a well-known close family among East London, his wife Val lives in Hullbridge, Essex, a beloved place of Moody's when he was on the run. Janine and her two children live in Kent, a much better scene for the children to live than among the crime-rife life of East London. The apple of Jimmy's eye, Chayce was perhaps the only person ever to make Jimmy think about his life. Jimmy's son Jason also lives in Essex with his three children.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Greg Lewis (2003-09-28). "Mad Frankie taunts police over double murder". Icwales.icnetwork.co.uk. Retrieved 2011-09-19.