Roy Shaw is a self-proclaimed criminal. A couple of months ago I read his autobiography entitled ”Pretty Boy.” It was a farrago of bragging, dishonesty and nauseating self-justification.
Shaw was born in London in the 1930s. He grew up in a working class family. His father was killed in a road accident just after the war. I felt deeply sorry for him at this point. He was orphaned but this elicited no sympathies from his schoolfellows. He was monstrously bullied. One might have thought the barbaric treatment meted out to him would cause him to turn against such repugnant behaviour. In fact it had the opposite effect. He patently decided – if you cannot beat them join them. According to Shaw he stood up for himself and beat off the scum who were mistreating him. Soon he became an accomplished bully himself. It makes me call to mind W H Auden’s dictum ”Those to whom evil is done do evil in return.” But it was not in return. He did not retaliate against hard men. He picked on the vulnerable.
He did some dead end jobs. He was called up by the army. He was truculent and punched a sergeant who humiliated him. Shaw claims to have been valiant and defiant whilst in the military prison in Colchester. He was so stalwart that the army more or less gave in. ‘
Roy Shaw seems to have suffered from a profound sense of inadequacy. He was thus compelled to constantly reaffirm his self worth by attacking people. In a dance hall in Germany he wanted to dance with a woman. There was a list – one had to wait for dances. Rather than wait for his turn he began throwing punches. According to Shaw’s self serving account he took on men twice his size and was never bested. He only capitulated when he was full of beer and the police trained their guns on him. He said he punched the commanding officer of his regiment in the face.
If all this is true then he is not a hard man. He is a psychopath. He is uncontrollably violent. He does not use violence in a rationale but unethical manner to gain things. He uses it to simply express his being.
Roy Shaw was out of the army. He was soon concerned in petty crime. He and his mate robbed a bookmaker’s house. There was no planning. They assaulted the poor man at his house in front of his wife and children. Terrifying those children was a wicked thing to do. He happily stole the hard earned earnings of others. But when it came to his property he behaved like a petulant child. If someone touched something he considered to be his then he reacted with fury.
Roy Shaw was soon banged up for robbery with violence. He showed no nous. He befriend the worst swine in the place. By their friends shall you know them. They then assaulted the doctor and stole his car. It was a particularly contemptible and revolting thing to do. The doctor who cared for them who may have saved their lives.
Shaw made it back to London. He tried to get into boxing but his criminal record prevented this. AFter a few months he was picked up and was back in the nick.
He contradicts himself. On one page he says the police are idiotic. On the same page he remarks ”the old Bill ain’t stupid.” So who is really stupid? It is him for not getting his story straight.
Shaw fell for a Maltese lady. He went to Malta to marry the waitress. He showed his incredible stupidity by throwing beer over a statue of the Virgin Mary. His in laws were mortally offended. He was crass and unfunny. He managed to start fights over the most trifling misunderstandings just after his wedding. What a moron he was. SOme family man! Getting himself arrested while on honeymoon.
Shaw committed a major robbery in the early 1960s. Soon was serving a very long sentence. His children were growing up without him and it was all his fault. He had done a lot of harm to others. He had deprived other people and their children of money. He had caused pain and injury to others. The anguish his egotism and savagery inflicted were severe.
Roy Shaw was sent to Broadmoor. He was diagnonsed mentally ill. If I were the keepers I would have injected him so much that he would have been left a vegetable.
He is self righteous. He pretends to think there is right and wrong. It is an odd code of ethics. Stealing is totally acceptable. Brutalising innocent people is moral. But then he has the nerve to demand his rights. What about the rights of others? He spoke about taking liberties? That is quite right. He was depriving other people of their freedom. He was also particularly idiotic as criminals go. He always managed to get caught. As he said himself it is not smart to spend years incarcerated.
He bragged about the bestial assaults he supposedly carried out on other criminals. He also claimed to have set fire to a nightclub and burned the people inside. This is a blatant porky pie. Did he really burn men and women to death? That is bull. If he did he would have been up for murder. He even named the nightclub. He is such a pathetic specimen that he cannot tell the truth about anything of importance. He seems to think it would be something to be proud of. Then he goes on to claim he never hurt women.
He treated his long suffering wife as a slave. He was idiotic enough to commit crimes and be sent to gaol. Yet he wanted her to don prison widow’s weeds. He was then tactless enough to insult her appearance when she came along.
Roy Shaw’s wife left him. A man began a relationship with her. Shaw claims that he had the Krays murder his ex-wife’s boyfriend. It shows how evil he was if he really did organised the murder of a man for doing what he had the perfect right to do. This woman wanted some happiness. Shaw was so possessive and infantile that he wanted someone to die for bringing more gladness into the world. It is probably yet another boastful falsehood. Yet it is telling.
Roy was finally released. He went back to his wife’s house. He claimed to have thrown her new boyfriend off a balcony. Again if that is true is reflect even more discredit on him as a brute.
He had no regard for the rights or feelings of others. Yet when something was not as he wanted he behaved like a spoilt toddler.
He was involved in a little theft in the 1970s. He also became involved in protection rackets. By his own admission he was soon humiliated by bouncers refusing him entry to clubs.
He rose to prominence as a bare knuckle fighter in the 1970s. This is not noble pugilism. This is sheer barbarity. This is outside the Marquess of Queensberry rule’s. He and his opponent claimed they would fight to the death. Like most of his statements it was hot air. They chickened out long before that.
This book has pace and is passably written. It is a tissue of lies. This is all bunkum. It is depressing that there are enough idiots who think that filth like Roy Shaw deserve some admiration. He is a low down stinking thief and is worthy only of the greatest disdain. It is a pity that he did not spend the whole of his life behind bars.