Frances Shea is a beautiful Irish girl from Bethnal Green in East London. Her father Frank ran gambling at the Regents Club in Stoke Newington. There, Francis met the infamous Cray twins. Ronnie Kray and Reggie Kray were major perpetrators of organised crime (gangs) in East London in the 1950s and 1960s.
Frances Shea met Reggie Kray when she was 16. Two years later, Reggie proposed to her in 1961. Francis, however, rejected the polity, believing he was too young to marry, as Reggie was only 27 at the time. Even when Reggie Clay went to prison, he wrote her several letters. Four years later, he tried his luck again, and this time Francis Shea accepted. In 1965, Reggie and Francis were married at St James’ Church in Bethnal Green, despite her parents’ disapproval. Even the priest refused to officiate the wedding, but the second priest accepted.
The couple plans to spend their honeymoon in Athens, Greece. After two months of marriage, Frances Clay left her husband and returned to her parents. She even attempted suicide due to an overdose of barbiturates. Reggie refused to leave her alone, and by 1967 the two were reconciled, but not yet living together. The couple even planned to spend a second honeymoon in Ibiza in the summer of 1967, but that didn’t happen. Reggie Clay physically and emotionally abused Frances.
Once, he cut his own hand and forced her to watch it drip blood. Reggie Clay’s younger brother, Ronnie Clay, is gay; even Reggie is claimed to be bisexual. After their deaths, documents revealed that they had an incestuous relationship. Still, Reggie Clay was married twice.
On June 7, 1967, Frances Shea attempted suicide by taking an overdose of sleeping pills and took her own life. She did it at 23.
Reggie Clay paid for her funeral, which included extensive floral displays, including a wreath more than six feet tall with her name written on it. Her parents told Reggie Clay that their daughter’s last wish was to restore her maiden name, but he insisted that she be buried under her marriage name and in her white satin wedding dress. Mrs. Shea, however, persuaded the Undertaker to dress the body in tights and a petticoat so that her body would come into contact with the nasty garment as little as possible.
A few months later, Reggie Clay murdered Jack D. McVeity and was arrested and sentenced to life in prison the following year. Before her arrest, Reggie visited Frances’ grave several times. When he was allowed to attend his brother Charlie’s funeral, he visited her grave and kissed the headstone.