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Joey Pyle: Notorious - The Changing Face of Organised Crime

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Then a lorry drew up and, as rain began to spit on the gathering, the flowers were hammered to the side of its trailer, creating a bright advertising board-style sweep of colour. But it was behind these doors that "Big Joey" Pyle, a major player in the notorious London underworld of the 1960s, had lived until his death a fortnight ago. But there was no mistaking the genuine affection in which he was held by the people who had gathered to grieve. Thompson, Tony (23 March 2003). "Women become the targets in gangland's killing spree". The Guardian . Retrieved 16 October 2023. Pyle Sr, Joseph; Pyle Jr, Joseph (2018). Like Father Like Son: A Journey of Minds. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform.

verifyErrors }}{{ message }}{{ /verifyErrors }}{{ When he turned professional Pyle lost his first fight, but then was unbeaten in his subsequent 23 bouts. "As far as I was concerned," he said, "I was a professional boxer – that was how I was making my living, Everything else was the icing on the cake," [53] although this self-characterisation wasn't to last long. Occasionally, Pyle's wide circle of acquaintances in the criminal underworld and his power within it had deadly consequences. On one occasion in 1976, Pyle was driven by Terry Marsh to the airport to fly to Monte Carlo to watch the Monzón– Valdez fight. While in Monaco he received a message saying that "Mad" Ronnie Fryer had stabbed and killed Marsh following a bust-up in Tooting. The cause of the argument had been Fryer's jealousy that Pyle had asked Marsh to drive to the airport, not him. Several weeks later, Fryer committed suicide in his Brixton Prison cell. [35]Then it was time for Joey Pyle to be laid to rest. A select few, family members and close friends, gathered round his graveside and the American soul singer Jocelyn Brown sang as his coffin was lowered into the ground. One of Pyle's gambling scams was to take high-rollers for week-long trips to a Joe Nesline casino in Yugoslavia, and using a number of means – crooked dice, bringing his people along to pose as gamblers, assuring the gamblers that the dealer would feed them chips – by the end of the week the high-rollers had lost everything. To make things look legitimate, there were plenty of winners at the casino among the British visitors, but they were all employed by Pyle. [25] Underworld fixer [ edit ] Finally -should I allow my name to be published and run the risk of "the boys" being sent round? I'll let the editor decide on that one. Pyle released a book of poems and other writings – Like Father Like Son: A Journey of Minds – with his son, Joe Pyle Jr. [58] Pyle ran a film company called "Touchdown", [59] which made a number of films, including a music video by Gary Numan [11] and a documentary about politics in the Seychelles, filmed covertly in the country under the pretext of being a nature film. The film was a vehicle for a former president, James Mancham – at the time in exile in London – to attempt to regain power. [60] Touchdown Films was based in Pinewood Studios, and was where "Lucy" placed the bug that helped in Pyle's conviction on the opium and heroin charge in 1992. [45] Retirement [ edit ]

These adverts enable local businesses to get in front of their target audience – the local community. Some of the roads near the church had to be closed and the church and surrounding area was crowded with more than a thousand people for the ceremony. Talk among mourners, openly at least, was not of gangland exploits but of his generosity over 20 years to children's charities. Joseph Henry Pyle (2 November 1937 – 17 February 2007), known as Joey Pyle or Joe Pyle, was an English gangland boss, convicted criminal, and pioneer and promoter of unlicensed boxing, who operated in London from the 1950s until his final arrest and conviction in 1992. An associate of the Krays and the Richardsons, and "one of the most feared members of the London underworld", [2] he was known as the "London Don of Dons" by the New York Mafia. [3] Less well known to the general public that many of his contemporaries in the underworld, Pyle was a key police target during his criminal career, but although arrested and charged many times, he seldom served time in prison, unlike many of the gangland figures with whom he was associated. Woodland, David I. (2015). Crime and Corruption at The Yard: Downfall of Scotland Yard. Pen and Sword.

Was Joey Pyle Sr married?

With the encouragement of his parents, both keen fans, Pyle joined the Tiverton and Preedy Athletics and Boxing Club as a boy, where world flyweight champion Terry Allen trained. [5] After the family move to Carshalton, he trained there, and reached the quarter-finals of the All England Championships. [52] Bruce Reynolds, the man behind the Great Train Robbery, was there. So too was Charlie Richardson, once the most feared gangster in London. Spado, Ori; Griffin, Dennis N. (2019). The Accidental Gangster: From Insurance Salesman to Mob Boss of Hollywood. WildBlue Press.

In his late teens, Pyle faced the choice of being a professional boxer – he paid his dues in boxing booths at travelling fairs, and contested over 20 professional fights – or a career criminal. He chose crime. Pyle's father, a thief as well as a sportsman himself, asked him when he was nineteen whether he wanted to be a boxer or a thief. Pyle replied, "Dad, I think I want to be a thief." [12] Criminal career [ edit ] Armed robbery [ edit ] Ninety-nine per cent of the people at the Krays' funerals had not met them, but everyone here knew Joey. He connected people up." Thompson, Tony (21 November 2004). "Arch-villains pull off one last heist - stealing the limelight". The Guardian . Retrieved 15 October 2023. Preferring the climate of California, Pyle left for Palm Springs, where he met Bobby Milano of the Los Angeles crime family on Pagano's recommendation, [49] and later reputed Gambino soldier and music industry figure Joe Isgro, who, via payola, was alleged to control airplay on US radio and thereby the chances a record had of reaching the charts. Pyle hit it off with Isgro, "getting involved with little bits and pieces", and Isgro asked him if he could help provide the same service in Europe regarding airplay that he had going in the States. [50] Pyle also knew Ori Spado, Hollywood fixer and gangster, and associate of Colombo family underboss Sonny Franzese. Spado referred to Pyle as "my best friend". [51] Boxing [ edit ]

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After leaving jail in 1997, he insisted his life of crime was behind him. But this funeral was still considered a fearsome occasion by many, and most of the pubs in the surrounding area remained conspicuously closed throughout the day.

On 25 April 1960, only four days into the trial, Mr Justice Gorman halted proceedings, saying, "Certain information has been brought to my notice which makes it impossible for this case to be continued for trial before this jury." [18] After a second trial at the Old Bailey, Pyle, along with Nash and Read, was acquitted of murder, [1] but he was given an 18-month sentence for assaulting Cooney before he was shot. [11]

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Mr Courtney delivered a tribute to his friend: "He was a man among men and treated everybody the same. He was truly blessed and everybody that ever had the pleasure of meeting him will tell you that." Thomson, Tony (5 October 2003). "Gun crime spreads 'like a cancer' across Britain". The Guardian . Retrieved 15 October 2023. In the early 1960s, he went on trial for the murder of a nightclub owner but was acquitted at a second trial after the first had collapsed because of the intimidation of jurors. A police helicopter buzzed in the sky above the cemetery to ironic smiles from the shaven-headed men: the police had always found it hard to get close to Joey.

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