The head of the East End gang was Walter “Shooter”
Menagle. He and his thugs earned thousands of pounds a
month from protection rackets, gambling syndicates and
general crime. One day, one of his trusted men asked him if
he could find a job for his nephew who was deaf and dumb.
“Sure,” said Menagle, “get him to be a runner for the
casinos. So young Ken joined the gang and went about his
business unnoticed by those around him until one fatal
morning when he and his uncle were called to Menagle’s
“Now listen and listen good,” said Menagle to the uncle.
“Your-low-down no-good nephew has been stealing money
from me. Bit by bit over these past few months, it’s added
up to over £1⁄4 million. I want it back. NOW. Go on, tell him.”
The shocked uncle turned to his nephew and in sign
language asked him what he had done with the money. Ken
shook his head and Menagle flew into a rage. Taking a gun
out of his jacket he aimed it at the boy’s head and screamed,
“Get that fu*ker to tell me where the money is or he can start to say his prayers.”
Again, the uncle asked his nephew in sign language and this
time the terrified boy responded by signing that he’d hidden
the money in his uncle’s garage.
“Well,” demanded Menagle. “What’s he saying?”
“He said he doesn’t believe you’d shoot him, he thinks you’ll