John McVitie was well known as a hard man but better known under the alias of Jack ‘The Hat’.
Prematurely balding Jack had taken to always wearing a trilby to hide his bald patch.
Frankie Fraser once said of him “he was a lovely man”, but that was before the drink and drugs took hold.
In 1967 Jack was dealing in drugs and taking them as well, which made him loud and abusive.
In the weeks leading up to his death he had amassed a catalogue of behaviour that included threatening the Twins, causing damage in a club belonging to Freddie Foreman, attempting to shoot Tommy Flannegan in the Regency club and most recently he had been stopped from gaining entry to the same club for being drunk and abusive.
The Krays were silent partners in the business and so when Jack came back later threatening to shoot the Barry brothers, who were the owners it wasn’t long before Ron and Reg got to hear about it.
Jack had been warned on numerous occasions about his conduct but add to that the fact he had accepted money from Ron to shoot Leslie Payne and had failed to carry out the hit and its fair to say Jack was skating on very thin ice.
The night before his death he had received another warning from Reg, when he visited Jack as he was drinking in the Regency club.
Reg had gone to collect the £100 that McVitie had accepted to kill Payne but felt sorry for the state Jack was in and gave him £50 back.
When Ron found out he was incandescent.
The following evening Jack was lured to a party at Evering Road at Blonde Carol’s
Ronnie was already there when Jack arrived along with Reg and some other members of the ‘firm’.
An argument between Ron and Jack started and instead of accepting the verbals Ron was giving him Jack got angrier and more abusive.
Then Reg produced a gun but when he pulled the trigger it didn’t work.
He tried again but the gun was jammed.
Sensing his life was in real danger now Jack tried to jump out of the nearby window but was pulled back by the others.
Reg then grabbed a knife from the table and repeatedly stabbed Jack in the chest and face until he was dead.
The twins were quick to leave the scene and left the Lambrianou brothers, Ronnie Bender and Connie Whitehead to clear up the mess.
The body was wrapped in bedsheets and driven by Tony Lambrianou to South London where it was left outside a church on the other side of the Rotherhithe tunnel.
Not the smartest of places to leave it as it was smack bang in the middle of Freddie Foreman’s patch.
The body is another that has never been found, but Freddie Foreman has since admitted to helping dispose of it.