“I am not nippy enough to smash windows and jump into cars anymore.”
In 1985 Fraser was released from jail for the last time. He says he owes his straight patch to his girlfriend, Marilyn Wisbey, daughter of the Great Train Robber, Tommy Wisbey. He met her again in his nephew’s wine bar near Charing Cross Road. She was the singer. Appropriately enough, she won him over with her rendition of Patsy Cline’s ‘Crazy.’
Marilyn invited him to go with her to visit her dad in HM Prison Parkhurst. It was their first date. She forgot to include Fraser on the visiting order. Predictably, one prison officer recognised him and surprisingly, they let him in. After that, Marilyn and Fraser were inseparable. This was despite the fact that Fraser not only had a girlfriend, Val, but also a wife, Doreen. But Fraser wasn’t worried about marrying Marilyn without a divorce. As he said:
‘Bigamy won’t matter with my record.’
In 1991, ‘The Independent’ reported that Fraser had been shot dead outside a London club. Two years later the paper interviewed him, now aged 70, and admitted reports of his demise were ‘premature’. But he was shot at and Fraser is convinced it was undercover police that pulled the trigger. The police suspect a gangland hit. Fraser again credited Marilyn for saving him by pulling him out of the line of fire of the next shot.
CON TO ICON
Proving that the wages of sin are royalties, in 1995, Fraser released ‘Mad Frankie: Memoirs of a Life of Crime.’ This was to be the first of four books. In 1999 he published ‘Mad Frankie and Friends’. 2001 saw ‘Mad Frankie’s Diary: A Chronicle of the Life of Britain’s Most Notorious Villain’ and 2003 saw the release of his fourth cash in, ‘Mad Frankie’s Britain’.
As part of his rehabilitation into civilised society, the BBC even made him into a series producer for its series, ‘The Underworld’. During these years, he became a cult celebrity appearing on numerous shows either as himself, or as a send up of himself. He earned money from after dinner speaking and criminal tours of his old stomping grounds.
In 2009, an application was made to the Criminal Cases Review Commission over the ‘Torture Trial.’ The application was based on the fact that Fraser had approached Sir Lawton before and the judge, having a prior connection, should have recused (excused) himself. Fraser had claimed this for years.
Fraser received an ASBO in 2011 for arguing with another resident at his care home in Bermondsey.
In 2012, now aged 88, Fraser attended Charlie Richardson’s funeral. The career criminal now needed a cane. He still expressed no remorse for his past.
“The only regret I have is being caught.”
Interviewed in December 2012, Fraser said that he thought that Ray Winston would be a ‘very good’ choice to play him in a film of his life.