Charles "Charlie" William Richardson (18 January 1934 – 19 September 2012) was born in Brentford, West London to Eileen Elizabeth Mary (née Allen) and Charles Frederick Richardson, who had married the previous year in Camberwell, South London. The family soon moved back to Camberwell, where younger brother, Edward "Eddie" G Richardson, was born on 21 January 1935, followed by youngest sibling, Alan (born 1940). Charlie and Eddie turned to a life of crime after their father deserted the family.
An important member of the Richardson gang was George Cornell. Cornell was heavily involved in drug dealing, in purple hearts and dexys, uppers, downers and cannabis. He was also involved in pornography and may have been associated with criminal Jimmy Humphreys, whose arrest and the subsequent search of his home was responsible for the exposure of corrupt police officials in 1971, including Commander Ken Drury of the Flying Squad.
Humphreys was under investigation by another squad, and Drury refused to acknowledge his association with Humphreys even after Drury reportedly received a "Wish you were here" holiday postcard from him. Cornell was originally a member of an East End gang called "The Watney Streeters" and later became involved with the Krays. However, he changed sides around 1964 and allied himself with the Richardsons. Cornell was unstable, unpredictable and nearly caused an all-out war between the two gangs before his death when Ronnie Kray shot and killed him in 1966.
Frankie Fraser teamed up with the Richardson gang in the mid-1960s. His criminal career began at age 13 with theft.
During the Second World War his crimes escalated, including shopbreaking and desertion. He was a known associate of gangster Billy Hill throughout the 1950s. After joining the Richardsons, he served as their enforcer. Reportedly, Fraser's favourite brand of punishment was extracting teeth with pliers.