Drug baron, armourer to the Kray twins, public schoolboy and gambler, Colin Osborne Duke to his underworld friends went through the whole gamut of criminal life before he was found dead on Hackney Marshes, east London, on Wednesday, December 3rd, 1980.
That same year he had masterminded a scheme to smuggle drugs from Pakistan. Four successful runs were made, netting around £10 million at street prices. The last operation, involving some £2.5 million of cannabis, was monitored by a joint police and customs exercise during which Osbornes accomplice, Lennie Watkins, shot and killed a customs officer.
Watkins was arrested, jailed for life, and committed suicide in prison. The Duke vanished. Two months later he was dead.
Some say he died of a heart attack, possibly during questioning by his former underworld colleagues. It was thought that his body was kept in a freezer while a decision was made about its disposal.