Jack "Spot" Comer born Jacob Colmore was an English gangster from Mile End and Whitechapel, and was active from the mid-thirties to the mid-fifties. The Krays looked up to Spot, who influenced them heavily on their life of crime.
Born Jacob Colmore in Mile End, London the youngest of four children, Comer's father was a Jewish tailor's machinist who had moved to London with his wife from Łódź, Poland in 1903. To assimilate more into English society, the Comacho family changed their name from Comacho to Colmore, and later to Comer. His mother's maiden name was Lifschinsky.
Jack Comer grew up in a Jewish ghetto street in Fieldgate Mansions, Whitechapel, along the west side of Myrdle Street, across from the Irish in terraced houses along the east side. At age of seven Jack had joined his first gang, which was made up of boys from the Jewish side of Myrdle Street who fought their Catholic rivals from the other end of the street. "Spot" soon started being called "spotty" because he had a big black mole on his left cheek.
"Spot" Comer claimed to have taken part in the Battle of Cable Street. In his version of events, Spot and his mob charged into the fascists with full power injuring as many Blackshirts and police as possible. "Spot" found himself alone and was surrounded by police with truncheons. He was badly beaten and sent to hospital, then prison. However, the Battle of Cable Street was fought virtually entirely between police and Jewish communists, the reason for this was that police had directed the Blackshirts away from the planned route of the march. Mosley instead held his rally in Hyde Park, making Comer's story extremely unlikely. In the post-war era however Comer was involved in funding the 43 Group, a Jewish street gang that clashed with the equally violent supporters of the Union Movement and other more minor far-right groups.
Comer allegedly financed and masterminded the raid on BOAC's secure warehouse at Heathrow Airport, on 28 July 1948. The raid was foiled by the Flying Squad in what became known as 'The Battle of Heathrow".
Decline and later years
Spot's control of the East End rackets waned in 1952 when Comer's former partner, gangster Billy Hill, was released from prison after Jack Spot's failed £1.25 million heist on Heathrow Airport. Off-course bookmaking was also about to become legalized at this time, creating another dent in Spot's income.
In 1954 Comer attacked Sunday People crime journalist Duncan Webb and was fined £50. He was accused of possession of a knuckle-duster and convicted of grievous bodily harm. In 1955 he was arrested following a knife fight with Albert Dimes. That Spot was cleared of the stabbing charge, he put down to ‘the greatest lawyer in history’, his barrister Rose Heilbron.
In 1956, Spot and his then wife Rita were attacked outside their Paddington home - by "Mad" Frankie Fraser and Bobby Warren. Both Fraser and Warren were given seven years in prison. Spot "retired" and progressively withdrew from crime.
|People associated with The Krays|
|Kray Family||Ronnie • Reggie • Charlie • Violet • Charles|
|Shea Family||Frances • Frank • Elsie • Frank Sr.|
|Lee Family||Cannonball Lee • Grandma Lee • Aunt Rose • Aunt May • Uncle John|
|The Firm||Albert Donoghue • Ian Barrie • Leslie Payne • Big Pat • Ronnie Bender • Ronnie Hart • Teddy Smith • Jack Dickson • The Bear • Chris Lambrianou • Tony Lambrianou • Connie Whitehead|
|The Richardsons||Charlie Richardson • Eddie Richardson • George Cornell • Mad Frankie Fraser • Roy Hall • Jimmy Moody • Barry Harris • Albert Longman • Tommy Clark|
|Gangsters & Criminals||Freddie Foreman • Jack Spot • Billy Hill • Bert Rossi • Albert Dimes • Eric Mason • Johnny Squibb • Ginger Marks • Leslie Holt|
|Civilians||The Barmaid • Blonde Carol • Maureen Flanagan • Nipper Read • Lord Boothby • John Pearson • David Bailey|
|Victims||George Cornell • Frank Mitchell • Jack the Hat|