GONE SHOPPING: THE STORY OF SHIRLEY PITTS, QUEEN OF THIEVES
When Shirley Pitts died tragically young in 1992, the most famous faces of the criminal underworld were present or represented at her funeral. Even the Krays sent their condolences. Fourteen ‘rollers’ accompanied the coffin to the graveside and a huge floral tribute in the shape of a Harrods bag carried the epitaph “Gone Shopping”.
Shirley Pitts, the eldest of six children was born upside down on 24 November 1934. The birth nearly killed her mother who swore blind that Shirley’s feet “were hanging down for days …”. Her father was sent to prison in 1941 and Shirley aged 7 became the adult of the family. Her ‘career’ began then, thieving bread off doorsteps and coal from coal-carts. Her father’s inadequacies made Shirley resolve not only to be a first-class thief but also the best mother her six children could wish for.
Before she died, Shirley told her story to Lorraine Gamman – the story of a generous, brave and beautiful woman with a huge sense of fun and a love of life. She moved among big criminals – she was big time herself, but she did it her way and her story is moving, funny and unique.View all Books