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Donald Hume is best known for beating a murder charge in England and then being caught for another murder in Switzerland.
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Donald Hume was born December 1919 in England. He was given up for adoption by his mother, setting the foundation for a bitterness against the world. A criminal associate of Hume's kicked his beloved dog in a dispute, leading Hume to kill and then dismember the victim and dump him in the English Channel. The prosecution was unable to convince the jury of his guilt and Hume served a shortened sentence.
When the torso of wealthy businessman Stanley Setty appeared in the Essex marshes outside London in 1949, police had a difficult case to crack. They eventually arrested Donald Hume, a business associate of Setty, but all they could prove was that Hume had dumped the body—they were unable to prove he had committed the murder. Hume was sentenced to 12 years imprisonment for being an accessory to murder. On his release in 1958 Hume admitted that he had killed Setty during an argument at his apartment, but now he was free to commit further evil—he was soon back in prison after killing a taxi driver in Switzerland.
Donald Hume's early life had been fraught with emotional tension and trauma. His experiences led him, by his own admittance in his book Confession, written while he was serving behind bars, to become a one-man vendetta against the world.
"I was born with a chip on my shoulder," he confessed, and this chip had grown from the moment he was abandoned at an orphanage by his mother. According to Hume, his issues with society grew from being illegitimate, deprived of a home and a mother's love, denied not only by her but also by other members of his family.
Hume was the illegitimate son of a school mistress, born in December 1919. He was shortly abandoned by his mother to the West Country orphanage, which he loathed, particularly the three old ladies who ran it.
The place was bleak and forbidding, but worse it was also lacking in any compassion for the children, who at that time were looked upon as the product of sin and treated accordingly. The proprietors even kept a parrot that shouted out the word bastard, just to remind the young residents of their lowly position in life.
Life in the orphanage was tough and devoid of the usual comforts expected in a family home. Often eight children would sleep in an iron bed and food was sparse. Punishments included being locked in a filthy, dank cellar for hours on end, but more disturbing was the creation by the proprietors of an eerie character known as the old green gypsy.
A member of staff would dress up in green garb and appear as a visitation to scare the children. The 'green gypsy' also carried a green walking stick that rattled as the amateur actor in drag performed their macabre act to scare the wits out of the young residents.
One day, after been locked in the cellar with a young girl for a misdemeanor, the two youngsters became terrified when they believed they were about to be visited by the Green Gypsy. But Hume recognized the feet under the Green Gypsy's dress as belonging to a member of staff, and in a fit of anger at being conned by a cruel myth, chased the member of staff with an axe.
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