Best Known For
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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Strangely, his involvement with ant-fascist organizations, and in particular attending rallies to fight fascist politician Oswald Mosley in the streets in 1936, was perhaps motivated by a strong desire to get involved in physical fights and attack the police, rather than because he held socialist ideals and principles.
At the outbreak of the Second World War he joined the army, not out of loyalty to his country, which he felt had given him nothing ,
but out of the prospect of excitement that he believed the war would bring him. His criminal activities involved counterfeit booze making to supply to nightclubs and bars in London which suffered from a shortage of liquor. Hume sold Finlinson's Old English Gin, which was basically surgical spirits laced with a small amount of gin. He even bought an air force uniform and passed himself off as pilot officer Dan Hume.
Having peddled bootleg gin, Hume was now selling a bogus personality, passing off forged checks until he was finally discovered. His con trick activities often meant he socialized in London bars where he would make deals. It was in the Hollywood bar that he first encountered the physically imposing Stanley Setty with his flash suits and flamboyant ties. The 46-year-old car dealer had previously done business with Hume when the latter bought a van from him.
By this time Hume, having actually set up a legitimate electrician's business in north London, was now married with a child on the way. He was desperate to move on to bigger things, make money, and also have adventure. Both men realized that they could be useful to each other.
Hume was intrigued by Setty's blatant appearance of wealth and prosperity. He could see that the shady car dealer had already arrived at the coveted goal of unlimited easy money, something that himself was striving to reach.
Both men sized each other up and Setty realized that Hume could be useful in his operations.
Thus, Hume began to lead a double life. On one side he had the legitimate electrician's business and on the other he was working for Setty, basically doing his dirty work, undertaking the role of stealing suitable cars to match log-books that Setty possessed from wrecked cars. The substituted cars would then be re-sprayed and touched up.
Hume's ability to fly a plane was also useful for aerial smuggling anything from contraband to illegal aliens. There was a flourishing black market and Hume became known as the 'Flying Smuggler'. This sideline and his role stealing cars and forging petrol coupons for Setty was his main means of making money. He was indifferent to the idea of earning a living honestly. His electrician's trade, it appeared, was merely a temporary blip in his continuing fight against society.
In the summer of 1949, Hume was happier than he'd ever been. Cynthia, his wife gave birth to a little girl and, along with a respectable image and apartment, he had a legitimate business. His ego on the other hand was inflated by a deluded belief that he was part of the 'gangster' world - a world concocted from the many gangster movies he had gorged himself on week after week in the cinema.
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