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Donald Hume (Paperback)

Notorious Bank Robber and Double Murderer

True Crime London P&S History 20th Century

By Dr Jonathan Oates
Imprint: Pen & Sword True Crime
Pages: 256
Illustrations: 30 black and white
ISBN: 9781526769664
Published: 15th May 2020


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The trial of the year in 1950 was of Donald Hume, a North London petty thief accused of stabbing car dealer Stanley Setty to death, of cutting up his corpse and dropping his body parts from an aeroplane. The press and public were horrified and fascinated by the details. But Hume was convicted and gaoled as an accessory – he later claimed his wife was guilty of the crime.

He then fled Switzerland, taking up with a Swiss woman in Zurich, but he needed money to finance his lavish lifestyle and he returned to robbery. He carried out two armed robberies, shooting a member of the bank staff, but getting clean away. Then in 1959 his attempt to rob a bank failed and he shot dead a bystander. Arrested, he stood trial and was sentenced to life, but was later deemed criminally insane and was returned to Britain and to Broadmoor.

Jonathan Oates’s compelling account of Hume’s notorious life of crime is based on extensive primary research. It sheds new light on Hume and his crimes, especially the murder of Setty, and gives the reader a rare insight into the criminal underworld of the time.

The book has a narrative style that races along, expressive, fluent, showing the author’s knowledge of analogous books he has already published. This is workmanlike in content and presentation and if you have an interest in post war crime and criminals this is one for you!

Robert Bartlett

About Dr Jonathan Oates

Dr Jonathan Oates is the Ealing Borough Archivist and Local History Librarian, and he has written and lectured on aspects of the history of London, including its criminal past. His books include several volumes on West London in the Images of London series as well as Foul Deeds and Suspicious Deaths in Ealing, Foul Deeds and Suspicious Deaths in Lewisham and Deptford and Unsolved Murders in Victorian and Edwardian London. He has also published a study of the Jacobite rebellion of 1745 and Sweet William or The Butcher? The Duke of Cumberland and the '45.

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