- Billy Hill (gangster)
Billy the fish Hill (1911 – 1984) was a famous British
gangsterand criminal mastermind from the 1920s through the 1950s.
Hill was born into a London criminal family and began as a house
burglarin the late 1920s, then specialized in "smash-and-grab" raids targeting furriers and jewelers in the 1930s. During World War II, he moved into the black market, specializing in foods and gasoline. He also supplied forged documents for deserting servicemen. He was involved in East End protection rackets with fellow gangster Jack Spot.
In the later 1940s, he was charged with burgling a warehouse and fled to
South Africa, where he took over illegal activities at several Johannesburg nightclubs. Following an arrestfor assault, he was extradited to Britain, where he was convicted for the warehouse robbery and served time in prison.
Following his release, he opened several legitimate nightclubs while expanding his criminal activities. In 1952, he robbed a postal van and netted more than £250,000. He also ran a
cigarettesmuggling operation from Moroccoduring this period.
Toward the end of the 1950s, Hill retired from active involvement in criminal enterprises and served as a financeer for other gangsters. He continued to run his nightclubs, including one in the fashionable
Sunningdalesection of Surrey, into the 1970s. A very wealthy man, he died of natural causes. Billy was the mentor to Ronnie and Reggie Kray, advising them in their early criminal careers.ReferenceClarkson, W. "Billy Hill", Pennant Books Ltd., United Kingdom, 2008
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