Gangland Glasgow & its Notorious Past
Glasgow it appears, still struggles to rid itself from its “no mean city” tag, as a spate of shootings draws the media’s attention once again to Glasgow’s nefarious and murky underworld. It is feared that a new bloody gang war is taking hold of the city.
In the last three months alone there has been a number of violent shootings, with one person been kidnapped, held prisoner and tortured for two days. He was later found by a member of the general public, ditched at the side of a road in the affluent Stewartfield area of East Kilbride. Both his knees had been shot, commonly known as being “kneecapped”.
Following the weekend’s latest shooting, in the Royston area of the city, it seems that Glasgow’s notorious image for severe violence is still a common factor and shows no sign of sign of abating.
Here are some of the most terrifying gangland incidents to happen in Glasgow’s, each once cementing and adding to the city’s already fearsome reputation.
The assassination of Frank McPhie
Frank McPhie has been a well known gangster throughout Glasgow. In and out of jail for a variety of nefarious actions, he had been tried twice for murder and both times escaped with a not proven verdict. He had been tried but not convicted of an armed robbery, eventually, however he was convicted of being involved in a £200,000 pounds drug deal of which he received an 8 year prison sentence.
Whilst in jail he was tried for the murder of fellow inmate William Toye, although the jury arrived at a not proven verdict. Frank McPhie’s reputation began to rise, (in no small part for his ability to avoid murder charges). However his luck would eventually run out.
In the year 2000 he parked his van on Kelvindale Road and walked the short journey toward his home on Guthrie Street, a walk he never completed. As McPhie neared the entrance to his close, a deafening shot rang out and he slumped to the ground. He had been shot once with a sniper rifle from a nearby block of flats. He died at the scene of the crime. Several people were linked to the assassination, but no-one convicted. The case to this day remains unsolved.
The Ice Cream Wars
A crime that truly horrified the world, in Glasgow’s East End a feud had erupted between rival gangs in who would control a lucrative ice cream van route. However the vans were a good money earner not for selling plenty of ice cream but under the counter illegal activities. Drugs, counterfeit cigarettes, stolen goods etc were regularly sold from the ice cream vans. The violence escalated from threats, to arson, firearm attacks until eventually the tit for tat actions culminated in one of the most brutal acts of violence ever seen in Britain.
An unknown culprit poured petrol over the door of the Doyle family residence and set it alight, effectively burning the family, who were sleeping indoors, alive. Six members of the Doyle family died because Andrew Doyle refused to be pressurised into selling drugs from the ice cream van.
One of the six victims was an 18 month old baby.
TC Campbell and Joe Steele were wrongly convicted of the crime and served 20 years in jail before having their conviction overturned. No one else has been convicted of the crime.
The murder of Arthur “Fatboy” Thompson Jr
Arthur “Godfather” Thompson was a man to be feared, ruthlessly ruling the Glasgow underworld for more than 30 years, he was personal friends with the infamous Kray twins and it was alleged that Thompson who began his criminal career as a loan shark, would crucify people to their doors if they failed to pay their debts. It was further alleged that Arthur Thompson’s son was being groomed to take over the family business upon his father’s death. It turned out however that Arthur Thompson Snr would be faced with the horrifying responsibility of burying his slain son.
The resulting criminal trial became the longest in Scottish judicial history at a cost of £4 million pounds to the tax payer, which resulted in no convictions. Paul Ferris, the only person accused of the assassination was acquitted and walked free from court.
Arthur “Fatboy” Thompson Jr was shot during weekend leave from prison, he was ambushed just outside his home nicknamed “Ponderosa”.
Joe “Bananas” Hanlon and Bobby Glover were found dead in a Ford Orion on the day of Thompson Jr’s funeral. It is alleged that they were revenge killings following Thompson Jr being shot three times in the back and once in the anus. The common term of which is a “Glasgow send off”.
Again, to this day, the murder of Thompson Jr, Hanlon and Glover all remain unsolved.