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Gwreiddiau: Murray the Hump

Gwreiddiau: Murray the Hump

  • Sunday 1 April 8.30

Murray the Hump – Dafydd Wigley and the gangster in the family

In 1932, following the imprisonment of the notorious Al Capone, gangster Murray the Hump was named Public Enemy Number 1 by the FBI. His real name was Llewelyn Morris Humphreys and he was the son of a Welsh speaking couple with deep roots in Montgomeryshire.

His parents were Bryan Humphreys from Carno and Ann Wigley of Staylittle near Llyn Clywedog - the same family as Lord Dafydd Wigley. In two programmes Gwreiddiau: Murray the Hump, with the first on Sunday 25 March, Dafydd Wigley will trace the history of his third cousin, the gangster in the family.

"When I was a child, I remember watching the film The St Valentine's Day Massacre. Little did I think a Welshman, was part of it all, let alone that there was a family connection!" says Dafydd about the massacre in Chicago in 1929, which was one of the bloodiest chapters in the history of American gangsters.

"Some people believe that Murray Humphreys was involved in the shooting, and certainly played a role in the planning," says Dafydd.

What set the Hump apart from other gangsters was his understanding of how business, politics and the law worked. Although Murray preferred to negotiate rather than shooting and killing - the fact he organised the massacre means he was prepared to take all measures deemed necessary.

With extensive use of Murray Humphreys' home movies, the two programmes present new information about how the Welshman went about corrupting America. He controlled the film industry in Hollywood, was a friend of Frank Sinatra and the Rat Pack and was also responsible for developing the city of Las Vegas.

"One of the amazing things about Murray Humphreys is the way he managed to create Las Vegas. He bribed members of the state government to change the law to allow gambling. He owned two of the largest gambling hotels in the city, and as a consequence hundreds of millions of dollars flooded through to Chicago as a direct consequence of the activities of Murray Humphreys," says Dafydd.

Murray the Hump had such an influence, not even the White House managed to escape his corruption, and the programmes pay special attention to the gangster's connection with President JF Kennedy. They will reveal startling information about how Joe Kennedy, the father of the prospective President, turned to the Hump for help to ensure that his son would be the next U.S. President.

  • Sunday 1 April 8.30
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