William “Billy” Charles Hill (13 December 1911 – 1 January 1984) was an English criminal, linked to smuggling, protection rackets, and extreme violence. He was one of the foremost perpetrators of organised crime in London from the 1920s through to the 1960s. He project managed cash robberies and, in a clever scam, defrauded London’s High Society of millions at the card tables of John Aspinall’s Clermont Club- Wikipedia.
Billy Hill was a well known British gangster his ghosted autobiography, Boss of Britain’s Underworld, had already appeared, and he also liked to be known as the Bandit King. He was thrilled to be mentioned in the film and never tired of talking about it. Hill died in 1984 and the book is an epitaph, in a way, for an era when criminals actually courted the limelight.
The man himself was pretty vicious but with somewhat of a reason as i can tell from this quote from Billy Hill himself when someone foolishly shoved a glass into his face: “It stuck there like a dart in a dartboard. I pulled the glass out of my face with one hand and my chiv out of my pocket with the other. Then I got to work doing a bit of hacking and carving. I don’t know how many blokes I cut that night. I didn’t care … “. As ruthless as they are gangsters are much adored by the modern public and are seen as satins angels if you will because we love making movies and writing into history they’re elaborate plans of deceit for government and there interesting look and actions upon life itself.
Some people might think gangsters like Billy Hill were soulless murderers but they in fact are quite noble in there own way so to speak as you can see from this other quote from Billy Hill “I was always careful to draw my knife down on the face, never across or upwards. Always down. So that if the knife slips you don’t cut an artery. After all, chivving is chivving, but cutting an artery is usually murder. Only mugs do murder.”
He was embedded with the community just like everyone else. The ways he did this was by allowing a director to quote him in the British comedy film called ‘Carlton-Browne of the F.O.’ in a scene were a member of the royal family is thrown out the pub and he quotes “I don’t care if your Billy Hill” and slams the door. He also liked to be well known as the ‘Bandit King’ amongst the public and news reporters around Britain.
Campbell, D. (2008) When crime grabbed the limelight. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/society/2008/jul/30/biography.billyhill (Accessed: 21 November 2016).