It was an ironically mundane end to a life of crime, infamy, and brutality. On November 23, 1965, 66-year-old Murray Humphreys was vacuuming in his apartment in Chicago when he suffered a fatal heart attack.

Humphreys, better known by his nicknames The Hump or The Camel, was one of the most powerful gangsters of America's underworld. A henchman of the notorious Al Capone (aka Scarface), he was skilled in money laundering, blackmail, corruption, racketeering – and murder.

In fact he was one of the brains behind the St Valentine's Day Massacre of 1929, which saw seven members of Bugs Moran’s rival gang machine-gunned to death by assassins disguised as policemen. So it might come as a surprise that The Hump was actually of Welsh descent – and was a blood relative of a living Welsh politician.

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He was born Llewelyn Morris Humphreys in 1899 to Ann Wigley and Brian Humphreys. His parents were from an isolated hilltop farm called Y Castella in the village of Carno near Newtown, in Powys, WalesOnline reports.

Struggling to make ends meet, in the 1890s the Welsh-speaking couple decided to emigrate from Wales to seek their fortune in America. But before they left they had another son who was adopted by family in the Rhondda.

The Hump was a leading member of Al Capone's Chicago Mafia
The Hump was a leading member of Al Capone's Chicago Mafia

It's believed this is where gangster's closest relatives in Wales now live. Humphreys himself was born in North Clark Street, Chicago – coincidentally the same road where the infamous massacre would take place three decades later.

Despite his parents' hope for a better life Humphreys – who was one of five children – had a rough childhood. When Humphreys was seven his father lost his job and the youngster had to drop out of school to start earning a living selling newspapers on street corners of the Windy City.

He soon turned to petty theft and by the time he was 13 a local judge, Jack Murray – who inspired his name change – had taken him under his wing. Throughout his teen years and young adulthood he was involved in several jewel heists and burglaries. An incident in which Humphreys hijacked some bootleg liquor belonging to Capone's mob left Al Capone himself so impressed that he gave him a job with the Chicago Mafia.

And so began his mob career. It's thought his nicknames The Hump or The Camel might have been inspired either by his surname or his penchant for wearing camel-hair coats. Though he could be ruthless and violent The Hump was known for his intelligence – using diplomacy, manipulation, and negotiation to his advantage. It's said that Scarface himself admired the Welshman for using his gun only as a last resort.

After Capone's death in 1947 The Hump took over from him at the helm of mob. He had influence over trade unions, bankers, and newspaper editors and the FBI said he was responsible for introducing money laundering to the organisation and for bringing gambling to Las Vegas.

It's even thought he helped swing John F Kennedy's 1960 election and knew the president would later be assassinated. It's no wonder, then, he became public enemy number one. On the day of his death three FBI agents had showed up to his Marina City apartment to arrest him on the charge of perjury – the only criminal charge ever laid against him.

He is said to have opened the door pointing a 38-caliber revolver at them and one of the agents is quoted as saying: 'Murray, for Christ’s sake, you know we’re FBI agents, put down the gun.' After a struggle the agents arrested the gangster and jailed him – only for him to be bailed out by a friend before he was found dead in his apartment at around 8.30pm that same night.

Lord Dafydd Wigley
The Hump is the third cousin of former Plaid Cymru leader Lord Dafydd Wigley (pictured)

Though born and raised in Chicago The Hump didn't forget his Welsh roots. He visited Wales once, just a couple of years before his death, but was forced to travel under an alias. He left an only child – a daughter with a suitably Welsh name, Llywela – who died in poverty in 1992 having tried to invest her father’s ill-gotten millions in a failed racetrack.

But perhaps the most notable relation of the underworld boss is closer to home than you might expected. The Hump is the third cousin of House of Lords member and former Plaid Cymru leader Lord Dafydd Wigley. More than a decade ago, Lord Wigley, now 80, visited the USA for an S4C documentary to find out more about his infamous relative.

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