Arthur Thompson Junior was shot three times in the back as he walked to his front door in the middle of the night. It was a cold and windy August evening when his killers struck and the gangland hit would go down in Glaswegian criminal history as the assassination that started a bloody battle for the control of Glasgow's underworld. Much has been written about Thompson Jr, about him being overweight, that he wasn't the sharpest tool in the box and that he was no chip off the old block: the reality is he wasn't afraid of anybody and as a consequence he was a major threat to his enemies. It could be said young Thompson seriously underestimated his adversaries and this is what cost him his life. A complete character, he didn't suffer fools and was said to possess a freakishly humorous side to his personality. In 1985 he was sentenced for possession of heroin along with another man by the name of 'Blind Jonah' McKenzie (A name given to him because he had one eye) at the High Court in Glasgow. At that time some parts of Glasgow had experienced an influx of that very drug, it was pouring into the housing schemes and criminals like McKenzie and Thompson took full advantage of the evil trade. McKenzie began selling this filth from his ground-floor apartment in Easterhouse which was situated in the city's east end and it didn't take long before the drug squad had his house under surveillance. McKenzie devised a simple method for his dirty business which involved him handing small bags of heroin to eager junkies through an open window but unbeknown to him the police watched his every move. It's at this stage McKenzie's supplier appeared in a car and he was quickly spotted and identified by an eagle-eyed drug squad officer as Arthur Thompson Jr, the eldest son of feared gangster Thompson Senior. The police moved in and busted McKenzie while others gave chase to catch Thompson who had spotted the police and sped off at speed along the road. During the subsequent high-speed pursuit it was alleged young Thompson began chucking packets of the drug from his car window which the cops managed to recover a short time after. A great result for the drug squad considering it was only McKenzie they were after initially, but the word on the street was that young Arthur Thompson was set up; whatever the truth, this incident would end in an 11-year prison sentence being dished out to him in 1985 at the High Court in Glasgow. Blind Jonah McKenzie received 7-years for dealing smack from his house. Soon after he was released from prison he lost his other eye in a brutal attempt murder on his life!
After almost 6 long years behind bars and just several hours after being released on his first bit of freedom (A weekend home leave from Nornside open prison) Thompson was shot three times in the back as he walked to his front door after a night out at a restaurant with friends. The murder weapon used was a .22 handgun complete with silencer. While Thompson was in jail he swore revenge on what he called a conspiracy by his so-called friends to set him up and a 'Hit List' was found in his prison cell after his death. He refused to wear a bullet proof vest and disregarded sound fatherly advice that he should wear one, a gesture that would most probably have saved his life. His assailants pounced from the shadows based on information provided by a spy within the Thompson camp and were only too aware of the importance connected to murdering their target. They knew that should they fail it would have meant swift retaliation: a bit like signing their own death warrants! This wasn't part of their way of thinking so they ensured death was on the cards that night. Six .22 bullets were fired from a handgun, one of which grazed his cheek. Another smashed into his ribcage. It was the other bullet that found its way to a doomed Thompson's heart and this proved to be the fatal shot. The shooter and his driver sped off into the night, their job done! Arthur Thompson Senior raced his dying son to hospital where a team of surgeons battled in vain to save him but it was no use. Arthur Thompson Jr was pronounced dead just after midnight on 18 August, 1991. He was 31 years of age.