Religion: manifestly non-religious
Name: Gus Snide
First Appearance: Superman (vol. 1) #4 (Spring 1940): "Terror in the Trucker's Union"
Number of Appearances: 1
Enemy of: Superman
Gus Snide was a "notorious racketeer" who was trying to move in on the trucking industry in Metropolis. Essentially, he wanted to force the Truck Drivers' Union to pay "protection" money to him. When Carlson, the union chief, refused to go along with Snide's scheme, Snide had his thugs Nick and Pete kidnap Carlson's young daughter Amy. The girl was only about 6 years old, but Snide ordered his men to "mark" her face by cutting it up with a knife! This alone should demonstrate Snide's propensity for evil. He truly appeared to have no values or ethics and his only motivation was enriching himself.
Gus Snide was the principal villain in the story "Terror In the Trucker's Union" in Superman #4 (Spring 1940). In this story Snide ordered his hired thugs to steal, kidnap, extort and murder. In order to collect evidence against Snide, Superman pretended to want in on Snide's racket. Snide ordered Superman to murder Carlson, which Superman pretended to do in order to gain Snide's trust.
After Snide thought Carlson was dead, he put the next step of his nefarious plan into action. He told Superman, "Now that Carlson's out of the way, I can easily assume control of the Truck Drivers' Union. My plan is to make all truck drivers strike! ...The city's food distribution will be paralyzed! People have got to eat, and the employers will be forced to pay any blackmail we demand!"
Gus Snide really was willing to cripple the entire city of Metropolis in order to extract more money from victims of his racketeering. In one panel, his men are even shown breaking bottles of milk "intended for hungry babies!"
To put an end to Gus Snide's scheme, Superman himself said he was taking over Snide's organization. Snide had already seen that he had no way to oppose Superman physically, so he let Superman do so. Away from the Man of Steel, snide collected all of his ill-gotten gains together and planned to flee Metropolis and go into hiding. But before he did so, he took the time to call the police and tip them off about his headquarters and operation. He turned in Superman and his own hired henchmen into the police. Not only was he a murderous kidnapper, he was disloyal to his own men, which was really no surprise.
While Snide was driving away from Metropolis, he saw Superman running after him in his rear-view mirror. For a moment Snide apparently thought he would escape apprehension and confinement by escaping life. He sped off a cliff into the ocean, saying to himself, "He'll never get that money! It goes to the bottom of the ocean -- with me!"
Superman saved Gus Snide from the ocean depths and recovered all the blackmail money. Superman turned the racketeer and the money over to police. Gus Snide was once again back in self-preservation mode. He told police, "The evidence against me is framed! I had nothing to do with the Truck Drivers' Union!"
But Gus Snide's ploy would not work. He was no doubt given a long jail sentence, due to Carlson's testimony against him and also due in part to the testimony of his own men, who agreed to confess and testify against their turncoat boss.
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