Appeared from Thursday, November 28, 1946 to Sunday, March 9, 1947
Panel from December 26, 1946
Influence was a former casino owner, a hypnotist and a killer. He had a gaunt face with deep round eyes and could hypnotize anyone simply by looking into their eyes. Tracy called him “the most mentally vicious criminal in the world”.
Influence formerly owned the Dove Casino on the coast and was traveling across the country, tracking down people who had welshed on their gambling debts. Influence’s henchmen, a man named Slim, who was under Influence’s spell, accompanied him. Influence located a welsher named Brine Douglas. He shot and killed him at the end of a pier and Brine’s body fell into the water.
Influence then turned his attention to Vitamin Flintheart, who owed him $20,000. Influence hypnotized Vitamin and bent him to his will, forcing him to eat cold beans and sleep on a brick for a pillow. Influence even convinced him to eat dried peas instead of vitamin pills. Vitamin became Influence’s butler and unknowingly helped Influence steal money from the wealthy heiress, Florence Lane, whom Vitamin knew as an old friend. Influence hypnotized Florence and then he, Slim and Vitamin moved into Florence’s mansion. After Florence had withdrawn $85,000, Influence strangled her in the basement.
Following a lead at a Pal’s shirt laundry, Pat Patton came face to face with Influence. Influence hypnotized Pat, knocked him out and stuffed him inside an icebox at the city dump. Tracy rescued Pat and it wasn’t long before Tracy and the police surrounded Florence Lane’s mansion. When Tracy entered the front door, Influence tripped him, rolled him in a carpet, struck him over the head and knocked him out. Then, disguised in Tracy’s hat and coat, Influence escaped in Tracy’s car, taking Slim and Vitamin with him.
Out in the country, Influence dropped Tracy’s hat and coat from a bridge over a stream and then drove to a ski resort. Influence then told Vitamin he would remember nothing and sent him back to town in the car. At the ski lodge, Influence hypnotized the manager into giving him two adjoining rooms for himself and Slim. They settled in their rooms and tried to hide out from Tracy. A few weeks passed and Slim was going stir-crazy. It was great surprise to Influence that Slim won a new car in a raffle at the lodge. Influence planned to use the car to make an escape. As they exited the lodge, Influence and Slim saw Tracy, carrying a cane, standing by the car. Influence approached Tracy and tried to hypnotize him, starring deeply into his eyes. Tracy unscrewed the cane handle and drew out a chain, which he lashed across Influence’s eyes. Influence’s glass hypnotic lenses shattered and the murderer surrendered meekly to Tracy. Influence and Slim went to prison.
Reprinted with permission from the author Victor E. Wichert “The Dick Tracy Encyclopedia Oct. 4, 1931 – Dec. 25 1977″
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