B-B Eyes

Appeared from Tuesday, January 27, 1942 to Sunday, April 19, 1942

Panel from March 28, 1942

A racketeer, gunman, gang leader and killer, B-B Eyes was a short gangster with tiny eyes and a face that looked like a truck had run over it. B-B Eyes ran a bootleg tire racket. The members of his gang were Sliver, Palmy, Juke, Limy and Jug. B-B Eyes wife’s name was Kitty B-B Eyes.

When B-B Eyes brother, Jacques, was shot and killed by Dick Tracy, B-B Eyes decided to avenge his death. He not only blamed Tracy, but Debby Thorndike as well. Debby was a society debutante who was mixed up with Jacques and his night club, the Bird Club. B-B Eyes and Sliver knocked out Debby’s boyfriend, Sailor Kelly, and took Debby to an abandoned house in the woods. Next, they abducted Tracy from the Thorndike mansion where he was recovering from a broken leg. B-B Eyes tied up Tracy and Debby in the basement of the abandoned house with the heating boiler rigged to explode as the pressure rose. Debby’s Aunt, Bea Thorndike, rescued Tracy and Debby from the basement in time. When no explosion occurred, B-B Eyes and Sliver drove back to the house. Bea Thorndike struck their car from behind with her car and wedged it in the basement doorway, trapping the two occupants. B-B Eyes escaped through the floor of the car, after knocking out Sliver and leaving him for the police.

Returning to his bootleg tire racket, B-B Eyes was surprised one day when Palmy informed him that the finger prints of a man wanting to buy some bootleg tires were Tracy’s. When Tracy sent Officer O’Malley to pick up the tires, B-B Eyes and his gang killed O’Malley and left his body in a stack of tires at Tracy’s garage with a warning note. Then B-B Eyes set a trap for Tracy, whom he knew would show up very soon. Tracy and Pat walked right into the trap. They were suddenly smothered beneath an avalanche of automobile tires as they entered B-B Eyes’ garage. B-B Eyes then sealed Tracy and Pat in paraffin from the neck down and left them standing in his basement until he thought of what to do with them.

However, by the time he went back for them, Tracy and Pat had escaped by melting the paraffin against the warm furnace in the basement. Tracy had loosened the basement stairs and B-B Eyes fell to the floor with a crash. Both Tracy and Pat rained blows on B-B Eyes and Tracy handcuffed him and used him as a shield to attack the rest of the gang. The gang scattered when they saw that Tracy had captured B-B Eyes and was shooting at them using B-B Eyes’ own gun. In a blazing gun battle on the street, Tracy killed two of the gang and captured the rest, including Palmy. A police wagon took them away.

On the way to jail, B-B Eyes, still handcuffed, rolled out of Tracy’s grasp and out of the door of the moving police car. The car was on a bridge at the time and B-B Eyes tried to climb down the side to the lower level. He lost his hold and plummeted into the mud rubbish of a scow passing beneath the bridge. Tracy saw B-B Eyes struggling as the scow was towed out into the bay. Tracy boarded a Coast Guard cutter and tried to reach the scow boat before it dumped its load of mud and garbage into the bay, but he was too late. “Mud, water, stones, cans – and, yes – even a dilapidated tire settle noiselessly down into the dark depths of the bay, accompanied by B-B Eyes”. Ironically, B-B Eyes, the handcuffed bootleg tire gangster, became imprisoned in the old tire and drowned in the bay.



Reprinted with permission from the author Victor E. Wichert “The Dick Tracy Encyclopedia Oct. 4, 1931 – Dec. 25 1977″

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